Lack of Discipline Against Homosexuality Prompts Mennonite USA Church to Leave Denomination

Bible Pew pdLake, Ohio — A Mennonite congregation in Ohio has voted to leave the Mennonite Church USA in part due to concerns over what it believes is a lack of discipline against those who engage in homosexual behavior.

“We felt that Mennonite Church USA and [our church] were going in different directions concerning scriptural authority and holiness,” Ross Miller, pastor of Hartville Mennonite Church in Lake, told the Mennonite World Review this week.

He said that concerns about various aspects grew over a number of years, but when the Mountain States Conference, a division of the Mennonite Church USA, approved the ministerial license of a Colorado woman who identifies as a lesbian, it expedited matters and resulted in a recent vote to part ways.

“We felt there needed to be church discipline, and there hasn’t been,” he said, referencing disappointment that the Ohio Conference failed to pass a resolution urging the denomination headquarters to address the Mountain States’ actions, as well as a statement from an executive board member that he felt was less than satisfactory.

As previously reported, Theda Good, who is in a relationship with another woman, was licensed in February to serve as Pastor of Nurture and Fellowship at First Mennonite Church of Denver. She began serving with the congregation in 2012, and has a master’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia. Leaders from First Mennonite Church submitted a letter requesting her licensure last year, and the Mountain States Conference spent several months reviewing the matter.

“Much of the work centered around the consideration of a person whose gifts and call to ministry are clearly affirmed, yet is in a committed same-sex relationship, which varies from denominational statements,” the Conference outlined in a press release.

On November 24th, the Ministerial Council met for the second time with Good and agreed to accept her request for licensure. The matter then moved to the Leadership Board on December 1st, who agreed unanimously to license Good.

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The Mountain States Conference has acknowledged that the decision to ordain Good is controversial.

“It is the desire of the Leadership Board to function and communicate with a spirit of deep humility, joyfully acknowledging the work of God in our midst, and with a sense of sadness recognizing the pain that this causes some of the sisters and brothers that we love in Mennonite Church USA,” it wrote.

Miller said that it was difficult to leave the denomination, but was concerned after the incident that he “didn’t really see anything from leadership that was reversing current trends.”

“We felt very strongly that that’s where God was calling us, but it was a very painful decision,” he told Mennonite World Review.

Miller’s congregation passed a resolution on September 7th to cut ties with Mennonite Church USA with 95 percent approval. It was reportedly one of the largest congregations in the Ohio Conference.


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  • MC

    I’m glad they split, they don’t condone sin and are following God’s Moral Law. Good for them!

  • Joseph A. Nagy, Jr

    I’m just as concerned that they ordained a woman, much less a sodomite woman. It should be to the shame of all the men in the First Mennonite Church of Denver that none of them were willing to answer the Lord’s call to spiritually minister to the church.

    • MC

      You do raise a good point. Of all the people out there all they could scrape up was a practicing lesbian?

      • http://www.joseph-a-nagy-jr.us Joseph A. Nagy, Jr

        All I can say is pray for that congregation and the Mennonite Church USA. This is the times we live in, unfortunately.

        • Marie Adigwe

          What’s wrong with ordaining a woman in general?

          • http://www.joseph-a-nagy-jr.us Joseph A. Nagy, Jr

            You mean aside from it being anti-Scriptural?

          • James Grimes

            Exactly. The Bible does not permit the ordination of women in spite of what the liberals want.

          • BarkingDawg

            Because Jesus formed the original. “He-man Women Haters Club.”

          • James Grimes

            +10 points toward your DUMB ATHEIST OF THE YEAR award.

          • BarkingDawg

            And +10 points to you for the Internet’s “most humorless drudge award.”

          • Hadessah Jonas

            What about Debra and Anna? Debra was a mighty woman of God and a prophet and also Anna was a prophet.

          • James Grimes

            What about them? The qualifications of the two offices that require ordination – elder and deacon, are explained in 1 Timothy 3. These offices are to be held by men only. Please don’t be selective in how you use Scripture to make a bogus point. You need to be more knowledgeable about Scripture than what you appear to be. Don’t be disagreeable. Study Scripture.

          • KenS

            The office of prophet and Judge are not the same as elder and deacon, otherwise known as pastor and deacon, you are comparing apples to oranges.

          • Marie Adigwe

            Did it ever occur to you that men added that because they didn’t want women to have any power? Because the society was fairly sexist.

          • http://www.joseph-a-nagy-jr.us Joseph A. Nagy, Jr

            That denies the authority of Scripture as being totally God-breathed.

          • josh crissen

            The woman was created for man, man was created for God. The woman was created for man because God said it was not good for man to be alone. He made Adam before Eve and brought the animals and their mates to him to be named. He saw their mates, and looked around and could not find a mate suitable for him. God did this so Adam would appreciate her more. The woman was a precious gift to man, his help mate. A woman is made different, physically and emotionally, thus why in the garden at their sentencing God said that Eve was deceived. Women tend to judge from their emotions, rather than make rational fact based decisions, this was designed by God for a woman to be more effective at her role as wife and mother. We see this issue in many of the problems arising out of our government, now over run by women leaders, emotion based decisions. We see these decisions in foreign relations decisions, aid decisions, military decisions, welfare programs, etc. But you will point out Deborah, but if you really study, she submitted to Gideons leadership when it came time for military tactics, and she submitted without question to Gods authority. It often is easy to tell who is running what when a woman is in charge, by simply looking to see if she is making decisions like a general, or a mom.

          • Marie Adigwe

            A lot of women don’t make emotion-based decisions. Only some do. I certainly don’t, and being a mother requires more rational than emotional thinking. Yes, you have to be emotional at times, but you can’t raise a child without thinking rationally. You have to know when to do both.

          • josh crissen

            you may not act like the tv bimbo, but I guarantee you act way more on your feelings than we men do, I guarantee it. When your child falls and skins their knee or cuts their lip, what is your response, more than likely you take the child into your arms, comfort them, and fix the “boo boo” as that was what you were made to do, the majority of us guys, especially if we are working on something, its “youll live” now this has changed some with the emasculation of men this last generation or two, but I still do it, as it was how I was raised. Poor starving dog or cat wanders in the yard, wife feeds it, if wife is not home I’m as likely to shoot it. for real, it’s how I, as a guy think, ” said critter is another mouth to feed, disease, flea, or worm infested, wife will want to spend hard earned money at the vet.That is the rational thinking of a man. In war a man can be very callous. We go into an area, behind enemy lines, we see kids ages 8 to 10, we see possible enemy combatants, women see children. Look at the border now, why do you think the military has not been called in to suppress the rising flood of illegal youths, think estrogen in the White House. If someone, a man like me were in office, a military lockdown of the border would have done happened, and anyone caught trying to cross would be shot, no matter what.

          • Marie Adigwe

            That’s far from the truth, and fixing an injury is thinking with your head, not your heart. Sure, it’s compassionate, but you can’t leave it to get infected, and you can’t neglect your child. Teach them to be strong, but you can’t just leave it there. According to you, cruelty is the way to go. Shooting an animal for being in your yard is senseless, and I don’t know any man (nearly all of my friends are men) who doesn’t spend their money on the pets they bought. If you buy a creature, it’s your responsibility to take care of it, and many soldiers see children. I know too many people, both men and women, who saw possible enemy combatants and also saw kids, and it’s not the fault of women that any of our presidents have done anything to secure the border. In case you haven’t noticed, there have been more than several men in office. Besides, didn’t Jesus teach people to be compassionate and to not kill? So why are you a Christian if all of these are perfectly okay in your head?

          • josh crissen

            There you go, that is my point, thank you 🙂 You just proved the whole thing with your blow up LOL , no I was not asserting my way is best, if you had read everything, I said Id shoot the animal if my wife was not there, Id tell the child it would live. God created us this way. Why do you think God said the two would become one flesh, why do you think God abhors homosexuality, fornication, and adultery, and why God purposefully designated one the head, the other the help meet ? It is because it was his design from the beginning. A man, a woman, the two become one, and a balance is formed. It is a known fact that the most well adjusted children come from a complete home, that struggle to follow at least in spirit, the design set forth by God. God setting the man as the head does not make the woman inferior in anyway, just because the woman thinks, reacts and behaves different than the man does not make her inferior, it is these traits God uses to balance the man. Is the engine of your car superior to the transmission, is the transmission inferior to the engine ? Well in circles of mechanic heads the engine seems to get the most attention, but what is an engine without a transmission ? Just a big rumbly exhaust belching gas burner. What is a transmission without the engine ? A oversized paper weight. Both are needed if they are to work properly. It is no coincidence that the nation is crumbling now, after 50 years of rising divorce rates, rising rates of single parent homes. The breakdown of the family unit is always a sure fire way to destroy a nation. Communist countries have used it for generations.

            It can not be denied that the Bible has been used to justify the mistreatment, neglect, and outright abuse of woman. I am old enough to recall the way my grandparents generation treated their woman. The Bible would be read about the wife submitting to her husband, to honor him, she is under him and he over her, But any book can be skewed if you only read half. The parts that were conveniently left out counterbalanced the commands to the wife. Husbands, your bodies belong to your wife, husbands love your wife, the same way Christ loved the Church. That one command there, if men followed it, woman would have no trouble following the commands given them by God. Just how much did Christ love the Church. All one has to do is go to the Gospels and read through the 3.5 years Jesus spent with his disciples, and you see how a husband and wife relationship should be, Christ the husband, the disciples, the foundation of the church, represented as the bride. Jesus loved them, cared for them, was patient with them, cherished them, protected them. When they were scared, in the boat in that storm Jesus made his way to them, calmed the storm, and reassured them, comforted them. How many times I as a husband have failed this very thing, my wife is scared or worried, instead of reassuring here, letting her know I will take care of it, comforting her, I snap crossly at her. At the last supper, Jesus took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and proceeded to wash the disciples feet, demonstrating how we are to carry one another’s burdens, and how he will wash away our sins. Lastly, he laid down his life, sacrificed it all, for the bride.

            I am not mocking you. I simply am trying to share what has literally taken me 25 years to learn. Our culture has so distorted the gender issue that very few understand it. I asked God to help me learn, as I genuinely wanted to know , what it is, that makes a man a man, and a woman, a woman. Equality is not the issue with God, and should not be here, because we are not equal, in the same since as is an orange equal to an apple ? No, of course not. Is one fruit superior, or inferior to the other ? That really is not possible, seeing how they are so different. They both though have equal value, they both serve equally important roles.

            That is were it boils down to, roles. Thus my example of the car, the engine, and the transmission. This also is what I was talking about when I pointed out the different ways we think. A deep study into the political, and personal lives of all of our presidents, one will find a very interesting fact. Our most beloved presidents, had devoted, intelligent, strong wives. These wives were confidants, and political advisors to their husbands. http://www.firstladies.org/

            The two personality traits, ways of thinking, and perception, if held by a devoted christian couple, will work in harmony, and balance each other out. Yes in combat the men who do see children, do so because of the women in their lives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, girlfriends, wives. God said it was not good for man to be alone.

            It has been said that behind every good man is a great woman. That is the way God designed it.

          • Goldbeard

            How many women did Jesus ordain to the Priesthood? Satan can ordain as many as he wants to ordain in his many so called christian churches now under his control and support the complete LGBT lifestyle

          • James Grimes

            Ordaining women is the start to the slippery slope of apostasy. The idiotic comments here in support of this disgusting practice are to be given no credibility.

          • Hadessah Jonas

            God can call and use whatever he wants. He used a jack ass because a man wouldn’t listen.

    • BarkingDawg

      Yeah. Women are evil and should be banned from the church entirely. It should be just us guys, praying together, eating together, showering together. Hey pass that soap, will ya?

      {/snicker}

      • James Grimes

        Another +10 points.

        • BarkingDawg

          And +10 back at you.

      • http://www.joseph-a-nagy-jr.us Joseph A. Nagy, Jr

        You seem to like to infer things not said nor implied. Agenda much?

        • BarkingDawg

          Do you think it is wrong for women to be religious leaders?

          • http://www.joseph-a-nagy-jr.us Joseph A. Nagy, Jr

            I do, but for none of the silly, assumptive reasons you made up.

          • BarkingDawg

            Ah, then for what silly assumpive reasons do you think it is wrong?

          • http://www.joseph-a-nagy-jr.us Joseph A. Nagy, Jr

            None of the reasons are silly or assumptive. Scripture clearly lays out the qualifications as being for men only. It follows with the rest of Scripture from the Levitical priesthood through to the time of Christ – including Christ – to present and is further clarified in such passages such as Ephesians 5:22-33 ; Acts 6:1-7 ; 1 Timothy 3:1-13 ; and Titus 1:5-9.

  • The Lone Ranger

    They did just exactly what they should have done good for them for taking a stand when you have done all you can do to stand, Stand !

  • Camery

    Good for them. They will be blessed.
    Leviticus 18:22
    Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
    Leviticus 20:13
    If
    a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them
    have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their
    blood shall be upon them.
    1 Corinthians 6:9
    Know ye not that the
    unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:
    neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor
    abusers of themselves with mankind,
    1 Timothy 1:10
    For
    whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for
    menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other
    thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
    Romans 1:24-32
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of
    their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the
    creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their
    women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned
    in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is
    unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error
    which was meet.

    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave
    them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

    29
    Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness,
    covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit,
    malignity; whisperers,

    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of
    evil things, disobedient to parents,

    31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection,
    implacable, unmerciful:

    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are
    worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

  • James Grimes

    “Theda Good, who is in a relationship with another woman, was licensed in February to serve as Pastor of Nurture and Fellowship at First Mennonite Church of Denver.” This is apostasy in its basest form. How can any Bible-believing congregation stay in a denomination that does this?

  • MEP1101

    GOOD FOR THEM ! But what we are seeing here is the fulfillment of Jesus parable of the wheat and the weeds and their difference becoming obvious in “The Harvest” or Time of the End.

  • Peter Overduin

    “We felt very strongly that that’s where God was calling us, but it was a very painful decision,” he told Mennonite World Review.

    Well then, if ‘God is leading’ contrary to his own Word, I’m going to save so much time not having to do devotions anymore because I can toss my Bible! Too bad, it’s a fairly new Holman Apologetics Study Bible, that, apparently has just become irrelevant because I can’t depend on it anymore.

    Now I have no idea what to do because I no longer have any means available to me to know what God says about anything. Guess I will have to ‘wing it’ and hope for the best.

    • James Grimes

      This is a pretty extreme “option.”

      • Peter Overduin

        Yes, of course it is; and I am being sarcastic, in a way. I hold to the inerrancy, infallibility and inspiration of God’s Word, and to his character, and so know that he does not change nor lie. Therefore, to say that this where God was calling them this way, in direct contravention to his own clearly stated Word, is an appalling fallacy. I get it that on some issues even Paul tells us to exercise charity; i.e. eschatology, worship style, etc., but this issue is not one of them.

        So, while my remarks are not a reflection of what I truly feel; they might as well be if the idea of going where God calls when it clearly cannot be, is valid.

        • KenS

          Am I missing something, or are you saying that them not believing that a lesbian should be a minister goes against God’s word?

          • Peter Overduin

            I am saying that on this issue the Word of God is very clear and that continued and unrepentant of living in a same sex relationship or being a practicing gay or lesbian is sinful in that God calls it sexual immorality. Therefore to ordain a practicing lesbian, in the same way of ordaining a heterosexual living with a woman outside of marriage is also sin.

            Having said that, I do think the church in general has done a very poor job of ministering to those who struggle with same sex attraction but sincerely desire to live celibate lives in keeping with Gods Word. But, being loving and believing in a God who loves and is love does not nullify his holiness and what he requires of us. This, no church can say on Gods Word that they were following where God was calling as God does not ever call his church to walk in a way he has clearly called sin. This is not one of those grey areas like end times theology, or whether speaking in tongues should still be sought, etc.

          • KenS

            Exactly, and this is why they made the statement, “We felt very strongly that that’s where God was calling us, but it was a very painful decision,” because they felt that the Mennonite convention that they are departing from was going against God’s word by ordaining this lesbian, therefore your statement “Well then, if ‘God is leading’ contrary to his own Word, I’m going to save so much time not having to do devotions anymore because I can toss my Bible!” makes no sense, because they are leaving the convention that has ordained this lesbian because of her ordination… Possibly you have misunderstood who made the statement and were thinking it was the convention and not the church leaving the convention that made this statement.?

  • haithabu

    No longer a member of the MC, but still regard it as my home in a sense. I’m sorry that the church is moving in that direction, but I’ve seen it coming for a while. Bravo for the members and leadership of Hartville MC! They are not alone: the number of Mennonites outside of the MCUSA began to exceed those within some years ago.

  • Chet

    Oh, how slick and cunning the Devil and his ministers of light are in this modern, high-tech church age. How is it that men supposedly called of God Almighty to preach his Word can be so easily influenced to compromise the Holy Bible and invite such vile wickedness into the body of Christ? The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, Romans 2:24, Holy Bible.

  • Goosey91

    I miss the good ole days in the church. Were the congregation would go fag hunting. On a good night we’d catch 3 or 4 fags. For the most part it was just harmless fun, you know just rough them up a little bit, those fairies needed some toughening up. I almost feel bad for the flamers we caught outside the bar after a night of drinking. I know a few of them flamers went to the hospital. Hopefully those fags learned their lesson, if not they’re probably dead from AIDS anyway. Man those were the good days, can’t do nothing like that today.