- Tell us a little about yourself and your family. Were you raised Anabaptist, or did you convert? What about your wife?
Both my wife and I were raised in Anabaptist homes, for which we are very grateful. However, that fact would be worthless had we not each made a personal surrender to Jesus Christ out of our own free will and by His grace. We have been married 16 wonderful years and have 6 precious children.
- What is an Anabaptist, and how does it differ from other branches of Christianity? How is it related to the Mennonites?
The Anabaptist’s are a group of Christians who originated during the reformation of the 1500’s. They were committed, to the best of their ability, to a restoration of the faith of Christ and His apostles. Jesus had taught extensively about the kingdom of God, and they believed that this was a real kingdom with a real King (Jesus), with real subjects (true Christians), and real laws (Christ’s commands, including those in the Sermon on the Mount). Contrary to both the Catholics and the Protestants, they taught that being a part of Christ’s kingdom was a voluntary decision made by each member, rather than a forced conclusion based on the religion in control of your native country. Therefore, those that had been baptized as infants by either the Catholics or the Protestants chose to be baptized again as a sign that they had freely chosen to turn from sin and surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. The reaction by the Catholics and Protestants was first to label them as “Anabaptist’s” (re-baptizers) and then to slaughter them by the thousands. The various branches of Mennonites would all be subgroups of the Anabaptist, along with others such as the Amish, the Hutterites, and the Brethren.
- Do you believe that heaven and hell are real places?
- Is everyone who is not Anabaptist going to hell?
God says prophetically in Revelation 20:15, “Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” I have no doubt that there will be both Anabaptists and non-Anabaptist’s on both sides of this great divide.
- Do you allow your children to come to their own conclusions on religious issues?
Yes. My belief would be of no value to them unless they believe it themselves. However, I do all I can to influence those conclusions and point them to Jesus, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
- Are you concerned that ideas of hell (or other aspects of your religious “intensity”) might be frightening or disturbing to your children?
There is a popular idea that we can somehow change reality by what we believe, or that we can choose our truth based on what we like. However, truth is truth regardless of whether I like it or not. Yes, the idea of Hell may be frightening, but if it’s true, then I want my children to believe it anyway. They are far better off believing something disturbing that’s true than believing something comforting that’s false.
- Why do you hold signs by the side of the road, and cover your vehicles with religious messages?
I, along with God, do not want people to perish in Hell, but rather to come to repentance. However, even for the wicked who will not repent, God says in Ezekiel 33:7-9 that we are responsible to warn them of the danger they are in, or their blood will be required at our hands.
- How often do you stand by the road with your signs?
As often as I can.
- Are you accomplishing what you intend?
Yes, I certainly am. In only one short hour with a sign by a busy intersection, I can give a clear warning to thousands of people, converting them permanently from unwarned to warned, and getting their blood off my hands in the process. Even better, some of them will quite possibly go home, think about what they’ve read, and begin to seek the Lord while He may be found. (It’s also been a good opportunity to make new friends, like the time a really nice atheist stopped to talk to me several months ago.)
- Do you get more positive or negative feedback from your messages?
It was 51% negative and 49% positive until I met you and your wife, and then those percentages reversed. Up until then I had never been invited to write for an atheist newsletter, so in case I forget to say it later, thank you very much!
- Does your religion treat women as equal to men? Can they perform the same jobs, make choices for themselves, speak to God directly? Or are they expected to fill certain roles, be obedient towards men, and have men be the intermediary, between them and God?
Christ and His apostles (including Paul) invited both men and women into our highest possible position: the role that our Creator has chosen for us. Yes, under God, women and men are equal. But yes, they do have different God-given roles, just like I and the traffic policeman have different roles, though we too are equal. God calls me to submit to the policeman (Romans 13), He calls wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives (Ephesians 5), and He calls children to obey their parents (Ephesians 6). Since He is our Creator, He has a right to choose these things for us. We may argue and complain and try to come up with our own idea, but the happiest people (both men and women) are those who accept with thanksgiving the role that God has picked out for them. Sadly, many men are failing in their calling to love their wives, which in turn makes it very difficult for the wives to submit to their husbands. But this isn’t God’s fault. His plan is still perfect, and it is we as humans who have messed it up. Regarding your question about the intermediary: Christian women, just like Christian men, are invited to come boldly before God’s throne (Hebrews 4:16) without any intermediary other than the Lord Jesus Himself.