Thursday, April 10, 2008

Exeter Times Advocate Banter

Letter to the Editor.

Church concert questioned

Re: the concert by Mattaniah Male Chorus, sponsored by Bethel Reformed Church and performed at Exeter United Church on March 27.
Whatever the merits of the concert itself, I sincerely question the wisdom of having presented the concert in the format of a pseudo-church service. I refer to the opening and closing prayers; the congregational singing; the Bible reading and the exegetical application.
I can sympathize with those who feel that this was a situation where a captive audience was taken advantage of.

Al de Haan
Exeter

11 comments:

Annette said...

Mr. DeHaan did not have all his facts straight. Bethel Reformed Church was not the organizer or sponsor, anymore than the United Church was. A independent member of the congregation put it on, with I THINK, (not sure) the help of someone else.

Mr. DeHaan did not seem to have a problem with the Christian nature of the program either. All the music was Christian as well, if he didn't go to hear Christian material, why then did he go?

It makes sense that a Christian Choir would want to have prayers said. Many folks like it if they get to sing along with a good choir (and if you don't want to, you're not forced to), and the bible reading and exegesis... well...what can I say it's what a pastor does. :)

Anonymous said...

Puzzling that Al de Haan's letter to the Editor of the Exeter Weekly appears on this blog.......what's the connection to " women's issues"?
Al confirms that his permission to publish was not asked.
A week after Al's letter, pastor Jim Vellenga had a response in the paper, which perhaps should have been published as well in the name of fairness. (though his is virtually identical to Annette's comment on the blog)

Anonymous said...

Al DeHann's letter has nothing to do with women in office. Why do you think that it does?

As the banner at the top states, "Exeter CRC is a blog created to critique the use of office, power and women"

Joan.

Annette said...

But the program at the united church was not an abuse of office, power or women. So really therefore not something that needed to be critiqued UNLESS one plans to critique everything put on by Christians anywhere in this community. Gee, real good way to show the love of God within the Christian community.....

It was a program, put on by a Christian Choir, by Christian individuals, done as per how the organizers wanted it done.

So anonymous' comments are relevant. Why would such a letter be posted here?

Anonymous said...

It WAS an abuse of power in that the occasion was used to subject a paying audience to a "sermon" which some were not impressed with at all and didn't ask for!!
Not all of us are literalists and fundamentalists.......
C.

Rileysowner said...

So you are saying that whenever I pay for an event as a Christian that is put on by a none Christian organization, and as part of the program have to deal with some secular humanist presentation that goes against my beliefs as a Christian, even though I know that this event was put on by a group whose beliefs I disagree with that that is abuse of their power? Get real.

Beyond that, what happened was what the organizer and the choir expected as part of the program. Not having ever been to any other program by them I have to go by the answers I got when I asked if it was normal with their concerts, and the answer I received was that it is.

Finally, what was said was basic Christian teaching. If one thinks that is simple some literalist understanding, then perhaps you should admit the fact that you disagree with orthodox Christianity and determine whether you want to continue to be call yourself a Christian at all. Christianity cannot simply be redefined by each and every individual. It is founded in the gospel of Jesus Christ suffering and dying for sinners so all who believe in him will be forgiven and saved from the justice their sins deserve.

Anonymous said...

To Jim, rileysowner..........

Getting a bit nasty & personal there pastor!! Not a good trait and definitely not PASTORAL.
It's obvious that not all Christians are orthodox but to question our Christianity is objectionable.
No point in further discussion on the topic. We know which concerts not to attend in future.
C.

Rileysowner said...

You may notice I don't call those who hold to women in office to examine their position as Christians because that is an area where I believe true Christians can disagree. I, however, have a real problem with people calling themselves Christian when they deny the gospel of Jesus. That is what I spoke on at the concert, and if that is literalistic and fundamental, I will stand with 2000 years of the New Testament church rather than those who think that we are somehow smarter and more advanced than those in the past allowing themselves deny the gospel. That is not a negotiable. Jesus died for sinners like you and me, so that through trusting him him we might be declared just by the perfectly just, holy and loving God, adopted into his family.

the Samaritan said...

Its amazing how often the "gospel of salvation" is used as an excuse for a message or sermon from a council or pastor. Sometimes the message is in the song and celebration and God's presence is apparent without having the "sermon" added. A couple of years ago the Exeter CRC had a beautiful Good Friday service with readings and songs in subdued lights and a real sense of the event was felt. But hey, not good enough. Lets turn up the lights and have a half hour sermon and totally dilute the beauty of the service. I'm not saying that sermons are not God inspired or are not relevant, but each has its time and place. Pastors that have a captive audience should understand that while the message may go as long as their enthusiasm, the length or timing of a message may not always be the opportune time.
Rileyowner stated that the tradition of two thousand years stands for the gospel. Well that two thousand years had many changes and many different versions of the what the gospel was. Many times the gospel was interpreted according to who held the bible. Many sinful ideas were upheld by the gospel of the interpreters.Slavery, women and children as property, don't enjoy the Sabboth, sex only for procreation, to mention a few. As Christians, the gospel is now also with the "common Christian". What was once held as gospel by the priest, Pope or "dominee" (my dutch interpretation of Pastor of past years), is now questioned by many Christians who also study scripture and God's purpose in their lives.
The gospel of hellfire and damnation that so many congregations of the past listened to is not the gospel that Christ taught. God does not want our love and subservience because we're afraid of fire, he desires our love and gratitude because we desire his presence.

Anonymous said...

Samaritan the gospel was defined in Rileysowner's post. Jesus died for sinner, so believe in him an be saved. None of the other things you mention are the gospel, not one of them. Only the death of Jesus in the place of sinners so they can be saved from the wrath to come through faith in him.

Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to see how simple the Christian faith is seen by those who can sum it up in 50 words or less, as did the last commentator who addressed the Samaritan. A pity when there's no doscourse possible because those who sum up faith in that way are always right, in THEIR opinion.
Everyone else is not a REAL Christian. I didn't know there were UNREAL Christians , did you?!!
C.