This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Fog of marriage understandings

To the Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council: Around your table, discussion will soon take place concerning the work of the Membership Guidelines Advisory Group. Concerning marriage, some conferences in MC USA are progressive and some are traditional. In 2015 delegates passed two resolutions. The advisory group is inviting us to step away from both. Their recommendations call for the Membership Guidelines to be dropped. Any semblance of forbearing is set aside.

Along with 48 other leaders, mostly in Virginia Conference, I have signed the “We Will Live in Grace and Truth” statement. Though the statement could be improved, I resonate with what it reaches for. Does the CLC believe I am a prejudiced and discriminatory person committing violence against gay people? From the tone of the advisory group’s statement, it would appear many key players in MC USA would.

We have been living in a fog when it comes to marriage understandings, so while I appreciate the clarity of the advisory group’s statement, it does not speak for me. Can MC USA be a home to both marriage-progressive and marriage-traditional conferences? After reading the statement, it does not seem so.

David Lehman
Williamsburg, Va.

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