November 8, 2014

October 16, 2014

Bringing Out the Best

When I read the article “The Second Coming: It’s Not Fair” (Oct. 16, 2014), I remember the reason I never worry about young people like Myron Madden.

He really got it. May his journey with Jesus continue to give him even more clarity and discernment. May the Lord perfect his abilities in journalism as he brings many to Christ’s kingdom.

I was greatly blessed by this article.

—Bonnie Applegate
Rocklin, California

Both Sides of the Coin

Reading the article “Adventist Church Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Hijab Case” (Oct. 9, 2014), reminded me of a prior Adventist Review article regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby Case.

It seems surprising to find church lawyers on opposite sides of these two cases. Both involve an employer forcing an employee to comply with the employer’s religious/social values. Either we believe that employers have the right to follow their religious conscience and dictate that behavior to their employees, or we believe that employers have an obligation to respect their employees’ religious beliefs and accommodate them if possible.

If anything, this current case involves behavior that could actually be construed as impacting an employee’s work (wearing a Hijab while helping customers), as opposed to allowing employees to choose a form of contraception for use in their own home.

If we expect employers in this country to respect our requests for Sabbath accommodation, we must be consistent in our support of individual over corporate or governmental rights in religious issues; not pick and choose based on the ones we happen to find more or less offensive.

—Doug Thomsen
Lebanon, Ohio

Reading and Interpreting

Regarding the ongoing discussion about women’s ordination: In “Adventists Urged to Story Women’s Ordination for Themselves” (Oct. 9, 2014), Ted N. C. Wilson, makes the statement, “The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that we are to take the Bible just as it reads.” I take this to mean Wilson is saying that women should not be leaders in the church, hence should not be ordained as ministers.

While I am a firm believer in the Spirit of Prophecy, it does not take a genius to understand that we should not take everything in the Bible as rules for our lives today. For example, we do not stone people for picking up firewood on the Sabbath; we do not stone people caught in adultery. One could cite numerous other behaviors that were practiced in biblical times that we do not follow today.

What we must take into consideration is the culture in which counsel is given. Certainly women do not have the same status today they had 2,000 years ago. While this may be true in certain religions in Middle East countries, it is not true in North America. Women are CEOs in many companies; they are presidents of many universities; they hold high positions in government. To conclude that because there were no women apostles or church leaders during Christ’s days does not mean this should be followed today.

I do not understand why the church has labored for so many years over this question. Let’s put men and women on the same level with regard to church leadership and get on with preparing for the soon return of our Lord.

Walter S. Hamerslough
Lafayette, Colorado

Shocked is my only response to the Annual Council action regarding women’s ordination. Is this the future of Adventism, that each world division be allowed to decide what biblical principle they are going to follow?

May unity not be based on compromise.

—La Rue Carlson
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Dollars and Sense

As I read “I Really Needed the Money” (Oct. 9, 2014), my concern grew as the author repeatedly referred to her reluctance to pay God 10 percent of her money.

Praise the Lord, she came to the realization that it’s not our money at all. Allow me to add a couple scenarios to illustrate:

Suppose I got a job minding the store. My duties include cleaning, stocking, serving customers, and taking in money from sales. At the end of the day does the money in the cash register belong to me? What if, while taking the money to the bank I did a little dipping for myself? No way! I’d be fired for sure.

My pay is determined by my Boss. If I take that which is His, that’s stealing. But if I am faithful in managing the store, returning His stated portion, He promises me a raise (Mal. 3:8-12).

Further, suppose He invites me to be a partner with Him in business. Him providing all the resources makes Him senior partner. He makes the rules, He makes His offer. “Tell you what,” He says, “let’s do a 90/10 split on all the profits.” My response is one of total amazement. Here I am, homeless, street urchin, and this wealthy Dude comes along and offers me a full-fledged partnership in His business. I get a whopping 10 percent of all the proceeds. “No, no, no,” He emphatically urges, “you get 90 percent, I get 10 percent.”

Is that cool, or what?

—Cal Shrock

I liked Tawanna Persaud’s article “I Really Needed the Money.” Her message was so open, honest, sincere, and clear. It’s not easy to trust God enough to tithe as we should, but it surely is worth it.

—Ertis L. Johnson
Elk City, Oklahoma

Just Catching Up

I’m just catching up with my Adventist Review reading. Thanks for having the willingness to print the article, “God Is. . .” (May 15, 2014). To so many Adventists of generations past who were (evidently) raised with a hard-bitten emphasis on all things legal, the teachings to which this article refers sound like music to their ears. To suggest anything different is, to them, tantamount to rejecting the gospel of Christ and robbing them of their entire experience; thus the importance of speaking carefully.

Thanks to Joseph Olstad for graciously presenting the whole picture. For a wonderfully Christ-centered study of this topic, see The Character of God Controversy, published by Pacific Press Publishing Association.

—Bill Krick
Clovis, California