Do the Right Thing
The “What Do You Think” questions with the story “Good for Nothing” (May 23, 2013) brought to mind a memorable day when I drove up to a bank’s drive-up window for a withdrawal. After gathering the necessary documentation the teller placed the requested amount in an envelope and I drove away. While waiting for a red light I took the cash out of the envelope and noticed an extra $100. My natural reaction was to drive back to the bank to correct the mistake. After giving the money to the same teller she thanked me and I drove away.
The mistake would not have been discovered, for there was no documentation to account for the missing money, only the requested amount made by me. The teller would have had to replace the money out of pocket to balance her drawer.
I received a formal letter from her thanking me for my honesty. She said not many would have been so honest. I hope she was wrong in this.
I thanked God for instilling in me this great part of His character.
The Good Race
Thank you for the article “Christ, or Kona” (May 16, 2013), about Alicia Trott, her incredible training accomplishments, and her choice not to race in the Kona Ironman Triathlon on Sabbath.
My husband and I both train for and compete in marathons and ultra-marathons, and we have also chosen not to race on Sabbath. This choice has been a difficult one at times, and I completely understand the struggle that Trott went through; not only the personal struggle, but also dealing with the opinions of other athletes in our church and training partners. A stand such as hers has a far wider affect and is admirable.
Thank you for sharing and encouraging other athletes not to compromise.
The Message in the Music
Being a “fan” of Cliff Goldstein since hearing him speak at Soquel, California camp meeting some 25 or 30 years ago, and being involved and educated in music (classical and otherwise) since the age of 5, I was chagrined at the second paragraph in His article “Brahms’ Symphony No. 2” (May 16, 2013). He redeemed himself somewhat in paragraph four by admitting that “whatever it meant to be made in the ‘image of God,’ it had to include creativity.”
I hope Goldstein’s taste for classical music will be expanded by listening to inspired works such as Brahms’ “German Requiem,” Handel’s “Messiah,” Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” (the list could go on).
The Case for Faith
My thanks to E. Edward Zinke for “The Truth as It Is in Jesus” (May 16, 2013), an honest and direct assessment of a situation undermining many a student’s belief in the plain teachings of the Bible.
When you throw out belief in a literal, six-day creation, you also throw out most of the essential teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. You even have to throw out the concept of sin. Why would the God of the universe suffer and die for creatures that were not made in His image, but evolved from lower animal ancestors?
We are in dangerous territory when we choose to trust in human thinking rather than in God’s word. In this issue, there is no room for compromise, no shades of gray.
I pray that our universities will remain true to the reason they were founded: teaching biblical truth and preparing our youth to be tomorrow’s leaders in proclaiming its truth.
Stephen Chavez’ editorial “Going in Circles” (May 16, 2013) is of profound importance to Adventism. This is the way we should have been thinking all along, instead of the notion perpetuated that if we associate in other circles we will become contaminated and/or lose our way.
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Amen and Amen! The proverb states, “Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear a word you say.” Until we deal with an arrogant attitude that we alone know it all and have “the truth,” why would anyone be attracted to the message?
May we show a loving, compassionate God who is so patient and willing to accept anyone who cries out for His presence. Then our message becomes appealing and people are attracted to the God we profess to serve.
--Bettigene D. Reiswig
Port Orford, Oregon
Superheroes Then and Now
Sandra Blackmer’s editorial “Superheroes” (May 16, 2013) reminded me of something I heard a long time ago about the creators of Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who were both Jewish.
In the article “Superman” in the Jewish Virtual Library Blair Kramer writes, “Despite his superhuman powers, Superman shared some characteristic traits with a majority of American Jews in the 1940s. Like them, he had arrived in America from a foreign world. His entire family--in fact his entire race--had been wiped out in a holocaust-like disaster on his home planet, Krypton. Like German Jewish parents who sent their children on kindertransports, or the baby Moses set adrift in the bullrushes, Superman’s parents launched him to earth in hopes that he would survive. And while the mild-mannered Clark Kent held a white collar job as a reporter by day, the ‘real’ man behind Kent’s meek exterior was a virile, indestructible crusader for justice. This fantasy must have resonated among American Jews, who felt powerless to help their brethren in the death camps of Europe.
“Superman obeys the Talmudic injunction to do good for its own sake and heal the world where he can. Siegel and Shuster had created a mythic character who reflected their own Jewish values.”
Charlotte, North Carolina
Regarding Lael Caesar’s article “Kids Eat Free” (May 9, 2013): What a solemn message that we, God’s kids, can eat free at the table God has provided “without money and without cost” (Isa. 55:1)—the table of His free grace!
To quote Ellen White: as “free as the rain and the sunshine” (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 97) “the feast that He provides for the soul never fails to give satisfaction and joy” (The Desire of Ages, p. 148). Let us ever “put forth the hand of faith to touch the scepter of His grace. That touch insured pardon and peace” (Life Sketches, p. 22).
Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada
Credit Where It’s Due
The article “In the Kitchen with Helen” (Apr. 25, 2013) was very interesting. Of particular note was the experience that Stephen Moore had with John Thomas, dean of the School of Business at La Sierra University. Thomas’ willingness to work with students in unconventional ways has produced many interesting stories, one of which is included in this article.
Thomas has been an inspiration and outstanding leader of the school. He has inspired hundreds of students. He is now seeing the completion of the new building for the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business, the largest building on campus.
We thank God for such educators who can provide direction for our youth.
--Walter S. Hamerslough
Afraid of Guns
I appreciated Claude Richli’s article “Do I Need a Gun” (Mar. 14, 2013). Personally, I am afraid to own a gun. I’m afraid I’ll be tempted to use it to kill someone for whom God is still striving. Who am I to eternally separate another man or woman from God’s influence and power?
As to needing a gun to protect myself, I have a hard time imaging Almighty God, my Father, saying, “Oh, Mike, I wanted to protect you. If only you had owned a gun.” I just can’t imagine it.