By Matthew Raley
We wish that the Mennonite Church USA’s doctrinal situation were improving, or that there were signs of resistance to its growing liberalism. I’m sorry to report that the MCUSA is even worse than we thought last fall.
A new resolution, to be voted on at MCUSA delegate assembly this May, expresses repentance for upholding Jesus’s teaching on marriage and sexuality. Here is the first sentence: “Current policies of Mennonite Church USA do violence to LGBTQIA people by failing to affirm their full, God-given identities and by restricting their full participation in the life, ministries and rituals of the broader church.”
The resolution blames the Bible’s teaching for divisions, abuses, and even suicides.
Last September, the Executive Committee rescued this document from the trash can. After months of trying, LGBT allies failed to get this proposal approved by the denomination’s formal process for resolutions. So the Executive Committee intervened, sending the resolution to the delegate assembly on its own authority.
The MCUSA is about to denounce its own confession of faith. Our elders have decided that it is time to adopt our own statement of what we believe.
This morning, you will find the proposed change to our bylaws in your mailboxes, including the complete text of the confession we studied last fall. This proposed change would adopt a new confession of faith as part of our governing documents. It will not settle the question of our relationship to the Mosaic Conference, which we will decide later.
On Sunday, March 13th, we will have a meeting for a final discussion of the proposed confession. That meeting will take place during the Sunday school hour. Ballots to vote on whether to adopt the proposed change to our bylaws will be due on Sunday, March 27th. The elders have set the required majority at 80%.
If passed, we will formally adopt the confession in a special worship service on Sunday, April 3rd. Please be in prayer for these very important decisions.