SwissBro
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SwissBro
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Joined: 4:40 PM - Jan 04, 2018

5:58 AM - Apr 27, 2018 #11

ACGuy wrote: Greetings! It is great to hear from brothers in Switzerland. One side of my family moved to the US from there. I would love to see more communication from the brethren overseas, as well as more communication between the ACCA and ACCN here in North America.
Cheers ACGuy.

I have read up on the history of our denomination a bit and as far as I understand it quite a lot of the ACCA folks either descend directly from original Swiss (or German) ACC members emigrating to the US or from Swiss Anabaptist families (Amish or Mennonite) that had emigrated to the US at an earlier stage and then switched to the ACCA once it was established in the US under Benedict Weyeneth. Do you know where your ancestors came from?

I have read a lot of the threads on these forums and found out that in general, the ACCA and also ACCN seem to be quite a bit more conservative than our Swiss churches - at least the "tolerant" side, to which I belong. On the other hand, the conservative ("intolerant" - aka non mustachio-wearing) side here in Switzerland is even far more conservative than today's ACCA. They are comparable to the German ACC's in the US.

I would assume that the important doctrinal differences (happy to elaborate on some if there is any interest) between the Swiss and US-denominations might be one of the reasons why there is not an awful lot of communication happening between those on the official level. However, it would be great to communicate unofficially on these boards and learn about each other, even if not agreeing on all aspects.

Greetings from Switzerland!
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ACGuy
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ACGuy
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Joined: 7:21 PM - Dec 20, 2017

7:00 PM - Jun 19, 2018 #12

I have Swiss, and German Heritage. Much of the Swiss heritage is from people that joined the church after immigrating. It seems from what I have seen that most of the American church was spread by German immigrants, that were spreading the word after coming to America. Many Swiss Mennonites knew of Froelich, or had seen him speak in Switzerland, and after comming to America decided to leave the Mennonite church, and become AC, or "Evangelical Baptist" as we were called at the time.

From what I gather, the massive amount of Amish/Mennonite converts caused the ACCA to become somewhat legalistic. From reading Froelich's writings, it seems that he did not push for legalism at all, but for several generations our church got extremely legalistic. Now that the "Faith Movement" has left, out elders are searching the scriptures to decide what forms of traditions are helping the church, vs. which traditions are doing harm to the church.

I know there was a paper put out several years back by some of the "faith movement" trying to explain that the churches is Switzerland and Germany became to worldly, but as of the last I heard, we are not in contact with any churches in Switzerland, and only 1 or two in Germany. The Nazarener churches in Europe are the only ones that I know our elders would consider part of the AC movement. 

I personally would love to see a movement to see what we can bring back together. I think a mending of the ACCA/ACCN here in North America would be a start. Then see what we can do overseas. There is a wide range of tradition within both the ACCA and ACCN, and while I have not visited any of the churches in Europe, I do not see why we could not form some sort of bond as long as base doctrine is the same.

I am not real sure on doctrinal differences as I have not found much information on your churches, but I know there was an effort within the ACCN afew years ago along with one of you elders in Germany, and a Mennonite historian to translate some documents regarding the Doctrine of the Swiss and German churches and the US churches.

Blessings!
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SwissBro
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SwissBro
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3:48 PM - Jul 22, 2018 #13

ACGuy, it is true that Froehlich was indeed anti legalistic, at least in the beginning. As a matter of fact, he discussed a "merger" with the Swiss mennonites at some point but decided against it because he thought they were too legalistic. Funny that his own movement then went down the same route.

I know the paper you are talking about blaming the Swiss "tolerant / liberal" churches (aka ETG churches) to have become too "worldly". The paper was actuallly based on a declaration that can be found on the homepage of the "federation" of the ETG churches and was written by Bernhard Ott, one of the brains of the change that happened to our denomination starting in the 1980ies. Insofar, most of  the practices of the ETG churches described therein are accurate, and they just took each point and made it look bad :-) . It is certainly true that the ETG churches  have abandoned a very large part of the old traditions. The question is only if this is a bad thing (as the paper suggests) or not.

It is true that there are no official contacts between the ACCA and the ETG. It seems that there are (or were) contacts between the "intolerant / conservative" side of the Swiss churches with the German ACC. The German churches that have kept a contact with the ACC might be those from the "liberal" side that did not join the "federation".

It would be great if there would be a reunion of the ACCA and the ACCN and even if this might be difficult, it is far more likely to happen than a reunion between the "tolerant" and "intolerant" Swiss denominations, because the differences between those are so huge by now.

Blessings to you.
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