Skip to main content


The writer, in deep concern for the Christian Reformed Church to remain united for the sake of Christ’s kingdom, asks the question: “What makes the seventh commandment rise above the rest of the commandments?” (“Will We Ever Learn What Unity Means?”, May 2023). The answer is simple: the LGBTQ+ movement. Today this movement is demanding acceptance from society and the body of Christ. This movement’s agenda has never been approved in any form in the Bible or in the holy catholic church throughout the centuries as behavior pleasing to God. This is why the seventh commandment has risen to the top. I would ask the writer to give us some good, biblical reasons why it shouldn’t have risen to the top. Acceptance by the CRC demands some solid biblical grounds if we are to remain united. I and others, as the writer asks, are waiting for "a good answer.”

Carl R. Smits // Cedar Lake, Ind.


War in Israel

I read Rob Braun’s good article (“War in Israel and the Words of Christ,” Nov. 2023, online). I would suggest that he (and others) read two recent articles: “This War Did Not Start a Month Ago,” by Dalia Hatuqa (The New York Times, Nov. 14, 2023), and “Two Truths and Countless Sorrows in Israel and Gaza,” by Jim Wallis (Sojourners, October 12, 2023).

I am a retired missionary to Sierra Leone. I have lived and almost died in two civil wars in West Africa (Nigeria and Sierra Leone) in which more than a million people died. I have buried bodies, scraped pieces of people off the walls of their huts, and been under fire from both sides for many hours and all too often. I became a peacemaker or negotiator who met with both sides many times and traveled the Western world to speak to political leaders who had influence to help end the violence and make peace. It took 11 years for peace to come.

All wars are evil. No side ever wins, and the horrors suffered by innocent folks (mostly women and children) are unspeakable. Peace is only possible when love and justice push out hatred and injustice. The senseless cycle of violence and retribution in Palestine and Israel will not end until leadership in both countries lay down their weapons, most of which were provided by the United States.

Paul Kortenhoven // Grand Rapids, Mich.


All Belongs to God

I was delighted to read this offering from Frank DeVries (“A Santa Christmas,” Dec. 2023). Our distinctly Reformational worldview is so often missing from our discourse, and he nailed it perfectly. Yes, it all belongs to God. Also, kudos to ReFrame Ministries for its “Think Christian” and “no such thing as secular” viewpoints.

Cal Langejans // Holland, Mich.


Graphic Story

Thanks much for the graphic short story about Elijah (“Expressing Faith in Jesus,” Dec. 2023). Being (originally) from Chicago, I wondered, of course, who wrote it with the Tinley Park Convention Center figuring so prominently. It’s wonderful.

James Dekker // St. Catherines, Ont.



Thank you for your excellent editorial on the necessity of peace in God’s world and Christ’s church (“Peace,” Dec. 2023). It was timely, concise, and simply right on the biblical mark. Blessed are the peacemakers. We need so many more of them.

Paul Kortenhoven // Grand Rapids, Mich.

We Are Counting on You

The Banner is more than a magazine; it’s a ministry that impacts lives and connects us all. Your gift helps provide this important denominational gathering space for every person and family in the CRC.

Give Now