Shocking ordination

Jan 30, 2017 by

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I am shocked and profoundly disturbed by the ordination of lesbian Theda Good at First Mennonite Church of Denver by Mountain States Mennonite Conference leaders (Jan. 2). This is a disgrace for the Mennonite denomination. We have allowed our culture to dictate our values rather than following Scripture.

When we compromise the truth of God’s Word, we bring judgment upon ourselves and risk deceiving others by causing them to fall into the same pit of condemnation. Do we still believe in the transformation of individuals from sin by God’s grace and the practice of holy living? I applaud our Mennonite pastors and conference leaders who have not compromised on this issue.

The Supreme Court is not the final authority regarding the relationship of the sexes. If Almighty God has decided marriage is perfect in its design between a man and a woman, who are we to question divine law?

As a Mennonite church we have arrived at the sad state of apostasy. Our Anabaptist forefathers would be shocked, appalled and mortified if they knew we had fallen into such depravity, duplicity and hypocrisy. I’m deeply concerned about the legacy we are leaving for our children. Will we provide a biblical example to follow, or will we leave them in confusion about what is right or wrong?

Louis A. Lehman
Albany, Ore.

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  • Dale Welty

    Mr. Lehman, thank you for all you have written above. Well said. Dale Welty

  • Char Hostetler

    I wonder who taught Mr Lehman to be so judgmental. When I was at Goshen College we were taught in 1963 that homosexuality was genetic and not a choice. We had some brilliant and amazing nursing professors who knew more about life and death than most people will ever know..

    Theda is most likely the best care giver pastor our church has ever had. She knows the pain and joys of life. All you would need is to spend 10 minutes with her and your would know that she has touched the heart of God. She is not judgmental, but is kind, open and forgiving. I think God must smile when he watches her in her role at FMC. Do you think God is smiling at you?

    “The illiterate of the world are not those who cannot read or write, but they are those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Toffler. Also,”when we judge people, we do not have time to love them. Mother Teresa.

    There is no greater form of wisdom than kindness. I guess the world is full of very unwise people.

    Theda has every right to use the gifts God has given her. Since she was young, she has been called to serve God. She has read the Bible though more times than anyone I have ever met.

    A man walked on this earth a long time ago and he was an example of acceptance and compassion.

    Perhaps those who have such judgment in your hearts need to do a self examination and ask yourself in your past who taught you how to be so judgmental? Do you want to hang on to that or would you like to be free of negativity?

    • Steven Stubble

      Though I likely cant say anything new on this topic, for the readership it should be pointed out that Mr Lehmann isnt calling Ms. Good’s kindness, gifts, wisdom, readings thru the Bible etc. into question. He could have in fact left the name “Theda Good” out of the article entirely and it would still make sense. Thus it isnt about “judging” anyone personally (as though that should be some conversation-stopper); this is and has always been independent of any individuals or their particular calling, but addresses a larger principle, clearly stated in the opening paragraph: “We have allowed our culture to dictate our values rather than following Scripture”. Everything that follows, up to the question at the end, calls for discernment concerning issues of authority. Who has the final say on this or any issue? Mr Lehmann is asking a legitimate question, and First Mennonite Church in Denver has, with its actions, given an answer for all to see.

      • Char Hostetler

        I would not say we have allowed our culture to dictate our values, I would say that we have allowed our “heart” our inner voice to guide (no dictating here) us. That voice is God’s voice talking about love.

        • Steven Stubble

          Char, to be honest a lot of people in the church worldwide (N.American, S American, African, Asian) are suspicious of that inner voice; its been known to be gravely mistaken. The same question is always going to raise its head, namely: How can I be sure its God’s voice you’re hearing? How can I test such a claim, to see if what your’e saying is true?

          • Lynn Miller

            Steven, very well said. If our ‘inner voice’ does not line up with the Word (which is super clear on the topic of homosexuality as well as qualifications for church leaders), then it is most definitely not God’s voice we are hearing. God does not say anywhere in His Word that it is OK to ordain a gay or lesbian as long as they are nice. Paul has very specific instructions for how we qualify church leaders. Lesbians to not qualify even a little. I can not see how it would be within God’s character to call anyone to ministry who does not fulfill His qualifications. He does not take lightly the matter of leading the sheep astray.

            Those fighting for homosexuality to be removed from the ‘sin’ list will always twist the subject to make those of us contending for the faith to appear judgmental and unmerciful. We can show love and mercy all day, but that will never change God’s will and way on the topic, nor will it satisfy the sinner’s lack of peace within themselves when they choose to live outside of God’s plan for their lives. I personally believe that standing for God’s Word is the highest form of love and mercy. The Holy Spirit convicts each of us when we are sinning and we know it anyway. God chastises those He loves because He knows that choosing to rebel against His way will result in much sorrow for His children. We should be grateful for His correction. I trust God to work within the life of each of His children just as He did with me. But we should not sit silent as our church leadership takes us into apostasy.

    • Dale Welty

      Same sex covenant relationships violate what God has clearly stated. God of the Bible has already judged, therefore we are not judging when we are obedient. We are expected to follow what He states is acceptable and not what He states what is not acceptable. Dale Welty

      • Char Hostetler

        Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:2: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” You’ll reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7-8). If you are swift and harsh in judging others, then God will see to it that you receive the same from others. Has God not been very merciful to you, even though you deserved it not? Likewise, you should exercise mercy toward others.
        Mercy, mercy, mercy. How many times a day are you focused on MERCY?

  • Gary Hill

    Extremely important voice, thank you Louis. I am a member of First Mennonite in Denver. Theda is a wonderful sweet person, but this discussion is not about her, it about the very foundation of our faith.

    • John Gingrich

      I would like to refer any honest seeker to Google search “Rosaria Butterfield responds to Hatmaker” for a response to Jen Hatmaker’s endorsement of same-sex marriage. This response by Rosaria could be applied to others such as Rachel Held-Evans, or even the response of the EMU and Goshen college’s endorsement of hiring LGBT professors. I agree that it the very foundation of our Faith and it is chilling that the Mennonite church seems so nonchalant in its lack of concern for honest biblical teaching and truth.

      • Gary Hill

        I agree John, the foundations of the Anabaptist faith certainly begin in the Bible and the writings of Menno Simons.

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