Come, Let us Reason Together: Developing Common Understandings of Discernment

In January 2010, the Central Plains Mennonite Conference of MC USA held a seminar for pastors, elders, deacons. 120 people came to discuss biblical hermeneutics and the process of biblical interpretation and discernment. Three presentations were given to focus the conversation:

Kent McDougal presented “The Rule of Christ in His Church,” a paper which examines how obedience to the teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew equip us for ethical discernment. Kent is the pastor of Christ Community Church in Des Moines.

Mathew Swora presented “Biblical Roots, Interpretive Connections,” in which he traced the scriptural roots of Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective and how the church has arrived at its current position regarding human sexuality. Mathew is pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Minneapolis.

Cynthia Lapp, pastor of the Hyattsville Mennonite Church, Hyattsville, Md., presented, “Living Side by Side with Difference,” in which she proposed allowing a diversity of views and following the Gamaliel principal from Acts 5, ‘if it is of human origin it will fail, but if it is of God.…’

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