Earlier this week NARLA (the religious liberty arm of the SDA church) posted a piece about Benedict XVI and his latest encylical, "Veritas in Caritate" (Charity in Truth). I read it regularly but this time I clicked on the box that would allow me to see what others have written. It has been interesting.
While the response is not overwhelming (itself an underwhelming commentary on Adventist awareness/interest) there have been about twenty messesages a day from NARLA, and I have read each and every one.
My response? I am both encouraged and discouraged. Encouragement comes from those messages that echo a longing for Christ's return. Others encourage us to stay close to Christ and do more for Him in spreading the Gospel. Discouragement comes from reading (men, in every case) the cynical, skeptical comments about Adventists getting excited, again, about some bit of news that raises hopes Christ's return.
Here is my response; if you (speaking editorially and not personally) are not excited about the Christ and are not daily looking forward to His appearing; searching the sky (so to speak) for that small dark cloud, then what are you doing here? Why not take the stench of cynicism and skepticism out of the pew, out of the church, and pour your attitude back into the cup of its source.
Do not misunderstand! I do not wish even one soul to forsake Christ and leave His fellowship nor body of believers. Christ died for cynics and skeptics as well as saints. We in the church drink from a common cup of fellowship and the waters in the cup should be stirred with love rather than the acid of bitterness.
Some among us style ourselves as intellectuals whose job it is to question everything, look askance at everyone, and accept nothing Prima Facie (literally, "from first face.")
Regarding the attitudes of some of the men who wrote, consider these points; 1). the Bible suggests that it was mostly women who supported Christ both financially and relationally; 2). it was the men who betrayed, criticised, niggled, balked, rejected, and killed Him. (This may or may not be significant); 3). It was a woman that broke the news of His resurrection to mostly disbelieving disciples; 4). 60 years ago in my home church (Tacoma), in our circle the women went to church while their husbands stayed home...that is until they had their heart attack and realised a sudden need for God.
Women in Christ, keep up the good work for God and don't give up on us hard-headed, hard-hearted men.
God bless. e.c.