A Sister’s Love (Dec 2002)

By Matt Dabbs

by Anonymous
December 19, 2002

Note: The author of this letter wants to remain anonymous, so all the names have been changed. This is, however, the actual letter she wrote to her sister, with certain personal details deleted. It was written with no intention of it seeing a wider audience than the sister to whom it was addressed. Wineskins editors learned about the letter quiet by accident and secured permission to publish it.

Dear Edna,

I am enclosing a copy of “Christmas at Matthew’s House” for you, since you have heard about it only second hand. Bill and I took time to go back and read the article, stopping to read the Bible accounts as we went along, and it was really a worthwhile experience. Many times we assume we know those stories well-we have read them before-so we just gloss over them and almost forget what they say.

I think if those who were so quick to criticize had gone back and done this they would be embarrassed. I know it’s hard to keep all these Bible stories clearly in mind but those who are writing the criticism claim they have it all together-they have the exact pattern-and everyone else should follow right along behind everything they say.

Andre was giving Matthew’s account-not information form the other gospels mixed in the way we usually do. I had never looked at it this way before. If you read the Bible along with the article you will see that Matthew, writing in the style that he does, jumps right into it with a genealogy. He mentions women in the lineage that had been involved in what we, today, would term scandal. It’s as if Matthew knows that when he mentions Mary, and the fact that she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit, that people will react against it. Can you imagine how a story like that would go over today? By mentioning the other women in the lineage he seems to be preparing them to hear the current story about Mary.

It is obvious that Andre believes in the virgin birth-I do not know how critics could have even thought otherwise. The whole article is about that.

Andre’s mistake, I suppose (for the critics), is that he put this in modern day language. Of course we don’t know what Tamar wore, etc., but we know what she would wear in our day if she wanted to be taken for a prostitute. The fact is that these things did happen in the Bible.

I think it is a very good article, really. It helps me to see again that Jesus did not come to the high-and-mighty or to those who thought they had all of the religious answers (i.e. the Pharisees), but that he came for all, and that he even uses some of the most unlikely people.

My greatest fear today is that the people who claim to belong to Christ are going to devour each other from the inside while they neglect the world out there. So much energy is devoted to destroying some of the best people we have, and the best schools that we could possibly have in the world today. Sometimes I feel like there are bloodhounds out there sniffing at every possible fragment, then distorting it, printing it, and crippling so many members who are looking to them for their guidance.

Edna, I love you so much and I hate to see you in constant turmoil about something that has been printed in some paper against someone else. You do come to us a source when it concerns something we might have information about, but I have a feeling that even after we discuss it you are still bothered by it. That’s what gossip and slander will do-they leave a residue-and much of this bashing that you are reading is gossip and slander rather than loving concern.

I would like to suggest that you stop reading those publications that claim to be trying to get at the truth by bashing someone else. One cannot get at the truth by listening to someone hammer another person down. We do not take such papers anymore. When I do happen to read something like that it angers me the way that they jump to mean-spirited conclusions about something they usually do not know enough about. I would not listen to any preacher who only makes his own points by attacking other people.

I would like for you to read publications where you can read positive biblical articles for yourself and study them on your own-along with the Bible (as you search for truth for yourself) without being contaminated by the writers who are always pointing the finger at someone else. I really do love you and it concerns me that you have so many things to worry about. You have had enough bumps in your own road of life, and you could do without the extra, and unnecessary, upset brought on by these kinds of things.

I do hope that you have a good experience studying through this article, and the Bible stories it mentions.

Love,

Evelyn Wineskins Magazine

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Profile photo of Matt DabbsThis author published 1577 posts in this site.
Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of Wineskins.org.

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