Accept different viewsBy Evan Oswald Glendale, Ariz.
In the Nov. 28 MWR, a group of mostly pastors expressed their opinion concerning gays and lesbians. Instead of the church going through many years of excruciating pain, the letter said, we might just as well split right now. (I doubt if the writers were really encouraging a split.)
There are two direct references in the New Testament to homosexuality: Rom. 1:24-32 and 1 Cor. 6:9-10. Both are credited to Paul’s writing. So are we going to take these two references, draw a line in the sand and split the Mennonite church again?
Paul also wrote about slavery (1 Cor. 7:20-21; Eph. 6:5, 8-9) and never taught against it. Of all the New Testament references to slavery, not one negates it. So shouldn’t we support slavery? Paul wrote what he understood was God’s intent, but Paul was human and did not know everything. He missed it on slavery. He missed it on marriage (1 Cor. 7:1, 9). He missed it on women (1 Cor. 14:34-35) and their leadership in the church. He missed it on not knowing that many people are born homosexual, as science has found out. At one point Paul said he was not necessarily led by the spirit but that this is his personal opinion (1 Cor. 7:12).
Human rights for same-sex marriage should be respected, just as we changed our attitude about slavery, even if the Bible did not give us that directive.
In every congregation there are different opinions as to what biblical teachings should be followed, yet we accept each other as members of that church. Can’t we do the same in our conferences with congregations of differing opinions?
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