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Letters from our readers

Like the news

I really appreciate the news that the young people working in Thailand have taken the time to write and share their experiences and the recent article about Brian and Stephanie Smith's work over there ["Legacy Institute Volunteers Learn Eternally Valuable Lessons While Teaching in Thailand," The Journal, May 31, 2007].

I also appreciate it when people write of their memories and experiences in the early days of the Church of God.

Patti Hawkins
Jeffersonville, Ind.

Be ye therefore perfect

Reading The Journal is always a spiritual shot in the arm for me, and the May 2007 copy was not an exception.

Many of us seem to be trying to get perfect love by perfect doctrine and are trying to help each other in this most honorable quest.

But in the past Brian Knowles has written that he has given up on the idea of getting perfect doctrine and is concentrating on perfect love. Is Brian suggesting that if we give up the quest for perfect doctrine and seek only perfect love we might end up with perfect doctrine too?

We could end up with very little doctrine and a lot of love. Could we live with that?

Phil Griffith
Delight, Ark.

I'll bite

I was perusing the letters section of the May 31 issue of The Journal. I happened upon Phil Griffith's letter, in which he expressed a wish that I weigh in on something Eric Snow had said in the April 2006 issue.

Frankly, I didn't read that issue that closely so didn't recall the offending item. I assume Mr. Griffith quoted it faithfully. Apparently Mr. Snow maintains that "professing Christians who reject the Sabbath and the holy days can't be saved . . ."

Okay, I'll rise to the bait. It's a ridiculous statement on the face of it. The idea that God "can't" save anyone for any reason is absurd.

God is God, and He's utterly sovereign. He can do anything He wants. I get the impression from Matthew 25:31-46 that all kinds of people, to their complete bewilderment, will be saved.

Our salvation does not depend upon Sabbath or holy-day observance. It depends upon the grace of God (Ephesians 2:5, 8).

Our salvation is not based on our works of law (verse 9).

In Galatians 2:15 Paul writes: "We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ . . ."

In the Greek of the above, the term is "works of law." There is no definite article. The term is ergon nomos, and it simply means any works of any law.

If we were to be justified by Sabbath or holy-day observance, we would have to observe them perfectly, never slipping up in a single part. Same with any or all of the other 613 commandments of Torah upon which we might base our salvation.

This legalistic mentality misses the mark by a wide margin. Our justification and our salvation are not based upon works of law (ergon nomos) but upon the bountiful grace of a merciful God who understands that we are mere dust and that the quality of our works is even more vaporous.

Brian Knowles
Monrovia, Calif.

Too disorganized to conspire

With regard to the article by Jan Aaron Young in the March-April 2007 edition titled "Plane Truth," I was not impressed with his thoughts. It is absolutely ludicrous even to suggest that all of this Hollywood hogwash about a government conspiracy is valid.

When I read this article, my view was that it may as well have been written by one of these liberal antigovernment groups.

I know that I remember watching the news that evening, actually seeing the planes fly into the buildings, seeing the fireballs, etc., etc., etc.

It's preposterous even to speculate that the government could pull off a conspiracy that would be so accurately timed as to explode bombs at the same time the planes hit the buildings or at the very least explode bombs that had been preset to go off after the planes hit, and then be able to keep this a secret from the entire American country and especially from the news media, which seem to find out about everything these days through leaks and snitches.

Does anyone honestly think that that could be kept a secret?

America and these conspiracy theorists need to concentrate on what's important: doing everything we can to evade another attack and praying to God that He will deliver this nation--and the world, for that matter--from itself.

Sherry L. Haney
Soddy Daisy, Tenn.

We saw the planes

I enjoy reading most of the information in The Journal because most of the articles are informative, except for some of the articles and announcements in the back of the paper.

Each article from Jan Aaron Young is more outrageous than the last. His article in the March-April edition titled "Plane Truth," about the 9-11 conspiracy theory, sounds like Rosie O'Donnell and the Hollywood liberals who are always trying to accuse and knock down our president and government.

If they don't like our country, why don't they just leave? That would suit most of us fine, I am sure.

As for the conspiracy theory that Mr. Young seems to support, we saw the planes go into the buildings, remember?

Jean Rickard
Chattanooga, Tenn.

Wake up

I was glad to see info on 9-11, the Federal Reserve and more facts that most Americans and COG members are unaware of in Jan Young's four-page ad in the March-April Journal.

It is time we wake up to the times we live in and take stock of where our responsibilities to warn this and other nations might be found.

If the COG is ignorant of the facts and truth of the times, what hope do we have of warning this world of how it all ties into the one-world agenda?

Prove all things!

Jeff Maehr
Pagosa Springs, Colo.

Where is headquarters?

Mankind in its human reasoning can come up with some amazingly illogical conclusions on many matters. Especially is this true of the subject of religion.

Take the subject of headquarters. One group says God's headquarters is in the state of Ohio. Another man's church says God's headquarters is in Oklahoma.

Still another, who claims his church is the true church, disagrees with anyone who says that God's headquarters is anywhere except where his church is: North Carolina.

Just where, really, is God's headquarters?

The answer is simple, a no-brainer. Who does the Bible say is the head of the church?

Ephesians 5:23: ". . . Christ is the head of the church."

Where is Christ now? Colossians 3:1 says that "Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."

Since Christ is the head of the church, and He is quartered in heaven at God's right hand, then that is where God's headquarters is.

Anyone telling you different is wrong. Is he lying? Well, let's just say he's not telling the truth.

Paul J. Herrmann
Metairie, La.

Check your oil?

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation" (Matthew 23:14).

Don't you agree that anyone who would abandon a widow is not religious? (James 1:27; Isaiah 10:1-3). Yet it appears that the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) has no intention of supporting widows of its own ministers!

In spite of assurances from the PCG, a friend's mother finds herself without any income from her husband's employer. If this were a corporation, this would be a scandal.

How long will you in the PCG sleep? Check your oil. It is running low! Your self-professed prophet has none to give you (John 13:35).

John D. Carmack
Cleveland, Ohio

Brilliant or absolute trash?

I viewed the video Look, Heed and Listen, mentioned in The Journal under "Notes and Quotes," January-February 2007 issue, which Reg Killingley applauded as "brilliant" in his letter on page 2 of The Journal, March-April 2007.

The film [still viewable as of late July at] is nothing more than the put-down of women as inferior to men.

We in the Church of God are called to "come out of this world," not to be partakers of the world's attitudes, sins or mind-sets.

That disgusting mind-set can be found around the world as evidenced by statements such as "Women are not fit to vote" and "Women are good only for making babies."

The film portrays women as having brains that go ballistic, can't process information and can't form logical conclusions in order to make good decisions.

It portrays men as having superior brains that can process information and come to logical decisions with great ease.

The men leaders (and nonleader men) in the Church of God who have this godless attitude are not fit for the Kingdom of God.

God condemns such an attitude. What would make women fit to be leaders in the Kingdom of God (of whom there will be many) if they cannot--as that film clearly portrays--lead now?

The film is antiwomen, which is anti-Christ, and those who hail that demonic spirit are anti-Christ.

Now, if men are these logical thinkers with this great "think tank" ready to pop out of their craniums, then what happened to the great think tanks of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Bill Clinton and the Pharaoh of Egypt who washed up on the Red Sea shore?

You men think men are such great leaders? Well, look around you. Witness the evils they created.

Go ahead. Pat yourself on the back. The great leaders in God's eyes are those who "judge righteous judgment," be they women or men.

When you judge women as having a lesser brain than men, as the film portrays, and hail that film, your judgment is not sound. God's people are of a sound mind.

What about you? Is your great think tank ready to pop out of your cranium? Had you lived at the time of the Judges, would God have picked you to lead all of Israel instead of Deborah? You think?

The film is absolute trash and should be treated as such. I pity the married women who sit quietly by and are content with their egotistical husbands who have the mind-set of putting "women in their place." Don't fill your mind with trash lest you be found not fit for the Kingdom of God.

Darwin Lee
Bismarck, N.D.

Mr. Armstrong's face

Regarding "Mr. Armstrong's Face Pops Up on Drudge," The Journal, May 31, 2007: I saw the same ad with HWA on Fox news on television [placed by the Philadelphia Church of God] several times, I think on The O'Reilly Factor. Can't imagine how much that advertising must cost!

Steve Koelle
Colville, Wash.

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