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Letters from our readers

Issue: "Help on the inside," Aug. 12, 2006

Once noble

I grew up and was active in the Episcopal Church, but reluctantly left it over 30 years ago, after God called me to saving faith, in favor of a church that believed God's Word and would disciple me. The consecration of homosexual clergy ("Katie can't bar the door," July 15) is simply the result of the denomination's continuing rejection of the authority of the Bible. Until its members repent of apostasy and turn to God for true revival, this once noble denomination will continue its decline into irrelevance, oblivion, and judgment.
-Steve Brotherton; Tempe, Ariz.

This has little to do with the election of Bishop Schori as presiding bishop. Rather, it has to do with the church's absolute refusal to honor the written word of God, respect the international communal wisdom of the Anglican Communion, or make room for orthodox priests, parishes, and people to maintain their beliefs without harassment. Conservatives have for far too many years drawn the proverbial "line in the sand" and yet allowed these boundaries to be breached. It is time to take decisive action.
-Donald P. Richmond; Apple Valley, Calif.

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The departures from the Episcopal Church began way back in 1979 when it departed from Catholic faith and apostolic order by the innovation of purporting to ordain women. That was the thin edge of the wedge.
-Richard Sutter; Columbus, Ga.

Too far

"Sick tree, rotten fruit" (July 15) pushed too far when Joel Belz suggested that public schools did "more than anyone else to shape [American] society." Be fair. Parents carry the most responsibility for their children. Parents also elect the school boards that hire the teachers with godless worldviews and select the textbooks. Belz misidentified the tree-trees reproduce fruit; parents reproduce children. Teachers assist parents, but the responsibility still lies with the mother and father.
-Anita Dragoo; Coupeville, Wash.

As a former public school teacher, I say, "Amen, Brother Joel."
-Jim Morris; Knoxville, Tenn.

As a teacher, I find "Sick tree, rotten fruit" unfairly harsh. I teach in a rural high school where many of the teachers and principal are avowed Christians, where the Pledge of Allegiance is said every morning, a Veteran's Day assembly is held with an invocation and benediction by a local pastor, and where students are encouraged to help local individuals and causes through donations of service or money. We are a positive influence. Instead of taking the ax to the "sick tree," we need to nurture it to bring back luxuriant growth.
-Marianne O'Donnell; Bergholz, Ohio

Standing divisions

I am a retired college professor and a graduate of a small liberal arts college affiliated with a mainline denomination. At that time it maintained a strong Christian presence on campus and in the community. Today, if their alumni newsletters are any indication, that emphasis has disappeared. I applaud Michael Farris for his stand at Patrick Henry College ("Irreconcilable differences?" July 15) and for the courage of his convictions.
-David K. Shortess; Port Angeles, Wash.

As a student at Patrick Henry College, half of my classes have been with four of the five departing professors. In my experience, these four men, especially Noe and Bates, strongly encouraged me to apply scriptural principles to what I was learning in class. Noe has always demonstrated the highest reverence and esteem for the Bible, both at church and in my six classes with him. Through their teaching and godly examples I have grown to love God more. What could be better than that?
-Amy K. Alexander; Wichita, Kan.

Hurray for Michael Farris! It is his watch and he protected the truth. He should be antagonistic toward unbiblical theology.
-Carolyn McGovern; Hamburg, N.J.

I worked as a lobbyist for VaHomeschoolers, a group formed because of friction between Farris' organization, HSLDA, and its state extension. The departing professors' view of Farris-heavy-handed and antagonistic toward ideas other than his own-sounds an awful lot like what we had to work around and explain away as we worked with legislators.
-Elizabeth E. Shaw; Gordonsville, Va.

You say that college presidents were once the "key decision maker" but in the 20th century faculties "claimed autonomy and relegated presidents largely to fundraising." The much older model has faculty as a community of scholar/teachers, with administrative duties divided up among the professors. Today, both models have roles to play in higher education. Colleges and universities face a very difficult challenge in maintaining balance between the two, as the article on PHC demonstrates, especially at seriously Christian institutions that attempt simultaneously to promote academic freedom and biblical fidelity. But it can be done, and the attempt is a God-honoring calling.
-Bradley P. Jacob; Virginia Beach, Va.

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