Kommentar zum neuen Glaubensbekenntnis
Die Kirchen der Mennoniten in Japan
“The Significance of the Adoption of a Confession of Faith”
by Akira Mimoto, Pastor of Tottori Mennonite Church, Kushiro, Japan
in the June 15, 2013 issue of Michi (The Way), a quarterly publication of JMCCC (Hokkaido)
This Confession of Faith expresses what we believe in addition to what we accept as is customary for any Christian church -- teachings of the Bible and doctrines of the Christian faith as expressed in the creeds of the worldwide church, starting with the Apostles’ Creed. Above all, these five articles make it clear that we live by the same faith as our church’s ancestors in faith, the Anabaptists/Mennonites, who put the Lord Jesus at the center of their faith and sought to listen to and follow Christ in their lives. And from that perspective, they express …
• a biblical view of Jesus Christ as the ultimate revelation of God’s will,
• the way of disciples who follow Christ in life,
• the church as a community of believers,
• a pacifist faith that follows Jesus’ example of living nonviolently and seeking the way of peace.
I think that it is highly significant that our conference’s 17 congregations, despite their distinctive autonomous and independent organizational styles, passed as a group of Mennonites this resolution to value and share in these articles of faith that were valued by our forebears in faith. This is why it matters that we are Mennonites. When “Christian” nations repeatedly engage in brutal wars with the complicity of Christians, and Christianity is often misunderstood and criticized as a religion that engages in war, I think it is an especially important mission of our “peace” church today to bear witness to Christ’s peace, even if we bear witness as a small group.
This Confession of Faith also describes our stewardship in caring for creation. At a time when much concern is being expressed about the devastation and depletion of the earth’s resources, we as Christians who live in the Kingdom of God face serious questions about how to be involved in this world and live with our neighbors.
With its description of how we should live in light of these distinctives of our denomination and issues of our times, this Confession of Faith contains very important matters. I hope to lead a life consistent with this Confession of Faith.
(Translated by Ken Shenk)