"Some of us think we should go back to 'recover the Anabaptist vision.' But we cannot go back. We must go on to perfection.
And even if we could go back, their vision would not be ours. Vision is a personal matter. God must open our eyes!
Some of us glorify the Anabaptist movement. The Anabaptists themselves did not. They saw themselves as nothing before a glorious God.
Some of us treat our historic faith and the traditions that come with it like sacred heirlooms. ("Watch out you don't break them!") They did not. Their faith was original and they tested it in practice….
We claim to be the custodians of the Anabaptist movement today. But our apostasy and divisions have devastated our credibility. From the world's point of view our claim is weak. We enjoy thinking of ourselves as 'special' and 'peculiar' people. But what if we aren't as special as we think we are? What if the Lord should open our eyes and we would see that we are not so different from the rest and really no better? Could we live with that?
The time has come to stop depending on our 'glorious heritage,' which threatens to become the brazen serpent before which we fall instead of falling on our faces before God. If our heritage gives us a sense of dignity (we are the descendants of the Anabaptist martyrs), we would be better off without it.
The time has come to stop staggering along weak-eyed, with one eye on Christ and one on the church structures we have built, trying to promote one while preserving the other at all costs. God will not accept such a stubborn doubleminded-ness.
The time has come for a return to the original pattern - that of Christ and the apostles, rather than the patterns handed down by our ancestors…the time has come to stop handling our worn-out traditions with German frugality, fixing and patching and mending and insisting on handing them down. But the time has also come to rediscover and put to creative use the good traditions we have lost. Then, while sorting out what we need for today and looking forward to a frohe Ewigkeit (glad eternity), we do well to remember that preserving our way of life will not keep us safe. Neither will changing our way of life. More divisions are not the answer. Neither is an ungodly ecumenism." ---- Peter Hoover, The Secret of the Strength
-John M Troyer