on Human Sexuality, 1986
General Conference Mennonite Church
We affirm that sexuality is a good and beautiful gift of God,
a gift of identity and a way of being in the world as male and
We affirm that we can feel positive
about our bodies and our sexuality because we know our Creator.
We affirm that sexual drives
are a real part of our lives, but that the satisfaction of those
drives is not the chief good in life.
We affirm both the goodness of
singleness and the goodness of marriage and family in the Lord.
We confess that our sexual attitudes and practices too often
fall far short of the biblical standards. No one can boast of
perfection in this area.
We confess that sexism lingers
among us, damaging the self-esteem of women and hindering their
full contribution to personal relationships and to the church,
and denying men a true understanding of themselves.
We repent of our wrong view of
the body which keeps us from speaking openly and honestly about
our bodies, including our sexual nature.
We repent of our judgmental attitudes
and our slowness to forgive each other when we fail, a sign of
lack of compassion.
We confess our fear and repent
of our rejection of those of us with a different sexual orientation
and of our lack of compassion for their struggle to find a place
in society and in the church.
We repent of our permissiveness
which too often leads to premarital and extramarital sexual relationships.
We repent of our failure to maintain
healthy and growing marriages.
We covenant with each other to study the Bible together and expand
our insight into the biblical teachings relating to sexuality.
We understand the Bible to teach that sexual intercourse is reserved
for a man and a woman united in marriage and that violation of
this teaching is a sin. It is our understanding that this teaching
also precludes premarital, extramarital and homosexual sexual
activity. We further understand the Bible to teach the sanctity
of the marriage covenant and that any violation of this covenant,
including spouse abuse, is sin.
We covenant with each other to
mutually bear the burden of remaining in loving dialogue with
each other in the body of Christ, recognizing that we are all
sinners in need of God's grace and that the Holy Spirit may lead
us to further truth and repentance. We covenant compassion and
prayer for each other that distrustful, broken, and sinful relationships
may experience God's healing.
We covenant with each other to
take part in the ongoing search for discernment and for openness
to each other. As a part of the nurture of individuals and congregations
we will promote congregational study of the complex issues of
sexuality, through Bible study and the use of Human Sexuality
in the Christian Life: A Working Document for Study and Dialogue.
Finally, we covenant with God
that as we discern his will for our lives and our fellowship,
we will seek to obey it, through his grace and strength.
Adopted at the
triennial session of the General Conference Mennonite Church,
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1986.
Mennonite Church statement, A Call to Affirmation, Confession
and Covenant Regarding Human Sexuality, 1987, is nearly identical.
see Loren John's comparison of the statements.
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