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Letters from our readers

Issue: "2009 Daniel of the Year," Dec. 19, 2009

Tumbling far

If healthcare "reform" passes ("Do the math," Nov. 7), will Christian healthcare sharing ministries be able to continue? That approach leads to a keen sense of responsibility for personal health, but the folks in Congress apparently think these people are not contributing their fair share. I am also concerned about the many doctors who provide a cash-only service to very satisfied patients. Our society will have tumbled far along the road to personal irresponsibility in healthcare if these groups, and others like them, cannot continue.
-William L. Brown; Mason, Mich.

As a loyal, traditional Catholic, I applaud Belmont Abbey College's firm commitment to church doctrine in healthcare, but where was this commitment at the hiring of the eight faculty members who complained to the EEOC? That eight faculty members at a school of only 1,500 students are willing to challenge adherence to the church's authority says much about Christian higher education.
-Joshua C. Bachman; St. Joseph, Mo.

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I am a doctor and have worked for seven years for a nonprofit, community-based health clinic. We have low fees ($10 for a first time visit) and never demand payment. I believe our patients would say that they get excellent care right now. They don't really need a huge government bureaucracy. Our community-based clinic is more efficient and can better assess the needs of the community. Clinics like ours are truly the best kept secret in American healthcare for the poor and unemployed.
-Linda W. Flower; Tomball, Texas

The whole truth

I take at face value Barna's research about the low standing we evangelicals have with young people ("A high tight wire," Nov. 7). Ironically, however, it seems that some of these same judgmental, hypocritical, and old-fashioned evangelicals are sacrificially helping the poor, disadvantaged, and helpless every day of their lives, as WORLD has been showing in its "profiles in effective compassion" in recent issues. We should balance our self-criticism with a healthy dose of the "rest of the story."
-Jim Heggie; Camano Island, Wash.

I doubt the Apostle Peter would care a whit about his "reputation." He spoke boldly both to the church and to the ruling Sanhedrin with in-your-face accusations, caring only for the proclamation of truth and that he was pleasing to his Lord.
-Nancy Richter; Bucklin, Kan.

As I grow older in the Lord, I see how Christians bring so much condemnation on themselves. Maintaining a loving, caring attitude when addressing specific sins, such as abortion or homosexuality, can be a boon when sharing Christ. We can stand our ground morally and present the abundant, joyful life in Christ as the answer.
-Jim Bates; Marshall, Texas

The first duty of the Christian is to glorify God. If the world and other churchgoers are bored or offended by what they see, isn't it possible that their offense speaks more about their rebellion than it does about the shortcomings of the Christian working out his salvation with fear and trembling?
-Rick Ahlgrim; Greenwood, Ind.

Nurtured nature

I appreciated Janie B. Cheaney's understanding of the vast difference in our perception of wilderness when it is viewed from the city rather than from a tribal setting ("Subdued and preserved," Nov. 7). But I think she overstepped a bit in saying that "America's best idea toward nature was confining it." There is beauty, order, and majesty in wild places that is often absent when nature has been subdued by sinful human beings. I believe that the glory of untrammeled nature and the human awe before it is an echo of Eden.
-Lewis Archer; Sylacauga, Ala.

Could it be that our fearful attitude toward true wilderness is based on our desire for comfort and pleasure and to be in control? Nature can be ferocious, bringing great hardship. But what if danger and hardship are to have a legitimate part of our lives, even as trials are a necessary part of a Christian's? Does not God use the witness of nature to work His loving (albeit sometimes mysterious) purposes?
-Jim & Merri Carol Martens; Ogdensburg, Wis.

Where were Christians during the early days of the National Park movement? Why did it take the John Muirs of this world to call our attention to preserving and conserving our natural heritage? It seems our attitude has been "subdue and multiply," while ignoring our biblical directive to cultivate and care for the Earth.
-Bonner Davis; Annville, Pa.

Forever grateful

I loved "Taking risks for the gospel" (Nov. 7). Thirty years ago on a Midwest college campus I was introduced to someone who said, "Glad to meet you, Angela. Do you know Jesus Christ?" Many people would be offended by such boldness, but God knew exactly what I needed. I am forever grateful that he didn't play it safe.
-Angela Toner; Columbia, Md.

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