September 2005

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Apology Corrected

I read with interest your “Apology Accepted” story in the July 2005 Banner. Unfortunately it contained misinformation. Your article says the situation involved an elder from Roseland Christian Reformed Church, Chicago, but the elder was actually from Loop Christian Ministries, Chicago. Palos Heights (Ill.) CRC did not prevent this elder from serving communion. Rather, the minister of Roseland CRC told this elder she would be prevented from serving. We did have a female elder from an Oak Lawn, Ill., church show up to serve (whom we included in the rotation of service), but she backed out when she learned she would be the only woman serving. What I apologized for at synod was the mixed messages the elder from Roseland received.

—Mark Ward,
Council Chair,
Palos Heights (Ill.) CRC

Editor’s note: The Banner regrets the error and extends its apology to Palos Heights CRC for the pain this has caused them.

New Sem Prof Already Ordained

Your report in the July issue on Darwin Glassford’s appointment as associate professor of church education at Calvin Theological Seminary states, “Glassford is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. In order to take up his duties at Calvin Seminary, he will need to be ordained as a minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed Church.”

The point that was actually made when Dr. Glassford was introduced at synod was that “teaching elder” is Presbyterian (or at least PCA) language for “minister of the Word.” Those of us who have come into the CRC from the PCA have done so by way of a colloquium doctum (doctrinal conversation), not by reordination.

—Rev. J. Cameron Fraser,
Lethbridge, Alberta

The Banner apologizes for the error.

Presidential Protest

I feel saddened by the treatment President Bush received on his short visit to West Michigan (“President’s Visit Sparks Debate at Calvin,” July 2005). Scripture teaches us to love our enemies and to show mercy to those who persecute us—and “by so doing we will heap burning coals upon their heads.” President Bush is a depraved human sinner (like us) and is in need of our love, our mercy, and most of all our forgiveness.

Scripture also teaches us to submit ourselves “to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Rom. 13:11). Those who rebel against that authority rebel “against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (v. 2). Let me also remind everyone that we are called to “love our president as ourselves.”

—Paul Lammers,
Kalamazoo, Mich.

God bless those 823 Calvin College alumni and others who stated, “Your deeds, Mr. President, do not exemplify the faith we live by.” Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” If only more Christians believed Jesus meant what he said in this verse.

—Dave Thomas,
Westwood, N.J.

I was very disappointed at the disrespect shown to President Bush by some of Calvin College’s professors and students. Why not graciously accept the honor and leave it at that? As a result, Calvin was not portrayed in a positive light by the news media.

—Ruth Haan,
Strathroy, Ontario

The Banner failed to mention that Calvin had previously invited Nicholas Wolterstorff to give the commencement address. Professor Wolterstorff has years of association with Calvin and the Christian Reformed Church. Had Wolterstorff not been “disinvited,” Calvin Provost Joel Carpenter would have had no need to repeatedly contact the White House to ensure that the religious character of the service be honored.

—Mary M. Zinkand,
Holland, Mich.
Protecting Children

The motivation to form Abuse Response Teams (“Abuse Advisory Panel Changes Approved,” July 2005) and to write child-safety policies for our churches should never stem from a position of fear that there will be litigation. As part of Christ’s Church, our motivation to prevent abuse is about protecting the vulnerable, and our motivation to respond to abuse is about seeking justice. As God’s people, obeying Scripture always comes before law or what the attorneys may say, even if it means a church or church leader may be sued.

—Judy De Wit,
Fridley, Minn.

Beyond Wristbands

White wristbands are fine to show support for the Micah Challenge (“Micah Challenge Holds Governments Accountable,” July 2005). But we should go a step beyond that symbol. We should find a few sheets of white paper, a pen, several envelopes, and stamps and then write letters to our government leaders and representatives to remind them again and again that we will not allow their pledges of support [to fight poverty] to languish.

—Mary E. Jellema,
Holland, Mich.

Developing Perspective

It was good to read your editorial challenging the church to see Christian schooling as a communal responsibility (June 2005). You rightly point out that for many in the CRC, Christian schooling does not appear to be a priority. You hit the nail on the head when you challenge Christian educators to “prove” the importance of Christian schooling. All too often the development of a thoroughly biblical perspective takes second or even third place to planning field trips and sporting events. Budget items for band and sports team uniforms are often much greater than allocations for the development of a Christian perspective in staff members. Of course bands and school teams in the Kingdom also have “Holy to the Lord” written all over them. And that is what should be . . . but what about staff development and training?

—John Vanderhoek,
Chilliwack, British Columbia

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