Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Trial and terror," Sept. 1, 2001

Repeating pattern

Marvin Olasky has often pointed out how, in America's past, religious organizations sprang up to solve social problems within their communities. Whenever government began to assist them financially, they usually lost their vision and effectiveness because they could not challenge their neighbors with a higher calling. I see the same pattern beginning with President Bush's faith-based initiative ("The Washington game," Aug. 4). Government money, as tempting as it may be, will always end up supporting ministries that put bread ahead of the Word of God. We should seek "wise as serpent" ways to reduce the control of the federal government in our ministries by keeping our wealth local. Government money will not prosper faithful ministries-God will. And He is not running for reelection. - Robert S. Berry, Greenville, S.C.

Not what Bush intended

Mr. Murray of the Religious Freedom Coalition says that he "cannot support the president's faith-based initiative." It is sad to me that anyone would think that this bill is the president's. I don't believe that, by the time all the officials on both sides got done with it, it was anything like what President Bush intended it to be. I think he had something more in mind of helping those religious groups that are helping others rather than eliminating them for their faith, like our previous president. Now we're in the position of wishing that President Bush had the power that we were thanking God Bill Clinton didn't have. - Valerie L. Johnson, Jacksonville, Fla.

All means none

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Thank you to Andree Seu for a wonderful little gem of a column that looks to God's Word for guidance in Sabbath observance ("A Sabbath proposal," Aug. 4). The inevitable retort to Sabbath keeping is, of course, that "every day is the Lord's Day." But, as J.C. Ryle said, "given human nature, the attempt to regard every day as the Lord's Day would result in having no Lord's Day at all." - S. Murray, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Real Sabbath rest

Scripture doesn't define keeping the Sabbath as congregating in a building across town for a quick weekly meeting. I long for a Saturday-night service at our church, to add to our weekly fellowship with a few other believing families, so that we could truly have a Sabbath rest on Sundays. As a wife and mother of four young children, with another on the way, Sunday mornings can be anything but restful for me. Rushing around, making sure everyone is bathed, well-dressed, and fed by 8:30 a.m., shouting, "Hurry! hurry!" up the stairs as we go-this wears me out and frustrates them. I'd prefer to wake up without an alarm, greet the children cheerfully, have a casual breakfast, gather on the couch for praise singing and Bible reading, and then spend the remainder of the day at home in activities designed to glorify our Lord and celebrate His handiwork in our lives. - Darla Sautter, Black Forest, Colo.

The more the better

Jesus had more confrontations with legalists regarding the Sabbath than on almost any other issue. I say, the more services the better. It makes the buildings more efficient and frees up more money for missions. And yes, it deals pragmatically with people's complicated schedules of work and wholesome recreation. I think it is wise to rest a day a week, but every day should be holy to God. - John A. Teets, Horsham, Pa.

Singling out sinners?

Yes, the Bible is very clear about God's view of homosexuality and it is not wrong to refuse employment or certain benefits to homosexual individuals ("Scary precursor," Aug. 4). However, we need to be very careful that these particular sinners are not singled out just because their sin is so unlike ours. God's Word is also clear regarding fornication, adultery, and divorce. So, would you refuse to hire someone with a live-in partner? Or someone who is unbiblically divorced yet will not seek reconciliation? Or fire someone being unfaithful to a spouse? These people are tearing apart the fabric of our society just as fast as homosexual activists. - Brian Jackins, Elverson, Pa.

Hear the oinking

People need to hear more about the pork spending that our members of Congress advocate ("Surplus of spendthrifts," Aug. 4). - Steve Hovandem, Green River, Wyo.

We want choice

What makes anyone think that any translation will become the "standard" Bible of English-speaking evangelicals, whether published by a not-for-profit publishing house or otherwise ("A standard, maybe," July 28)? For that to occur all choice would have to be removed from the marketplace, and that won't happen. We value choice too much. - Michael L. Ward, Vero Beach, Fla.


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