Preparation for yielding

The bonfire

Freda informed me that she is confused by the last sentence of my last post.

Will Mennonites yield if the Spirit does not take us back to the fundamentals, but blows instead toward a strange and queer future?

I had a restless night after I read of Freda’s confusion.  The purpose of my writing is not to confuse, but to challenge to more thought. I admit it, the words in the sentence are confusing, even to me.  My intention, however, is clear to me.

warming by bonfire

Preparation is essential sometimes.  My Joyce and I were invited with others for an evening meal.  I did not know we were going to a picnic out doors on the edge of a forest.  It was cool and windy and I was unprepared.  The man who drove us there had blankets in his trunk and gave them to me to shield me from the weather. He may have saved me from my bronchial weakness.

I intended to suggest that the people assembled at the Orlando summit should consider the possibility that the Spirit may  ask them and us to put a time limit on certain past fundamentals.  For example, Jesus admitted that in the past the Jews had been guided by certain fundamentals, but he had the authority to give them an altered fundamental. I hoped to help prepare the way for the Spirit in July, 2017, to announce that certain established fundamentals should be intentionally disregarded and that the church should be guided into the future by new or altered fundamentals.

This leads me to the second half of the confusing sentence: but (the Spirit) blows instead toward a strange and queer future.  I concluded during the night that I should not have used the word “queer”. It has too many definitions and is sometimes offensive. My use of the word was not helpful.

I intended to help prepare the way for the Spirit to move the Summit toward an unexpected and uneasy future.   Mennonites are used to being non-conformed to the world. Recent generations of Mennonites appear to be accommodating to the ways of the world economically, politically, and religiously.  The church should prepare for the Holy Spirit to ask the summit to examine the tendency to accommodate.

The New Testament describes people of faith as pilgrims and strangers on the earth.  Immigrants, as it were. John McKutchan sings “I am an immigrant”,  A section of the lyric reads:

I am an immigrant
I am a stranger in this place
Here both for the grace of God
Go I
I am an immigrant
I have left everything I own
To everything I’ve known
I say goodbye

The Summit must be ready for the possibility of yielding to an immigrant lifestyle in the future. Living as an immigrant is not easy.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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3 Responses to Preparation for yielding

  1. Freda Zehr says:

    oh Martin, my dear friend, I am so sorry that I caused you that confusion. I would never have mentioned it if I thought it would bother you. I think it was the word, “queer”, which messed up my thinking. I think what happens to me lately is that I am slowly entering old age lack of memory and lack of figuring things out. I have observed it in myself in other places and in other things.So please forgive me. I am sure that you did not confuse anyone else. and let me tell you, you do Not confuse, but indeed you do challenge me. I hope this makes it clear to you, that you did not confuse us. . so sorry to have caused you a restless nigh.

  2. thanks for your good words and further reflecion. I appreciate your encouragement and nudge toward dealing with some possible changes in the future days. “In the bulb there is a flower” blessings for your day!!!

  3. Raymond Martin says:

    All’s well that ends well. I was surprised when the Q was added to LGBT but I think they, like paul in 2 cor. 12;5 ,turned his weakness inside-out and saw it as something positive.

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