Post: Readers Respond

Dear Phil and Pietist friends,

As usual, I got the Summer issue and read it from cover to cover the same day it arrived...talk about being compulsive, or is it that I find such incredible wisdom on its pages that I can't wait to dive in?

I live just two blocks from the shores of Lake Michigan where I walk often to enjoy the sunsets and the serenity of the washing surf. Don Johnson’s article reminded me of many years’ experiences around water, ranging from large Naval vessels to small canoes on the boundary waters of northern Minnesota. Indeed, the waters "buoy" one’s spirit!

The extreme creativity of having Elder Lindahl interview Carl Olaf Rosenius was so refreshing. This article would be well served by being on the must reading list of all Confirmation students and mem-bers of Covenant church inquirer classes.

Finally, the brief announcement of the passing of Dr. Paul Sebestyen triggered many happy moments of conversation with Paul, beginning as one of his students in the mid-’60s, and all through the passing years since then. He was a true treasure of the faith and a dear friend.

As is often stated, "Keep up the good work!" I am deeply thankful to be a pietist who subscribes to Pietisten and shares you and it as friends.

Peace and Joy to you all, Paul Bengtson, Menominee, Michigan.

It is Friday afternoon, November 12, and I have just begun reading the latest Pietisten. I started with the "Commemoration of Kaj Munk" and have interrupted my reading to fill out the renewal form realizing again how much I appreciate the warmly inspirational material in this fine magazine. May God bless you and your colleagues. John Nyberg, Shoreview, Minnesota.

Glad to be back in sunny California again. Also to be back in the Covenant sheepfold. Dwight E. Elving, Turlock, California.

Rack-em up for another six issues of symphonic prose (AKA Pietisten). We expect this booster level subscription to come with all the rights and privileges that its name bears. Hans Erik and Stephanie Blomgren, Seattle, Washington.

Thanks for your continuing efforts. I thoroughly enjoy each issue, even the Chris Craft insets. Charlie Anderson, Olympia, Washington.

We’re grateful for the lifting up of the pilgrim way and the invitation to "gather around a warm campfire on a cold winter’s night." Grace and Peace! Peter and Bonnie Hawkinson, Richfield, Minnesota.

Summer Pietisten, great, as is mainly the case; loved it! Except something here, this about the "Leave Me Alone" Erik Hawkinson fellow, he objects to the fish symbols all over the place, and WWJD (What would Jesus do?) bracelets, on earrings, mugs, shirts, bumper stickers—you name it. "What would Jesus do?" he asks, and then answers, "He would not do that."

Well, yo hoo, this liberty we have from the law, is it now to be bound by a new law, that says we are not to be this way or that way? As for Jesus not doing it, if it’s wrong, why didn’t He condemn the praise people when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, for doing it, when they shouted "Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the LORD!" for promoting the name of Jesus Christ as they did. Why did David say, "While I live, I will praise The LORD. I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being." Psalm 146:2.

Erik quotes Matt. 6:1, about advertising your religion: "Be careful practicing your religion in front of others to be seen by them." Matt. 6:1, is talking about alms, according to the KJV: "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." According to Matt 5:16, we are to "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Erik and Dennis Jones see eye-to-eye, because in Den’s last letter to me, he says, "Not only in Texas, but up here in God’s true heaven, churches are resorting to ‘bumper sticker’ slogans. All very cute, but is God amused? That, of course, assumes that He’s paying attention."

I say God’s for it, to promote and glorify that which is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. That’s why He gave us The Commandment to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature; praise, praise God in every good way, I say, by what He says to do; let Him be praised. That’s why how wonderful it is to see churches and symbolic crosses. And the fish symbol. And to ask the question, "What would Jesus Do?"

What would a woman thinking of abortion do if she asked that question? Jesus raised the dead to life; there is no question about what He would do: He would not kill the child.

What would a man thinking of murdering someone do if he thought of that question first? He would not commit that act, and he’d repent himself for thinking it. As for the rest of the Ten Commandments, thinking what Jesus would do first, you won’t go wrong.

On a church bulletin board here, it had a statement reading (from a movie I believe; ask Max): "You know that love your neighbor thing? I meant that. God."

What He says, He means, altho much of the world may make light of it; they are the ones who’ll be turned into fables, not what He says.

Believe me, the Jews of Nazi Germany would a hundred times more rather see the fish symbol and bracelets bearing the initials: WWJD, than Nazi insignias or what would replace what’s good, like the KKK, or the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU—that anti-Christ organization out to destroy the goodness and morality of this great, Christian nation, whom God has made great because of our worshipping Him, not the hand of man, or what man has wrought, because God made man and gave him his abilities to wrought with.

But to tell the truth, I’m more like Den and Erik and don’t advertise what I believe, except by way of letters. I wonder, tho, if Erik knows what he’s asking when he says, "If you really want to show people what you believe, show your religion through love and kindness and hard work for others, asking nothing in return—like Mother Teresa." I’d like to know: does he do this?

We should all watch Nazi horror films and get prepared for a world where it is forbidden to use the name of JESUS in it. Erik doesn’t know what he’s asking, nor does Den know what he’s saying when he assumes God’s not "paying attention." Ed Mampel, Kingsland, Texas.