No, it’s not what you might be thinking—nobody is nude. At least, not literally, although more than 300 people have joined the Naked Anabaptist group on the Facebook social media site to metaphorically explore what it means to strip down to the bare essentials of the Anabaptist faith.
The new group was formed by Winnipeg Mennonite pastor and blogger Jamie Arpin Ricci, to discuss issues raised by Stuart Murray in The Naked Anabaptist: The Bare Essentials of a Radical Faith.
According to Arpin Ricci, who pastors Little Flowers Community Church in that city’s West End, the group exists to “further the vision of Stuart Murray’s new book, and to push beyond the assumptions and cultural expression of this historic Christian tradition.”
Questions and comments on the site have been varied and widespread.
After reading the first 50 pages of the book, Leonard Hjalmarson of Oklahoma said, “Two things stand out so far: first, that many of us who are Anabaptist are not fellowshipping in Anabaptist traditions. And, paradoxically, some of us who are in Mennonite traditions are frustrated that they aren’t more Anabaptist.”
Byron Rempel-Burkholder, editor of Mennonite Publishing Network’s Rejoice! devotional, wondered, “Must Anabaptism be manifest in Anabaptist denominations, or should we be content to leave it as a theological orientation or a movement?”
Matt Stone wanted to know, “How can neo-Anabaptists and hyphenated-Anabaptists live out their faith commitments within non-Anabaptist churches, when community is such an emphasis in the Anabaptist path?”
The Naked Anabaptist Facebook group can be found by searching for “Naked Anabaptist” at facebook.com.
With files from Ross W. Muir, managing editor