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 news article “Calendar Shift Doesn’t Alter Seventh Day, Samoan Church Says
” (Jan. 26, 2012) is very interesting.
I thought you’d like to know about the following bit of information:
On Monday, July 4, 1892, one day was added when Samoa changed its calendar. This one day is now removed by the skipping of Friday, December 30, 2011. This means that the official Saturday after this dateline was adjusted is the original Seventh-day Sabbath all the way from creation.
Waverly, West Virginia
I’ve read a few articles about Terry Johnsson, but none reported as thoroughly and informatively as Mark Kellner’s “A Lifetime of Achievement”
(Jan. 19, 2012).
Not to understate the importance of the choices Johnsson and his mother made throughout his life thus far, but praise God for what is now being done through Johnsson’s ministry for his extensive radio community and many others both within and outside the Washington, D.C. area. How inspiring!
Part of the Body
Gerald Klingbeil’s editorial “Body Parts
” (Jan. 19, 2012) caught my eye.
I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1939, holding membership in 14 different locations since then, thanks in part to 30 years in the “advent movement” because of my husband’s service as a church school teacher/principal in two states. I also served on the church and/or school board in several of those churches.
I readily remembered and recognized Brothers and Sisters A through F, who were often pushing their own agendas on the board. I remember an old radio program called “One Man’s Family.” Unfortunately, in too many of our churches “One Man’s Family” is still very active. Indeed, in some churches “two men’s families” can cause strife and discord. The picture is much prettier when all the puzzle pieces fit in place and blend together.
I liked the three-part solution Klingbeil suggested: “Step One: Lay down human pride. Step Two: Formulate a common vision. Step Three: Let’s remember . . . Jesus would like to see a body, not body parts.”
Clifford Goldstein’s column “iPads in Heaven” was also timely and thought-provoking. Since I’m not addicted to any Apple products, I prefer to look forward to the tree of life and its twelve manner of fruit!
--Beatrice E. Green
Romans 7 Revisited
I am distressed by “The Wretched iMan of Romans 7
” by Emanuel Millen (Jan. 19, 2012). If Romans 7 is not describing the “Christian’s battle with sin in their growth experience,” what is wrong with me? . . .
My Christian walk includes a lot of repentance and a lot of faith because, at best, I continually “come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). I still distinctly remember the despair that settled over me in my late teens as I realized I would never measure up.
Just as I was ready to turn my back on the church and the Lord, the Lord sent a friend into my life who began to bring me hope from the Reformation.
The Reformers separated from Rome because Rome taught salvation by the attainment of inner righteousness. But the Reformers taught salvation through Christ’s atonement, His atoning blood and His infinite righteousness. Sola Cristo! Sola Gracia! Sola Fide!
We are to have inner righteousness, but it is not equal to Christ’s. So that we won’t be tempted to become self-righteous, Jesus said, “When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10). Solomon is bolder: “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Eccl. 7:20; see also Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 344). Our best is pitifully short of the infinite and absolute perfection of Jesus, so it is true: “There is none good but one, that is, God” (Matt. 19:17). This is what the man of Romans 7 is lamenting. . . .
If we could equal the righteousness of God, we could justly be required to earn our place in heaven. But since this is impossible we will rest in Jesus through all eternity. Eden’s Sabbath rest became gospel rest, and will become eternal rest in Eden restored.
Emanuel Millen states his case well, but comes off as minimizing the struggle with sin that the born again believer in Christ still faces. Such believers have to make sure that they do not revert to gauging their spiritual lives by law-keeping, but rather by keeping their focus on Christ.
Millen did not disprove the Reformers’ theology regarding the struggle with sin that the follower of Christ still faces. Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31, KJV).
I appreciated the excellent article by Jennifer Jill Schwirzer, “Psyche, Psuche, and Soul
” (Jan. 12, 2012). Her question, “Can we really turn to the Bible for help?” struck a chord with me! I was 14 years old when I saw my first Bible. Ever since then I’ve been in love with this inspired Book, and here’s the reason:
Our home was devastated and my mom was searching for answers, like many people who seek help from Psychology and forget that “psychology itself originated with God,” as stated by the author. Two verses, Proverbs 14:12, 13, changed my father’s life and the life of our family: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness” (KJV).
A woman in Brazil, about to commit suicide, somehow turned on the radio for the last time and from my father-in-law, R. M. Rabello, late speaker of the Voice of Prophecy, heard a message from the Word of God and was saved! There are many dysfunctional lives in the world today, and I’m glad that we have professional counselors like Schwirzer who are not afraid to bring God and His Word into their lives.
Her Father’s Footsteps
I read with interest “Her Music Continues
,” the tribute to Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse (Dec. 8, 2011). My husband and I had the privilege of attending Virginia-Gene and Harvey’s wedding in 1950. She composed most, if not all, of the music used, and planned a beautiful ceremony. God tremendously blessed her with unusual talent, and she always used it to His honor and glory, and to the blessing of those whose lives she touched.
Rittenhouse’s father, G. E. Shankel, was academic dean of Atlantic Union College at the time, and my husband, Marion Woodruff, always appreciated Shankel’s kind attitude toward him. After having been out of school for a number of years and coming back following military service during World War II, Marion’s test scores fell a little short of the norms for college entrance. Shankel kindly bent the rules and allowed him to begin college on probation. He was able to keep up with the work and continue his education.
What a joy it will be when we can all further develop those talents God has lent to us in this life and share in His presence through all eternity!
Falls City, Oregon