Don’t honour evil
Re “Mennonites participate in controversial meeting” (P&E, November). I was deeply troubled to read that MCC was one of the sponsoring organizations hosting a dinner to honour Iranian president Ahmadinejad.
His regime is at the center of violence and fanaticism providing active financial and other support for terrorist organizations. On many occasions Ahmadinejad has publicly stated that he intends to destroy the nation of Israel, annihilate the Jewish people, and wipe Israel off the map. Ahmadinejad’s regime routinely beats, imprisons, and kills women and other of his countrymen. It also actively supports and encourages suicide bombers against the people of Israel and other peoples in the world.
How can MCC, which seeks to promote nonviolence, honour such a man? By doing so, they are in effect condoning and even encouraging the violence that he espouses and that he commits against his own people and others.
I was once a proud supporter of MCC. However, it now seems that MCC has become just another political lobby group.
James D. Peters
Re “When leaders disappoint their followers” (Outfront, November). Thanks for your courageous “Outfront” column. We shouldn’t need to call it “courageous,” should we, when we speak the truth in love? But when this type of truth-telling hasn’t been practiced much, it seems courageous when it does happen. We’ve been shown respect by being told what we need to know in order to understand why Jim Holm’s sudden resignation happened.
There is one thing I would add: it seems that when leaders fall, most of their peers wash their hands of them. While it’s impossible to continue relationships as before the transgression, God’s love for us is unconditional at the same time that it’s righteous. It would be good to explore how leadership can participate in redeeming the fallen. How can we hold fallen leaders accountable to a higher standard without writing them off as brothers and sisters?
No denominations in heaven
Re “Do denominations matter?” (October). We pray for God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven, and I pray for the unity he desires in his children. So, do we really think there are denominations in heaven?
When I pray for my sisters and brothers in Christ, I don’t put labels of Baptist or Pentecostal on them. We’re all related by blood – his blood. Our faith is in Jesus Christ and I belong to the one body of Christ.
Community church welcomes many
Re “What’s in a (MB) name?” (Homepage, October). Our church, Friends Community Church, is part of the MB Church of Manitoba. However, I wouldn’t want to use the name “The MB Church of Carman.” Our little town has a mixture of Anglo-Saxon, Dutch, and Mennonite people, and several denominations. Consequently, we need a name that will welcome people from every part of the community. Our church has brought people from every corner of town because they feel welcome here.
Blessing in disguise
Re “A tale of two awards” (Viewpoint, September). It was early spring 1992 when my wife and I got confirmation that she was pregnant. With the ancient songwriter, we celebrated the good news: “you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139). But when my wife’s routine ultrasound came back with less than routine results our song was immediately transposed into a dark key. Further tests confirmed that our unborn child had a genetic abnormality.
It wasn’t how life was supposed to work! We weren’t supposed to be grieving while pregnant with our first child. But we were and we did. We weren’t supposed to have to face the sanctity of life question so up close and personal. Why, unknowingly, instinctively, I had already mapped out with broad strokes the days of our unborn child’s life “before one of them came to be.” I had already envisioned our child going to school, graduating, getting married, and starting a family, like we were. We grieved the possibility that those dreams may never come to pass.
But through the lyrics of the Bruce Carroll song “Sometimes Miracles Hide,” God encouraged us to trust him. “Sometimes miracles hide, and God will wrap some blessings in disguise. You may have to wait this lifetime to see the reasons with your eyes, ’cause sometimes miracles hide.” Are you facing an unexpected problem you want to abort? Check in with God, it just might be a blessing in disguise!