The Testimony of Menno Simons

Menno Simons was an Anabaptist leader in the 16th century. He lived in a time of severe persecution. So severe that some believers thought they should take up the sword and fight back. Menno became known as a leader who stood for turning the other cheek. He and his followers suffered much for their beliefs and for their meek, non-resistant ways. Here are some quotes from Menno on the teaching of the Son of God. He is contrasting his views with the prevailing teachings of his day.

The Testimony of Menno Simons

Reader, consider the Word of your Lord. Christ says that His flesh came from heaven, and the learned ones say that it came from Adam’s flesh. Here are flatly opposite positions. What must the God-fearing conscience do now? If it clings to Christ’s Word and testimony, then it will pass the learned ones for a deceiver and a heretic. But if it adheres to the testimony of the learned ones, then it makes Christ a liar. And seeing that we discover the learned ones and Christ so completely at variance with each other, and since we know Christ to be the guileless truth and all men to be liars, we cannot forsake the truth for falsehood, can we? No, we must turn from falsehood to truth. Let men think of us as they please. God’s Word abides forever. Isa. 40:8; I Peter 1:24.

Quite probably our opponents will attempt an evasion at this point and say, Christ speaks of the most worthy element in Him, for His deity is from heaven and it assumed Adam’s flesh, etc. I reply: Let them believe Christ’s own Word and testimony, then they will realize how they interpret it according to their own desires and not according to the intention and truth of the Christ. For this is what He says, I am that living bread come down from heaven [notice how He says, come down from heaven] and that bread that I will give is my flesh. Notice He does not say, is my deity, but my flesh which I give for the life of the world. It seems to me that Christ has explained His own words quite sufficiently, and the explanations and glosses of the learned ones are unnecessary. But both Christ and John could not speak more plainly of the origin of His holy flesh than they have done in the above passages.

Therefore let everybody be careful how he glosses, for he who falsifies this clear and solid testimony falsifies not a man’s word, but his Lord’s. Neither does he reject us, but the Son of God and His Holy Spirit, and the exalted apostle John, who testified with such plain and clear words, preserved for us in such clarity.

P. 796, Simons, M. The Complete Writings of Menno Simons, 5th edition. (Translated by Verduin, L., Edited by Wenger, J.C., 1986) Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Mennonite Publishing House. (Original works published early to mid 1500s)


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