By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Your Views: Ministers debate adds little new to mysteries of faith
Placeholder Image

Letters policy: Send by e-mail to letters@gainesvilletimes.com (no attached files, please, which can contain viruses); fax to 770-532-0457; mail to The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503; or click here for a form. Include full name, hometown and phone number for confirmation. They should be limited to one topic on issues of public interest and may be edited for content and length (limit of 500 words). Letters originating from other sources, those involving personal, business or legal disputes, poetry, expressions of faith or memorial tributes may be rejected. You may be limited to one letter per month, two on a single topic. Submitted items may be published in print, electronic or other forms. Letters, columns and cartoons express the opinions of the authors and not of The Times editorial board.

Readers are invited to submit letters pertaining to key issues and general observations concerning the election campaigns. However, we will not publish letters or submissions that directly endorse or criticize candidates for state or local offices, nor submissions from the candidates or their representatives.

Oh my, what is The Times up to? Few ministers ever agree on all matters of faith and everyone knows it. So what could be news, or even simply new, in the recent Terry Walton-Tom Smiley "building bridges" debate on Muslims and Christians?

I guess some local readers may be curious because both these are known to be good men, proven leaders from larger churches we pass frequently. Some of us Christians may look on anxiously, wishing that our public disagreements didn't so easily mask the truths we hold in common. Too many of us will choose a champion, and take sides. More than I care to imagine may think "there those Christians go again," and turn away another time from faith.

For myself, reading our local ministers theological points is interesting, but not satisfying. That's not their fault. In my Bible, even the clearest truth still leaves many questions unanswered.

I admire my colleagues' courage and calling to speak out as they see fit. But when talking about God, I wish we hesitated long enough to heed the words of Job to God: "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know."

I hope none of us ever hears God's words to one of Jobs overconfident friends: "I am angry with you because you have not spoken of me what is right."

If God, even as revealed in Jesus, still is too much to fathom, perhaps the best path for us is to never become so sure we are right that we stop listening for truth in someone else's point of view. Maybe that's the spirit The Times is after, after all?

The Rev. Kent Murphey
Minister of Administration, First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Flowery Branch

Regional events