Then and now

May 8, 2017 by

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So an “LGBT Pastor Is Licensed in Maryland” (April 10) in an Alle­gheny Mennonite Conference congregation. When I was a teenager, due to a circumstance in my life, three Mennonite preachers, two from Allegheny Conference, went on a mission to see me. They found me driving my brother’s tractor on a country road. They passed me in a 1953 Ford, motioned for me to stop and invited me to sit in back with one of them. Their mission was to explain to me the way of salvation and new life in Christ. On a small piece of paper one of them jotted the Bible steps to salvation. The first was repentance.

Today, in my yearly journey through the Bible, I am persuaded that same-sex sexual relations are one of the sins to be repented of on the path to a joyful new life in Christ. As a pastor for more than 30 years, I know what it is to get a desperate call from someone requesting help to overcome the guilt-ridden burden of sinful sexual involvement. I wonder what today’s Allegheny Conference ministers would say to a person who, by reading the Bible, has become convicted that being in a same-sex relationship is against God’s design. What would they say to a tear-drenched soul seeking release and new life in Christ?

Simon Schrock
Catlett, Va.


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  • Craigory Frantz

    Perhaps bring up Matthew 8:5-13, wherein Jesus heals a Centurion’s male lover.
    Sexuality was not binary in the larger ancient world. The Jewish tribe stood more or less alone in its condemnation of homosexual relationships. And later, Catholicism’s endless campaign for universal shame and guilt found it a convenient punching bag.
    We no longer require younger sons to impregnate their older brothers’ widows. We no longer consider slavery acceptable. We no longer hold that a woman can have no authority over a man. Why do we continue to demonized a normal experience as old as humanity?
    Tell your ‘tear drenched souls’ to read deeper and to study historical context. Humanity reserves the right to improve.

    • Bruce Leichty

      Let’s see .. normal experiences as old as humanity … you mean like warfare and deceit (Esau) and prostitution? “The world’s oldest profession?” After all, we didn’t profess Christ just to stand alone in “the larger modern world,” did we?

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