Letters to the Editor for the May 2021 edition
On the article, “Speaking Well of Other Christians" and the editorial, "Conceptual Skills for Faithful Living".
Dear Bro. David,
Thank you for your article on “Speaking Well of Other Christians.” I wish it had been written in the 1980s and 1990s when as a child, then teenager and on to my college years I endured so many Sunday evening lectures that “bashed” other churches. When I reflect back on those times, I believe I was rather selective about finding out who was speaking before I invited a friend or a coworker along.
As a young person I felt incredibly awkward yet didn’t feel like I had any status to voice my concerns and be heard. 1 Pet 3:15 is very clear about how we should behave towards anyone we interact with or speak of:,
Growing up in the UK, I feel very privileged to have been educated in an environment where debates and formal discussions were commonplace. And as an English teacher speaking and listening assessments were an essential part of the curriculum.
Likewise, as followers of the Lord Jesus, we must equip ourselves with the skills of speaking and listening. As believers, we should have the maturity to listen to another; to ask questions and understand someone else’s perspective with gentleness and respect. I’m very glad you are raising this issue.
Schooley’s Mountain, NJ
I totally agree with your editorial in the May 2021 issue of the Tidings magazine. Let me explain why. We must remember that it is God who chooses and calls those who are His. It is God who sees into human hearts and the intentions of their minds, NOT us.
When I was living and working in Lancaster Pennsylvania I worked with a group of rather rough, crude men on a landscape crew. There was a rather high turnover of employees but a core that remained through the two years I worked there. One man, Kent, who joined this group stood out for he, like me, did not use crude language or trade filthy jokes and was teased about that, like I was.
We began to talk with each other and learned we were both Bible students. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much we shared a common understanding of what the Bible teaches. First principles such as man is mortal (no immortal soul), Jesus is human, the Son of God (not God the Son), the devil/satan is our flesh (not an immortal evil being) and so forth.
I invited Kent to the Lancaster Ecclesia’s Bible classes, and he came to several of them, and I went to several of his Church’s Bible Classes. What I remember from those classes is that Kent was very much in agreement with our Bible class and surprised by the active participation and Bible knowledge of the group.
When I visited Kent’s Church’s Bible class it was led by their preacher and for the most part people just listened, except Kent. One time the preacher cautioned about being tempted by “the Devil” and Kent spoke up to point out that the source of temptation was ourselves and quoted James 1:14.
At another class the preacher mentioned going to heaven when we die, and Kent spoke up and pointed out that our hope is in the resurrection and the Kingdom of God on earth. I forget what verses Kent used but he told me he also quoted the Bible for the preacher would not argue with the Bible. When I asked Kent if he would join the Christadelphians because we shared a common understanding.
Kent agreed that we did share a common faith and understanding but if he left his church “Who would teach my friends the truth?”