Today we are going to deal with the Article 22 that addresses the things that Mennonites are most well known for, peace, justice and non-resistance and I am going to hit upon all three today. First I want to address is this idea of making peace. The Old Testament word for peace (shalom) includes healing, reconciliation, and well-being. You see, shalom is more than the absence of war. It starts with making peace with oneself. This includes your looks, your talents, your circumstances and even your past. When people are not at peace within themselves, they tend to take it out on others. They want to make fun of others or put others down to feel better about themselves. In that process relationships are broken, and trust is lost. When relationships are broken a certain wellbeing is lost as well. But the Bible is very clear that at the root of all broken relationships is the broken relationship between human beings and God. Peace is so important to God but we have to remember that violence has an incredible power. The power to spread to anyone it touches. That is why in the New Testament we are warned to “not resist evil”. I want to touch upon what it means. To not resist evil means to not engage violence with violence.
Today we are going to dwell a little deeper into what it means for individuals within the church to give the outside world a glimpse of what it is like to be under the reign of Christ. This is the focus of Article 171. Now article 17 states that “conformity to Christ includes non-conformity to the world”. This statement implies that you cannot have dual citizenship between Christ’s kingdom and the kingdom of this world which is ruled in fact by Satan. Take your pick, it is one or the other. There is no fence-sitting either. So what does it look like when you choose to be in Christ’s kingdom? Today I will present to you three sets of choices addressed in Article 17 involved in choosing Christ over the world.