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
A Story Worth Re-telling
I heard John Weidner’s story, “Running From Death” (June, 26, 2008), from his friend Frederic Charpiot. Charpiot was a keen and sharp theologian, teaching Bible classes at Saleve Adventist University. He also helped Weidner, but not many people know the extent of his role.
My former mother-in-law was a good friend of Naomi Weidner, and I heard that side of the story too.
Thanks to Stephen Chavez for his editorial,“Going Against the Flow”(June 19, 2008), and his clarification of the word “peculiar” from 1 Peter 2:9. That text has been quoted to me, and pondered by me, for many years. It always seemed the emphasis was on the word peculiar.
Frankly, I’m not into being “weird, odd, or strange.” Although I may be peculiar at times, it’s unintentional.
I rather dislike being known as a member of a church that’s known for not eating unclean meat, not wearing make-up or jewelry, and going to church on Saturday. Instead, I want to be known as one who loves her enemies, returns grace for rudeness, and brings peace instead of strife.
Certainly, then, the world will recognize us as a church whose lives have been “purchased,” and for whom the price was the death of the Son of God. May God help us to live peculiar lives that include healthy lifestyle choices, dressing modestly, and remembering the Sabbath; but especially for honoring the Lord of the Sabbath.
Thank you, Review staff, for your dedication to lift up Christ. You are such a blessing to me each week!
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Thank you for the June 19 Review; it was a superb issue. Kudos to Stephen Chavez for eloquently addressing the issue of legalism in the church. It is literally tearing some congregations--even some conferences--apart.
Some of the legalism can also be attributed to Bible illiteracy, as was discussed in Mark Kellner’s informative cover story, “Still ‘People of the Book?’”
All this led to Mike Jones’ article, “Reconnecting,” timely advice from someone who’s walked the walk, about how to reclaim our absent fellow believers.
Thank you for being willing to tackle the tough topics confronting our church.
It’s a Small World
The cover story about Christine De Pillai, “Against the Wind” (June 12, 2008), caught my eye. We know this woman. We met her in California.
When we lived in Malaysia, Christine wrote asking me to visit a young Malaysian. He had been at Spicer College, she paid his tuition and he finished college, I believe from the ministerial course. After graduating he returned home to a Muslim home, got married, and stayed in the home village and gave up his church affiliation. She wanted me to visit so I made a trip into central Malaysia to the village where he lived. I was able to find the home and we had a good visit. He never did return to the church, however, and she felt bad about that.
Then turning a page I read the article by Norman Mitchell, a friend of many years. We have visited his home in the La Sierra area.
This issue of the Review was very close to me. Thank you!
Discipline and Redemption
When I read the article, “Is Church Discipline Still Needed?” (Apr. 17, 2008), I expected to see a variety of responses to the bizarre nature of the story presented, and perhaps some pertinent comments about how the case was handled. Instead only a few letters appeared, and those were supportive of the action taken by Serns and his church board. Were there no challenges to this article, or do you only print letters that are supportive of that point of view?
The case study selected to illustrate the need for church discipline is loaded with abnormal behavior by both the husband and the wife. Why would a man sleep on the floor at the foot of the bed while his wife shares the bed with another man? Did he derive some sort of deviant sexual excitement from these encounters? Why else would he let this continue for six years? Was there any evidence this sort of thing really happened, or is there some fantasy involved?
Why is sexual indiscretion such a favorite cause of church discipline but pride, anger, greed, covetousness, etc., are not? Is some sin OK, while others are not? Can you be a sinner and still be a member of the Adventist Church? If so, who has the authority to decide that one of your sins may be cause for discipline? How can a board of elders--who are all sinners--cast stones at another sinner?
It is extremely difficult to develop a model for church discipline that is consistent, fair, and free of hypocrisy. The subject deserves further study.
Merlyn C. Duerksen, M.D.
That’s not a big deal, but I’m curious as to how our Adventist Youth view the church. Is there a difference between Adventist youth and their perception of the Adventist Church versus the way youth perceive their Sunday-keeping churches?
I’m writing to respond to Drs. Handysides and Landless about the article,“Vegan Versus Vegetarian” (Apr. 24, 2008), with a question: How would they interpret E. G. White’s advice in Counsels on Diet and Foods concerning a time when animal products will have to be discarded from our diets because of disease, etc? With the Bird Flu issues and the hormone/pesticide issues with milk from sickened cattle, I am questioning when it will be appropriate to follow her counsel?
There have been several positions held of late on the validity of the use of milk for strong bones. In fact, some say that today’s dairy products weaken bones. I lean toward E. G. White’s counsel, but I still have questions.