Don’t show your papers, show your citizenship

(From the Mennonite- a monthly  magazine of the Mennonite Church)

I remember the first time I was introduced to Dirk Willems, the Anabaptist who escaped and then turned back to rescue his persecutor who was drowning, got caught again and later was burned to death.

When John Driver, one of my history professors at Goshen (Ind.) College, told me the story for the first time, I thought, What a fool! And to me, even more foolish were the Anabaptists and Mennonites who thought he was a hero for turning back and rescuing his enemy.

However, after revisiting Willems’ story time after time, I made a correlation between his actions and Jesus’ message of how the citizens of God’s kingdom were to treat enemies (Matthew 5:38-48). Willems’ “foolish” reaction made a lot of sense.

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