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This love should manifest itself in unity within the local church and outreach to those who do not know Christ as savior. We believe that the world will know that we are His disciples by our love for one another and will know that Christ came as the Savior by our unity with one another. Mk Therefore, we will seek to honor and glorify Him by maintaining a high standard of excellence in all our ministries and activities.
Prayer is an honest, humble, and earnest calling out to God to perform what only he can bring to pass. Through prayer we acknowledge our dependence on God, exalt Him, seek His guidance, confess our sins, and petition Him for our needs and the needs of others. Ps All things are His and He has appointed us to faithfully administrate His creation. We have a Scriptural duty and obligation to manage those resources and will one day be held accountable for our stewardship. We recognize that all things — including our time, talents, and treasures — are to be used for the glory of God and the furtherance of his Kingdom.
This includes, but is not limited to, the instruction of children and the facilitation of marriages and family relationships that reflect the reality of Jesus Christ and His church. Gen 2. Jesus Christ modeled what a true godly leader is when he washed His disciples feet with His own clothes, and when He died on the cross in our place. The historical examples set by our Lord and the Apostles stands against the way the world sees leadership and authority.
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They also chose an appropriate leadership structure for their local congregations—leadership by a council of elders. The first Christians found within their biblical heritage a structure of government that was compatible with their new family and theological beliefs. While our foundational documents do assign the titles of Senior Pastor, Elder, and Deacon to its leaders these positions are defined in the biblical tradition, not the tradition of modern churches. A son could not have a better mom and dad then yourself and your wife.
Bless you and your family. Penguins etc…. Thank you so much for telling your story and offering these words. As it seems, it has served you well over the years, teaching you love and compassion and a great respect for family and humanity. I know there are plenty of things in the Bible you continually guilty of. Just start in Leviticus and start reading and if you follow all these rules then start casting stones. Be honest.
If you are not yet among the more than No matter what your view of homosexuality the compassionate letter from this 96 year old brother […].
Degradation and hate by the church as a whole is a huge injustice displayed by the church! As such whether you are someone who cheats on their spouse, murders, lies or lives a homosexual life style the Bible refers to them as sin.
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When we promote these sins within the church through marriage or giving them places of authority are we not promoting the sinful behavior. For example if a pastor who cheats on his wife and is allowed to remain the head of his church are we not saying this is acceptable behavior.
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Are we not called to repent of our sins and strive to be like Christ. There is room for healing and change though the help of the Holy Spirit. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. The wide gate and broad way in this world is to embrace the ways of the world and the values of the sin-filled world.
The world at least in Western culture is telling us that practicing homosexuality should be tolerated…out of love, out of respect, out of mutuality. Surrendering to sinful desires of this flesh is sin…repent and turn away and sin no more. Laying aside interpretation of scripture — lying, stealing, murder, unforgiveness, hatred, strife, fear, faithlessness, fornication, adultery, deception, worry…….. Why is it that so many people set themselves up as judges and are so quick to condemn. Is your world so cut and dried, so black and white.
If you are going to follow old testament law, then you better do so. That would put all hog farmers in the US out of business because that meat was unclean. However if you look at the life of Christ, you see a different picture of the way that God relates to his people. Who did Christ condemn?
Why is it that our churches are so concerned with sexual issues, but cannot deal with the fact that the church is more or less silent when church members get wealthy by exploiting fellow humans; in fact we make heroes out of them. Is your God really that small, that there is no room for gays in the Kingdom? If we hold ourselves up to be so morally pure, why are you not treating persons that divorce and remarry the same as you are treating gays? After all there is biblical justification for that as well.
Thank you for your loving letter and deep faith. I am sorry for the suffering you and your family endured and pray for peace for each of you. I believe the transformation of your suffering into love is exactly what Christ calls us to do. Your children are fortunate to have loving, committed parents who live out their faith courageously. Congratulations and blessings to you both, your son, and his partner!
Thank you Chester and Sara Jane; not just for your letter but for your life long ministry to and for the church! Though as a gay man I understand where you are coming from as regards your position on the Mennonite church and your gay son and though I appreciate where your struggle has lead you, it was nonetheless insulting to me as a Jew to read your comment regarding circumcision.
The Jewish covenant of circumcision and Christianity in any of its forms are absolutely unrelated, just as Christianity and Judaism are unrelated theologically. There was no reason to bring it up at all.
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Christianity is wholly unrelated to and not at all theologically derived from Judaism. To refer to circumcision as if it has some relevance to your discussion is to stray perilously close to antisemitism, and at best is a misunderstanding of who we are. Jesus was circumcised, and proudly so;because he was born, lived and died as a Jew. That he was declared a God, and part of a trinity a few hundred years after his death gives you no right to discuss my customs as if they are a minor part of, or historical predecessors to yours! When you denigrate the culture of others to make a point about your own, regardless of how ethical that point may be, you diminish yourself.
I hope that the Mennonite church can come to terms with homosexuality, but the covenant of Brit Milah is not yours to denigrate, dismiss or use as an analogy for exclusion! We are likely allied politically and ethically, but I nonetheless cannot allow the insult to go un-addressed. I have deep respect for you as a person and as a gay person and Jewish. But why all the over-reacting to the circumcision issue! It blows me away reflecting on your passion and aggressiveness regarding the subject.
Since when is Judaism and Christianity unrelated theologically? This over-reacting comment reminds me of the aggressiveness received recently from a Jewish man from Brooklyn after I suggested to him that the present Israeli government may have committed internationally considered war crimes in Gaza in the past 6 months.
Perhaps your view of Christianity in its historical, cultural, and theological dimensions needs more thorough study and reflective thinking outside the box you seem to put it in. With that we could have some diaologue. This gathering was deciding whether Gentile Christians had to be circumcised before they could become Christians. I am sure Brother Wenger meant absolutely no disrespect to the Jewish covenant of circumcision by his comments. He claimed to be God while with His disciples, please educate yourself before you toss insults to God in this blog.
Read the gospels, particularly the Book of John.
Well stated, Diane…along the lines of what I was trying to get across in my comments above 60, reply to 58 , but more simply and clearly! To me, this thinking is indicative of a closed heart and mind.
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