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
Buzzing About Flies
I loved the article, “Flies in Your Head”(Sept. 18, 2008) by Ginger Ketting-Weller. It was powerful and well done.
Thousand Palms, California
We have to think about the motive behind our thoughts. God knows it is not in our nature to think like Him. So how can we know truth and think God-like thoughts?
That ability is in our grasp; it lies at the source of our life; it is that still small voice asking us to stop and listen. But it’s not always easy to hear or recognize God’s voice. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (KJV). Is there anything harder than learning to be still?
Turn off the TV, put down the newspaper, silence your cell phone, take off the earphones, turn off the radio. Our example is Jesus. We were made in His image. We need to hear His words, for in them we find salvation. This is the core that still shines through the layers of distortion.
Is God Fair?
Regarding the article, “Is God Fair?” (Sept. 18, 2008): No, God is not fair. He is always more than fair. If He were only fair, that is, giving us what we deserve, humans would not exist. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and His ways beyond tracing out. Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor” (Rom. 11:33, 34, NIV))? We must always live by faith. Jesus’ words, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear” (John 16:12, NIV), are full of truth for all of us. Living by faith is always in the present.
Addressing Violence Now
I was delighted to read that the [General Conference] Women’s Ministries [Department] has initiated efforts to address domestic violence in the church. When I read the interview with Heather-Dawn Small (“Adventist Must Emphasize Abuse Prevention Year Round,” Sept. 11, 2008) I was profoundly impressed.
As a retired marriage and family therapist, I have a deep appreciation for this kind of intervention. We can no longer render excuses, or look the other way, when this behavior is so prevalent in the church. Not later, but now is the time for intervention!
In addition to spousal and elder abuse, let’s also take a closer look at sibling abuse, as well as abuse toward those who are mentally and physically challenged.
I especially enjoy reading about approaches being taken in South America that targets elementary school children. I agree that children live what they learn.
My deep appreciation is extended to Heather-Dawn Small and others who are putting forth the effort to educate and prevent this cruel, detestable, and unhealthy behavior. Her efforts should be applauded. May we see the eradication of this kind of abhorrent behavior in the very near future.
“How Would Ellen White Vote? (Sept. 11, 2008) is a great article, very balanced. As a U. S. citizen living outside the United States, I will vote by absentee ballot once again. I do not vote party lines; no single candidate meets all my criteria.
Welcome to Our Church
I just got back from vacation and read Wilona Karimabadi’s editorial, “Roll Out the Welcome Mat” (Aug. 28, 2008). While I completely understand her point of view and have heard countless stories of this nature, I must share a story just the opposite.
Not all churches ignore newcomers. There are still some churches that welcome visitors, greet them, get to know them, and make them feel noticed and included. Two such churches are in Williston, Vermont, and Fall River, Massachusetts.
My husband and I were recently on vacation and decided both Sabbaths that we wanted to attend services. We found the nearest churches by searching online. We sincerely enjoyed our experiences at these churches. The people were friendly and fun; and the services at both churches were fantastic.
The Fall River Church had potluck the Sabbath we were there, and we stayed to fellowship with them. We were so glad we did. We had great conversation, wonderful food, and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
While I feel bad for the experience Ms. Karimabadi and her friends had, I have to say that churches that do the opposite deserve recognition for their efforts. Well done, Williston and Fall River Churches! Thanks for your kindness.
Becky St. Clair
Improving the Odds, Once More
The letter from Walter Sumner in the August 28 Adventist Review brought a valid point to the forefront concerning Adventist education, one I have heard many times.
Adventist education is expensive; but so is anything worth having. It has always been “expensive” to obtain an Adventist education; it has required sacrifice and it still does.
I remember a faithful church member who was picking up her grandchildren at church school, her face beaming. When asked why the big smile she replied that she had just paid her mortgage off and she owned her house for the fourth time. They had five children who always attended church school, academy, and Adventist colleges (two became doctors), sometimes their house would have to be mortgaged to pay the bills. They realized their children and their spiritual growth were more important then even their home.
I have heard many people say their children were not in church school because Adventist education was too expensive. But I have seen the boats, jet-skis, four-wheelers, cars, and other toys parked in their garages that were apparently not too expensive.
I have seen children from impoverished families attend Adventist schools and graduate from Adventist colleges. It happened because parents were dedicated to a Christian education for their children and placed themselves and all of their resources toward that objective. God provided, as He always does.
It’s a matter of priorities. Our greatest priority should be our children’s salvation. Our schools definitely play a large part in saving and training our children to serve God in this world and live with him forever in the coming world.
Faith We Can Believe In
The devotional, “A Faith Worthy of Belief” (Aug. 28, 2008), was a great blessing to me. The statement, “pride, in all its myriad shapes and disguises, is the source of most of the evils for which humanity is responsible,” is something I must remind myself of daily--no, hourly.
If I were to presume to add anything to this inspired article, it would be to add to the closing line: it is a faith worthy of living.
New “Species” Appears
Congratulations to the “creator” of the “new species” pictured on page 26 of the August 28 issue. He’s just about the coolest looking animal I’ve ever seen! I hope God has one just like that in heaven. I can hardly wait to pet it.
Have you named him? “Lebra” would be OK, but I think “Zion” is perfect for the fact that Zion is one name for the church.
Greenwich, New York
Zion it is! The “new creature” is the brainchild of Beate Richli, wife of associate publisher and marketing director, Claude Richli. Enjoy it now, you may or may not see one in the new earth.—Editors
Bible Supports Caring for the Earth
Thank you for the article, “And It Was Good” (Aug. 21, 2008). It was biblical instead of political. We have good reasons to care for the earth. But it’s so easy to get caught up in popular political movements that really have nothing to do with care for the earth. In fact, many of them are based in New Age worship of Mother Earth; and others cite “science” that is still debatable and uncertain.
It’s good to get back to biblical reasons, without referring to these other things.