Readers write

May 25, 2011 | Viewpoints | Number 11

Stop ‘cherry picking’ the Bible

Re: “Bible teaches against women in ministry” letter, April 4, page 12.

Peter Rempel reminds us that the Bible teaches against women in ministry and references Paul’s letters to Timothy and the Corinthians as back-up.

Nice cherry picking by Rempel, but he is letting our women off the hook far too easily. There is a more pervasive problem that pertains to virtually all women attending worship in our modern churches: head/face coverings. The Apostle Paul clearly points out that it is shameful for a woman to enter worship without a veil. Yet we blithely ignore this unambiguous exhortation found in I Corinthians 11.

It doesn’t end there, of course. We gleefully pick passages to highlight, and ignore others as suits our pleasure. So let’s stop this cherry picking and start taking the Holy Scriptures seriously.

Now excuse me while I attend to an urgent matter that supersedes anything Paul has to say, in that it comes from none other than our Saviour. I’m referring to his command to anyone wishing to enter the kingdom of Heaven, to sell all that he owns and give the money to the poor.

Gord Willms, Waterloo, Ont.

Compassion unites, theology divides

I appreciated John Lapp’s article identifying factors that have made MCC work well (“What has made MCC work well?” April 18, page 6).

The last item on the list, “MCC is noteworthy as a church agency in using lay—non-ordained—females and males in its executive offices,” could have been elaborated upon, as it is quite important. When thinking about what has made MCC successful, I suspect a major factor is the absence of clergy/theologians at all levels of MCC; this group is often more concerned with correct doctrine and teachings. Lay people are more concerned with compassion.

It might well be that agencies such as Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Disaster Service and Ten Thousand Villages achieve success as Christian organizations because of the limited influence of clergy and the emergence of compassionate lay people. As someone has pointed out, compassion unites and theology divides. Jesus seemed to pursue the compassionate route.

Henry Neufeld, Delta, B.C.

Inspiring story of inspiring leader

Re: “Not her gender, but her age that’s an issue,” March 7, page 8.

Congratulations to Emily Toews on her recent ordination and congratulations to North Star Mennonite Church, Drake, Sask.

During classes, choir practices and chapel at Canadian Mennonite Bible College, Winnipeg, Man., she was a thoughtful, happy, gentle human. We need people like Toews as leaders to inspire our churches to be lamps of God’s grace and Christ’s loving, caring and challenging presence in the world.

The picture published with the article says so much about Toews. Our job as a community and congregation is to support our leaders so they can maintain the commitment and energy to focus on the ministry they have been called by God to perform. To some are given the gift of ministry. Thanks be to God.

And thanks for the great publication that helps keep us all connected.

Matthew Braun and Julie Bergen, Prince George, B.C.

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