They Love Him; They Love Him Not
It's nice to get letters about the Strange Club. Well, it's not always nice, but it's usually interesting. Here are a few of those received, along with a semi-appropriate comments in response. - Kent
I am privileged to read some back issues of The Restoration Herald and I sometimes find your articles very outrageous, funny and even uncomprehensible to folks like me in a foreign country. But I like your face and I would love to know more about you and your family, in fact I want to be your friend. Do not be surprised to know that I am a christian, a member of the apostolic church, Nigeria. Do keep me and my family in your prayers.
Be assured, I am praying for you always. God bless you.
Thank you for all the nice thoughts. But I have a question: are you sure you're looking at the same face I see when I look into the mirror?!? Also, many in this country would also say I am incomprehensible. - Kent
Can you please remove me from this list? The article making fun of “emerging” churches just kind of put me over.
I guess any time God is at work in a different way than what people experience in the Midwest there are people who have to criticize what God is doing. I guess I didn’t think the Restoration Movement was about being the only Christians, sadly, I guess I am wrong. I want no part of what I am reading here.
You don't have to be from the Midwest to think that some of the "emerging" church stuff is just a little stupid. Sane people from all over think that. - Kent
Bravo on your October  article on Gene and Mike ["Willow Strange"]. It is unbelievable the things that are going on these days. It seems there are some determined to take us back into what we came out of. I'm glad you had the guts to write this one because it needed to be said. I am also thankful that we have the Restoration Herald that would print it. God Bless and keep up the good writing.
"Guts" is something with which I am plentifully supplied. (How's that for excessively wordy?) It's money and good sense that I seem to lack. Thanks, anyway, for the kind words. - Kent
Thank you for your article in the October, 2004 issue of the "Restoration Herald" concerning Gene Appel and Mike Breaux's move to Willow Creek. You put into writing exactly what I was thinking as I read the "Christian Standard" article; right down to the interviewer pitching softballs. It is refreshing to see some staying the course when so many are steering wrong.
Thanks, J.B. You know what they say about "great minds!" I didn't think I would be the only one to notice that. I was just one of the few stupid enough to write it down and sign his name to it. - Kent
My brother, let me suggest what the problem is: You and I have distinctly different objectives when we write. It is my desire to build bridges through writing. Admittedly, I have not followed your writing career closely, but from what I have observed it would appear that your goal is to build walls. If I am accurate in that surmise, you are effective, but your walls are likely to close you in to an ever more restrictive cultural/psychological/theological ghetto.
You have reminded me of a song by Elvis, "In the Ghetto." I didn't even know I had any culture, psychology, or theology at all - let alone any that could restrict me. Perhaps I am much more complex and nuanced that I realized! In fact, I do not think of myself as being in any kind of construction business at all, and that includes both bridges and walls. I think of myself as more of a purveyor of fun, but I promise to ponder all these very weighty matters in the future. - Kent
I love your column in the Restoration Herald. Your sharp with and keen sarcasm remind me of Kathleen Parker’s editorials. I like the way you think, but…or should I say however?
I think W. Carl Ketcherside had the answer to the Essential or Important controversy. He maintained the Essential was limited to “Faith in one Fact and Obedience to one Act.” The Fact being the resurrection and Lordship of Jesus and the Act being Immersion which portrayed the one Fact. He liked to say, “Wherever God has a child, I have a brother (or sister). The Essential is what brings us into the Family of God. The Important deals with how we live once we’re in. I think it gives the opportunity for Unity of the Spirit if we apply this rule.
Is this being too liberal? I think the whole Bible is Important but I’ve known a lot of Christians who never had a Bible and couldn’t have read it if they had one. We taught some of the Batonga in the Zambezi Valley to read so they could read the Bible but many of them never learned. However they Believed the one Fact and Obeyed the one Act and I think God added them to his family. There now over 100 churches there faithful to the Word.
Keep writing and challenging the sacred cows. God bless you real good.
Eyes to the Skies, R.C.
I greatly appreciate the definite list of essentials. I don't mind the flattery, either. - Kent
Reading your comments . . . brought a smile to this old smiling face. I do enjoy Stangeness-does that mean I have the perverse sense of humor that your exploit so adroitly?
Peace and blessings!
As much as I hate to admit to that "perverse" part, I fear the answer to your question is "yes!" - Kent
While I have a great passion for reaching the quarter-lifers in the emerging generation, the infection of postmodernism in church thinking drives me nuts. I don't care who you are or what universe you live in, the basic laws of thought are still true. A equals A, A does not equal non-A, etc. I love image-rich environments--art, literary figures of speech, parables--but they don' make propositional truth obsolete. Let the postmoderns put their mouse pointers on that little bit of truth and click it. M.B.
I must agree, of course. In fact, one of my favorite images is that of 'A equals A' - though I hate to think of what that reveals about me! - Kent
Thanks for your article on the silliness of post-modern posers. Typically I just ignore their writing. Your article made me realize that I have very good reason for doing so ...they don't really have anything meaningful to say. God Bless, B.F.
Postmodernists: they won't shut up, but as you imply, most of their talk is a version of "white noise." - Kent
I can easily GUESS that many disagree with your thinking, but that's okay! Keep it up, there are those of us who DO agree and wish for a spokesman. K.T.
Your wish, then, is my command. - Kent
As a person who has lived in Africa for over 35 years, I want to commend you for what you said about the G8 and aid to Africa. You hit the nail squarely on the head of truth. I have said for several years that if the world gave Africa all the aid and money that Africa wants, it would bankrupt the world and the general population of Africa would be no better off economically. M.I.
Some things are too sad for any witty comment. This is one of those. But thanks for verifying what I said, even if it is a sad fact. - Kent
Well, you did it again. Good article, I hope it makes people stop and think about his calling. When I decided to go into preaching, I thought God could use me in this area because of my back ground and mostly because I wanted to. Only the good Lord knows why I wanted to preach for I had no experience in the church for I was a pagan from my youth. I guess as I think back it was a way to say "Thanks for what you did on that cross and I want to share that with others who are like me."God has blessed me in my feeble attempts at serving Him and He has used me and I am thankful for that. Has God called me to minister? Yes, through the word, through the word.Keep the good work up and God bless you in your service for His glory and honor! R.W.
I didn't pay R.W. to say this, and I didn't make it up, either! "Through the word" is the best way to be called, no doubt about it. - Kent
Appreciate what you say. Some of the articles make me laugh and some make me shake my head and some make me angry. The local paper recently said that I could have my bike (motorcylce) blessed. I thought, must be a new far out church in Cincinnati. Wrong. The Church of Christ - our own - was having a day of eating and blessings for the motorcycles. We came from W.V. where in Wheeling, WV, the local Disciples church would once a year would bless all animals. Even had Catholic Priests and all denominations represented. One and all would bless your pet! (PersonalIy, I draw the line on blessings for snakes.)
I, too, would tend to draw the line at snakes. I might draw it long before snakes, in fact! - Kent
Thanks for the piece on
Brian McLaren in the March Rest. Herald. He is causing much grief to the few
remaining evangelical churches here in America. In addition to his socialism he
is deep into New Age methods of "spiritual" exercises. These tares he is sowing
among the churches. J.W.
There are some, like McLaren, who need to realize that what they believe just isn't part of the Christian faith. That way, they could move on to the place they really belong - wherever that is! - Kent
Just finished reading your brilliant article in the March RH. From a Christian/Biblical worldview you are absolutely on the money. Leftist/liberals/progressives (read Socialists) dislike capitalism and want to replace our government and economic system with Socialism. What amazes me is this -- all of history has proved that Socialism does not work and never will. K.C.
Thank you for using the adjective "brilliant" to describe this article. But I must say that it doesn't require great intelligence to see the many problems with socialism. But in a world enamored with this ideology, it takes guts to be willing to admit you see the problems - and probably a little stupidity to write it down and sign your name to it. - Kent
I'm glad someone besides me thinks Gore is nuts. . .and also that someone knows that the earth has had warming and cooling spells in times past. Gore is like many others I know: just has to have human adoration most of the time to live, which is part of the problem in religion: some simply have to be seen and heard. WW
Al needs that adoration both to live, and to try to get elected - which for him might be almost the same things. Why I need it I have not yet been able to determine! - Kent