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
 
 
Hail and Farewell
What a gift William Johnsson has given to the Church throughout his years as editor of Adventist Review. His article, “Scenes From My Journey” (Oct. 12, 2006), provided just one more evidence of the greatest of those gifts. Johnson not only believes that God is (Hebrews 11:6), he believes that God speaks and directs him and others (Isaiah 30:21). May all of the days ordained and written in God’s book for him (Ps. 139:16) continue to unfold in blessedness as Johnsson continues to follow each directive of the Holy Spirit.
 
Linda Lynch
Orlando, Florida
 
 
William Johnsson’s farewell editorial, "Finally, Brethren" is inspiring and, as usual, “official” sounding. I have enjoyed his previous editorials and articles, in which he wrote from the vantage point of our denomination. We will surely miss him.
 
I urge the editorial staff to invite him to write a guest editorial once in a while; his writings will continue to inspire Adventists all over the world.
 
Manuel N. Fauni
Murrieta, California
 
 
It is not easy for me to shift from one Bill to the next. Bill Johnsson’s consistent friendship with God was always steadying and filled with hope--part of the Adventist Review’s identity for a long time. That shift must come with time and association, but it will come. Bill Knott’s love for God, His word, and His friends is evident.
 
My reading of the Adventist Review began with the initials FDN. Then they were KHW. Now another set--WGJ--have come to retirement. With every editor and associate editor there has come something the Adventist family needs. That God is good is evident on so many fronts--including His fitting individuals for specific ministries.
 
William Johnsson is world class in life, in word, and in print. Praise God, who leads His church by providing leaders who love Him and live for Him with intention.
 
Ken H. Lockwood
 
 
Christ and Christmas: Linked Forever
Re: “Ellen G. White and Christmas” (AR Online): In light of the commercialism of Christmas today, we must do everything within our power to keep “Christ” and the true meaning of Christmas at hand. Let us use wisdom and prayer to find the answers that are available in God’s word.
 
Had it not been for Christ’s birth, His sacrifice to come to this earth in the form of a newborn to experience life as a mere mortal, where would we be today? Everything we experience, from infancy to adulthood, was placed upon His shoulders and yet He remained sinless.
 
So many people take the “Christ” out of Christmas and use the day to honor man. It is not a day of presents but a day of His “presence.” If Christ does not live in us by our worship, faith, and attitude towards others, then we have lost our way.
 
The closer we get to the Second Coming of Christ, the farther we stray from our commission (Matt 28:19, 20). The Devil has placed before us so many distractions that even the very elect are confused. We confuse Christ’s love to our children by buying for them expensive gifts and things of no heavenly significance. We need to focus on Christ first, then family, friends, and others, especially those who are less fortunate.
 
Let us reach back and see the true meaning of Christmas as outlined in John 3:16, then pay close attention to the signs of the time and take up our cross and follow the star that the shepherds and wise men saw on that fateful eve. The Bible outline gives us the true meaning of Christmas. Prayer always brings us on our knees and closer to the real reason for this season.
 
Ora Jane Bell
 
 
I’m writing to thank you for the Ellen White quotes you compiled on the subject of Christmas. They bring much clarity to subject of how we should treat Christmas.
 
Mathew Feeley, assistant pastor
KingsviewVillage Seventh day AdventistChurch
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 
 
I find it interesting that you used the writings of Ellen White to justify the celebration of an obviously pagan holiday, one that has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus or His birth.
 
I watched on television (the History Channel) and listened to my local radio station as they discussed Christmas and how it came to be.
 
The thing that struck me most is that these historical investigators stated unequivocally that Christmas is not about Jesus or Christianity. They made it clear that Christmas was first a celebration of a pagan god, and later it was celebrated as the birth of an important historical figure. Most interesting of all is that historians agree that Christmas was endorsed as a celebration of Jesus by the Catholic Church. Makes one think, does it not?
 
So why should Adventists take the low road, encouraging members to celebrate a pagan holiday? That is tantamount to worshiping idols, or the great deceiver himself.
 
It is high time for Adventists to stop hiding and step forward and proclaim the truth. Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus and should not be celebrated; nor should our children be encouraged to endorse any part of the masquerade associated with the holiday.
 
Betty Codrington
 
 
Good Counsel
Did You Hear the Voice Knocking” by Duane Covrig (Dec. 14, 2006) with its emphasis on the Lord’s word, “I counsel thee to buy of Me,” was a Spirit-sent blessing. Thank you, Review and Professor Covrig for such an emphasis about what God is actually saying to us.
 
I do not doubt the usual interpretation of Revelation 3:16 that our lukewarmness makes God nauseous. But it has seemed that God’s redemptive nature would be most interested in curing our lukewarmness. When God says, “I will spew thee out of My mouth,” it could have two meanings. If we are in His mouth, He could spew us out as a result of the nausea we bring to Him because of our lukewamness. Or He could spew something upon us to cure our lukewarmness. I don’t know of other scriptures where God’s people are represented as being in His mouth. However, in these last days “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17) will be spewed upon His people to deliver from all rebellion, sin, and lukewarmness. As we learn to live through His indwelling presence “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4), our lukewarmness will be healed by the demonstrated miracles of God’s grace and truth. Lukewarmness will not survive this sword of the Spirit, “for the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:11). Consider also Rev. 1:16; 2:12, 16; 6:4; and 19:15; Isa. 11:4.
 
The word of God prayed for, anticipated, expected, cherished, and allowed to do its work will accomplish all God’s counsel in each life.
 
Chuck Starnes
Grass Valley, California
 
 
Enjoyed the Journey
We surely enjoyed the article, “My Sunday to Sabbath Experience,” (Dec. 14, 2006). Cecilia Luck had a sincere desire to follow the Lord and she fully responded to the workings of the Holy Spirit. The best part is that no one disrupted this new birth process by putting pressure for her to do things their way.
 
One question: Are the two pictures, one on the cover and the other on page 8, of the same person as the two small pictures on page 10 and 12?
 
Lyle and Helen Hamel
Loma Linda, California
 
 
The photographs that appeared on the cover and the opening spread of the magazine were stock photos. The photos on pages 10 and 12 are of the author.--Editors
 
 
Much Ado About Milk
Adventist doctors shock me every time I either talk to or read something written by one of them. Some of us know that chemotherapy kills some patients by shutting down their organs. But many still will take it on the advice of any doctor.
 
Adventists and others still drink milk, some even knowing that cattle are fed much that is not healthy for them, much less people. Milk is bad for anyone with asthma. Does anyone know whether tuberculosis, cancer cells, or Mad Cow virus can be passed in milk? I have told an Adventist oncologist, since Adventist doctors have the advice of Ellen White’s writings and choose to ignore her advice, they will answer to God for every patient that is killed by the many drugs and other common sense treatments they ignore.
 
The American Medical Association (AMA) protects drug companies and doctors, and not us. An ex-employee in my town quit the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) because they quit testing, under pressure of the AMA, a new drug that was curing all kinds of cancer.
 
There is a lot more health in soymilk that the FDA and the AMA tell people about. You probably will not like what I’ve written but that’s because we don’t read the same reports.
 
Betty J.
 
 
Doctors Handysides and Landless stepped up to the plate and addressed a long-standing and sticky Seventh-day Adventist issue: “Is Cow’s Milk Safe to Drink?” (Nov. 23, 2006).
 
An article this balanced, this factual, this well-written, could only come by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. From 35 years of experience as a Seventh-day Adventist dietician, I fear that many of my dear Adventist friends who subscribe to the theory of “salvation by diet” will attack it.
 
The last paragraph was superb! May I add: “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel” (Matt. 23:24, KJV). When I taught this precious message of health I recommended that a genuine seeker of truth first read and practice all the recommendations in Ellen White’s book, The Ministry of Healing, particularly the last four chapters.
 
Rose M. Stoia, Ed.D, R.D., L.D.
Cumberland, Indiana



 
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