July 14, 2006

Web Letters


Bible Living in Real Time

I was just reading the articles on divorce and remarriage (“Marriage Under Siege” www.adventistreview.org). How can anyone decide when someone else can be divorced? General Conference session or not, if a person needs to be out of a marriage because of abandonment or abuse that person should get out.

I am divorced. I have been a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 40 years. I love my church, but no one was going to tell me whether I could divorce the abusive man I married. I have not remarried and do not plan to re-marry. The church I love did not support me when I divorced, but time heals all wounds and God’s grace and mercy sustained me. I have forgiven my church for treating me as if I had done something wrong. I was just trying to save my life and the lives of my children.
Anne Best

A Higher Standard

The article, “A Symphony of Selfless Love” by Randy Roberts (June 15, 2006), struck a responsive chord in my heart when I read it along with Philippians 2: 5-11. The passage leads us to holy ground as we contemplate its sacred meaning. As the song says, “I scarce can take it in.” Would that we could find that kind of humility in all the spiritual leaders among us.

My prayer is that I will follow along with Paul in that experience of humility.
Bessie Lobsien
Redding, California

Good, No, Excellent Issue

The June 8 issue was absolutely the best yet. My husband and I have been readers since we joined the church in 1954. We just love the Review.

The article, “God Can Do Anything!” by Karen Taylor Glassford was incredible. Our God is so wonderful. I’ve been praying for Him to pour out His Holy Spirit in great measure, and Glassford’s article so beautifully illustrates just how He is doing this. Great days are just before us!
There were several other inspiring articles in this issue also: The one by Bert B. Beach on GoBible.org about the Sabbath school web site run by Bruce and Blake Cameron (I faithfully study this each week. What a blessing!); Randy Salt’s “Inherit the Earth”; and Stephen Chavez’s, “Jesus Laughed.”
Keep up the good, no, excellent, work.
Betty Ponder
La Quinta, California
The article, “God Can Do Anything!” brought me to tears and also to great rejoicing. It was so thrilling to read of the miraculous healings that took place during that mission trip to India. Ms. Glassford answered the question as to whether God still does these instant miracles when a dedicated child of His asks Him to. Thank you for giving us the chance to know about these true events.
Rebecca Twomley
Berrien Springs, Michigan

Childless But Caring

A friend recommended to me the editorial, “Potential” (June 8, 2006. Thank you for this article. I could tell a lot of stories, but I’ll simply say “me too” about Ms. Shields experiences with others coming down on her for being a children’s minister while being childless.

I, too, am childless, and have held many responsibilities in my church’s children’s ministry. I always get odd reactions too, as if I must have some ulterior motive for wanting to work with children when I have none; or that this is how I make myself feel better for my decision not to have children. It’s both frustrating and annoying.
Thank you for printing the article. I know many others benefited from it as well.
B. L. Lindley-Anderson

Christ’s Passion, And Ours

When I picked up the Review and saw the headline “The Passion of the Christ” (June 8, 2006), I thought, Oh no, another criticism of this movie. But the article was right on with the importance of making Christ the center of our lives, whatever vehicle is used to tell about Him.

The whole issue was extra good. Nathan Brown’s column about enjoying sunsets was special.
Thanks to all who write and edit the articles.
Alice Peck

No, He Didn’t

In response to Stephen Chavez’s article, “Jesus Laughed” (June 8, 2006): I certainly applaud Chavez’s call for a sense of humor among Christians. However, I question his assumption that Jesus laughed. As Chavez states in his article, there is no biblical record of Jesus laughing. Thus the title of his article is both misleading, and, I believe, not factual. Certainly, Jesus often exaggerated to emphasize a point, but I would not call this humor.

Christ’s description of a camel passing through the eye of a needle may be humorous to us, but His disciples certainly didn’t laugh; they were amazed and incredulous. They responded by asking how anyone could be saved. They took the whole story seriously.
Similarly, when Jesus talked about straining a gnat and swallowing a camel, nobody laughed. Chavez’s assumption that the listeners were “grabbing their side with uncontrolled hilarious laughter” is pure speculation on his part. Jesus was never frivolous nor joking. Everything He did and said was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit and dealt with serious issues of salvation.
I agree that sometimes humor can relieve tension and allow us some relief from the stress of modern life, but humor for humor’s sake is unacceptable. As Chavez states, “Because we are living in the great antitypical day of atonement, surely any silliness or hilarity on our part is strictly forbidden.”
John McConnell
Citrus Heights, California
Regarding the article, “Jesus Laughed:” I know of a statement by Ellen White that states Jesus was never known to laugh. She wrote: “Christ often wept, but was never known to laugh” (Manuscript 11, 1868, p. 2).
Christ, being a lover of little children, must have shown happiness while playing with them. But when I saw that article it reminded me of the above statement.
Alta R. Robinson
Apopka, Florida

At Odds With the Gentleman from Arizona

Regarding the newsbreak item, “Senator McCain Tells Adventists America’s Leadership Tied to Its Moral Standing” (May 25, 2006):

In my estimation Senator McCain is deluded if he truly believes what he stated as the moral condition of the United States. This is a case of total denial of the truth and the reality of America.
I pray someone will help him understand the truth: We are nearing dictatorship in this country. God calls sins by name, no soft-soaping.
Robert Groth
Killeen, Texas

Holy Living

Ben Maxson’s article, “Living Holiness” (May 18, 2006), was totally “on-time” for me. He hit the nail on the head when he wrote: “Holiness is not something I have to produce. Instead it is a promise of what God will do in my life as I walk with Him.” What an astounding fact! What a blessed promise! What a significant reality! Praise God!

I know Maxson’s study was limited by space, but there were a couple verses I was rather expecting to come up, but never did. In Ezekiel, God reminded His people: “I am the LORD who sanctifies [you]” (Chap. 20:12, NASB). How much we need to embrace this truth! It is by His grace that we are saved, by His gift, not based on our works (cf. Eph. 2:8-10). By the will of God (His choice) “we have been sanctified [i.e. made holy] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all” (Heb. 10:10, NASB).
Thank You, Jesus! Let us live in this hope!
Jerry Smith
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
The wonderful article about “Living Holiness” enhances the great work of salvation in and through us solely by Christ’s Holy Spirit, sent to empower us unto victory and overcoming Satan and sin.
Today we note many articles and preachers engendering confusion by using the word “works” as totally in contradiction to the human salvation experience in Christ.
The writer of “Habakkuk--Minor Prophet for Major Duty” (May 18) runs the idea of works before us as a “loss to us,” leaving one with the notion that faith is separate from works. But Hebrews 11 reveals that faith is not faith unless it works. Justification and sanctification are both the work of Christ in and through us “unto good works.”
Therefore, clarity is needed to see the difference between the works of the flesh and the works of the Spirit.
We are called to recognize both justification and sanctification as God’s work of salvation--providing for us the title and the fitness for eternal life unto obedience for His glory.
Ernest H. J. Steed
Orange City, Florida