Shaio Chong makes scientific claims in his Q&A on Christians and pot (FAQ) but fails to provide references like he does for his Bible citations. Specifically he suggests that marijuana is a gateway drug, admittedly without using this term. However, he provides no reference to any specific study. There are persuasive arguments against this, notably the Canadian Senate’s September 2002 report on cannabis.
—Adam Postma Kitchener, Ontario
Shore 2 Shore with a Roar
All hail to those who came with a roar from the pews of Prince Edward Island’s shore (“A Small Group with a Powerful Message”). We are told they are planning stops at 14 churches in two weeks. Why? Because there are no antipornography messsages being heard from the pulpits!
—Jake Prins Grand Rapids, Mich.
Synod Critiques Banner
It was difficult for me to read the article about a review of the Banner’s mandate (“Synod 2014 Critiques Banner Articles, Calls for Review of Mandate”). I’m 33 years old and grew up in the CRC learning about Calvin’s theology and keeping an open heart to the needs and thoughts of people in a quickly changing world. I was disappointed to see that two articles relevant to the minds of younger CRC members were thought so irrelevant by church leaders. It’s a small picture of a great problem for the CRC: when you don’t feed the flock, the flock looks elsewhere for food. When will CRC leaders be ready to address real issues for those who are more interested in theology than in the old traditions of an “old” church?
—Stan Hoekstra Schoolcraft, Mich.
The Bible is continually under attack from science trying to prove a very aged earth through evolution, carbon 14 dating,and now molecular genetics (see “Who’s Your Great-Great- . . . Granddaddy? . I simply reconcile the Bible and molecular genetics by removing a zero, arriving at a timeline of 7,500, 3,500, and 1,700 years. That “squares” the data for me. God is in charge of the “molecular clock.”
—Allan Stonehouse Jr. Englewood, Fla.
I advise caution for anyone using the National Geographic Genographic DNA Ancestral kit (“Who’s Your Great-Great- . . . Granddaddy?”). University of Texas anthropologist Deborah Bonick and 14 coauthors have declared the program “fraudulent.”
The Banner should be more careful in printing an article suggesting we reconcile two stories͢―“one written in Scripture and the other in our DNA.” Scripture and psuedoscience cannot be reconciled.
—Mel Mulder Banning, Calif.
When people date, I hope they ask more than simply, “Can we work together?” I hope they also want to know whether they share the same core convictions about life, family, marriage, money, beliefs, etc. Although the Banner editor suggests that simply working and doing ministry together with the RCA is the best way to build unity (“Dating Denominations”), I beg to differ. The best way to do so is to find unity in our deepest convictions (doctrine, confessions, beliefs). If it is possible to get unity at that level with the RCA, then we will have tremendous unity (and energy!) for our mission to the world.
—Johannes Schouten Burnaby, British Columbia
In his article about evangelicals arriving at Neo-Calvinism (“How Evangelicalism Is Getting Its Reformed Groove Back”), Robert Joustra rightly has driven a spike in the wheel of the injustice done. The wheel is still turning, but we need to be reminded of the importance of our Neo-Calvinistic institutions of higher learning and the Committee for Public Justice with its biblically rooted approach “not to sanctify poverty but to abolish it.” Sadly the majority of CRCs do not realize that it is only through political channels (CPJ) we can expect a change.
—George Lieuwen Langley, British Columbia
With regard to the article “Infant Dedication Issue Raised in British Columbia”: In Acts 2:37-39 a man asked Peter what he needed to do to become a Christian. Peter told him to repent, believe, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Then he would receive the Holy Spirit. This is a promise to all who believe. To me, going under the water means dying to sin and coming up means a new life in Christ.
—Marilyn Zeilenga Demotte, Ind.
Truth and Reconciliation
I appreciate your drawing attention to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the fact that Canadian Christians share in the shameful legacy of residential schools (“CRC Members Participate in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Events”). The article states that during the residential school era, “children were placed in government-funded, church-run schools.” While church organizations originally operated the schools, on April 1, 1969, the federal government assumed responsibility of the residential school system, officially ending church involvement. Some went on to be managed by First Nations bands. The article also states that the residential school era ended in 1996. However, Lebret Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan closed in 1998.
—Carling Luymes Kitchener, Ontario
Change is not difficult; submission is (“Why Is Change So Difficult?”).
One thing I noticed growing up in the sixties and seventies in the CRC was that we kept to ourselves. It was as if we were the only “good” ones and we must be very careful with the “others.” What we were taught from the pulpit was more history lesson than putting the Bible into our lives—religion vs. building a relationship with Jesus/God/Holy Spirit.
If we believe the Bible that we can trust God with our life, then our lives will automatically change; our attitude toward others will be loving and inviting. But this can only happen when we allow God to work through us and with us—we must submit. Religion does not save you; receiving and living in God’s grace does.
—Alice Anderson Calgary, Alberta
Appreciated what you had to say here (“Healthy Death”). Is it perhaps time to consider that the CRC as a denomination is nearing its time?
—Jen VanderBeek Surrey, British Columbia