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
I really appreciated “Two Books, a Simple Request, and a Changed Life”
(Apr. 11, 2013), the article by Sandra Blackmer about one of the great pioneers of our work in Portugal. It was my privilege to hold evangelistic meetings in Lisbon in 1973. I not only got acquainted with our church members, but also with the story of Ernesto Ferreira. He was a leader, preacher, missionary, and writer. He was a man loved by his people. The church in Portugal has lost a great man.
Just before the General Conference (GC) session in Dallas in 1980, we heard that Ferreira had gone into “reform.” One of the GC leaders was worried and asked the GC to pray for him and his family. The GC Committee prayed for him. I was waiting to have his son in my home just before the session, and I didn’t know how to discuss the fact that this wonderful and famous leader of our work had joined the reformed movement in Portugal.
When his son, Teofilo, arrived we uncovered the mystery: His father had just retired in Portugal, and the word for “retirement” (“reforma”) is the opposite of the Portuguese word in Brazil! No way that Ernesto Ferreira would abandon his principles.
Let us remember that two books led Ferreira into our church, one being The Great Controversy
. We must continue to spread The Great Hope
like the leaves of autumn!
One small correction to the story of Ernesto Ferreira: If he was at the Theological Seminary in 1949, as stated in the article, he would have had to have been in Takoma Park, Maryland, not at Emmanuel Missionary College. The seminary moved there in 1959.
I especially appreciated Dixil Rodriquez’ piece “Never Alone,” and I always appreciate Bill Knott, Clifford Goldstein, Jimmy Phillips, and all the rest of the Review
Candler, North Carolina
I appreciated Scott R. Ward’s article, “That Mission Field Down the Street”
(Apr. 11, 2013). Everyone doesn’t have the gift of working with teenagers, but everyone can say hello, be kind, loving, and not criticize them.
After retiring from teaching in church schools for 28 years, I subbed at our county high school for two years. I called it my “mission field.” I enjoyed the young peoples’ testimonies at livingiths.org.
Caring for Creation
How refreshing and right on is the article “Owning Creation”
by Stephen G. Dunbar (Apr. 11, 2013). I agree so much with what he wrote. Our “dominion” of the earth is God’s trusteeship to care for it and love it as He does. If we love, care for, and respect His creation, it follows that we will love the persons whom He gave His life to redeem. My parents instilled in me this respect of God’s creation.
I remember as a teen, a 4-year-old neighbor was stomping on and destroying all the bees he could find. I had him sit on the porch with me as I told him the value of bees, that they pollinate the fruit he liked and many of the flowers that made life beautiful. He had not known this.
Much of learning to care for our world is education (plus action); and we all can play a part.
--Edna Maye Gallington
Questions Without Answers
Thank you for the energetic and spiritually rich March 21, 2013 issue of Adventist Review
. The pulse of the church could be felt in the articles. That one issue was worth the price of a subscription.
Although the news in “Beyond Belief”
was not so good, it can be instructive. For a long time we thought that hurt feelings caused people to separate from us, but now we know there’s more. Many of our members haven’t really “settled into the truth.” Some have unresolved questions and don’t know what to do with them.
I once heard a much-admired Adventist minister say that he had questions, but that he put them in his back pocket. He didn’t let the questions get in the way. I’ve been thinking that even in my college days when some young people made fun of “vege-dances” and “sister Ellen,” they may have been making a subtle statement about their unease with certain beliefs.
The report “One Project Draws Adventist Leaders to Chicago”
in the same issue provided the antidote for what ails us. The 2013 conference theme, “Just Jesus,” says it all. Jesus and His love will provide the underpinning and stability needed for our faith.
I must also mention Bill Knott’s editorial “Reclaiming the Library” (Mar. 14, 2013) in which he cited Emerson and Thoreau. Seeing the names of two of my literary favorites made my heart sing. In 1987 I wrote an article for the Review
entitled “Great Poetry Is for Christians, Too.” I still believe that.
Knott signed off his editorial by saying that for 164 years, the Review
has been “the journal of literate Adventism.” May it continue to be so.
--Judith P. Nembhard
Do’s and Don’ts
I read the editorial “A Faith of Don’ts?”
by Wilona Karimabadi with mixed emotions (Mar. 21, 2013). I share her concern about some among us who create restrictions that really aren’t supported in God’s Word.
On the other hand, this editorial gave me the impression that the author considers a faith that includes a lot of “don’ts” as something undesirable. It seemed somewhat ironic that just a few pages farther into that issue was the article “The Perfect 10.” Eighty percent of these Ten Commandments are “don’ts.”
That article was followed by “Cliff’s Edge” in which Clifford Goldstein declares, “The law [of God] shows us exactly how God Himself defines these things.”
Our Lord uses a lot of “don’ts” in warning us of dangers in this world filled with sin and sinners, so shouldn’t we as His witnesses do likewise? . . .
Is there any virtue in ignoring the bad and only talking about positive, beautiful things? Is it undesirable to be viewed as people who don’t do a lot of bad things? I don’t think so. Let’s keep on teaching don’t kill, along with all the other “don’ts” we find in the Bible.
I have to reject the assertion: “It’s time to flip the switch on being defined by all the things we don’t do.”
Rio Rancho, New Mexic
Love and Unity
Regarding “Reclaiming the Library”
(Mar. 14, 2013): Amen, again and again!
Church is not all about us, but about those out there. Looking inward, navel gazing about biblical correctness, kills the spirit of praise for all that Jesus has done, is doing, and will yet do for humanity. Let agape overcome differences. This is the foundation of faith.
Unity is not about spiritual cloning. It’s all that Bill Knott outlined and more. Thank you for switching on the light in a dark and gloomy room.
Stanhope Gardens, New South Wales, Australia
The Adventist Review
just keeps getting better and better.
Thank you for the beautiful stories, inspirational columns, and for continuing our ministry. I am a fan of the writings of Sandra Blackmer and Dixil Rodríguez. It’s a real treat to receive the Adventist Review
and read it from cover to cover.
This is truly an important ministry.
Albuquerque, New Mexico