EDITOR: While the opinions of John Pierce in the September issue (“Wholesomeness for some is not liberty for all,” page 32) are valid and valuable, I believe he fails to understand the perspective of J. Robert White when he found himself “longing for the United States of America in which I grew up.”
I, too, grew up in that place and at that time and my memories are also of a safer, more wholesome America. But these memories are not, as Pierce suggests, greatly romanticized. They are real. Not because they were universal, but because they were the experiences of children.
One of the prevailing theories of parenting at that time seems to have been protecting children from the problems of grown-ups. A favorite sentence when adult issues arose was, “Okay, you kids go outside and play now.”
Over the years I’ve met men and women our age from all parts of the country, from other races, and from a wide range of economic circumstances who remember that time as White and I do. Most of us were neither wealthy nor insensitive. We were children, and we grew up soon enough. As adults, we became active in the attack on the problems from which we had been sheltered for a brief, innocent but authentic time.
Patricia A. Kerley
Religion controversies among Christians
Controversies come from statements by humans starting with Bible records. Humans fail to seek the meaning of life from the purposes of God and the patterns of God’s activity.
As a retired computer professional, I am very aware of the natural patterns of nature that recent technology has allowed mankind to forecast weather, climate change, space activities and other things that God established in the beginning but better understand today with modern technology. Since God established the patterns and purposes for everything, why are there controversies?
Three messages in God’s Word help me answer this question:
Genesis 1:27 — So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
The purpose for mankind was to have freedom to choose activity but to live by the purposes and pattern of God. The freedom of choice allowed mankind to do activities not consistent with the purposes of God and the patterns of God’s activity.
God then gave mankind rules for behavior that would help mankind to understand the purposes of God and the patterns of God’s activity. These rules led mankind to believe that following the rules is all that God desired. Of course, people did not all agree on the details in following the rules for behavior.
John 3:3 — Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
This is how God answered the question regarding mankind being rewarded because mankind followed the behavior rules. Of course, to be born again raised questions.
Matthew 22:37-40 — Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Here God explains the rules for behavior. When mankind follows this statement by Jesus, they have been born again. They continue in the image of God as to choices of purpose and life pattern. However, in the new life, their purpose and pattern is to have the same purpose and pattern that God has for the world. The born-again Christian follows the image of God as described in Genesis 1:27.
Controversies are caused by mankind attempting to use behavior standards to define how mankind can please God when God’s word tells us that it is our relationship with God and other humans that defines how to please God.
William H. Osborne, Deacon
Tallowood Baptist Church