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France and Benin 2005

Journal 6

This past week we have been focusing heavily on Church History, with an emphasis on Anabaptist history. Much of this history has been familiar to me, but hearing more detail, and seeing the places have brought life to this history in addition to giving me a stronger appreciation of my faith. One of the Churches that we visited was the church where the Anabaptist founders debated with Zwingli on issues like baptism, violence, and the separation of church and state. It amazes me that these issues they debated about 500 years ago, are still major themes of discussion. A few Catholics in Europe were quick to bring up how they thought that there was not enough separation of Church and State in the US. Although I largely agreed with them, I find it ironic that Catholics were telling an Anabaptist this, when this was one of the main reasons why the Anabaptists split from the Catholic Church.

The following day we visited one of the caves where the Anabaptist worshiped in secret. Since we couldn’t drive directly to it we had to walk for 45 minutes to get there, and since it is Switzerland, the walk was anything but level. This walk gave me a glimpse of the commitment the Anabaptist church had at that time. For this was nothing compared to what they were willing sacrifice because of their commitment to follow Christ. Many were forced to leave their homes and countries, and some even gave up their lives. As we had a time of worship in the cave, I reflected on what I am willing to sacrifice for Christ.

- Trevor Bare