We lose, we leave

May 13, 2019 by

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Your March 18 editorial, “A Common Struggle,” says Mennonites and United Meth­odists are alike in that, when decisions go against them, theological conservatives tend to leave while liberals tend to stay around and work for change. Then, the April 15 issue carries a Religion News Service report about the growing movement among United Meth­odist liberals to put together a new LGBTQ-inclusive grouping if the actions of the General Conference are upheld, countering your editorial assertion.

It is far more accurate to say that people leave churches when they perceive their beliefs, whether liberal, conservative or moderate, to be in jeopardy. Few of us are willing to take losing sitting still.

The Apostle Paul tried to deal with these matters in Romans 14, writing that Christians ought to maintain fellowship by tolerating each other’s nonessential beliefs and practices. Paul apparently did not anticipate that in church politics there are few nonessentials. And if we lose, we leave.

Delmar Yoder
Decatur, Ga.

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