Issue of obedienceBy Ron Stucky Inman, Kan.
The Nov. 28 article “Should One Issue Define Us?” — which has received more than 80 comments online — identifies some of the concerns related to the homosexual issue. It should not surprise us that in the future those who are against homosexual behavior will become a minority. Jesus warned us of this when he described the wide and narrow gates in Matt. 7:13-14. He also gave the destinations of both of those gates.
One issue the article doesn’t address is the authority of Scripture. Article 4 in Mennonite Church USA’s Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective makes it clear that Mennonites believe what Scripture teaches. The problem lies with those who take Scripture out of context or try to twist or distort it to suit their own desires. An example is those who insist that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. The fact is that Jesus in Mark 7:21 and Matt. 15:19 commands against sexual immorality, which includes homosexual behavior.
How can the homosexual issue not be “core to our identity as Anabaptist followers of Christ” when it means disobedience versus obedience to Christ? Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love him (Matt. 22:36-40) and that love is indicated by obedience to him (John 14:15). Jesus was clear that obedience is critical and that we should separate from those who insist on being disobedient and don’t repent (Matt. 10:34-39, Matt. 18:2-9, Luke 17:1-3). If we condone their disobedience, we are also at fault.
We should not cease to love and relate to those involved in homosexual behavior. Jude tells us to “snatch from the fire” those bound for destruction. Abstinence is always possible, just as it is for unmarried heterosexuals. Many have come out of the homosexual lifestyle with the power of prayer and with God’s mercy.
I wonder, though, if striving for unity with those who are disobedient with an attitude of pride is the right thing to do. Doesn’t that steer us all closer to the wide gate of destruction?
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