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Study Conference

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Engage the study conference discussions at studyconference.mennonitebrethren.ca.

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Bertrand and Evelyn Ouimet October 17, 2013 - 12:19

It is unbelievable that you would attempt to override God’s authority on the issue of homosexuality when he has made it abundantly clear in every passage dealing with that subject, there is no room for doubt to even entertain the idea that maybe it’s time to change our opinion on this subject. To even suggest that there are homosexual Christians is a lie straight from the pit of hell. For example In 1 Corr.6: 9 – Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Unless of course they repent like everyone else mentioned here. To be a Christian you have to have God reigning in your heart, otherwise it is yourself sitting on the throne. I do not have to go into the other passage concerning this, I am sure you know them as well as we do.
God’s will be done. ~ Bertrand and Evelyn Ouimet ~ BC

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Donnalee October 21, 2013 - 11:20

On Oct 16-18, I attended the BFL study conference entitled “Human Sexuality: Honouring God with our Bodies” . The premise for this conference was to discuss this topic in light of articles 13 and 14 of the MB Confession of Faith. I have summarized the parts of the confession of faith that were circled during this conference, but note that the confession of faith was not referred to at all during any discussion I was part of during this conference.

On point A) of the confession below, John Stackhouse presented a history of social progress to the social “normality” we live in today and the importance of addressing society as believers of Christ.

A) Believers witness against corruption, discrimination, and injustice, exercise social responsibility, pay taxes, and obey all laws that do not conflict with the Word of God.
As ambassadors for Christ, Christians act as agents of reconciliation and seek the well-being of all peoples. Our bond with other believers of Jesus transcends all racial, social, and national barriers.
Believers seek to be agents of reconciliation in all relationships, to practice love of enemies as taught by Christ, and to be peacemakers in all situations.

On point B) of the confession below, Robert Gagnon presented how we are made in God’s image, male and female we are created and only through the union of male and female we can become one flesh. He also addressed how sexual immortality devalues human life. On the second day, Dr Gagnon presented Jesus’ response to the sinner was to “go and sin no more” He also presented a very clear solution to ONE ethical/moral issue: the importance of a believer to be an imitator of Christ in word AND deed, or be separated from the kingdom of heaven.

B) Each person is created in the image of God and ought to be celebrated and nurtured. Because God is Creator and the Author and Giver of life, we oppose all actions and attitudes that devalue human life
In all complex ethical decisions regarding life and death, we seek to offer hope, healing, support, and counsel in the context of the Christian community.”

Point C) which is not part of the articles we were intending to study, became the focus of the Friday sessions. We heard testimony from many leaders and delegates who have or are encountering behaviours of sexual immorality, and their personal response to these situations.

C)”In community members grow in maturity as they demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, use their spiritual gifts, and practice mutual accountability in the disciplines of the Christian life. Christians confess sin, repent, and experience God’s grace in the life of the Christian community.
To be a disciple means to be true to Jesus in everyday life.
We believe that marriage and the family are instituted by God. The church blesses both marriage and singleness and encourages families to grow in love.

What this study conference did NOT address was Human Sexuality or how to honour God with our bodies. I also was disappointed that we did NOT address how as a body of believers in the MB conference, we OPPOSE all actions and attitudes that devalue human life, while offering hope, healing, support and counsel IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.

I pray that each one of us, leaders and members who attended this conference will be convicted to turn from our own attitudes, acceptances and actions, and become imitators of Christ everyday. I pray that my brothers and sisters love me so much that they are WILLING hold me accountable to turn from my sinful actions, even when it hurts or takes years to resolve, to ensure I will be with God in eternity.
Donnalee
Abbotsford BC

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