USA TODAY Letter to the Editor By Kathy L McFarland “Salvation only through Jesus”

USA TODAY May 26 2011 Page 10A

Author Rob Bell’s words do not hold true when evaluated through the inerrant word of God. Jonathan Edwards, a colonial‐era pastor, had it right. The difference between the most carnal, sinful, wicked people in the world, compared with the most righteous, spiritual, saintly ones, is one of appearance rather than fallen nature. Those who are able to seemingly rise above common sin have done nothing of the kind; they just have the tools to hide it better from others.

When someone is lucky enough to be born in an environment that teaches these hiding skills, then he or she has the tools needed to look “good” and escape condemnation or restriction from society. Those born within a culture that neglects teaching the necessity for the outward appearance to hide sin receive blunt judgment and accusation from the perfumed pews of Christian pretenders.

Kathy L McFarland
Peck, Idaho

USA TODAY Letter to the Editor by Fulton J Waterloo, “Theology and Nuance” (June 1, 2011)

USA TODAY reader Kathy McFarland made some valid points about the fallen nature of all people in the eyes of God and their continuance in sin in her Thursday letter “Salvation only through Jesus.” However, the possible implications of her theology are nothing short of mind‐boggling.

It is one thing to state correctly, that “Hitler and Mother Teresa were sinners.” It is another to deny the reality that many people cooperate with God’s grace rather than resist it. In the reader’s world, every man is a wife beater; every adult a child molester; every mechanic a cheat; and every lawyer an ambulance chaser, but we just aren’t aware of it.

If the only difference between Hitler and Mother Teresa was that she was “lucky enough to be born in an environment that teaches these hiding skills” then we need to begin a search for the millions of innocent people that she murdered.

Even more dangerous, if there is no difference in the “lived faith” of individual people, does sin even matter? To McFarland’s credit, she has taken the doctrine of “salvation by faith alone” to its obvious conclusion.

This evening, God willing, I will obey the speed limits on my drive home. Inevitably, a motorist will blast by me, only to be pulled over several miles down the road by a state trooper. In McFarland’s reality, the speeding motorist and I were driving the same speed; I just had better “hiding skills.”

Perhaps her letter demonstrates the danger of theology without nuance, and interpretation without guidance.

Fulton J. Waterloo Aston, Pa.
Rebuttal to Fulton J. Waterloo, “Theology and Nuance” (June 1, 2011)

USA TODAY Rebuttal to Fulton J Waterloo’s Letter to Editor dtd June 1, 2011 by Kathy L McFarland

Clearly, Fulton Waterloo has learned the hiding skills of traveling the speed limit, whereas the speeder that passes him is sinfully negligent (if speed could be defined as sin in Waterloo’s world). And Mother Teresa, bless her works in His name, learned from a young age that walking the way of her beloved Christ was preferable to submitting to her fallen nature and allowing it to guide her along a life path. Hitler was evil, through and through; his fallen nature overtaken by the worst of darkness, a glaring example of what happens when fallen nature walks so far away from God.

Beware! It is easy for “good” sinners to compare themselves to “bad” sinners, and convince themselves that the salvation of Jesus Christ is not needed. Sadly, that trick of the mind convinces many to trust in their own perceived righteousness, rather than relying upon the saving grace of Christ, and that error will one day doom them.

Kathy L McFarland
Peck, Idaho


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