Bill Knott’s The Frozen Foyer (June 2020) became very personal when I read the sentence “Others come from homes where television and the cat are all the company they have.” Until the pandemic, I would drive the 20-plus miles to church almost every Sabbath and sit with an acquaintance or by myself. But with the pandemic I’ve had to stay at home and still have not started back to church, where I would have to wear a mask and sit alone, or even be sent home because there were already too many members in attendance.
I usually watch the service on Facebook, and since I have a Glorystar satellite dish, I can watch 3ABN, Hope Channel, and LLBN all day on Sabbath, including programs I have recorded during the week. Spotty, my 13-year-old cat, is frequently curled up in my lap or beside me while I watch.
But in three to five years I will quit my part-time job and move to a senior center in Portland, Oregon, where I will be closer to relatives, and will be able to get the care I need as I get older.
I have saved Bill Knott’s article on my computer and will reread it many times.
Joan Beth King
Manhattan Beach, California
Stephen Chavez’s “Jesus Said, ‘Come’” (June 2020) is a welcome reminder that if we want to reflect Christ’s character, we have to welcome everyone who shows up at our churches. It’s gratifying to read how some congregations are taking this seriously.
We lose much when we judge people from outward appearances. I, for one, am thankful that as a church we’ve progressed past articles about the length of skirts on girls and women and the length of hair on men. Now conversations about inclusion have to include race, economics, and sexual orientation. This is when we get to demonstrate just how committed we are to Jesus’ model of inclusion.
Thanks for having the courage to publish such a provocative article.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Dixil Rodríguez’s recent article, “Forecast: Heavy Rain” (June 2020), touched me and the family. Her insights enlighten and inspire me and my family, as we are regular listeners and readers of Searching the Obvious. It is difficult to locate other works she has touched outside of Searching the Obvious. We are grateful for her and her commentaries. I hope that during these awkward times she is able to continue her work. We would be lost without her.
I appreciate the message decrying racism. The apostle Paul faced this perennial issue in his day. The virus I would call Racism-2020 has caused more damage in the world. Paul’s message to the Galatians was “You are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). If we don’t follow the example of our Savior, we are not Christians.
Anatomically we are equals, but humans look at the appearance instead of the heart. Paul wrote: “Our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20). That transformation has to happen now if we want to be citizens of heaven then.
Leo Ranzolin Sr.
Wow! The article “Love Is an Action Word” (July 2020) is just what we needed following the racial unrest we’ve seen over the last few weeks. Ella Simmons sounded a call that seemed almost prophetic. Nothing less than a radical love can address the problems faced by society.
Thank you for this call to action. I hope that we as a church will remember that we occupy two societies: the kingdom of God and kingdom of this world. God expects us to be good citizens of each.
Racism is only one form of discrimination that exists in our society today. It may be the form that has attracted the attention of our denominational leaders today. But it will never go away until the root—discrimination of any kind—is addressed and removed from our denominational life.
It’s easy to offer platitudes in response to current events. But we need to listen and understand before we speak. We demonstrate our failure to understand when we respond with such comments as “All lives matter.”
We may want to congratulate ourselves on being on the right side in the current issue of racism in our society. Yet if we fail to understand current issues of sexism and gender, we demonstrate that we have traveled a very short distance down the pathway to equality.
This is a time when all of us should listen, think, and understand before we speak.
Thank you for a very thoughtful article: “Don Miguel, and Other Lessons” (AdventistReview.org/don-miguel-and-other-lessons). It had important values, well expressed.
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