Who Is My COVID-19 Neighbor?

You raise age-old questions about sacrificial giving. How do we know when we are doing enough? There don’t seem to be easy answers. COVID-19 has caused church leaders to change how we do a lot of things. I am optimistic that we Christians will carry our lessons learned and improve how we serve, give, worship, and see the world. In God’s eyes, there are no political boundaries, just human beings. The sound of the slogan “America first” sounds rather selfish and hollow right now.

Vicky Dobbs
Euless, TX

Texas Man Dreams of Tallest Cross

Rick Milby’s cross took me back to King Hezekiah’s obliteration of the bronze serpent, which Israel had preserved and worshiped for 1,000 years. As with the nails and tree that once anchored Jesus at Golgotha, veneration of such earthly stuff is both childish and sinful!

Charles Jandecka
North Olmsted, OH

Called to Missions. Held Back by Student Loans.

We in the Christian community must accept some of the responsibility for the high levels of student loan debt encountered by our young people training for the ministry. We expect our missionaries and pastors to go to private Christian universities with tuition costs in excess of $30,000 a year and then are surprised when they are sitting in front of us with significant student debt. We should be willing to provide rigorous scholarships for those we feel are qualified. We as churches, mission agencies, and academic institutions have participated in the generational shift from scholarship-based educational financing for the academically qualified to a system of debt based on who can sign a loan application.

Gary Roberts
Vicksburg, MI

Want a Healthy Society? Support Moms.

Andrea Palpant Dilley’s piece was well done. I would ask her and others to consider another related and more fundamental question: Should we not consider returning to the “family wage,” where one income can provide for the material needs of a family? As a Catholic Christian, our social teaching speaks of a “family wage.” (That is not the same as a “minimum wage” or even a “just wage.”) Children, and society in general, are not better served when both parents must spend most of their awake hours away from home and children.

Rev. Craig Anderson
San Jose, CA

There’s a New Kind of Crisis Pregnancy Center on the Block

As a doula, it has been a sore spot of mine that popular pro-life discourse doesn’t include strategies for coming alongside mothers at such a sensitive time in meaningful, sustainable ways. Pregnancy through birth and postpartum is a challenging season even when it is joyfully received as a blessing. How much more challenging it must be for a woman who did not desire the pregnancy and is facing adverse life circumstances and likely trauma. How can we support them and their decision to continue their pregnancy, acknowledge the unique challenges they face, and help them on their journey to becoming a parent? While I trust in the good intentions of what the pregnancy crisis model has been, I am so refreshed and excited to see these new holistic models emerging.

Pam Serna
Long Beach, CA

Can Christian Streaming Services Last Alongside Netflix and Disney+?

Whether we talk about streaming services dedicated to explicitly “Christian” content or those that filter “offensive” content out of media, the offerings of these services are by and large no different from those of their “secular” counterparts: stories that don’t matter with characters who don’t matter and endings that don’t matter. We have been catechized by Hollywood not to wrestle with good stories but merely to consume an endless amount of content—an appropriately empty and nondescript word for what is broadcast and streamed in the average American household. A thoroughly countercultural Christian catechesis would recognize that Christianity is about more than keeping our children from cursing, drinking, and engaging in premarital sex. It is about God’s triumph over humanity’s sin, suffering, and death—and the climax of the story, the Crucifixion and Resurrection, isn’t possible without all the “offensive content” that came before.

Rev. Andrew Russell
Birmingham, AL

Tornados Put Our Faith to the Test

Job wanted to know why bad things happen to good people. The Lord answered him out of a whirlwind (Job 38:1). We should accept his answer.

Salvatore Anthony Luiso (Facebook)

Correction: The article “Called by God. Held Back by Student Loans.” on page 25 incorrectly stated the percentage of college graduates who owe between $40,000 and $80,000 in student debt. It is 15 percent.

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