Breath of Life

Regarding John Stevens, Sr.’s statement in the August “Letters” that the Bible plainly teaches that birth and breath begin life and personhood: Ellen White indicates that stillborn infants will not be included in the Kingdom to come, because they are not persons until the breath of life is given.

If this is so, then God is ultimately the greater loser. He will never have contact with the aborted or stillborn infant. In reality, what some are doing is taking away a life that God could have had extreme pleasure in knowing in the earth made new....

Robert Rouillard—Lakewood, Wash.

Don’t Try This....

I hope we are not expected to endorse the actions of those who used the affectations of “punks” as bait to “test the friendliness of Adventist churches.” (November 2002 GLEANER editorial). Jere Patzer, in his “Call for Thoughtfulness,” tells us that the reception of the youth group that dressed up like “street kids...could have been better.”

No doubt.

My husband, a sheriff’s detective, might refer to this sort of activity as “entrapment.” For sure, the venture was a less than noble aspiration, leaving me with some questions.

Did spiked hair and “punk” attire detract or enhance the spirit of worship? Did the group, when finished with their “testing,” thank God that they are not “like other men” (e.g. robbers, evildoers, foyer snobs)? Did they leave the members of their test-tube churches in a better frame of mind to receive hope and truth from the pulpit? Having exposed the “hypocrites,” were they, themselves, thus more impressionable to divine truths?

If ever there was a time to drop all such nonsense, it is now. The mental picture of Jesus participating in such baleful caviling just does not focus. He instead pleads, “Press together, Press together.”

Pam Luna—Albany, Ore.

Editorial Response: Absolutely! In an imperfect world, where you look for the negative, you’ll usually find it. May all of us be so caught up in God’s service, we’ll have no time left to catalog the faults of others. E.S.

Student Writers

I really like the fresh new look to the GLEANER. You are all doing a great job! It is one of the magazines I have to peruse immediately when I receive it in the mail. Thanks for the good work. I would love to see the academy students take ownership of the GLEANER, as far as submitting articles about their missions experiences, campus outreach activities, etc. It would bring a viewpoint from one of the most active groups of the total church population in their outreach.

Jill Clay—Monroe, Wash

Featured in: December 2002