April 27, 2011

1511 Web Letters

How Can We Help?
We were saddened when we read in the editorial, “Afternoon at Congress” by Roy Adams (Mar. 20, 2008), about the horrible treatment the young woman received while working for Halliburton in Iraq. We were not surprised, however, knowing what some large corporations are capable of. Is there some way the church or some entity within the church can receive donations either by check or credit card to give her financial help, and by so doing possibly be an encouragement and support to her?
Max and Care Seltmann
Topeka, Kansas
We deeply appreciate your inquiry. The situation is complicated, however; and we’re unaware of any church entity set up to handle your specific concerns. You may wish to contact the Jamie Leigh Foundation and make further inquiries there.  --Editors.

Thanks, Roy Adams, for not hiding the details of this hearing related to gender discrimination; this is a tip of the iceberg picture. This is a moral battle that must be won before the Lord can come. Others are fighting valiantly to eliminate misogyny. Usually, females lead in this.

Carolyn Wilkerson
Shepherds and Teachers
In response to Bill Knott’s editorial, “Where Have All the Shepherds Gone?” (Mar. 13, 2008), I have to say he is 100 percent correct. Another way of saying it is, “They don’t make pastors like they used to.”
I was also shocked to learn in the article “Adventist Education Refocuses on Mission” that many pastors are converts and have not grown up in the church with an Adventist education.
Another problem with pastors is that there seems to be a shortage of them. In the rural area where I live, my church sees the pastor for two hours every month, sometimes even less. And that’s not two hours in one day, but just for church because he has to go to another church on the same day. He has four churches spread out over four counties.
I asked a previous pastor about the lack of pastors and he told me it was not because of lack of people interested in becoming pastors, but a lack of money. From time to time the General Conference reports that tithe giving is up. If more money was spent on hiring pastors, maybe pastors might have time to be shepherds.
Karen Kludo
Woolwine, Virginia
Kudos to the authors of “Where Have All the Shepherds Gone?” and “Adventist Education Refocuses on Mission” (Mar. 13, 2008). What we now lack is preaching and teaching of “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” The reverently, thoughtfully told story of the crucifixion gripped my heart when I was six years old and has nourished my spirit ever since. Jesus said His dying on the cross would draw all to Him. Each of us, young and old, have to take up our cross daily and follow our precious Lord to Golgotha. Not a fun trip, to be sure. It was not fun for Jesus, but it’s the irresistible power few choose.
Do pastors and teachers hesitate to lead us to an experiential visit to the cross because of unclear ideas as to who this Jesus really is?
Oliver Jaques
Fallbrook, California
I read with interest “Adventist Education Refocuses on Mission” by Larry Blackmer (Mar. 13, 2008). I saw a statement of mission, sincerity, and dedication to faithfulness to this mission, and a strategy to bring this mission back into focus within our educational system. My heart was encouraged!
In the early ‘80s one of our educators told me: “The Adventist Church is changing, why don’t you just get out of it!” Well, many years ago, he left with his family to be involved with a Sunday-keeping church. My family and I are still here, still focused on what we believe is our sole purpose on planet earth.
I grew up in the world and had a good, worldly education. While still in high school I determined not to subject my children to what I was subjected to. For a while I didn’t know where to go or how to get there. I knew what I was being subjected to was leading me where I didn’t want to go. I wish I could communicate in a few words what the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has meant to me personally—but others will understand the depth of my sentiment.
As our children have grown we utilized home school along with Adventist institutional education. One of our daughters is an educator, and she finds battles are being fought on the front lines to not only keep our schools open, but to keep them Adventist and Christian. One teacher we know was deeply distressed when a short time ago, a new pastor in her church began an ongoing campaign to close a viable Adventist school to help “save money.” Increasingly parents are looking for a private secular education to reflect the core values of the dominant Western culture we live in.
I heartily applaud the work to develop the needed curriculum that is within the biblical framework we believe (with good, well supported, reason) to be truthful and correct. For years we lamented this lack as we educated our children. Generally we had to go to other sources or develop our own curriculum to meet this need. Making this curriculum available to home schooling parents is also very important. The stakes are too high to not work together.
We currently minister in a country where there is no Adventist education, where the values inculcated in the schools are secular and the religion taught is Catholic. In this setting it is almost impossible to have second-generation Adventists. While we cannot “teach” conversion, the values learned and attitudes inculcated day in and day out by the educational process are certainly one of the biggest influences to the direction of the rest of the life.
If we don’t work with the Holy Spirit, who will? With the value Jesus places on our children, why should we now retreat in the face of an increasingly secular and amoral world? I shudder to think of the outcome of abandoning, or compromising, our most important trust—doing all in our power to see our children in God’s kingdom.
Brad Bushey
Waterford, Ireland
“Where Have All the Shepherds Gone?” elicited a discussion in our house, and guess what? Bill Knott is right. We looked back over the years and found that the visitation rate has changed dramatically. We have never thought about it. Our hats are off to you.
Junior Scoggins
Ozark, Arkansas
God on the Spot
It is wonderful that student finance director, Cassie Ragenovich of Walla Walla University, finds God always comes through with financial resources. “He’s Never Failed, and That’s the Way It Is” (Feb. 21, 2008).
My concern is with the ultimatum she gave God 32 years ago: “I told God that I would stay in it for the long haul if He met one condition: that he would always—not most of the time, but always—provide the resources students needed so they could come to college.”
Can God be intimidated? Does God say “yes” if we demand or counter our request with a threat?
Edith Fitch
Lacombe, Alberta