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  • Edwin Shank

Dear Edwin, I have three questions



Spring flower photo taken in the farm garden by Wesley Shank


Good morning friends, A few weeks ago, one of our readers sent these questions below. I replied to him directly, but I thought I'd share our conversation since I know several of you have asked similar questions. I changed the name for privacy, but the questions are his. I hope you find this helpful. ----------------------------------- Dear Edwin, I have three questions. I am a born again, spirit-filled Christian from Bacon County, Georgia.

  • I believe that the only way for salvation is through Jesus Christ and confessing Him Lord and savior.

  • I believe salvation cannot be earned but is a free gift.

  • I believe I will meet people from all kinds of Christian backgrounds—Catholics, Methodist, Baptist, etc. in heaven, as long as they receive salvation through Jesus Christ.

Do Mennonites believe this as well? I'm just curious. We have a lot of Mennonites in southeast Georgia. Thanks! Dan Smith -------------------------------- Good afternoon Dan,

Bacon County! Now that does sound like a great place! Is it Hickory Smoked too? ;) Seriously, thank you for writing. Your questions are very legitimate and insightful.

(Disclaimer: I'm typing this with one hand, I’ll see how it goes... please excuse typos. I broke my left arm yesterday. I was trimming a few dead branches from a pine tree with my chainsaw when my stepladder shifted and threw me off... not good... but I'm thankful!) Now back to your questions. The short answer is, yes, we plain people (Mennonites included) do believe the same on your three questions. I listed your questions below with my more complete answers in blue.

  • "I believe that the only way for salvation is through Jesus Christ and confessing Him Lord and savior." Yes... Jesus is The Only Way! The word LORD might be the most important point here in this question. Because Jesus very much emphasized obedience to Him as Lord if we expect Him to be our Savior. He decried those who liked to call Him "Lord, Lord" with their mouth but then did not obey Him as Lord by their actions. He clearly tells them that He will denounce and disown such as imposters on the judgment day. (Matthew 7:21-23)


  • "I believe salvation cannot be earned but is a free gift." Yes... with the acknowledgement that obedience to the commands of Jesus our Savior and Lord is not the same thing as earning our salvation... Obedience to Jesus is simply our “reasonable service." It is our joyful offering of our lives as a "living sacrifice" to Jesus. After all, He's one who loved us and offered His own life and blood to save us from our sins. (Romans 12:1)


  • "I believe I will meet people from all kinds of Christian backgrounds-Catholics, Methodist, Baptist, etc. in heaven, as long as they receive salvation through Jesus Christ." Yes… we expect to meet some Christians of "all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues" in heaven. (Rev 7:9-17) We believe that God is the final judge of every person's life. Jesus did teach clearly that a sincere willingness to obey in faith the commands of Jesus is necessary to please God, show our love for Him and to have His abiding presence within. (John 14:15-23, John 15:10-14) We believe that God can clearly tell the difference between those who are sincerely following and obeying to the best of their knowledge and those who are making excuses for their willful disobedience in spite of their better knowledge. No one will fool God. He is the All-Knowing One.

To further clarify our beliefs on these questions, Dan, let me go even farther and say this. We believe that there will be some Mennonites, Amish or other plain people in hell that to us looked like good Christian people. But to God, who sees all men's hearts, he knew that they were false... only pretending, hiding secret sin, living for self, and not surrendering their life in obedience to the Lordship of the Savoir. We do not believe at all that to be a plain person, in dress or lifestyle or outwardly adhering to even scriptural traditions, gives blanket hope of salvation. If the person is, in his inner life, not surrendered unto God... if he is living in knowing disobedience... if he is hiding sin and corruption... if he is living an impure life yet he is trusting in his plainness or his plain church affiliation... we believe that he will be eternally lost. We believe that God will not be mocked! "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" (Hebrews 12:14) is an often-quoted solemn truth that is fully believed among our people. So anyway.... my one good hand is getting tired doing all the typing! :) I hope, Dan, that these answers have been helpful. I'd love to hear back from you if these answers were or were not what you were expecting. I know a lot of folks have some misunderstandings about what we plain people really do believe and teach. So, I'm just wondering how my answers strike you. "Surprised, offended, alarmed or... it's-sort-of-what-I-figured-that-he'd-say, or, none of the above?" Please let me know. And thanks again for feeling free to ask, we welcome questions! Blessings on the rest of your day, Edwin Shank ---------------------------------- Thanks Edwin, I am pleasantly surprised. I'll be honest, I know popular thinking is that Amish is a cult, but I wasn't sure about Mennonites. But based on your response I am under the impression that yours is no cult! It sounds like y'all are Bible believing Christians trying to leave a life pleasing to the Lord. Thank you for sharing, Dan -------------------------------- No problem, Dan, Thanks for getting back to me again. I'm pleased to surprise you. Hopefully if you stay tuned to the blog, I'll be able to explore some more questions along this line with time. Oh, and BTW, don't be too fast to write the Amish off. A lot of unfair, misinformation has been spread about them in popular media too. Faith, Hope and Love, Edwin Shank "Intensely Striving to be... A follower of Jesus Indeed... In whom there is no guile" ~ John 1:47 ------------------------------------- P.S. Please remember, if you have questions or would like to talk more on this or any subject, you can always reach me by replying to this email. I'm here for you. I'd be glad to help if I can in some way.


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Song of the Week For maximum worship experience, read and contemplate on the lyrics while listening. Just let the message sink into your heart. Sing along if you wish. Remember... it's only the message of the words that feeds the soul!

Click on the title to hear the song.



You may have a fancy car,

Brand new house that shines afar.

You may live to be a hundred years old.

But if you have not been saved,

It all ends with the grave,

But I want us to be together in heaven.


I want us to be together in heaven.

I want to walk down the streets of pure gold.

I want to run thru the fields of green clover,

See the mansions,

Smell the flowers,

Hear the singing; It's all ours.

See the river gently flowing,

Feel the gentle breezes blowing.

I want us to be together in heaven.


You may be a millionaire,

Wearing clothes beyond compare.

You may have the best that money can buy,

But if the blood is not applied,

Then in hell you'll lift your eyes.

But I want us to be together in heaven.


I want us to be together in heaven.

I want to walk down the streets of pure gold.

I want to run thru the fields of green clover,

See the mansions,

Smell the flowers,

Hear the singing; It's all ours.

See the river gently flowing,

Feel the gentle breezes blowing,

I want us to be together in heaven.


Yes, I want us,

To be together,

In heaven!


Would you like a New Worship Song every morning? You can have one. Here's how. Dawn and I personally know a Mennonite bishop from a little congregation in Dublin Georgia. His name is Sim Yoder. Sim shares a new song every morning for the benefit of any and all who wish to listen, sing along and worship. He calls this ministry 'Morning Song.' The songs are always songs of God and faith, are often hymns and are always acapella with deeply meaningful, soul-feeding words. The songs are not always professional. They might be sung by a Mennonite family and recorded impromptu at a family gathering... But that is what makes them so authentic. It's what makes them a rare opportunity to listen in. Sometimes you can hear the voices of Dad and Mom and all the ranges of sweet immature voices of the children... just worshiping and praising God together. Below are three easy ways to receive 'Morning Song.'

WhatsApp: Simply send a WhatsApp message to Sim at 478-278-4646 asking to be on "Morning Song." CloudVeil / Telegram: Use this link to join the Morning Song Group: https://t.me/joinchat/zn44N7f6D9dmNWJh Or simply email: simyoder55@gmail.com. Put "Morning Song" in the subject line and Sim will understand to put you on the morning song email. And yes, I did personally check with Brother Sim before I posted this contact info. He assured me with pure southern hospitality that, "Of course all are welcome! I'll just be glad to bless and encourage more lives with song!" -----------------------------------------------------------------


P.S. Feel free to share our emails in any way you want. Food for the Soul posts are free for all. We do not copyright any of our material nor are we possessive of its use. Freely we have received so freely we give.

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