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

Supporting Secularization?

Regarding the Robert Schwaneberg article about Judge Alito and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution "Rulings Reveal Alito Sees Role for Religion in the Public Square", I find it troubling that our publications and church policy continue to refer to this “proverbial wall between church and state,” as if it referred to a complete freedom from religion and not simply the prohibition of a state religion as it was practiced in Great Britain (i.e. The Church of England.) when the Constitution was written.

It is sad we support the secularization of America from kindergarten to the White House. No wonder the proponents of complete moral degeneration--gay marriage, abortion, evolution as science, etc.--are not only gaining ground, but will have the upper hand before long.

In my native country--and having lived, or frequently visited, countries where a state religion had complete control of all branches of government--I know first-hand why the First Amendment decision of the founders of this great nation was wise beyond the understanding of many.

Laszlo von Bayer
Meridian, Idaho

Pay-per-view Pro and Con

I just read with disappointment of the Review’s decision to start charging for access to the online edition (An Open Letter From William G. Johnsson). While I understand the concern about potential loss of subscriptions and the associated loss of revenue from people moving from the print medium to the online medium, I am also concerned about what this move will do to those who may benefit most from free access to the online edition.

Let’s ignore for the moment the unequal treatment under this new policy for those in North America from those in other parts of the world. If we look just at those in North America, I wouldn’t be surprised if the people we might most wish to maintain contact with will be most adversely affected by this decision.

Those on the “fringes” of the church, who may currently be struggling over issues with the church, who may have left the church, or who are currently inactive for whatever reason, might still benefit from access to the online edition. We clearly want to maintain contact with and support these people. However, these are the very ones likely not to subscribe to the Review. College students also--especially those who attend public Universities--may not subscribe or have access to the printed Review simply because of limited finances, and will no longer have access.

I urge the Review to reconsider this decision, and make access to the online Review a service provided free to all.

Dan Turk
Fort Collins, Colorado

I live in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Thank you for making the Adventist Review available on-line to enjoy the blessings I receive from articles each week. As you know, it is very difficult for Adventists here in the Pacific Islands to get hard copies of the Adventist Review, or even afford the subscription. Transportation between the United States and the Solomon Islands means that receiving a copy of Adventist Review means waiting for weeks if it comes by air. If it comes by surface mail, it could take up six months before a copy sent today reaches us. The on-line edition helps us stay current and connected to the Adventist Church.

I note that because of generous subscribers in the United States, those of us living in the tiny islands of the Pacific can still access the Adventist Review On-line free. Thank you, and God bless those who make it possible to read the Adventist Review on-line.

Gane A Simb
Honiara, Solomon Islands

Pray for Deliverance

When I read the column, “Deliver Us From Evil” (Nov. 10, 2005), I was reminded of the fact that I am easily swayed. If I can’t stand now in a time of ease, how can I stand during the time of trouble?

Since we cannot pull ourselves up by our own boot straps, the best thing for us to do is pray for one another. We need to pray, not just for ourselves, our church and our families, but for all those who will not pray for themselves.

Debra A. Snipes
Graham, North Carolina

From Formulas to Conversation

Kathy Beagles’ article, “My Trouble With Prayer” (Nov. 17, 2005), was extremely relevant and motivating. It’s easy to be so focused on the dance moves of prayer that the enjoyment of actually being in conversation with God gets stepped on.

I’ve been caught up in the twirls of trying to say the right things in the right order so God will listen, especially when interceding for or with others at church. Thanks to Ms. Beagles for opening her heart to us so we could be inspired to open our hearts simply to God.

Sarah Hillebert
Sun Prarie, Wisconsin

Thanks so much for the fine issue on the subject of prayer. I was pleased to see Reinhold Neibuhr’s “Serenity Prayer,” but thought your readers would be interested in the entire prayer as given in the following web site:

Bob Murray

Keep it Simple

I have trouble understanding Clifford Goldstein’s columns. His column, “Righteousness60” (Oct. 27, 2005), uses the word eutaxiological. I don’t find that word in my Oxford Dictionary, and I wonder why he has to use such words. Is he just showing off his superior intelligence or higher education? The majority of Seventh-day Adventists are common, working people. Ellen White’s writings are easy to read but still are very inspirational.

I do have two years of college, but I wish these authors would write in a style that’s easier to read.

Albert Jordan

In “Righteousness60” Clifford Goldstein compares Christ’s numbers to the sixtieth degree that measure “physical balances in the cosmos” to His power to magnify the law. The author then wonders that Paul could think of perfect obedience when he wrote, “By the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight” (Rom. 3:20, NKJV)

Paul showed no lack of confidence that the law can be perfectly obeyed. “Do we then make void the law” (Rom. 3:31)? “Shall we continue in sin” (Rom. 6:1)? “Shall we sin” (Rom. 6:15)? Why doesn’t perfect obedience justify man? Paul gave the answer: “The knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20).

While we counteract this knowledge with goodness, its very knowledge condemns us (see Genesis 3:3, 5). Thanks to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, for deliverance. And thanks to Goldstein for a thought-provoking article.

Bill Tassie
Burlington, Michigan

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