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
Doing for Others
Concerning Andy Nash’s article “The Least of These”
(July 18, 2013), I was saddened by Nash’s attempt to interpret Jesus’ illustration of the sheep and the goats in way opposite to what it clearly teaches. Ellen G. White’s comments on the sheep and the goats disagree with Nash’s. One of her comments is reprinted in A Call to Stand Apart
(2002), in the chapter “Social Justice.” Here is one sentence: “Good deeds are the fruit that Christ requires us to bear: kind words, deeds of benevolence, of tender regard for the poor, the needy, the afflicted.” We don’t “earn” what is “duty.”
Ellen White also wrote, “All your good works cannot save you; but it is nevertheless impossible for you to be saved without good works” (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald
, Mar. 21, 1878). . . .
Jesus said the greatest commandment is “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart. . . . And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt. 22:37-40). Love has to be an action; it cannot be just a thought.
--F. W. Ellis
Thank you for the excellent cover article by John Markovic, “Lover or Seducer”
(June 27, 2013), about the postmodern fascination with mysticism. Every believer should read this relevant, incisive analysis of this phenomenon that is sweeping our culture today. Although it is not new, it is increasingly endemic in our postmodern world, and millions are being deceived by it, including many sincere Seventh-day Adventists. As Paul said, the great deceiver “masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14), and there is no need for us to be “unaware of his schemes” (2 Cor. 2:11).
True mysticism, as Markovic pointed out, moves beyond meditation to a surrender of the mind and will to a state of contemplative consciousness that involves cessation of rational thought and a purported blending with deity. Unfortunately, this deity is the great deceiver. The postmodern church is ripe for this deception. . . .
Tears in Heaven
I liked Frank Campbell’s article, “Sometimes a Christian Cries”
(May 16, 2013). The author skillfully presents glimpses of the gospel’s ability to heal the pain resulting from loss, failure, and injustice. He does this by using examples from the life of Peter, a disciple of Jesus.
While reading, I was reminded of scenes from the recent made-for-TV production “The Bible,” where angels were delivering Lot and his family. The angels were physically injured while fighting with Sodom’s vicious and corrupt inhabitants.
Although I think this is rather far-fetched, I was challenged with the thought that angels may suffer while trying to deliver us from this world of sin. Do you think even angels cry? Let’s help hasten the time when no one need cry!
--Ertis L. Johnson
A Ministry to Young Adults
I noticed the letter in the May 16, 2013 Adventist Review
by Marilyn Petersen. I am also deeply saddened by so many adults and young people leaving our wonderful church.
We need to ask ourselves if we have a sincere “agape” love for all members and non-members. We should be thankful for the young people in our church. Many are our future leaders, and we should praise the Lord for their dedication.
We should remember the text: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6).
I also appreciated the thorough and excellent work represented in the article “Christ, or Kona?”
Alicia Trott is my granddaughter and I am proud of what
she has accomplished.
Shane Anderson’s article “Unreal”
(May 9, 2013) was thought provoking. I read this thinking of my own three daughters raised Seventh-day Adventists, and my five grandchildren not
being raised in the church. Anderson’s words are so valuable.
Lael Caesar’s article “Kids Eat Free”
(May 9, 2013) is outstanding.
As I study each day I see exactly what Caesar is saying in regards to my relationship to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I recently finished J. N. Andrews’ The History of the Sabbath
, filled stories of a multitude of believers who became martyrs for their faith.
I looked back at Andy Nash’s article, “Beyond Belief” (Mar. 21, 2013), and the ridiculous excuses listed for leaving the church. Those who have done so are giving up all the blessings of this world and the ones to come.
Only in spending time with Jesus daily can we actually change our lives and grow in readiness for heaven. Perhaps we must also prepare ourselves to suffer the same fate all those faithful souls endured. For sometimes suffering is inevitable.
--Manning E. Pierce