Previous | Next

Jan.–Apr. 1984 · Vol. 13 No. 1–2 · pp. 33–43 

The Concept and Practice of Separation from the World in Mennonite Brethren History

Richard Kyle

The followers of Jesus Christ are to be “in the world but not of the world.” The working out of this mandate has been of primary concern throughout the larger Mennonite Brethren heritage. The Mennonite Brethren definitely represent a separationist type of Christianity. Though separation has meant different things throughout Mennonite Brethren history, until recent times the Anabaptist doctrine of the two worlds and cultural isolation have been the major components in Mennonite Brethren separation from the world. The objective, therefore, of this article is to briefly survey the outworking and modifications of this dualism and isolation as they have affected the concept and practice of separation found in the Mennonite Brethren tradition, that is, the European and North American Mennonite Brethren and their predecessors. Separation as it relates to Mennonite Brethren in the third world will not be a subject of this study.

The sixteenth-century Anabaptists believed the visible church to be a fellowship of regenerated believers living in obedience to the Word of God, and therefore must be a relatively “pure” and “holy” body. Maintenance of a “pure” church in the midst of a sinful society not only implied the internal exercise of ecclesiastical discipline, but also some form of separation from the world. The theological basis for Anabaptist separation is dualism or the doctrine of the two worlds. This dualism involved two concepts: the world (being ruled by Satan) and the kingdom, which is God’s realm. The kingdom of God, according to Anabaptist beliefs, is being reestablished by them in the “true church.” This kingdom stood in the midst of and alongside of the kingdom of the world and is not to be deferred to some future millennium. The kingdom of God demands a new value system, a new ethic and a sharp separation from the world. Anabaptist kingdom theology held little hope for world betterment, because the world, as they believed, was fallen and could not be reconstructed. Rather, the “true church” had to separate from the world and live by the ethic contained in the Sermon on the Mount. 1 In practice, this notion of separation meant several things for the Anabaptists: they advocated the disestablishment of the church and its separation from the world; they renounced warfare and {34} use of the sword; they refused to conform to many civic mores, including swearing by the civil oath and bringing suit in courts of law. 2

Subsequent Mennonite groups have largely based their separationist stance on this Anabaptist doctrine of the two worlds. On the matter of separation, Mennonite Brethren theology has been relatively static. It has taught nonconformity to the world, separation, and a rigorous ethic since its Anabaptist origins and it teaches such now. 3 What has undergone modification is that the concept and practice of separation from the world has acquired different meanings and interpretations as historical circumstances have changed.

In the Netherlands, the ancestors of the Mennonite Brethren continued the separationist trends of Anabaptism, but furthered an emphasis on church discipline. Because of conditions in the Lowlands, Menno Simons rigorously implemented the ban to separate the church from the world. In latter generations, this rigorous church discipline often degenerated into legalism. In addition, even Mennonite occupations affected their concept and practice of separation. Although people from all ranks of life could be found in the early Swiss Anabaptist movement and also in the original stock of Mennonites in the Netherlands, a trend toward agrarian pursuits is evident in the Lowlands. In the Netherlands, Prussia, Russia and North America, farming was not only most adaptable to a refugee life, but also agricultural occupations minimized external influences, making a policy of isolation from the “world” more readily possible. 4

The concept and practice of separation in Mennonite history has largely been determined by two factors: Anabaptist theology and cultural isolation. It was during the sojourn in Prussia (1540-1790) that the second factor became prominent. Here the Mennonites became an ethnic group. 5 The Dutch colonies on the Vistula Delta eventually grew into homogeneous Mennonite communities, separate from the larger population, with a culture of their own based on a Low German-Dutch social heritage and Mennonite religious institutions. Anabaptist theology demands separation from the world and for over two hundred years the Dutch culture served as the primary vehicle to implement this isolation, furnishing a welcome barrier between the Mennonites and the “world,” i.e., Prussian society. After 1750, however, German became the official church language and a general Prussianization process set in. Many Mennonites became alarmed, fearing that they would not be able to maintain their religious beliefs and thus lose their identity by becoming part of the “world,” or the Prussian civilization. 6

By the end of the eighteenth century, many Mennonites had moved from Prussia to Southern Russia. The closed social system that began in Prussia became fully developed in the Russian context. Two {35} factors were primarily responsible for the emergence of this closed Mennonite social system. Subjectively, the Mennonite immigrants were motivated not only by the desire to escape a threat to their religious principles and economic welfare, but also by the positive hope of realizing a utopian community suggested by the moral and social ideals of their religion, without interference from the “wicked world.” Objectively they were confronted with a legal framework provided by the Russian government that not only permitted the almost complete segregation of the Mennonites from the native Russian population, but also tended to increase and protect their homogeneity, closure, and self-sufficiency.

In the Russian situation, separation from the world came to mean not so much the original emphasis of refraining from worldly activities, but more an isolation of the closed colonies from outside infiltrations. While non-Mennonites were looked upon with great disfavor and considered “worldly,” the Mennonite church was largely unaware of the “world” within its own community. This outlook did not mean that the Mennonites lost their exclusive policy; rather, they limited their separation to people outside their family structure. 8 Many factors brought this situation about: cultural isolation, government prohibitions, church discipline, the perceived undesirability of the Russian civilization, persecution, the biblical ban on marriage to unbelievers (whom the Mennonites regarded as people outside the group), and the attempt to preserve the purity of the original group. Language—this time German—again erected a barrier between the Mennonites and the evil “world.” In Russia, the traditional Anabaptist opposition against participation in worldly affairs became an anachronism: the “world,” at least in the immediate little world of the colonies, was now a Mennonite world. 9

Mennonites espouse the believers’ church, but in their quest for cultural isolation, they have tended to establish a unitary society, which contains characteristics of a territorial church closely allied to the “world,” even if the “world” is that of the Mennonite social, economic, religious, and political structure. Against the Mennonite religious/political establishment in Russia and its accompanying corruptions, the winds of protest blew—and the Mennonite Brethren, who originated in 1860, were one of these movements. The newly formed Mennonite Brethren fellowship attempted to return to the Anabaptist vision with its emphasis on a voluntary membership, a pure ethic, and a separation from society.

The early Brethren perceived the mainline Mennonite church and society to be decadent. The Grosse Gemeinde had relaxed its ethical standards and tolerated immoral conduct among its members. Church discipline was rarely enforced among the laity or clergy. Hence the new movement emphasized separatism. Already ethnically, culturally and legally separated from the larger Russian society, they developed a non-conformity {36} that included separation from their own Mennonite society. The Brethren acquired legal status as a Mennonite group. Nevertheless, several factors still separated them from the larger Mennonite group. First, the defensive stance of the early Brethren promoted a feeling of religious superiority on their part. This situation, indeed, separated them from the parent Mennonite community for generations. 10 Next, the Brethren widened their separation by endeavoring to return to an earlier Anabaptist ethic that accentuated love and nonresistance. They stressed that salvation cannot be divorced from ethics and holiness. Rebirth had to include a living piety, which orders one’s life according to the teachings of Christ. Third, the Mennonite Brethren endeavored to vigorously enforce their ethic and in turn separation by the exercise of church discipline. The “worldly” practices that had become commonplace in the Mennonite colonies were forbidden. Congregations exercised strict discipline upon erring members, for the whole of life was subject to the supervision of the church. 11 Lastly, separationist tendencies in the new movement were also encouraged by the persecution that the Brethren experienced at the hands of the Mennonite church-state establishment. 12

After the initial years (1860-1865) of the new movement, the Mennonite Brethren in Russia still remained essentially a separationist group, but not without some tensions. The migrations to North America after 1874 demonstrated a strong desire on the part of many Brethren to maintain a form of separation, that is, to retain their nonresistance ethic and resist the encroaching Russian civilization. In general after 1870, many Mennonite Brethren manifested a spirit of “Mennonite Puritanism” in several ways. Some examples include: the severing of some relationships with non-Mennonites, continued bitterness toward the larger Mennonite church, closed communion, rigid legalism in ethics, the fear of the loss of cultural distinctives, and resistance to marriage with non-Mennonite Brethren. 13 On the other hand, the traditional separatism of recent years was modified in several respects. Because the mainline Mennonite tradition was largely bankrupt, the Brethren turned early to non-Mennonite groups for renewal, and thus broke down the barrier of separation and developed relationships with non-Mennonites, i.e., the Pietists and Baptists in particular. 14 Relationships with the mother Mennonite church, though stormy on occasions, did improve with time. After 1885, the period of earlier isolation of the Mennonite Brethren from other Mennonites as well as their withdrawal from public affairs in the colonies, came to an end. In fact by 1885, the Brethren even dropped their standing prohibition of marriage with non-Mennonite Brethren. 15 Last, but of great significance, the Brethren broke with a concept of separation that had prevailed for centuries. Since Prussia the loss of missionary zeal, ethnic isolation and legal impediments to proselytizing outsiders all combined to make entrance into {37} a Mennonite church largely dependent upon birth into a Mennonite family. From the outset the Mennonite Brethren demonstrated a great evangelical zeal, including proselyting among the Mennonites, and later on, the support of foreign missions, and even evangelism among the Russian people. Though few of the non-Mennonite converts ever joined local Mennonite Brethren churches, this evangelistic fervor was an important step in reducing the barrier of cultural separation. 16

Beginning with Anabaptist dualism, then on to their forced ghettoized experience in Prussia and Russia, the Mennonites have had no choice but to be separated from the “world.” The North American scene, however, represents a totally new experience for the Mennonite Brethren. They now have more of a choice. Anabaptist theology and ethics imposes some restrictions; psychologically, it takes several generations to move from being “the hated and persecuted ones” to “the accepted ones.” Mennonite culture and tradition still imposes some restraints; but otherwise, the Mennonite Brethren can choose to withdraw or become involved in the larger North American society.

Beginning in Prussia, and later in Russia, separation from the “world” primarily came to mean cultural isolation from the larger society and preservation of ethnic homogeneity. Not until the secession of the Brethren in 1860 did separation necessarily entail ethical purity, or disengagement from the “world” within the Mennonite colonies. The North American scene, indeed, presented the Mennonite Brethren immigrants with a new situation, a new agenda from that which they faced in Russia. Late nineteenth-century North America was both a political democracy, culturally pluralistic, and religiously diverse. At first the Mennonites had to adapt to the permissiveness of the frontier and a host of other matters. Then as the twentieth century progressed, industrialism, urbanization, and secularization forced adjustments on the Mennonite Brethren concept and practice of separation. 17

The catalyst for modifying the Mennonite Brethren nonconformist ethic, though partly theological, was largely cultural. The theological foundation for Mennonite Brethren separation was and still is theoretically the Anabaptist doctrine of the two kingdoms, nonconformity to the world, and the demands of discipleship. Yet in the implementation of these doctrines, theology has, to a considerable degree, become submerged in culture and tradition. The Mennonite Brethren came to North America with the intention of reestablishing, in some way, their isolationist communities. In this objective, to be sure, they largely failed. As a consequence, in North America the Mennonites faced a challenge to their autonomy, their self control, and thus their ability to separate from the world, which was as severe as the more obvious threat of Russianization from which they fled. 18

Space only permits generalizations, but the history of the Mennonite {38} Brethren in North America is one of progressive acceptance of cultural traits from the wider society on one hand, and a largely unsuccessful resistance to this acculturation on the other. Many factors contribute to this development, but the image of America and the language change must rank high. Soon after their arrival in the United States, America became a positive symbol to the Mennonites. They liked America, and Americans generally accepted them. In Russia, the Mennonites deemed the surrounding culture as inferior, and consequently remained separate. This situation was not the case in the United States. They discovered that the Americans did many things better than they, and thus adopted many of their ways. While the Mennonites had not regarded themselves as Russians, they soon became glad to be Americans, though not without tensions. With this affirmation of America, went much of the hostility and suspicion toward the larger society that the Mennonites had maintained for centuries, and thus much of their desire for separation. 19

Cultural change, however, came slowly in the critical area of language. For centuries, language (whether Dutch or German) had functioned as a barrier of separation between the Mennonites and the “world.” The concerted efforts in the United States (e.g., private schools) to preserve German as a means of isolation from society failed and acculturation increased. Though the Mennonites in Russia had been forced to learn the Russian culture by 1914, they strengthened the old German one at the same time. In the United States this development did not happen. Due to the attractiveness of the Anglo-Saxon culture in the new world, the Mennonites did not retain the same intense level of psychological attachment to the German language and culture that they did in Russia. Moreover, the Mennonites in the United States assumed, to a greater degree than those in Russia and Canada, that the linguistic and cultural forms of Mennonitism could be changed without great peril to the content of their religion. As a consequence of these and other factors, the Mennonites in the United States did not insist on biculturalism (e.g., English and German) to the degree that the Mennonites in Canada did. Most churches in the United States made the transition from German to English by 1950. 20 In Canada, the linguistic change was more controversial and came slower. Several factors contributed to this delay: the cultural homogeneity of the reserves, the conservative nature of the Kanädiers, the emphasis on biculturalism, and the late influx of large contingents of Russländers in the 1920s and after World War II. Most churches in Canada, however, had completed the transition to English by 1971. 21 Separation from the “world” can rest on ethical principles, but historically the Mennonites have also depended on cultural distinctives. With the passing of the German language went a primary means of seclusion, and a principal restriction to social intercourse with non-Mennonites. {39}

Urbanization has also helped reduce the separationist characteristic of the Mennonite Brethren fellowship. Beginning in the Netherlands and continuing into Prussia, Russia and North America, the Mennonite Brethren and their ancestors have had the image of an agrarian people. The twentieth century has witnessed urbanization on a grand scale in North America, with the Mennonite Brethren experiencing this trend in the post World War II years, especially after 1960. By 1972, the Mennonite Brethren were the most urbanized of any Mennonite group. What effect does this move to the city have on the Mennonite Brethren concept and practice of separation? Rural life, with its physical isolation, better enables a religious group to maintain its separationist traits, i.e., seclusion, cultural identity, and rigid ethical standards. Urban life, on the other hand, often pressures a religious body to conform to the ethical and cultural norms of the surrounding community. 22

The rising affluence and social status of the Mennonite Brethren have also tended to make them less separationist. The Mennonite Brethren came to North America as poverty stricken immigrants, but as in Russia, they achieved a measure of wealth after several generations. Since World War II, Mennonite Brethren have shared in the general growth of prosperity in North America. Accordingly, they have moved up the socio-economic ladder from lower to middle class, and in some cases even into the upper economic and cultural brackets of society. 23

Religious groups often separate from the larger society in order to preserve a strong ethical system, as they perceive it. Quite often ethical separation turns into a geographical or cultural severance from the “world.” This pattern developed in Mennonite Brethren history. The early Brethren broke from the mainline Mennonites in order to establish a church “without spot or wrinkle.” As time passed, however, separation for the Mennonite Brethren became less and less a matter of Biblical conviction and more one of legalism and tradition. Until well into the twentieth century, even the Mennonite Brethren in North America have been all too satisfied with geographical and social isolation in closed agricultural communities, which for the most part were “uncorrupted” by alien cultures. Indeed, the chief weapon of survival for the early Mennonite Brethren in America was a social and religious seclusion that prevented intermarriage and association with non-Mennonites. These Brethren often defined sin in terms of their culture as much as they did on the basis of Scriptural principles. 24

As a general statement, it would seem that an isolationist mind set and a tendency toward ethical legalism largely held sway in Mennonite Brethren circles until the mid-twentieth century in the United States and perhaps a decade longer in Canada. Thereafter, when industrialization, urbanization, secularism, materialism, higher education, and the use of English became part of the Mennonite Brethren way of life, the old {40} separationist cultural standards began to crumble. The Mennonite Brethren, for the most part, have not successfully replaced their earlier separation, based extensively on culture, with an equally rigorous one grounded on Scripture. 25 For example, church discipline has been relaxed. Non-resistance is not as strictly upheld as it once was. Historically, Anabaptist-Mennonite theology has demanded the disestablishment of religion, and for the Christian, nonparticipation in political affairs. Herein can be found a critical point for Mennonite separation from the “world.” The Anabaptist policy of nonparticipation originated in the authoritarian atmosphere of the sixteenth century. Autocratic Prussia and Russia certainly offered the Mennonites few political rights except within their own colonies. In North America, they had for the first time, the privilege of citizenship and all that it entails. Many questions now arose concerning voting and participation in political affairs.

Eventually the Mennonite Brethren did modify their resistance to political involvement. Two concepts, however, had to change before that could happen. First, the Anabaptist church-world dualism, which defined the relationship of the Mennonites to the state, had to weaken. Traditionally, Mennonites have shunned politics because they were citizens of a divided kingdom, and not of the “world.” But the empirical facts of North American political life were unkind to the old dualism. The North American democracies were lands of freedom, of peace, of prosperity, and thus became positive symbols. The early North American Mennonite Brethren, therefore, had little actual evidence why they should be hostile to government and politics. 26 Second, the Mennonites migrating to North America had to adjust to a different definition of freedom. Freedom in the United States and Canada implied individual rights in respect to ownership of property, religious convictions, political participation, and equality before the law. The Mennonites, arriving in North America, desired not individual liberties, but freedom of the group in order to preserve and enforce rigidly the norms of their own social system. 27 The failure of the Mennonite Brethren to establish autonomous villages probably facilitated the adjustment from communalism to democratic individualism. The specifics are different in both the United States and Canada, but the general trend has been the same: Mennonite Brethren in both countries have gradually become involved in the political arena, though not without considerable internal resistance to such a development. The current direction in respect to Mennonite Brethren political involvement in the North American democracies is that of “selective participation.” A 1972 survey indicated the following data on Mennonite Brethren attitudes toward political participation in the United States and Canada: 98 percent believe in voting; 70 percent vote regularly; and 84 percent believe that a Mennonite Brethren may hold political office. 28 {41}

Cooperation between religious bodies is an important way to measure separation: a strongly separationist religious group is usually too exclusive to maintain interchurch relations. The Mennonite Brethren developed cordial relationships with some outside religious groups in Russia. This general trend continued in North America, where the Mennonite Brethren have established working relationships with other conservative and evangelical religious bodies. These contacts have often exercised a significant influence on Mennonite Brethren life and beliefs. The greatest overall non-Mennonite impact on the Mennonite Brethren experience in North America, particularly in the United States, has come from the Baptists, dispensationalism, fundamentalism, and its more moderate outgrowth, contemporary evangelicalism. Though the fundamentalist and Anabaptist concepts of separation are different, fundamentalism did reinforce certain legalistic and separationist characteristics already present in Mennonite Brethren circles. Conversely, and of importance for reducing separationist tendencies in the fellowship, is the working relationships the Mennonite Brethren have established with various Mennonite and non-Mennonite groups on many levels, e.g., local, regional, national, and international. This collaboration has affected many areas including education, medical care, evangelism, ministerial meetings, Bible conferences, mental health, peace efforts, missions, health insurance, and disaster relief. 29

What is the prevailing concept and practice of separation found in the contemporary Mennonite Brethren Church in North America? The twin pillars of Mennonite Brethren separation, the Anabaptist doctrine of the two worlds and cultural isolation are seriously weakened, and perhaps even nonexistent in some communities. The concept and practice of separation, however, is by no means dead in the Mennonite Brethren Church. The Mennonite Brethren practice of separation from the “world” and their stance on moral issues is still more rigorous than that of the mainline Protestant churches. It would seem that though the present Mennonite Brethren Church does not maintain the rigorous separation of its sectarian past, its separationist stance and position on ethical issues is certainly comparable to most conservative evangelical denominations in North America, and on some issues even more demanding. The North American Mennonite Brethren Church is currently in need of direction in respect to its separationist stance and questions need to be raised in this regard. Cultural isolation certainly is no longer a viable option.

The future identity and vitality of the Mennonite Brethren will depend largely on the shape of the answers to the following questions. Can Anabaptist dualism serve as a basis of separation from a society that holds great attractions for most Mennonite Brethren? To what extent should Mennonite Brethren maintain cooperative and even fraternal relations with the wider evangelical community? How can Mennonite {42} Brethren retain their evangelical and missionary outreach and still maintain a separationist position? Some Mennonite Brethren aspire to influence the larger evangelical community and perhaps even national policy in respect to aspects of Anabaptist ethics. How does such an endeavor relate to Mennonite separatism and the theology of two kingdoms?

REFERENCES

  1. Erland Waltner, “The Anabaptist Conception of the Church,” The Mennonite Quarterly Review 25/1 (1951): 14; Robert Friedmann, “The Doctrine of the Two Worlds,” in Recovery of the Anabaptist Vision, ed. Guy Hershberger (Scottdale: Herald Press, 1957), pp. 105-108, 111; Robert Friedmann, The Theology of Anabaptism (Scottdale: Herald Press, 1973), pp. 36-56.
  2. Robert Kreider, “The Anabaptists and the State,” Anabaptist Vision, pp. 187-193; Harold S. Bender, “Church and State in Mennonite History,” The Mennonite Quarterly Review 13/2 (1939): 83-87.
  3. Hugo Jantz, “Our Confession of Faith: Section 5 ‘The Christian Life,’ ” Christian Leader 40, No. 16 (1977): 12, 13.
  4. Cornelius Krahn, Dutch Anabaptism: Origin, Spread, Life and Thought (Scottdale: Herald Press), pp. 233-234; Frank C. Peters, “The Ban in the Writings of Menno Simons,” The Mennonite Quarterly Review 24/1 (1955): 16-33; John Jacob Toews, “Cultural Background of the Mennonite Brethren” (M.A. Thesis, University of Toronto, 1951), pp. 24-27.
  5. E.K. Francis, “The Russian Mennonites: From Religious to Ethnic Group,” The American Journal of Sociology 52/2 (1948): 103.
  6. Cornelius Krank, “The Russian Mennonites: From Religious to Ethnic Group,” The Life, 3, No. 3 (1948): 46; Francis, “The Russian Mennonites,”: 103; Toews, “Cultural Background,” pp. 12-14, 31, 32.
  7. Francis, “The Russian Mennonites,”: 104; E.K. Francis, “The Mennonite Commonwealth in Russia, 1789-1914: A Sociological Interpretation,” The Mennonite Quarterly Review 15/3 (1951): 174-175; John B. Toews, “The Russian Origin of the Mennonite Brethren: Some Observations,” in Pilgrims and Strangers: Essays in Mennonite Brethren History, ed. Paul Toews (Fresno: Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, 1977), pp. 83-89.
  8. Toews, “Cultural Background,” pp. 53, 66, 78, 90, 92, 94, 95, 195.
  9. Toews, “Cultural Background,” pp. 53, 54, 66, 67; Toews, “The Russian Origin,” pp. 78, 79.
  10. Toews, “The Russian Origin,” pp. 96-98.
  11. Robert Kreider, “The Anabaptist Concept of the Church in the Russian Mennonite Environment, 1789-1870,” The Mennonite Quarterly Review 24:1 (1951): 29, 30; Cornelius Krahn, “Some Social Attitudes of the Mennonites of Russia,” The Mennonite Quarterly Review 9/4 (1935): 165-177.
  12. Cornelius Dyck, “1525 Revisited? A Comparison of Anabaptist and Mennonite Brethren Origins,” Pilgrims and Strangers, pp. 63-66; Toews, “Cultural Background,” p. 232.
  13. John B. Toews, “Mennonite Brethren Identity and Theological Diversity,” Pilgrims and Strangers, p. 139; John A. Toews, A History of the Mennonite Brethren Church (Hillsboro: Mennonite Brethren Publishing House, 1975), p. 100; Abram J. {43} Klassen, “The Roots and Development of Mennonite Brethren Theology to 1914” (M.A. Thesis, Wheaton College, 1966), p. 154.
  14. For some examples of Mennonite Brethren contacts with non-Mennonite groups see: Klassen, “Roots and Development,” pp. 103-120, 130-135, 154-162; Toews, “Theological Diversity,” pp. 134-141; Alexander Karev, The Russian Evangelical Baptist Movement, trans. Frederick P. Loman (Moscow: Russian Evangelical Christian-Baptist Convention, N.D.), pp. 14-47; Albert W. Wardin; “Baptist Influences on Mennonite Brethren with an Emphasis on the Practice of Immersion,” Direction 8/4 (1979): 33-37.
  15. Toews, A History, pp. 86, 99-105.
  16. Jacob J. Toews, “The Missionary Spirit of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Russia,” in The Church in Mission, ed. A.J. Klassen (Fresno: Board of Christian Literature, Mennonite Brethren Church, 1967), pp. 134-152; Karev, The Russian Baptist, pp. 15-47; Toews, A History, pp. 77-90.
  17. Clarence Hiebert, “The Development of Mennonite Brethren Churches in North America,” Pilgrims and Strangers, pp. 115-125; Delbert Wiens, “From the Village to the City,” Direction, 2, No. 4 (1965).
  18. Wiens, “From Village to City,”: 130; Cornelius C. Janzen, “Americanization of the Russian Mennonites in Central Kansas” (M.A. Thesis, University of Kansas, 1914), p. 96; James C. Juhnke, A People of Two Kingdoms: The Political Acculturation of the Kansas Mennonites (Newton: Faith and Life Press, 1975), p. 2; Hiebert, “North America,” p. 116.
  19. Juhnke, Two Kingdoms, pp. 21, 54, 67, 106, 108, 110; Janzen, “Americanization,” p. 109; Cornelius C. Janzen, “A Social Study of the Mennonite Settlement in the Countries of Marion, McPherson, Harvey, Reno, and Butler, Kansas” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1926), pp. 165, 166.
  20. Frank H. Epp, Mennonites in Canada, 1786-1920 (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1974), pp. 334-337; Juhnke, Two Kingdoms, p. 117; Janzen, “A Social Study,” pp. 98, 102, 139, 168, 169.
  21. Epp, Canada, pp. 334-337; E.K. Francis, In Search of Utopia: The Mennonites in Manitoba (Altona: D.W. Friesen and Sons Ltd, 1955), pp. 262, 263; Toews, A History, pp. 326-330; Harold Jantz, “An Immigrant People have Settled Down in Canada,” Mennonite Brethren Herald 21/2 (1982): 2.
  22. Howard J. Kauffman and Leland Harder, Anabaptists Four Centuries Later (Scottdale: Herald Press, 1975), p. 284; Toews, A History, pp. 330-335; Jansen, “A Social Study,” p. 167.
  23. J.A. Toews, “Mennonite Brethren: Past, Present and Future,” Pilgrims and Strangers, p. 175; Toews, A History, pp. 335-338; Jantz, “An immigrant people,”: 5.
  24. Hans Kasdorf, “Reflections on the Church Concept of the Mennonite Brethren,” Direction, 4, No. 3 (1975): 341.
  25. Hiebert, “North American,” pp. 129, 130; Kasdorf, “Reflections,”: 342.
  26. Juhnke, Two Kingdoms, pp. 21, 154-156.
  27. Francis, Utopia, pp. 81, 82.
  28. Abe Dueck, “Church and State: Developments among Mennonite Brethren in Canada since World War II,” Direction 10/3 (1981): 30-47; Kauffman, Four Centuries Later, pp. 314, 315.
  29. Toews, “Theological Diversity,” pp. 142, 143; J.B. Toews, “The Influence of Fundamentalism on Mennonite Brethren Theology,” Direction 10/3 (1981): 20-29; Toews, A History, pp. 386-390, Jantz, “An immigrant people,”: 4.
Dr. Richard Kyle is Social Science Division Chairman and Professor of History and Religious Studies at Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas.

Previous | Next