Letters to the Editor

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Letters to the Editor

Wake-up call
Re: Column by Major Terry Camsey (New Frontier, Easter, 2004)

Yes, it is alarming but not all that unexpected that The Salvation Army served 1,284,983 but only 2.5% of these were recorded as “Seekers.” This trend will continue until the higher level Army leadership develops a way to free the corps officer from the myriad daily details of running this “serving the poor” business and allows time for evangelism. We need to give the poor corps officer the time away from the “business” side of the corps operation. The corps officer knows very well the ax will fall swiftly and surely if they make a poor business or financial decision but nothing will happen if growth does not occur in the local corps. Perhaps it is time to appoint a business manager for each corps so the corps officer can find time for visitation and evangelism!

Nathan Kirby

‘Under God’
After reading Dr. Docter’s article of April 22, I couldn’t resist his request for readers to respond with their opinions regarding all the hoopla over the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

It appears to me that every time a church/state issue comes up in this country there’s always an underlying fear attached to the thinking of many conservative Christians that if the courts decide an issue in a “secular” manner (whatever that means) it will undermine America’s “Christian” foundations, make God really angry at us and bring down his wrath upon the U.S. as a nation.

Consequently, Christians who have this belief system are ripe and ready to support any form of civil religion presented to them as long as it acknowledges “God” and/or America’s “Christian” foundations. It matters not one bit whether or not a decision by a court is “just” and “fair”, only that it props up the belief system and makes the believer feel comfortable.

As I see it, behind all the fear (not to mention the idealized revisionist history) is the one paramount issue of idolatry. Why is it so hard for we conservative Christians to get it through our thick skulls–and I include myself in the tendency to commit this sin–that civil religion along with all of its accompanying accoutrements is ALWAYS idolatry? When we encourage or participate in it we take the name of God in vain. We create in our own minds the graven image of a deity who is nothing more than an advocate of our own personal, cultural and national interests.

Simply put, when we have a god who can be cajoled, controlled and manipulated through our own devices (including making sure that the phrase “under God” stays in the pledge so that tornadoes and hurricanes don’t hit us) our god ISN’T God. We are in fact worshiping an entity of our own making!

We live in a pluralistic society with a government based on a constitution not someone’s interpretation of the Bible. For those of us who do believe the Bible is the written Word of God and that Jesus Christ was the word of God in the flesh, we would do well to remember that both words have much to say about hallowing God’s name by not demeaning it. God’s Word has much to say about doing justice toward the minorities and outcasts of society–yes, even the atheist, Mr. Neudow. God’s judgment was always reserved for those individuals and nations who disregarded justice–especially toward the stranger the poor and the outcast. If anything the prophets and Jesus suggest that God is actually repulsed by our religiosity when it is void of doing justice and overly concerned with conventions.

Daryl Lach
Romeoville, Illinois

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Frontlines – News Briefs of the west

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us

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