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
Filmmaking as Ministry
My wife and I, along with most of my relatives, work in the healthcare field. So imagine our surprise when our daughter, Summer, expressed no interest whatsoever in pursuing a career in this field! Instead, what started as a “fun hobby” has become her career choice: filmmaking!
Not knowing a whole lot about this industry except that going to theaters was forbidden because I was told our “guardian angel stayed outside,” we were a bit apprehensive about her profession of choice.
But over the last couple years, God has been reassuring us that He needs godly Christian filmmakers in this industry. On our last two family summer projects we’ve gotten to know Maranatha Volunteers International’s filmmakers, Christine Lloyd and David Brillhart. We attended this year’s SONScreen film festival, where we saw Christians active in this industry. Loma Linda University’s Media Department won several Emmy awards for their documentaries. We’ve read Columbia Pictures vice president of Production Devon Franklin’s autobiography about how being a faithful Sabbath keeper can be an advantage in the cutthroat world of Hollywood. Then to top it off, Adventist Review’s
cover stories, “What If God Made Movies?”
(Aug. 15, 2013) and “Martin Doblmeier: Filmmaker”
(Aug. 22, 2013) were about movies!
Maybe God is reassuring us that He wants to use Summer’s creative talents to “paint pictures of God” for others to enjoy, and, we hope, lead others to a closer relationship with Him. Isn’t that as important as helping people live healthier lives, or educating a future generation of Christian nurses? We think so!
--Ernie Medina, Jr.
Loma Linda, California
Regarding “Teach Your Children Money Management”
(Aug. 15, 2013): I thought it might be of interest to share how I taught my three children. At age three I gave them a dollar a week. I gave it to them in dimes, nickels, and one quarter.
I set up four glass jars on their dresser. Into jar number one went a dime for Jesus. Jar number two got a quarter for the Sabbath school offering. Into jar number three went a nickel for savings. And jar number four was for them to spend.
They’re all married now, and are good money managers.
I enjoyed the article by Dan Serns, “Teach Your Children Money Management.” It’s a great article, something practical that parents can work from in designing their own plan for teaching their children. I might have waited until a child is 5 and learning numbers and their relationship to each other in school; but the “readiness” of each child can be different.
Thanks again for another practical article. We need more of these rubber-meets-the-road articles.
Grace in Judgment
I gained some wonderful new insights about the grace of God in the story of Korah, as presented by Trevor and Thomson Paris in “Character Sketch”
(July 18, 2013). I had known the story as recorded in Numbers 16 about the families of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram being swallowed when the earth opened up, but I had missed the genealogy of Numbers 26, which says that Korah’s children did not die. So I was pleased that they brought this out, and through it showed the mercy of God to those who are innocent.
I was especially pleased to read that one son was later appointed a chief musician by David, and that many of the Psalms were written by the Sons of Korah.
Psalm 46:2 has wonderful new meaning for me now, when realizing that it is the Sons of Korah’s song: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way” (Ps. 46:1, 2). They knew what it meant for the earth to give way, and their faith in God as our refuge remained strong.
Mt. Vernon, Washington
Understanding the Atonement
I appreciated the article by Roy Gane, “Forgiveness”
(June 27, 2013). If we do not understand what was given
to the human race apart from choice and what was offered
to individuals dependent on their choices, we will make serious mistakes regarding the plan of salvation.
As Gane clearly pointed out, Christ’s sacrifice took legal control of the world back from Satan and granted legal amnesty to all human beings (freedom from automatic condemnation because of Adam’s sin). If legal forgiveness had not been provided at the moment of Adam’s sin, it would have been impossible for the human race to continue. Christ’s sacrifice saved the human race from extinction.
In addition, Christ’s sacrifice provided personal salvation for anyone willing to respond to God’s way back to holiness and happiness. It is to this aspect that the term “righteousness by faith” applies, as well as personal justification and sanctification.
Gane’s last point was “accountability.” If we are automatically condemned as sinners because of Adam’s sin, then personal sin and condemnation is inevitable and automatic, which eliminates personal responsibility and accountability. Inevitability and responsibility are concepts that cannot exist simultaneously.
Thank you for publishing such a vital article to clarify present misunderstandings about the atonement.
One Step at a Time
I’m writing to thank Darin Patzer for writing “One Step at a Time”
(June 13, 2013) about his dad, Jere.
A few months before Jere died I became one of his prayer partners, even though we never met. I wrote an e-mail prayer to him every week. He was always faithful in writing back. After he died, I continued praying for his wife, and all the members of the family. It will be wonderful on the resurrection morning to be reunited.
God is teaching me to take it one step at a time, too.