A daughter and son in law do not agree with Chester and Sarah Jane Wenger and have countered with an open letter of their own to the church. They asked some pertinent questions as follows:
Their questions are not unique. They are serious questions asked by large numbers of others of the same faith. They follow with an urgent appeal based on debates between the antagonists and protagonists of the days.of early Anabaptism. They plead:
They persisted by asking, what vectors in the scripture guide us to bless same sex marriage?
This invites an unending debate with both sides offering proof texts from the same book. The usual result is deepening division. I engage reluctantly, yet to be fair, I confess that I’ve experienced a long sequence of vectors in both testaments that point toward continued change.
Change seems to be built into the nature of things. Some things seem impossible even for God. God gave up on efforts to save the world through lawgivers, priests and prophets, if that was ever the divine intent. Instead God sent Jesus to incarnate perfection and to call disciples and empower them to teach all nations.
In the church of my childhood and youth, Matthew 18 was read from the pulpit twice a year. It was central to the interpretative community cherished by Anabaptists. A key verse seems to be a powerful vector pointing to the role of the church beyond the canon.
18 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Sadly, the church has devoted much more energy to binding than to loosing. From John 14 to 17, Jesus comforted his disciples and prepared them for the future.
In John, chapter 14 Jesus says:If you love me, keep my commands. . . . and (the Father) will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever –
In chapter 15
Jesus clarifies what he means when he refers to his command: This is my command: love each other.
In Chapter 16 Jesus indicates he has unfinished business:
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
In Chapter 17 Jesus prays to the Father for his disciples:
I pray . . . that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me . . ..
According to Jesus, unity is key to the missional success of the church to the world. Unity will be realized when the saints stop debating about what is right and wrong and begin to show mutual love, respect, and collaboration among conferences, congregations and individual members. Only then will the world know, believe and act in ways to save each other and the world..