MC USA district airs contrasting viewpoints during homosexuality symposiumBy Paul Schrag Mennonite World Review
NEWTON, Kan. — Contrasting views on same-sex marriage in the church highlighted a symposium on homosexuality Oct. 25-26.
Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA, which has seen eight congregations withdraw after a Kansas pastor officiated at the covenant ceremony of a lesbian couple, sponsored the event.
“The Church and Homosexuality: A Conversation That Can Hold Us Together” drew 130 people to Faith Mennonite Church.
The main presenters were Keith Graber Miller, a professor of Bible, religion and philosophy at Goshen (Ind.) College, and David Boshart, executive conference minister of MC USA’s Central Plains Conference. Both are ordained pastors.
Boshart advocated welcoming gay and lesbian people in the church while not supporting same-sex marriage as a ministry of the church.
Graber Miller argued that same-sex relationships can be loving, pure, just and fruitful and that the church should bless and honor them.
God makes marriage
Boshart said a “Christo-centric case can be made for why sexual intimacy between people of the same gender should not be affirmed as marriage.”
The Western District’s Human Sexuality Discernment Task Force, which organized the event, had asked him to give the rationale for the denomination’s position.
“We do not find scriptural affirmation for sexual intimacy between two people of the same gender from a plain reading of the text,” Boshart said. Graber Miller later said he agreed with this.
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