March 30, 2011

Web Letters 1509

Thankful for Free Speech

I totally agree with Shawn Boonstra’s view regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling about allowing the Baptist group to protest as it wishes (Online exclusive: Why the Supreme Court Got it Right About Westboro Baptist Church). Although I don’t condone their tactics, their right to “free speech” is protected by our constitution. This will allow us to continue having the freedom to proclaim God’s message.
Praise God. He is always in control, and He knows what is best.
--J. Irizarry
A Beautiful Coincidence
What a beautiful coincidence! (Or was it providence?)
The March 10 Adventist Review features integrity on the cover and throughout. The center spread and offering envelope focus on the April 9 annual offering for Christian Record Services for the Blind, the only nonprofit winner of the prestigious BBB Integrity Award for 2010 from the Lincoln (Nebraska) area Better Business Bureau. An independent panel of business leaders and members of the academic community chose Christian Record and three for-profit businesses to receive the recognition at a dinner last October at which the state governor spoke.
My favorite quotation on the subject: “Everything that Christians do should be as transparent as the sunlight(Ellen G. White, Reflecting Christ, p. 71).
--Doris Burdick

Conditional Prophecy
In the news article “Wilson Has Bible Study With Prime Minister, Hears Praise for Adventists” (Feb. 24, 2011), the General Conference president quotes Ellen G. White’s conditional statement that Christ could have come many years ago had the church been ready.
I think this is a faulty use of White’s statements. Just as we must look at all the Bible says on a given topic before drawing conclusions, so we must look at everything Ellen G. White says before we use a single statement to make a point.
I suggest that your readers get a copy of Arnold Wallenkampf’s book The Apparent Delay for a thorough treatment about what Ellen G. White really believed about the time of Christ’s Advent, and whether the church can cause God to postpone His coming.
--Larry Yeagley
Team Players
I read with great interest Gerald Klingbeil’s editorial, “Teamwork” (Feb. 17, 2011).
In the late 1980s, when I was pastor in Ardmore, Oklahoma, my wife received a small stipend to work with me in team ministry. In 1991, when I moved to the Oklahoma City Central Church, my wife was paid half of my salary to work with me in team ministry. Our children were young then, so we didn’t want her to work full-time.
Notwithstanding the internal control issues that arise when a husband and wife work together in the same department or ministry, the church should reexamine its policies to allow husbands and wives to work together in ministry and to provide pay for the wife.
Jesus sent out His disciples two by two, a method that cannot be improved upon. In Daughters of God, pages 110, 111, Ellen White clearly states that a wife working with her minister husband should be paid.
Because we see this done so infrequently in the church, the question arises, do we follow Ellen White only when it’s convenient? If so, the promise of 2 Chronicles 20:20 is not available.
--Vialo Weis, Jr.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Work for All
I was delighted to read the article by Andrew McChesney, “The Best Job in the World” (Feb. 24, 2011). I agree with his ideas about being called (see John 15:16).
However, Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Matt. 9:37). We ought to remember, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col. 3:23).
McChesney can use his job as a journalist for God’s work. That’s why we need more workers for the church, not necessarily salaried by the church, but those willing to dedicate their means for preaching the gospel, like Paul, who was a tentmaker (see Acts 18:3).
There are at least two kinds of workers for the church: denominationally salaried and tentmakers, such as Paul and those who serve in the 10/40 window. That’s why we exist: to motivate lay members to help with the work without worrying about salary.

Even if the church cuts budgets, God provides for our needs (Phil. 4:19). We are to expand the work in the 10/40 window. We are to “bring salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47).

Even if fewer than 1 percent are missionaries, if we emphasize these two kinds of workers for the church and call for more committed workers to help, more might respond. I’m praying for more workers to help, especially in the 10/40 window.
--Rolly Obedencio
Bangkok, Thailand
Famous and Courageous
I was sad to hear of the passing of David Lin as reported in Adventist Review (David Lin, Adventist Pastor in China,  Dies; Mar. 10, 2011). We all have heard the names of famous and courageous figures in the Adventist Church. He was one of them.
I’ll never forget my first encounter with him during a visit to China in 1993. My first stop was in Shanghai. What a privilege it was to visit and to pray with Lin during prayer meeting at a Methodist church. One of the main purposes of my visit was to see the new hospital in Hangzhou. However, I will never forget fellowshipping with this man of God who endured so much affliction and became a tower of strength for our people in China.
Despite persecution, 17 years of imprisonment, forced labor, and separation from his family, this courageous leader had no bitterness in his heart. His many accomplishments as pastor, translator, writer, and leader will indelibly remain in the annals of our history in China. How appropriate that this issue of the Adventist Review dealt with integrity from the writings of the servant of the Lord and the excellent article by Judith P. Nembhard. Lin is a prime example of courage, faithfulness, and integrity in critical times. What a privilege to know this leader as a “valiant servant of the Lord,” to use Ted Wilson’s words.
--Leo Ranzolin, Sr.
Estero, Florida
Looking Back, Looking Ahead
With deep sorrow we heard of Roger Coon’s passing in the news article “Roger W. Coon, Adventist Scholar and Apologist, Dies” (Feb. 24, 2011). He was a scholar, teacher, pastor, and above all a Christian gentleman with a positive spirit. His health and hearing declined with age, yet he still welcomed opportunities to mentor younger seekers.
In his final sermon January 1, 2011, at the Seventh-day Church in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia (where we are members), Coon urged the congregation, “Remember! Remember how God has led His people in the past.” The devil’s motto, he said, is “Forget; forget all that.”
For the times in which we live that’s a soul-stirring and challenging word: “Remember!” May we follow his counsel, keeping our eyes on Jesus and our focus on God’s Word.
--Ruth E. Wright
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia