Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Christian?
The word "Christian" literally means "Christ-follower". And since "Christ" means "Messiah" or "Chosen One" or "Savior" or "Deliverer" or "Rescuer", then to be a Christian is really to be someone who follows Jesus because they acknowledge that he is their Savior and Lord of their life. Jesus said it emphatically in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." So, on the one hand a Christian is someone who goes to church because they have a genuine relationship with Jesus as their Savior and they want to be encouraged in their faith in relationship with other Christians. But on the other hand, just going to church without a relationship with Christ won't make someone a true Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car. It's not just a matter of where you go, but who you know that makes you a Christian, a genuine follower of Christ.
What is an Anabaptist?
The first Anabaptists were a scattered and diverse group of 16th century separatists who first originated in Switzerland. The self-identified “Swiss Brethren” called for a “radical reformation” of the church that went far beyond the reform movements known as Protestantism. The early Anabaptists rejected infant baptism as a civil rite, which denied the church’s relationship to the state (i.e. separation of church & state), and called for strict adherence to the teachings of Jesus, following a believer’s baptism. Since it appeared they were being baptized a second time, their opponents called them Ana-baptists (re-baptizers). These radicals claimed that Protestants only wanted a “half-way” reform because they refused to put down the sword and follow Christ in non-violence. They posited that the Reformers only rested in grace, but did not walk in resurrection life. Obeying Christ is the evidence of a changed life. The first Anabaptists called for a restoration of NT church life. This undermined the very foundations of Christendom (church militant and triumphant), and made them enemies of both Protestants and Catholics who held to the power of the sword. Many Anabaptists were martyred during the 16th century. Their ideas and traditions would live on in the Mennonites, the Amish, and the Brethren in Christ, all major Anabaptist denominations. Anabaptists today, and those known as Neo-Anabaptists, are largely known for embracing peace and non-violence.
Who are the Mennonites?
Mennonites trace their origins to the Swiss Brethren (established January 21, 1525), the first Anabaptists. Historically, Mennonites were nonconformists who rejected infant baptism and stressed the separation of church and state. Persecution scattered them across Europe; they found political freedom first in the Netherlands and northern Poland, and from there moved to Ukraine and Russia. Not long into the Anabaptist movement, a former Catholic priest named Menno Simons helped to organize the scattered, persecuted flock of Anabaptists. Those who followed his leadership became known as Menno-nites. Mennonites first emigrated to North America in 1663. Many Russian Mennonites emigrated to the U.S. Midwest and to Canada in the 1870s when they lost their exemption from Russian military service. Today Mennonites are found in many parts of the world, especially in North and South America. Our creed stresses the authority of the Scriptures, the example of the early church, and baptism as a confession of faith. We value the simplicity of life, and we take serious the call to follow the teachings of Jesus.
Do I have to be an Anabaptist to attend CMF?
You do not have to hold to Anabaptist beliefs to attend our church. We welcome all those who claim the name of Christ, as well as those who do not follow Christ but are interested in learning about our faith. You are welcome at our church regardless of what you believe or where you are in your journey.
What can I expect at your church?
We are a warm and friendly congregation. If you attend a worship service you will experience a casual atmosphere where people are encouraged to come as they are and encounter Christ in community. Grab a cup of coffee or some hot tea and join us for worship and fellowship. For more info, read here.
How do I become a follower of Christ?
To become a follower of Christ (Christian) you must begin a relationship with Jesus, and then be intentional about following him in community with other disciples. You can begin this relationship with Jesus by asking for forgiveness of your sin (Rom 3:23), confessing him as Lord---believing that he was crucified, but God raised him from the dead (Rom 10:9)---and inviting him into your life to live in you by the power of his Spirit (Jn 14:16-18; Rom 8:11). The Scriptures instruct us to believe in Christ, confess him as Lord, repent of our sins, and be baptized in obedience to his commands (Jn 3:16; 14:6; Matt 28:18-20; Acts 2:38). To be "saved" from our sin is to be "saved" for discipleship, mission, and God's eternal purpose through the church. There is nothing you must do to be saved, but to accept God's gift of grace (Eph 2:8-9). This is called putting "faith" or active trust in Jesus, the true image of God. Are you ready to commit your life to following Jesus as his disciple? He's ready to lead you into new and deeper life (John 10:10).