Monday, July 9, 2012

Mormons and Mennonites

I work with a little 7 year old boy that is a Mennonite.  Mennonite are sort of like the Amish.  The women wear simple dresses all the time, even while skiing, they also wear a black cap over their hair in a bun.   The men often look just like the rest of the population. 

I looked on Google for images, but none were true to the likeness of those here  in Idaho.
This is what I've learned about the Mennonites from my time with them:
  • They only educate in their own schools till 8th grade
  • They don't vote, serve on jury's and the military.  Heaven is their kingdom, war is bad.
  • They use no instruments in church or ever.  They think music is bad, yet instruments are in the Bible which puzzles me. 
  • They attend church for 5 hours on Sunday,  2 in the morning, 3 in the evening. 
  • Most of them are farmers or do jobs that go along with farming like driving trucks. 
  • They believe that God the Father and Jesus Christ are separate, but spirits. 
  • They drive cars and shop in grocerie stores, and Costco and DI.
  • Many of them adopt it seems through the foster care system. I think it is to keep the religion going. 
  • There are 30 different groups of Mennonites.  
  • I've seen Mennonites in the library using the internet. 
  • They don't believe in dancing which is in the Bible.
  • They use cell phones.

My realizations are this.  It doesn't 'matter how good of a person you are, if you don't have the truth, things in you're worship and life style will be missing.  Unlike the rest of the world they swing on the other side of the pendulum.  While many American's  don't seem to care what they do with their body, who they do it with what they put in or on their bodies, the Mennonites do care about those things, but they also leave out good things.  In my opinion they take away many opportunities to choose between good and evil.

For instance;  Mormon's believe that all knowledge comes from God, hence TV, Internet and the like is for preaching the gospel.  While it is used for bad things too, one can choose what to make and what to watch.
Mormon's love music.  We have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir accompanied with a piano and organ.  We use those in our Sunday meetings and often a violin or flute as well. We believe in the beauty of music from any mouth and instrument.  Like I said all good things come from God.

So in essence they keep good things out of their life to avoid the bad.  What is sad is some of the things they think are bad are really good. 

From the LDS Newsroom and the article Mormon and Modern is this quote that sums it what we believe.

For Mormons, there need not be a conflict between devotion to one’s faith and meaningful participation in modern society. Faithful Latter-day Saints are currently engaged in education, science, business, the arts and political life. In a pluralistic world, modern sensibilities tend to compartmentalize spheres of human activity. But Mormon thought encourages integration.
Mormons welcome truth from whatever source and take the pragmatic view that where religion and science seem to clash, it is simply because there are insufficient data to reconcile the two. Latter-day Saints approach such tensions as challenges to learn, not contradictions to avoid.


Anonymous said...

As Mennonite, I found this to be generalized, and poorly researched. 1) Music - we have a great tradition of music - 4 part harmony is the norm during services, often with multiple instruments accompaniment. 2)Education - My wife attended college, and we intend for our use to earn his PH.D. If you look up Goshen College( in Indiana, you will see many images of one of "OUR" educational institutions. 3) Beliefs - they can point you in the right direction to correct your impression of our "beliefs" . Thank you for your time, may the peace of Christ be with you.

Jonas Dalé said...

I agree with anon, to say that Mennonites don't like music is not true. I love hearing mennonite women sing accapella, and sing the Gospel. I am Mormon but was raised mennonite and I still live in the plain dress tradition. I love the Mennonites. Please do your research.

Kat Andrews said...

I am a Jehovah's witness and we believe Jehovah God gave us free will to decide right from wrong. He wants us to serve him because we want to . Not because someone tells you too. There is nothing wrong with listening to music or watching TV, as long as you don't listen or watch the bad stuff. And we know what that is. We do not do things that are pagan,like the Christmas tree was put in Nebakandazer throne to bow down to him after he died. Sorry if I spelled the name wrong. Pagan means from Satan. And we don't want to do anything that is from Satan. Satan is down on this earth confusing everyone and causing Chaos all around us. We need to do the will of our father Jehovah God and his son Jesus Christ and we do believe in both. And there is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol, if done in moderation. And you don't get drunk. And if you can't do that, you don't drink.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Mennonite and whoever wrote the definition of what a Mennonite is, needs to do better research. I and everyone in my family went to high school and college or university. We vote and do jury duty. We don't believe in going to war though. In church the music is like a concert and it's totally awesome! There's piano players, bass guitar, regular guitar, drums, singers and other instruments as well. In church were are there to praise God, so no need to be quiet. Attending church is only on Sundays for like an hour to hour and a half and you don't have to go every Sunday. You can praise God from home as well or watch a service on tv or the internet. And most of us are farmers..... no that's not correct. In my family most of the men work in the trades. We do things like normal people do but everything is in moderation and we try to be the best we can be but we are still sinners. Yes we do believe that God's son is Jesus, but when we pray it doesn't matter if you pray to God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit....they're all the same heavenly father to us. Yes we drive cars , shop at grocery stores and the mall, have cell phones and TVs and all the same electronics that everybody else has, listen to music, go to concerts, etc....As for the foster care system that something that's new to me....never heard that before. And what's this about we foster kids to keep our religion going? That sounds like a cult and that we are not. We do not force our religion on is your choice what religion you want to follow or if you don't. We also dance and there's nothing wrong with just don't dance all sexy or provocatively. You are also allowed to drink as Jesus drank wine in the Bible but again in moderation. And we also dye our hair and cut it. We are not like the Amish who have long hair, wear dresses all the time or long skirts, hair in a bun, drive a buggy and no electronics. So often we are confused with the Amish. We are here to worship God and that's all that matters. God bless you and have a great day :)

Anonymous said...

As you will read in the Bible, THERE ARE NO INSTRUCTIONS TO USE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN WORSHIP CAN BE FOUND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT!!!!!!!!!!!. Go ahead, look for it. You will find it all over in worship in the old testement, but since we are all under a new covenant since Jesus came, we are not INSTRUCTED to use musical instruments in our worship today.!!!! They are mentioned in the book of Revelations, but we are not instructed to use it in worship in the new testement - PERIOD! Mennonites love music. The acapella choirs are wonderful. They do sometimes have piano's in their homes, but not for public demonstration. The old order and some of the modern orders use them but usually not for public display.

Anoah said...

The name Mennonite seems to be used loosely here. The Mennonite people can be vastly different in their acceptance of lifestyle; just depends on the community of each. I interact with a very conservative community in Highland County, OH (I'm LDS). So, to box them in from an LDS or Mennonite perspective disregards the "split" you would see in different areas. Not more than an hour south of the Highland group, another community has much more "liberal" beliefs with integration with the "world."

I present that its fine for folks to live how they please; but, for the conservative Mennonites, don't judge good Christian folk in the "world" for participating in modern advances. I don't think that if Christ were here that he would isolate himself from such interaction.

No one should care whether another group uses certain musical ways with worship. Anonymous presents that the Bible does not instruct Christians to use instruments in worship; however, it also DOES NOT tell the people NOT to use them. So, its open for us to choose.

If you're LDS, get together with some Mennonites; and if Mennonite, get together with LDS. Share; enjoy each other's company. Have some fun together.

Anoah (Winchester, OH)

Anonymous said...

Mennonites are not a homogenous group. They range from very conservative, like the Mennonite congregations here in Idaho, to more urban Mennonites like the ones at Portland Mennonite where I attended for three years. The members of Portland Mennonite use instruments in their worship, dance, and wear modern clothes.

Anonymous said...

Please learn the proper use of the apostrophe. It is not used to indicate a plural. . .only possessives or contractions.

Jon said...

There are several different groups of Mennonites in southern Idaho and not all of their beliefs and practices are the same. A group of Mennonites meet for Sunday morning services in Wendell,Idaho at the VFW building. We would be glad to have you come to our service and would be happy to answer your questions. We have friends from the group you are describing and their involvement in foster care and adoption is more about giving a good home to children who need it than keeping their religion going though they teach them what they believe to be the right way to live. We do have 4 part harmony a cappella music in our Sunday worship service which is beautiful but we listen to music with instruments and we have talented musicians in our congregation that play various instruments. Our goal is to first of all experience Jesus in our own hearts and lives by repentance of sin and excepting Jesus’ blood as the atonement for our sin and then to live as followers of Jesus in our community.

Unknown said...

As a conservative Mennonite myself, I'd like to respectfully address some of your claims. As previously mentioned, most of us graduate high school and some go one to college. We may not use instruments in church, but generally, we listen to music with instruments and many of us actually play one recreationally. We love music! Our church services last maybe an hour and a half Sunday mornings and one hour Sunday nights, if we have church on Sunday nights. In my area, most Mennonites work in factories or have their own businesses (I realize this is relative to the area). We believe in the trinity, the belief that God is one person with three different entities. And finally, we think adoption/foster care is awesome, but there isn't a lot of that going on in the Mennonite culture. It's not that we think it's bad at all, it's just not very common. If you ever see one of us, feel free to approach us and ask any questions! We're happy to answer them.