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Conservative Anabaptists and the Internet
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Conservative Anabaptists and the Internet


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My powerpoint for a Cyber Society presentation on the Conservative Anabaptist approach to the Internet.

My powerpoint for a Cyber Society presentation on the Conservative Anabaptist approach to the Internet.

Published in: Spiritual, Education

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  • 1. Conservative Anabaptists and the Internet
  • 2. The Anabaptists- who are they?• Christian movement which appeared around the Reformation period• Core beliefs include non-resistance, adult baptism, seperation between church & state, and non-conformity with the world• Belief in non-conformity effects the Anabaptist approach to technology, dress standards & lifestyle. The Amish would be the most well known of the Anabaptists but other groups include Old River Brethren, Old German Baptist Brethren, Mennonites and Hutterites
  • 3. • Before Anabaptists accept modern technologies they do not evaluate the technology on physical comfort, profit or ease but instead evaluate the technology on if it will bring their community together or bring their community apart• For Anabaptists the church is the community and therefore the good of the community matters more than technological progress
  • 4. “In our churches, we forbid our members to own certain kinds of technology. For instance, we do not allow televisions, VCRs, or radios. Does that mean certain kinds of technology are evil? There is probably no such thing as an evil machine or technology…Although the technology is not evil, you have no control over its use. The click of a button will bring corruption of an evil world into your home.”• Bauman, L. (2001) Wolves in the Flock, Current Lessons Faced by the Church in History, Rod and Staff Publishers, USA, P.222-223
  • 5. • Some Anabaptist groups reject or limit modern technology like phones, electricity and computers in their homes but others readily accept the use of cars, the Internet, computers and phones and so my topic will largely be on these groups.
  • 6. Conservative Anabaptist groups who use the Internet • Old River Brethren (pictured) • Hutterites (some groups) • Amish-Mennonites • Old German Baptist Brethren • Conservative Mennonites (email only)
  • 7. Anabaptist fears & concerns regarding Internet use• Negative influence• Addictive• Inappropiate images• Takes from family time• Privacy issues
  • 8. Reasons for using Internet• Missionaries- maintaining contact with home, support• Business- rising costs of land• Reaching out to seekers• To clear up the confusion non-Anabaptists have about Anabaptists
  • 9. A small survey of Internet use amongst these groups…• Conducted online via Anabaptist forums, facebook and a conservative Anabaptist yahoo group• I wanted to find out the impact of the Internet on these groups (both benefits and repercussions)• Most people did not wish to do the survey- so just 9 participants
  • 10. • Participants included Hutterites, Beachy Amish-Mennonites & Old River Brethren• Ages ranged from 20’s to 70’s• Majority were male (7 out of the 9)
  • 11. I found… • All of the participants used the Internet for social contact, online purchases & educational research. • Other uses of the Internet included business, online bible study & visits to Anabaptist forums
  • 12. • Filtering & accountability systems used. Computers in homes kept in a public area or only used in the company of others. This is not seen as controlling but as accountability to keep one from “stumbling”.• Most members of Anabaptist forums knew each other both off and online (result: online accountability)
  • 13. • Most common concerns were spending too much time online at the detriment to one’s faith, and the easy availability to negative influences, such as porn “…I find myself sitting too much time in front of a computer and sometimes neglect other issues beneficial to my Christian walk.”• A male Hutterite participant
  • 14. • The most common benefit mentioned was the connection and fellowship with other Anabaptists along with easy access to Christian materials “I am able to go to different church websites and download sermons and free e-books and receive magazines.”• A male Hutterite participant, age unknown
  • 15. “When I was considering attending the church where I am now a member, I found a website with all kinds of information about the Beachy church. I don’t think I would have had the nerve to attend one if I hadn’t done some research ahead of time.”• A male participant and recent convert to the Beachy Amish- Mennonite church, in his 40’s
  • 16. • “I do not believe kids should have internet access or mobile phones till their late teens, if ever. But then they will have to be raised in a community of like minded people. Naturally TVs, movies, etc. are forbidden for all for life.”• A male Hutterite participant in his 40’s
  • 17. • Questions?• Comments?