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Letters to the Editor: July, August 2017

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Highway of Tears

Beautiful article on Highway 16 in B.C. (“Traveling the Highway of Tears,” May 2017). How excellent that Mr. Plugboer and five Christian Reformed churches are doing something about hitchhikers by working with the RCMP and providing a hotel room.

I have hitchhiked this highway when I was waiting three hours for a bus from Smithers to Prince George. I was picked up by a trucker and church member. I also hitchhiked for a whole year every six weeks from Calvin College to Holland Marsh, Ont., 400 miles. It worked out well, but I do not recommend hitchhiking, as it can be be dangerous.

John Van Hemert
Lynden, Wash.


Sanctuary Cities

An article highlighting Church World Service’s sanctuary aid to undocumented immigrants (“Sanctuary for the Undocumented Comes with Legal Consequences,” May 2017) suggests that federal immigration law requiring deportation of illegal aliens flies contrary to the Word of God.

It is in bad taste for a Christian Reformed Church publication to print such political commentary. Joe A. Serge
Oshawa, Ont.



After reading “The Aftermath of Bullying” (May 2017), I believe that it is also not uncommon for some pastors and church leaders to bully their members. Over the last 20 years, in my work of confronting abusive church leadership in the church, I have witnessed controlling pastors and church leaders—convinced they are doing the scriptural thing--threaten church discipline to a member when she used legal means to hold her pastor’s abuse accountable; dismiss a woman’s abusive marriage as “no big deal” and tell her to try harder; and threaten to “cut you off at the knees” when a member challenges a pastor’s cult-like approach to ministry.

What happened to pastoral care?

Judy De Wit
Sioux Falls, S.D.


Just War

In his article “From Just War to Just Peace” (April 2017), David Hoekema suggests we join with “peace” churches to create “a coalition of Christians from many traditions who would speak with one voice of the transformative power of active nonviolence as a remedy for injustice.” He goes on to cite synodical reports and decisions that support his views. Wanting to force all Christians into one political mode is impossible, but more important, it is wrong. . . .

We need to accept and encourage diversity and honest debate, to speak out, organize, and contribute to public dialogues in our own voice with our own resources--not those of the whole denomination.

Raymond P. Opeka
Grand Rapids, Mich.


White Privilege

I do not consider being white an idol (“Confronting White Privilege,” Feb. 2017). I am not changing. My awareness of being white does not hurt me. My spirituality is alive to injustice but not fixated on race.

Norman Groot
Willowdale, Ont.

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