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.
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
“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.”
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.”
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.
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?
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.
Burnaby, British Columbia
“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.
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?
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.
Grand Rapids, Mich.
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