This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Avoiding division

I believe God blesses celibate and covenanted gay people no less than celibate and covenanted straight people. Over the centuries Israel and the church have slowly realized morality shaped by biology is not adequate to express the gospel. This has led to the acceptance of eunuchs, gentiles, women and sexual minorities. However, a large majority of Mennonite Church USA’s members are convinced sexual intimacy belongs only to a married husband and wife. They conclude moderates and liberals are steering the denomination in the opposite direction. They increasingly see no alternative to leaving. But no single issue justifies splitting the church. There is already tolerance for diversity on matters of sexuality in MC USA. Congregations are welcoming LGBT people without censure. The credentialing of ministers in same-sex unions and ministers officiating at such unions is experienced by conservatives as violating their conviction. Those who hold this conviction are by far the majority of MC USA. I propose that congregations and conferences refrain from appointing ministers in same-sex unions and that ministers refrain from presiding at same-sex marriages in the present troubled time. If this is an unbearable burden, would it be an act of love for them to seek membership in denominations that welcome their convictions?

John Rempel

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