Crooked Cross: A Journey Out of Religious Abuse
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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.
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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.
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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. 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. 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. I was a classmate of your son Chet and while I do not claim to have known him well I believe that I knew him well enough to say that he would have been very proud of you at this moment. I understand the deep need that LGBT people have to be loved and accepted by people outside of their group.
It is the same need people in any other outcast group in society has, such as: the homeless, ex-convicts, drug addicts, people who were abused as children, refugees, etc.
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I truly am glad to have a faith background, such as the Mennonite one, which seeks to love these and bring them in to the Kingdom of God. Yet sometimes this zeal also can go overboard.
While seeing the brokenness, the imperfection caused by sin, traditionally it has meant we reach out in love to bring them to God, who is truth, but never denying that which is true for example: God does not desire people to be addicted to drugs, or be homeless. And we know these things based on that which has been revealed Bible , and seeing the devastation that the contrary brings.
Though it is not a highly discussed topic in the Bible, I cannot see how one could ignore this topic. It is as if Romans does not exist anymore?! If Mr. Having a clear conscience is not necessarily a sign that is the will of God.
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People who have adopted certain lifestyles such as stealing, lying, etc. I mean this in the sense that we are not for the condemnation of people who consider themselves LGBT, but believe that God is stronger than those desires, and can heal. God is a healer. Being that He has healed people of other unnatural mindsets such as believing that the need for sex is greater than being faithful to ones spouse, that alcohol is a greater comforter than the Holy Spirit, etc.
Now, it took willing and extremely loving people to work with many of these outcast groups. And that is still what we need. And one must admit, people who have worked with outcast have also learned many a thing from these people. And that still is the case with the LGBT group. We can learn many a thing from them. But we must be clear: it does not validate the erroneous mindset and actions. Example: A person who was abused as a child comes into an erroneous mindset, sets up defense mechanisms which protect them to a degree, but are harmful in the long run. We can learn a lot through experiences that in an ideal world would not happen.
But God is calling us to not settle and become complacent in this imperfection. Thankfully EI no longer tries to do this but others will take encouragement from comments such as yours here. In reading this article It fills me with hope! I am not a Mennonite but raised in an area of Eastern Kentucky with a very large Mennonite population.
I became saved by the lord when I was in high school and began my lifelong journey to try to find the path up the mountain like many others. For a very long time I prayed daily to remove the stain of being a gay male from my life. I finally after years realized that the reason GOD was not removing this stain from me was because he had made me in his image and exactly how he wanted me to be from the start.
I realized GOD did not want me to lie to myself and the world by saying I am someone I was never meant to be, he expected me to be myself fully BUT hold to the same values. No lusting, unlawful relations and the like. Gay people are not some minority freaks of nature or unnatural, homosexuality occurs throughout the vast makeup of creatures who GOD chose to populate the planet he created for us.
It is not unnatural or wrong.