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Letters to the editor Faltering denominations no big deal All are disciples in Christ; liberalism leading way to demise ®

FEBRUARY 2011 $2.50

Pulling together–coming apart Why denominations

still matter 20 Plus study guide 27

Spiritual discipline set at dinner table 16

Mentally ill find acceptance at day center 18

Why we all should care about Pakistan 32

Road to extinction The statistics in the table (February, page 22) merely reflect what many have observed for years. The dilution of tra- ditional Lutheran values and theology with moral-relativistic liberal policies is leading the way to destruction of tra- ditional Protestant denominations. The majority of those seeking salvation and eternal life still prefer a theology that requires more of them, not less. Until traditional Protestantism learns these basic facts it will continue the inevitable

slide toward the dustbin of history. Brian D. Ehrman Marion, Ohio

We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, but the concept of denominations makes it easy to view members of other denominations as not being “true” believers.

Your cover article on why denomina- tions still matter (February, page 20) got it wrong—they never should have happened. Christ instituted a single Christian church, not a splintered group of separate bodies. We are called to be disciples in Christ, not members of sep- arate administrative Christian organiza- tions. Growth comes from exposure to the Scriptures, interaction with other Christians and life experiences. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, but the concept of denominations makes it easy to view members of other denomina-

tions as not being “true” believers. Erroll Stevens Natick, Mass.

48 The Lutheran •

A better way I totally agree that Christians have a call to help the poor but question the tone of the “My view” (February, page 49). We should tithe and more, but I can’t help but read a “redistribution of wealth” phi- losophy in the article. Local, state and national philanthropic groups can handle the distribution of our responsibility to help the poor far, far more efficiently than any government. The bureaucracy

and waste in government is sinful. Jim Herbst Hardy, Ark.

Think before speaking Along with millions of others I mourn the carnage in Tucson, Ariz., in January. I am concerned that many, including the local sheriff, politicians and clergy, attributed the shooter’s motive to statements by conservative politicians and media. My prayers are for reasonable discussions while remembering Christian values. In these troubled times, we surely need

God’s intervention as the future unfolds. Cliff Wagner Peoria, Ariz.

Use the right word Your article on “Bullying the pastor” (January, page 16) describes this activ- ity as “incivility,” “bullying,” “inappro- priate behavior” and “most outrageous behavior.” These are helpful but miss the mark. It is “demonic” (driven by Satan, the devil, Beelzebub) and “per-

secution.” Call a spade a spade. Ernest M. Waxbom Jr. Pittsburgh

Lost our way

Who can blame people who hear these bullying stories for staying in bed on Sundays and joining secular society? When congregational leaders who know better participate in such practices, it is a black eye upon Christianity. How can Christians who study the Bible and are

confirmed treat anybody that way? The Rev. David Coffin Ada, Ohio

Read more about it

The practice of mistreating the pastor and assuming that she or he will put up with it because they are “humble people of the cloth” is a misnomer. I highly recommend the book Clergy Killers, Guidance for Pastors and Congrega- tions Under Attack by G. Lloyd Rediger

(Logos) for reflection and study. The Rev. Norman Paskowsky Minot, N.D.

Making sense of religion A third of atheists responding to a sur- vey indicated that “religion doesn’t make sense” (January, page 9). Well, “duh.” Whoever said a virgin birth or a Jew dying on a cross, rising from the dead to gather and forgive the universe was supposed to? I can only hope that all who claim religion makes no sense


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