What About Women of God?
A copy of Pulpit Helps often crosses my desk and I enjoy paging through the articles. But I do feel drawn to comment on the "lead article" in your May, 2000, issue "Highest Title Is Man of God'" and its header "The highest of all honors on the face of the earth is . "
While I can appreciate Mr. Elrod's sentiments, I am concerned. He seems unable to acknowledge and appreciate that being a "man of God" is wonderful, as it is also wonderful to be a woman of God who serves the people of God in a call to preaching. I would not think your editorial policy would welcome such an exclusive opinion.
While the world has a great need for men of God, it has also a need for women who take their place in the church as leaders, teachers, preachers, and proclaimers of the "greater" call (in my opinion) which is the be children of God (1 John 3:1) I am a "child of God" called to serve the church and God's people as a preacher.
I learned many years ago that we should be careful in interpreting the Timothy references, because many people understand that while these words may be for Timothy, the message is for all of God's faithful, male and female.
It is both a privilege and a responsibility to preach the Word. Thank you for the newspaper, yet please, consider those to whom you send it and include the comments of those who write more appropriately.
Carrie Tokheim, pastor
The Hell of Hell
Your editorial in the May, 2000, issue of Pulpit Helps "What Ever Happened to Hell," is to be applauded. Hell and its image have always been a problem for some people. Frequently, pseudo-intellectuals question the fact about the existence of hell in this manner: "How can the good Lord condemn a person to hell?" If they would only think about it, they would realize that God doesn't condemn any one to hell. Each individual condemns him/herself. It's as simple as that! Whether we like it or not, the fact of the existence of hell is a solemn doctrine which Christ mentioned over thirty times in sacred Scripture. Despite attempts to deny or ignore its existence, the Christian church continues to include hell in her study of eschatology.
Simply put: God has made laws for man and given each of us free will to accept or reject them. No law has much value if there is no punishment for its violation. Laws without teeth have no value. Sacred Scripture speaks of hell as a pool of fire (Is. 33:14); everlasting burnings (Is. 33:14); the furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:42).
Theologians speak of two punishments which the damned receive in hell. First of all, they will never see God face-to-face and they realize that it was their own sins (thoughts, words, deeds, and omissions) which brought such a situation upon them. What's more, the souls in hell experience a fire that burns without consuming. Hell is the natural consequence of the unrepentant sinner's choice to live apart from God. That's the hell of it.
Tom Hanger, pastor
Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisconsin