In a previous Weather Vane article, I saw a letter to the editor entitled “Where are the Opposing Voices?”
The author, knowing that she (I don’t know why I think it was girl, maybe it was a guy) would receive some form of retribution for her position, chose to remain anonymous.
I respect that.
But he or she asked for opponents of EMU’s proposed new hiring policy to speak up.
I was convicted.
I am a conservative Mennonite. I believe all homosexual activity, no matter the label, grieves God’s heart. And it grieves my heart too.
And yet being a conservative Mennonite, I find it easy to be quiet, to be “the peaceful in the land.”
I cringe to think that in writing this I will anger people.
I wish it wouldn’t, but it will.
I cringe to think that I may be misrepresented.
I cringe to think that writing this makes me sound like a homophobe, a chauvinist, a bigot, and probably a racist for good measure.
It very well might be that in ten years what I am about to say will be classified as hate speech.
But a conservative Mennonite can only be quiet for so long.
These days it is arrogant to be certain. It’s arrogant to say “the Bible clearly says” something.
But I think the Bible clearly does say.I think it’s the elephant in the room. And I think we know it.
Why do I say that?
Because of how hard we are trying, because of how many books we are reading/writing, because of how much we want to cover this process with a veneer of respectability and wisdom.
But no matter how much scholarly obfuscation we pour over it, we just can’t quite seem to shake ourselves free of the fact that––yes, the Bible actually does prohibit all homosexual behavior. Period. There are no exception clauses.
We’ve learned that we can make the Bible say anything we want it to say.We’ve learned that if we work hard enough, and have enough scholarly backing, and gather enough people to our side, we could even find a way to make the Bible say, for example, that God isn’t love.
We could make the Bible say that God isn’t love. Think about that.
I don’t think the hard part is understanding the Bible on this issue.
I think the hard part is accepting that increasingly in our culture, following the Bible might just mean un-following whatever culture may exist around us.
It isn’t only the issue of homosexuality that I’m concerned about.
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t believe EMU is a “counter-cultural” college; I believe it wishes to be very “cultural.”
How much longer will we try to keep “fitting” the Bible into the prevailing cultural views of our day? How much longer will we blush and “excuse” the Bible, or “save” the Bible from embarrassment as one might excuse an obnoxious, unruly relative at a high-class banquet? How much longer will EMU be able to stretch the gap between following Jesus and following our culture?
How much longer will EMU even be able to use the adjective “Christian” to describe itself? Can it today?
If you are involved in homosexual activity, I’m sorry that your sin in that area has been focused on more than your other sins.
But I need to treat you like an adult. Those acts are wrong.
The fact that our society has deemed you a vulnerable group doesn’t change that.
Maybe, like a genetic-alcoholic, you don’t feel as if you can change.
I don’t know what it’s like to be in your shoes. I don’t know the struggles you face.
But I do know One who does know your struggles, and I’d bet my life (in fact I have) that He is more than able to help us turn from sin.
Ultimately, all of us can have our sins, and not just ones that fall in the homosexual category, paid for by that One, Jesus Christ and none other, or we can pay for them ourselves––for eternity.
I’m begging you to choose the first.
-Josiah Driver, Senior