Readers' Forum

Not All Lutherans Alike

Thank you for distinguishing between Lutheran church bodies in your "News Update" article, "Reactions to Lutheran vote" in your October issue. So often Lutherans are lumped together in the news, which is a constant source of irritation to us. Since the Lutheran Church in America is the largest body, it is often assumed that they represent all Lutherans. Not so, anymore than the northern Baptists represent all Baptists. The ELCA is quickly distancing itself from conservative Lutheran bodies; in fact, it is difficult for us to see them as Lutheran anymore. (Martin would turn over in his grave if he could see what is happening!) Please remain aware of this in any further articles about Lutherans. It will be appreciate by many "real" Lutherans.

Pastor Vernon Bochlke
Ft. Washakie, Wyoming

Spare Us Exposes on Halloween

I have always loved Pulpit Helps and have been a reader for years. The article entitled "Tis the Season to Be Evil" by Terence D. McLean is very disappointing to me and very unlike Pulpit Helps. While I certainly don't condone the practice of satanic worship or any other evil practice mentioned in his article, I don't believe any child (or most adults) in the United States has any idea of these ancient practices he is referring to.

Most kids just want to have fun, scare each other, and get some candy. I would almost guarantee you that there is no one who ever thought they were bowing down to some harvest god or goddess when they were bobbing for apples. Any holiday or custom (actually anything) can be (and is being) perverted and used for evil purposes, even Christmas. I believe the Lord looks on the heart, and I don't believe that the heart of any of the 5 and 6 year old children that have come to my door trick or treating over the past several years has had anything evil in it. Nor do I believe we are teaching them to grow up and become satanic worshipers.

Most of the Pulpit Helps articles are very spiritual and meaningful to all Christians, like the "Jacob Syndrome" article in the current issue. However, the article on Halloween has nothing spiritual about it. It caters to the crowd of Christians who believe sin is "out there" rather than in us - those who believe we have to fight people and things "out there" rather than the "enemy within." Christ said: "There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man" (Mark 7:15). Halloween and all of the haunted houses in the U.S. will not defile our children. However, our paranoia with Halloween, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and St. Patrick's Day, will only serve to drive them away from Christ. Let's let our kids have fun and teach them right from wrong, about Jesus Christ and salvation, that the real enemy is "self" and the "carnal flesh", not demons, and witches. Let's let our lights shine by the life we live, not by condemning everything in the world. Jesus also said: "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:17). I pray that your paper will publish more "spiritual type" articles that will help direct us to have a closer walk with Christ. Please leave this type of trash out; it benefits no one. If this is the direction your paper is heading, I fear what will come in December; an article about how evil Christmas trees and Santa Claus are?

A. W. Everidge
Zion Missionary Baptist Church
Franklin, OH

Grateful for Pulpit Helps

I'm grateful to the Lord for your publication on-line. It's a wonderful resource of spiritual knowledge. Thank you and God bless you!

Leogbardo Ybarra
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico