My burden for these meetings for the six years we’ve had them now, is that our people would understand the unique concepts that have made our people what they are, and would not so quickly disregard those for something else. Now tonight, we’re going to speak about the humility motif and what happened to it.
Encountering Christ today is what we are all going to have to do. And I’d like to look at some of that. So that we don’t just become something of a museum piece, or something that’s just put on the shelf…… (Martin Luther King, Jr) said this, “There was a time when the church was very powerful. In the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days, the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion. It was a thermostat that transformed the morays of society…..”
Where we are at today, is what I want to talk about. I want to talk about where we are. And so if you look at that map; if you walk up to one of those maps in the mall and you want to find something, what do you look for first? “You Are Here”. You look for the red dot…… Not everything I have to say about where we are; you might not like it all…. I’ll begin by asking a question. What percent of who God is do you already know?
I hope there are parents, there are young people, there are mothers, fathers, cousins; everyone should have a concern as to how the rising generation will be formed. And a major burden of my heart is for those young children who are yet unborn, those who are born and growing up; they deserve to be formed, trained, educated and schooled properly. And it’s up to us to not withhold from them what they need.
My topic assumes three things and poses a question. Conservative Anabaptists are in need of a spiritual renewal. Pietism is one path of renewal. The Old Order, which I will for the sake of argument, equate with original Anabaptistism, and I’m going to think about that in a somewhat idealized form; that is another path of renewal. And the question is, which is the better choice?
…And with that new-found information, (I) came back and looked at the community again, and looked at it a little differently and with different eyes than I looked at it before. And what I saw was basically an Anabaptist community that was running away from itself. An Anabaptist community that was loosing it’s identity. And it gave me a real concern. Don’t we have something worth preserving?
Martin Luther said this, “I’m not ashamed to confess publicly, that next to theology there is no art which is the equal of music. For she alone, after theology, can do what otherwise only theology can accomplish. Namely, to quiet and cheer up the soul of many. Which is clear evidence that the devil, the originator of depressing worries and troubled thoughts, flees from the voices of music just as he flees from the words of theology. For this very reason the prophets cultivated no art so much as music, in that they attached their theology, not to geometry, nor to arithmetic, nor to astronomy, but to music; speaking truth through songs and hymns.”
The questions to be addressed in these two sessions relate to the role of Christ in redemption, the radicalness of the transforming work of God in the heart that takes place in conversion, and beliefs that encourage post-conversion transformation and beliefs that hinder, and how does Jesus Christ live his life in and through the believer.
The essence of what I would like to look at today, is looking at yesterday’s saints and the essence of yesterday’s saints, and then challenging us today with that message and what really made them tick.
Well, we’ve been just talking about the Martyr’s Mirror, and we’re going to now move to a different period of history. Talking just a little bit about the colonization of North America and the American Revolution. I had just, I guess it came out a few weeks ago, written a book on this topic, called “In God We Don’t Trust”.