Unity starts with the fruit of the Spirit
Re: “Ethics not the basis for Christian unity” letter, April 23, page 10.
Walter Klassen states in his letter, “No matter how uncompromisingly we disagree on ethical issues, could we, as Christian believers, use that creedal confession [‘I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth’] as the baseline upon which our unity could grow and expand?”
In our historical and current theological discussions, creeds haven’t always done us very well, even in trying to understand who God is and who Jesus is. Various interpretations abound today.
I would like to suggest a third perspective that can draw us closer together and unite us, in addition to wrestling with our ethics, creeds and dogma. It has to do with our value system.
Paul, in his writing to the Galatians, says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law” (5:22 ).
Drawing on that observation and acting on it is always a good starting point.
—Walter Paetkau, Abbotsford, B.C.
The author attends Langley Mennonite Fellowship.
The decline and fall of Ukraine
Greetings from Dnipropetrovsk, the second largest city in Ukraine.
The billboard in the photo says it all: The borscht is good; everything else sucks.
Anybody with any brains left here a long time ago. It doesn’t matter that they left the lights on because the switch stopped working a long time ago.
It’s really quite depressing to see people struggling for the slightest bit of dignity, something long gone from their daily life but something their grandmother talked about, and it’s in their DNA, so they can’t ignore it.
Ukraine has been pulled between East and West for a long time. We Mennonites can remember our grandparents talking about how good the life was here if you just allow the good mother earth to act naturally. Catherine the Great had just won this land from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and needed western expertise and drive to make nature work.
It worked too well. The human ego took over, and it didn’t take long for all to be lost. Now we see the debris left behind.
The political pulling continues, now between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
—Richard Penner, Calgary