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The beliefs and sentiments expressed by those whose letters appear here are not necessarily shared by the Adventist Review or its editorial staff. These letters have been edited for clarity and length. -- Editors


Wake Up and Worship
These comments concern the article, “Does God Get a Lift?” by Ivan C. Blake (July 19, 2007).
 
What an important article for our church at this time in our history. We seldom hear about how we should worship and what it entails. Blake gave us much food for thought and provided guidelines by which we should evaluate our services. Many, and possibly most, of our churches have become mirrors of popular Christian churches, far different from what they once were: light sermons with jokes, frivolous stories, film clips, and little meat; trite praise music with electric guitars blaring out, sometimes accompanied by drums, music so loud that some are forced to plug their ears; singers being very animated as they perform; applause for performances; theatrics such as plays and skits; a lack of reverence; attendees dressed in all types of attire; jewelry in abundance. In short, we are entertained by the preacher and his/her supporting cast. It’s as if leaders feel their parishioners go to church to have a good time.
 
How dare we worship as we frequently do. Missing is the awe, reverence, and a feeling of God’s holiness. We certainly need the kind of worship Blake describes.
 
Walter S. Hamerslough
Lafayette, Colorado

 
Sabbath Blessings
David Newman’s article, “Birthdays and Sabbaths” (Jul. 12, 2007), is necessary to remind us how blessed we are by stopping our own activities. Most pastors talk about the blessings of the Sabbath; what we need to hear is how to keep the Sabbath holy. Take a look at a good website for Jewish Christians: www.hebrew4christians.com.
 
Thank you for publishing such a deep, well-written article.
 
Michel Kordas
 

I read with much interest Roy Adams’ article, “Keeping the Sabbath” (Jun. 21, 2007). That is exactly how my dear mother raised her nine children. All remained faithful Adventists: four are still living.
 
Friday was, and still is, the preparation day; the time to get ready for the holy Sabbath. Our baths were not so easy to take, as water had to be heated on the stove in the kitchen and carried up a flight of steps to the bathtub. The tub was long and a large kettle of water didn’t make much depth in the tub. We made it boiling hot so we could add cold water to increase the volume.
 
The house was thoroughly cleaned, special food prepared both for Friday supper and the Sabbath meal. Our clothes were ironed and ready for church. Since I am the youngest there were just four of the nine children still at home. All non-Sabbath literature was put away. We went to Young Peoples’ Meeting on Friday nights, and always to church on Sabbath. The afternoon was spent reading our Sabbath School papers or going with the Sunshine Bands to visit shut-ins. I never remember being bored.
 
It makes me sad when I go into an Adventist home today and see the newspaper spread around, kids reading non-Christian books or magazines, etc. This is not true of all homes, of course, but too many.
 
I pray this article will stir the awareness of true Sabbath keeping. It doesn’t have to be a boring day, but a joyous one.
 
Delores Master
Falling Waters, West Virginia
 

Anything Good?
Carlos Medley’s editorial, “God’s Game Plan (Jun. 28, 2007), was quite troubling both by what was said and what was left unsaid. It appears to me that basically the article approved of American football, of the expense involved for those who attend the games, and the time spent watching them. Am I wrong in assuming that Carlos Medley would have no problem with the Superbowl being shown in Seventh-day Adventist church fellowship halls, or with Seventh-day Adventist young men becoming professional football players?
 
What about Ellen G. White’s statements such as these: “Some of the most popular amusements, such as football and boxing, have become schools of brutality. They are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome. The love of domination, the pride in mere brute force, the reckless disregard of life, are exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling” (Education, p. 210).
 
 “Satan has devised a multitude of ways in which to keep men from serving God. He has invented sports and games, into which men enter with such intensity that one would suppose a crown of life was to reward the winner. At the horse races and football matches, which are attended by thousands and thousands of people, lives for which Christ shed his blood are thrown away. What will become of the souls of the men and boys whose lives are thus extinguished? Will they be counted worthy of the redemption which Christ died to secure for them? (Review and Herald, June 13, 1907).
 
I have personally cared for a number of people who have injured themselves by being involved in some of these sports, especially football.

May I suggest that in view of the great interest in sports by some members of the church that the Review publish an article by the Ellen G. White Estate summarizing the counsel we have on this subject?
 
Donald E. Casebolt, M. D.
Farmington, New Mexico


Going Green
I’m one of the thousands of readers who read and react to the thoughts Sari Fordham and her colleagues share through the Review (Why Green?, Jun. 14, 2007), but rarely take time to give feedback. I just couldn’t keep quiet though, when she shared that her previous article about conservation had generated controversy. I’m mind-boggled that a people who believe in both a literal creation as well as its Creator wouldn’t just naturally believe in the need to be responsible caretakers of the earth.
 
Each of Fordham’s five reasons to be “green” was well-stated, and each one could be the theme of follow-up articles. Whether or not we “took the pledge” with Live Earth, we need to decrease the impact on global warming through wise energy choices. Fordham shouldn’t feel that she’s a lone voice on this topic—she has lots of company in the Adventist community. Her article was a reminder that in addition to our own personal efforts for environmentalism, this is a great way to mingle and be “salt” in those organizations that support good stewardship of God’s creation.
 
Thanks again for the thoughtful and fresh column.
 
Beth Van Meter
 

Adventists in Time of War
I am not a subscriber to the Review, but I did have this issue long enough to read Elizabeth Lechleitner’s article discussing Seventh-day Adventist stance on armed military service (“Young Adventists in a World of War,” Jun. 14, 2007). I’m writing to call attention to an error shown in the sidebar that accompanied the story.
 
Everett Dick, of Union College, is identified as starting the Medical Cadet Corps (MCC) (medical training for Seventh-day Adventist of draft age to help them avoid combatant service) in the year 1950. I will be surprised if I’m the only one to notice this mistake.
 
I still have my Medical Cadet card, signed by E. W. Dunbar, from the General Conference, and G. M. Mathews, from the Michigan Conference, showing that I completed the course January 29, 1941 at Grand Ledge, Michigan. I was only one of the group that I would guess numbered 400--five of us from Holly, Michigan--who drove Sunday by Sunday, to the Grand Ledge camp meeting grounds from all over southern Michigan for the training. Dick was there in MCC uniform as colonel and director. Carlyle B. Haynes, and others, was there. Lowell Litten, longtime editor of Junior Guide, was a first lieutenant and an up-front leader in the training. I have a photograph of the 23 in our orderly aligned platoon. I’m certain I’m not the only one who possesses a copy of that photo and others of the battalion.
 
The winds of war were roaring in 1941 and training for World War II could not wait until 1950. Dick foresaw the need for such training long before 1950 and developed a helpful program for Adventist draftees.
 
Dwight Rhodes
Springfield, Missouri
 

Thanks for catching the error. Here’s the history, according to the
Medical Cadet Corps Training Manual, by Everett N. Dick (1955): In 1934 Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, began to give its young men military medical training, calling the group the Union College Medical Corps. Dick was this group’s leader. In 1936 the College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University in California) organized a medical training unit known as the Medical Cadet Corps, with Dr. Cyril B. Courville leading. In 1939 the General Conference adopted the plan of training young men for military service and the programs that were followed at the two colleges were united under the name Seventh-day Adventist Medical Cadet Corps. In 1950 the military training program was reactivated.—Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries/AR
 

I recently read “Young Adventists in a World of War” at my parents’ home while on vacation. I am completely bewildered that joining the military was treated as such a neutral topic. If I hadn’t already known better, I would have come away thinking that joining the military in any capacity was a valid option for Seventh-day Adventists.
 
Why was there no mention of the difficulties of keeping the Sabbath in the military? Why is there no mention of the fact that on the list of official priorities for those joining the military the army is listed as number one and God is listed as number 10? Why is there no mention of Christ’s instructions on how to treat our enemies? Why was there no follow-up on the story of the young man who became an Adventist while in the military a few years ago and was court-martialed for refusing to carry a weapon anymore, even though he volunteered to work clearing landmines? Why was there no mention of the deceit governments often use to manipulate their citizens into going to war for their political purposes?
 
It is one thing to support our church members who decide they must go to war, but it is another thing to encourage them to go without warning them of the trials and situations they will face.
 
My husband joined the military when he was 19. During the five months that he was in training, he was reading a Bible that had been given to him when he joined. He became convicted that it was wrong to kill and eventually requested to be released. (He hadn’t heard of Adventists at the time.)
 
My father was drafted into the military during the Vietnam War. He had to risk discipline by the military to keep the Sabbath back then. I have not heard anything to indicate that the Sabbath situation in the military has improved since those days. And voluntarily joining the military is certainly not going to make keeping the Sabbath any easier.
 
I understand that the Adventist Review tries to stay out of politics. However, this issue goes too far. If you aren’t going to present the reality of being an Adventist in the military, then young people will be better off if you do not discuss it at all.
 
In the last year I have talked with several college students who have been lied to by recruiters in order to persuade them to join the military. My husband had the same experience 20 years ago. Recruiters often make promises that will not be kept. So if a recruiter tells an Adventist that they will be able to keep the Sabbath in the military, this does not mean anything.
 
Aimee Montes de Oca
 

For Our Use
The news commentary, “Let There Be Dark by Dick Duerksen (Jun. 14, 2007), caught my eye. His report of the Earth Hour event in Sidney, Australia gives the impression that he and his environmental cohorts consider the use of earth’s energy resources as somewhat sinful, or at least irresponsible. The all-wise Creator, by His fore-ordination, has furnished deposits of coal, oil, and gas to be used for the comfort and convenience of our technically-advanced civilization. Are we to show our appreciation for these gifts by neglecting their use and allowing them to lie dormant to achieve the tenuous benefit of “reducing the threats of global warming”? All the automobiles, electric lights, and smokestacks in the world cannot equal the greenhouse effect of one medium-sized volcano.
 
We are living in the final stages of a 4,000 year old ice age that covered most of the northern and southern hemispheres with an ice pack thousands of feet thick. There is little that we can do to either speed or retard the inexorable process of the meltdown. I am not willing to return to the world of beeswax candles and horse and buggies to be classified as a “responsible environmentalist.”
 
John McConnell
Citrus Heights, California




 
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