Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Elisabeth's story

You all remember the story of the poor little duckling that was so ridiculed and despised because he was so different from all his brother and sister ducklings?

We've seen this as a remarkably accurate description of our experience within the evangelical churches, and how we came to realize who we were, and why we were different.

One day we suddenly realized that we had always been this way and that we were not a deformed form of evangelicalism but actually Anabaptist Christians and had been all along without even knowing there was such a thing outside of our home.

This is not as surprising as it sounds because Menno Simons branched out of the budding protestant reform of his time in the same way as surely thousands of others did throughout the centuries.

Like the ugly duckling, we were raised in a nest (church) totally different from us.

Though we were raised by the evangelicals and assumed we were one of them for so many years we were always the “ugly duckling” among them because we couldn’t fit, no matter how hard we tried (for we believed them to be right -- weren’t they the self-proclaimed Bible-believing Christians of all times?)  But we just couldn’t seem to reconcile their way of living from Scripture.

Just like the ugly duckling, this caused us a lot of pain.  We would sigh and say, “Why must we be such an ugly duckling!”  We just couldn’t dress like them, give up head-covering (which we had come to understand by scripture), sing their songs, push for higher studies like they did… and a hundred other things.

In short, we couldn’t fit into the worldly mould as they did.  But what frustration lay behind the trying!

Only a few short months ago we were, as far as we knew, entirely alone on these issues in the big wide world.  So we would often question our own personal sanity.  The more they rejected us, the more we pulled away, and the more we pulled away, the more we turned to the Bible and the stranger we became to them.

Finally one day as we were walking sadly alone we heard someone cry: “Look, an Anabaptist!”  Only at this point did we realise that we weren’t a failing evangelical!

If we had been "evangelicals" we were definitely a failure because we are too radically different from what they aspire to be.  But we weren’t failing evangelicals because we weren’t evangelicals at all!  We were Anabaptists: beautiful, faithful Anabaptists!

This was a bigger breakthrough for us than you can probably imagine because if it is hard to wear head-covering as an Anabaptist, it is much worse while claiming to be an Evangelical.

Plus…. God CAN’T be doing something in us he is doing nowhere else, so the confirmation of finding fellowship with others is a great comfort to us.

Sunday, June 25, 2006