Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Gun obsession

There is no epidemic of gun violence on the campuses of our state universities and technical colleges. We now have a so-called “campus carry” law. Unfortunately we have state representatives like Warner Robins own Rep. Heath Clark, who is obsessed with guns on campuses though he doesn’t have a single fact to support his obsession. Or why he doesn’t care about our uninsured.

Rep. Clark cannot tell me how guns on our campuses “can be safely stored at night.” And how will our classrooms and student demonstrations be affected by hundreds of concealed weapons on campus? The facts are that our campuses have always been safe.

Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the campus carry bill last year while he cited famous American heroes like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Thankfully this is his last term as our governor.

Frank W. Gadbois,

Warner Robins

Political pulpit

The “From the Pulpit” column in the May 13 Telegraph by Dr. Creede Hinshaw raised some concerns with me. Others writers in this forum have given words of inspiration and were encouraging, e.g., Rabbi Larry Schlesinger and Rev. James Goolsby. Dr. Hinshaw’s article sounded like one that I would expect to read on the editorial page from Dr. Bill Cummings.

I accept his right to write whatever he wishes and his “free exercise of religion,” in our “Bill of Rights.” However, it seemed that I was reading a political attack piece, not a devotional message from a pastor.

In previous columns Hinshaw has made sarcastic remarks. He stereotyped persons who oppose opening our borders to illegal aliens (so called immigrants) as xenophobic. I strongly disagree with him. Then, on a return trip up north he came near the Ark exhibit. (It is sponsored by Christians who believe in a global flood and that a man named Noah built an ark.) He seemed to ridicule those who take that story literally. I am an evangelical Christian and believe that all scripture is inspired by God.

In the future I hope Hinshaw will be more respectful of those with whom he disagrees. I have a Master of Divinity Degree from Emory University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University. Both are United Methodist theology schools. We were taught there that diversity and tolerance means accepting others regardless of their cultural, political, religious or social background.

When I was in full time ministry as a pastor, Army, correctional and hospice chaplain, my main mission was to proclaim the gospel. Maybe I missed it, but I did not hear the gospel or anything about God’s love or loving your neighbor in his column.

Rodney O. Callahan,

Forsyth

Demanding more

Thank God for state Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Ala., for speaking up for Southern historic monuments, architectural buildings, streets and etc., named for those who were willing to fight and die for the South, for which blacks continue to push political correctness to points of unnecessary destructive behavior across our country. Removing, renaming and/or destroying history related to slavery as declared by African-American lawmakers, will not deter blacks using slavery until the end of time.

Faye W. Tanner,

Macon

What does Cummings believe?

After reading Dr. Bill Cummings’ column for some time, I have to ask the question, “What does Cummings believe about this Jesus, really?” He claims to be a Christian – has been one for many years according to one of his articles – but what does that mean to him? In one article he tried to defend his questioning of established Christian beliefs. My God is big enough not to be intimidated by his questioning, and it is by questioning that we learn; however, in his columns there seems to be less authentic questioning and more statements of his own personal opinions. He appears to discredit the Nicene Creed, probably the Apostles’ Creed, or any other attempt by man to set down what he believes about his faith; but if Cummings were to write his own creed, what would he write?

I can’t help but wonder if he really believes all that he writes, or if he is he simply toying with his readers to get an angered response from them? At times he really seems to be baiting his readers. Is he just challenging them to examine their own beliefs? Whatever his motives, he does have people reading and responding. My hope is that new believers will not take his declarations as fact, but will examine the validity of his statements for themselves.

From his articles we see more of what Cummings doesn’t believe about Christianity than what he does. For example, we quickly realize that he doubts the authenticity of the Bible, especially the four gospels. It is easy to understand why one would question the validity of Jesus’ atonement, his deity, his physical resurrection from the grave, his teachings or his miracles, if one excludes the gospels and depends mostly on the letters of Paul to know Jesus. However, Paul’s letters to churches and individuals have more to do with the day-to-day living of Christianity than about Jesus, per se. Is this why Dr. Cummings seems to place more confidence in Josephus or the Apocrypha than the accepted canon of the Bible?

I guess by removing the legitimacy of the gospels, one is then free to claim to know what Jesus would have said or done in any given circumstance. Christians do believe the Bible to be written by mere men, as Cummings has pointed out, but they also believe it to be divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. If it is not divinely inspired, then it is just a book – a collection of writings – with no more power or importance than any other book. And if Jesus is not God, then who is he – just an ordinary man? If so, why worship him?

Nowhere in Cummings’ columns do I find reference to his own personal relationship to this Jesus. I see an academic understanding of the Jesus he knows, but not a “knowing” Jesus personally as friend, savior, Lord or King. For most Christians there was a point in time in which we met this Jesus, and our lives changed forever. We truly believe him – who he is; what he says; and what he has done and is still doing – not as part of the uninformed, ignorant masses, but as those who know that we know because we have encountered him face-to-face for ourselves. So once again I must ask, “What does Cummings believe about this Jesus, really? And on what has he based his claim of Christianity?” I’d really like to know.

Glenda Wallace,

Macon

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