Bad Balloons

In the interest of good earth stewardship, I think it would be well for the GLEANER not to publish articles about kids sending balloons aloft attached to Ziploc baggies ("Children Send Balloons Aloft," Oregon News, May 2010).

This is a lot of plastic going out into anywhere — forest, rivers, lakes, oceans — that can severely damage wildlife.

I know the idea sounded good to give a biblical message to those who might find the balloon, but needs to be reconsidered in view of good earth stewardship.

—Yvonne Stratton, College Place, Wash.

Beware The Lord of the Rings

In the article "The Next Step" by Steve Vistaunet (Let's Talk, June 2010), the author quotes from The Lord of the Rings. This was quite unsettling to me and my husband. We don't believe that our church should be dealing with books such as this, especially not in official publications, but also in any other capacity. It seems to me that there are many other books with much better content that the author could have chosen to make his point.

—Rebecca Swanston, Vancouver, Wash.

A Second to the Motion

I am an avid reader of the GLEANER and enjoy most of the articles. Even if I have a small disagreement, I do not always sit down and dash off a letter regarding the point in question. Today I felt different. I felt that I was being asked to accept something not to the standards of our profession of faith.

The first and last paragraphs of your article make reference to a trilogy: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. The books and movies of the same title are classic science fiction works of the great adversary of Christ. Having only returned to the church four years ago after an absence of forty-some years, and during that period of time being a fan of science fiction and of the movies generated by Hollywood in regards to this genre, I know of the pitfalls to be avoided in what is read and watched. These are not the books or movies that Seventh-day Adventists should be encouraged to read or watch.

This is what really bothers me. Others may make the assumption that if you have quoted from this source, then it is all right for them to follow your perceived lead. Much is written in the books of Ellen White in regards to quality entertainment and that which should be avoided. Being the excellent writer you are, could you not have opened and closed with a quote from the Scriptures or Mrs. White and still made the same point?

—Bill Gillaspy, White City, Ore.

GLEANER responds: We agree that Scripture and the inspired counsel of Ellen White are primary sources. Our intent here was to use an interesting illustration some readers (who may have learned to tune out the more traditional sources) would identify with. Along with music and diet, where some see black and white and others see gray, perhaps this is an area in which we can extend to each other a generous helping of Christian grace. Even our Lord used a fictional fantasy of the rich man and Lazarus as a creative illustration, and it has created theological debate ever since! We encourage each GLEANER reader to apply his or her own conscience to the good counsel we have as Adventists and to Paul's advice in Philippians 4:8: "Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report, if there is any virtue ... think on these things."

August 01, 2010 / Intersections