Response to "Spare Us Exposes on Halloween"
There is an old saying that I believe originated with Shakespeare: "Me thinks he protests too much." I really can't understand the response to this article that was expressed by A.W. Everidge except that perhaps he is experiencing conviction but is resisting.
I would like to express my support of the article for giving light in a dark generation, Christians included, who have embraced pagan practices like Halloween. We have become so comfortable with the occult in the past 30-50 years because of our tolerance for such pagan traditions as Halloween. Imagine how God must feel as His children (Christians) look at this pagan feast and pronounce it good. Or in the very least, cute. I mean, what did Christ die for anyhow? He came to destroy the work of the devil.
My friend, I am concerned that you are a taking too cavalier an attitude toward this issue. Please hear the words from Ezekiel 33:6: "But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood." I don't know about you, Brother, but I take that seriously. The great Baptist evangelist Vance Havner once preached a sermon entitled, "Getting Used to the Dark." I'm afraid that is exactly where contemporary American Christianity is today.
Romans 12:9 says to "hate what is evil; cling to what is good." First Thessalonians 5:22 warns us to "avoid every kind of evil." These are solemn warnings-not to the pagan or the secular, but to the redeemed of God. That's just how much the Lord desires that we should not allow anything to hinder our walk with Him. That's how much He desires that nothing should enter the camp and defile us. I can guarantee you that when we are gathered around the Father's throne, there will be no such observance of this so called "cute" holiday that is deceiving the minds of millions of children and adults alike.
I cast my lot with Pulpit Helps and applaud them for printing the truth, even when it opens them to attack and ridicule from within. How the enemy must enjoy that.
Emmanuel Church of the Nazarene
On Identifying Lutherans
I'm sure you struggle to find a balance between opinion and accuracy; between "speaking the truth in love" and, say, speaking lies in bitterness or anger. Regarding Pr. Vernon Bochlke's comments attempting to differentiate between Lutherans, a small correction and a reminder from our namesake. There is no group of Lutherans known as the "Lutheran Church in America" (since 1988). He later use the correct acronym, ELCA, which adds our "first name": "Evangelical." Very clairvoyant of him to assert that Martin Luther is turning over in his grave (over the ELCA's ecumenical work to overcome barriers with other Christians "That they may all be one," as Christ prayed according to John 17). Luther said: "we are to fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander or lie about our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain his actions in the kindest ways" (Luther's Small Catechism, explanation of the 8th Commandment).
Let me be gracious toward the man of God, Vernon Bochlke, and assume that he simply missed that one.
Pastor Peter K. Muschinske
Left in the Cold
What you failed to mention to your readers is how Shelby Systems left it's school clients in the cold. "Shelby has school administrative software that it maintains, but no longer develops." But then how would we know that? We have never been officially informed by the company. In my book, Shelby is only interested in how much money it can make on support.
Lakeland Christian School
Marring the Joy?
This past Sunday we had the honor of greeting two members of Wedgewood Baptist Church who were visiting family in Reading, Pennsylvania. We shared about the power of God at work in raising the spirit of believers out of the ashes of tragedy.
So I was reading with interest your item on "Bringing Joy Out of Sorrow" on page 17 in the December 1999, issue, until I got to the seventh point in "Evidence of God's Control During the Shooting: ...none of the adults who died had children." Is it your understanding that God views adults who are unable to or decide not to have children as expendable? We preach that God loves all his children and cries for each one.
At best, this is an inappropriate statement. At worst, it is a preaching hindrance. I believe the joy you wish to express was that, despite all the deaths, no child lost a parent. That is how I would hope readers read it. Even within the Body of Christ, we do have responsibility not to pass along everything we are told without some checking of the Spirit. That is true in journalism as well as the pulpit.
Church of the Brethren
Editor's response: We hope no one else found such an incredible meaning in the sentence at issue. Certainly we did not.