April 2005

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The Banner invites your comments in response to articles that have appeared in the magazine. Please try to keep letters to 100 words or fewer and remember to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). We’ll consider all letters for publication unless they’re marked “Not for publication.” We can’t publish anonymous letters, but on occasion we may withhold names upon request. You may send letters to Bob De Moor at The Banner, 2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49560; fax them to 616-224-0834; or e-mail them to editorial@thebanner.org. Finally, please also remember that letters printed on these pages do not necessarily express the views of The Banner or the Christian Reformed Church in North America. —bd

Communion for Kids Too

I appreciate Rev. Wayne Brouwer’s article “Children at the Table” (February 2005). His historical survey of church practice and his explanation of the pertinent Scripture passages related to our celebration of the Lord’s Supper are very helpful. It would seem to me to logically follow that what we as a church need to do is welcome all baptized children to the Lord’s table together with their parents. In other words, we need to acknowledge that the Eastern Church practice is more faithful to Scripture and then follow it. Then we need to disciple these covenant children, involve them in ministry with us, and challenge them to profess their faith when they reach an appropriate “age of discretion.” —John Luth, St. Albert, Alberta

I am crowding 70 and in recent years have reversed my opinion on children at the table. If we believe in the covenant and its promises that we and our children belong . . . then how do we dare keep them from the celebration? —Albert Kolk, Iron Springs, Alberta Thank you to Rev. Wayne Brouwer for this article. It clearly outlines the historical and biblical basis for the sacrament of communion. I was confused by the conclusion, however. The entire argument, historically and biblically, would indicate that coming to the Lord’s table is not dependent on making public profession of faith. If we believe that infant baptism is all about God saying, “My promises are for you and your children,” then the grace-filled sign of those promises, as expressed in the Lord’s Supper, is also for our children. Their faith identity is shaped and leads them to the point where they can publicly profess it. —Roy van Eerden, Abbotsford, British Columbia

Pentecostalism for Reformed Folks

I greatly appreciated the article about Third Wave Pentecostalism by Dan Baker (“Refreshed by the Third Wave,” March 2005). I too have been impacted by the ministry of PRMI and went through an experience similar to what Baker describes. I too was impressed by the “level-headed” teaching and found myself with an “extraordinary thirst for reading and studying the Bible and a greater degree of intimacy with the Lord in prayer.” Spiritual gifts of healing, discernment, wisdom, teaching, speaking in tongues, etc., are for the glory of God and for the equipping of the saints, so that we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit in doing the will of God on earth. Thank you for this article. In some ways I felt like I was reading my own testimony. —Cindy Smith, Red Bank, N.J.

Wage Peace

I admire Lt. Doug Vrieland’s efforts to bring light to his workplace (“Serving God on a Warship,” February 2005), and I pray that he will continue to have courage to challenge his shipmates to follow the way of Jesus. I appreciate his quote from Isaiah’s vision of peace (2:4). That vision was made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth, who called a company of followers whom Paul describes as “the body of Christ.” If we have been given the mission to follow in Jesus’ steps, we should start beating our swords into plowshares now. Militarism may be great for business, but it is an affront to the Prince of Peace. —Steve Bisset, Laurel, Md. Thinking About Marriage

In “Covenant Marriage in a Broken Culture” (February 2005), Leslie Kuiper argues that marriage is a covenant rather than a contract. Well, maybe it is. But there may be more than one thing that goes by that name. There certainly is a civil status with that name, defined by law. That status is available to Christians, Buddhists, atheists, and any others. In some jurisdictions it’s now also available to same sex couples. It looks something like a contract. There might be some other relation (ecclesiastical or even spiritual?) with that same name. Maybe that’s what Kuiper identifies as a lifelong covenant. Perhaps that is Christian marriage, or even “a marriage in the sight of God.” It would be useful to have a clarification of how these two kinds of marriage are related. Are there couples who have the covenant without the contract, or vice versa? Could there be? And how does that happen? —George I. Mavrodes, Ann Arbor, Mich.

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