I’ve been reading a great book about the history of the Mennonites and have decided to create a new feature I’m calling … Mennonite History. It’s creative, I know.
In the late 1800′s when the Mennonites where living in Russia, land was beginning to run out leading to both material and spiritual problems. Because of this, revival movements sprung up while other Mennonites decided to head to greener pastures in North America.
This is where we meet our friend Claas Epp Jr. Mr Epp became fascinated by the books of Daniel and Revelations and eventually self-published a book with his own interpretations of the Bible. He also believed salvation would come from the East and not in the western North America. As a result, he led a group of his followers deeper into Russia.
Much hardship ensued including continued open banditry from locals who became aware of Mennonite pacifism and that pesky thing called conscription. But not one to step down from trials and tribulations, Claas declared the return of Christ on March 8, 1889. As that date eventually passed, he blamed his misguided calculations on a “leaning clock.” After rejigging the numbers on a perfectly sitting time piece, big J was going to return to save his followers in 1891. That date too passed and it was time to pull out all the stops. This was when our troubled brother declared himself the son of Christ and fourth member of the Holy Trinity. Having gone a tad overboard, poor Claas died lonely and excommunicated.
So next time you realize your wrong, learn from Claas Epp Jr. Suck it up and admit your wrong so you can move on and not end up being that crazy outcast.
Claas Epp Jr on Wikipedia
An Introduction to Mennonite History by Cornelius Dyck – page 181