Last Voyages of an Amishman and a Sailor - Menno's Folks (Blog 8)

Menno’s Folks. The Mennonites are a pie of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after a Frisian priest — Menno Simons (1496-1561). Simons, through his writings, articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders who espoused a relatively simple earth-based faith in Jesus Christ premised on the collaboration of Jesus with his Disciples.

The "Wiedertäufer" (Again-Baptists, or Anabaptists) became part of a broad reactionary movement against the practices and theology of the Roman Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation. Both the Catholic and Protestant states in which they lived soon regarded them with suspicion because of the extremist element of their preaching of a non-secular and pacifist lifestyle. Even Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, better-known reformers of that era, cast worrisome glances at these “pseudo”-Utopians.

Rather than fight, some Anabaptist groups fled to neighboring states that at first tolerated their radical belief in adult baptism. Anabaptist missionary martyrs were regarded as “superb obstructionists, denouncing the ministers and the magistrates, uncowed by danger, invincible in disputation, and unconquerable under torture. ”How could such people learn to live with each other, wondered a Yale professor of ecclesiastical history, Roland Bainton, author of a book titled, The Age of the Reformation?"

Menno’s theology drew a small gathering of sympathizers in a country we call