This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Wider view of grace

In “Scripture, Not Compromise” (May 25), Don R. Martin suggests the only ones being asked to compromise are the conservatives. Isn’t this because the progressives are willing to live in a church alongside conservatives who disagree with them on same-sex relationships, but the conservatives aren’t willing to live alongside progressives? Conservatives are demanding a church that all agrees with them on this issue; progressives aren’t. Martin’s argument from thousands of years of Scripture and tradition was used 150 years ago regarding slavery (and with more scriptural verses) and has been used regarding the place of women, divorced people in the church and other issues. Was it hubris to move beyond slavery, or did the love of Christ compel the church to finally reject what had been an accepted social norm? Peter and the Jerusalem church were so sure, from their understanding of Scripture, of the need to not associate or eat with Gentiles that it took a vision from God and the work of the Holy Spirit to convince Peter otherwise. Even then, according to Paul, Peter fell back to the position of not eating with Gentile Galatian Christians when leaders of the Jerusalem church visited. Didn’t they too fully believe Scripture forbade them to associate with Gentiles, lest they be defiled? Jesus broke with accepted religious practice and the scriptural understanding of the devout religious leaders of his day, out of love and a far wider view of grace than they could tolerate.

Duane Beachey
Isom, Ky.

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