All posts by emcmessenger

Does a Coup in Myanmar Matter in the EMC?

by Erica Fehr

Just over a week ago, Myanmar’s military took over the government it already largely controlled. It’s a puzzling move, and not welcome to Myanmar citizens, but what does it have to do with us? That’s a fair question—we have plenty to deal with here and little to offer there. Still, if a family member has a bad thing happen to them, we stop what we’re doing for a while to hear them—to find out what happened and how they’re coping. We find some way to express concern if we can, and spend a few moments in prayer on their behalf. Continue reading Does a Coup in Myanmar Matter in the EMC?

Same-Sex Attraction, Pastoring and the Church

by Layton Friesen

On November 26 and 27, 2020, the EMC Ministerial gathered to talk about sex. The irony was not lost on us that a discussion about our bodies was held entirely on Zoom. But though this was not what we first planned, the format allowed people across the world to join in on an equal standing. It was a rich and thought-provoking time together. Continue reading Same-Sex Attraction, Pastoring and the Church

A Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality

by Gord Penner

Historically we have often struggled to respond to the changing culture around us and fled rather than engaging it with biblical principles. I believe our world is currently suffering from two pandemics: COVID-19 and polarization.

Rather than add to the latter, we need to find ways to heed the great commands: Love God and love neighbour. Continue reading A Biblical Theology of Human Sexuality

Being Christian in a Secular Society: Moving beyond culture wars and toward love

by Gordon T. Smith

When you take the CTrain from downtown Calgary to Ambrose University, the last building you see before the train heads to its underground stop is a mosque. When I was an undergraduate student in the 1970s, I knew there was a mosque somewhere in Canada, but I had no idea where. Now, many of us have a mosque in our neighbourhood. Continue reading Being Christian in a Secular Society: Moving beyond culture wars and toward love

Scripture on the Proper Use of Scripture

by Rebecca Roman

In this issue, Darryl Klassen describes some ways Christians can abuse scripture in his article, “Hermeneutical Fallacies and Sexuality.” One way, he says, is that “scripture can be used ungraciously, as a weapon, to ‘beat down’ the other.”

This is an aspect of scripture’s use that has often concerned me. There are descriptions in the Bible of God’s word as a weapon—not against people, but against “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Continue reading Scripture on the Proper Use of Scripture

Finding Gratituge in the Midst of Turmoil

by Pastor Darrel Guenther

WINNIPEG, Man.—Things I miss:

What I really miss is my favorite ice cream place that is shut down for the winter.

I miss that people are not as connected as they used to be. People are more cautious, more timid, less care-free and interact less with each other. Continue reading Finding Gratituge in the Midst of Turmoil

Review: Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Us Apart

by Kimberly Muehling

In Disunity in Christ, social psychologist Christena Cleveland looks at the community of the church and examines the ways in which we tear each other apart. Cleveland tackles not only the difficulties within local church communities but also the challenges that churches from different denominations find when they try to work together. Continue reading Review: Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Us Apart

Thinking about Survivors of Pastoral Misconduct

by Carol Penner

Pastoral sexual misconduct is regularly covered in the news. A famous celebrity pastor, whom everyone looks up to, leaves their post suddenly. In the months that follow we hear about allegations and investigations. This is the case with Bill Hybels, celebrity founder of the influential Willow Creek Community Church. Sometimes the stories of abuse surface only after the death of a leader, such as with Ravi Zacharias and Jean Vanier—both influential authors, speakers and founders of international ministries. Continue reading Thinking about Survivors of Pastoral Misconduct

Processing Moral Failure from the Anabaptist Perspective

by Darren Plett

Why do strong Christian leaders fall into the trap of moral failure? How do I process this when it happens to someone I looked up to and respected? Is there anything I can do to avoid this trap in my own journey as a leader? Is there anything in our theology that can help us in this journey? And, how do I objectively process all this in a spirit of grace, without being critical and judgmental—because I certainly recognize that I am not without sin. Continue reading Processing Moral Failure from the Anabaptist Perspective