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Taking a less literal approach

Re “Making God a liar” (Letters, August). Let’s be careful about accusing anyone of calling God a “liar,” especially if our judgment is based on a literal interpretation of Scripture. A literal interpretation of the Bible (or any spiritual writing) can lead to a misrepresentation of the intended truths and therefore make a “liar” out of its authors. For example, Jesus said to the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), but three days later told Mary Magdalene, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father” (John 20:17). A literal interpretation of these passages does not make sense, whereas a metaphorical one does.

There are many examples of inconsistencies and historical inaccuracies in Scripture as researched by renowned theologians and scholars. Do these make the authors “liars”? They only show that many Scriptures do not have a literal meaning and were not intended to be a record of facts but rather a record of timeless truths.

Literal interpretations have caused much pain, agony, and death throughout the centuries. A less literal approach to Scripture would free us to understand God in a better and truer way.

Rudy and Elsie Siemens
St. Catharines, Ont.

MBs have a promising future

Re “A leader with mission-tinted glasses” (Features, September). Among the many pages of very good, inspirational, and informative material in the Herald, I was deeply moved by “A leader with mission-tinted glasses.” I would like to assume the convictions and profound commitment to the mission of proclaiming Jesus is indicative of the stance of the membership of the larger MB church and its constituency. If that’s a fair assumption, surely the church of Jesus Christ has a promising future in our land!

Peter Peters
Winnipeg, Man.

Monarchy connects with biblical imagery

Re “A real royal watcher” (Editorial, September). I enjoyed your take on the recent royal wedding and visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Canada. Monarchy is part of the fabric that makes our country great, and, as a monarchist, I find the institution helps me identify with the monarchical imagery that the Bible paints in identifying God, Jesus, and who we are as his children living under his authority.

Queen Elizabeth II has four children and eight grandchildren. Her Majesty is a wife and mother while simultaneously being the sovereign of 16 Commonwealth realms. While the Queen’s children and grandchildren have the privilege of calling her mummy or granny, they still honour and respect her position as queen and sovereign with a bow or curtsy upon first greeting. Once the formalities are out of the way, the royal family is just as normal as any other family with fun and laughter, fights and sadness.

Likewise, while those in Christ are given permission to call him Abba Father or “Daddy,” the first greeting needs to have that aspect of formality and respect of coming into his glorious presence.

Jeffrey P.J. Thiessen
Hamilton, Ont.

The church will endure

Re The life and death of churches (September). As I read the articles in the September MB Herald concerning the death of churches, I could have become quite depressed. However, I believe when the Lord Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church, I can take his word for it.

He is coming again, but not for stone, brick, or wood. It isn’t good works that save, nor beautiful buildings that impress, but walking humbly with the Lord.

Caroline Sepke
Abbotsford, B.C.

Please keep baptism photos

I was alarmed and dismayed to read that the Herald is no longer planning to publish baptism photos. The baptism page was the most thoroughly studied one in my house. In my career in business, marketing, and public relations, I’ve observed that photos of people are typically the most-read parts of print media. They are critical to retaining readers’ interest.

The MB Herald does a marvelous job of keeping Canadian MBs connected with each other. The baptism photos, though perhaps a bit “old school,” are a great way for people to maintain connections with friends, former pastors, former churches, etc.

Rob Neufeld
Saskatoon, Sask.

 

Thank you to readers who expressed disappointment with our decision to discontinue baptism photos.We continue to celebrate baptisms in the Herald by publishing candidates’ names (see “Transitions“), and we plan to highlight several baptism stories in the coming year.—Eds.

 

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