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The Church has been too accepting of war
Having worked in the area of peace/war issues, I realize that this is a most unpopular subject but I feel that it is long past the time when the Christian church needs to engage the issue.
At a time when we face the most anti-Christian behaviour in war and potential global annihilation, the Church is amiss in not engaging the issue. Why wait for the secular world to tell us this truth? We know the teachings of Christ but, alas, choose to ignore it when it comes to our acceptance of war and killing as a means of settling conflict.
I worked with Canadian and international peace research for many years, and I conducted seminars on global peace/war issues at Carlton University. Those who spoke to us were highly regarded in their special fields of endeavour. I was invited to address the General Assembly of the United Nations on disarmament.
My present interest now is to encourage the Christian churches to seriously engage the issue. The Roman Catholic pope speaks out at times but we seem to fear saying anything. The real question is why? Either we take back our commitment to love and compassion and peace or we hand that commitment to the secular world and we face the ultimate global war. We have a choice.
There are three tenets in the Christian faith that have always puzzled me. And I’m not being facetious. 1. How could John the Baptist baptize Jesus and what words could he use? 2. God the Father is supposed to have sent his only beloved Son to redeem mankind, but there’s no mention of God’s wife. 3. If the Holy Ghost impregnated Mary, wouldn’t that make Jesus divine on His father’s side and human on His mother’s? Maybe some of your readers can enlighten me.
“My Favourite Christmas Carol,” featured in the December 2008 issue, was wonderful! Thank you for having it and thanks to everyone that wrote such endearing memories! I hope you will continue with more positive articles.
Writers of carols
I subscribe to a wonderful magazine, “This England,” published in England. The winter issue contains a section on carols, who wrote many of them. Isaac Watts was credited with writing more than 700 hymns, his most popular being “O God Our Help in Ages Past.” The woman who wrote “Once in Royal David’s City” was Cecil Francis Alexander, wife of the Archbishop of Armagh.
What would the world be without such wonderful music? It inspires goodwill, which is much needed in today’s world.
Mary G. Gillis
Time for the church to take a stand and move on
The Anglican Church in Canada is being torn apart and there does not appear to be a concerted effort to address this fact.
While it may or may not be the main issue of this schism, same-sex unions appear to be the central focus. At the last meeting of General Synod, the clergy and laity voted in favour of diocesan authority to bless same-sex unions yet this has not been acted upon and is being given further study.
In the meantime, we hear of the Southern Cone and a potential new province being considered. The time for study is past. The people have spoken and it is now time to act.
Yes, there will be dissension. Yes, there will be talk of parishes or individuals leaving the Anglican Church. Yes, there will be stories of doom and gloom. However, those will be overcome. Right now we are in a prolonged period of indecision and the harm being done is greater than that resulting from a firm decision. Reading the Anglican Journal, with so many articles about this issue is more discouraging and frustrating than having to deal with the fall-out from a firm statement of policy.
The United Church addressed this issue some time ago and appears to have weathered the storm. When is the Anglican Church going to firmly declare its position and begin to resolve the arising issues?
I find it disappointing to read that fellow Anglican Boyce H. Rice has suggested that our primate “quieten” individuals and groups that do not share his opinion. I would like to suggest that there be more reasoned theological debate on the issue of same-sex blessings. I have done what I consider to be my due diligence and have yet to find anywhere in scripture where it is appropriate to bless a sin. But then, I’m not a theologian.
A number of our diocesan synods have asked their bishops to approve the blessing of same-sex couples who have been civilly married.
While that is a step in the right direction, in my opinion, I believe that it does not go far enough. I know of faithful couples not of same-sex orientation, both widowed and past childbearing age, who are in committed relationships (co-habiting or not) and who have decided not to re-marry for whatever reason. They would value the church offering a blessing on their relationship. Let the church bless any committed relationship regardless of sexual orientation.
Once a priest …
Mr. Perry’s letter (January Journal) caught my attention.
He says, “Mr. Harvey has relinquished his ministry and therefore ought no longer to be referred to by a clerical title. He is, for all practical purposes, a lay person.” Not so. Once a priest, always a priest. The fact that one may decide not to exercise the office is quite irrelevant.
Re: Jezebel and other fascinating women in the Bible. (January Journal)
How disappointing to read a review that gives equal ranking to a character like Jezebel as to women like Lydia, Esther, Martha, Elizabeth, Miriam and Ruth, and then to call Jezebel a “fascinating” woman of the Bible. Unbelievable! Yes, fascinating all right; just as this culture is drawn to evil and glorifies it at every opportunity in its fiction (literature, movies) yet recoils from it in real life (Paul Bernardo, Picton murders) However, this is real life we are talking about here, folks.
Jezebel was a historical character who rightly deserves the later title she was given: I-zevel, woman of dung. Nowhere in scripture is she defined as “a woman of the Lord” and I highly doubt that Itha-Baal in any way defines her as in relationship with God.
In 1 Kings 21, God declares, “I will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel…because you have made Israel sin… Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.”
This book should never have been reviewed so positively. Shame on you for disgracing four of the Ten Commandments, and Christ’s only commandment to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength.” Any book that shows favour to one so defiantly opposed God should have no place in a Christian publication nor a believer’s personal library.
Shanty Bay, Ont.
Re: Note to art director Saskia Rowley
Thank you so much for replying to my note re: the Bible readings in the Journal. They are much easier to read and now I know exactly what is scheduled for each day.
So many times when complaints or suggestions are made, one is ignored. But you took the time to let me know you understood and made confusion “take a holiday.” Again, thank you for caring.
Thank you for the January Journal and for a light-hearted look at ourselves. I most enjoyed the letter, “Church jargon is like alphabet soup.” Oh, how true.
There was also the insightful and thought-provoking letter, “Why I remain an Anglican,” by Christopher Page. I read this Journal with great enjoyment.
A forgotten church
As a retired priest of the Anglican Church of Canada living in the United States, let me draw your readers’ attention to something that I regard as a grave injustice; the refusal to recognize the existence of a vibrant group of Anglicans who have been in existence since the 1970s, the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada.
I knew its former primate, Rev. Robert Mercer, a Mirfield father from England, who served as their leader. It is sad that we seldom mention them.
In a time of willingness to unite with various groups that produce little if any sense of what Catholicism is, why do we consistently ignore these good people?
George A. Porthan
A personal faith
I am part of a group of women friends that was raised in the Anglican church and find joy attending church. We are all a part of Alpha.
Sometimes my friends and I attend a Wednesday night service in the small chapel. It feels really good to read the Bible in fellowship with other Anglicans. There is a Bible study led by the rector and I have found that, within small studies like these, I grow spiritually. I find answers to questions that have plagued me and I leave with a renewed spirit. When I get home to my partner, he asks me why I am in such a good mood.
The benefit of sharing my faith outweighs the controversy of the times. As I study the Bible, I realize that if St. Paul had so much trouble keeping the early church on track, why should our church leaders have an easy time of it now?
I have faith that regular Anglicans like me and my friends will attend church and continue to grow spiritually no matter who is fighting whom and what conclusions they reach. God bless us all as we struggle.