The Effect Of Sunday School On My Life

In the fourth grade I had a dedicated, evangelistic Sunday-school teacher whose name was Sid.

One Sunday, Sid had the departmental opening duty. He had decided to present an object lesson before the entire group of thirty kids (about two-thirds of whom were older than me). On the Wednesday before the Sunday, Sid asked me to star in the lesson. He said he would blindfold me and then ask me to sit in a chair sight unseen. He told me that even though I wouldn’t be able to see the chair, he would make sure it was there. I could sit down with confidence. That would be a great example of faith, Sid said.

But I didn’t trust him. I could see myself blindly sitting down and splat!—no chair, all the kids laughing at me, and Sid taking ten minutes to describe what the writer of Proverbs meant by the term “fool.” So I had my buddy Dennis Beatty keyed to give me a signal. If there was no chair behind me, Dennis was to cough.

Sunday came. I was blindfolded. Sid told me to sit. Dennis coughed. I didn’t sit. Sid continued to plead with me to sit. Finally he pushed me into the chair.

I was embarrassed. Sid somehow survived the object lesson (I think he talked about how God sometimes gets tough with those of little faith). And as soon as Sunday school was over, I cornered Dennis. Dennis explained that he thought he was supposed to cough if there was a chair behind me.

That’s all I remember about Sunday school in the fourth-grade year of my life.


On Women

I appreciated reading the articles by John and Letha Scanzoni in the June 4 issue because I have heard of them previously but had never before read any of their writings. The letters to the editor by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott and Nancy A. Hardesty were also instructive. The letters together with the articles demonstrate that one’s doctrinal statement concerning the inspiration and authority of Scripture is not always practiced consistently.…

In “How to Live With a Liberated Wife” the feelings of the wife, rather than the Word of God, become the norm which guides her action toward self-fulfillment and which determines her husband’s role in their life together. This is a practical reversal of the biblical pattern with the added “freedom” of direction and purpose governed by whim.… In “Assertiveness For Christian Women” a great mistake is made by assuming that “God’s will” is whatever one may do with one’s abilities for the supposed good of others. The Scriptures throughout teach us that God’s will is expressed by God’s Word.… Whether some of the women mentioned in the article were actually doing the will of God may be doubted.


Zion Mennonite Church

Bridgewater, S. D.

“How to Live With a Liberated Wife” is a timely and practical article. I agree with its main thesis but am quite uncomfortable with its overstatement of one issue and understatement of another. Its overstatement concerns fulfillment through career and economic pursuits.… Without denying the possibility of self-actualization through career, we should mention the sober reality. Husbands themselves may not be reveling in self-fulfillment in that domain. Mrs. Scanzoni cites Abigail Adams’s wish to attend the first Continental Congress and participate in the travel and challenges that made up her husband’s life. But she fails to mention the husband whose travel may be the forty-five-minute drive to the plant and whose challenge lies in screwing trunk lids onto Ford Pintos. A recent survey confirms this situation to be quite common. Only 4 per cent of young workers reported satisfaction from their job.… Certainly a woman can and should use her talents outside the home, but let’s beware of glamourizing those “distant lands of achievement”.… For Christian women, there is a lot of fulfillment right around the corner in the most significant voluntary ministry.…

And that suggests the understatement. All of that career chatter about full human potential outside the house doesn’t do justice to the potential inside. I don’t resent giving a hand to the career gal, but I do dislike giving the back of the hand to the housewife in the process. Homemaking is more than “making the home happy and comfortable for the whole family.” Building values into the lives of children, especially during early childhood, may be the most important role anybody could play.


Associate Professor of Christian Education

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Deerfield, Ill.

Humanism—A Religion

CHRISTIANITY TODAY erred in reporting that “Americans United for Separation of Church and State rejects the view that secular humanism is a religion” (Editorials, “George Could Be Expelled,” June 18). On the contrary, we recognize secular humanism as a religious movement and position, but maintain that it is in no way synonymous with the religious neutrality demanded of our public schools by the First Amendment and the religiously pluralistic nature of our society. Further, since the great majority of our teachers, administrators, and school-board members are Christians or Jews, there is an almost infinitely greater probability that any deviation from religious neutrality in our schools will be in the direction of traditional Judeo-Christian positions rather than specifically secular humanist stances.


Director of Communications

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Silver Spring, Md.

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