Readers write: February 17, 2020 issue

February 12, 2020 | Opinion | Volume 24 Issue 4
Various Contributors |
(Graphic by Betty Avery)

Church press seeks to report ‘in an honest, balanced fashion’
Freedom of speech for Christian media?” Dec. 9, 2019, page 9.

Putting aside for the moment a rather odd expression for division in the church—“bombing the church”—I have difficulty accepting what Kevin Barkowsky seems to say to us in his From Our Leaders column.

Two points are easily inferred from the column:

  • Lay people should leave sensitive issues to church leadership.
  • Media shouldn’t address controversial issues lest the disagreements be magnified by the debate.

Barkowsky is probably right in saying that controversy is not new to the church, but restoring the core unity of the church and fostering the pursuit of common purpose certainly won’t be addressed by stifling conversation about abortion, gay marriage or the death penalty.

Free speech rights are not so much about the right to say whatever you want; they’re primarily about freedom from the censorship and suppression of dialogue.

Our media—Canadian Mennonite, The Mennonite and others—have always sought to report current dialogue in an honest, balanced fashion, and when the discernment on controversial issues is going on among the membership, our media-censoring discussion would most certainly be counter-productive.

If Barkowsky meant to say that we desperately need to learn to dialogue in more respectful, civil ways while keeping our focus on the church’s primary mission, I agree totally. 

—George Epp, Rosthern, Sask.


Are tattoos pleasing to God or good for your health?

Seeing people with tattoos raises this question: Are tattoos pleasing to God?

An answer to this question is given in Leviticus 19:28: “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord” (NKJV).

The Mayo Clinic describes tattoo health risks in this statement: “Tattoos breach the skin, which means that skin infections and other complications are possible.” It elaborates on the specifics of the other complications that are too numerous to share.

This raises the question: Are disobeying God and the health risks really worth getting a tattoo?

—Paul Jantzi, Milverton, Ont.


Columnist hits the mark
Re:Paradoxical faith,” Jan. 6, page 12.

Troy Watson’s Life in the Postmodern Shift column hit the nail on the head for me. I look forward to reading more about this.

—Gary D. Braun, Calgary

(Graphic by Betty Avery)

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