This letter is in response to a letter which appeared in The Blade on March 29, "Pastors with big mouths." I find it incredible The Blade would give space to someone so obviously theologically incompetent who blithely proclaims that Jesus "got it wrong" and made the "same mistake" as Paul. Isn't it nice to know that someone smarter and wiser than Jesus was once a professor at Appalachian State University?
Anyone who has studied the New Testament at all knows that the kingdom of God is far different from the nebulous future eschatological event known as the second coming (which he calls a "public prediction"). The passages quoted (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15, and Luke 9:27) refer to the kingdom of God, a core teaching of Jesus about God's will in Christ ruling the lives of believers. That kingdom did arrive in the first century, this century, every century, and always.
Yes, there are big-mouth preachers such as the ones mentioned who are often arrogant and make outrageous statements. They are easy targets. Most pastors, however, simply try their best to minister to the needs of their flock and preach the gospel accurately and humbly. Please don't lump us all together. I find it ironic that the column takes such issue with certain prominent preachers who, though they may at times indeed be arrogant, at least have never claimed to be smarter than Jesus.
The Rev. Larry Michaels
Martin Luther Church
Prophecy fulfillment to come in end times
As a Christian, I'm compelled to respond to Rick Herrick's March 29 opinion column, "Pastors with big mouths." I agree that some prominent evangelists make predictions that do not come to fruition; however, they are not prophets, only foolish predictors.
The professor's statement that the "classical prophets, even Jesus, were wrong with most of their predictions" is proof that he does not seek the depth of God's Word that was given by inspiration. All the prophecies have taken place, or have yet to come. We may read the future even in the past, remembering that Isaiah was not a historian, but a prophet, and while he speaks of an Egypt of the past, we must discern one of the future, nor can we close our eyes to the present conditions in Christendom.
I'm sure that prior to 1948, many critics such as you said that the prophesy of the Jews returning to rebuild a nation was a false prophecy. If you are alive in the last days, professor, you will see many prophecies fulfilled. You close by admonishing the reader, "If we are to be followers of Jesus. " Sir, if you are to be a follower of Jesus, you must believe that He is the perfect Lamb of God who died for your sins and arose for your justification.
Proud of soldier-son about to be deployed
As the mother of a 29-year member of the Ohio National Guard, I would like to share my feelings about the crosses on the Lucas County Courthouse lawn. I was 12 years old when war was declared in 1941, and my parents taught me to be proud of what our service personnel were doing.
My son is being deployed in less than a month to Iraq. I thought when he was deployed the first time that this would not happen again. He is my only son but I am very proud that he says that he swore to obey his commander in chief and will do as he is ordered. This fine man leaves behind three sons, a daughter, and a wife he loves very much.
As for the comparison of young and middle-aged people dying here in the United States, this is something that happens to all of us, in every country, while the men and women in the military are going the extra mile for everyone in this country. This is why they are in the military!
I say: God bless all the people represented by the crosses on the courthouse lawn and all the military of the United States.
Courthouse display showed cost of war
A man wrote The Blade recently to say he was "appalled" because headstones signifying dead American service personnel from our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were displayed on the Lucas County Courthouse lawn. He accused the installers, the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition, of breaching the separation of church and state by placing headstones with "religious connotations" on courthouse property. He further said they should be ashamed for using the war dead for "political" purposes.
I visited the display. Unlike the Christian crosses in Arlington National Cemetery, the tombstones on the lawn were merely rectangular boards with the upper corners nicked off. Aside from these wooden markers, there was information posted on the number of Iraqi civilian deaths, including differing estimates from our government and other named sources. There was also a listing of American military suicides, with surnames respectfully deleted. I saw nothing remotely pro or con anywhere.
All wars carry incredible human costs, something governments attempt to de-emphasize. For example, the Bush Administration refuses to allow published photographs of coffins coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The administration has also been disingenuous regarding the number of civilian deaths in Iraq.
The display was a simple reminder that since 2003, the human cost in Iraq and Afghanistan has been many thousands of deaths. It was left to the individual to decide what that means. If all the writer saw was politics, maybe it is he who should be ashamed.
Christopher T. Werkman
We're all diminished by terror war deaths
A contributor to the March 30 Readers' Forum referred to the Arlington Midwest tombstones displayed at the courthouse as "shameful." I, too, believe it is a shameful display. It is shameful that we have had 4,000 service people die. Yes, these young men and women went to serve at the behest of the government of the United States, but not at the behest of the American people.
As I helped remove the name cards before the display was taken down, I thought about the lost young people as well as those who are permanently disabled. It is my hope that people who saw the display came to realize the cost to us all in human lives.
We have all been diminished by the loss of these young men and women as well as the many people from Iraq and Afghanistan who have died.
Markers are tribute to victims of conflict
A recent letter writer's assertion that headstones are a religious symbol, or that the Arlington Midwest display on the Lucas County Courthouse lawn has a religious agenda, is absurd. Since the press is not allowed to cover or photograph the deaths and returning caskets of the soldiers, the public is immune to the human cost of war. The display is a stark and moving tribute to every soldier and civilian killed in two wars of choice.
There is no political agenda: both Democrats, Republicans, and most of the alleged "liberal media" helped cheerlead this war into existence.
Instead of being appalled at the courthouse, the letter writer should be appalled at the size of Arlington Midwest, and the current and future costs of Mr. Bush's follies.
Sally J. Keller
As an independent voter who voted issues only, I want a "do over" also. Sen. Hillary Clinton is crying it's "un-American" to deny Michigan and Florida the right to seat their delegates.
She is the only major Democrat who broke with the Democratic National Committee by staying on the ballot when warned by the DNC they would not be recognized. This is a prime example of the Clintons' actions, break the rules and blame someone else when it doesn't turn out to their liking. This has been their mode of operation since their Arkansas years in the political arena.
In addition, I truly resent Gov. Ted Strickland not being in Ohio when he travels with Mrs. Clinton. Ohio is in a state of emergency as it relates to the economy and jobs. He was not elected to be cheerleader for any presidential candidate.