“This Is a Test,” by Stephen Chavez, in the March 2017 edition is a tour de force. It provides clear, understandable answers to questions all thoughtful Christians should ask themselves, and provides a framework for discussion when asked “What is it that you Adventists believe?” His caution, “What we [Adventists] have to avoid is coming across as the only ones who know God or whose view of Him is altogether correct.” That is advice that should be heeded by everyone who answers questions or speaks as an Adventist.
Waiting into an Adventure
I have read and reread Kristina Penny’s “Turning the Wait Into the Adventure” (January 2017). How inspiring and encouraging! I am an avid reader, but I have not read such an article before. I love its Christ-centeredness, which will always walk with us; especially in our adventure while waiting.
Penny’s article should be expanded into a book to reach a larger audience. I will be there for the first book signing. Congratulations!
Takoma Park, Maryland
February 2017 Cover
The editors must have had some message in mind by presenting the cover picture portraying a young woman walking out ahead of who appeared to be a male companion. Since the overall topic of the issue was healthy relationships, it might have been better if they were shown side by side.
True Freedom of Religion
In his article “ ‘Watch!’ ” (November 2016) Mark Kellner reports that “the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued a report saying nondiscrimination laws must . . . take precedence over deeply held religious beliefs. He said ‘religious freedom’ was, to at least some, ‘code words for . . . Christian supremacy’ and intolerance.”
Kellner implies that this is wrong, but I contend that in many cases this is correct. Discrimination is anti-Christian. So if your deeply held beliefs allow for discrimination, then the man is right.
Further, in the religion of Jesus, there is no place for “Christian supremacy,” only humility. Yet for many in this country who call themselves Christian, “freedom of religion” means nothing more than freedom to be a Christian. If you are of another faith, expect your freedom to practice your faith to be challenged, curtailed, or downright negated by some.
So whenever either discrimination or “Christian supremacy” show their ugly heads, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is right on target. I am proud of the Adventist Church, which has, on multiple occasions, gone to court to defend the rights of religious groups they adamantly disagree with spiritually, because we believe in true freedom of religion.
I grew up in Warburton, Australia, home of the Australian Signs, in the 1930s. My parents didn’t spend money on toys but invested in the “Big Five,” the Review, Youth’s Instructor, Life and Health, Liberty, and Sabbath School Worker, if I remember the titles correctly. I now subscribe to the two survivors.
I have a couple suggestions about the Review. I realize you can’t please everybody, particularly in these days when it is often hard to get people to read. The monthly Review seems to be essentially a booklet on certain topics—for instance, mental health in the January issue, with several articles on depression.
I think it would be better to spread these articles over a number of months, reminding readers frequently of their importance, and likewise as often as possible on other topics, the 28 Fundamental Beliefs, and so on. Having read one article about depression, I was tempted to skip the others. I don’t think that would happen a few months later. I particularly admired the contribution and courage of Heather-Dawn Small.
Thanks for taking time to read my thoughts. May God continually lead you in your important work.
Matthew P. Cozens
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