Who are Mennonites/Anabaptists?

Recently my non sports watching husband asked me what a quarterback was. We had just watched the Super Bowl the night before, and yet somehow this knowledge escaped him. To be fair, he sometimes asks ridiculous questions just to get a reaction out of me, and this might have been one of those instances. That being said, general sports knowledge is truly foreign to him and I sometimes forget that he honestly does not know what I consider to be basic knowledge. I’m not always patient, and I’m not always good at explaining things. Maybe that’s because I have loved and understood the basics of football for as long as I can remember. But just because you think you know or understand something, doesn’t mean you’re good at explaining it.

Similarly, I have been a Mennonite for as long as I can remember. I can’t say I know all the basics or that I always love the Mennonite church, but it is a near and dear part of my personal and spiritual identity. Thankfully this is one of the few things my husband and I have in common. Of course when asked questions about Mennonites—who are we and what do we believe—my husband and I don’t always know where to start.

So, if you have stumbled upon this blog and find yourself wondering who or what a Mennonite or Anabaptist is, know that you are no alone (we’re still figuring it out too). Perhaps the following information and links will help.

  • From “Living the Anabaptist Story,” published in 2015 by J. Denny Weaver and Lisa D. Weaver: “The word Anabaptist means ‘one who is baptized again.’ In the 16th century, this name was given to individuals who chose to be baptized as adults after having been baptized as infants. In the 21st century, Anabaptism has taken on an identity that means more than simply baptism as an adult. Anabaptists today hold dear the values of nonviolence and pacifism, the example of Jesus as a life model, and a conscious effort to live within a faith community…The hallmark of Anabaptism is that an adult believer chooses to enter a faith community, and chooses to identify as a follower of Christ. Therefore anyone can claim the Anabaptist story.”
  • An article I wrote and submitted to The Kansas City Star in July 2015: http://www.kansascity.com/living/religion/article25576564.html
  • missiodei-what-is-an-anabaptist
  • Origins of Protestantism chart