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 liked Gina Whalen’s editorial about doctrine, “The D Word” (July 18, 2013), and I agree that we seldom hear about it from the pulpit anymore. We need so much more of it.
Stephen Chavez had his usual good editorial in “A Spiritual Moment.” He is always so down to earth. He shows how we should be in the world without being of the world.
When I became an Adventist at the age of 16, I was confused about the warning not to associate with those of unlike faith who might lead us astray. Well, my entire family was of unlike faith and I wanted them to be saved. Chavez always makes things so simple and easy to understand.
I am 67, and there was quite the discussion about TV when it was new and we used it for spreading our message. But when I read in the article “Social Media” that a young person spends three to six hours a day on social media during the week I am shocked, and I wonder if we shouldn’t be using our time a little more wisely. Exercise was suggested in another article, studying God’s Word to implant it firmly in our hearts, and communicating face to face with others to name just a few. I have seen two teenagers texting while sitting side by side.
May God lead us closer to Him.
Questions About Suffering
While reading the July 11, 2013 issue of Adventist Review, I was both amazed and disappointed.
I was disappointed by the article “Coming to Grips With Suffering” by Jimmy Phillips. Apparently he never came to grips with the major factor in suffering: “collateral damage.” Doesn’t he realize that we are involved in a war, and we are caught in the middle of the conflict between two cosmic forces? Hasn’t he heard of the Great Controversy?
Every war involves the suffering of innocent bystanders. So why should it be any different for the war between good and evil? God is not the cause of suffering; He cannot interfere with the free choices of evil people. There is a mastermind guiding the unseen forces of evil, and he uses suffering to gain the victory.
One day the war will be over, so let’s take courage in that fact. In the meantime, let us endure with patience.
Mining True Gold
I was impressed and inspired to read about David Eaton, John Cronkrite, and Merritt Kellogg (“Page 7,” July 11, 2013).
Thanks for introducing these intrepid young men to your readers. They migrated to California to spearhead the Three Angels’ Messages on the western frontier.
Their growing faith in Christ, their emerging hope in the Second Coming of Jesus, and their unconditional love for God led them to immigrants who were searching for California’s gold. They fervently sought for souls whose golden traits of character were more precious than nuggets in the northern hills.
I doff my hat to the carpenter, shoemaker, and miner for sharing their natural gifts to win souls for the kingdom of God in those early days after the gold rush. They would be surprised, perhaps shocked to see the beautiful churches, schools, and vibrant healthcare facilities all over the golden state. Praise God!
Keith R. Mundt
Forgiveness for All
I appreciated the timely article “Forgiveness” by Roy Gane (June 27, 2013). His essay reveals how we should emulate our Savior who came, died for us, and showed how God keeps forgiving us.
When there was enmity between God and humanity, He not only reconciled us, He gave us an example of how we should do the same to others. Simple words such as “I’m sorry, I was wrong” are so hard to say. We’ve seen homes destroyed, relationships marred, harsh words between husbands and wives, misunderstandings, pride, and cruel gossip in our churches.
How many times did God forgive the people of Israel? They murmured and complained, they were continual offenders, yet God forgave them! As Gane says, we must live accordingly, because God is always reconciling the world and the church to Himself. We must humble ourselves and demonstrate to the world the majestic words of Jesus: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:24).
--Leo Ranzolin, Estero, Florida
Concerning Roy E. Gane’s article “Forgiveness”: It’s a beautiful and scholarly invitation to “behold the Lamb” (Isa. 53). Gane’s description of the character of God is enlarged upon by Ellen G. White, who described Satan as leading humanity to regard God as “watching to denounce and condemn, unwilling to receive the sinner so long as there was a legal excuse for not helping him. The law of love by which heaven is ruled, had been misrepresented” (Prophets and Kings, p. 311).
Did Gane risk misrepresenting God’s character by saying “Christ’s sacrifice legally justified the human race”? Wasn't it the moral law (love) that justified us at the cross?
The second angel’s message of Revelation 14 is a call to leave Babylon because she forced the nations to drink adulterated wine (legalism and work).
The same message is repeated in Revelation 18 by the authority of an angel by whom the earth grew bright with His splendor, His character of righteousness, mercy, grace, and love. This is the pure wine, the pure gospel that emanated from the cross for the healing of nations.
Questions About Prayer
Rex Edwards’ article about prayer, “A Formula for Prayer” (June 20, 2013), was excellent (Edwards and I attended seminary at the same time).
Edwards’ three questions--What difference does prayer make? Are my petitions legitimate? and Doesn’t God know everything already?--cover the most important questions and issues on this subject. The article was so good I was impressed to outline it as a sermon to share on Sabbath with those who don’t receive the Review.
After reading the warning, “When not to pray” (answer: if you’re not willing to obey), I was tempted to ask, What if your prayers are answered while you’re still not in that willing condition? Does the devil answer, or is it just a coincidence? Forgive me for asking.
I was also touched by Jill Morikone’s column. She’s a compassionate author with a touching story! I’m glad she is a regular contributor to the Review.
Stories of All Kinds
The June 13, 2013 Adventist Review is rightly labeled “The Story Issue.” I enjoyed all the articles, but I will mention only one: “In the Wilderness.”
I like the way Gerald Klingbeil wrote about the serious dealing between Balak and Balaam by using modern terms, such as Facebook, smartphone, Marines, retirement fund, honorarium, and dollar bills.
The Lord’s leading is clear in each story. It may be quiet, persistent, or dramatic.