#1 Do Mennonites Drink Alcohol?
Yes, Mennonites drink alcohol. In recent years, this has been a form of assimilation to the general public and mainstream culture. Historically, they have always enjoyed producing and distributing alcohol, only interrupted by temperance.
- Own wineries
- Own breweries
- Operate pubs and restaurants (Archbold’s in Ohio)
- They attend Rural Germans and Drink Nights
- And do not mind alcohol in moderation
Highlighting the histories of breweries and their German heritage, alcohol is seen as a connection to their past. German farmers would use wine and cider into the late 19th century.
The Mennonites were impacted by temperance, as was everyone, but the opposition has relaxed. Today, their perspective is exceptionally non-judgmental compared to some traditionalist denominations.
- “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.” – Ecclesiastes 9:7.
- Who Are the Mennonites – Third Way; Published January 31st, 2001.
#2 Do Mennonites Drive Cars?
Yes, most Mennonites drive cars.
Opting for a simplistic black car, they will sometimes utilize horse and buggy as well (for local commutes), saving their vehicles for further commutes.
Despite being similar to the Amish community in many ways (German, Anabaptist, Protestant Christian roots), they are different in the sense that:
- Mennonites embrace modern society more than the Amish
- Mennonites are more likely to own technology more than the Amish
- Mennonites consider themselves ‘In the world’ but not ‘part of it’
It will all depend on how progressive or legalistic the Mennonite community is.
- “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” – Acts 2:44-45.
- WCCFCourier News – Mennonites Culture Clash – Sharing The Steel Wheel; February 28th, 2010.
#3 Do Mennonites Watch TV?
Conservative Mennonites (the Old Order) will reject specific technologies that they find superfluous or unnecessary. Since television does not assist with work or simplification of daily tasks, it could be considered superfluous to many Mennonites, being rejected from the home. However, some Mennonite homes are more progressive and are allowed to use televisions and phones within the home.
It is more likely that the Amish would reject television, phones, and cars – than a Mennonite.
It is left up to each family’s discretion.
A blogger, Will Braun, writes on his blog CanadianMennonite.org:
“According to a tract produced by a Holdeman group, television is “rocking people to sleep morally and spiritually.” I agree with our Anabaptist cousins—however outdated they sound—although I still love TV.
TV is not all bad, but the medium itself tends to numb creative capacities, social interaction and home life. Few people or families would benefit from more TV.
Neither my wife nor I have ever owned our own television set. Our four-year-old son barely knows what TV is, although he likes YouTube clips of farm machinery. Tough choices lie ahead. I don’t want to offer my children up to the advertisers. I don’t want them rocked gently into moral ambivalence, nor do I want them to be complete misfits.”
- “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” – Psalm 46:10.
- Answering Your Assumptions About Mennonites; April 11th, 2019.
#4 Do Mennonites Celebrate Birthdays?
As a highly-private denomination that mildly embraces technology (but mostly remains off of public streams of communication) – It can be difficult to find any information on Mennonites. Often their research comes up with results for Amish people, so do not conflate the two as these are two separate Anabaptist denominations.
With little public information on the matter, there are indications that Mennonites have no issues with birthdays, including this post to saying ‘Let’s Celebrate!” for a Mennonite member’s 80th birthday, posted by CanadianMennonite.org; he writes:
“When we gather for a special occasion, whether it’s in our birth, adopted or church families, and see the happiness on people’s faces as they greet each other with a simple handshake or a tight hug, it just tugs at the heartstrings, knowing that we’ve had a small part in facilitating that hug or handshake. A heartfelt greeting between friends or family members is something neither Facebook nor Twitter or anything else out there in this fast-paced internet world can replace.”
Amish people also celebrate birthdays, so it is common for Anabaptist communities to enjoy these occasions and mark them with festivities.
The only noteworthy Christian denomination that outwardly discourages the celebration of birthdays are the Jehovah’s Witnesses. To every other denomination, it would be an optional commemoration.
- “For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.” – Proverbs 9:11.
- No birthday videos from reliable sources; Anniversary video though which may signify an acceptance of these occasions – ArthurMennonite.org – Celebrating 75 Years in the Church!
#5 Do Mennonites Celebrate Easter?
Yes, Mennonites celebrate Easter and place a heavier importance on this day (and Good Friday) compared to other Christian holidays like Christmas.
Mennonites view Easter as a reflective time to not be taken quite as jovially as most Protestant Christians. Swapping their easter eggs for bibles, they will focus on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and honor the resurrection that they believe created hope for eternal life.
The children still may hunt for eggs, and the family still may enjoy a feast together. But it may not be as playful, lighthearted, and non-reflective as some Christian celebrations. Since they don’t recognize Jesus’ birth as being of high importance (Christmas), Easter becomes even more significant.
- “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8.
- “”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16.
- PeaceMennonite.org – Virtual 2020 Easter Sunday; Published April 10th, 2020.
#6 Do Mennonites Go to School?
Yes, Mennonite children go to school.
Similar to Amish children, Mennonites cease a formal education after the eighth grade.
Past this age (around 13-years old), continuing education is seen as:
- A distraction from work
Since most Mennonite children will grow to work on the farm, own a business, or raise the children if they are a girl – A higher education is not necessary for any of these trades or roles.
Some large Mennonite families will also choose to homeschool all children.
- “He leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble his way.” – Psalm 25:9.
- “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” – James 4:10.
- The One at The Mennonite School; Published April 15th, 2016. A mother that does not want to homeschool her Mennonite children.
#7 Do Mennonites Drink Coffee?
Yes, Mennonites do not forbid caffeine or coffee, frequently drinking it as part of their everyday life.
In fact, a Mennonite-raised Coffee Farmer, Weston Showalter, writes about his experience growing up on the Mennonite farm and developing his own coffee beans:
“It’s not unusual to see Amish and Mennonites carrying Styrofoam cups of coffee at local auction barns or gracing the area’s coffee shops.Since the Amish do not use electricity in their homes, most often they brew their coffee with a French press or a pour-over.”
With Mennonite coffee importers in Honduras helping Showalter with his business, there are Mennonites globally enjoying roasted beans!
- “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:30-31
- Morning Routine of a Mennonite Mom 2019; February 28th, 2019. “Cold Brew Coffee”
#8 Do Mennonites Believe in The Trinity?
Yes, Mennonites are Trinitarian, viewing the trinity as:
- Three aspects of God
- All aspects being divine
- All are one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
They affirm the trinitarian scriptures and the doctrine of trinity within the new testament, seeing this as an authority of their faith. They tend to see the three parts as equal, co-conspirators that are eternally at work together.
With many churches named things such as Trinity Mennonite, the trinity is a backbone and pillar of the Mennonite belief system.
- “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” – 1 Corinthians 8:6.
- What Do Mennonites Believe; Published February 22, 2010.
#9 Do Mennonites Believe in God?
Yes, Mennonites believe in God, seeing him as the authority of all life on earth. Seeing scripture as inspired by God and channeled through the holy spirit, these are viewed as man-curated instructions by which to follow. If one follows these instructions well in life, they may be judged and saved in the afterlife.
Accepting scripture as the word of God, the Bible is taking highly-literally with a lack of ‘room for interpretation,’ or abstraction. Mennonites are a peaceful community, akin to the Amish, but they embrace more technology and modern advancements than the Amish tend to.
Practicing rituals such as baptisms and Communion, there are many similarities to Mennonites (as compared to general Christianity).
- “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26.
- Emu.edu – About Mennonites; MennoMedia, Inc. November 23rd, 2000.
#10 Do Mennonites Believe in Predestination?
Mennonites are fairly Arminian in their belief system, with many of them believing predestination does not exist.
This can be proven in certain doctrines that they have kept private, but more so, in their focus on evangelicalizing.
To explain this –
- If a church felt that everyone was pre-saved or pre-damned, they would not try to save others, gain new converts, preach the word of God, nor would they do mission trips. Because God’s decisions are made (predestined).
- However, if a church does conduct mission trips, try to save others, and do outreach – This proves that they do not think God has predestined these decisions. This proves that they at least believe there is still time to save that soul.
Being that Mennonites own cars and can travel (often solely for the sake of mission trips) it can be determined that they do not see God’s plans as predestined, and do not see any soul as unsavable.
- “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” – Romans 2:6-8.
- “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” – Romans 8:29.
- What is Calvinism? – Christianity.com; November 14th, 2013.
#11 Do Mennonites Believe in Heaven?
Yes, Mennonites are Protestant Christians (not always considering themselves Protestant, but nonetheless, Christian) that believe in Heaven and Hell.
The general beliefs are:
- Those who have received Christ into their life properly will be accepted into Heaven
- They hold an Arminian belief that a person can lose their salvation if they cease their belief and dedication to Jesus
- If one is excommunicated from the Church, they are giving up their salvation
- Their beliefs are similar to most Christians, but the difference is that they believe you need ‘good work’ and not just faith alone to get you into God’s good graces
- If one fails at this, they will be sent to hell below, a fiery eternal damnation with Satan, in which they will never be with God. The 1632 Dordrecht Confession wrote that ‘hell is a place with no hope or comfort.’
- “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:8.
- “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4.
- AanaBaptistPerspectives.org – How We Should Live; May 7th, 2018.
#12 Do Mennonites Believe in The Rapture?
Yes, Mennonites believe a rapture will soon take place.
With some conflating information, and very little public data on the subject, the opinions range from:
- The rapture will soon take place
- The rapture has already occurred
- The rapture will not take place
- The rapture is considered ‘fear-mongering’
There are also:
- Pre-tribulation rapture believers
- Post-tribulation rapture believers
Many Mennonites believe that there will not be a pre-tribulation rapture.
Mennonite Brethren Herald is a quarterly publication by the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. They write about the Rapture:
“The New Testament writers quite obviously held that the coming of the Lord was near…. If a preacher today [in 1980] should announce as his topic: “Behold, I Come Quickly,” or “The Coming of the Lord Is Near,” he would, more likely than not, want his audience to understand that the Rapture will take place soon.
To behold the God before whom angels veil their faces, the God who created us and, in Christ, redeemed us, who so loved his lost and wandering children that he came right down among us to show us what he is like and then died on a Cross to save us from our sins and make us heirs of life eternal, and, beholding him, to behold all things in him and in the light of his redemption, this truly “were a well spent journey, Though seven deaths lay between.”
“Rapture bashing has become common amongst those who name the name of Christ.
Amongst Mennonite circles (an area of particular interest to me) the Rapture is now widely considered fear-mongering. Many Bible teachers who evidently understand the concept, nevertheless reject it. People like Harold Camping who set dates for the return of the Lord, add to the mistrust of the Rapture teaching when their predictions fall flat. The world is given more reason to mock.”
- “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” – Revelation 1:7.
- What Makes Anabaptist Different? Published July 15th, 2020.
#13 Do Mennonites Believe in Baptism?
Yes, Anabaptists do believe in baptisms, seeing it as a sacred transition into that denomination’s faith.
For Mennonites, their beliefs on Baptisms include:
- They should be done at an age of maturation
- They are against infant baptisms (seeing this as against their will and before they are cognizant of the commitment to God)
- They typically conduct full-immersion baptisms
- They do not believe that baptism alone saves you (contrary to some progressive Christian denominations)
- They believe that you must work, evangelize, and do good deeds on earth to prove your commitment to that baptism, not resting on the laurels of that baptism ceremony alone as your key to salvation. Resting on the baptism alone will not warrant salvation.
- “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” – John 3:5.
- “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” – Romans 6:4.
- Anabaptist History and Beliefs; August 25th, 2013.
#14 Do Mennonites Believe in Cremation?
Yes, Mennonites will accept a cremation as an appropriate option before a funeral.
NormalMennonite.org writes in their Manual for Death Preparation:
“Viable options for body disposal:
3. Donating the body for medical research (This must be pre-arranged).”
The funeral will be quite simple, with these regularities:
- No flowers
- No embellishments
- A simple ceremony
- Scriptures read
- A prayer
- Everyone wearing black
- A closed casket if they have been embalmed, or lack thereof if cremated
Comparatively, Mennonite funerals will be quite similar to other Protestant Christian funerals, just more simplistic and modest.
- “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4.
- Cremationresource.org – What Does The Bible Say About Cremation?; August 13th, 2012.
#15 Do Mennonites Believe in Being Born Again?
A large number of Anabaptists preach about salvation and being born again, while others are under the impression that no one can be born again. Ultimately, Mennonites believe they are saved by God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and their dedicated work to their belief system.
In regards to general Anabaptist beliefs and the range of polarized opinions:
- Some write, ‘If you believe in Jesus, you are born again.”
- While others say, “I do realize that there are a lot of unsaved Amish. I just don’t agree with implying that all Amish are unsaved, bad parents to youth and legalistic.”
Mennoniteusa.org writes about their perspective on salvation:
We place our faith in God that, by the same power that raised Christ from the dead, we may be saved from sin to follow Christ in this life and to know the fullness of salvation in the age to come.
God saves us as individuals in community. The Lord’s saving activity embraced an entire people in bondage (Exod. 15). Jesus called a company of disciples. The Church is the context of the message of salvation (Eph. 2:11-22; 1 Pet. 2:1-10). There, covenants are made in the presence of witnesses, and members are held accountable. God’s covenant with us also brings about right relationship within the people of God, in which former hostilities are reconciled.”
To this point, it can be deduced that Mennonites believe they will be saved through God by Heaven and salvation.
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9.
- Portlandmennonite.org – What is a Mennonite? July 3rd, 2012.
#16 Do Mennonites Believe in Speaking in Tongues?
Historically and into present-day, yes, Mennonites spoke in tongues and participated in the language to God, known as Glossolalia.
Speaking in tongues is not a requirement of the Mennonite Church, nor is it necessary for salvation. Nonetheless, it is seen as a gift from God and a sacred honor within the Mennonite community.
Mennonite News (Third Way Café) describes of their belief in Glossolalia:
“We believe that the anointing of the Holy Spirit is offered to all people and is not limited to or demonstrated only by speaking in tongues. Mennonites do not believe that speaking in tongues is a requirement for salvation. We believe that some persons who have been anointed by the spirit have received that specific gift.”
- “So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.” – 1 Corinthians 14:39.
- “For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 14:2.
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- Glossolalia: The Science of Speaking in Tongues; OWN; January 21st, 2011.