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
Rest and Unrest
Regarding “Unrest Over a Rest Day
” (Feb. 9, 2012):
I, too, have begun to reevaluate the Sabbath for myself after I realized that I was keeping it out of a sense of obligation and tradition more than anything else. I was happy for the physical rest; but to be honest, it wasn’t much more than I could get from a regular holiday. Furthermore, my church responsibilities seemed to leave little room for me to breathe on Sabbath. I longed for church to end so I could actually rest.
I have come to the conclusion that as long as the Sabbath is seen as an arbitrary “test of obedience,” then the issues Andy Nash brings up in his article will never go away. The Sabbath represents God’s arguments in the Great Controversy regarding His character. In other words, it represents and commemorates the type of person that God really is. For me, exploring and uplifting that idea is the Sabbath’s true purpose.
Uili Solofa’s article “Calendar Shift Doesn’t Alter Seventh Day, Samoan Chu
rch Says” (Jan. 26, 2012) about the date line shift in Samoa presents some interesting dilemmas.
Interestingly, with the logic used in the article, every Christian in Samoa is now worshiping on the true Seventh-day; Adventists now share a common day of worship with all other believers.
I wonder what a calendar “Saturday” will look like for Samoan Adventists? Will their businesses be open as they believe that is the true “Friday,” while everyone else considers it Saturday? And what happens on Monday, which is now the Adventists’ Sunday?
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Resting in Peace
I was thrilled to read the article “Adventist Church Logo Now Approved for Veterans’ Cemetery Headstones
” (Jan. 26, 2012). My husband and I were doing some preplanning about eight months ago. I had gone to the Veterans Administration Web site out of curiosity decided to check the approved Emblem of Belief list for headstones. I was happy to find our Seventh-day Adventist logo included on the list, never dreaming there was story behind it, much less a six year drama.
Thank you to Rosalee Dye for making the request. And thanks to Michelle Miracle for her persistence and not giving up. Many families of Adventist veterans will benefit from what they have done.
Regarding “The Wretched iMan of Romans 7
” (Jan. 19, 2012): The “problem” of the Romans 7 man is turning to the law rather than to Christ for salvation. . . .
Conversion isn’t turning from the law to Christ, for they are not opposed to each other, but turning from oneself to Christ. Jewish Christians in Rome were restricted by sinfulness within. As Paul explained to them, one can easily be convicted of God’s truth yet not be converted from oneself toward righteous living with Christ within. Gospel instruction and experience is by faith. . . .
Simply relating to Christ is not enough. God calls us to live by the faith of Jesus.
Competition and Athletics
Columnist Hyveth Williams invited readers’ thoughts on her column, “In the Arena
” (Jan. 19, 2012). These are mine:
“In the Arena” could well use a glossary. In it Williams conflates the very narrow meaning of professional athletics, with that of sports, more broadly. This is a mistake. As is evidenced, amply, in the column itself, it has led to unwarranted assumptions, and unsupported assertions.
The “distinctive beliefs” of Seventh-day Adventists touch on areas such as the Sabbath, the heavenly sanctuary, and the gift of prophecy. If that is so, and if it is also true that the situation in pro athletics--with over-sized salary pay-outs and easy player-replaceability--makes no accommodation to proper Sabbath observance, the assertion that Adventist Christian professional athletes can effectively showcase that belief in practice, simply denies the reality. Williams seems to have created the very problem she attempts to solve.
I’m aware of no attitude toward sports in the Adventist church that should drive anyone away; nor should there be. Quite the contrary: physical exercise is one of the “eight doctors” or “laws of health” in our long-established message of health reform, conveyed through Ellen White. Unlike many other faith groups, we are not newcomers to this teaching or practice.
What Williams spends much ink trying to prove in the second half of her piece has never been in dispute within our church. In effect, she is “preaching to the choir,” and it’s not clear why.
I rejoice that when the pro athlete of the opening salvo, went off to pursue fame, fortune, and the big times, others remained behind. They settled for the simple life--to serve their Lord in humility, even obscurity. They kept the fires burning, so that when, one day, years later, “he came to his senses” and woke up to the realization of his children’s need for proper religious orientation, the church was there, still standing, with open doors, even if not “with open arms.”
--Sterling M. Cox
New York City, New York