To The Daily Sun,
Thomas Lemay might be surprised to hear that some Christians have no problem with letting their children carve pumpkins and go trick-or-treating as long as the demonic and gruesome elements of Halloween are avoided. Perhaps he would also be surprised to learn that the charges that he makes against Christianity cannot withstand scrutiny. While he denounces the Old Testament accounts of Israel's holy war against the Canaanites as "mass killings," the Bible itself presents them as instances of divine judgment. God used Israel as his instrument to bring judgment upon the Canaanites for their wickedness (see Gen. 15:16). Of course, the Israelites were not without their own sin, but God chose to extend his undeserved mercy to them.
Mr. Lemay is correct to point out that professing Christians have committed many acts of evil across the centuries, including the Crusades (though Muslims certainly had role in that too), the African slave trade, and the recent clergy sex abuse scandals. However, Mr. Lemay fails to reckon with the fact that the Bible does not condone any of these things but explicitly condemns them.
The Crusades were in direct violation of the New Testament's teaching that the kingdom of God does not advance by the power of the sword but through the proclamation of the gospel (see 2 Cor. 10:4). And while it is true that slavery itself is not explicitly condemned in Scripture, human trafficking (the basis of the African slave trade) certainly is (see 1 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 18:13). It should also be noted that slavery in the ancient world was a significantly different institution than slavery in America and that the eventual abolition of slavery was largely due to the influence of Christianity.
It is certainly true that professing Christians commit sin, but this does not disprove Christianity. It actually confirms what the Bible says about the ruin that sin has brought into the world. Sin's corrupting power is even present in the lives of the redeemed and in the church. That being said, anyone who accuses Christianity of being a source of great evil in the world needs to reckon with the amount of blood that was shed by atheist regimes in the 20th century.
Mr. Lemay says that he tries to live a "moral" life, but how does he distinguish between what is moral and what is immoral? Where do human beings get their sense of morality? Moreover, why bother to be moral if there is not a just God who holds people accountable for their actions?
But if there is such a God, then we should be utterly amazed at what the Bible says to all who trust in Jesus Christ for their salvation: "he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:5–6)
Pastor Andy Wilson
Grace Presbyterian Church
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 11:12
To The Daily Sun,
Fall is almost over and winter is fast approaching with that in mind we would like to be able to tell you a little bit about the Inter-Lakes Christmas Fund. The "Santa Fund" Fund started in the late 1970s when Jan Adams R.N. became the School Nurse in Meredith and started organizing a grass-roots effort to help provide Christmas for the children in the school system. The group was comprised of American Legion, Police Department, and the Elementary Health Department. The group turned to the community at-large to join this effort, and so the ILCF grew and prospered. Last year we were able to supplement Christmas for more 200 children with clothing, boots, jackets, toys and food baskets. We also were able to help 35 of the elderly in our community with baskets and gift cards.
This year, more than ever, we need your continued support. We anticipate the number to be greater this year, and because of this we have limited the number of items per child and have discontinued providing food baskets. We are working with the Meredith Food Pantry and urge everyone who can to make a contribution to the Meredith Food Pantry to help defray the increased demands.
Please check out our web site at www.interlakeschristmasfund.com or contact us at 603-937-0301 and/or you may send your donations (tax exempt) to Inter-Lakes Christmas Fund, P.O. Box 1516, Meredith, NH 03253. Our children will thank you.
Nancy Howe, President
Bart Merrill, Alesia Parks, Jodi Pendexter, Sandy Ambrose, Teresa McCormack, Wendy Bagley, Charleen Hughes, Jan Joslin, Lori Harding-Chiefe, Bronwen Donnelly
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 11:07
To The Daily Sun,
In a recent letter to The Sun, Bishop Paul Blake was perhaps a bit extreme in his condemnation of Halloween because it was a "pagan" holiday. He is correct of course, but it eventually became Christianized as "All Hallows Eve," the evening before the Christian feast of All Saints Day. The day after is All Souls Day (the "Day of the Dead" in many Latin cultures) when people honor the memory of those who have departed. What is wrong with that?
If Bishop Blake studied the history of the Christian Church, he would find that celebrating Christian festivals on pre-Christian holidays is not at all uncommon. This has been happening since the church's earliest centuries.
For example, no one knows when Jesus was born, but chances are it was not on Dec. 25. There is nothing wrong with celebrating his birthday on a different day than the actual date because that is not uncommon either when one does not know the date. Or perhaps that date is more appropriate because it fits in with so many winter celebrations.
For instance, I think the Queen's Birthday in the United Kingdom is celebrated on a different day than the actual date so the weather is better for a national holiday. For that matter, we do not know the exact date of the first Thanksgiving, but we do know that the Pilgrims probably did not eat turkey.
The Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus occurs at the Winter Solstice, an event celebrated by many cultures. It holds a lot of symbolism. That symbolism may vary from culture to culture. It celebrates the darkest time of the year after which it can only get lighter. Or, it can honor a savior-warrior-king, born in winter, who will rise to save his people in the spring time. The use of evergreen trees, symbolizing the continuation of life in the dead of winter, comes from pre-Christian Germanic practices. Santa, who is actually based on a Christian saint, represents unselfish giving from one's heart. I do not see the conflict. It all resonates with me.
Then, there is the holiest of Christian holidays, Easter, which actually bears the (somewhat mangled) name of a pagan fertility goddess. I have read the New Testament carefully, including all four Gospels (and the Gospels that were not allowed in the New Testament), and find no reference to bunny rabbits and hunting for eggs. Again, I fail to see the problem.
E. Scott Cracraft
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 11:03
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to thank the residents of Laconia, New Hampton, and Sanbornton for electing me District 1 County Commissioner. I am honored to be entrusted with this position. I would like to thank my family for their support. I would also like to thank all the people who displayed my sign in their yards and held signs for me on Election Day.
Finally, I would like to thank my opponent, Dave Pollak. I have had many good conversations with him and consider him a friend.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:58
To The Daily Sun,
Apparently there is confusion about why "the party of NO" overwhelmingly won the November election. This election, as he said, was a referendum on the liberal/progressive policies that President Obama has been implementing. If the voters wanted President Obama's policies to be implemented, they would have elected more Democrats.
The voters' mandate is to stop President Obama's policies. If "getting something done" means compromising or helping to enact President Obama's policies, the voters don't want it. President Obama's policies are hurting our country and making most Americans poorer and less free.
The voters want Republicans to stop/repeal Obamacare, stop amnesty for illegals, close the border, protect Americans from sick and criminal immigrants, stop Obama's policies that make the rich richer but most Americans poorer, stop Obama's war on religion, American values, and the unity of the American people, stop destroying our children's futures, stop Obama's assault on American citizens' rights, etc.
Democrats and their media supporters created the best marketing phrase for the 2014 election when they called Republicans "the party of NO." The American people want NO more of President Obama's policies. Those liberal/progressive policies hurt our country and most Americans.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:46