True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant.
It clothes the naked, it comforts the sorrowful,
it shelters the destitute, it serves those that harm it,
It binds up that which is wounded.
Menno Simons (1496-1561)
What a beautiful summary – one that strongly echoes two biblical passages that should always come to mind when we think of our vocation as followers of Jesus and bearers of the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:16-21 and Luke 4, which in turn is echoed in Isaiah 61).
I am really, really tired of the way some evangelicals separate what God has never divided: the social, physical and spiritual dimensions of salvation. To separate these things is to distort the gospel — the good news of God’s kingdom. It is also to damage and wash out the very meaning of the Incarnation — Jesus entering our world in the flesh. This is one of the reasons I continually argue for a recovery of the biblical idea of shalom.
But the quotation above is an abbreviated version. Here is what Menno actually wrote.
“True evangelical faith is of such a nature it cannot lie dormant,
but spreads itself out in all kinds of righteousness and fruits of love;
it dies to flesh and blood (1);
it destroys all lusts and forbidden desires (2);
it seeks, serves and fears God in its inmost soul (3);
it clothes the naked (4);
it feeds the hungry (5);
it comforts the sorrowful (6);
it shelters the destitute (7);
it aids and consoles the sad (8);
it does good to those who do it harm (9);
it serves those that harm it (10);
it prays for those who persecute it (11);
it teaches, admonishes and judges us with the Word of the Lord (12);
it seeks those who are lost (13);
it binds up what is wounded (14);
it heals the sick (15);
it saves what is strong (sound) (16);
it becomes all things to all people (17).
The persecution, suffering and anguish that come to it for the sake of the Lord’s truth have become a glorious joy and comfort to it.”
More – this article in The Mennonite by Ted Lewis.