Category Archives: Editorials

God is on the Side of Healing

by Terry M. Smith

We know too well that we live in tough times.

Ancient times provide us with instructions about self-isolation, physical signs of warning and verbal calls of “Unclean! Unclean!” to warn the general public not to come near those who are ill, and of covering the mouth (Lev. 13:4-5, 45-46). The high priest would go to an isolated person before examining their physical condition (Lev. 14:3). People with leprosy called to Jesus from “far off” (Luke 17:12). May God protect our health care workers. Continue reading God is on the Side of Healing

Advent: A Promise of Light and Freedom  

by Terry M. Smith

God is at work in human history even if his ways are confusing—this is one lesson of Advent.

The prophet Isaiah said that God, who had made a covenant with Israel, was at work even though the nation had sinned and would enter exile. He who had created the heavens and earth, and gave breath to people, would bring forth his Servant: “My servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1-5). Continue reading Advent: A Promise of Light and Freedom  

The Spider Web of Scripture and Politics

by Terry M. Smith

A cartoon of years ago pictured a man seated in a pastor’s office. The pastor looked at him and said, “Give up your life of crime. Quit politics.” The Bible is the inspired Word of God; it is also a library of books written across many years in varied cultures, countries, and political contexts—which affects what political lessons we can take from it today. Continue reading The Spider Web of Scripture and Politics

When can a Rite be Wrong?

by Terry M. Smith

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Whereas, the Church of _____, is no longer to be used for acts of worship, And whereas the Church building and the land upon which it is erected is about to be/being sold; now, therefore, we, by Divine Permission . . . do declare that the Church of ____ , once duly dedicated and consecrated to the Divine worship of Almighty God, has by virtue of this our sentence, lost said dedication and consecration. (U. S. Anglican rite) Continue reading When can a Rite be Wrong?

A 1688 Protest Against Slavery with a ‘Mennonite-like Conscience’

by Terry M. Smith

On Feb. 18, 1688, four leaders in Germantown, Pennsylvania, signed a petition against slavery and sent it to “the Monthly Meeting at Richard Warrels.” Drawing upon the analysis of J. H. Fretz, the petition had at least seven overlapping arguments: 1) slavery violates the Great Commandment; 2) it violates people’s will by forcing them into slavery); 3) it can involve theft; 4) it separates spouses, causing them to commit adultery; 5) it harms the witness of Quakers by offending some people; 6) slaves had the right to freedom (even to fight for it); and 7) Christians do not have the liberty to enslave. Continue reading A 1688 Protest Against Slavery with a ‘Mennonite-like Conscience’