Prairie Messenger Header

Letters to the Editor


Prairie Messenger was a weekly, welcomed guest

The Editor: I want to thank you for the most informative, inspiring paper that has ever come into my life for more years than I care to remember.

Now, who will give us up-to-date information on the life of our church, the worldwide view expressed in so many traditions? What articles will start the many discussions in our Stang-Zerr clan? You have been our teacher, our voice, our conscience and our guide. I will miss the anticipated Friday treasure in my mail box.

My best wishes to all of your staff — Kay Zerr, Macklin, Sask.

Church teaches fear of punishment for sins

The Editor: Secular guardians are increasingly vigilant in warning about the temporal consequences of illegal activities. Should sacred guardians not be equally vigilant in warning about the eternal consequences of immoral activities? Are the eternal less fearful than the temporal?

In his column on fear of God (PM, Oct. 11), Rev. Ron Rolheiser says, “It’s healthy to be afraid of violating any goodness, truth or beauty.” But “To preach hellfire . . . is wrong in terms of the Gospel.” He recognizes that reverence, awe and respect are a form of fear. However, “it is not to be confused with . . . dreading some kind of punishment.”

True, the central message of the Gospel is that God, incarnate, loves us so much he suffered and died to save us from sin. But Jesus repeatedly warns us that to receive his saving grace we must repent and amend our lives. Otherwise, we risk damnation.

I know, because I regularly read the Gospels. Although I haven’t done the mathematics, it doesn’t surprise me that a fellow reader claims a third of Christ’s sayings entail threats.

As for dreading punishment, isn’t that what the church asks us to do when we go to confession and say the Act of Contrition? — Joe Campbell, Saskatoon