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Visiting the Mennonites

Discuss religion and spirituality topics.

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Visiting the Mennonites

Postby fschmidt » January 15th, 2016, 1:32 pm

I have been researching religions for a while, but I didn't visit any traditional Anabaptist groups until last weekend because there are none near me. My wife and I drove several hours to Belen, NM, to visit them. I was very impressed. I didn't take any pictures, but here are some pictures from the internet that match what I saw.

Image

Image

Image

I attended the Sunday service which was about 10am to 12pm. There was a great emphasis on the Old Testament and not just on faith, but also on doing the right thing. Almost the opposite of disgusting modern Christianity, I was thrilled. As you can see in the last picture, the sexes are clearly separated. After church we (my wife and I) visited one of their homes with a group of them for lunch. They seemed very open, much more tolerant than members of modern culture. They have their ways but they are willing to discuss things openly. I expected them to be closed and ignorant, but one of them was reading Josephus's "The Jewish War" and we discussed this. They seem less ignorant of things that matter than modern Americans are. They have no television or internet. They know farming and construction and grow their own food and build their houses within their community. They have little need for the outside world, and little knowledge of the modern world. Of course they are missing nothing, the modern world is pure crap. But as a result, they seem innocent and have no real idea how depraved the modern world is.

They live on the outskirts of a small town outside of the Albuquerque. There are many other churches there, especially Baptist, but there seems to be almost no interaction between the Mennonites and other Christians. This is good, of course, since modern American Christians are slime.

Right now I think that associating with a traditional Mennonite church is the ideal lifestyle in today's world where almost every culture is crap. I think one can do this without joining them if one is sensitive not to upset their lifestyle. I had been looking at Orthodox Christian churches and Orthodox synagogues as possible refuges from modern culture, but now the Mennonites are my first choice. I will start contacting Mennonite churches in areas that I would consider moving to.

Here is a good map of traditional Mennonite churches:

http://www.pilgrimministry.org/congregations/map

Those looking for a sane culture should visit a Mennonite church near you. And please post your impressions to this thread.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby gnosis » January 15th, 2016, 3:39 pm

I am moving back to the U.S. soon and will have to check this out. Just today I was talking with a friend about the difficulty of finding good Christian churches/communities. The problem is that almost everything has been infected.

Thanks for the info. In addition to the Mennonites, there are a few other strict Christian religious groups in the U.S. They may be worth a look into.

What was your impression of the Eastern Orthodox churches you checked out prior to this?
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby fschmidt » January 16th, 2016, 2:47 am

gnosis wrote:Thanks for the info. In addition to the Mennonites, there are a few other strict Christian religious groups in the U.S. They may be worth a look into.

Which ones?

What was your impression of the Eastern Orthodox churches you checked out prior to this?

My impression is that they are somewhat better than mainstream Christianity but still not good enough. They don't seem to recognize the evil of modern culture and so they willingly conform to modern norms in America like mixing the sexes in church, something not done in their home countries. I sent this email:

http://www.mikraite.org/email-to-orthodox-churches-tp495.html

to 13 Orthodox churches in the San Antonio and Austin areas. 6 didn't respond, 5 don't separate the sexes, and only 2 do separate the sexes. Of these 2, one is a tiny Greek Orthodox church that I will visit, and the other is a Coptic (Egyptian) church that didn't bother to respond to my follow-up email. Overall it doesn't look nearly as promising as the Mennonites.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby gnosis » January 16th, 2016, 6:54 am

fschmidt wrote:
gnosis wrote:In addition to the Mennonites, there are a few other strict Christian religious groups in the U.S. They may be worth a look into.

Which ones?



The Amish; the Hutterites. Possibly some conservative Quaker groups. Although much less practical, you could also look into a fundamentalist Mormon sect.

Quite a number of years ago, I knew a friend of a friend who joined an Amish group and lived their traditional lifestyle with his family as a part of the Amish community. From what I heard, he was happy.

As time goes by, I am starting to appreciate just how smart this guy was.

His daughters won't be turned into hateful sluts. His sons can be raised like proper men. His wife will be loving and faithful or be ostracized by the community. He doesn't have to swim in a sewer every day of his life.
Last edited by gnosis on January 16th, 2016, 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby OutWest » January 16th, 2016, 7:00 am

fschmidt wrote:
gnosis wrote:Thanks for the info. In addition to the Mennonites, there are a few other strict Christian religious groups in the U.S. They may be worth a look into.

Which ones?

What was your impression of the Eastern Orthodox churches you checked out prior to this?

My impression is that they are somewhat better than mainstream Christianity but still not good enough. They don't seem to recognize the evil of modern culture and so they willingly conform to modern norms in America like mixing the sexes in church, something not done in their home countries. I sent this email:

http://www.mikraite.org/email-to-orthodox-churches-tp495.html

to 13 Orthodox churches in the San Antonio and Austin areas. 6 didn't respond, 5 don't separate the sexes, and only 2 do separate the sexes. Of these 2, one is a tiny Greek Orthodox church that I will visit, and the other is a Coptic (Egyptian) church that didn't bother to respond to my follow-up email. Overall it doesn't look nearly as promising as the Mennonites.



I'm glad you found a way to visit a Mennonite group.
We are back in Oregon till spring at least, and there is a strong Mennonite presence in our area and we sometimes attend their services.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby OutWest » January 16th, 2016, 7:00 am

fschmidt wrote:
gnosis wrote:Thanks for the info. In addition to the Mennonites, there are a few other strict Christian religious groups in the U.S. They may be worth a look into.

Which ones?

What was your impression of the Eastern Orthodox churches you checked out prior to this?

My impression is that they are somewhat better than mainstream Christianity but still not good enough. They don't seem to recognize the evil of modern culture and so they willingly conform to modern norms in America like mixing the sexes in church, something not done in their home countries. I sent this email:

http://www.mikraite.org/email-to-orthodox-churches-tp495.html

to 13 Orthodox churches in the San Antonio and Austin areas. 6 didn't respond, 5 don't separate the sexes, and only 2 do separate the sexes. Of these 2, one is a tiny Greek Orthodox church that I will visit, and the other is a Coptic (Egyptian) church that didn't bother to respond to my follow-up email. Overall it doesn't look nearly as promising as the Mennonites.



I'm glad you found a way to visit a Mennonite group.
We are back in Oregon till spring at least, and there is a strong Mennonite presence in our area and we sometimes attend their services.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby OutWest » January 16th, 2016, 7:00 am

fschmidt wrote:
gnosis wrote:Thanks for the info. In addition to the Mennonites, there are a few other strict Christian religious groups in the U.S. They may be worth a look into.

Which ones?

What was your impression of the Eastern Orthodox churches you checked out prior to this?

My impression is that they are somewhat better than mainstream Christianity but still not good enough. They don't seem to recognize the evil of modern culture and so they willingly conform to modern norms in America like mixing the sexes in church, something not done in their home countries. I sent this email:

http://www.mikraite.org/email-to-orthodox-churches-tp495.html

to 13 Orthodox churches in the San Antonio and Austin areas. 6 didn't respond, 5 don't separate the sexes, and only 2 do separate the sexes. Of these 2, one is a tiny Greek Orthodox church that I will visit, and the other is a Coptic (Egyptian) church that didn't bother to respond to my follow-up email. Overall it doesn't look nearly as promising as the Mennonites.



I'm glad you found a way to visit a Mennonite group.
We are back in Oregon till spring at least, and there is a strong Mennonite presence in our area and we sometimes attend their services.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby fschmidt » February 1st, 2016, 10:50 pm

Last Sunday I visited this church near Austin:

http://gracemennonitefellowship.org/

Even though they looked similar to the Mennonites I saw Belen, NM, they were in fact completely different. Their service was basically mainstream American Christian, much like a Baptist service. The appearance was Mennonite with the sexes separated, but the preaching was all New Testament. It was all about faith and nothing about moral responsibility. It was a long service, over 2 hours, and the experience made me sick.

So the lesson is that Mennonites are not all alike. Mennonites are organized into groups that are documented in this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Old-Order-Conservative-Mennonite/dp/1561481017/

The Belen, NM, church is a Nationwide Fellowship Church. The Austin area church is Beachy Amish. So now I can cross Beachy Amish churches off my list and only investigate other groups.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby fschmidt » May 1st, 2016, 8:21 am

I have visited 5 more churches since my last post and I have selected this one:

http://www.pilgrimministry.org/churches/grays-prairie-mennonite-church

The Mennonite churches vary quite a bit, some good and some bad. The bad ones are ruined by too much modern cultural influence. Modern culture is pure poison. But I found a good one fairly close to Dallas. I will visit this church with my wife every other weekend to see if there is a fit. If there is, I will move there.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby Jester » May 1st, 2016, 8:02 pm

FSchmidt, +10 for your persistence.

Well done.

Please keep posting on this topic as you learn more.

PS I cannot believe you ask pastors for info and tell them "Also please note that I am not Christian."
:lol:

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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby fschmidt » May 1st, 2016, 9:46 pm

Thanks Jester, but that email was to the Orthodox which didn't work out. Here is a summary of my conversation with the Mennonites last week:

me: I enjoyed the service. I am not Christian, I follow the Old Testament. So I am looking for the religion that most closely follows the Old Testament, and it seems Mennonites are it.

mennonite: What about Judaism.

me: No, they don't follow the Old Testament. They follow the Talmud.

mennonite: Well we consider ourselves to be a New Testament religion.

me: That's fine, I don't see any conflict. Jesus promoted Old Testament principles, so if you actually follow what Jesus said in the first 3 gospels, we should get along fine.

mennonite: That's interesting. Of course faith in Christ is central to our religion.

me: If your faith in Christ results in you following God's will as expressed in the Old Testament, then I am all for it.

mennonite: Yes that is one area where we differ from other Christians. We are very concerned about doing God's will.

me: Great!
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby Cornfed » May 3rd, 2016, 1:13 am

One of the things I found not quite right about the Mennonites was the anti-education bias. I can see why they have this, but it does have its drawbacks.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby gnosis » May 7th, 2016, 4:50 pm

Cornfed wrote:One of the things I found not quite right about the Mennonites was the anti-education bias. I can see why they have this, but it does have its drawbacks.


Could you elaborate on this?
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby Cornfed » May 9th, 2016, 4:26 am

gnosis wrote:
Cornfed wrote:One of the things I found not quite right about the Mennonites was the anti-education bias. I can see why they have this, but it does have its drawbacks.


Could you elaborate on this?

The men shun higher education and training and anything requiring large-scale corporate employment. So they are handymen, farmers, builders, loggers etc. An example given by one of their leaders was that if one of them were to be a pilot, he would be a crop duster or some such, rather than work for a major commercial airline. Because they also don't have television or the Internet, live remotely and so don't have access to large public libraries and mainly only have contact with each other, this makes them fairly ignorant on average, despite seemingly being intelligent.
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Re: Visiting the Mennonites

Postby livefreeordie » July 17th, 2016, 6:57 am

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