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12.22.2010

THE WAY OUT OF THE WAY OF THE MENNONITE -12 STEPS OF DISCOVERY AND RECOVERY (part I)

There are two people in my world whom I dearly love.  Both are Mennonite by birthright.  Though they are not necessarily connected by choice any longer in belonging to the people group referred to as Mennonites, in lifestyle or worship.  But, I have found there is something in them both that I refer to as The Way Of The Mennonite.  Thankfully both have a great sense of humor about everything including themselves and can see what I tease them about.  These 12 steps of discovery and recovery were penned on restaurant table paper as I sat and listened to my friend talk of bondage.  In order to access the hard emotions attached to part of these discovery and recovery issues I have chosen a light hearted approach.  What I have heard from both these whom I love, is that part of these discovery steps were a bit hard to uncover as it is so much a part of their thinking, living and decision making process that at first they were somewhat unaware of what bondage the Way Of The Mennonite had them in.  As Austin Powers so notably said, "Freedom baby!".  And more powerfully yet is Jesus' statement, "So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed."  Bondage is not Jesus' way, but mans.  This will no doubt be a two-part mini series on The Way Out Of The Way Of The Mennonite, so tune in late tomorrow night for the conclusion:)   There is an overriding principle on top of these 12 discoveries of bondage and that is; independent thought is selfish.  Those four words are the hinge that keeps the Way of the Mennonite perpetuated in all twelve of these bondage points.  It's why it is very, very difficult to think through these thoughts and to grapple with truth because that involves independent thought and possibly action.  So we begin.  1) We pride ourselves on not having pride.  Pride is independently selfish and draws attention to self.  Self is not ok in packs or herds.  We will tell you that we are not full of self or pride in case you can't see it on your own.   2)  Guilt is the ticket to heaven - always feeling a bit bad that you didn't do enough, didn't do for others more, didn't go without more, didn't deny self more, that you have done better or gotten more tasks accomplished which is a definer of who you are and is vital to motivate you to do more. Please ride the hamster guilt wheel.  3) Keeping up appearances is imperative and paramount in life. Forget how you feel, it only matters how it appears you are.  What you feel is totally irrelevant (& selfish) and your own needs are wrong.  Self-denial is a marker of righteousness.  Did you hear that, self-denial is a marker of righteousness and God smiles on that.   4) We are a non-confrontational people/religious sect.  Wrong is wrong, but I won't tell you it's wrong. I also won't admit being or doing wrong until caught. We are a waveless group, sort of non-swimmers who want the waters to be calm at all times, at all cost, even to our own huge detriment.  5)  If you can't bake, you can't be Mennonite.  Pure and simple.  You are a failure and less than if you buy your baked goods or fail to make from scratch a bounty of signature Mennonite goodies.  You cannot operate in the Way of the Mennonite with a bucket of KFC.  No, you must get the skillet out and fry that chicken yourself.  Boughten pie is a form of blasphemy.  6)  Make peace at all costs - in the world at large, peace over war.  In your family and inside yourself make peace no matter the cost.  Make peace, but don't make love:)  7) We strongly believe God mandates behavior based love and affirmation.  You want to be accepted, part of the herd, then you must live in the Way of the Mennonite.  If your behavior does not follow our mandates, both spoken and inferred, then we will not love or affirm you, let alone your choices.  Move over Pharisees the Mennonites are here!   If in reading this you are struck by an uncomfortable feeling or a familiar wave of bondage you just might be in the discovery phase.  Which when fully acknowledged, embraced and let loose of becomes RECOVERY!   Join us tomorrow for steps 8-12 where we will talk about haystacks and all things carbohydrateish.  

4 comments:

  1. oh goody...saving the best for last ;D is there a support group that meets in a church basement? I could bring a finger food to share...of course i'll make it!

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  2. I'm a former menno (recovering)...hope you do another series on the Missionary recovery progam called "the two-step" :)

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  3. To Anonymous...Ah, the Missionary Two Step as you refer to it made me laugh!!! Care to pen it with me? :) Yes, they are two.five steps up from the Mennonites but I'm thinking all sects create some sort of bondage that we have to wriggle our way out of! The trek of a liftime to get free.

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  4. Miss Cherry - Realised by that by no birthright or upraising I must be part mennonite after reading your blog. Except the homeade chicken part - so not ashamed to pick up my side dish on the way to the party! :) Thinking of you tonight and decided - to heck with it. I'm gonna get a second wind and do what I want. Everyones sleeping in our humble abode. I wondered what Miss Cherry would do? So I took my bra off, made a fire, and am cracking open a great bottle of wine a dear friend gave me. Might drink all of it..we'll see. Just gonna be me, and enjoy me in all my unperfectness for a few hours. Thanks for oozing real and hoping the wine doesn't get to me or I might throw my bra in the fire. I'd hate to lose it - I paid $12 bucks for it at walmart. I feel ridiculous saying that - you spend that much on clothing for a year and I blow it on a bra. I'm a work in progress - but learning to love me - just as I am. So here's to you Miss Cherry - love you girl!

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