While I have no qualms with saying I am a part of the Mennonite and Anabaptist faith; that is simply not my thrust. It doesn't define who I am as a "saved by grace" Christian. I believe we miss the most important part of salvation when we look at our denomination like this... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/blind_men_and_an_elephant. Yes, even Christians forget what to focus on. And possibly more so people of the Anabaptist faith. We are very concerned to hang on to all the principles we believe to be taught in the Bible. So we fritter away many hours for focusing on the things that are super important to us, like dressing modestly, and the application of wearing the head covering as taught in 1 Corinthians 11.
I believe my stand on modesty and the head covering is Biblical. But when I get focused on having others to believe just as I do I have lost my way. A friend of mine very recently says she is frustrated with the focus of doing things she doesn't believe just for church family. [Don't worry, you don't know who she is.] Sadly, that is what it feels like quite often because of the way we try to fix a problem backwards.
You see, the problem is me and not wanting to give up my way.
If I remember this, I won't be entering conversations of criticism toward the way someone else applies Biblical principles. The example Jesus left is good enough. He taught things of the heart. If people followed Jesus' teachings exactly as He taught them there wouldn't be time for debates that lead to each man describing the elephant in their own way.
Jesus taught truthfully. He called things what they were. He judged the sin but forgave the sinner. He said to do good to those who persecute us and pray for them that spitefully use us. He said that the best kind of love is to lay down what we want for someone else. The guidance He gave was enough. He told us how to treat each other. He said we should learn of Him. He said His yoke is easy, His burden is light.
It is us who make things hard. We want to clutter up the narrow way with all kinds of yammering and demanding that Biblical principles be applied certain ways. We are not comfortable without adding extra guidelines; they are our safety net. Or are they? Have we have coddled ourselves by protecting our beliefs so much that we forget where the root of the belief came from in the first place? Coddling and too much nurturing of plants make weak roots. Could we be doing this with our Christian roots?
It seems to me there are two ditches to fall into on this matter... One would like to do away with all man made standards of application and the other would like to make them more defined. I think Jesus did away with both ditches when He asks us to give up our own way to take up His cross and deny ourselves daily. No one can help you stay out of either ditch except your own daily dependence in learning Jesus and His ways. Only Jesus can clear our earthly lenses and help us to focus on the root of the matter. Now go dig some deep roots with Jesus.