The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Choice of words matters in exchanges

Remember God's love

I have come to read and enjoy The Lutheran each month. However, there is one portion I have found increasingly worrisome—the “Letters” page. While everyone has a perspective borne of varied experience, I’m still bothered by the vitriolic and condemning nature of many letters. A review of 13 letters in the June issue reveals in part: an unsubstantiated criticism of the church’s interest in ecumenism and social action beliefs; an assertion that the presiding bishop and ELCA leadership are ignorant of the nature and true meaning of Scripture; a statement that The Lutheran is a waste of money; a claim that ELCA leadership and the magazine’s editor are morally bankrupt. I’m no Pollyanna, and I share many of the same concerns contributors to this page have expressed. However, when discourse becomes denigration, and well-crafted argument becomes inveigling, the value of forums like this diminish. In short, if you don’t like it, say it, but make sure you show your fellow Lutherans love (as in God’s) when you do.

Steve Siebert
Arlington, Va.

Count again

As I was getting ready to quiz my catechism students, I picked up the June issue of The Lutheran. I always go to the “Letters” to see who is mad about what and found a letter criticizing the ELCA and the magazine. The writer was clearly angry at The Lutheran’s coverage of news, the review and opinion of movie critics and the editor’s column. What caught my eye was the quote, “The Fourth Commandment clearly states, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery.’” The last time I checked Scripture that was the Sixth Commandment. I expect accuracy from someone commenting on The Lutheran’s “moral myopia” and “morally bankrupt” ways. Perhaps a refresher in catechism?

Steven Woyen
Strasburg, Ohio

(Ed.: The staff apologizes for its failure to catch and correct the error.)

More news to use

The June issue was one that I read cover to cover and with real interest and appreciation. Martha Stortz’s stewardship piece; articles by Kathryn Kleinhans and Tom Lyberg; the item on hymnody by Razmic Gregorian, all were well done and most useful. My eyes popped when I read “What’s in a name?” and discovered that Lutheran Services in America and its supporters provide more than $8 billion in services, more than Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army combined. I’ll read The Lutheran more diligently now.

William T. Heil
Petoskey, Mich.

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February issue


Embracing diversity