> 15a a bit on mennonites

15a a bit on mennonites

2008-04-28 - jjackunrau

Rod Suderman was here in Nanjing yesterday with Interim MCC Director Bert Lobe (whose son Kenton goes to my church). Rod’s one of the China country representatives for MCC. He and his family live in Beijing in a nice apartment doing MCC stuff. Organizing things I guess. These guys were here yesterday trying to determine what MCC should be doing in China and what it is doing. While we walked to lunch Rod explained how Bert was there to ask the tough questions about why things are done the way they are (as opposed to accepting the ways as historical artifacts). Rod said it was all very friendly. No hot tongs.

Holly was very impressed with Bert. She got the sense that he combined the “upside-down kingdom” principles with real knowledge ofhow the world works and the type of scrutiny things should be able to bear. As we walked to a train ticket agency later in the afternoon next to a street that was abnormally noisy (work on the subway below) we discussed the utter slackness of so much Mennonite stuff. Talking peace and justice in university is so easy if you remain vague, staying well away from any specifics. Working “in the church” means you don’t have to actually be professional. At CMU if you don’t like your C you can just ask to get it bumped up to a B.

There’s this sense of entitlement in the Mennonite world that since we’re “doing good work” it doesn’t have to be concerned with accountability and the like. The church will look after you no matter how stupid you are. Which explains a lot of those earnest dimwits in some of these organizations. But Bert didn’t strike Holly as being part of that. He asked Wang Xuefu how Zhi Mian was accountable to whoever and Holly wondered with great interest how her boss would answer that.

bert lobe cmu holly mcc mennonite nanjing rod suderman the hangman wang xuefu zhi mian