Robert Yahara, in his letter to the editor published July 4 (“Taking Words Out of Context Changes Meaning Significantly”), implies that I took Eugene Clemens’ words out of context. I don’t think I did. Mr. Clemens wrote that American politics’ needed its verbiage cleaned up and in particular, the issue involving morality in politics. He used the word “moral” or “morality” seven times in his piece; that was what I addressed; not the political verbiage, rather the concern Mr. Clemens’ had about the underlying issue of morality in politics.
Mr. Yahara charges me with taking words out of context, yet he writes, “Not only does he use laundry detergent but a Downy fabric softener as an analogy ‘to clean up the country’s political verbiage.’” Nowhere in Mr. Clemens’ letter does he ever mention a “Downy fabric softener”; enough said about “taking words out of context.”
Mr. Yahara suggests that pragmatism is the base for Mr. Clemens’ appeal and goes on to give an example in John 8:3-11 where he claims Jesus was pragmatic in answering the charge against the adulterous woman. Jesus (God in the flesh) didn’t condemn her, not because of his pragmatism, but because her sin (as well as yours and mine) was his mission to take to the cross for our redemption.
I’ll give Mr. Clemens and Mr. Yahara this: Nations, societies and individuals all have some degree of moral guidelines that govern their actions and I think those can be negotiated. But the moral laws laid down by God Almighty cannot! They are God’s absolutes to mankind and are not be negotiated!
You think God was being pragmatic when he wrote that we should not kill, steal, lie, lust, etc? You think these are issues (sins) that “pragmatism” can resolve? Was Jesus being pragmatic when he said that we need to be born again, that he was the way. the truth and the life and that he was the only way of salvation?
The Apostle Paul warns us in Colossians 2:8 (ESV): “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit,according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” I pray that the readersof this paper examine closely whether they are living under the guidance of the Holy Scriptures or they have been charmed into the “pragmatism” of our postmodern enlightenment.
LEWIS E. KNEPP