By Matt Raley
Last Sunday, TMC dedicated a new confession of faith that places our focus on the doctrines of the Gospel. With this confession, we have set ourselves under the authority of Scripture. We have also pledged ourselves to a high view of God, a devotion to the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the hope of his return. Adopting a new confession, however, is a difficult decision.
This week, the leadership team reviewed all the responses to the confession–some given in writing, some personally. We were impressed with how seriously you took these issues. Where there were disagreements or concerns, you expressed them well. We are grateful to God that you have confidence to do this.
We will not stop working on these concerns just because the confession has been adopted. The process of charting a course for our future is not over.
As I said in last week’s sermon, the Mennonite heritage will always be part of how we disciple people in Christ. The Gospel is our only hope. But the Mennonite story is how we experienced the Gospel. In our Fall Bible Studies, we will focus on issues like church and state, non-violence and participation in the military, and making affirmations instead of taking vows. We feel that we need to teach the history of these stands and explain the biblical basis for them.
Going over this heritage will help you understand the high price Mennonites paid to follow their conscience. It will clarify why those stands matter today, and help you decide how you should relate to them. You may end up holding different views on some points. But at least you will make those decisions based on a respect for the past.
Please continue to let us know your questions about our heritage so that we can plan helpful studies in the fall.