Biblical Mennonite Alliance (BMA) was the Mennonite conference that our family had been a part of before God told our family to leave the Mennonite church a number of years ago. BMA was started in 1998 because of the liberal drift of Conservative Mennonite Conference and other Mennonite groups. Their goal was to be the most Biblical Mennonite group, hence their name Biblical Mennonite Alliance. BMA’s motto was "The Bible plus nothing, and the Bible minus nothing".
The modest, conservative dress of these young girls did not protect them from the sexual advances of this man. The conservative modest dress did not help this man to control himself as we were taught in the Mennonite church that it would. What is significant is that this man did not fall into adultery with an adult; instead it was perversion with young girls.It is significant that those who take advantage of girls in such a situation are always those who are the most strident in their demands that they dress modestly.
What can be done to rid conservative churches (whether they be Mennonite, Independent Baptist, or Family Centered) of this curse? There is only one solution: take off the heavy lid and expose the wickedness:
Then a lead cover was lifted, and there was a woman sitting inside the basket. “This is Wickedness,” he said. He shoved her down into the basket and pushed the lead weight over its opening. --Zechariah 5:7-8 HCSB
Hershberger did not have natural affection, but was sexually attracted to these "modestly" dressed young girls. He knew the judgment of God, but he did it anyway. God had given him over to a reprobate mind to do that which was not convenient.The biblical model is to first expose the wickedness to the full light of day before deleting it. Who will do it?
Sadly, BMA did not follow the Bible in publicly rebuking their conference leader for his sin of sexual abuse. They covered it up and quickly scrubbed their website of Art Hershberger’s name and his leadership within the conference. They put other names in its place.