Letters to the Editor

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Valentine’s Embrace

John Lee’s article “A Valentine’s Embrace” (February 2013) tells about his love for his friend Matt that allowed Matt to express his secret. The difficult conversation, however, is the one that follows, which the church needs to address.

It is clear from reading the Bible that homosexual activity is a perversion. We as a church need to tell the truth about this perversion (“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie”) with consequences both temporal and eternal for those who actively embrace the lifestyle to which they are drawn. We need to support those who strive to live without expressing their unnatural feelings. In so doing we will show God’s love evidenced by a Savior who came “to seek and to save the lost,” as Lee says in his article.

—Lynne Postma
Grand Rapids, Mich.

The idea that Jesus loves everyone unconditionally and that we should just give everyone a hug no matter their sexual orientation (“A Valentine’s Embrace”) remains incomplete as a biblical response to openly sinful lifestyle choices. Yes, Jesus loves us despite our sinful nature, but he lovingly tells us to leave that life of sin (John 8:11).

—Willem De Vries
Brantford, Ontario

“A Valentine’s Embrace” speaks of helping people drawn to homosexuality to know that God still loves them and that we love them too. Those are definitely proper biblical sentiments that ought to be expressed and encouraged. But there is no mention of the equally proper (and absolutely essential) duty of Reformed believers to help people who are tempted by homosexuality to resist that temptation, recognize the sinfulness of homosexual behavior, and submit to God’s righteousness.

Where are the articles about the proper biblical view of homosexual behavior? Let’s have a serious conversation based on the Word of God, not one catering to the whims of society or popular scientific “knowledge.”

—Dan Winiarski
Jenison, Mich.

Calvin Football?

Reflecting on Lloyd Rang’s “Pain Versus Gain” (February 2013), I hope the expression “Calvin football” becomes an oxymoron.

The glorified mayhem exhibited in professional football often leads to debilitating injury, including brain damage. Any possible financial benefit to Calvin College gained from adding this sport should be anathema. Rather let them continue to strive for “a sound mind in a sound body.”

—Tom Posthumus
London, Ontario

“Stealing” Sermons

I really enjoyed the thought-provoking article “I Think the Pastor Stole That Sermon” (February 2013). I didn’t realize how applicable it was until I read “The View from Here” article “Always Keep On Praying.” The story about the standard railroad gauge is the same story I read some time ago in a technical magazine. It would have been good for the author to have read “I Think the Pastor . . .” prior to writing his own so the proper sources could have been cited.

—Kirk Oosting
Hudsonville, Mich.

The article “I Think the Pastor Stole That Sermon” saddens me because it further fractures the community. It arms critical people and may deny others something they need to hear. If I believe that my pastor’s job in the pulpit is to equip me to live this life, then I do not care if he borrows another’s work.

Neither Jesus nor Paul cared that the message was being brought by unbelievers; they apparently celebrated that the message was being brought. How about a balancing article on how few of our ideas are our own, how the words and the phrasing we use are pretty much all borrowed from our interactions with others, and how we are advised that we are to use these to build up the body and not destroy it?

—Tim Jasperse
Hudsonville, Mich.

Church Order

I respectfully disagree with Larry Van Essen’s IMHO “Do We Need to Change the Church Order?” (February 2013). For starters, the main purpose of Sunday worship is not evangelism, but the worship of God. Second, sermons should focus on God’s Word with the purpose of teaching believers, reproving, correcting, and training them in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16) for the work of ministry—including evangelism. That evangelism to the lost happens in the world outside the fellowship of believers on Sunday.

—Maurice Harting
Burnaby, British Columbia

GMO Food

“How Should We Then Eat?” (January 2013) caught my attention. Interested in food, I purchased Demystifying Food from Farm to Fork and read eagerly. Author Maurice Mladik ranges easily and widely across the farm and food scene. He includes several references to Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops and their cost-effective production of food.

I write to offer a caution to the author’s endorsement of GMO foods. A synoptic history of the approval of GMOs is available online at “Seeds of Deception” from the Institute for Responsible Technology.

If we are to eat healthfully we must know how crops and livestock are grown, and we must be confident that land and facilities are uncompromised.

—Garth Cubitt
New Lowell, Ontario

Hell or High Water?

I am not happy with the editorial “Cast Your Bread upon the Waters” (January 2013). The editor says “Immanuel will walk with us come hell or high water.” These words were not necessary in a Christian magazine. Couldn’t he have said “Immanuel will walk with us no matter what happens”? Doesn’t anyone read these things before they go to print?

—Wilma Dodde
Howard City, Mich.

More Simple Living

Helen Aupperlee suggests that “our system of wealth creation and retention—consumer capitalism—inherently degrades our own humanity as well as . . . creatures and environments” (“Simple Living,” January 2013).

Instead of decrying our evil capitalistic system at the expense of our humanity, maybe we could spend more time thinking about our pace of life that cuts us off from our neighbors because we don’t know each other anymore. Or maybe living simply is deciding to live within our means so we can . . . help people locally and far away to find ways to become self-sufficient by starting their own businesses.

—Ken Schripsema
Grand Rapids, Mich.

World Renew

We have no problem with deleting the word “Reformed” from CRWRC, but to take out “Christian” is going a step too far. Is it politically incorrect to use the word “Christian” because we might hurt the feelings of other religions?

The name World Renew is as secular as the Red Cross. Sad!

—Peter and Jennie Vermeulen
Bowmanville, Ontario

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Comments

First, I did not read John Lee’s article “A Valentine’s Embrace” (February 2013). However, from reading the comments here I am getting the gist of it. I am also getting a sense that most readers don't understand what it is to be gay in today's society. I am not of that orientation. I have a few acquaintances who are. I also have a cousin who is. In no way has anyone expressed that this a lifestyle choice. Yet, that's what most readers perceive it to be. I think before we start worrying how to fix other people we work at understanding who they are. Just as you consider yourself straight without second thought, why not appreciate that gay people consider themselves of that orientation without second thought. As Christ followers we should remove the planks from our eyes and demonstrate His love. Imagine a world of love and acceptance, without judgment and disdain; to see everybody through Christ's eyes with love and mercy.

fix 

Edwin Walhout, in his artlicle "Tomorrow's Theology," says "We will have to find a much better way of understanding what sin in, where it comes from, and what its consequences are."  I see that he is a pastor, and yet he doesn't know the answer to basic theology.   God says that he is the same yesterday, today and forever, so why should we doubt his Word now? or think that he will change his message 500 years from now?  Walhout reminds me that the whole thrust of theistic evolutionary teaching is not the pursuit of truth, but the destruction of the authority of God's Word. Unfortunately, many within the CRC and indeed throughout the Western church are capitulating to this crossover to evolutionary atheism and setting their Bibles aside. Perhaps we should start fleeing from such false teachers.

                The Rev. E. Walhout in his article “Tomorrow’s Theology”, June 2013, would have you believe that the 1859 Theory of Evolution “is fast becoming recognized as established fact” and “sharing ancestry with other primates such as chimpanzees”-- an undisputed truth.  Nothing is further from the truth and the conclusions postulated are wrong on so many levels.  Remarkable strides in understanding within biochemistry and astrophysics suggest that the complexity and intricacy of the universe from the functioning of the eye’s rods and cones and the inner-ear bones’ physiology to the grand-scale complexity of the galactic inhabitants would have taken more than all the elapsed time since the Big Bang first occurred to have arbitrarily and spontaneously come together.

                When Christians look at the ages of the rocks and galaxies and similarities among organisms, it shows us two things: (1) that God created a universe which operates within the parameters of various physical, chemical and biological laws; but being God, He is not bound to act within the constraints of those laws. (2) that the “mind of God” created all that exists and “it was very good.”  We as part of this creation should see the similarities (i.e. humans and other primates) as reflections of that one mind; similarity of form and function do not demand a descendant lineage

                Consider the wedding at Cana which our Lord, the Creator attended.  Consider the wine he created from water.  Did not the guests say that the wine was the best they tasted?  Surely the wine was perfectly aged.  Did not the guests presuppose that the grapes had been carefully tended, picked when the sugar content was just right, crushed by feet and fermented perfectly?  Was Jesus trying to “trick” the guests and disciples or was the wine miraculously made to show the glory of the Father and bring praise to Him; to show that He is real God and that creation is subservient to His command and will?

                Does theology ever change?  Can theology ever change?  Yes, when that new insight brings more praise, more honor, and more glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Unfortunately, the theory of evolution does not do this.  Instead, it seeks to replace the glory of the Creator with a chance encounter of atoms and a huge number of mutations over a very long period of time. 

 

                The real question ought to be, “Is our theology true to scripture?”  In the words of Albert Einstein, “All I want to know is the mind of God—all the rest are details.”

Dave Baas, Visalia, CA

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