Editors’ Note: Dozens of readers responded to our editorial in which we affirmed Christian marriage – regardless of recent changes in law – as the lifelong union of one man and one woman (Autumn 2015 issue). Some voiced support; some disagreed vehemently; and others raised important questions. We have posted selected letters and our answers.
Forgiving a Dictator
On Kim Hyun-sik’s “Forgiving Kim Jong-il,” Winter 2016: This is one of the most moving accounts of forgiveness and reconciliation I have ever read. It is life-transforming. I beg readers to linger over it in prayer. Let us ask God to make us agents of peace in this troubled world. –John Armstrong, Illinois
What Do Christians Owe Refugees?
On Plough’s Winter 2016 issue, “Mercy”: As Christians, we must possess the compassionate heart of Jesus; however, we must also remember we are of another kingdom, the kingdom of God. The nations of this world cannot and will not operate in accordance with the Sermon on the Mount. So I am not critical of national leaders for lacking compassion towards the refugees. However, we as Christians are commanded to honor and love them as people like us, created in God’s image. –Joseph Allen Keller, Virginia
A Veteran’s Legacy
On Maureen Swinger’s “Coward, Take My Coward’s Hand,” Winter 2016: At Christmas, Chris Farlekas used to make as many as a hundred pies in a church kitchen in Middletown, New York, for people who were facing poverty. It was his way of bringing some cheer, however small. In the spirit of what Chris did, this year my family and about ten girls from the Immaculate Heart Academy where I work are going to follow his example. We will be making sixty pies to be distributed to the homeless in New York City. Each pie will have a note attached that simply says, “Love, Chris.” –Justin Nadal, New Jersey
Steering the Plough
The more I read Plough the more impressed I become. At first I wondered if it was overly American for Brits. But the Winter 2016 issue is truly international, with articles from the Isle of Man, Korea, and Germany. With both a Roman Catholic cardinal and an evangelical like Philip Yancey in the same issue, as well as a letter from a Muslim reader, the ecumenical – indeed multi-faith – range is refreshing.
I always look for short articles suitable for reading at prayers after supper here in our Franciscan Friary – often that’s the “Forerunners” biographies at the end such as Mother Maria’s or Badshah Khan’s. I’ve also read aloud “Lessons from a Village Cow” by Mahlon Vanderhoof as well as the “From the Archives” excerpt by Laurence Houseman on Saint Francis, which our older brothers could resonate with at once.
As for suggestions, I’d like Plough to include more about the Bruderhof communities themselves. And in the Letters section, could you say at least which country letters are from? –Brother Hugh, Society of St Francis, Hilfield Friary, Dorchester, England