Originally created 07/30/05

Grow spiritually by examination

Frank Hutto's July 21 letter, "Christians must grow the right way," is a study in self-contradiction.

He begins with a familiar refrain, faulting Christians for consuming the same media as "the general public" (for brevity, I won't comment on Mr. Hutto's apparent belief that American Christians are a fringe minority oppressed by "the general public.")

Mr. Hutto then takes a U-turn, exhorting Christians to, by the order of the Apostle Paul, "carefully examine things to keep the good and junk the bad." He goes on to say that Christians should withhold respect for any given medium until we've "judged whether it's respectable."

Paul's words and Mr. Hutto's words conflict. How can we judge whether something is respectable if we don't take it in? How can we "carefully examine" a book or a movie without reading it or watching it?

Mr. Hutto would have us judge anything secular as unclean without viewing it - the mirror image of accepting everything without discretion. While it might cause you to see less of "what God hates," it's in conflict with Paul, who understood that if we shut our eyes so we never see evil, we end up blind to good.

Mr. Hutto says we should "turn to God and the Bible" instead of "seeking spiritual meaning from secular stuff." This narrow view seeks to imprison God within the pages of a book. If we hold the Bible in highest esteem, as Mr. Hutto apparently does, we must take its words as truth. And the words of the Bible indicate that God dwells in all creation, even the pits of hell.

Mr. Hutto is correct that "Christians must be careful how they grow." But the only growth of true value is one that sees what this world has to offer and still chooses to seek God, not one that defaults to the church because of sheltered isolation.

Will Sansbury, Augusta

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