Comments on older articles can continue to be submitted for review. Comments that were previously approved will still appear on older articles. Read our full Comments Policy before submitting a comment for approval. Sara Jane and Chester. What a wonderful testimony. We do have a Godly heritage. I thank you for remaining faithful to the spirit of the Gospel and not the letter of the law.
I know many in your family. Another son of mine was a classmate graduating in from Lancaster Mennonite High School and your grandson is a wonderful elder at our church Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship here in New York. It would be hard indeed to think that the late, highly revered A.
Wenger, would for a minute not be highly disappointed by the position taken by his son Chester, and applauded by those considered Mennonite church leaders. What a powerful testimony from a wise elder who I hold in high regard! How could anyone gainsay these gracious words of love and magnanimity.
Once they were identified as false doctrines, there was no question in the minds of the Fathers of the Church but that these heresies needed to be condemned. Today, of course, the idea of condemning anybody for holding any belief is not very popular. Indeed, the idea that heresy is something necessarily false and harmful is not very popular.
But if all ideas are accorded equal status regardless of whether or not they are true, then very soon truth itself inevitably goes by the board. To a great extent, this is what has happened in our world today: Toleration is valued more than truth. For heresy is necessarily harmful — and even fatal — to souls. Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk who postulated that not only was the earth not the center of the universe but also that the sun was not the center of the universe, was labeled a heretic and burned at the stake by the church.
This precious, godly couple exemplifies Christ in too many ways to count. I admire their courage and hope to be as brave as they. What an unbelievably dangerous comment you just made- truth discovered that are deeper than the words on a page?! Your words have a huge warning beacon over them of heresy! Sarah, I respect your right to your opinion but unfortunately your general attitude has something to be desired. As a 71 year old and reflecting back on my life, I doubt whether I would still be in the Mennonite Church today if all I had heard was the message and the way that you have presented your case.
You can do better, Sister. Have you ever really asked the hard questions about what life would have been like if God in His glory had decided that you should be homosexual in your orientation biologically. The genome that I was granted with could easily have been other than heterosexual. In fact sexual orientation is primarily a continuum over a full range of hetero and homo biologically and yes, some can change their orientation in the center that of that continuum.
Apart with the center it is very rare in its possibilities.
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You should have known that if you are in any way scientifically oriented, curious, and genuinely honest in seeking the truth. Perhaps you yourself have become very Americanized in your views and theologically, and culturally bound. Why not think outside the box for a second? I truly hope the couple decide to deny themselves and follow Christ as he commanded rather than to live in selfish ways. Dear Sarah. Are you Protestant or Catholic? I ask because to call out someone as a heretic you sight the former Pope of the same Church that at one time declared Protest-ants to be heretical even as Luther et.
If you are Catholic you are out of step with the current Catechism regardless of what one Pope speaking as a man and not ex cathedra may have said. Show me where in the Bible God confirms same-sex marriage. Or even show me where God affirms homosexuality. Nor the US Constitution, but the Constitution can be amended. That is ok too, for some who feel more comfortable in life feeling tucked in by someone greater with authority. For those who are truth seekers and those who need knowledge over authority understand that the venom that the Baptists have released on marriage rights is really all about their attitudes regarding sex.
So for an example of a ever changing complex issue not being mentioned in the Bible , I leave you with a choice. Even pork is listed as an abomination. Dog meat is not.
Parts of Asia eat dog meat. Chester Wenger continues to bear fruit as this Lancaster Conference Mennonite article articulates. It is strange, to say the least, for someone in the Anabaptist heritage to bring the charge of heresy.
We look at scripture through the lens we are wearing and we all have different colored lenses that cause us to see it differently. The Bible was used to support slavery less than two hundred years ago. The church does need to be culturally relevant if it is ever going to be a witness to the Gospel of Christ.
Scripture is very important but Christians need to understand that Jesus is the WORD, and He trumps the Bible so if scripture seems to contradict Christ, we need to choose Christ every time. Martin Luther once said that the Bible is the cradle that holds the Christ child. We open the Bible and in it we are allowing ourselves to be led to Christ.
The letter of the law kills, the Spirit gives life…. We are killing people with the letter of the law and we are doing it in the name of Christ. I am a student at the University of Oklahoma who has found comfort in your words and the words of Chester Wenger. I would love to contact you and discuss further.
My email address is eeallen ou. Please let me know. Eric, a shortened version of this letter will appear in the letters section of the December issue. Thank you for this testimony. You are right — there is a desperate need for the Light to shine. Love supersedes issues, as it should. Thank you for taking off the bushel and letting your personal Light shine. Thank you so much for your letter. May more Anabaptist leaders find the courage within themselves to also speak this truth. Too often Anabaptist leaders follow the authority of homophobic public opinion from the pews rather than take the courageous steps of reading the radical message of hospitality and love.
Too often leaders protect their positions and create an idolatry of Mennonite institutions rather than be true to what most of them already know… the church has been guided by secular homophobia rather than real Biblical interpretation and understanding. Should we love and welcome LBGT person? Should we allow people living in unrepentant sin access to the Eucarist, leadership or teaching positions, access to the pulpit?
I fear in the next half decade or so, the mennonite church is going to collapse on itself and splinter even further over all these issues.
I feel I must ask the question … when did the Eucharist become the property of the church? Where does the church draw its authority from to deny the Eucharist to anyone. Christ did not set out any policy of who should receive and who should not.
Cricket doll haunted
I am sorry my dear brother.. Secondly … God and only God has the right to judge! If you do not agree, sleep outside tonight. No pillow, no blanket. Just you and the ground. By morning, you should have a new perspective on change and controversy. As a catholic-in-exile, it pains me to see others unable to continue on their communities of faith. Yet, it seems as though the christian church as a whole across the world has reached a cross road. There are many possible reasons for hardening of hearts within your beloved church, but your willingness to speak out to give witness to the Light that dwells in your soul is magnificent testimony to Unconditional Love.
This is truely heart breaking.
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I agree with Sarah Gingrich. This is going to split the church, and rightly so. Eph kJB so very sad indeed. Thank you so much for your thoughtful, loving letter. Much respect and love to you and your family. One day, the church will treat LGBT people as equals and will not divide families, as it has here. That day is coming.
Thank you for your incredible, courageous, thoughtful truth. Thank you! Chester, I am moved deeply and humbled by your eloquent witness here.
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