A Few Words About Prayer
I enjoyed Ross Chadwick?s article, ?I Stopped Praying 10 Years Ago? (Nov. 17, 2005). However, I was surprised to see some of what he wrote in this publication.
While Chadwick is 100 percent correct saying that God does not want the ?mechanics of prayer,? and Jesus said, ?Do not pray in vain repetition as the heathen do,? it seems a bit cynical to compare morning prayer to ?a morning ritual built on paranoia of performance, has no significance in the spiritual life.? I agree that we should pray without ceasing, and that includes all the casual times we speak to God and Jesus as a friend, but we should not leave out the deeply humbling worship of God and Jesus on our knees as well. He is, after all, our Lord and Creator, and deserves loving reverence as well as loving friendship.
When Chadwick sarcastically writes, ?The heroes of the Bible did not have Bibles under their arms or on their shelves at home as they staggered from one daunting crisis to another,? he completely ignores the fact that the Hebrews of those days studied about God every day and had hours of family time when God was the topic of study and discussion. The history of earth and their knowledge of God was memorized word for word and passed down from generation to generation. So, as David wrote in the psalms, ?Thy Word have I hid in my heart [mind], that I might not sin against Thee? (Psa. 119:11), the Bible patriarchs had their knowledge of God hidden in their hearts (minds). They didn?t need to ?carry around Bibles,? as the author puts it; they had it memorized. As soon as we have the Bible memorized, I guess we will no longer need to carry it around or study it.
Since Mr. Chadwick is a pastor, I hope he takes a moment to contemplate how his words might affect a baby Christian, someone who does not have the benefit of knowing as much as he does. To minimize the importance of time studying God?s Word and time on our knees could be detrimental to someone not fully grounded. We cannot love someone we do not know, and we only get to know Jesus by studying and meditating on His Word.
Sandra Burks Schwartz
I was disturbed by the article, ?I Stopped Praying 10 Years Ago?; it smells deeply of new-ageism. These are hectic last days, and if we are not spiritually disciplined to pray and seek God, we are in trouble. The fast pace of life is not conducive to finding time to seek God; we must make time and we must pray.
Let?s look to the life of Daniel, who prayed three times a day; of the apostles, who ?prayed without ceasing?; of great men of faith who fell on their knees before the omnipotent God and exclaimed ?Holy, Holy, Holy.? Let us not remove the importance and sacredness of praying, of prayer posture, and of consistently seeking God.
While I agree prayers should never be dull, lifeless, and repetitious, when you have a friendship with God it should never be so. My real disappointment is not just that a pastor would write something like this, but that the Adventist Review would print it. I would like to see what would have happened had Hezekiah on hearing the news that Sennacherib was going to invade Jerusalem, had just a quiet, reflective moment with the Lord, instead of going up the temple and praying and pleading with God for deliverance.
I just finished reading Chadwick?s article on prayer: Right on. It reminds me of a statement I wrote in my Bible a long time ago by Victor Hugo, of all people! ?Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.?
Oh yes, the new Review is a wonderful addition, nice to see an emphasis on the world-wide work from a perspective outside North America.
Bettigene D. Reiswig
Port Orford, Oregon
Adventist World, although produced in the same office and with essentially the same staff as the Adventist Review, is not a new Review. It is a new, monthly magazine, sent to Seventh-day Adventists around the world. The Adventist Review still goes to subscribers three times a month. --Editors
Another Kind of Discipleship
The article, "Decoding the Apprentice," was excellent: I couldn?t agree more with its view of this ?dog-eat-dog? show! My problem is that I keep watching it because I want to see who else is going to be obnoxious, deceitful, treacherous, or do something really stupid. It troubles me somewhat that I am interested in the show for these reasons, but there it is.
In some ways I admire Donald Trump for his business skills in real estate. And he has the right idea about work ethics: always be on time; use your best creative resources to be a good leader; always make a good impression, i.e. clothes, professional demeanor (some of these contestants have a long way to go, in this regard); researching one?s project or task, and enforcing a united team effort, to name a few.
I have real qualms about making the whole concept such a cut-throat affair. Trump spoke of loyalty on one of his recent shows, yet hardly any of the contestants dare show much loyalty; they are too afraid of being undermined by their teammates for one reason or another. All the internal intrigue makes for an interesting show, of which ?the Donald? is strongly aware. It?s all about the numbers, isn't it?
We Christians should never forget who our Chief Executive is. We are responsible to Him in our dealings with others, over anything or anyone else.
Loretta R. Young
More Than One Judgment?
In the article, ?It?s Worth Singing About? (Oct.27, 2005), Norman Gulley writes, ?We must study it [Revelation 13] in context. Its roots are in Daniel 7, where God has a pre-Advent judgment against the beasts of Revelation 13.?
Is the pre-Advent judgment not the same as the investigative judgment? Elle White wrote: ?In the typical service only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of Atonement [a type of the investigative judgment]. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God? (The Great Controversy, p. 480).
The sins of the beast, the papacy, are never transferred to the heavenly sanctuary by the blood of Jesus and therefore do not figure in the work of the investigative judgment at all.
Pay Per View
Regarding charging for the on-line Review: There are many ways to manage a subscription-based paper. The best daily newspapers seem to keep abreast of the news and their websites are vibrant and free. Most require a registration process. It is unfortunate that the Adventist Review has chosen to veer away from the freedom treasured by so many Internet users.
The Review is a carefully managed source of information, shared from world headquarters, and highly regarded. I believe that this decision will be responsible for a reduction in the vibrancy of this new venture.
Many sites provide Adventist news without charge, so it?s not such a great loss. I view it as veering slightly in a less than ideal direction.
Thank you for the online addition of the Adventist Review. My personal ministry is to send some of the articles to members of my church. They have found such e-mails very informative. Some of the members receive Adventist Review through the mail but to most of the membership, this is the only copy they receive; many are retired or living on a fixed income and can?t afford the printed copy.
Thanks again for the online version of Adventist Review.
Edified by Editorials
I enjoyed and was challenged by Bill Knott?s editorial, ?One Strand at a Time? (Oct. 13, 2005). Even a little effort--kindness or a sincere smile--can start to bridge a chasm. We all need to ?go fly a kite.? Kites fly by the pull of the wind as we hold onto the string. God is the wind that floats our kites (faith) to pull our little efforts.
I found Kimberly Luste Maran?s editorial, ?The Eastern Sky? in that same issue to be stimulating. It started me wondering if many who watch for those ?signs of the morning? may have mistaken the verb in Jesus? admonition, taking it as an ?action verb? rather than a ?verb of being.? Our Savior did not say ?get ready,? but ?be ready.?
Run, Run, Run
The article, ?I Owe, I Owe,? by G. Edward Reid (Sept. 22, 2005), gave me great blessings. It recognizes how important it is to bridle the temptation of debt. I was moved by the text: ?Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition? (1 Tim. 6:9, NKJV).
Most people today are blinded, not realizing they are going down streams of sorrows. How they can get out this current of insolvency?
By having a firm determination to be honest, to wrestle with God?s counsel, we can conquer this battle of enticement. Ellen White wrote: ?As individuals and as managers of the Lord?s institutions we shall necessarily have to cut away everything intended for display and bring our expenses within the narrow compass of our income.? And, ?Debts must not be allowed to accumulate term after term. The very highest kind of education that could be given is to shun the incurring of debt as you would shun disease? (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 209, 211).
This article helped me recognize how my life must change.
E. Anacleto Jordan