Letters October 2014
Trying to appear more spiritual
Re “Herald scope too narrow” (Letters, August). I agree with John Konrad’s comments regarding the term “missional.” Terms like this aren’t understood except by those who want to sound more “spiritual” than the rest of us. We also hear people talking about “passionate prayer” – again, what does that really mean? Is it different from sincere prayer or silent prayer or simple prayer?
As I viewed the August cover page and noticed the people gathered in what appears to be a public square, heads bowed and hands upon someone to bless him, I was reminded of the Scripture where Christ says, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others” (Matthew 6:5).
Growing feeling of disconnect
Re Gathering 2014 (August). Over the past decade, CCMBC has been moving toward a top-down leadership model I believe more properly belongs in the corporate world, placing any decision making in the hands of just a few.
Going to convention used to be a “family affair” – a time when members of CCMBC gathered to listen to stories, plan for the future and make actual decisions. Today, conventions have become venues for product and ministry displays and a place to hear a few reports. There’s rarely any voting on issues, except perhaps on some kind of pre-approved budget. It seems that members’ questions are an inconvenience to the business of CCMBC.
It is very exciting to see good things happening in both old and new MB churches. But the deep feeling of belonging to a larger group of believers who describe themselves as Anabaptist Christ followers seems to be increasingly non-existent.
Medicine Hat, Alta.
Re “Statement of Anabaptist Church Leaders to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Hearing, Edmonton, Alta.” (Letters, May). The statement by Anabaptist church leaders left me confused and incredulous. The claim of responsibility for abuse is overreaching and seems disingenuous.
However, encouraging churches to reach out to Aboriginal peoples in practical and loving ways is a positive note. Take, for example, Erna Sawatzky, [a Mennonite who worked in northern Saskatchewan from 1952–1967, and was recognized as a pioneer in the field of Native education]. She was highly reputed, acknowledged and lauded by Shawn Atleo, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and by other native peoples’ representatives.
Do more than pray
Re “Prayers for Iraq” (Editorial, September). Yes, we should always pray about everything as Scripture says. However, we shouldn’t be surprised [when persecution happens]. It’s understandable for us to “push back” at evil forces. But Jesus said “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20). As much as we pray for others, we better be praying for ourselves, as Jesus did for Peter, that our faith may not fail during the “sifting.”
Also, we have an obligation to do more than pray. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments is the principle of the strong helping and protecting the weak. There’s a difference between letting my own cheek be slapped or my own cloak be taken, and standing by while women and children are being kidnapped, raped, beheaded and so on.
Thanks from across the globe
Re “A beautiful faith” (Homepage, August). Forty-five years ago, I met a missionary couple from the North American MB conference and was taught [a] message from [the] Bible by him, man-to-man, for one-and-a-half years to be baptized in his name. My identity as a Christian was formed and strengthened, fortunately, by spending [time] with the MB church for 25 years. The missionary and his wife are my spiritual parents. After that, I and my family moved to our present home and go to a church in our area (United Church of Christ in Japan). I love [the] MB church so dear. Thank you.
Three out of four are wrong
Re “Reconciling the book of nature with Scripture” (Crosscurrents, August). Reading the full online review of Four Views on The Historical Adam, it’s clear that three of the views are based on a belief that God used evolution in his creation and that evolution is to be viewed as biblical and scientific.
There’s a problem with this: evolution is the survival of the fittest by bloodshed and death and extinction of the weak. The Bible says that Adam’s disobedience caused death, disease, thorns and bloodshed. If God used evolution, creation does not then groan from Adam’s original sin because God would have created death and bloodshed in the first place as part of his “good” creation.
Christians need to be far more discerning on this issue. We are not left with the unenviable task of deciding which is the most convincing of the four views about Adam, as the review says. We just have to accept that Jesus really is the Son of God, and he knows more than Darwin and his disciples.