Letters from our Readers

Under the big W

Contrary to what Robert Thiel wrote in the Feb. 28 issue ["Consider Candid Responses to 15 Accusations About HWA"], the W in Herbert W. Armstrong was not added to his name sometime after he started the Radio (later renamed Worldwide) Church of God.

In Vol. 1 of the hardcover edition of Mr. Armstrong's autobiography, the first batch of photos reproduces a Merchants Trade Journal cover story "By H.W. Armstrong" dated "July 1915."

In the next batch of photos his letterhead is shown with the printed name "Herbert W. Armstrong," containing a handwritten letter to his mother dated "July 23, 1917."

Below it is his draft card dated "June 1st, 1917," and signed "Herbert W. Armstrong."

Although the church started in 1933, the broadcast in 1934 and Ambassador College in 1947, in 1915 Mr. Armstrong was only 23. It was 18 years before he knew he would go on radio, and it's doubtful that he had a need to distinguish himself then from a batch of other supposed Herbert Armstrongs by adding a W to his name.

Mr. Armstrong's mother's maiden name was Wright, which is where the W probably came from. There seems to be a pattern with the name Loma D. Armstrong. The D stands for Dillon, her maiden name, whereas her actual second name given as a child was Isabelle.

I've also heard that the W was given by Mr. Armstrong's parents for purposes of cadence.

Geoffrey R. Neilson
Fish Hoek, South Africa

For the record

In reply to Gerry Russell's letter in the March 31 issue ["List of Disfellowshippable Offenses," page 2]:

Gerry began: "The article about the problems in UCG Great Britain ['UCG British Isles Settles Down After Recent Events,' The Journal, Jan. 31] saddened me."

I agree with Gerry that it is sad that matters could not be worked through locally in the British Isles and that we have landed up with yet another split, brethren not trusting one another and a very hurt Preston congregation.

Gerry said the article "failed to mention that Barbara Fenney appealed her disfellowshipment to the Ministerial Review Committee in the United States, which along with the Ethics Committee upheld John Jewell's action to disfellowship her."

This is correct, and it also omits to say that she then went on to reappeal to the council of elders, as John Jewell acknowledged in his letter to the "Members of the Charity."

Gerry wrote: "It also fails to say that Mr. Jewell and others bent over backwards for months before disfellowshipping Barbara and suspending David Fenney from his ministerial duties."

It would be interesting to know who the "others" were, as nearly all the leading men were eventually disfellowshipped, but I guess that is covered by ministerial confidentiality!

"The charge that Mr. Jewell's actions were because of the Fenneys' charges of fiscal misappropriations by Mr. Jewell is also false, as were their accusations," Gerry wrote.

There may be simply a language problem here, because the article said there were no allegations of embezzlement. I would characterize what seems to have happened as a "failure to communicate details of expenditure" to the national council.

Again, as Mr. Jewell acknowledged in his letter, members of the national council were jointly responsible for the use of the charity's resources.

"The Fenneys," wrote Gerry, "objected loudly at the Feast on the Isle of Wight in 2001 to a number of things on the Feast video, especially to prophetic references made by UCG council member Dick Thompson."

So are we saying the disfellowshipment was not about Barbara's job as treasurer after all?

Gerry continued: "These objections were heatedly made to myself and Frank Jarvis (a UCG U.K. elder and council member) by Mr. Fenney right after the showing of the video. After the Feast I and others received long E-mails and charts from Barbara Fenney trying to prove the church's teaching on Europe and prophesy wrong. If they had acted in the same way here, they would have been disfellowshipped immediately."

So Gerry witnessed the Fenneys saying things that he considers against UCGIA policy, and it appears he still thinks so.

He would appear to still have an issue with his brother. If so, his Christian duty is to either forgive and forget or to work through the UCGIA disfellowshipment process.

I am amazed that he should still bring up a matter from so long ago. As Mr. Jewell was the senior pastor in the U.K., and did not act earlier by carrying out what would be UCGIA U.S.A. policy, the implication is that he was not doing his job correctly!

"At the Feast in Grange last year," Gerry wrote, "the Fenneys were heard by myself and others telling people they planned to get rid of Mr. Jewell and Mr. Jarvis at the annual general meeting. I and others related this to UCG council member Aaron Dean."

The use of the words "get rid of" may have the wrong connotation to those who are not aware of the UCG-BI (United Church of God British Isles) bylaws. My understanding is that Mr. Jewell would have been due for reelection to the national council at the next annual general meeting, and, as in any "election" process, he could be replaced.

Gerry here brings up matters that occurred after the original disfellowshipment, and these cannot be used to justify the original action.

Gerry wrote: "A number of the U.S. ministry attending the Feast at Grange are well aware of and were witnesses to the Fenneys' conduct: The Fenneys at times left before services and went to an independent site they were attending in Kendal."

Since I was attending the independent site at Kendal, my understanding was that the Fenneys had permission to do so. Again, this has nothing to do with the original problem.

"In 1998 the church in my homeland was torn apart," wrote Gerry, "and without John Jewell's leadership there would be no UCG U.K.! The church there prospered and grew under his leadership, with an unpaid ministry."

I disagree with the first part. John Jewell was just one of a group of us who fought to keep what was UCG-UK intact as part of the UCGIA. (Note that it is now the UCG British Isles, because the UCG-UK name was kept by the other side of the split.)

We all contributed. If Gerry is giving credit, then my wife and I thank him but would point out that it was a team effort. I agree that the church media efforts grew under Mr. Jewell's leadership, and, as Gerry points out, with no salaries to pay there was money to spend.

"Mr. Jewel has been replaced by Peter Hawkins," wrote Gerry, "who is receiving a salary of £30,000 ($50,000), high by British standards (compared to recent ads for management jobs in British papers, which offer salaries of £15,000) paid by UCG U.S.A."

First, I am shocked that Gerry should reveal Peter Hawkins' salary. Surely that is between him and his employer. Second, it sounds quite reasonable to me, because the average salary in the U.K. is about £22,000. Trainee managers in the retail trade would be lucky to get £15,000. Surely Mr. Hawkins is worth more than that.

"The McCanns wished the Jewells a happy retirement!" wrote Gerry. "I thought they knew the Jewells better than that!"

I wrote that precisely because I do know Mr. Jewell better than that. Having seen a draft of The Journal article [of Jan. 31], and the "anonymous" negative quote, I sent Dixon Cartwright a genuinely meant positive quote.

It saddens me that Mr. Jewell was unable to retire gracefully and receive credit and honor for what he had done over the years.

We used to have a joke with Mr. Jewell at the time of the split in 1998 that all he wanted to do was collect his bus pass but instead he found himself running the UCG British Isles.

Gerry continued: "There is still a work to do, and I would expect nothing less of the Jewells than that they would continue to do what they have always done for the many years I have known them."

I assume Gerry is referring to and David McDermott's program on Manx Radio (free plug!). That of course introduces the next chapter in the saga and why the COGs keep on splitting and how people, resources and assets should be equitably divided when a split occurs.

I feel that the still-ongoing saga is the consequence of the disfellowship-appeal procedure. Solutions need to be found to what is the status of a member while he is appealing, what happens to the minister concerned if an appeal goes against the minister, and whether additional grounds for disfellowshipment can be added during the appeal process?

I wish the UCGIA well in its search for answers.

Lewis D. McCann

Milton Keynes, England

Why bother?

How much should a minister in the U.K. earn? What a mean-spirited bunch some of your readers are.

Please allow me to correct some misapprehensions some people seem to have about current pay scales here in the U.K.

Remuneration of £30,000 ($50,000) for a management position would be considered very modest indeed since salaries of £50,000-plus are commonplace these days. In addition, the appointee would demand a free car, a good pension plan and other generous perks.

As for the figure of £15,000 ($25,000), which was suggested by one of your correspondents [see "List of Disfellowshippable Offenses," by Gerry Russell, page 2, The Journal, March 31], I know junior office workers who wouldn't bother getting out of bed for that kind of money!

Bear in mind that a dedicated minister is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. He will be lucky if he ever gets a proper vacation at any time in his career, whereas five weeks or more paid leave is normal for workers in the U.K.

Ross Kiddle

Portsmouth, England

Troubles, rehearsals, the Shema

I want to express gratitude for Brian Knowles' column in the Feb. 28 issue, "Why Go to the Trouble?" At first I didn't know what the point of it was. Then to my joy and surprise he encouraged everyone to study the Hebrew roots of the "church," indicating such study is a gold mine that opens door after door of understanding.

I corroborate this totally. Praise to Yah, and thanks to Brian.

In the March 31 issue Tim Kelley's editorial, "We're Just Practicing," could be better titled "Just Rehearsing," since, in Hebraic thought, life is a rehearsal.

The Sabbath is a rehearsal of the Messianic age to come, the Kingdom's total rest and peace.

The Passover looks back to the deliverance from Egypt and sin, although that deliverance was in no way dependent on Israel acknowledging "sin."

Have you ever noticed that? The Israelites obeyed by preparing a meal and eating it and by using the blood in a certain way, and they prepared for a trip. Nothing about "sin" taught here.

I also want to express gratitude for the coming One God Seminars [sponsored by Ken Westby's Association for Christian Development and scheduled for the Big Sandy area July 26-28].

The Shema is the holiest of all expressions: "Hear O Israel, Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is One and you shall love Him with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

Yehshua repeated this first and greatest of all commandments in Mark 12:28-34. So many of us have erred, not knowing the Scriptures and accepting what "Christianity" handed down for hundreds of years instead of learning the Torah instruction that says "Thus sayeth YHVH."

Lisa Wenger

Big Sandy, Texas

Has time been warped?

Brian Knowles asks a question, "Why go to the trouble?," in his commentary in the Feb. 28 issue.

That is a question I have given a lot of thought to myself. I sometimes read Brian's writings and wonder if I am looking for the living among the dead. I am sure Brian may read some of my writings and wonder if he is looking for the living among the dead.

Disagreement is a two-way street, and Brian is just as far doctrinally from me as I am doctrinally from him. It makes one wonder who may be trying to pull whom out of the fire.

When we try to offer someone a helping hand and he turns his back on us or offers us an idol, it is quite discouraging.

But, of course, he thinks he is offering us a helping hand and that we are rejecting it.

I hope what I am saying is not taken as criticism, since none of us enjoys being criticized and it is most often a waste of time. We may waste our time criticizing each other and then waste more time correcting each other for being critical. Then we repeat the pattern until we are in something like a time warp. Is it possible that is where we are now?

We were taught that when we accept truth we get more truth. This may imply that when we accept error we get more error. So if we were taught error for many years it will be a long way back to "the truth."

Error has been taught for the better part of 2,000 years, so I think we had best find some shortcuts if we are ever to dig fast enough to get to "the truth."

I am not sure the Internet is quick enough to get us there in our limited time, but we need all the speed and help we can get and give each other.

Phil Griffith

Delight, Ark.

Creation, procreation or incarnation?

The question of who is Jesus Christ has been debated by the world for 2,000 years, has been written and debated about in The Journal extensively and would be answered differently by almost every individual within the Church of God.

Why is this? How can this be? How can we all claim His name and fame and yet have no common understanding of who He was and is?

Jesus Christ Himself quizzed His disciples about that question when He asked them: "Who do men say that I the Son of man am?"

They answered: "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

That question is obviously directed at us as much as it was to the disciples then. Simon Peter replied for all of us when he said: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Jesus then confirmed that the answer was correct when He said: "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona! Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."

Considering that the answer was confirmed by Jesus personally, we can be sure that the answer was not only correct, but complete, in order to know the answer to the question: Who is Jesus Christ?

The answer is: I am the Son of man, and I am the Christ, the Son of the living God. So, first of all, Jesus Himself said He was the Son of man (by being born of Mary), and then clearly stated that He was the Son of God (by being begotten/sired by God). In other words, being born of a human being made Him a human being, and being born of God made Him a God being.

Let's consider why the above answer is still an enigma to so many.

There are three methods by which a being or person can come into existence: creation, procreation and incarnation.

o Creation: Only God creates. He created angelic beings, then two human beings, Adam and Eve, by making them out of the dust of the ground and speaking them into existence through His Word. Adam and Eve were not given the power and ability to create other human beings.

o Procreation: God has it within Himself to beget, or sire, other God beings, and Adam had it within himself to beget, or sire, other human beings.

Jesus Christ was born of God and is therefore known as the Son of God. Cain and Abel were born of Adam and are therefore known as the sons of Adam. In procreation, someone is reproducing himself.

o Incarnation: A being that already exists is endowed with a human body, an appearance in human form. In Christian (Catholic) theology, incarnation is the effectuation of the hypostatic union through the conception of the second person in the Trinity in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

In other words, a being that already exists--Jesus--appears in human form, appears in a human body.

Some teach that Jesus Christ is a created being. But, if He is a created being, He did not literally become the Son of God, by being born of God, 2,000 years ago.

Then there are those who believe and teach that Jesus Christ existed before He was born of God. In other words, an incarnation took place and the preexistent Jesus Christ, or Spokesman, was born of Mary, appearing in human form.

But, if Jesus Christ already existed and appeared only by an incarnation, then He did not literally become the Son of God, by being born of God, 2,000 years ago.

That leaves us with only one conclusion. That is that the living God, Jehovah Elohim, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, reproduced Himself, through His Word, 2,000 years ago by an act of procreation when He had a son whom He named Jesus.

The God of the Old Testament became God the Father, and the Word (of God) became the Son of God, and these two God beings now constitute the God family.

God said we would know the spiritual; we would know Him by the things He created.

God created the process of procreation within Adam and Eve. No human being would ever say that his child existed before it was born. Only those who believe in incarnation and reincarnation believe and teach that a being or person existed before that being or person was born.

That brings us back to the question: "But who do you say that I am?" Only you can and must, sooner or later, answer that question.

Bob Schmid

Westminster, Calif.

I am my own grandpa

Bob Schmid, writing in The Journal (Jan. 31, "God Is Not One or the Other," page 2), posits that God Almighty is neither a biblically singular being, as in true monotheism, nor is He dual, as in two separate entities.

Since the standard common-usage definition of polytheism is the worship and support of two or more gods, the two-separate-entities model represents pure polytheism, and polytheism is an abomination to the only true God of Jesus Christ (John 17:3).

Those who support the two-god model are, by definition, practicing polytheism. This can hardly be denied.

As in Trinitarianism, however, the supporters of "polybinitarianism" (a term we coined at Christ Fellowship Ministries to describe the peculiar Church of God two-gods-plus-millions-of-human-gods-later model) insist that their worship model of two gods, plus their support of millions of latter-day human gods, somehow represents biblical monotheism, or one God.

The logic of such a position escapes me, while the reason they profess this doctrine does not.

Mr. Schmid suggests that both positions he mentioned, one God and two gods, miss the mark, as it were, and, further, he believes he has the "correct biblical model."

The gist of his position seems to be that, from time in eternity past to the birth of Christ, only one God being was in existence. Because of the birth of the Messiah and from then on, Mr. Schmid offers, God became two separate beings, a Father God and a Son God.

In his letter Mr. Schmid consistently capitalizes God. By so doing he tells us these two beings are divine, or, as others have stated, they are "God as God is God."

Mr. Schmid concludes that "God was one, He became two, and He will be many." However, he contradicts himself and confuses his presentation in an attempt to present the "correct biblical model," which model I suggest is neither correct nor biblical.

He states that the "relationship between God and His Word" (we are to assume this is the Messiah) was exactly the same from eternity past all the way to the birth of Christ even as the relationship is now between God and the Son, whom he calls "God the Son."

If this is true, then, because the current relationship is father to son (or God to God!), the newborn baby preexisted himself and his birth as a son in some fashion and was, in all past eternity, a son to the Father.

According to Mr. Schmid's assessment, the father-to-son relationship never changed from before the birth of Christ to after the birth of Christ. This means that, rather than God existing as a single being before the birth of Christ, as Mr. Schmid writes in one place, he now claims God existed as two beings, one called the Father and the other called the "Son" in his "biblical model."

So which is it? Did God exist as one singular entity in Old Testament times or not?

I see the problem. It is difficult to make the case that the "Son of God" is also "God," but folks try it all the time and wind up confusing themselves and the issue. The logic they use turns out to be hauntingly similar to the Trinitarian model. It reminds me of the old country tune "I Am My Own Grandpa" ("It sounds funny I know, but it really is so: I am my own grandpa").

I suggest that Yahweh, the Lord God, did indeed exist as one singular entity before the birth of Christ, the Lord Messiah, and further that Yahweh, the Lord God, continues to exist as one singular being. The Messiah cannot be "God" unless someone redefines the word God away from Yahweh's singularity.

Yet, not only is God constantly being redefined into a mushrooming pantheon of millions of separate and little "God" beings, the terms monotheism and polytheism are being redefined, all for the sake of church tradition.

Once you redefine God, expansion into Greco-Roman polytheism is inevitable. Those who ardently support the poly-binitarian cause suggest that, because the Hebrew elohim has various meanings, then God can therefore apply to millions or billions of future humans turned into "God beings," beings of the "God kind," a new species.

However, in their rush to God status and power, polybinitarian proponents generally utilize the capitalized "God" (supreme divinity) definition of elohim and, to my knowledge, seldom use the lowercase god definitions, such as "judges, angels, magistrates" or "mighty ones," in speaking of themselves becoming "God beings."

If they were to correctly suggest, "We will become magistrates and judges as magistrates and judges are magistrates and judges," and forget trying to usurp the power and prestige of the singular God, most arguments in this area would cease.

If they would come clean, if they would stop redefining common-usage words like polytheism, and if they would simply stop denying and admit their polytheistic stance up front and quit hiding it, we could get on about the business of clarifying the issues and deciding whether their brand of polytheism is the correct biblical worship model.

Until then, the arguments will continue.

F. Paul Haney

Watertown, Conn.

Sing a new song

The Jan. 31 issue of The Journal, on page 22, contains a paid advertisement titled "What Can We Learn From a Church Group's Selection of Hymns?"

After its criticism of the Church of God practice of distancing itself from the Protestant practice of having a significant portion of songs addressed to Jesus, the ad states: "Of the 114 special songs by Dwight Armstrong appearing in the 1974 [Worldwide Church of God] Hymnal, how many do you think contain the name Christ or Jesus? . . . Would you be surprised to learn that, of all 114 songs, not one contains the name of our Savior?"

Two points are glossed over here. The first is that in the entire Bible there are no songs, hymns or psalms that mention the name Jesus, thus I wonder if this ad is intended as a criticism of the Bible.

The second is that three of the songs Dwight Armstrong wrote, which are in the 1974 edition of The Bible Hymnal (otherwise referred to in this letter as the hymnal), do contain the term "Christ" (see pages 54, 120 and 121).

The ad asks: "How can a church be doing the work of God (according to John 6:29) if its very own 114 specially written hymns, hymns which are supposedly 'more scriptural' than the ones used by others, do not even contain the name Jesus Christ?"

The author may wish to ask God why none of the psalmists, who wrote 150 psalms, were inspired to use the term "Jesus Christ." Until that happens I suggest that the fact that "Jesus Christ" is a Greek name and the psalms were written in Hebrew would be one factor.

Another is that the songs in the old WCG hymnal (which we in our Living Church of God video group sing each week) are more directly biblical than any hymnal from any other church I have ever seen.

The ad: "What should be the focus and center of a Bible-led, Christian church?"

The obvious answer is that the Bible, the Word of God, should. So (as suggested by my son Michael) let's look at all the scriptures in the New Testament (NKJV) that use the term sing:

o ". . . I will confess to You among the Gentiles, and sing to Your name" (Romans 15:9).

In this quote from 2 Samuel 22:50, note that Paul states that gentiles are to sing to God. He does not mention Jesus' name.

o "I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding" (1 Corinthians 14:15). Again no mention of Jesus. The latter half of this scripture is a quote from Psalm 47:7.

o ". . . In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You" (Hebrews 2:12). This is a quote from Paul of Psalm 22:22; it also does not mention Jesus' name.

o "Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms" (James 5:13). Psalms are what about 90 percent of the songs in the 1974 WCG hymnal are based on.

o "They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: 'Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! . . .'" (Revelation 15:3-4).

Note that "Jesus Christ" is not mentioned in this particular song, and the "song of Moses" is believed to be from Exodus 15. Also note that one song from Mr. Armstrong (on page 116 in the 1974 hymnal) is based on Exodus 15.

Who did Paul and Silas sing to? Acts 16:25 states that "Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God."

Colossians 3:16 does mention the term "Christ" and singing in the same verse (and is the only place in the Bible where that occurs):

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

Note that this verse does not indicate that it is necessary to sing the term "Christ."

Acts 13:33 is the only verse in the Bible that mentions both "Jesus" and "Psalm," but they are two separate statements, neither of which suggests using the term "Jesus" in any psalm.

Several other New Testament scriptures also mention songs, psalms or hymns (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Luke 20:42; 24:44; Acts 13:35; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Ephesians 5:19; Revelation 5:9; 14:3; 15:3), but none of them mentions "Jesus" or "Christ" or "Jesus Christ."

After complaining, the ad speculates: "Do we dare speculate? Could Herbert Armstrong's WWCG have been doomed from the beginning?"

The ad implies the WCG was doomed from the beginning because its hymnal did not use "Jesus Christ" in any of its songs.

The response to that speculative question is that, no, this did not doom the WCG. If that speculation were fact, then the Bible would also have been doomed from the beginning since it does not say "Jesus Christ" in any song.

The ad concludes: "Give the only name under heaven whereby we must be saved more focus in worship services by singing most, not necessarily all, of the hymns about our Rock and Savior, Jesus the Christ."

The unnamed author of this ad is entitled to an opinion. But it is an opinion and not a particularly biblically defensible one (perhaps it should be added that the term "Rock" is applied to God or the Lord in the hymnal on pages 24, 49, 50, 53, 72 and 117).

In this letter I think I have directly quoted or referred to every scripture in the NKJV New Testament that mentions sing, singing, song, songs, psalm, psalms, hymn or hymns. None uses the term Jesus Christ.

Though it is also true that the Bible does not prohibit the use of these terms in songs, they are clearly not the emphasis of any songs in the Bible.

Perhaps God did not inspire songs to be written to or about the name of Jesus Christ because He wanted the focus of the true Church of God to be on the main messages of the Bible (such as Christ's gospel of the Kingdom) and not the person of Jesus. That is what the true Church of God tries to do.

Robert J. Thiel

Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Right and wrong

Many brethren remain attached in some way to the teachings of Herbert Armstrong. Here's my position.

I believe Mr. Armstrong was used by God despite character flaws evident from available records. How he will be judged is not my responsibility.

Much of what he "discovered," however, was derived from other sources. I think he did have a genius for packaging it and presenting it to the church.

Some of what he taught stands up to scrutiny; some needed adjustment; some was wrong.

It is claimed by some Churches of God that he was directly inspired by God and probably the only one so inspired in our day. Truth, therefore, is a closed book.

Yet HWA changed his teachings from time to time--so which of his eras was inspired?

My view is that there are no inspired apostles today. We get our inspiration from careful and prayerful study of--and submission to--the inspired Scriptures. So we sometimes get it right, sometimes wrong. As Mr. Armstrong did.

James McBride

Lincoln, England

Let no man take your crown

No person can take away our eternal life. But he can take away our chance to be in the first resurrection (see Matthew 23:13).

We are in a dangerous time for God's people; we are in a time that fulfills 2 Timothy 4:3-4:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

God requires His people to study the Bible to show themselves approved unto Him. We are not in the Philadelphian era. We are in the beginning of the Laodicean era. There is different knowledge and a different reward in a different era. We go into God's Kingdom only on God's terms.

God's church will be united in faith and knowledge. Unity in lack of knowledge is not godly unity.

Jim and Peta McGinn


ADF's amazing record

As a longtime subscriber to The Journal, I have enjoyed reading your paper and garnered much truth that was not otherwise available. I'm sure I'm not alone in this observation.

It's unfortunate that church members who are not subscribers have missed many of the details that were unavailable elsewhere about the internal occurrences and workings of their own organizations. Such knowledge could have prevented much grief and consternation.

This letter is to bring your attention to another aspect of serious ongoing work that should be made known to your readers. I'm referring to the work of the Alliance Defense Fund, which trains competent attorneys to fight against many immoral practices before the courts of this nation.

Of impressive worth to your readers is the ADF's amazing record of success against the homosexual legal agenda.

Although I realize your page-1 banner proclaims "News of the Churches of God," The Journal often includes worthwhile information for the edification of your readers. I submit that informing your readers about the work of the ADF would make them aware that others are also involved in the preservation of our Christian heritage. They might even consider supporting the ADF in our fight for survival since I am unaware of any more effective organization involved in this most important area.

Contact the ADF at 15333 N. Pima Rd., Suite 165, Scottsdale, Ariz. 85260, U.S.A., or see on the Internet.

Ray Rousseau

East Freetown, Mass.

Law and grace

Regarding the article reprinted from The Pasadena Star-News ["WCG Leaders Comment on That Church's History and Status," The Journal, Jan. 31]:

The article, written by Marshall Allen, contained an extremely shocking statement that I had to reread. It said, "The final straw came in the last weeks of 1994, Dr. [Bernie] Schnippert said, when Joseph Tkach Sr., president of the church, gave sermons on obedience to the Old Testament law vs. accepting God's grace."

The statement immediately creates adversarial positions and suggests law cannot coexist with grace.

God's law of love is everything. We must love God and love our neighbor. If we are not obedient to the law to love our neighbor and love God, we continue directing our footsteps down the path to death.

No man who does not love his neighbor has eternal life dwelling in him. Jesus died so our past transgressions could be forgiven when we repent and choose to go down His strait and narrow path to life. His law is that light on the path.

Greg A. Jandrt

Schofield, Wis.

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