Headline prejudiced?Dear editor,
As a 17-year old, I must say that I find the headline “Fire guts landmark; Church victim of teen mischief” (December 2001) to be quite insulting. The article relates the destruction of St. John church in Lunenburg, N.S., which was hollowed out by a fire on Nov. 1, “apparently after Halloween mischief.”
Never again is the cause of the fire mentioned; there seems to be no proof that the fire was caused by a Halloween prank, let alone that it was started by teenagers. So, I must ask, why is the teenage population blamed for this fire?
The youth population in my own parish is extremely small, and most churches I have visited have the same problem. Children come until they are old enough to refuse. Isn’t it possible that prejudiced attitudes such as the one displayed in the headline might be a reason for their refusal?
Why promote Bishop Spong?
Why does the Anglican church continue to give John Spong a voice within its ranks?
Gordon Baker’s review of A New Christianity For A New World perpetuates the false teaching that the controversial retired Episcopal bishop continues to inflict on us. Bishop Spong is controversial only because he has been allowed to remain in the Anglican communion. In any other century he would have been exiled for his heresies, but because we are so much more “enlightened” we tolerate and often applaud dissenting views.
While some issues deserve debate in the light of Scripture, it should be unacceptable regarding the fundamental issues that Bishop Spong tramples upon. He dismisses the very foundation of our faith: the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, and the resurrection to name a few.
The Episcopal church has much to answer for in allowing this “shepherd” to guide his flock over a cliff into the abyss. When will the Anglican Journal, a periodical that represents the Anglican Church of Canada, obey scripture and denounce Bishop Spong’s false teaching or at the very least cease in giving him a platform?
Pray for the Queen
I am writing to express my concern over the growing trend of dropping prayers for Her Majesty the Queen from church services. The rubrics of the both the BCP and the BAS call for prayers for the Queen; most Anglican churches blatantly ignore this fact. All the churches that I have attended either never mention Her Majesty at all, or simply gloss over her in a long list of prayers for petty politicians.
I like so many, am sick and tired of praying for the prime minister. The Queen is our head of state – not Jean Chretien – and as such she is deserving of our prayers.
It is time to restore this venerable practice, especially as Her Majesty will be celebrating her golden jubilee next year. Our Queen needs our prayers, but even more, Canada needs her! God Save the Queen!
R. Mark Hamilton
PWRDF gift rethought
The letter in your October issue from the director of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) provides some needed answers as to how the money is used.
Sending money through this church fund made me feel that it would certainly end up where it was needed, at the “pointy end” of the war on suffering, in the forgotten Sudan or elsewhere. I have been a happy supporter of this fund for years.
How disappointing to find that some of this money is used to send well-meaning persons to foolish, useless and ineffectual protests.
My questions have been answered about whether I should continue to contribute. I shall now adjust my budget accordingly.
For many years I have supported our Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. I have also been a diocesan coordinator of this fine organization and have attended national PWRDF conferences where I have been impressed by the faith, knowledge and sincerity of primate’s fund staff in Toronto.
The primate’s fund spends relatively little on administration, most of the money donated being directed to people in need around the world. The recent incorporation of the fund has protected the funds that are donated from use in the ongoing First Nations residential schools litigation. Annual reports from the fund outline just how donor’s dollars are spent.
During the past couple of years my Anglican Journal has included various inserts. One of these has been from World Vision, not an Anglican institution and, it can be fairly stated, a competitor for scarce aid and developmental dollars from our congregations. This is, I feel, unfair to the many fine people who work for the primate’s fund and it tends to decrease awareness of the work done by the fund.
Perhaps the Anglican Journal could consider a policy of not providing support for organizations doing work similar to that being done by major groups within our own church. There has never been a time when Anglican agencies require as much support as they do now.
Dismayed by response
It is with both surprise and dismay, in reading the responses of the various Christian church leaders to the events of Sept. 11, that I found a lack of reference to the very response that should be absolutely fundamental from a truly Christian perspective.
We are all God’s children, which makes all of us – even our enemies – our brothers and sisters. The terrorists who died in the attack and those who continue to plan other attacks all belong to God, and in fact are beloved of God. Did Christ not teach us that there would be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repented than over all the rest of us put together?
Violence is never an answer, and we have no business allowing it to be an excuse if we intend to connect the name of our Saviour with our own. Would we be happy if the teachers in our schools chose to exonerate a participant in a classroom fistfight if the excuse was, “She hit me first”? Yet it seems we’ve gone one step further with our national leaders and are allowing them to say, “Well, he hit me back first.”
Pray for peace, of course, but please remember to pray for our enemies. They, most of all, need our prayers.
Primate’s response confusing
Archbishop Michael Peers’ letter regarding the events of September 11th (Coming to terms with evil, Nov. 2001) leaves me confused.
Faced with the ultimate immediacy of death, the passengers on the plane headed for the White House or the Capitol building used violence to stop it. Were they wrong to “resist evil” in this way?
It is regrettable to see our primate infer that we in the western democracies are somehow implicated in these terrorist crimes by “the poverty, humiliation and death” that exist under the dictatorships of the Muslim world.
We all know that war is awful and full of moral ambiguities but terrorism has to be fought. Thank God, despite Dresden, that Nazism was fought and so was Islam when it sought to conquer Europe.
M. R. Campbell