Reformation edition (October 2017)—a commemoration
Your October 2017 issue of Ministry on the Reformation is adorable, beautiful, and totally informative. It is to be preserved until Jesus comes. No other church has the courage to commemorate such a God-given occasion except the Adventists. Let us continue to study the Bible for further truth in God’s word. May God continue to strengthen your efforts in this direction. Thank you. —K. A. P. Yesudian, email Reformation edition
Reformation edition (October 2017)—a challenge
Norman Gulley has an article in the October 2017 issue in which he states that “those who accept Christ’s death for them have no fear of any subsequent judgment.” I am assuming he is using John 5:24 as translated by the NKJV and other modern translations. Did Paul contradict Jesus when he wrote, “We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10)? Or did Peter have a different understanding when he wrote that “judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17)? The Greek word krisin in John 5:24 more often means condemnation or punishment as the result of judgment (cf. Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich, 1957). It seems to me the King James Version has the proper translation and is in harmony with the rest of Scripture.
—Allan Freed, Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
Education edition (June 2017)—a confirmation
Thank you for addressing such a vital, and often neglected, emphasis regarding the children and youth of our church. My father was a pastor and my mother a church school teacher. Any time my father was called to a new pastorate, if there was not already a church school connected to that church, there would be one by the beginning of the new school year, even if it was a one-teacher school (my mother).
Through the years the number of people who would thank my parents for their dedication to Christian education and express how their lives had been affected was a strong affirmation of their commitment. I appreciate especially the view of Shane Anderson who stated, “I believe Adventist education was divinely ordained. I, thus, do not preach about Adventist schools as though they are optional but, rather, as being essential to the development of—and in many cases, even the salvation of—our children.”
When I read Carlton Byrd’s words “If it’s God’s will, then it is God’s bill,” I thought of close friends of ours who had four children in Adventist schools and were asked how they were able to pay the bills. The response was, “We pay the school bill the same as the gas bill.” Our local church has a strong Christian Education Committee (every church should have one), and we encourage all members to contribute to our Christian Education funds so that every family who chooses to send their children to church school will be able to do so. Who do we want to have influencing our children during the time they are developing their priorities and goals? Will those priorities and goals be for this world or for eternity? Where do we want our children choosing their lifelong friends? Will we allow the current emphasis on getting degrees from well-known and elite schools, where graduates have high possibilities for hiring into corporate America, to sway us from supporting and encouraging our Adventist schools where loyalty to God and service to our fellow man is encouraged?
Thank you for reporting the studies and dialog that has been going on among the leaders of our church to address these issues.
—Esther Harter, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States