Unity or Tolerance or Repentance?

Has the Mennonite Church USA chosen unity or tolerance or repentance?

MC USA council endorses unity statement
Among three proposed resolutions on sexuality, leaders state their preference
Mar 30, 2015 by Paul Schrag, Mennonite World Review

NORTH NEWTON, Kan. — Conservative, progressive or a call for unity and tolerance?
That was the question for the Mennonite Church USA Constituency Leaders Council as its members weighed three proposed resolutions on sexuality and church polity.
They chose the call for unity and tolerance.
Meeting March 26-28 at Bethel College, the CLC endorsed a resolution to extend “grace, love and forbearance toward conferences, congregations and pastors in our body who, in different ways, seek to be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ on matters related to same-sex covenanted unions.”

More here:

http://mennoworld.org/2015/03/30/news/mc-usa-council-endorses-unity-statement/

The council also discussed several other resolutions, with two-thirds favoring an anti-Israel resolution that calls “Israel’s occupation of Palestine sinful and advocates withdrawing investments from corporations that profit from the occupation and violence in Israel-Palestine.”

Also of interest is this Mennonite Op article:

Opinion: Christ-centered unity is still possible
Jesus wants witnesses to him, not coercers of others

Mar 30, 2015 by John M. Miller
Mennonite Church USA faces the pivotal question of what unites us and what divides. The dominant issue in our time is acceptance of gay and lesbian people in the church.
http://mennoworld.org/2015/03/30/latest-issue/opinion-christ-centered-unity-is-still-possible/

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Related:

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ADVOCATES
by BEN SHAPIRO March 30, 2015
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/03/30/whats-next-for-the-same-sex-marriage-advocates/

Inside the Evangelical Fight Over Gay Marriage
by Denny Burk January 16, 2015
http://www.dennyburk.com/inside-the-evangelical-fight-over-gay-marriage/

The New Inclusive Mennonites
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/the-new-inclusive-mennonites-2/

Saskatoon Gay Couple 1st to be Married in Mennonite Church
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/saskatoon-gay-couple-1st-to-be-married-in-mennonite-church/

Menno Monday

“I say, If any one would hear the voice of the devil, he need not go far; alas! he can hear him every where. All who speak lies, speak of the devil. In the beginning he spoke through the serpent; in Israel through the false prophets, and now through his preachers, in order to deceive the people of the world, and divert them from the truth, that they never can be saved.
Since then, that from the beginning he has been, and still is a lying spirit, an adversary of God, a falsifier of the Scriptures, and a murderer of souls, and will eternally be such, who can neither teach nor endure any thing good, because he is by nature unclean, a liar, and a deceiver, always the enemy of every thing that is good, we will therefore stop our ears, through God’s grace, and not hear such blasphemous speaking; turn our backs upon the devil, with all his lying preachers, as the Scriptures teach; and we will sincerely believe the Scriptures, which direct us to Christ to hear him. Christ directs us to his disciples, and they direct us to such teachers who are blameless in doctrine and life, as related. May the merciful and gracious Lord eternally preserve all the pious hearts against this Herodian generation, and against the devil’s preachers, Amen.”

-Menno Simons
COUNTER ARGUMENTS OF BABYLON AND ITS BUILDERS, WITH THEIR REPLICATIONS.
http://www.mennosimons.net/ft015-counterarguments.html

What does meditation, Jungian psychology and the labyrinth have to do with the Mennonite Brethren?

Can nice people who create beautiful music be sincerely deceived and lead other well meaning people astray? When reading about the following retreat which is taking place today, keep in mind that this ‘Christian mystic’ is one of the retreat leaders at the Mark Centre which is affiliated with the Mennonite Brethren Conference of BC.

Saturday, March 28 Soul Care Day Retreat
Soul Care Day Retreat – with a theme of Receiving Forgiveness for self and Extending Forgiveness to others
When we can receive love and forgiveness in greater measure for ourselves,we are able to extend that in greater measures to those around us. Aligning with Love is a way to guide us into a deeper journey of forgiveness in our lives. Forgiveness is a key to bring greater transformation in all our relationships.
A full day of care for the soul – for 12 women.
Our day will be a flow of group time and personal time, including lunch and snacks.
Group times will include music meditation, stories, forgiveness teaching and meditation, poetry and sharing together.
In your free time you can choose to rest, do journaling meditations that will be available for you, walk the outdoor labyrinth, or sit at an art/icon station.
$85 for the day. If finances are a difficulty, please indicate what you are able to afford on your registration. Please pay $25 registration down below to reserve your spot and the remainding $60 upon arrival by check/cash/credit.
 Cathy AJ Hardy is a Christian mystic and the retreat will hold elements of Jungian psychology, Celtic Christianity, poetry, and art. Cathy has been leading retreats with the Mark Centre in Abbotsford, MCC in Abbotsford, and at the Westminster Abbey in Mission. She also leads day retreats through her home. She is a singer-songwriter, poet, and retreat facilitator.
(cathyajhardy.com/events/saturday-march-28-soul-care-day-retreat/)

What does Christian mysticism, meditation, Jungian psychology and the labyrinth have to do with the Mennonite Brethren? Biblically and theologically, these have absolutely no place in any Christian ministry. This information has been posted simply to create awareness in the hearts of the remnant of believers within the Mennonite Brethren denomination. Pray for those who have taken the contemplative path. The teachings of contemplative spirituality seem inviting, but are leading many astray.

Note: The goal and strategy of the (Mennonite Brethren affiliated) Mark Centre is serve thousands who will inspire millions to embrace a lifestyle of contemplative listening to God. Those who want to learn more about the Mark Centre or the labyrinth may use the search box on this blog to find previous posts.

RELATED:

The Mark Centre and Silent Prayer – Strategy to Affect Millions
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/the-mark-centre-and-silent-prayer/

What is Jungian analytic psychology, and is it biblical?
http://www.gotquestions.org/Jungian-analytic-psychology.html

Carl G. Jung
 Man of Science or Modern Shaman?
http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/nathan/jung.htm

LABYRINTHS, Prayer Paths That Promote the Occult
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/labyrinth.htm

What is Christian mysticism?
http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-mysticism.html

The Good Old Black and White Days

For today’s modern Mennonites who are interested in seeing their heritage in the good old black and white days . . .

New online Mennonite photo database “shows the future of community archives”
Monday, March 2, 2015

After two years of design and development, the Mennonite Archival Image Database (MAID) goes live for public use today at archives.mhsc.ca. Currently MAID holds over 80,000 descriptions of photos and over 9,000 images. These number will be expanding, explains Laureen Harder-Gissing of the Mennonite Archives of Ontario. “The technology provided by MAID is energizing our partner archives to digitize our photo collections. Having all our photos searchable through one source will be a boon for genealogists, historians, and anyone interested in finding out more about Mennonite and Canadian history. Local communities across Canada will also find their histories represented.”

The on-line solution is a project of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada and includes Mennonite archival partners in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

SOURCE:
https://uwaterloo.ca/mennonite-archives-ontario/news/new-online-mennonite-photo-database-shows-future-community

*Discover photographs of Mennonite life in Canada and around the world @
Mennonite Archival Image Database
MAID

http://archives.mhsc.ca/

From buttons to bonnets to LGBTQ

Menno Simons rolls over in his grave and gasps, “How did we get here?”

“Since the first Mennonites arrived in America from Germany in 1683, the denomination has gone through many schisms, often over issues of tradition and modernity. At one time, it was buttons vs. eyehooks on blouses, and whether women should have to wear bonnets; more recently, it’s been women’s leadership in the church and acceptance of those who identify as LGBTQ. Each time a split happens, a new version of the faith is created, while an older version is preserved as if in amber—even now, many people associate Mennonites with anachronisms like horses and buggies, when in reality, this kind of traditional lifestyle is only followed by roughly 13,000 American adults, called Old-Order Mennonites. (People often confuse Mennonites with the Amish, too; although both groups are part of the Anabaptist tradition, meaning that they baptize believers as adults rather than infants, Mennonites were historically followers of Menno Simons, a 16th-century preacher.)
Now, Mennonites are wrestling with the same questions faced by other churches across the country, made all the more complicated by their heritage: How should the faithful balance tradition and modern life? How should scripture inform people’s understandings of same-sex relationships? And when members of a denomination disagree, how should they find their way forward?”

SOURCE (for research purposes):
Gay and Mennonite
They vote on everything. They’re committed to peace. Can a church that defines itself by harmony survive dissonance over homosexuality?
Emma Green
MARCH 18, 2015
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/03/gay-and-mennonite/388060/

RELATED:

The New Inclusive Mennonites
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/the-new-inclusive-mennonites-2/

Is Positive Biblical?
https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/is-positive-biblical-2/

Menno Monday

“In short, where the church of Christ is, there his word is preached purely and rightly; but where the church of anti-christ is, there the word of God is adulterated; there we are pointed to an earthly and unclean Christ and to means of salvation which are strange to the Scriptures; there we are taught a broad and easy way; there the great are flattered, truth perverted into falsehood; there easy things are taught, such as the poor, ignorant people will gladly hear. In short, there they are consoled in their unhappy state, that they may underrate it, and say, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace,” Jer. 8:11. They promise life to the impenitent, while the Scriptures say, that they shall not inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6:10; Gal. 5:21.”

-Menno Simons
THE SIGNS BY WHICH BOTH CHURCHES MAY BE KNOWN.
http://www.mennosimons.net/ft069-signs.html

The New Inclusive Mennonites

Why has the same sex conversation come to the forefront in so many Mennonite churches? Is there an organized force at work? Will your church and college soon be joining the new inclusive Mennonites? The following information may be a surprise for many Bible believing Mennonites. Please read carefully and prayerfully.

The Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, Minneapolis, MN (www.bmclgbt.org/index.shtml) are Brethren and Mennonites who say they “do not subscribe to formal creeds or doctrines developed by a church hierarchy: our only written authority is the Bible. Interpretation is done by the body of believers themselves. However, through an emphasis on strict application of the Scripture our churches have developed guidelines of faith and witness which often distinguish us from other Christian denominations.” These differences allow them to encourage like minded people to join their BMCList, a ‘Lesbigay MennoLink’, and consider sending them the following…

• Tell us what Lesbigay Anabaptists are thinking and doing in your hometown. (We promise not to call it gossip.)
• Send everyone an action alert. Get everyone moving and shaking.
• Tell us how we can help you.
• Send everyone current events stuff about religion and sexual orientation.

One project of BMCLGBT has been the formation of Kaleidoscope, a network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and allied people on peace church campuses. Part of their purpose, or agenda, is to:

• Increase the visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender alumni, faculty, staff and students.
• Improve the lgbt student experience by connecting with alumni and creating professional and social network opportunities.
• Communicate events of interest to the lgbta community.
• Provide opportunities to share information and resources to encourage advocacy on behalf of lgbt alumni and students.
• Increase support of lgbt interests on campus, support the activities of lgbt and lgbta campus groups, and help effect positive change in campus policy and programming.

Members of Kaleidoscope are encouraged to “join the group from your college, university, or seminary and to start making engaging connections” using the following list of college and seminary links provided to get to their sites:

• Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
• Bethany Theological Seminary
• Bethel College
• Bluffton College
• Bridgewater College
• Canadian Mennonite University
• Conrad Grebel University College
• Eastern Mennonite Seminary
• Eastern Mennonite University
• Elizabethtown College
• Goshen College
• Hesston College
• Juniata College
• Manchester College
• McPherson College
• University of La Verne

This coming May, the Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests is offering a safe space for families with lgbtq members and for individuals who identify as lgbtq:

Connecting Families East Retreat
May 15-17, 2015
Laurelville Mennonite Church Center
Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania
Communicating a Theology of Holy Inclusion
Connecting Families East welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and their families and allies. Connecting Families weekend is intended to be a safe, relaxing time to share our common thoughts regarding sexual minority issues as they affect our families, our friends, our churches, and ourselves.
We are a group of people, each on our own journey. Through listening and sharing our stories, we seek to provide support for families whose children are coming out to them and/or to their church. We are committed to maintaining confidentiality within the group, to providing a place to speak in safety or to remain silent, and to sharing in a non-judgmental atmosphere. As a group, we work to find ways to educate and engage our churches in dialogue and to help them understand and accept our families.
Loren L Johns will share his journey toward affirming LGBTQ persons in the church and offer assistance in reading the Bible with people who have varying perspectives on inclusivity. He is Professor of New Testament at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana and author of “Homosexuality and the Bible: A Case Study in the Use of the Bible for Ethics.” Loren is passionate about teaching and studying the Bible. Prior to joining the Seminary in 2000, he was a pastor, theology book editor and college Bible professor.

A panel of LGBTQ persons will discuss their vision for a more affirming and inclusive church. Panel members include Theo Baer, Michelle Burkholder, Dwayne Hess, and Kelli Holsopple.

Matthew Hunsburger will coordinate times of singing together. He serves as Seminary Music Coordinator, assisting with chapel and other worship services at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and assists in directing EMU’s Chamber Singers.

(www.bmclgbt.org/ConnectingFamiliesEastRetreatMay15-222015.shtml)

Another Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests project underway to ‘help churches become more inclusive’ is a series of training events:

Welcoming Church Trainings – Building an Inclusive Church
A Training Resource for Congregations Affiliated with:
• Alliance of Baptists
• American Baptist Convention
• Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
• Church of the Brethren
• Community of Christ
• Mennonite Church USA
• Mennonite Church Canada

The link provided to this year’s training events brings you to The National LGBTQ Task Force, Institute for Welcoming Resources. The events are called:

Faith-Based Community Organizing
What if our welcome to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people sparked a renewal of our entire community’s faith life
(www.welcomingresources.org/communityorg.htm)

Related:

Gay advocacy group gets $150,000 grant
http://mennoworld.org/2015/03/02/news/gay-advocacy-group-gets-150000-grant/

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The above information has been provided merely to inform, bring awareness to, and spark concern in the hearts of those who love the Lord Jesus, believe His Word is true, and are called to pray in these perilous times for this generation.