We always appreciate hearing from our readers. In the future, we would like to encourage readers to respond in the comment boxes after the articles. But you may also send us letters via e-mail at email@example.com, and through the mail: CHRISTIAN STANDARD, 16965 Pine Lane, Suite 202, Parker, CO 80134. We look forward to reading your comments!
‘There Is, for Me, Disappointment’
Three issues have come across my desk since I subscribed to the “new” Standard in July or August. Mike [Mack], you are doing a good job with the publication and I want you to know that.
Here are a few thoughts I’d like to share.
1. The Standard’s new look and feel must be commended. The layout is clean and sharp. My old eyes have a bit of trouble with pages of reverse print, but I enjoy the design, printing, and excellent paper used in each issue.
2. Each article encourages and motivates readers to greater service. It is easy to learn from the successes and occasional failures of others. It is enjoyable reading about the innovation of leadership of God’s servants in a variety of circumstances. Thanks for the issue on rural churches and the recognition approaches in urban areas do not always work in smaller areas.
Still there is, for me, disappointment. For generations the Standard met not only practical needs, but held a strong position for biblical truth. In the issues I’ve read, there has not been one article exposing or teaching Scripture. Well, perhaps you could count the Communion thoughts!
The Christian Standard has a legacy of standing firm on biblical issues. I think of the many articles I read over the years exposing biblical truth for all to see. I think of J.W. McGarvey’s controversial columns which served to protect believers from destructive liberal criticism. In the past, the Standard did not shy away from issues deemed controversial. Instead, it provided a forum for open discussion. For example, during the controversy over an inerrant Scripture, I relished John Greenlee’s pungent articles even though I often disagreed. Those articles led to personal exchanges with him, but I came out of those written discussions appreciating his personal humor and candor.
I know today’s attitude is to avoid controversy, but there is no extant brotherhood publication discussing biblical truth. Christian Standard, as good as it is, has become Leadership Journal.
Thanks for listening,
Sun City, AZ
Not the First or Only Christian Church in Maine
I read the article on Eastpoint Christian Church of Portland, Maine, in your August 2017 issue [“Flying Higher: The Eastpoint Story”]. The article states that there was no Restoration Movement church in Maine until Eastpoint started there 13 years ago. I want to let you know that there have been other churches from the Restoration heritage in Maine since the 1970s. One or two have come and gone, but two of them are still meeting, including East Fryeburg Church of Christ and also a church in Standish.
Congratulations on your new look for Christian Standard, and for the articles and information.
‘The First Issue Was a Winner!
Wow! The first issue of the new Christian Standard [July 2017] was a winner! The format was attractive and contemporary, and I appreciated the emphasis on the Restoration Movement. And, I have some Wayne Smith stories.
I have had an interest in Standard Publishing Company and the Christian Standard for many years. In the early days of my ministry I served the White Oak Christian Church in Cincinnati and had frequent contact with the Christian Standard editors. Burris Butler, who served as Christian Standard editor and later as publisher of Standard Publishing company, was something of a mentor to me. I also had significant contact with Edwin Hayden during his years as editor. In fact, I invited Edwin to speak at my installation service when I moved to First Christian, Canton.
In the earlier days of my ministry I wrote quite a bit for Standard. After moving to First Christian, Canton, I served on the Standard Publishing Committee for more than 20 years.
I hope that you can increase the circulation. I still view the Christian Standard as an important influence in our brotherhood.
—Richard Crabtree, executive director
South Pacific Christian Fellowship
‘Congratulations on a Great Start to a New Era’
Jerry, Michael and Staff — THANK YOU for the recent issue of the Christian Standard (July 2017)! I appreciated the positive articles on the Restoration Movement and its unique plea by Ben Merold and Jeff Faull; for the practical articles that speak to church leaders about reaching millennials and the opportunities in rural ministry; and for the biblical insights on Joseph by Ken Idleman. Barry Cameron’s article on Wayne Smith rekindled fond memories of Wayne’s one-of-a-kind preaching style and personable nature.
Churches Must ‘Stand Up and Speak Out’
Matt Proctor, David A. Fiensy, and Rubel Shelly have written exceptional messages [in the October 2016 edition] on how they believe and I truly hope that many people have read each one.
There is no separation of church and state within the Constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” by Thomas Jefferson. This means, per David Barton and the Wall Builders (see www.wallbuilders.com), that this was to limit the power of the federal government in regard to religion so that it would ensure that we had freedom of religion within the U.S. I am so tired that the churches feel encroached upon and refuse to teach from the pulpit what is right and wrong in our country.
‘They Have Decided to Skip the Father’
As an admitted 70-year-old, I miss the encouraging traditional church hymns that have been replaced with worshipful type songs. Most of these songs worship Jesus by name and rarely mention God the Father, and offer no encouragement to the struggling Christian. God wants our personal worship way more than corporate worship. The church should seek to disciple and encourage the people so each one will worship God all week.
While the new worship style is not “Jesus only,” it is “Jesus mostly.” They have decided to skip the Father and just call God Jesus. This is a serious reversal from just 50 years ago. I wonder what God thinks of that? These same churches often skip Sunday school, causing the congregation to stop reading Scripture on their own. I fear the people are becoming “seed sown on rocky soil” when trouble comes.
Let us seek God’s guidance!
Enjoys Schantz’s Articles
I especially appreciated the two articles by Daniel Schantz in the December 2014 issue of CHRISTIAN STANDARD. [Editor’s note: The articles were “What to Give the Person Who Has Everything” and “The Agony and the Honor.”)
I’ve been a fan of Schantz’s writing since I first met him the late 1960s. He was teaching at Central Christian College and I was coaching the basketball team at Manhattan Christian College. His article in the March issue (“To My Brave, Upstanding Trees”) was excellent also.
The new-look STANDARD is better than ever, and I have enjoyed them for more than 50 years.
I preached in Christian churches for more than 35 years, mostly in the Kansas City area.
In October I retired after spending the last 11 years as minister of visitation in a large church in Heber Springs, Arkansas.
Keep up the good work.
Heber Springs, AK
What About Sex Trafficking?
Why was sex trafficking not addressed in the February 2015 issue of CHRISTIAN STANDARD (“The Sex Issue)? Shared Hope International gives Ohio and Indiana grades of C in the area of sex trafficking. Kentucky is given a grade of B. Bobby Jindal’s state of Louisiana has moved from a grade of C in 2011 to an A in 2014. Perhaps, because CHRISTIAN STANDARD has its offices in Cincinnati (where the states of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana meet), we need to talk with Jindal or the Rapha House Mission on solutions to the problem and ways to assist the victims.
My opinion, from one considered these days as an “ager” Sunday School teacher, I think you missed a golden opportunity. Could this be why “nones” are not attending church . . . because believers don’t really and consistently want to honestly address the social issues of today’s sex-saturated culture?
—Douglas F. Carter
‘Increasing Pressure of the Feminist Movement’
I am quite sure (and hope) you have received many letters of disappointment regarding the “40 Leaders Under 40” edition of Christian Standard (from July 2013). Now two months later, after further Bible study, research, discussion, and prayer, I feel compelled to write to you for the first time. I strongly disagree with the ever-increasing pressure of the feminist movement creeping—no, boldly infiltrating—into the Restoration, New Testament churches. At what point in time has Standard Publishing accepted women as pastors? For that matter, when did it accept of the title “pastor” for those in ministry? Pastor, a shepherd, is another name for elder. Women are not qualified to be elders. Titus 1:6: “If any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife . . .” (New American Standard Bible, author’s emphasis).
I have heard many so-called “better interpretations” of 1 Timothy 2:12 (“But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet”), but the context of the preceding verse, “A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness” (v. 11), and proceeding verses provide explanation for why this command is given.
The one thing I hear most often when counseling those who want to implement their desires instead of following God’s way is the word BUT. A couple of examples are, “I know, see, and read what it says in the Bible, BUT . . .” and then their opinion overrules God’s Word. Another, “I know the Bible says my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, BUT it is my body, and I’ll do whatever I want to do with it.”
The same BUT argument is also used in the feminist movement! Again I am told, “I can read what 1 Timothy 2:12 says, BUT that doesn’t apply today. Times and society have changed; things are different now.
Well, the apostle Paul uses the word but too! The difference is—his words are by inspiration. The reasoning behind 1 Timothy 2:12 can be found in the three verses that follow (vv. 13-15): “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived,fell into transgression. But women will bepreserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”
There is no mistaking the gender, as men do not bear children.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). On this basis of inspired truth, I cannot see where any man or woman has the authority to make changes or insert their opinion.
God wants his instructions followed precisely. I’m reminded of the event where the ark of the Lord was being moved. “Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it,” innocently enough—so it would seem. However Uzzah was not authorized to touch the ark no matter the reason, and “God struck him down” (2 Samuel 6:6, 7). For the same reason, women are not authorized to teach or exercise authority over a man (see 1 Timothy 2:12). Seems very clear to me that God is serious about what he wants and what he will or will not accept. “Let God be true, though every man be found a liar” (Romans 3:4).
I have confidently used Standard Publishing study material for decades. July’s issue of the Christian Standard causes me to seriously rethink it as truly being a publication “devoted to the restoration of the New Testament.”
—William Hesse Sr.
Leadership Unhappy with Article
The leadership at the church I serve is upset about the “What’s Next?” article by Brian Mavis entitled “Women Preaching” in the April issue. We are no longer subscribing to the STANDARD and are not putting it in the foyer for people to take home. My personal take is that we need to consider the words of 1 Timothy 2 as more than cultural. However, it saddens me that we no longer take the STANDARD.