Although meat smoking on an electric smoker utilizes a considerable amount of time, it still is a great option and is often loved by people. The delicious flavours imparted from…
If you are getting married and are looking for the wedding bands of your dream then this is right place for you. Here we are going to discuss about few…
Are you having a hard time choosing the Prom Dresses For 2019? Prom dresses are available in a wide range of styles and designs, but I'm sure you want to…
Whenever you think of Hawaii, things like waterfalls, rainbows, palm trees and sandy beach come to your mind. Off course, these are the most basic and popular aspects of Hawaii…
Although meat smoking on an electric smoker utilizes a considerable amount of time, it still is a great option and is often loved by people. The delicious flavours imparted from the spices, and the meat is often top-notch and cooked to perfection. Even though electric smokers might not fall into the umbrella of the essential kitchen tools and equipment, they’re a must-have in every household, because the best electric smokers 2021 can elevate the dish for your tastebuds to remember forever.
This brings us to the debatable topic of the types of meat that best suits these kinds of electric smokers. If you’re sceptical or a novice with these tools, here is a list of the right types of meat to smoke in an electric smoker.
Due to their balance between the amount of meat and fat in a single bite, pork shoulders are regarded as one of the best kinds of meat to smoke on an electric smoker. Smoking meat on electric smokers is a long and slow process, and hence the meat should be able to withstand long hours of cooking. It is essential to make sure that the meat is intact to the bone, to maintain its tenderness.
Venison steak is lean meat and is also home to thousands of recipes and spices. Although all the recopies of this meat is unique in its own way, the Smokey flavour in the meat is the specialty of the dish. By simply rubbing the meat with some olive oil and rubbing some seasoning on it, it can provide a delicious smokey flavour.
Every part of the pork is delicious but requires a different kind of smokiness to it. The taste imparted from smoking pork’s butt is not the same as the ones imparted from their shoulders or ribs. A smokey pork butt is prepared by injecting apple juice and wrapping it with a foil. The procedure for smoking this part takes up to seven hours on the smoker. Once the meat settles, away from the smoker for a couple of minutes, it imparts the best taste to the meat.
Debatably, this is the most popular dish of all the smokers. Although the final smoked product does not look appetizing, the taste is out of the world. For the best brisket, the meat should comprise of the best balance between fat and juicy. When the fat on the meat is smoked, it directly seeps into the sink and produces a pleasant taste that also enhances the cooking process of the meat. A packer’s cut of the beef brisket is one of the best cut for the meat, which will produce a tender end product at the end.
If you are getting married and are looking for the wedding bands of your dream then this is right place for you. Here we are going to discuss about few of the celebrity wedding bands which would surely inspire you to a great extent. From wedding decor to the wedding bands, there are many brides-to-be who turn to their favorite celebrities in order to get some great tips for their wedding. It is not essential that you need to go to physical stores to buy the perfect ring. There are some reliable online stores like www.mensweddingbands.com where you can get great wedding bands. Below is the list of few of the most famous celebrity wedding bands:
Eva Longoria is one of the most popular style icons. She is the epitome of elegance and grace. Her simple and beautiful wedding band is basically elegance refined and people have loved it. Her wedding band has a look which many brides want to achieve by choosing a simple and beautiful piece of diamond wedding ring. You need to make sure that you buy a good quality ring. A highly durable ring, which is not too thin, would be the best choice so as to save you from a future which would be filled with band restorations, prong repair and diamond replacement.
Nicole Phelps wore a beautiful and elegant, yet simple gold wedding band. You need to know that if you wear even a simple gold wedding band on your wedding, it would truly add sophistication to your bridal look. Gold jewelleries promote an affordable, beautiful and timeless look which a person can easily achieve by selecting any seamless wedding ring.
When Italia Ricci got married to Robbie Amell, her father-in-law crafted her wedding bands in order to match with her beautiful and elegant halo engagement ring. She chooses an exquisite diamond band having rows of stones which was similar to her fun-loving personality.
Two wedding bands of Kaitlin Doubleday are simply radiant having a luxurious texture and endless sparkle. Though, wearing two wedding bands are common among many people, however, it can hamper your wedding budget. Therefore, if you want to get a somewhat similar type of wedding bands without affecting your budget then you can try having a pair of gold textured ring guards. Moreover, you can also try buying one piece of the wedding band at the time of wedding and the other piece on your first wedding anniversary.
Shawn Johnson, the Olympic gold medallist of 2008 selected a classic round diamond band. This bezel inspired band was in a distinctive white gold and it looked beautiful and elegant. If you want to have a wedding band like that of Shawn Johnson then opt for a rounded setting, choose a wedding band having a similar design. If you like to have the contrast of white gold and yellow gold then choose a wedding band which would contrast with your engagement ring.
If you are looking for an elegant yet classical look for your wedding band then you need to look for Hannah Davis’s beautiful wedding band. She beautifully paired the straight diamond band with matching setting styles, having larger pieces of diamonds than the ones in the bands of her engagement ring.
Are you having a hard time choosing the Prom Dresses For 2019? Prom dresses are available in a wide range of styles and designs, but I’m sure you want to get the best one that suits you and highlights your best features. The process of picking the right one can be quite hectic. Use the following tips to help you out.
Choose A Dress that Fits Perfectly
When you are planning your attire for that special occasion the single most important thing to remember is if it doesn’t fit properly it can ruin the whole look of the outfit. You will have unflattering bulges if you choose a size too small. You’ll appear rather strange if it’s too large.
Don’t change your body just to try to squeeze into a favorite dress.
The dress’ length is also important. If a dress doesn’t fit you properly, buying it will only cause you embarrassment. Prom dress alterations are common and can allow you to pick the dress that’s perfect for you.
Know Your Preferred Fashion
What do you enjoy wearing? Which do you prefer, a timeless look or something more hip? Are you manly or womanly? Do you want to look brilliant or mysterious? There are so many different choices. Your dress should match your personality, body type, appearance and age.
Pick a dress that makes you look your best.
If necessary, feel free to ask a sales clerk to assist you in picking out the right look. Finally, there are dress codes so please follow them so you can relax when socializing and not embarrass yourself.
Pick Color Shades That Suit You
Try this by taking a close look at your skin color, hair and eye color. Then you should pick matching dresses. If you have a pale skin, have black eyes, and brown hair, then your dress should have white, brown and black.
Pick colors which have a similar tone to your colors.
If you have blue eyes, then colors close or similar to blue will work, such as turquoise or violet. It’s crucial to match the color strength as well. You can wear dresses with white and black patterns if you want a deep contrast to your own style. And, don’t wear too much makeup; it may end up compromising your style.
Know the Right Fabric/Material
For You, There are many different types of fabrics that prom dresses can come in. Fabric can support, outline, flow, shine, and sparkle. The dress’s shape will be changed by the fabric used. Rigid materials have their own shape, silky material will hang on your body and stretch materials will highlight the shape of your body. The material can reveal your shape and show off your figure. Pick a tailored dress that gives a flattering outline if you want to hide problem areas.
Ensure Your Dress Matches with Your Accessories
When you are shopping for the dress of your dreams for your upcoming prom, make sure that all of your accessories match, including your shoes, purse, jewelry and hairstyle. Buying a prom dress first, or buying the shoes and accessories and then finding a prom dress is totally a personal decision. You should consider your age and personality when dressing as well as your size and body type. It is always wise to coordinate your outfits assuring that the colors, style, and theme are making a statement instead of crowding out one another. The way to get the best possible prom dress is to determine what image you want to project, portray it to your best advantage, and make yourself stand out. Good luck with your choice!
Whenever you think of Hawaii, things like waterfalls, rainbows, palm trees and sandy beach come to your mind. Off course, these are the most basic and popular aspects of Hawaii that make it become popular and that’s why it is considered to be the dream place for most of the travelers.
There are thousands of people who come to Hawaii each year to experience the amazing beauty of this island but there are some people who come with some other goals in their mind.
Hawaii has something for everyone’s taste. It’s not only the nature lover who’s going to love a trip to Hawaii but people from all walks of life would love the amazing experience of visiting Hawaii. Hawaii is a combination of different cultures and traditions. Therefore, people from different traditions have brought several tastes together.
If you’re looking to visit Hawaii, you must go for it even if you’re not a nature lover. Hawaii’s delicious and healthy foods are also an attraction for the tourists. In this article, we’re going to talk about the Tours in Hawaii – The Stuff you need to see! You are going to discover the delicious and healthy foods of Hawaii that you must try when you’re visiting Hawaii. If you love trying different foods, you must try these foods.
Your meal in Hawaii should have a touch of traditional Hawaiian food in it. You’ll get to understand the true tastes of the islands if combine an authentic Hawaiian meal with dishes like Poi, lomilomi salmon, Laulau, squid Luau, chicken long rice, and Kalua pork. You can try this type of food at the Helena’s Hawaiian Food in Oahu.
All-Natural Shave Ice
The island’s farm-to-table movement has now included the iconic frozen treat of Hawaii in it. It is a combination of locally sourced syrups and finely shaved ice. You can get a bowl from any restaurant in Hawaii. We recommend that you must try this food when you are going to the Snorkel Tours in Maui with https://www.liveyouraloha.com/.
The shave ice was brought by the Japanese laborers who came to Hawaii to work on the Sugar and pineapple fields as contractors.
The name of the dish may appear to be a little bit awkward but it is really worth trying. The taste of this is amazing and it helps improve your health amazingly. The simple combination of dried seaweed, fried spam, and rice is the crown jewel of Hawaii snacks. You’re really going to love this food when you’re in Hawaii.
If you’re going for a dinner cruise, you must give a try to this delicious food. It is served in two different styles. You can either get a steamed or a baked manapua. These pillowy buns are the best attraction for food lovers in Hawaii. You can get them filled with the beans, chicken, char siu or anything else you want.
Travelling with toiletries are a must but also one of the most stressful task. Packing toiletries is an art as it can easily overflow and weight down your suitcase. We have made a guide which will allow you to pack the right products for a successful trip.
Planning and preparation
Start by putting all the products that you use on a daily basis and sort them out by understanding the things you might need when you are travelling. There are certain products which are not negotiable and are required no matter what the situation. Also, it is important that you take sample sizes of each of these products to ensure that you have enough space for everything.
Start by printing all your needs and wants to help ensure that you have everything sorted. Start by hair nd them face and later your body essentials. This will clear your m9nd on the needs and wants of your daily routine. One of the easiest ways to loosen your toiletry bags for travel is by using each product in multiple ways which can get you started on your travelling journey. Look up at various ways you can use specific products for your benefit.
One of the easiest things to follow is by making sure that you bring travel-sized products to give you space as well as the room to bring everything. Make sure that you are giving skincare much-needed preference to help bring out the right products.
Try to make sure that you are choosing the right travel containers which can allow one to carry it everywhere. Look for various sizes and get the information on the right amount which you will comfortable with when you leave. Also, another pro tip is to get plastic containers rather than glass ones to help minimise the weight as well as avoid breakage.
If you are someone who likes to take long term trips, it is important that you not pack full-size toiletries. Full-size toiletries will only weigh you down rather than getting things done quickly. Purchase the same products in travel-sized tubes or bottles, which is easier to carry. Also, make sure that you leave out options on certain products which are available worldwide. Avoid any liquid-based products at all costs but if you still want it, it is best to bring in it small packaging and to keep it safe. Leave out things like nail polish removers instead add things like cleansers, treatments and moisturiser. Medications also come under toiletries and make sure that you bring the right medication by sorting them outright beforehand. This will give you easy access to the medications and also remind you to take them.
To start with, let me give you an idea of my credientials in this area. I worked for a PPO network in the state of Washington for about three years. Then I spent a year working for a midwestern health insurance company. Then I moved to Scotland and worked for the NHS for a few years. I have gathered enough information at these jobs to understand why an aspirin from the drug store costs about 3 cents, while the same aspirin in a hospital costs $35.
When a doctor opens a general medicine practice, they go around to all of the major health insurance companies and apply to be a Preferred Provider. In some cases, if they’re part of a big clinic, that clinic makes them automatically signed on as a Preferred Provider. The Preferred Provider agreement that they sign with the health insurance company means that they promise to be generally a pretty good doctor, and in exchange, the health insurance company guarantees to pay them for their services according to a set fee schedule.
Let’s make up a doctor. Dr. Smith just joined up with SuperClinic, and so he is on a bunch of Preferred Provider lists. This means that he gets a ton of new patients and he is guaranteed to get paid by all of them. He decides that he wants to charge $50 for every 15 minute consultation. The fee schedule from the health insurance company will only allow him to be paid $40 per appointment, but that’s ok. He just writes off that extra $10 as a business loss, because as part of the Preferred Provider network, he can’t bill the patient for it. If a patient comes in without insurance, he charges them the full $50 and gets it.
A year goes by and the health insurance company revises their fee schedule. The fee schedule is set based on the average that doctors are billing and the health insurance company finds that doctors are charging more than $40, so they raise their rate for a consultation to $50.
Now Dr. Smith is getting a full $50 for every insured patient and $50 for every uninsured patient. He decides that’s great, but he could be making more. If he raises his prices, he gets to write off some loss from the insured patients, and get more cash from the uninsured. So he starts charging $60 per appointment. If you are his patient, and you have insurance, you never even notice that he raised his prices because your insurance company handles all that.
This occurs every year. Health insurance companies do not pay doctors based on the actual cost of providing services, but based on the average that doctors decide to charge. Doctors have figured this out, so most of them continually charge just slightly higher than the insurance company will pay, in order to ensure that they get themselves a raise every so often.
This same thing happens with hospital services. They started out billing insurance for the actual cost of an aspirin, but then found that they could get more just by telling the insurance company that it cost more, even if it didn’t. Whether they charge $0.30 or $30, the health insurance company pays it.
Because the health insurance company is throwing money around to doctors and hospitals, they have to charge their customers more. And refuse coverage to anyone who is likely to need to go to one of these expensive doctors or hospitals. It is a free market, so the doctors have the right to charge whatever they want, and the health insurance companies are powerless to say, “That aspirin didn’t really cost that much.”
This growing number of people who can’t get insurance end up having to pay the full price for a doctor (which is more than the doctor makes from his insured patients). Those people end up bankrupt from major medical expenses, or they end up chronically ill because they can’t afford a doctor. People who are sick can’t work. So those people end up on welfare rather than just getting the health treatment that they need in order to get healthy and get back to work. This effects the entire economy of the US. Fixing healthcare in America is part of fixing the economy in America.
In a government-managed health care system like in the UK or Canada, everything is cheaper. The doctors are paid a generous yearly salary, based on experience and education. The government pays all of the expenses based on the actual cost of care rather than based on what the doctor feels like charging. So it costs a fraction of what it costs in a free market system for medical care, and it is available to everyone, regardless of pre-existing health conditions.
I’m not saying that government health care is perfect. No system is perfect. But government-run healthcare can provide decent health services to the most people for the lowest price.
In light of the Occupy movements, there have been a lot of articles analysing who is in the top 1% of incomes in the US. People in the medical field make up about 15% of the “one percenters”. Not only are regular people being denied healthcare, but it is primarily because a portion of medical practitioners are grossly overpaid. So again, the answer to wealth inequality and the poor economy in America should start with complete reform of the health care system.
Price: 65p for a can of beans, about $1.99 in the US.
Ingredients: Beans (51%), Tomatoes (34%), Water, Sugar, Modified Cornflour, Salt, Spirit Vinegar, Spice Extracts, Herb Extract. Toasted bread.
To start with, I want to take a minute to discuss why I have not done any food reviews in a long time. It was really easy to do food reviews when I first moved here because I had a set (American) way of looking at food, and pretty much everything here was foreign. The problem is, I’ve lived in the UK for almost five years now. In that time, I’ve spent a total of two weeks in the US. So over time, perspective has shifted significantly, to where British food is what I eat all the time, and American food seems more foreign now. I’ve had haggis more recently than I’ve had a Dairy Queen Blizzard. I can much more easily have a pork pie for lunch than buffalo wings. So I really have trouble isolating what is “foreign” now.
Anyway, I said I’d follow orders, and I’ve been ordered to do a food review. So I’ll review beans on toast.
The British have a bizarre relationship with toast. I saw a tv special here about comfort foods. The number one British comfort food was not anything normal, like macaroni and cheese or ice cream or chocolate cake. No, the British love toast. It makes me think that maybe they’re a bit simple. If I was depressed, I’d want something like a plate of meatloaf and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s to cheer me up. If I was British, apparently you could appease me with a piece of toasted bread. I don’t get it. And if you want to make them ecstatic, dump some canned baked beans on top of that toast. That is their typical college student food. Where Americans would have ramen noodles, they have baked beans.
These baked beans are not the American pork and beans you’re used to. They don’t have any brown sugar and they don’t have the weird little slab of bacon fat floating in the can. Basically, they’re beans with tomato sauce. And not Italian tomato sauce. We’re talking about more like tomato soup. Or like the sauce in a can of spaghetti-o’s. (For the Brits reading, if you add a spoonful of brown sugar and a squirt of yellow mustard to British baked beans, they are a bit more like the American ones.)
Category: snack cake
Price: £1.15 for pkg of 36
Ingredients: glucose-fructose syrup, plain chocolate, wheat flour, sugar, egg, sucrose syrup, dextrose, orange juice from concentrate, glycerol, pectin, citric acid, disodium diphosphate, sodium bicarbonate, flavoring, trisodium citrate, curcumin
Jaffa Cakes are snack cakes the size of cookies. It is a sponge cake with a dot of orange jelly stuff, coated with dark chocolate. I’m being careful not to call it a cookie because there was a legal battle regarding that not long ago. The British government wanted to tax them as chocolate cookies, but the company that makes the original Jaffa Cakes, McVitie’s, took them to court and proved that they are cake, not cookies, and therefore not subject to the chocolate cookie tax.
I normally would have bought the original traditional McVitie’s brand of Jaffa cakes for this review, but when I was at the store it was 88p for 12 McVitie’s jaffa cakes or £1.15 for 36 of the store brand. And since I have had the McVitie’s before and I know that they’re a little better than the store brand, but not vastly better, I went with the cheap ones. Because I’ve eaten Jaffa Cakes, so I know that more is better. They are, as expected, a bit of sponge cake with chocolate covering one side. They don’t have a strong odor,but just smell faintly of chocolate and cake.
The modern Mennonite church began in the mid-1520’s as a small group of disgruntled reformers in Switzerland known as The Brethren. They differed from the other reformers in that they believed that the church should be a voluntary gathering of believers rather than a state-run institution. The Swiss Brethren became the Mennonites after the emergence of the Dutch leader and prolific writer, Menno Simons, who shared beliefs with the Brethren, although he didn’t seem to know any of them. (This group has historically been considered an Anabaptist group, though Menno Simons did not consider himself an Anabaptist.) One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Mennonite church today is its belief in complete pacifism. Ed Epp of the Mennonite Central Committee stated in a 1998 interview that “Mennonites represent the historic tradition of pacifistic Christianity, rooted in the 16th century, that opposes all violence, including serving as soldiers.” Mennonites today believe in extreme pacifism that includes refusing to serve in the military or own a weapon. They insist that, “in acts of war, harm always outweighs any good,” but these beliefs are based on misinterpreting Menno Simons’ writings and reading them out of context. Menno Simons was not a pacifist in this modern Mennonite sense, but rather adopted pacifist views only when it suited him for purposes of politics or self-preservation.
At age 20, Menno Simons became a deacon in the Catholic church and shortly thereafter he was ordained a priest. Though he could read Greek, Hebrew and Latin, Menno did not read any of the Bible until he had been a practicing priest for nearly two years, because he had been told that if he read the scriptures he “would be misled.”
In 1525, Menno began to doubt the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. Prompted by the writings of one or more of the Reformationists (probably Martin Luther), he turned to the Bible for answers. In 1531, the execution of Sicke Freeriks Snijder for the crime of re-baptism sent Menno to the scriptures again because he couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be baptized twice. He compared his previous learning with the scriptures, and realized that there was “no basis for infant baptism in Scripture.” From that point, Menno was highly sympathetic to the Anabaptists, but he didn’t join them, probably because of the bad reputation that Anabaptists had at that time.
Menno continued his work as the head priest at the church in Witmarsum. For nine months he preached against infant baptism and transubstantiation; he changed and removed a lot of the ceremonies of the church, and the Catholic church didn’t intervene. However, after nine months, Menno broke off from the Catholic church and joined the Anabaptists, at a time when the Anabaptists were the most unpopular — during the Münsterite revolution.
The Münsterites were a group of Dutch-speaking Anabaptists who invaded the German city of Münster, based on their belief that Münster was the New Jerusalem “chosen by God for the reestablishment of his kingdom on earth.” They introduced adult baptism, and forced it on everyone in the city, arguing that, “. . . since they were living in the last days, in which the tares would be removed from the wheat, it was right and proper to defend the gospel with the sword.” The first leader of this movement was a man named Jan Matthys, who went out of Münster to “slay the enemy,” was killed, and was replaced by John of Leiden. John of Leiden declared himself king of the “Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster,” instituted polygamy, eliminated private property, and forced more baptisms. Eventually, he sought to capture more cities and invaded Amsterdam and Bolsward. In Bolsward, he earned a follower in Menno Simons’ brother Pieter, who was murdered a short time later in a Münsterite massacre in that city.
In the summer of 1535, the armies of Bishop von Waldeck stormed Münster and violently and brutally defeated the Anabaptists and brought an end to their “kingdom.” It is rumored that the body of John of Leiden still hangs from a tower in Münster. A year earlier, Menno Simons encountered the Münsterites for the first time. In his words,
My soul was troubled, for I perceived that though they were zealous they erred in doctrine. I did what I could to oppose them by preaching and exhortations, as much as in me was. I conferred twice with one of their leaders, once in private and once in public, but my admonitions did not help…”
Menno also visited often with those who seemed interested in the Münsterite cult, to convince them not to get involved with the movement. Right after his brother’s death, Menno wrote his first known essay, “The Blasphemy of John Leiden,” but he never published it, because by the time he finished writing it, the Münsterite “kingdom” had fallen, so it “would be like celebrating on the graves of his enemies.” It is also hypothesized that he didn’t publish it because at that point of his life, he felt like a hypocrite for believing the doctrine of the Anabaptists while keeping the comfortable lifestyle of a Catholic priest.
When the Münsterite kingdom fell, Menno was deeply affected by the fact that those people were willing to give their lives for a lie, and he had been unwilling to give up his priesthood, so in 1536 he resigned his office in order to preach doctrines of the non-Münsterite Anabaptists without the “physical comfort” of the Catholic church. Shortly thereafter, he accepted a position of leadership among the Anabaptists in order to win back the souls of those who had followed John of Leiden, and were left without direction or leaders.
This was a dangerous step for Menno to take because at that time, to be non-Catholic “was social and economic marginalization, torture, and sometimes even death.” Catholics persecuted Protestants, and both Protestants and Catholics persecuted Anabaptists. Menno himself noted that they, “. . . persecute and destroy so many pious Godfearing Christians because of the idol temples of the ungodly . . . .” By giving up Catholicism, Menno and all other Anabaptists invited persecution and possible death in the “violent, hate-filled culture” of the 16th Century. It was into this atmosphere that Menno Simons wrote all of his essays and letters.
Many of his early writings were written directly against the Münsterites, including criticism of their use of the Old Testament to justify their use of violence in Münster. In his essay “Against the Blasphemy of John Leiden” he writes that Christians must “. . . leave the armor of David to the physical Israelites and the sword of Zerubbabel to those who build the temple of Zerubbabel in Jerusalem . . . For the body itself is in Christ, as Paul says,” telling the Münsterites that physical violence is to be left to the Old Testament, and that Christians are supposed to live in the New Testament.
Despite this criticism of the Münsterites’ use of the Old Testament to support their acts of violence, Menno himself regularly used the Old Testament when it supported his beliefs. According to Stayer, “Although Menno rejected the example of the Old Testament with respect to war, he accepted it in regard to pious rulers punishing the wicked with the sword.” In his essay “Reply to False Accusations,” Menno lists “Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Sennacherib, . . . Saul, Jeroboam, Ahab, and others” as rulers who lost position because of their sins. All of them are Old Testament rulers. In his “Foundation of Christian Doctrine,” Menno gives a two-page list of Biblical figures who were punished by God for “shedding innocent blood,” and that list also draws primarily from the Old Testament. Menno believes in salvation by faith and works, which he supports with the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, and Sodom and Gomorrah, providing no evidence from the New Testament. In addition, his most oft-quoted support for not using violence is, ” . . . they have beaten their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks,” which is from the Old Testament passages Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3. This use of the Old Testament is important to note when reading Menno’s works, in order to be more aware of the numerous times he uses the Old Testament as support in his nonviolence writings.
Another important aspect of his writings, particularly any quotations taken from his work, is the context in which the statements were written. According to Harold Bender, “…Christianity meant for Menno the resolute abandonment by the Christian of all carnal strife and war, indeed of the use of force in any manner, as a throughgoing separation from the sin of the worldly social order,” but Menno’s writings reflect a distaste for a particular type of violence, not all forms of violence.
In his essay “The Blasphemy of John of Leiden,” Menno, on four different occasions, writes the sentiment that Christians should fight only with spiritual weapons, not with physical ones. In a general context, this would mean never using violence and weapons, but this essay was not written in a general context. This essay was written as a direct criticism of the methods and beliefs of the Münsterites, who believed in using violence to force people to worship the way they did. Menno quotes the passage from Ephesians that says,
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
This passage clearly refers to spiritual battles requiring spiritual armor, but says nothing of physical worldly conflicts. Menno meant for it to be instruction against those like the Münsterites who would force doctrine on unwilling people, using physical force to solve spiritual problems.
When Menno wrote “Foundation of Christian Doctrine” to outline his beliefs, he knew that the people of his time were used to systems in which people were forced to follow whatever their leaders believed. In this context, he wrote to those who would follow his writings to tell them that they should not force others to join them, saying “Christ is our fortress; patience our weapons of defense; the Word of God our sword; and our victory a courageous, firm unfeigned faith in Jesus Christ,” and “O dear sirs, sheathe your sword. For as the Lord liveth you do not fight against flesh and blood, but against Him whose eyes are as a flame of fire. . .” He writes this because as a member of the broader Anabaptist movement, he was perceived to be in the same category as John of Leiden and the other leaders of violent Anabaptist uprisings. He needed to speak out against violence in order to distance himself from them, gain followers, and receive some sympathy from magistrates.
In the same essay, he writes to the people to warn them against groups like the Münsterites and against the mainstream Catholic church. He writes, “[The church leaders] are thieves and murderers, who with the sword of their false doctrine slay your poor souls and steal from you the Word and kingdom of the Lord. . .” He calls them Antichrists, but goes on to write that they will be judged by God. As mere humans it is not a Christian’s job to punish them. This is another way he tells his readers not to follow the Münsterite example of punishing the wicked, but rather to allow them to live until they’re judged by God.
In “Foundation of Christian Doctrine,” Menno also speaks to the church leaders, to criticize and instruct them. To the church leaders he writes,
O my dear sirs, what are you doing? Where in the world is the sword of righteousness, of which you boast, given and entrusted to you? You have to acknowledge that you have put it in the sheath, and in its stead you have drawn the sword of unrighteousness.
In this he is saying that anyone who claims to be a Christian should not be killing people for their beliefs, but rather teaching them the right way to live. Again, this statement is in the context of Christians killing Christians in the name of God. Menno never applies it to secular concerns (such as most of the wars of the 20th Century) because the wars and violence of his time were almost all fought over religious differences; his audience would not have been able to relate to wars that were not what might now be called “holy wars.”
In his essay “Reply to False Accusations,” Menno again tells the church leaders, “. . .[you] with your iron sword adjudicate in that which belongs exclusively to the eternal judgment of the Most High God, such as in faith and matters pertaining to faith.” In this statement, Menno does not criticize the church for the use of violence; he criticizes the church for the use of violence in matters of faith. This statement against violence is in the context of violence based on religion, and in no way does Menno imply that it applies to all types and instances of violence.
In this same essay, Menno makes many statements about peace. One of his most often quoted passages reads,
The Prince of Peace is Christ Jesus; His kingdom is the kingdom of peace, which is the church; His messengers are the messengers of peace; His Word is the word of peace; His body is the body of peace; His children are the seed of peace; and his inheritance and reward are the inheritance and reward of peace. In short, with this King, and in His kingdom and reign, it is nothing but peace…. True Christians do not know vengeance, no matter how they are mistreated. In patience they possess their souls. Luke 21:88. And they do not break their peace…
This and other statements on peace and nonviolence are very often taken out of context. Within the context of the essay in which they were written, these pacifistic sentiments are actually merely a defense against the accusation that Menno sought to take over a city and force people to follow his ideas as the Münsterites had done. These statements were written as assurance to the critics that Menno and his followers had no intention of overthrowing a city, and even gave Menno preferential treatment in some cities. It is unfair to apply them to a general case, when they were written in the heat of a very specific debate.
These writings on violence were all written in the cultural setting of state-run churches, as a part of Menno’s defiance of those institutions. “According to Menno, the true church was found in the local body of adult believers who voluntarily gathered to study the Word and pledged themselves to lives of discipleship and mutual aid one for the other.”Menno was opposed to the idea that the state should determine one’s religion. This belief in voluntary church membership was one of the main reasons that Menno wrote these essays discouraging violence. Menno didn’t want to contribute to anyone being forced to accept what he wrote.
Not only did Menno Simons promote nonviolence to prevent his followers from violently conquering cities, but he also promoted pacifism as a way of convincing the authorities not to persecute him and his followers. In his essay against John of Leiden, he writes about humans not being equipped or called to judge others. This was primarily as a way of telling the Münsterites and others that their actions were wrong, but it also served to tell church leaders that it is wrong to persecute anyone. He applies the concept of non-persecution to all Christians, saying, “O, God, it would be well if we would leave to the Lord his works . . . ” referring to allowing God to punish the wicked. In “The Blasphemy of John of Leiden” Menno uses the passage from Luke about “turning the other cheek,” as a support for his stance on nonviolence. Many theologians agree that this passage does not refer to every situation, but to situations in which a Christian is being attacked for his of her beliefs. Therefore even the scripture he quotes is in a specific context.
In his essay “Foundation of Christian Doctrine” Menno writes this advice to church leaders,
…beware lest you be like the reckless and the foolish in judgements concerning the faith, men who proceed without any knowledge of the matter, like irrational creatures. . . reviling the good and praising the evil, persecuting and condemning what they understand not. Again I say, Be not like those bloodthirsty violent and cruel men. But examine the Scriptures with trembling. With Solomon pray for wisdom…
This statement appeals to the leaders of the church by implying that if they don’t rationally examine what he has to say rather than automatically attacking him, they are like the Münsterites, who he refers to as “the reckless” and “those bloodthirsty, violent and cruel men.” Menno wrote this, hoping to dissuade the Catholic church from persecuting him, hoping that they would turn to the Scriptures, as he did, to examine his doctrine. His goal was to convince them that killing him would be wrong, and that they’d be no better than the Münsterites if they did.
To the pastors of Protestant churches, leaders of the Catholic church, and political rulers, he wrote “It is a frightful abomination and raging terror thus miserably to garrote, to kill, and wipe out those who with such ardent hearts seek the Lord and eternal life, and who would not touch a hair of anyone’s head upon the earth.” This clearly communicates the message that killing Anabaptists is wrong. He appeals to their sense of morality to avoid persecution and death.
Menno’s writings promotine re-baptism were viewed as an attack on the Catholics and Protestants. In “Reply to False Accusations” Menno wrote, “All Christians are commanded to love their enemies; to do good to those who abuse and persecute them; . . .” This statement has a dual purpose in his essay. First, it assures his critics that he is not violent. Second, as their enemy, he tells them that they are to love him and do good to him. It is another attempt to preserve his own life through Biblical argument and reason.
Menno’s most common method of promoting self-preservation in his writings was to threaten his enemies with God’s wrath. He wrote to his followers, “They persecute not you but Christ Jesus, who will in His own time judge them, and if they repent not, return it into their bosom.” About the Catholics he wrote, “. . .I fear that the chastening rod is already grasped, and the avenging sword of the Lord drawn. . . many of them will be devoured and consumed. For the senseless people want to be punished!” Menno also wrote warnings directly to the Catholics.
But when the messenger of death shall knock at the door of your souls and say, Give an account; you may no longer be stewards; when you must appear before the throne of the eternal majesty and before the poor miserable souls which have led off the true highway of Christ with your deceiving, false doctrine, idolatrous witchcraft, and wickedly liberal life . . . where will you conceal yourselves then from the wrath of God.
He also writes, “But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bareth not the sword in vain; for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” In these statements and others, Menno tells his readers over and over again that killing and persecuting those who do God’s work (himself and other Anabaptists) will bring about God’s wrath on earth and in heaven. His main argument is that the Catholics and others, in killing Anabaptists, are “shedding innocent blood” and will therefore be condemned to hell (because of his belief in salvation by a combination of faith and works). Menno warns the Catholics that they need to turn from their ways so that they won’t be “… ashamed in the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
Menno argues that if a ruler punishes a “heathen” in the name of God, those rulers had better “…look into the matter and not seat themselves rashly and carelessly in an unknown matter in the judgement seat of the Most High God.” Menno further argues that “…if you [Catholics] cannot reprove us with scripture, and acknowledge our [doctrine and conduct] to be best, then it would be heathenish, yes, ungodly and tyrannical, would it not, to crowd us out of life into death, from heaven into hell, with the sword and violence!” Essentially, Menno is saying that the Catholics need to examine the doctrine of the Anabaptists, and if they determine that they are wrong, they still shouldn’t punish them because it would be cruel to send them to hell. All these statements reflect Menno begging for his life more than they represent an actual deep belief in nonviolence and nonresistance.
According to Roth, “Menno’s writings challenge contemporary evangelicals to rethink. . . the easy alliance modern Christians have made with the political order,” but Menno himself seemed to desire an alliance with political powers of his time. To gain favor with the governments he lived under, Menno continually preached that the government is above the people and that rebellion against it is wrong. Menno displayed a belief that after the New Covenant of the New Testament was put in place, the control of military arms was given over from the church to the local government. In saying that, Menno shows the government that he respects their authority, and even believes that “. . . the office of a magistrate is ordained of God. . .” The Mennonite church today still upholds in their “Statement of Mennonite Doctrine” that, “We believe that the state is ordained of God to maintain order in society, and that Christians should honor rulers, be subject to authorities, witness to the state, and pray for governments.” When defending himself against the accusation that he will try to overthrow the government, it is interesting to note that he says that those who accuse him of this do so in order to excite the magistrates into killing him. This shows that survival was at the front of Menno’s mind when he was writing. In light of his activities later in life, Menno’s most interesting comment on the role of government is, “For we truly confess that all rebellion is of the flesh and of the devil.”
The Mennonite church today has a lot of strict rules about weapons and violence. Some comments from the Mennonite Church to the press have been, “Arms haven’t been shown to be an answer, and neither has war, . . .”a Christianity that aligns itself with a culture of violence. . . seems to make a mockery of the grace it proclaims as a gift to the non-believing world,” and “We believe that it is the will of God for Christians to refrain from force and violence in human relations and to show Christian love to all men.” Menno’s writings mesh with these in some ways. He does speak out against the use of violence to solve religious issues, but he also helped to author a statement in 1554 to all Mennonites which encouraged them to carry weapons if that was the custom in their country. His reason for that instruction was another case of self-preservation. If someone was seen not carrying a sword in a land where sword-carrying was the custom, they would be immediately identified as an Anabaptist, and be killed. Menno was far more concerned with survival than with appearing nonviolent.
Menno Simons, in his writings, speaks out against the concept of self-preservation, and actually seems eager to die. He said that, “. . .We ought not to dread death so. It is but to cease from sin and to enter into a better life.” In his first essay he wrote, “Now Christ Jesus was minded to suffer; and in the same way all Christians must be minded.” He even pushes interpretation of Scripture to claim that, “Christ wanted to drink the cup which the father had given him [the crucifixion].” His most graphic statement is, “We have no other weapons besides [Scripture], the Lord knows, even if we should be torn into a thousand pieces, and if as many false witnesses rose up against us as there are spears of grass in the fields and grains of sand upon the seashore.” Despite these statements, Menno’s actions show that he didn’t truly want to die for God as much as he claimed.
One account says that while traveling between two German cities, Menno was sitting with the driver of the carriage when some soldiers stopped the carriage. They asked Menno if Menno Simons was inside the carriage. Menno asked the people inside if Menno Simons was in the vehicle, and told the soldiers, “They say he’s not in there.” This account may not be true, but it does reflect the way in which Menno lived much of his life. Like many of his writings, his life focused more on survival than on pacifism. This lifestyle continued until he died of natural causes in January of 1561.
Beyond that, simply writing the things he did was a form of resistance of the type he spoke against. It was against the law to own his writings, yet he kept producing them. That was blatant disrespect for the government for which he claimed to have so much respect. Writing long dissertations against his enemies was hardly “turning the other cheek.” He was as human and earthly as anyone. When he was criticized, he retaliated. Even if it wasn’t directly with violence, it was certainly a form of rebellion and resistance.
Finally, probably the most damning evidence that Menno Simons was not a pacifist is that he believed in capital punishment. During his whole life, he never actually blended his beliefs in pacifism with his beliefs in punishing the wicked.(88) In his essay “Foundation of Christian Doctrine” he wrote about punishing the wicked, “Dear sirs, this is your calling and assigned task. . .” Even more dark, he wrote,
We know very well that theft is expressly forbidden in the Scriptures (Eph. 4:28); that according to civil statute and usage it is punishable by hanging, and according to God’s law will be punished with eternal death if there is no repentance.”
Later in his life he became even more adamant about the use of capital punishment. To the church at Franeker he wrote,
…there are some sins, as for instance murder, witchcraft, incendiarism, theft, and other like criminal deeds which eventually require and imply punishment at the hands of the magistracy…. Therefore act with discretion, and do not judge such matters involving capital punishment, especially if they are public, as you would other works of the flesh which do not constitute an offense and cause for reproach in the eyes of the world.
Menno would not admit directly that he believed in capital punishment, but always worded it in such a way that he believed that criminals should die, but he didn’t want to do it. However, whether Menno killed the criminal or handed him over to magistrates who would kill him made no difference. In the end, the criminal would still die because of Menno. To take what Menno is saying a step further, a hired killer is responsible for a murder, not the person who hired him. Menno seems to be saying that it is okay to kill or hurt people indirectly. This is not exactly the statement of a pacifist. Beyond that, Menno usually uses Old Testament support for his stance on capital punishment, while using the New Testament to support nonviolence.
Menno Simons was a courageous reformer who did much to support the idea that the church should be voluntary and not state-mandated, but he was not the pure pacifist that most Mennonite historians have painted him to be. He wrote about nonviolence in the wake of the Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster, to encourage his followers to avoid that path. Most of his pacifistic writings focused on the specific case of religious violence, not on all violence for any reason. He also wrote about nonviolence because it earned him special protection from Charles V in some cities. Because the cities knew he wouldn’t try to take over, they sheltered the hunted preacher. He also used his stand on pacifism as a way of telling his critics that if they harmed him, they’d be punished eternally for it. Though he claimed to want to die for Christ, everything in the way he lived his life seems to suggest that he wanted to preserve his life. (This is not necessarily a criticism. Menno’s favorite Biblical character was Paul, who wrote in the first chapter of Philippians that even though heaven is good, it’s better to stay alive and teach others.) The strongest evidence that Menno used pacifism because it was convenient and not because he firmly believed in it is that he was a strong believer in capital punishment. Through all his writings about not using violence to solve anything, he often amends it with an exception for the case of a criminal.
If Mennonites today truly examined the context of Menno’s writings, and examined his writings as a whole rather than in small sound bites about peacefulness, they might find that they have little historical or Biblical reason to avoid military service or self-defense. After all, their founder defended himself against soldiers and the Catholic church until he became one of the only early Anabaptists to die of old age.
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