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
What Men Want
“The Allure of Modesty” greatly inspired me. I wish all the women I know would read the article. It addresses all the things men look for when looking for a woman to marry.
In response to Erica Richards’ article, “Drowning in a Sea of Gray” (Sept. 10, 2009), we have no one to blame but ourselves. The sermons we’ve heard over the last decade say simply, “Love Jesus, because He loves you.”
When we went to college, we were encouraged to take some real Bible courses, such as Bible Doctrines and the gift of prophecy. Ministers coming out of some of our colleges and universities are not “required” to take Bible doctrines or the gift of prophecy; these are electives.
We have quizzed some ministerial students and active ministers about whether or not they believe in the gift of prophecy or specific Adventist beliefs, and their non-political answer is “no.”
Is it possible to get back to Adventist theology, practice, and precept at our colleges and universities? When reform movements had to be started, they started at seats of learning.
On the other hand, we believe our church will appear to fall, but will not.
May and Henry Welch
Observing many adults and young people leaving the church, I read with interest “Drowning in a Sea of Gray.” I am seeking answers in my personal life and wondering why this is so prevalent in our church.
I found the comments about the Amish interesting, as I have done quite a bit of reading about this group. I have a lot of respect for many of their choices, and even envy the lifestyle that is so family-oriented and centered on the simple things of life.
The article asked a question that was left unanswered. It quoted a study by MSNBC: “Four out of five young adults choose to remain in the Amish church, and more than half of the group’s membership is under 21.” Then it asked, “What are they doing that we are not?”
The answer to this question may be that the Amish choose the “shunning” of their own people if they fail to follow church ordinances to a tee. If Amish young people experience the world during their “Rumspringa” and decide to remain in the secular world, they are banned from further contact with Amish family and friends. It is as though they have died and are gone from their community. Their whole world, as they have known it, suddenly becomes off-limits. They aren’t even allowed to speak to anyone who remains in the Amish church. This shunning makes it highly unlikely that young people will choose to turn their backs on the Amish church if they want to remain connected to their tight-knit unit of family and friends.
If we were to follow such a practice within our church, we would likely have the same results as the Amish. But at what price? And what would be the motive of the young adult (or any person) choosing to retain church membership?
I would much rather our young people--or any members--choose to stay because of a loving relationship with their Savior, Who has always been a God who exemplifies freedom of choice and unconditional love.
Debbie Danforth Eskildsen
Thanks for both articles. Researchers such as Bernell Baldwin, Vicki Griffith, and Neil Nedley have already documented that lifestyle issues--eating, drinking, dressing, sleeping, listening, reading, doing--all affect the clear thinking of the frontal lobe of the brain, where moral issues are decided.
People must accept by faith that these lifestyle issues are important, and allow God’s Holy Spirit to change their practices and constantly point them toward the holy Scriptures with daily surrender (Gal 2:20).
Can You Spell That?
I have no idea what “TTYLIH” means. Kimberly Luste Maran’s editorial, “TTYLIH” (Sept. 17, 2009), gave no translation. For those of us who do not immerse ourselves in Facebook, Twitter, or text messaging, her article, therefore, lost some of its value. I would love to say with confidence and courage—TTYLIH, if she means something like “Thank The Youth, Loving In Him.”
I understand the value of the Internet for evangelism purposes, and to help and encourage others who might not be so easily reached by face-to-face encounters. All types of media can and should be used. I am concerned, however, with the trend of speaking in acronyms, and assuming everyone understands this “language.” It would have been good to translate TTYLIH in Maran’s editorial for those of us who don’t use that mode of communication.
TYVM (Thank You Very Much).
Pipe Creek, Texas
Thanks for asking (we hoped somebody would). TTYLIH is text-talk for “Talk to you later in heaven.” Maran’s the only one on our staff young enough to write about this subject with authenticity. The rest of us still prefer complete sentences.--Editors
Putting It to Rest
I have followed with interest the article and discussion on hymns in the church in "Singing Our Songs," by Roy Adams (Aug. 20, 2009). I am a "high church" fan, but some of the more rabid responses to contemporary music are a bother to me. People so frequently confuse what they don't like as being evil, and what they like as being righteous.
While I agree that not much is coming out in the mode of new hymns, I have a written a few. As with most hymns, ther is a story and context with each that inspired them. Currently I am working on a Christmas hymn that I plan to complete for the coming Christmas season.
The song in its entirety can be found here.
To the church described in the sidebar “A Child’s Perspective” (Aug. 13, 2009), I would say, “Shame on you!”
Parents have to understand that young children may need quiet toys and books to play with during the church service, and, dare I say it, a snack of Cheerios or raisins to get them to their normal dinner time. A young child should not be expected to sit still, as we adults cannot do it ourselves. As children grow, the need for books and toys naturally diminishes.
Likewise, they should be lovingly taught proper behavior and respect for those sitting around them. Many seem to feel that if we teach (discipline) our children about such matters, they won’t want to come to church any more. But teaching proper decorum goes along with teaching manners and behavior at the dinner table or even in the grocery store. A child taught respect in all matters of life will not think of the church as a place of punishment.
Wahpeton, North Dakota
The Family Connection
We have a subscription to the Review, and sometimes when it’s time to renew I question whether we should do so--my work keeps me so busy that some weeks I can only read an article or two at most. The September 17 issue reminded me why it is so important to continue bringing Adventist Review and Adventist World into my home each week.
In Roy Adams’ editorial, “The Rest of the Story?” he mentioned a letter written by Howard Williams in response to one of his June editorials. I couldn’t help but grin when I read that Williams, his wife, and another couple--Brian and Laurel Baker--had gone to Bolivia in response to a Review article/appeal published a few years before Richard Utt’s 1999 article. Just over a month ago, the Bakers’ daughter, Lauren (who, with my son, recently graduated from Milo Adventist Academy), sat in my kitchen, telling me about mission service in Bolivia when she was a young child.
Thank you to all involved in bringing Adventist Review and Adventist World to those of us who need frequent reminders of God’s love, grace, and leading in our lives and in our church.
Rogue River, Oregon
Proud of Our Heritage
I read with delight the list of “Adventese” (Page 7, Sept. 10, 2009). I accept your challenge to add more.
As an 80-year-old, I gleefully submit some obvious omissions: gluten, gluten burger, gluten steaks, Nuteena, Postum, Proteena, Savorex, Vegex, vegetarian hula, red books, MV, JMV, Busy Bees, Helping Hands, Friends, Companion, progressive class work, brother or sister so-&-so, rostrum, Christ in Song--the list goes on.
I can hardly wait for other old timers to submit their lists.
Additional links on this topic: