Restoration of intimacy
I appreciated “David the Great” by Mark Rutland in the January 2019 issue. It had many good thoughts.
I have felt that “David was a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14) could refer to him before he was made king, when he was an exemplary young man. At this time in his walk with God, David wouldn’t even harm King Saul (who had been pursuing him).
I like what I read in Patriarchs and Prophets, page 723: “Infidels have pointed to the character of David, bearing this dark stain, and have exclaimed. . . , ‘This is the man after God’s own heart!’ . . . It was when he was walking in the counsel of God, that he was called a man after God’s own heart. When he sinned, this ceased to be true of him until by repentance he had returned to the Lord.”
When David saw that kings (in his day) could take whatever they wanted from others, he became a different person. He even went so far as to believe he could take another man’s wife. When God sent the prophet Nathan to reprove the king, David sincerely repented. He cried out, “Create in me a pure heart, O God” (Ps. 51:11) and asked God to take his life instead of his son’s, as punishment. David’s intimacy with God was now restored.
—Helen Fearing, email
Challenge and opportunity
The article “ ‘Whosoever will . . .’ Embracing Everyone” by David Penno (March 2019) does present some serious, but not insurmountable, challenges.
In regard to the active LGB+ friend or family member, love and acceptance as a person is always the right thing, but it should not stop there. It seems appropriate that the LGB+ person should be related to as the church relates to a smoker, drug addict, or alcoholic. They should be loved, accepted, and given all the support we can give them while at the same time encouraging them to take advantage of a support group, so they can be helped to understand the true nature of their habit, and its sinful reality, and the fact the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in a temple that is willfully contaminated by sin or sinful practices. (See Romans 1:21–32; 1 Corinthians 10:8; Revelation 22:15).
Certainly, any LGB+ person who desires help deserves our earnest prayers and friendly and loving support as they battle with their inclinations and practices as we do with any person who is struggling with any practice that heaven will not condone or admit. But in the end, we must call sin by its right name, or we will be found guilty ourselves.
—Ray Erwin, retired pastor
Today I read the March issue of Ministry. I wanted to say “well done” for publishing the articles by David Penno and Leslie Ackie. Penno openly and sincerely wrestles with thorny issues and, rather than providing answers to difficult questions, proposes ideas—Ministry should be a place for dialogue, and Penno shows how that can be done. Ackie is admirable for his strong stand against domestic abuse and shares real wisdom based on his personal experience with counseling. These are model articles for any serious Christian journal, and it was a pleasure to see Ministry publishing them.
—David Trim, director of the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research, General Conference
“Out of the park”
We just received and read the March 2019 issue of Ministry. If we can use the terminology of baseball, Ministry “hit it out of the ballpark!” Each of the articles is very valuable and worth spending time to read and meditate on its content. We’re especially pleased that four of the articles were written by former or current Family Ministries (FM) directors. We want to congratulate these four writers as well as Jeff Brown, associate editor of Ministry, who is also a former FM director. You FM directors represent this ministry in a most positive way and have made great contributions to the health and well-being of families in our church with your articles. Not only are you making a presence but also a contribution to all the families that read these papers.
—Claudio and Pamela Consuegra, Family Ministries directors, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists