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 Authentic Article
From an Jew who believes in Jesus, I fully enjoyed Thom S. Rainer’s on-line article, “Where Are All the Christians?” Up to now, I looked at “Christians” as people who often say they’re followers of Jesus, but who also say that much of the Law of Moses was nailed to Jesus’ cross.
As I read Rainer’s inquiry into how many church attendees are not believing Christians, I noticed near the end of the article he mentioned repentance.
As a Jew, I have known major sections of the Law of Moses for some time. It contains the moral law, as meant by the prophets, Malachi and Ezekiel. But, somehow, I missed what Christians meant by the word repentance. I now understand it to mean repentance from sin, which is the breaking of God’s moral law. I now look with adoration at the Law of Moses because Jesus gives me His forgiveness when, like all people, I break it. The power to stop breaking it is the indwelling, if I let Him in, of the Holy Spirit of God.
Walla Walla, Washington
They Won’t Forget
Regarding “Claim Your Campus” (Feb. 18, 2010): That so many of our youth tend to drop their affiliation with the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a very real problem. However, our personal feelings concerning these losses may be somewhat assuaged by the knowledge that during their earlier years, many of these young people had a close association with our “Adventist lifestyle.” This may have a direct and positive influence on many of their own lifestyle choices.
Also, though we may often be grieved by the unwise choices made by our maturing youth, it will perhaps be helpful to keep in mind that the “final chapters” of their lives remain to be written. There may eventually be a very positive outcome in the lives of some of our errant present-day youth as they become older, have children and grandchildren of their own, and as they contemplate the finiteness of their own earthly existence.
Paul E. Hamel
Berrien Springs, Michigan
A hearty “amen” for Fredrick Russell’s column, “Pastors: Unsung Heroes of the Church” (Jan. 21, 2101). I have been blessed by the pastors who have ministered in the churches where I have attended. I am partial to one pastor in particular, my father, M. W. Deming.
Oliver Jacques’ story, “Living History,” is so remarkable. What a legacy of faithfulness. May we never take lightly the fact that such faithfulness often came at great sacrifice. Because someone in the past was faithful, my maternal grandparents and paternal great-grandparents accepted the Adventist message. One of my ancestors from the 1600s said he wanted his God to be his children’s God; to love, serve, and honor Him. We all have a legacy to pass on.
In the geographical area where I live, close to Vancouver, British Columbia, the climate has changed (warmed) noticeably in the past 100 years. An old timer from this area, now deceased, told me that in the early 1900s the Fraser River, close to where it empties into the Pacific Ocean, used to freeze so hard that ice was thick enough to support horse-pulled sleighs a distance of more than 200 meters.
This year, during the 2010 Winter Olympics, snow had to be hauled some 200 kilometers to where some of the Olympic events were to take place. We have to admit that global warming is definitely taking place.
The question is: Is this the result of a natural, cyclical phenomenon (sun spots), or is it caused by human activity? Any sane, honest scientist or theologian must admit that no one can answer that question with certainty.
Seventh-day Adventists can have their private opinions about it, but let’s not repeat the Galileo-Roman Catholic Church mistake and weigh in on something that later turns out to be wrong, and in the future have to red-facedly have to confess our “official” mistake.
Henry Siegfried Gerber
Surrey, British Columbia
I enjoyed “Stretching Our Faith” by Sandra Blackmer (Feb. 18, 2010). I wish to expand the thought a little. Many times I have not accepted, but inherited a task I might not have chosen had the opportunity been given me—fellow church employee wives, and some others may be able to relate to this! Not only has God provided me the strength and skill to do it, He has also revived my spirits and provided so much enjoyment from the experience that much of the pleasure was mine! I felt blessed. “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich” (Prov. 10:22).
I feel blessed, too, by the support my church gave us young people as we were growing up. I remember a trio made up of two friends and me who sang for church from the time when we were just girls. I started playing the piano for church at an early age, and I never remember anything but thanks and appreciation for our efforts. I don’t remember being discouraged by an unkind word.