College responds to radical AVDS messages

By Kristin Troyer – Horizon Co-Editor-in-Chief

Shane Claiborne addresses participants in the Anabaptist Vision and Discipleship Series. More than 300 attended the event Feb. 19-21. Photo by Larry Bartel, Hesston College Marketing and Communications.

Shane Claiborne, keynote speaker for Hesston’s annual Anabaptist Vision and Discipleship Series, describes himself as an ordinary radical. Speaking Feb. 19-21, Claiborne’s messages, though not always easy to hear, left the Hesston College Community with new ideas and reminders about how we are supposed to treat others and how to follow Jesus.

Here are some of them:

Adrienne Derstine, Sophomore:

“Shane’s message was certainly radical, however, I don’t believe any Christian has an excuse to ignore the message. Considering that Jesus Christ, the example to all Christian followers, was incredibly radical, Shane’s ‘exposure’ of the prosperity gospel injustice was particularly poignant to me. While it is easy to go to church on Sunday morning, live comfortably, and live at arm’s length from issues of economic, social, or environmental injustice, Shane’s message was a humble and gentle reminder that nothing is farther from the true mission of Believers.”

Nick Eichelberger, Freshman: 

“One thing that Shane shared that really hit home for me was that when we shut out someone in need, we shut Christ out and ourselves in.  This could easily be compared the refugee crisis occurring right now.  We as a country who identifies being under God should not treat these people in need with hate and cruelty.  We need to make room for the strangers, help them, and love them.  It was amazing to hear Shane’s story and all of the things he as experience and wonderful things he has done.  It was also refreshing to have Shane find the humor in really deep subjects.”

Erin Brubaker:

“One thing that really stuck out to me from what Shane Claiborne said was that Christians today are known most for the very things Jesus would never be known for, like judgement and hatred. Especially in light of what has happened recently in the community, I think it is extremely important for us to find ways to love everyone we come across and show people what it means to be a follower of Christ. Also, I really liked Shane’s pants.”

Margaret Wiebe:

When it comes to responding to such issues as racial injustice, poverty, opposing the death penalty, etc., always imitate Jesus.  Also, when it comes to diverse topics such as poverty and conflicts over sexuality, one needs to start with relationships–relationships matter most.  Shane said, ‘It’s God’s job to judge, the Spirit’s to convict, and ours to love.’

I am on the Witness & Outreach Commission in my church (Hope Mennonite in Wichita).  We are responsible for providing service projects for those who attend Hope.  We have mostly provided projects that require donations of money or physical items such as food, school supplies, blankets, etc. which we then send/give to those in need.  Taking what Shane said at AVDS and also in his books, we plan to be more intentional in providing service opportunities where we actually are face to face with those in need so that we can most importantly build relationships with them and hear their stories.  Shane quoted Mother Teresa, ‘Don’t talk about the poor, talk with them.’”  


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