Tag: history

National Day of Mennonites

With everyone and everything getting a “National Day”, I thought it was deserved to have a National Mennonite Day.   In January alone there are ridiculous days for: Hangover Day, Bloody Mary Day, Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, Drinking Straw Day, etc etc.  I don’t know who promotes these ideas or how they get established.  I assume that someone makes the first step in “declaring it”.  Maybe someone will read this and know how to take it to the next step.  Do we contact a Senator?

Here is my declaration:  I am nominating January 31st (the death date of Menno Simons) as “The National Day of Mennonites”.   We don’t know his birthdate so I went with his death date instead.

If you know what to do next, please let us all know.  Maybe someday the mail will stop and the banks will be closed.  We could get a day off from school and work.  Mennonite Schools should definitely be closed to honor the day!

I did my duty.  Now do yours.  Write letters.  Protest.  Make T-shirts and wear them to conference.  Make banners to hang at your church.  Everyone should be able to enjoy a National Day of Mennonites.  There could be sales but wait…Mennonites don’t spend money.  Oh well, we’ll think of something!

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Early History

Before you think we live in the worst of times, consider this period of time.  This is no where  near exhaustive but just a small glimpse of activity:

30 AD Jesus Christ was put to death by the Romans in Jerusalem on April 7th

41 AD Caligula Assassinated

54 AD Claudius Murdered, Nero Emperor- According to legend, Claudius was assassinated by his wife Agrippina using poisoned mushrooms. Agrippina then arranged for her son, Nero, to become Emperor. Nero eventually had his mother killed.

62 AD The first signs of volcanic activity are recorded in Mt. Vesuvius, when an earthquake damages some nearby Campanian towns. (Much of which damage would never be repaired prior to its eruption some 18 years later.)

64 AD Rome Burns- The city of Rome was nearly destroyed in a catastrophic fire. The fire is said to have been set by Nero. Legend has it that ‘Rome burned while Nero fiddled’. Nero is said to cause fire to make room for his palace. Christians were Persecuted as scapegoats

65 AD Death of Nero’s wife, Poppaea, whom he kicked to death after an argument.

67 AD Death of Paul the Apostle.

70 AD Jerusalem Falls- Rome sent an enormous army under the command of Vespasian, to retake Judea. The Roman army quickly subdued the Jewish forces in the Galilee and laid siege to Jerusalem. Vespasian was recalled to Rome and the siege continued by his son,  Titus.  He burned Jerusalem, killing or selling into slavery tens of thousands of Jews. The capture of Jerusalem took a long four month siege where many starved to death.

73 AD Masada Falls- The Fortress of Masada, occupied by Jewish zealots opposed to Rome, held out for three years. Masada was located in the Judean Desert near the shores of the Dead Sea. When it became clear that they could hold out no longer, the defenders of Masada committed mass suicide rather then become captives of the Romans.

79 AD Mount Vesuvius Explodes- In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted. The eruption destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Most of the cities’ populations managed to flee, but 20,000 inhabitants were killed.

Matthew 24:Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

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Post Resurrection

What happened during the 40 years after Jesus resurrection?  In the next few posts we will look at some of the key events that affected the beginning of the church.

**From what is said in many writings about Herod’s Temple, it was indeed a magnificent structure of awesome proportions. However, four years after it’s completion, it was totally destroyed and wiped from the face of the earth.

During Jesus’ time, many of the Jews were so awe struck and impressed with the grandeur of the Temple that they replaced the worship of God with respect and reverence for the Temple complex itself. However, Jesus was not impressed with the Temple’s physical structure, because he knew that the Sovereign God was greater than any building that man could construct, no matter how grand and beautiful it was.

Jesus prophesied both the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem; therefore, it is necessary to discuss both prophecies in order to clearly understand the events that happened 40 years later.   **http://www.bibleresearch.org/articles/a11pws.htm

“Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. ‘Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down'” (Matt.24:1-8 NIV).

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Code Noir

Code Noir was a decree originally passed by France‘s King Louis XIV in 1685 and carried in part over to early slave treatment in America. It outlined conditions of slavery in the French colonial empire – for example in Haiti.  It restricted any religious practice other than Roman Catholicism, and ordered all Jews out of France’s colonies.  Although whites at the time believed that blacks were sub human, by instructing and baptizing in the Catholic faith they acknowledged that they had a soul.

The code has been described by some to be: “one of the most extensive official documents on race, slavery, and freedom ever drawn up in Europe”.

It is easy to read this 300 years later and see the absurdity in it.  A detailed law in slavery?  Teaching religion to a sub-human race that had no rights as “true” humans?  Instructions on treating other humans similar to how we would now treat animals?

But it was the law of the land.  It was accepted.  How could anyone revolt against behavior that was a part of culture, necessary for the economy, and sanctioned by law by the King?

How will our behaviors be judged in 300 years?  What “laws” outlining our behaviors will be judged as outrageous because the underlying behavior is so outrageous?  A mother is prosecuted for murder for not caring for a newborn child while weeks earlier she could legally abort and donate the body parts.  What religious practices will be scorned?  What spiritual beliefs will be embarrassing?  Will we finally have racially mixed church services or will we still be segregated on Sundays?  Will we have grown smarter and more civil or more evil?

Remember that when we say “in the good old days” we are not looking at all people but only the ones who had the power to write the laws.  The TV show “Happy Days” was only happy for the white people – not for blacks who had no rights.

1 John 3:4-5 (NIV)

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

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