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The printed issue on confession includes part of a document compiled by Mario Higueros for facilitating the study of the proposed confession of faith of the Guatemalan Evangelical Mennonite Church.The printed Vision article includes selected reflections representing points at which the document seemed to contrast most vividly with the North American Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective. We also felt that North American readers would benefit from some contextualization, so we posed some questions about the document, to which Higueros graciously replied. That interview is printed after the selected reflections.

We regret that we lacked space to print the entire set of reflections, but Mario Higueros consented to let us print it here on our web site. We are grateful to Carol Keeney for translating these confessional statements.  
- Ed.



Mario Higueros


This is a document for facilitating the study of the proposed confession of faith of the Guatemalan Evangelical Mennonite Church.

The reflections in this document represent ideas from the foundational document presented by the specific commission of the GEMC; others are those of the author and also the brothers and sisters of the staff of SEMILLA and from some of the Mennonite churches in the capital of Guatemala. Many ideas were incorporated throughout the process from reflections made with the brothers and sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd Church, La Brigada Colony and Casa Horeb.

The confessions of faith stated as beliefs are not formulated to encourage a legalistic spirit nor doctrinal boxing in, but rather are starting points in order to continue reflecting on the meaning of the word of God expresssed in the Bible and the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition.

With these thoughts, I wish to establish guidelines of faith that encourage unity as the body of Christ, brotherhood and reconciliation as a witness to the world, human dignity and worth as the will of God and the search for our identity as an Anabaptist Mennonite family.

Above all, we wish, with these reflections, to better know the ineffable mystery of our beloved Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns among us.

These guidelines also serve to discern in concrete circumstances of faith and personal and group ethics (divorce, remarriage, vocations, social service, theological emphases and liturgical influences, etc.). The Guatemalan Evangelical Mennonite Church wants to assume the role of guarantor of the autonomy of its member churches and, at the same time, be a concrete entity for relating to other Christian families in our country.



  1. We confess that it is by faith that we please and we confess that God exists and therefore gives us his grace (Heb. 11:6, II Cor. 5:7).
  2. We confess that God is the creator of all that exists, that which has life and that which does not, in heaven and on earth arising from his creating word, his hands and his breath of life (Gen. Ch. 1&2) and that he alone is worthy of adoration and praise (Rom. 1:21, Jer. 30:19, Psalm 118:1, Psalm 66:4, Luke 4:8, Psalm 148:1).
  3. We confess with our mouth and in our heart in a personal manner and with all the saints (Psalm 18:49, Rom. 15:9) in accordance with our experience, the nature and witness of the Holy Scriptures that God is God alone (Deut. 6:4), eternal and all powerful (Is. 46:9, Gen. 17:1) that his greatness is such that we cannot fully comprehend it, that he has no equal neither before him or after him and that everything exists in him (Col. 1:17, Heb. 7:3).
  4. We confess from our personal experience, through the community of faith, the Holy Scriptures and the enlightenment of the spirit of God the real presence of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in human life and history (1 John 5:7ff.).
  5. We confess that with special interest and care God created man and woman together in his image and likeness (Gen. 1:27, 5:1) and gave them all kinds of blessings from his love and graciousness (Gen. 1:29-30), with the capacity to maintain a relationship of love, to enjoy their company as man and woman and to care for, administer and recreate all that surrounds them. He warned them, setting limits and equipped them in such a way that all human beings would descend from them and populate the earth and have eternal life (Heb. 9:15).
  6. We confess that God is revealed, speaks and communicates with his creation (Rom. 1:19, Psalm 19:1) and especially with humans, through his creation, his spirit in us and the historical experience of men and women of faith, described in the Holy Scriptures, especially and lovingly through his son, our Lord, Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1-2).
  7. We confess that God continues to preserve his creation with wisdom and power (Deut. 11:12) with love and affection and who, as Mother and Father, teaches us the care of his creation and makes humans participants in it (Psalm 103:13, Is. 66:13, Gen. 2:15).



  1. We confess that the first human beings, Adam and Eve, using their free will that God gave them, allowed themselves to be tempted by the Deceiver (Gen. 3:4-5) and fell into disobedience, listening more to the voice of the tempter thant that of their Creator (Eph. 4:27), desiring to become gods, they transmitted to the generations that followed them, this sinful tendency.
  2. We confess that through these acts of disobedience of Adam and Eve sin entered the world which led to broken relationships between men and women (Gen. 3:12), between all humans, with Nature and with God (Gen. 4:8). Therefore, humans receive the consequences of their own acts, being degraded as humans and continuing to do evil (Rom. 3:23, Psalms 14:1-3, Rom. 3:10-18).
  3. We confess and verify that said sin has brought about death as a result (Rom. 5:14) and the gradual loss of dignity (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6) with which humans had been created to the point where their actions have had an effect on society and on all creation (Rom. 8:19-22).
  4. We confess that the first human beings, by their own free will and choosing, acquired a condition that makes reconciliation with God difficult, transferring to us said condition (Rom. 3:23, Psalm 14:1-3, Rom. 3:10-18).



  1. We confess by the witness of the Word of God and by our own experience that every human being, in spite of their sinful condition inherited from our parents Adam and Eve (Rom. 3:23, 5:12-19), has the hope of restoration and eternal life, thanks to the faithfulness of God in his promises, and the great love that he has for humans. He does not want anyone to be lost. (John 3:16, I John 3:16, Joel 2:13, Jonah 3:9, Luke 15:17)
  2. We confess that God in his mercy has called (and calls) humans to repentance as a concrete act of life (Matt. 3:8), by diverse ways, in other times, but in an exceptional manner through his son, Jesus Christ, the expected one of the children of God from the beginning of creation. (Heb. 1:1-2)
  3. We confess that this salvation was made real in Christ Jesus by being obedient and faithful unto the ultimate consequences in the plan that God, his Father, had for him, showing not only with his suffering and death but also his life that every life and death is a denunciation (Acts. 3:17-19, Col. 2:14) of sin and personal and social death and announcing with his resurrection a new life that goes on for all eternity for all those who follow and believe in him.
  4. We confess that everyone can aspire to reconciliation and communion with God, receive forgiveness for sins and participate in the plan of salvation (Eph. 2:16, II 2 Cor. 5:18-20, Col. 1:21) in this world, by recognizing and repenting of their sins (Acts 3:19) showing their belief by following Jesus. (Matt. 16:24, Luke 14:27)
  5. We confess that Christ is God’s means of realizing the kingdom of God (Luke 17:20, Matt. 24:23) by radically choosing his way, progressively abandoning the sin that leads us to death.



  2. (The arrival of Christ)

    1. We confess that Our Lord, Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah sent by God and anxiously awaited by men and women of faith in antiquity (John 4:25, Heb. 11:1-6).
    2. We confess that Jesus is the only and firstborn son of God, unique and divine and is the one who has become like us, making us his brothers and sisters (Heb. 2:11-12) and, thus, giving us a father. (John 1:14, 3:16, I John 3:16, Col. 1:15)
    3. We confess that Jesus Christ was incarnated as a human (I Tim. 3:16) conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary, a virgin, in the heart of poor family of Joseph. (Luke 2:7).
    4. We confess that through the love of the Father for humanity lost in its sins, God sent his son who, in turn, voluntarily committed himself to God’s plan even offering his life for salvation (John 10:17-18) for all those who follow him in life believing in him. (John 3:16).
    5. We confess that Jesus, the just and innocent one, was delivered up, crucified and died by unjust men and women, buried, but by th epower and love of his Father, was resurrected on the third day conquering death and unmasking the human powers of death and announcing that life triumphs, thus giving us hope over sin and death (Col. 2:14-15, Heb. 2:9) . We confess that he ascended into heaven.
    6. We confess that all who confess with their life, gives witness and proclaims Jesus with their mouth receives the gift of eternal life that begins here and culminates fully in eternity. (Rom. 10:9-11)
    1. We confess that God had spoken many times and in many ways through the patriarchs and prophets, extending his loving hand towards the insignificant people of Israel and making a covenant with them. (Gen. 12:1-3, 15:5, Heb. 1:1-2)
    2. We confess that God, having made a covenant with his people frequently broken by them, had compassion on thenm and promised a new covenant in Christ Jesus who opened up a space for a relationship and communion between God and the people. (Jer. 31:31-34)
    3. We confess that God established a new covenant through his son, Jesus Christ, who was made heir to all things (Heb. 1:2) and was the fulfillment of the first covenant. (Gal. 3:15-19).
    4. We confess that this new covenant calls everyone to repentance and confession (Mal. 2:5)
    5. We confess that this new covenant affirms the reconciliation of humans among themselves and with God to the point that the separations created by sin are destroyed. (Gal. 3:28, Eph. 2:11-16)
    6. We confess that this new covenant confirms and establishes the existence of a new people with no distinction of race and place (community) (I Peter 2:9-10) and that it goes beyond historical Israel.
    7. We confess that, as part of this new covenant, we are called to repentance (II Peter 3:9) and change. We are also compelled to be obedient to all the commandments and the Spirit of the Lord that lives in our hearts and leads us to life an abundant life and to seek our neighbor’s good. (John 7:38, Heb. 2:38, I Peter 1:22-23).
    8. We confess that the new covenant in Chrisst has made us a people of brothers and sisters who are all able to understand and discern his word in our hearts and called to receive and be a blessing in our world. (I Peter 3:9-12, Heb. 8:10-13)



We testify to the real experience of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, guiding us and giving testimony of Jesus Christ and confirming us in our faith in him. (Gal. 4:6, II Cor. 2:10, II Cor. 3:3, I John 5:6)

We confess that the Holy Spirit is God himself acting today in individual lives (Gal. 4:6) and in human history to teach us and revealing itself in order to sho us the way to Jesus. (John 7:39, Rom. 8:16)

We confess that the Holy Spirit has been acting since the beginning of creation in God and with God for life. (Rom. 8:6)

We confess that by the power of the Holy Spirit, God gave gifts to humans, members of the community of faith, for their growth in it, in order that the proclamation of Jesus Christ continue and for the perfecting and sanctification of those he has called. (II Cor. 2:4, Rom. 8:13)

We confess and know that the Holy Spirit is spilled out by God filling the life of all those who follow Jesus in order to accompany them, guard them and enable them. (I Cor. 12:13, I Peter 4:14)

We confess that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us before God (Rom. 8:26) helping us in our weaknesses in order to communicate with God.



    1. We confess that a family of God exists in this world that gives witness to the words and deeds of the person and life of Jesus Christ, trying to imitate him in their being (Phil. 2:1-6) according to the content of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. Ch. 5 to 7) and that is the good news for all those around them.
    2. We confess that God made this family his people (II Cor. 6:16) through his son, Jesus Christ, who gave us this prerogative (Eph. 2:18, 4:6) by his sacrifice on the cross, thus giving us a Father. (Rom. 8:15)
    3. That this community is the leaven, salt and light in the midst of humans walking, suffering (I Tim. 2:12, II Cor. 1:5-6) and committing themselves (Matt. 5:13) like thir Lord to respect for live and human dignity, to follow peace and harmony among all. (Rom. 8:15)
    4. We confess that this community of faith composed of men and women is the living organism, the body of Christ. That all its members are obedient to the commandments of the Lord, participate and administer the gifts (II Cor. 12:4, I Tim. 4:14) and ministries that the Lord gives them (Eph. 4:7-16) without distinction (Gal. 3:26-28) for the edification of the community which are developed and perfected for the adoration and praise and glory of God and so that all be at the service of the world.
    5. We confess that it is a community of believers that meets regularly and voluntarily in unity to share (Acts 2:44-47, I Peter 4:8) and to respond to the continuing mission of Jesus (Luke 4:18, Matt. 28:18-20, Psalm 146:7-9, James 1:27, Eph. 4:4) commended by the Lord.
    6. As disciples (John 8:31-35) of Jesus, the followers of Christ obey him above all in the conflicts that occur in our pilgrimage (Acts 5:29) and identify themselves with the poor and oppressed of this world. (Luke 4:18-19)
    7. We confess that we are a community where the power of God is made manifest because it is founded on Christ who nothing and nobody can destroy (John 14:27, Luke 6:33) and to whom we are committed to follow in our lives.
    8. We confess that the united community carries out its ministry by the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26)
    1. We confess that the community of faith is subject to the mutual discipline of its members and, principally, the Word of God that lives among them, carrying it out in love with those who voluntarily submit to it and freeing (loosing) those do not desire it (binding and loosing). (Matt. 16:16-19)
    2. That the discipline is restoring and is characterized by forgiveness without limits and in accordance with the words of Jesus (Matt. 6:14-15) and mutual exhortation (II Cor. 13:10)
    3. That excommunion is an act caused by the member that no longer desires to continue united in communion and healthy submission to the body of Christ and that the community has the authority to ratify it but that is done with the unceasing expectation of receiving the strayed member again. (I Cor. 5:12-13, Titus 3:10)

    1. We confess that life is a gift of God and therefore, inviolable. (Ex. 20:13, Job 33:4)
    2. We confess that the profound message of the Bible places its emphasis not on destructive weapons but rather on the constructive force of production. (Is. 2:43)
    3. We confess that power is not in human efforts by means of weapons and armies trained to kill but rather in the Spirit of God. (Zac. 4:64)
    4. We confess that violence and hate between humans comes from themselves and the influences that have created them and from the evil spirit called the devil (James 4:1). Consequently, we confess that all war is an instrument o fdeath and destruction and that as such must not be made holy nor valued by the people of God. (Luke 9:51-55)
    5. We confess that we desire to make a way that shows a lifestyle of peace (Luke 1:79, Rom. 10:15, 14:19), meekness and humility, peaceful as followers of the nature of God and Christ (I Cor. 14:33, II Cor. 13:11, Matt. 11:29, James 4:6, Rom. 12:14-21) with signs of non-conformity to that which our history and cultures teach. (John 14:27, Luke 6:33)
    6. We confess the power of love (II Cor. 1:18-19) that comes from God and as Christians we are to copy.
    7. We confess that we adopt non-violence as a lifestyle and the commitment to be on the side of the weak and humble of this world as God does in the OT and Jesus in the NT understanding that this may lead to persecution and peril. (Heb. 13:16, Rom. 12:17-21, Prov. 25:22, Matt. 5:38-39, Prov. 11:19, 12:28)



  1. We confess that the kingdom of God is Christ himself, the hope of those who trust in God according to the testimony of the OT and NT and the reality of his church today.
  2. We confess that the kingdom of God has a historical development from a concrete people with its monarchical line and its prophetic revelations, the birth, life and ministry of Jesus Christ to the communities of faith who incarnate it and see its complete fulfillment at the end of time.
  3. We confess that the preaching of the "kingdom is near" was preached by Saint John and by Jesus Christ himself as a concrete way to announce the realization of the greatest hope of the People of God in the person of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This kingdom is not based on intransigent power and prestige and privilege but rather on a life of sacrifice and service and humility. (Matt. 20:20ff)
  4. We confess that the Gospel is the good news for humanity in the person of our Lord, Jesus Christ (Matt. 6:9-10, 12:28, 24:23, Mark 1:14, Luke 11:20, 17:20). Gospel and kingdom two parts of a whole. One is the announcement and the other the realization or putting into practice.
  5. We confess that the kingdom of God is already being realized in his community in unequivocal signs in the way of Jesus and that are little by little being perfected with much struggle and suffering until their full realization.
  6. We confess that the kingdom of God in Christ is at the service of the world and not only his community (Matt. 11:2, Luke 7:18) and that its sign is justice and peace in the world of each age and each time forever.
  7. We confess that the kingdom of God will be fully manifested in the transformation of all creation, finally reconciling all the structures of God through Jesus Christ, the faith of his community.




    1. We confess that by the power of God, this same earth that we inhabit and all creation will be transformed. (I Cor. 15:51)
    2. We confess that all humans will be resuscitated, those who have died as well as those who live. (II Cor. 15:52, I Thes. 4:16)
    3. We confess through the testimony of the Holy Scriptures that tells us that all humans will appear before Christ who will judge them and give to each according to their good or evil deeds.
    4. We confess that as a result of each one’s choosing, the deeds of the believing followers of Christ, by serving their neighbor, the just will be received by Christ and the unjust will go to eternal punishment. (Matt. 25, Daniel 12:1-8)
    5. We confess that the community of faith as a church will remain faithful to the commandments of its Lord to be salt and light among the clouds, in the tribulations of all persons of this world until the end, when the Lord will appear again in a visible and unforeseeable manner to receive it. (Mark 13:26, Luke 21:17, I Thes. 5:2, II Peter 3:10) We do not know when he will come but we are to be ready and discern the signs of the times in order to receive him in hope.
    1. We confess and await with joy our Lord, Jesus, who one day will be visible in this world and every eye will see him. (Acts 1:11, Rev. 3:11, 22:7)
    2. We confess that without contradicting the above, Jesus is already in the midst of the community of faith that is his body and who is made visible by it to the degree that it imitates him.



  1. We confess that, according to the will of God, the State of each nation is an institution for the purpose of serving for the well-being of every society seeking justice, peace.
  2. We confess that as Christians we have a responsibility to the State provided that it or its institutions fulfills its purposes and is not against human life.
  3. We confess that the State does not have authority over the internal matters of the community of faith, nor does the latter over the former. In this sense, we affirm that the church and the state must be separate.
  4. The community of faith using its right as citizens and in its mission must assume prophetic stances against all those acts that go against human life.
  5. The community of faith must not use the courts of the state nor any other judicial means to resolve its internal differences because this is considered to be an anti-witness that discredits the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rather, it must be subject to and obey the biblical disciplinary norms among them the Golden Rule and other recommendations of the spirit of reconciliation and the unending attitude of forgiveness that the Holy Scriptures show us.
  6. We confess that the community of faith must not make partisan political commitments nor aspire to political power or privilege. The members of the community of faith, as part of their social function, must enlighten the policies and actions of society without intending to seek power to have power, without using the influence that it may have for proselytizing nor for social or religious discrimination.
  7. We confess that in limited circumstances, Christians will obey, according to the community’s discernment using their conscience, first God, then any other person, institution or State.
  8. We confess that in accordance with our freedom and being free human beings, we have rights by reason of conscience to not agree to use arms nor to service in institutions that use warlike methods and procedures against human life. Alternative service should be offered to those who collaborate in the well-being of people in the civilian public institutions of the state.



  1. BAPTISM BY WATER (testimony-mission), ordinance of the Lord.
  2. We confess that it is the sign of commitment and personal mission and of the community of faith to life, the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ and a commandment to proclaim to all people in all places. It is a responsible and conscious act that signals our readiness to go to the ultimate consequences if necessary in following Christ in this world. It is an act that implies unity and diversity in community when the trinity of God is invoked. (Mark 10:38, Rom. 6:4, Acts 2:38, Rom. 6:3, Col. 3:10-11). The one being baptized commits themselves to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and to deny themselves and take up the cross but also to live in the resurrection of life.

  3. THE LORD’S SUPPER (denunciation-announcement) ordinance of the Lord.
  4. It is a mystery of faith instituted by the Lord himself to commemorate, remember and celebrate his sacrifice in the broken body and his blood spilled for humans following the forces of evil and to benefit humanity every time he can until he appears again. (Luke 22:7-23, II Cor. 23-26, Mark 14:12-25, John 13:21-30, Matt. 26:17-29)

    With the celebration of said mystery, we denounce all the failures and pain of the humans of this world and at the same time announce the hope in Christ Jesus and the virtue of suffering as the power that changes human life and the world. (Matt. 25) Therefore, all those who in word and deed have commited themselves to the way of Jesus and are not apart from the body of Christ are to participate in it.

    It is the act that gives power, food, unity and identity to the community whose efficacy is witnessed by the apostles and all the saints in Christ that have preceded us.

  6. We confess that the example of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples announces the community of faith as the servant of humanity and not to serve itself. It does not announce a hierarchy of power but rather a brotherhood. It implies a way of life that contrasts with the social organization of the world. It is a sign of service, humility, simplicity, companionship and mutual submission. (John 12:3, 13:5) It is an act that gives testimony to not having hierarchies nor special privileges.

  8. We confess that a good relationship between man and woman expresses the image of god and the space for the true humanizing desired by him is to try for a relationship of complementarity in diversity. (Gen. 1:26)

    That said image can also be seen in marriage where the couple reproduces it in love and lives in unity and faithfulness consecrating themselves one to the other. (Gen. 2:24) That the desire of God was a deep understanding between man and woman becoming a single, indivisible flesh and that in human history it appears in a monogamous manner. That from this perspective, there is no place for separation but when this occurs, the community of faith must discern through prayer the appropriate path based on their faith and the circumstances.

    Marriage is the basis where a person makes present the promise of God and acts responsibly to prepare their children who come from love so that they honor and recognize the majesty and sovereignty of god. (Gen. 1:28)

  10. We confess that pastoral service is necessary and desired in the community of faith for the unity and coordination of the same. It follows the model of Jesus of being service offered to the people and does not imply a hierarchy and must not be chosen lightly. (I Tim. 5:2)

    We confess that pastoral ordination is the sign, approval and support of a concrete and local community towards its pastor(s) and will be effective and recognized as long as the community keeps its pastor as such. An ecclesiastical structure may give witness and recognition to the ordination by the local congregation.

    That all brothers and sisters of a community have the privilege of exercising any pastoral ministry according to the will of the community and based on the discernment in the light of the word of the Lord (Acts 6:2-3) and knowing and living the biblical Anabaptist principles.

    That the pastoral ministry preferably not be paid unless the community deems it necessary without prejudicing the total delegation of all pastoral obligations that all are to exercise for ministry.

    That in accordance with the experience of the congregations in the Scriptures and according to the needs of each community, a council of elders exist chosen according to biblical-theological criteria (I Tim. 5:17, Titus 2:2-3, Acts 6) that along with the pastor guides the life and works of the community of faith.

    1. Prayer is the mystery by which the Christian communicates with the Lord, talking and listening to his Word.
    2. Fasting is a practice of the people of the Lord that enables them to serve others better, to discern personal matters and those of the community of faith and to counteract the attacks of the Evil One.
    3. The adoration of God with personal attitudes and community acts of those who revere him and give him thanks for life. It is expressed in daily life and in worship. Praise is saying all that God has done and is doing and telling others with songs, prayers and in any way that is understood, pleasing, constructive and communicative.
    4. Meditation and the study of the Word of God aas the practice that trains Christians in the knowledge and discernment of the Word of God that is inexhaustible and that will always be greater than all our efforts to know it.
    1. The local Mennonite communities of faith shall seek a spirit of humility and submission to the common points of faith that every Christian is to live and confess.
    2. It must observe the liturgical and worship practices that lead to the growth of the community and its members as well as to proclaim the holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Doing them in order and in peace and harmony with all and especially with neighbors.
    3. The churches as the body of Christ shall seek an organization where some common points exist that mark the Anabaptist personality and characteristics in accordance with the nature of the congregation and its context.
    4. That all that agreed upon at the church level be approved by referendum in order that all the members are aware and exercise their right to give an opinion and direct the destinaty of the Mennonite church in a specific country or community.
    5. That everyone know the origin and meaning of Mennonite, Anabaptist and Radical Reformation thought in order to have a historical context but in no way should they believe themselves superior to other brothers or sisters in faith with whom we share our lives.


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