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
The Deafening Silence
Thank you, Alvin Kibble, for explaining why our church “appears” to always play catch-up when the world is more reactive to relevant issues (“When Silence is Not Golden” ).
For a church to proclaim that we should be the head and not the tail, while being mute as prophecy is being fulfilled is sad. The swearing in of an African American U.S. president gave us a divine opportunity for our faith as a “peculiar people” to be demonstrated.
The continued silence by leadership of the General Conference makes the millions of Adventists appear radical when we want to speak out.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A friend e-mailed me about two men who were part of Barak Obama’s Inauguration. I video-recorded the entire proceedings, from about 10 a.m. (eastern) into the evening. I watched part of the time I was taping the programs. When [U.S. Senate Chaplain] Barry Black got up to offer prayer, I was there. The next day I saw Wintley Phipps on the evening news. Before they came on, I wondered if a Seventh-day Adventist would be part of the Inauguration, especially Wintley Phipps. It’s good to know that there are men of such high caliber in our ranks who have the capacity and are friends with those in high government places.
I am glad for the way things are going in Washington. I think President Obama will do a good job. I still think about the statement in Ellen White’s writing where she said those in government will do what they can to set things on a good financial ground, but won’t be able to do it. As Seventh-day Adventists we need to continue our forward movement of this gospel God has given us, while at the same time work with those in power to help them so they will stay balanced in their thinking.
Joseph, a ruler in a major nation did just that. We aren’t all in that position. We have another mission, and the sooner we get that done the sooner we will be under the best Rulership across this vast universe.
Thank you for making “A Long Night’s Journey Into Day” part of the Adventist Review website. For me, Phillip Yancey has been a most compelling author. I have valued his honesty and clear teaching of biblical truths.
With this article, however, I am becoming more hopeful that the church I’ve been part of all of my life is awakening to the needs many of its members have for it to address “out loud”--the harsh treatment of African Americans by White “Christians” in this country (or should I say, in this church?). As citizens of the Kingdom of God who still live on this planet, it is appropriate for our leaders and members to speak up for what is right while also doing the right thing.
Time to Wake Up
The article “Calling God’s Bluff?” (Jan. 15, 2009) is a wake-up call. We live in a world without respect or honor, and sometime we Christians forget just who God is and what His purpose was in creating us. We pray to Him as if He is a mail-order catalog. With our wants and needs we put ourselves first before giving honor and thanks to the One who gave us the breath of life.
This article is a wake-up call to put God first, obey His will with fear and trembling, and make everything else secondary. God will not be trifled with, nor treated like our personal wish granter. God is to be feared, then honored, giving thanks that He takes notice of us, and not taking His loving kindness for granted. I thank Sam Belony for having the courage to write such a compelling article.
Read It Again
Daniel Dapaah’s article, “The Sermon on the Mount” (Jan. 8, 2009) is easily skimmed over by superficial readers. It is a masterful treatise showing the influence of the Sermon on the Mount on Western civilization, the Old Testament background of the beatitudes, and Jesus’ role as the New Moses, proclaiming God’s law from a new Mount Sinai by introducing the principles of His new Kingdom. I recommend a careful rereading of the article.
I often think about responding to an article I read in the Review or other magazines, but rarely actually carry out those intentions. However, two items in Sari Fordham’s column, “A Return to ‘Searching Eyes’”(Dec. 11, 2008) prompted this message.
First, I was disappointed to see that this was her last column for the Review. I always enjoy reading her articles. Her writing never fails to resonate with my own thoughts, yet take me to a deeper level of thinking, and ultimately greater service for God.
Second, reading about sending Ugandan orphans to school, along with the quote “everyone can do something,” leads me to share some information with you. A couple years ago two students at Collegedale Academy in Tennessee, wanted to do something for the “Invisible Children” (child soldiers) of Uganda. Their efforts began what would become a school-wide campaign, branching out into the community, and raising tens of thousands of dollars to help build schools. What they have accomplished is quite remarkable. This project continues today at the school.
I suggest you contact Shelly Litchfield, a teacher at Collegedale Academy and sponsor of this outreach, for more details. This could develop into an inspiring story for the Review. It definitely illustrates the message of Fordham’s last column.
Volunteers, Volunteers, Volunteers
The Review is a blessing in our home. It helps us focus on what the Lord is doing through some of His children. It inspires us to pray for each other and remember we are a part of a worldwide movement, serving Christ along with many other wonderful Christian denominations around the world.
In May 2008, under “Bulletin Board,” were listed some volunteers serving in various parts of the world. We just returned from Maluti Adventist Hospital in Lesotho, South Africa where our son is serving as a student missionary. I wondered if student missionaries from our colleges are also posted in the Review.
Occasionally the Adventist Review publishes names of volunteers serving in temporary or short-term assignments from lists provided by General Conference Office of Secretariat. That list is by no means comprehensive.--Editors