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.
This comment to the below question from the article, “Arguing in the Church”:
Does the gospel hinge on the age of the earth? No and Yes. A person can be an evolutionist and become a Christian and die and they will still go to heaven because they believe in Jesus, but that doesn’t mean that the idea of billions of years does not affect anything. The idea that the universe is billions of years old is a totally naturalistic explanation for everything’s existence without a Biblical creator and His eyewitness account of the universe’s history. That history includes Adam’s fall that brought thorns, disease, blood-shed and death; original sin it’s called. The Atheist and Deists of the late 1700s invented billions of years to push God our creator out of their thinking, especially denying the truth about man’s original sin and that God will hold people accountable for their actions. The fossil record is actually the record of Noah’s flood and God’s judgement on the wickedness of mankind; lots of dead things in sedimentary rock which was laid down quickly by lots of sediment filled water then it hardens by chemical reactions in a short period of time; like concrete does, just slower. The Bible addresses the earth’s geological time-frame/history in Genesis and in 2 Peter 3:3-7.
The Bible does not teach billions of years or evolution. Jesus our creator ties Adam and Eve’s creation and the definition of marriage to the beginning of creation, not at the end of billions of years. See Mark 10:6-7, Matt 19:4, Luke 11:49-51, & see Luke 1:68-70 as a prophetic confirmation. Also the Genesis account is very clear in repeatedly saying [18 times] that things that reproduce do so “after their kind”. Why mention this so many times? To help Christians understand that God did not use evolution.
If God used evolution that means that God is the author of death, disease, thorns and blood-shed, etc in all of creation, not Adam. Evolution is the survival of the fittest, kill or be killed and get as many females pregnant as you can before you die. Atheists usually understand that evolution is incompatible with the God of the Bible but many Christians don’t because they don’t study to find out the truth; they just “know” they are right because “science” says the earth is billions of years old and evolution is true. Well that same “science” also says that virgins don’t conceive, the dead aren’t raised and the Bible is not true. So why should non-Christians then believe in Jesus?
Evolution is not science; it is a belief that runs against science. Proven science shows that natural selection runs downhill, with each new generation the DNA of living things is breaking down with a net loss of genetic information, everything is dying because of Adam’s sin. The age of the earth is foundationally connected to the gospel.