Invocation reportingPublished 7:32pm Tuesday, March 11, 2014
To the editor:
My profession brought me to Polk County in 1995. Ten years later I chose to build a home and retire here. I am impressed by its diversity, both its natural beauty and its people. Since my arrival in the county, I have been a subscriber to your paper. It, for the most part genuinely serves the residents, despite its obviously biased positions. In reporting the news to your constituency, please state the pure facts in the issue. We will form our own opinions and to be sure they will vary.
The recent reporting of the invocation given by pastor Olson at the beginning of a county commissioners meeting and your subsequent editorial of Feb. 26, 2014, is a classic example. Your caption, “divisive prayer alienated citizens” serves only to sell newspapers. Your quotation of Matthew 6:5-8 is revealing. It is signed “the editorial staff” thereby accepting responsibility for such gross misapplication of the scripture. To lift this passage out of context to try to prove a point is either ignorance or deliberate dishonesty.
After having been a baptist pastor, college and seminary professor for more than 50 years, I whole heartily agree with my colleague, Pastor Olson. The moral fiber of our nation is in shambles. We, as Christians, should ask for God’s guidance in our decision making process. The “alienation” you are fanning reflects a general lack of knowledge concerning the holy scriptures. God is all that he reveals himself to be. The right of a person to form their opinion of God is herein respected. Whatever opinion one forms does not change who God is, nor what he sets forth as acceptable human conduct. You are correct in your summation that we are all sinners. What divides us is that many choose to live a lifestyle in opposition to the revealed will of God as is set forth in his word, while others choose to turn from a lifestyle of opposition and attempt by his grace and his indwelling spirit to live in submission to his standards which are clearly set forth in the scripture. Jesus, being the second person of the trinity and god’s offering for the sin of the human race, warned us about the permanency of our ill thought out decisions. Ridicule and vindictiveness are a high price for making the choice to live in conformity to God’s clearly outlined lifestyle.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore, by their fruit ye shall know them.”
As to the recent action of the commissioners as reported in your paper, with the exception of Mr. Gage, whom I do not know, the others are acquaintances of mine. They are mortals and are responsible to the citizens of this county for their actions. My personal opinion is that my friends have made some serious errors in judgment that do not bode well for our county.
– Dr. Don Mcintyre,