Let’s stick togetherBy Philipp Gollner South Bend, Ind.
Genuine concern for the church speaks in “It’s More Than One Issue” [a May 28 article signed by 32 people calling for closure of Mennonite Church USA’s discernment on sexuality]. As a newcomer to the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition, I wonder whether the greatest danger is not theological and sociocultural chaos, but impatience. In the scope of history, 10 to 20 years of conflict and uncertainty is not that long. Calls to “just fix this already” reflect the impatient times we live in. They might also be inconsiderate of those who do not have a firm position on the matter in question [homosexuality] and want to keep listening, and of the many global Anabaptist communities who still face similar conflicts ahead of them.
Mennonite Church USA is in a position to do something other denominations have failed to do: entrust a unified body to a future generation that may approach our questions in new ways. Those who enjoy the fruits of our patience might be urbanites who feel at home at rural quilt auctions because unity was preserved. They might be second- or third-generation immigrants who will look back upon the present conflict as a factor that forced their ancestors to engage the ethnically broader Mennonite church. They might be just a little proud their church stuck together.
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