Thomas oversimplified complex issue

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I appreciated the editorial in the July 25 paper, "Presumed guilty," which ended with the sentence: "When are we going to stop being so ready to believe the worst in each other?" I then was surprised to see in the Opinion section a column by Cal Thomas attacking the Episcopal Church and former President Carter.

The column assumed the worst in both a church and a former president. Mr. Thomas attacked the church and Mr. Carter for positions that are held to be liberal in that they support the rights of women and gays.

I know that good, faithful people interpret the Holy Scriptures in different ways, and I try not to prejudge others even when I disagree with their interpretations. History demonstrates that positions that were at one time accepted and defended by society and many Christian churches are now seen as immoral and are condemned by the civilized world. Two examples are slavery and child labor.

Only with time and the help of the Holy Spirit will we be able to determine which decisions are influenced by the Holy Spirit and illuminated by the Gospel light. A little less rhetoric combined with more self-restraint may help us see that we live in a complex world that is not as simple as Mr. Thomas' column portrays.

David Thompson

North Augusta

(The writer is rector of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in North Augusta.)

Comments (18) Add comment
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overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 07/30/09 - 05:33 am
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The Bible says there will be

The Bible says there will be many false prophets in the last days. That is more evident now than ever before. When you hear "Ministers" like Benny Hinn tell the people, while they are passing the bucket, "I don't need gold in Heaven, give it to me nowwwwww." - that just seems wrong to me and tells me what his "ministry" is all about.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 07/30/09 - 05:42 am
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When a local church passes

When a local church passes the bucket (not plate, BUCKET) for a "love offering" for Jesse Duplantis and then he gets up to the pulpit and half of his talk is that he makes no excuses for how rich he is and tells how he flaunts it and has a private jet and how he eats at the most expensive restaurants and tips extrordinarily it just seems wrong to me.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 07/30/09 - 05:44 am
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When these mega churches like

When these mega churches like those I mentioned and others like Rod Parsley are not transparent with their "ministry's" finances something is wrong.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 07/30/09 - 05:47 am
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Before you give to these

Before you give to these "ministries" go to http://www.ministrywatch.com/ and see if they are listed and if so whether they are transparent or what the deal is with them. There are some wonderful ministries that do extrordinary things and deserve people's support. There are others that are just taking your money.

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 07/30/09 - 05:53 am
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david where in scripture does

david where in scripture does it condone slavery as a positive thats not what paul was talking about and anyone who doesnt see a moral decay in our country because the church has lost its vision as a moral compass based on biblical priniples simply has his/her head in the sand

opiner
2
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opiner 07/30/09 - 07:18 am
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David Thompson, I guess we

David Thompson, I guess we all have to decide how we're going to read and understand the Bible. Obviously, the Episcopal Church has chosen a controversial path to follow.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 07/30/09 - 07:51 am
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David is advocating the

David is advocating the all-too-common approach of letting popular culture influence his beliefs. This is completely 180 degrees off: the Bible is meant to influence popular culture (i.e., be "salt and light" to a dark world), and never the reverse. The NT did away with the institution of slavery ("There is neither slave nor free."). However, absolute moral laws are absolute. The OT condemns homosexuality as an abomination to God. The NT confirms this very same condemnation. If David wants to try and reinterpret scripture in light of culture, then that's his right. But, he needs to leave the "church" and join a group like the Unitarian Universalists who allow modern culture and philosophy to set their beliefs, and not the Bible. Bottom line: Cal Thomas made it simple because it is a very simple issue in regards to the Bible. It is Mr. Thompson who is trying to complicate things by putting worldly culture and political correctness on the same level of authority as God's word.

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 07/30/09 - 07:51 am
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overburdened taxpayer, your 4

overburdened taxpayer, your 4 post says it all. We as children of God have lost our vision. We have gotten away from our first love, God. It's just sad that there are so many people taken in by these "Hollywood" Preachers who are nothing but false prophets. There are some tv evanglist that truly care about spreading the Word of God, but those are few and far between. May God give us wisdom to know the difference.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 07/30/09 - 08:07 am
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It is not an "attack" to

It is not an "attack" to point out someone's error. Again, more political correctness creeping in. The issue was about biblical truth. If someone or some organization is in conflict with the very truth that they purport to follow, then the error needs to be pointed out.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 07/30/09 - 08:53 am
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There's no racket like the

There's no racket like the rapture racket like no racket I Knnoooww!

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 07/30/09 - 09:20 am
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Reverend Thompson, you make
Unpublished

Reverend Thompson, you make some valid points. However, considering your church's position on gays, I have to ask where do you draw the line when it comes to morality? Who's rights will you support next...pedophiles? I know this will offend some libs here, but I can't defend this "alternative" lifestyle. It is just another perversion. As for defending Jimma Cahtuh, good luck with that bumbling incompetent. He has one bright spot on his horizon...Ooobama's mouth off regarding this case will help replace Carter as our worst president, and also after just one term. Of course, the race pimps like Fat Al Sharpton and Jumpin Jesse Jackson will scream with indignation when O is voted out of office, but what's new about that.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 07/30/09 - 09:36 am
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It's always a question of

It's always a question of absolutes, isn't it? Is there an absolute authority in the universe? More specifically here, is there an absolute authority / truth for the church to follow? If you claim to be a Christian Church (like the Episcopal does), then you'd better follow Christian teachings. Otherwise, you're not a Christian Church at all. Christian teaching clearly calls homosexuality a "sin". Full stop. No argument against that fact. Yes, you can love the homosexual and minister to them, but you can't discount the fact that God is squarely against that sinful lifestyle (not my words, but His). Any church that supports the ordination of homosexuals into church leadership positions is clearly not a Christian church. Jesus said that if you love Him, you'll obey Him. That means doing what His book plainly teaches regarding morality, regardless of what pop culture or politics say you "should" do.

mad_max
0
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mad_max 07/30/09 - 09:41 am
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You got that right dashiel.

You got that right dashiel. "There's no racket like the rapture racket".

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 07/30/09 - 09:50 am
0
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The "rapture" may well be a

The "rapture" may well be a racket. Sure sold a lot of "Left Behind" books. The Bible is not 100% clear about there being a rapture. Many scholars debate that issue. But, it's a very popular notion that people love to speculate about.

imdstuf
10
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imdstuf 07/30/09 - 10:16 am
0
0
Republicans do not equal

Republicans do not equal christians. When it comes to killing and war republicans lead the way.

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 07/30/09 - 10:42 am
0
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IMDSTUF, WW1, WW2, KOREAN,
Unpublished

IMDSTUF, WW1, WW2, KOREAN, VIETNAM...guess who was in charge during those wars. That's right, Dems. Want to try again?

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 07/30/09 - 10:46 am
0
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People don't need others

People don't need others interpreting the bible for them. All we need to do is read and study it. God will reveal the meaning to each of us as we, individually, can comprehend it.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 07/30/09 - 11:59 am
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Yes, when the Bible teaches a

Yes, when the Bible teaches a specific point very clearly and directly, and that teaching is consistent from Genesis through Revelation, there's no need for anyone to "interpret" or "prejudge" it. It's pretty black and white, and not up for debate. You can disagree with it -- that's your right -- but you can't deny that's the plain teaching. The greatest harm to Christianity has not come from the "outside" (like atheists; they've made little progress in 2000 years); those doing the most harm have been people who try to alter the clear and plain teaching to better suit a personal viewpoint or agenda. Such attempts to modify simple truths are a major reason why there are so many (and so confusing) denominations out there.

imdstuf
10
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imdstuf 07/31/09 - 12:12 am
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Southernguy, I never said

Southernguy, I never said Dems were perfect, but some of them were also idiots who got over paranoid about the world being taken over by the Soviet Union. Nixon kept Vietnam going well after it was lost to keep munition companies paid, just like Halliburtan. WWI and WWII were not schemes just to gain profits. Republicans are for the death penalty, not believing it is up to god to decide who lives and dies.

howcanweknow
2306
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howcanweknow 07/31/09 - 08:09 am
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IMD, you have the best

IMD, you have the best solution, at least on paper. In reality though, the problem with "leaving it up to God" is that murders don't do that. They kill other people without first consulting God. Taking an innocent life is the worst of crimes, and should be punished by the most severe penalty a society / gov't condones. In most states this capital punishment is the death penalty. So, I have no problem with justly convicted, cold-blooded murders receiving this capital sentence. They have forfeited their rights as citizens protected under the law by taking away someone's right to life. In a perfect world we would all just leave it up to God, and we'd have no problems. But this is far from a perfect world. Unfortunately, terrible things happen even to innocent people. Therefore, terrible penalties must also exist to punish and hopefully limit such things.

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