Letters August 2013
Still feeling the pain
Re “Two perspectives on worship” (Crosscurrents, June). I’m curious why the Herald decided to revisit the contentious issue casually termed “worship wars.” From my perspective, it was more like an invasion! And not everyone who was unhappy about the invasion was a senior member grieving the loss of a child to the outside world.
Some of us sang in choirs and served in various musical groups, only to abruptly find our participation in the worship service no longer wanted. When people say we should “indulge” a new generation and allow them to play their music, we remember the pain we experienced in losing our ministry, particularly when we were given broken promises that we’d be able to perform – at least on occasion – the songs many still love.
Adam and Eve just the tip of the iceberg
Re “Were Adam and Eve real?” (Letters, May). There remain many Christians who still believe in a literal Adam and Eve. We still believe in a young earth (albeit in an old universe). 2 Peter 3:5–7 alludes to heaven and earth being re-created after God swept away Lucifer’s kingdom with a covering of dark water. We believe in the Abrahamic covenant, and that God’s promises to Israel remain in effect. We believe Jesus’ death on the cross paid the full price for all sin and that forgiveness is available to all who will receive it. We believe the church will be snatched away from the horrors described in Revelation and we look forward to a blessed eternal state.
Many people who don’t believe the creation story will go on to not believe the rest of God’s plan. They believe it’s their responsibility to save the planet, prevent all wars, stop all inequality, cure all diseases, and reshape a perfect world that Jesus might want to visit someday. I just don’t think that’s the plan.
Real Adam crucial to Christian faith
Re “Were Adam and Eve real?” (Letters, May). In Matthew 1, the Holy Spirit reveals the genealogy of 42 generations from Abraham to Jesus. And in Luke 3, the Holy Spirit reveals the literal and exact genealogy from Jesus back to Adam. Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are among the most important chapters in the entire Bible, as they decisively and unequivocally refute any and all attempts to undermine the historical veracity of Holy Scripture.
If the first Adam wasn’t literal, all others mentioned in the genealogical record weren’t real either. If the first Adam isn’t to be taken literally, why should we take “the second Adam” (Jesus Christ) literally? The literal existence of Adam and Eve is not only important but absolutely crucial to our Christian faith. A historically true Genesis explains our origin, as well as the origin of sin.
Statistics tell God’s story
Re “Be bold, Thiessen exhorts” (Convention reports, June). In the B.C. convention report, C2C director Gord Fleming is quoted as saying “only 3 percent of Canadians claim to be evangelical.” This is similar, though somewhat higher than a figure used in the Mochar report, which the conference executive board commissioned more than a year ago. The figure used there for evangelicals in Canada was under 1 percent.
Arriving at a reliable percentage is, of course, a somewhat uncertain task. However, a 2003 survey done for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada by the Ipsos Reid polling firm arrived at a quite different figure. It used a series of questions to try to come to an idea of the number of Canadians who might self-identify as evangelical.
The questions/statements were these: (1) Belief that in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God provides the way for the forgiveness of sins. (2) Belief that the Bible is the Word of God and reliable and trustworthy. (3) Commitment of one’s life to Jesus Christ and self-identification as a “converted Christian.” (4) Disagreement with the statement that the “concept of God is an old superstition that no longer is needed to explain things in these modern times.” (5) Disagreement with the statement “Jesus Christ was not the divine Son of God.” (6) Weekly church attendance.
The EFC survey came up with the following results: it found that 8 percent of Canadians identified themselves as evangelical Christians in terms of the six items and belonged to evangelical churches; a further 4 percent attended what we would call mainline churches; and a still further 6.6 percent attended Roman Catholic churches. Together, these are 19 percent of Canadians self-identifying as evangelicals.
Let’s just say, in the end God knows those who are his. Let’s not underestimate what he is already doing in Canada.
Letters to the editor
Mennonite Brethren Herald welcomes your letters of 150–200 words on issues relevant to the Mennonite Brethren church, especially in response to material published in the Herald. Please include name, address and phone number, and keep your letters courteous and about one subject only. We will edit letters for length and clarity. We will not publish letters sent anonymously, although we may withhold names from publication at the request of the letter writer and at our discretion. Publication is subject to space limitations. Letters also appear online. Because the Letters column is a free forum for discussion, it should be understood that letters represent the position of the letter writer, not necessarily the position of the Herald or the Mennonite Brethren church. Send letters to: Letters, MB Herald, 1310 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg, Man. R3M 3Z6, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.