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Letters 11/21/2012

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Everyone should follow the divine principle

(The following letter, which originally appeared Monday, is being reprinted today because of a typographical error which could have changed the writer’s meaning.)

From: Fred Allman


Received: Nov. 12

A fitting Bible text for General Petraeus, “Be sure your sins will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23).

This is a divine principle and a reality. It is what keeps the whole world from collapsing completely into sin and moral darkness. Aldous Huxley says that sin will always be defeated in the end because at the heart of the universe is a divine goodness that can never be defeated.

But having said this, my heart goes out to David Petraeus. Our human nature is so weak, and it is so easy to fall into sin that we must say “there go I but for the grace of God.”

Many times when I have successfully resisted temptation it has only been because of my constant praying to God for moral strength and his guidance. I have prayed this prayer that is stated in 1 Chronicles 4:10 many, many times, “O Lord keep me from evil.”

I remember a situation I was in many years ago. A beautiful sexy lady told me she was in love with me. The temptation was so strong that I cried to the Lord, “O my God I am about to fall. Please help me.” I opened the Bible and looked at the text under my finder. Here were the words, “Let her alone.” (Mark 14:6).

Praise the Lord. He does promise us the final victory over sin. Just think of it, perfection and sinlessness can be ours.

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakes of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4).

Free speech is a free for all

From: Sandy Boyd


Received: Nov. 12

Having successfully fought the urge to dance in the streets to celebrate the end of the political campaign on Election Day, deep in my heart I realize that as annoying and disgusting as the process is, it is necessary. After all, here I am touting my opinion as if somehow it matters more than yours or at least is the right one. Talk about a Catch-22.

Yes, as citizens of this great nation, we are free to write letters to the editor, stand on the street corner spouting outrage about the issue du jour, print up mountains of flyers to spread our message or maybe snag 15 minutes of fame on the news. However, unlike Pandora, instead of opening a box, we open our mouths ... and therein lies the catch!

The matter of our own tongues/speech was often addressed in the Bible. How, despite its size, it has great power. It can lift us to the heights of joy or destroy all hope. In the book of James 3:3-6, it was compared to the rudder of a ship or the bit in a horse’s mouth or the excellent example of a match destroying thousands of acres.

Of course, the tongue can do nothing on its own, so to speak — it is all in your head. A couple fistfuls of gray matter that is free to love but also to wage war. You would think it is a Sherman tank for all the damage it inflicts.

Hey, that pretty much describes me — an opinionated, passionate, sometimes irrational little machine charging at windmills against the hoards who are trying to defend them. Whoa, that’s pretty scary!

Millions of us milling around; our opinions our shield and our tongues our swords. Left to our own devices, we humans sure can wreak a lot of havoc. It makes me wonder, even fear, that free speech, especially amid the limitless venues in which to express it, could possibly overwhelm us to the point it becomes meaningless. Millions of thinking beings clamoring for our attention. Also, I worry about the effect of the exposure to nearly constant communication (via texting or blogging, etc.) will have on our children.

Certainly, I enjoy a lively dialogue with my peers, even relish learning from their insight, but do we go too far? I just don’t know, perhaps can’t know, what to conclude about all this. Perhaps Archie Bunker had it right — we need to “stifle it,” get a grip on our tongue, shut our mouths and open our ears.

Yeah, I know, as a major offender, I might be the first to detonate from repressed speech. Like new year’s resolutions, failure is inherent in such dramatic ventures, but you never know.

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