“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Reference: Romans 10: 9-10 )
When I was growing up, the era of Anabaptists/Mennonites was to be “the quiet in the land.” Quietly and humbly going about one’s life, doing good things but not shouting about it. That was an outgrowth of the decades and generations of persecution and the desire to live as the believers felt God demanded. Too much argument and had taken place, and too much scrutiny about religious practices. Better to keep to one’s self and to fellow believers than to shout and evangelize. I do not think our historic Anabaptist spiritual ancestors would have been pleased with that. Leonard Schiemer in his 1527 “True Christian Baptism” said, “But our scribes (and other falsely famous ones) [I think this means “scribes” means another sect of believers, but I am not sure] do not want anything external; the reason: they see how we are burned, killed, suffer, are beheaded, so they keep it in their heart and deny it orally, Matt. 10:38-39. Yet Jesus says, those who deny me before others, I will also deny before my heavenly Father, Mark 8:34-35. Paul says if we confess Christ with our lips we shall be saved, Rom. 10:10.”
Some where around the late 1990’s [I think] modern Anabaptists/Mennonites “found their voice”, or I “fell into the company” of more vocal Anabaptists/Mennonites, because suddenly “we” were speaking up about all kinds of things. And people all over the world, literally, on all the continents of the world, were confessing Anabaptist/Mennonite faith and seeking to spread this faith. I think these people were much more in line with the spirit and intent of the historic Anabaptists. But, beloved, even in the early days of Anabaptism there were different regions of Europe who were coming to a common conclusion about this “new” Anabaptist faith, and some regions were more “quiet” in their faith.
Really, this is not much different then other developing religions – personal and culture norms will influence a common faith system in differing ways. You, beloved, may express and live you faith out differently than others in your faith circle. It is the common core of belief that holds a faith community together. The faith/belief may be the same but the way the mouth, body, and actions “confess” it can differ. Do not let divisions come between you, but unite under a common faith that forms a solid connection. (Oh my! Now I am sounding like Paul! I better “sign off”)
May you beloved believe with courage and conviction concerning the faith in your heart, and confess it in a multitude of ways in your life. Selah!