Year in review: Sexuality issues test unity

Year in review: Sexuality issues test unity
Pastoral credentialing is latest point of contention in longstanding debate
Dec 22, 2014 by Paul Schrag, Mennonite World Review

Members of Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church lay their hands on Mark Rupp while Lois Johns Kaufmann, conference minister for Mennonite Church USA’s Central District, prays during a service to install Rupp as pastor of Christian formation. — Lois Maust

Struggles in Mennonite Church USA over same-sex relationships entered uncharted territory in 2014. When one conference licensed a lesbian pastor in Colorado and another signaled its acceptance of a gay man called to pastoral ministry in Ohio, a new question was on the table.
Can a church already torn by conflict over homosexuality stick together when the dispute escalates to whether people in same-sex relationships can be pastors?
In the words of the MC USA Executive Board, the situation “frayed the fragile strands of accountability that hold our church together.”
The board denounced the action that ignited the concern. It refused to recognize Mountain States Conference’s licensing of Theda Good as a pastor at First Mennonite Church in Denver.
A few months later, Mountain States was not alone. Columbus Mennonite Church in Ohio installed Mark Rupp as a pastor, and Central District Conference leaders indicated their intent to license him next summer.
Events some hailed as progress others decried as sinful. Opposition to gays and lesbians in ministry, and frustration over the issue of same-sex relationships in general, rumbled across the denomination. A letter from leaders of five area conferences — Franconia, Lancaster, Virginia, New York and Franklin — called Mountain States’ action “catastrophic for our constituencies.”

Read more here:


MC USA churches move in 2014
More Mennonite Church USA congregations have left the denomination or switched conferences so far in 2014 than in 2013, many citing concerns related to two conferences accepting gay or lesbian pastors.

Where will the Same-Sex Conversation Lead?

4 thoughts on “Year in review: Sexuality issues test unity

  1. Hi mennolite! I responded to the above article’s Mennolite World Review website (to be approved). Here’s my comment:

    “I don’t understand why there’s struggles with any Christian denomination over the same-sex issue. God is VERY clear in His Word, the Bible on this issue. We should be like the Bereans and search the Scriptures daily to see if it were so. The Bible is God’s Holy Word. God does not lie. Therefore either same-sex (adultery/fornication/etc.) is “okay” or God’s Word is not true. It can’t be both.
    1 Corinthians 6:9 to 20
    “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
    “Everything is permissible for me” – but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me” – but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food” – but God will destroy them both.
    The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By His power God raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also.
    Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ Himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit.
    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
    Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.
    Therefore honour God with your body.”

    God’s Word is VERY clear. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God doesn’t have to “get with the times” WE have to repent and be obedient to Him and His Word.”

    • That’s a fine response! Thank you for sharing it because if they do not approve it, we will know they value the opinion of the culture more than the written Word of God.

  2. Hi mennolite! Well…. I looked at Mennolite World Review website, it’s now January 9th – and no…. my above comment has not been “approved” and posted on their article. Sadly, that tells you they fear man more than they fear God.

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