Point-Counter Point

a. Following Jesus in the Anabaptist tradition means to strive for an end to oppression and work for peace and justice for all Godís children.
b. Homosexuality is sin, and there needs to be no discussion.

a. Imagine the church telling you that your love for your spouse is an abomination!
b. For thousands of years both Godís people and society believed that being gay was sin.

a. Pastors and conference leaders should make every effort to maintain fellowship within our denomination on the issue of homosexuality.
b. Since the Lord of Scripture clearly condemns the deviant homosexual, there is no room for debate or dialogue.

a. We must stay in loving dialogue with our gay brothers and sisters.
b. Are we in apostasy?

a. There seems to be so little feeling for what it is like to grow up with a homosexual orientation.
b. Maybe God ought to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!

a. Homosexuality is an issue whose time has come. We need to talk to one another.
b. Regarding homosexuality, I distrust the word dialogue.

a. Unfortunately, our denomination has a history of drawing small circles. Are we not all answerable to God?
b. The real issue is our view of the Bible and its authority.

a. Difficulties arising from religious disputes among Christians stem from the way we use and abuse scripture.
b. According to scripture practicing homosexuals have hardened hearts and depraved minds.

a. Homosexuality probably has multiple roots, but it is not constituted by choice.
b. Eloquence and sentiment can not invalidate Godís Word.

a. Is it possible to be biblical and not be Christian?
b. In my desire to be kind and loving, I have not been given the right to reassess the words of God.

a. Jesusí parable of the Good Samaritan is still relevant today.
b. Those who allow homosexuals into the church work very hard to explain away the Word of God.

a. The churchís stand on homosexuality has caused oppression, loneliness, self-hatred, sickness and suicide for innumerable persons for centuries.
b. There are those among us who interpret the Bible through a contemporary, sociological, politically correct grid.

a. If we really want to be biblical in our thinking and actions, let God be the judge.
b. The moral discernment of the Bible is entirely adequate.

a. I have misgivings about any of Mennonite conferences using their power to suspend churches that accept homosexuals.
b. We cannot call gays and lesbians Christian brothers or sisters.

a. It is time to heed Isaiah 54:2 "Enlarge the place of thy tent Ö spare not, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes."
b. Those who accept gays do not accept the Bible as Godís infallible, inerrant Word.

a. A lot of learning, understanding and discerning of the Holy Spirit still needs to be done.
b. Both the GCs and MCs are departing from their biblicism. [This is] a reason for mourning.

a. Where is the leadership that can acknowledge that biblical writers had no concept of homosexual orientation?
b. In the law, God is teaching us how he hates sin and even used the death sentence.

a. Jesus demonstrated that he cared more about peopleís inner attitudes toward each other than laws that kept people apart.
b. This is a watershed issue. It brings into focus the need for church discipline and the authority of the Bible.
a & b (or c). Jesus said, "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is they that bear witness to me."

Note: About four pairs of readers can alternately take a and b assignments. In this presentation, c can be a new voice or one team of a & b in unison.

Point - Counterpoint was compiled by Earl Loganbill from articles in and letters to the editor of The Mennonite Weekly Review since 1994.
Posted by Loren L. Johns
Academic Dean and Associate Professor of New Testament
Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana
Last updated 26 June 2000.