Tables of Solidarity

July 30, 2017


We Christians are famous for our many divisions. In the 1500s, a group of men and women divided from their fellow Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed church members and founded a new movement called Anabaptism. In 1693, the Amish movement began when a group in Switzerland split away from the Swiss Brethren. Almost exactly 200 years later here in northern Indiana, an Amish Mennonite bishop excommunicated John and Martha Schrock, my great-great grandparents, for being too worldly. In that case, being too worldly meant installing a telephone in their house and having a photograph of themselves taken in front of their house. After that little dust-up, we Schrocks started attending Olive Mennonite Church.

Christians in other denominations divide too. In the 1800s, Baptists hotly debated slavery and eventually divided themselves into two denominations, one based in the north and the other based in the south. The Presbyterians did the same thing, also because of disagreements over slavery. Slavery and racism also sent Methodists around the bend. When white Methodists refused to fully welcome black Methodists into their churches in the 1800s, a group of black Methodists left and formed their own denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Bible References

  • 1 Corinthians 11:17 - 22
  • 1 Corinthians 11:27 - 34