January 14, 2014

November 1, 2013

Less is

Chavez’s editorial “Beyond Words” (Oct. 24, 2013) about using Holy
Spirit-directed brevity in our communications is timely.

In that regard, I note that his editorial is just half the
length of the one on the opposite page. There is value in completeness, but
sometimes more so in brevity; it often invites further inquiry.

The widely-known columnist Walter Winchell was fond of telling
this story of enforced brevity:

A young, cub reporter on a big, metropolitan newspaper, assigned
to write obituaries, was writing overly lengthy accounts, many paragraphs long,
about the deaths of people of no particular station in life. Fed up with his
wordiness, the editor threatened, “One more obit like this and you’ll be

The reporter’s next assignment was to write about a death in a
hotel. He reported it this way: “John K. Brown looked up the elevator shaft of
the Jones Hotel today to see if the elevator was on its way down. It was. Age,

Thereinafter the editor had no problem with the reporter’s

Brevity yes, but that’s not our biggest problem. It is merely
opening our mouths to speak a word for God’s truth “in season.”

–Herbert Ford
Angwin, California


“What on Earth Happened in 1844?” (Oct. 17, 2013):

What occurred to those believers who responded to God’s prophetic
words found in Daniel 8:14 is well documented.

Another question is: What was our omniscient God doing by the
message He sent to earth presented in Revelation 10, for it describes the
experience of those who embraced the prophetic preaching of Daniel 8:14?

God was at work; for from those believers He would launch His
“remnant” people who “must prophesy again.”

The 2,300 year prophetic period has passed. “The mystery of God”
is to be finished. Earth has entered Daniel’s “time of the end.” The message to
be proclaimed is found in Revelation 14:6-12. If Seventh-day Adventists abandon
this mission we would become part of Babylon.

Let us live according to the appeal made by the everlasting
gospel. We must not let Satan’s warfare turn us from our God-given mission (Rev.

Then through the heavens we can beam the message from tower to
tower: O earth, it is the last, last hour. Jesus is coming again.

–David Manzano
Harriman, Tennessee

As we study
the eschatological Day of Atonement, let us not forget that the sanctuary
focused on the entire ellipse of salvation, from Passover to Yom Kippur. Each
piece of sanctuary furniture linked to an aspect of the plan of salvation and,
in their order, to one of the annual festivals (Lev. 23).

Studied in its entirety, the sanctuary system reveals precious
information about the plan carried out by Jesus Christ, that He might dwell
among His people (Rev. 21:3).

–Connie Dahlke
Walla Walla, Washington


“The Prophetic Rendezvous
of 1844 Adventism” (Oct. 17, 2013) is a difficult article to read. The language
used nearly choked my understanding of this work. I got the “drift” of the
conclusion, but I would have appreciated reading it without having the need of
a Thesaurus at my fingertip.

Maybe a second or third reading will help clarify it.

–Janice Schnurr

Tortured Prose

If Clifford
Goldstein is going to be permitted to write prose that few of us can understand,
such as the tortured prose in “The God
of the Gap” (Sept. 19, 2013), the editors should either provide an
interpretation at the conclusion of each such column, or return them to him for
a rewrite.

Goldstein is capable of writing brilliant, insightful copy. He
should be held to just that kind of standard.

–Mike Jones
Gresham, Oregon

Luxury and Extravagance

The article
by Jimmy Phillips, “Allure of the Church” (Sept.10, 2013), started a train of
thought. As I think of the lives of Christ, the apostles Paul and Peter, as
well as our early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers, they were characterized by
self-denial and self-sacrifice.

It is crucial to realize that self-denial and self-sacrifice,
which are also frequently mentioned in the Spirit of Prophecy, apply not only
to cruises but to personal adornment, adult “toys,” tickets to commercial sporting
events, elaborate homes, fancy cars, maybe even time spent watching commercial
sporting events on TV.

Some people have trouble putting food on the table or struggle
to send their children to Adventist schools. AIDs orphans or famine victims in
Africa could benefit from our self-denial and self-sacrifice.

We would do well to heed these words from Ellen White: “Should
we dress in plain, modest apparel, without reference to the fashions; should
our tables at all times be set with simple, healthful food, avoiding all
luxuries, all extravagance; should our houses be built with becoming plainness
and furnished in the same manner, it would show the sanctifying power of the
truth and would have a telling influence upon unbelievers” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p.

As a final note, does self-denial and self-sacrifice cause
people to be sad faced and joyless? It didn’t seem to do that to Jesus, Paul,
Peter, or Ellen White.

–Donald E. Casebolt
College Place, Washington