‘Wisely’ Revised Mennonite Perspective on Sin

The author of a recent article in The Mennonite, a monthly magazine for members of Mennonite Church USA, wonders if today’s same-sex marriage debate is a timeless biblical command or just one of the latest ‘wisely’ revised fresh perspectives of our culture.

“It is increasingly apparent that many Christians in covenanted same-sex unions manifest the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in their lives and ministries, just as Peter recognized the work of the Spirit in uncircumcised Cornelius. This witness is significant because the Holy Spirit’s presence suggests a life in faithful relationship with God and because the Holy Spirit often runs ahead of the churches’ formal decision-making. First came the Holy Spirit baptism of Cornelius and the irruption of the Gentile churches, followed by the Jerusalem Council’s process of discernment and authoritative decision.


Above all, it is clear that mutual, self-giving love can and does occur in a marriage between two Christians of the same gender, reflecting the union of Christ and the church. 


That is, a couple of the same sex can meet the “sacramental” requirements of marriage, illuminating Christ’s presence and serving as a means of grace to the world. No less than heterosexual marriage, such unions can be exclusive, permanent and issue in shared lives of service to God.”

– Martin Shupack, 2014-06-01 ISSUE: Beyond dual[ing] narratives on same-sex marriage The Bible, experience and Christian charity allow for the exception of same-sex marriage. http://www.themennonite.org/issues/17-6/articles/Dualing_narratives_on_samesex_marriage

At this rate, where will the Mennonite Church USA be found on the following list?

Where Christian churches, other religions stand on gay marriage http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/06/18/where-christian-churches-stand-on-gay-marriage/

How soon until all the dialogue and ‘wise’ revisions puts more Mennonites adrift in the sea of politically correct compromise. . .

Presbyterians (USA) Vote to Allow Homosexual ‘Marriages’ by 3-1 Ratio http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=15681

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Mennonites bending their ears to the earth

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Psalm 24:1

Next month, on July 28-31, Mennonite Church Canada will be gathering together at Native Assembly 2014 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.[1] Together, Mennonites and aboriginals are going to celebrate through song and ceremony on the land, hear from elders and teachers, and bend their ears to the earth. Here they will discover old and new teachings which will bring them “closer to the Spirit, to each other, and to the land.”

According to the schedule, each of the four days opens with sacred fire prayer times followed by workshops that teach such things as Water, Fire, Wind and Earth: Creator’s Medicine Chest, following the Natural Laws of Nature, and the 7 Sacred Teachings of the Ojibwe to see what the animals have to teach them. Another workshop is about reading the Bible outdoors in God’s ‘second book’, the land, to see what happens when one is read in the presence of the other.

Participants, leaders and speakers include representatives from the Mennonite Central Committee, Canadian Mennonite University, Mennonite Women USA and various First Nations members, leaders and elders.

One of the workshop leaders is Dave Courchene – Nii Gaani Aki Innini (Leading Earth Man), who carries his message of hope and peace to the world. He believes his ancient Indigenous knowledge is “the foundation in supporting the New Life that Mother Earth is now entering, and that the Elders have confirmed has arrived.”[2]

A member of the Pine Creek First Nation will light the first Sacred Fire on opening night of Native Assembly, and the Summer Bear Dance Troupe will perform on opening day.

“Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen” Jeremiah 10:2

As these Mennonites participate in First Nations ceremonies, bend their ears to the earth, and learn old and new teachings from aboriginal elders to bring them closer to the Spirit, each other, and to the land, are they not putting the creation before God, who created all things for His glory(Romans 1:25)?

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:10-11

Endnotes:

[1]http://home.mennonitechurch.ca/event/NativeAssembly2014/theme
[2]http://www.trcm.ca/public-education/speakers-bureau/speakers-bureau-member-profiles/dave-courchene/

Related:

How should a Christian view environmentalism? http://www.gotquestions.org/environmentalism-Christian.html

The Environmental Agenda, The New World Religion: The Spiritual Roots of Global Government http://www.garykah.org/GaryKah/The_Environmental_Agenda_files/The%20Environmental%20Agenda%20.pdf

Cult of Green: The United Nations Environmental Sabbath and the New Global Ethic http://forcingchange.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/cult-of-green-the-united-nations-environmental-sabbath-and-the-new-global-ethic/

All for Gaia – Earth Day and Total Transformation by Carl Teichrib http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/forcing-change/09/4-earth-gaia.htm

Mennonite-Catholic Collaboration

A century old Mennonite church in Ukraine is being restored into a Greek Catholic church with help from Canadian Mennonites. The building fell into disrepair when Mennonites were forced to leave during the Soviet era.

“Observers call the project an example of Mennonite-Catholic collaboration in the spirit of other exchanges over the past decade or so….

“Initially Father Peter was afraid that Mennonites wanted to take back the church,” said George Dyck, treasurer of Friends of the Mennonite Centre in Ukraine, the Canadian-based charity providing partial funding to the project over the past year.
Dyck describes the involvement as a “mutual embrace of returning Mennonites with their former fellow villagers.”

… Darrin Snyder Belousek said the renovation “is the fruit of the renewal of the Catholic Church in Ukraine.” Snyder Belousek is executive director of Bridgefolk, a North American-based movement of Mennonites and Cath­olics with an annual gathering to learn from each other’s traditions.”

Source: Greek Catholics restore Ukraine church building
May 26, 2014 by Ron Rempel and Mennonite World Conference http://mennoworld.org/2014/05/26/greek-catholics-restore-ukraine-church-building/

The common ground for this collaboration is based on past persecution and remaining faithful. However, are these Mennonites remaining faithful, to the gospel or their founder, by building such bridges with the church of Rome? Would their founder, who renounced the teachings of the church of Rome, smile upon such compromise?

“I voluntarily renounced all my worldly honor and reputation, my unchristian conduct, masses, infant baptism, and my unprofitable life, and at once willingly submitted to distress and poverty, and the cross of Christ.”

-Menno Simons, MENNO SIMONS RENUNCIATION OF THE CHURCH OF ROME http://www.mennosimons.net/ft002-renunciation.html

RELATED:

Mennonite Pope? https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/mennonite-pope/

Call for an Ecumenical Mennonite Denomination https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/call-for-an-ecumenical-mennonite-denomination/

The Deception behind Evangelicals and Catholics Together https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/the-deception-behind-evangelicals-and-catholics-together/

Common Cause – for Concern https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/common-cause-for-concern/

Mennonite Students go to Benedictine Monastery to Sit in Silence https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/mennonite-trekkers-go-to-benedictine-monastery-to-sit-in-silence/

Mennonite seminary hosts conference on Mary https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/mennonite-seminary-hosts-conference-on-mary/