Christians within the Anabaptist tradition do not swim with the stream but out of their bond to Jesus develop new and specific perspectives for their own lives and for the structures of society.
The Anabaptists of the Reformation era were convinced that the message of the Gospel and the proclamation of the imminent kingdom of God had to lead to a radical renewal of church and society.
Based on consistent orientation to the message of Jesus, many opted for a simple, nonconforming way of life and stood by their own convictions against the mainstream of public opinion.
According to the directives of the Sermon on the Mount, they rejected the oath and refused military service. Through this radical discipleship they came into conflict with the societies within which they lived. During those times when there was only one truth, and religious confession was dictated by the state, this nonconforming conduct led to persecution and martyrdom.
In the Theme-Year “Daring to Live Consistently,” the motif reflected upon shall be what it means today to orient oneself to Jesus and his Gospel. What generates a “nonconforming” life-witness, personally and socially? Where have today’s Christians, through their orientation to Jesus Christ and his Gospel, risen up in word and deed as nonconformists? In what way, however, can a radical discipleship and making ethical norms absolute also lead to exclusiveness, and to refusing to participate in the building up of society?
From where do Christians today receive the strength to lead a consistent life in the bond with Jesus?