Thursday, May 15, 2008

Brethren Heritage

In his book from 1958, For Brethren Only, Kermit Eby talks about the importance of Brethren Heritage:

... Not only do I want young Brethren to know their Bible; I want them to know their history. Alexander Mack and Christopher Sower must become real men who wrestled with war and totalitarianism and worldliness, and who produced, out of that wrestling, Brethrenism.

I want his heritage so well understood that every Brethren young person is proud of it, and may I say as emphatically as I know how that neither our Christian nor our Brethren heritage can be taught in a thirty-five-minute period on a Sunday morning. It must, if it is to be made meaningful, be a part of our daily living, the very marrow of our bones.

...I do believe that we have a unique heritage - both radical and a relevant one. We do speak to the transcendent question of all civilization, which is war. We have an answer to the totalitarians with our emphasis on no force in religion.

... We understand what integrity means, but we have forgotten that a witness so significant as this must be bolstered in the community. By community I mean the fellowship of believers: common faith and a community to support it.

... Long ago I learned that the values of the society corrupt the organization created to oppose them. Brethren are no exception. We have become a church, are no longer a sect. We have made our peace, and with our peace there can come only assimilation or disappearance.

These things I miss: separateness, earthy sermons, Biblical teachings, brotherhood, roots.

Source: For Brethren Only, Kermit Eby - "Things I Miss and Do Not Miss"