In the March 2006 issue there was an article by Darren Vink entitled “Stewardship and Money: Giving God’s Way.” It gave the saddening statistics that the average donation that adult Christians give to the church is less than 10%, the standard tithe given in the Old Testament. It said in the article that giving to the church is the best thing that we can do with our money. Here in America God has blessed us with so much that the least we can do is give back to him what is already his. It may seem like we have so many debts to pay and things to buy that it would hurt us too much to give our money to the church. But I firmly believe that if you give back to God he will provide for you. Thank you for this article, it reminded me that it is not only important to give, but to give for the right reasons and have the right attitude.
Shannon Haan (Lansing, Illinois)
Dear Mr. Huizenga,
I enjoyed reading your editorial, “Church Candy Challenge.” Although this may be true for some people, I doubt that candy can cause such a distraction in church. I have not experienced this in my church. More distracting is when parents have to take their crying children out of church, or parents do not keep a tight reign on their children and can actually have a positive effect, keeping the restless children from distracting others and giving their mouths something to do, rather than chat constantly throughout the service with their siblings.
Dear Mr. Sikma,
Whether or not we agree whole heartedly with some of the details regarding various distractions during the worship service, I think we are both describing the symptoms of a deeper problem: taking good heed to the Word of God. I suppose that the worship service is a time when the devil works quite hard to do what he can to prevent the light of God’s word from reaching our hearts and minds. I realize that each church is unique and everyone is distracted by different things, but I decided to address this issue from the candy perspective and not misbehaving children to avoid the danger of minimizing the importance of children in church. I believe that God works even in the hearts of small children through the means of the preaching even if they are able to grasp very little of it. I did not want to come across like the disciples when they thought that the little children were too distracting and insignificant for the great work of Jesus.
I am sure there is a wide range of opinions regarding what is acceptable behavior, what age is appropriate, and how parents should deal with their children. As fellow members of the body of Christ, I believe most conflicts between those who are very irritated with the distractions that children can cause and the parents of those children, could be resolved with some prayer for humility, understanding, and guidance before a talk with the parents of distracting children. “And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:15-16)
By reading The Church, the Pillar and the Ground of Truth by Rev. Stewart, it opened my eyes to the possibility of churches who might not uphold God’s truth. Many Christians believe that their church preaches the truth. Even within the same denominations, churches argue about how to interpret God’s word. Isn’t it possible that all these churches, although they interpret Scripture slightly different, all uphold the truth? Are those churches then considered false for different interpretations? This article made me think and brought these questions to mind. I wanted to thank Rev. Stewart for challenging the churches and the community to help preachers teach the truth.
The article written by Deane Wassink on page nine was both informative and uplifting. Today there are so many different scientists and people trying to say that there is no God and that the world was created by some kind of bang or by chance. We as Christians know that this is wrong and that God is the creator of everything. I had never heard of Fibonacci before and now that I’ve read about it, it’s very interesting. I think that it’s awesome the way that God created everything perfectly and in such a unique order. When we take the time to look at a flower or leaves or rocks, we can see God’s power and how he put so much detail into everything he created. God created so many beautiful things and I think that it was a good idea that Deane Wassink decided to write about that subject and try to show and remind people about how powerful and awesome God really is.
Steph Dykstra (Munster, Indiana)