As Anabaptists our involvement with Lisa and Isabella Miller has stemmed from a desire to obey our Lord Jesus – both His commands and example.
When considering the correct response in this case, we take inspiration from Jesus’ way of relating to people in whatever situation they were in – that is with compassion and lack of condemnation. When religious authorities brought a woman to Him who was condemned to stoning for adulterous actions, He defused the situation by bringing the accusers to a realization of their own failures. When her accusers left the scene, Jesus in his mercy didn’t condemn her, but called her to a change of life.
It was in very painful circumstances that Lisa came to the Anabaptists in Virginia for help, which as a follower of Jesus, Ken could not ignore. Ken supported Lisa’s desire to remove herself and Isabella from former relationships which were not in accord with Jesus’ standard. However, he felt only love and compassion for Lisa’s former partner and others involved.
We wish to clarify that this was an act of mercy without a political agenda. This is true for the simple reason that Anabaptists have always believed that we are not to participate in the affairs of the State, while we gladly submit to its rule under God. We also recognise that there are many legal battles being fought in relation to homosexuality. We have no desire to participate in these conflicts.
In that sentiment, we are unworthy to condemn anyone for whatever action or walk of life they have chosen. However, we must conclude as Jesus did that a change of life is the necessary response to so great a mercy. On what basis is Jesus calling for a change of life? What is His standard on sexuality?
Simply put, Jesus said that the only right union is between one man and one woman in lifelong marriage. This excludes premarital sex, adultery, divorce, remarriage and homosexuality. While we in no way apologize for His high standard, our hearts do go out to those who find themselves in these life situations that inevitably cause so much pain and confusion.
More than anything, we want to affirm our heartfelt love for people who do not know God and do not walk in His ways. No matter our sexual lifestyle, we are all equally in need of God’s grace. Our prayer is that together we could experience Christ’s mercy and answer His call.