I see two main problems with blogs. One is that they are difficult to keep up with. One feels the necessity of constantly being interesting or engaging, to unfailingly come up with something profound to say. This is nearly impossible for anyone. Even good writers take a year to produce a book. Most of us don't have the patience for columnists who utterly fail at the task on a regular basis. So bloggers are often folks who underestimate this task.
A second problem is the tendency toward self-promotion, to actually believe that I have something to say and that everyone needs to hear it. By fueling this impression I come to believe that more people need to be paying attention to me and that those who are not should be persuaded to begin. It's a pride trap if ever there was one.
To combat these two problems, and in light of the many and serious problems that face the church in these troubled times, today I have decided to share something said by someone else, a long time ago. He is long past needing to collect royalties on this his brainchild, so I am able to share it without fear of copyright infringement. Enjoy this interesting, engaging, and profound insight ... that is not my own:
Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good—" At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark. (G.K. Chesteron, Heritics)
Since December (as well as, of course, a long time before that) The Mennonite Church has been in a state of some anxiety over actions taken concerning the homosexual community by a couple organizations under our umbrella. These same anxieties are bound to become stirred any time, and for any reason, the long-held views of a group of people are challenged. The conclusion of these challenges always leads to change, whether in shifting to incorporate the new views or in reaffirming our commitments and seeing not the policies but the faces in our churches change. In any debate, no matter which way things go, the fallout is painful and the struggles are deeply felt by many.
A recent document released by Lancaster Mennonite Conference called Healthy Sexuality Resources: A Toolkit of Resources for Leaders and Congregations includes a selection of websites containing a number of important documents that shed light on the teachings of the Mennonite Church. The documents while clearly defining a position, also take a strong stand on love and forgiveness as well as repentance. Equally important, they discuss some other issues that tend to be obscured by the issue close at hand. I am including links to a few of the more focused of these sites for anyone who would like to take a look. The leadership of Lancaster Mennonite Conference has made comments and sent out documents that reaffirm our commitment to these statements and call for a renewed focus not on controversy, but on the mission of the Church: growing disciples for Jesus.
Pastor, Norma Mennonite Church.