Let him who is without penalty…
Regarding the letters “Cherry-picking God’s Advice” and “As a role model, Cherry is the pits” (January 2020 issue, p.5), I am neither a fan of pro hockey nor of Don Cherry, but it struck me that it would have been a more Christian response not to kick someone when they’re down. Have letter writers Judith Butler and John Whitmore never spent time in the proverbial penalty box?
Obviously, our time as Anglicans is better spent offering a helping hand or kind word rather than casting stones—as Jesus says in John 8:7, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” I’m not surprised that the January issue deals with the church’s rate of decline. Rampant hypocrisy is one of our main challenges.
Cherry has no heart of stone
Two letters critical of Don Cherry call for an opposing point of view.
Mr. Cherry, over his long life, has done untold good, particularly helping people in and retired from our military.
People who would know (Bobby Orr, for one) have spoken about his unselfish willingness to help those less fortunate. He is being vilified by a self-righteous lot—who have no idea of the man’s good works—all for a slightly unfortunate, two-word phrase. Don’s heart has always been in the right place. Can that be said of his critics?
And no one knows hockey better than he. He will be missed by legions.
Outrage will score no goals
I would like to thank the Anglican Journal for the discussions around “Gone by 2040?” (January 2020 issue, p.1). I found Matthew Townsend’s editorial reiterated some advice that I gathered at a retreat in Brazil. His last two sentences summed up this advice: “Every time two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus…the church lives. Everything else is statistics.”
The article by Archbishop Linda Nicholls, “Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,” reinforces the advice that to attract people to your church, you must behave like Christians in your daily lives. Live by the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments. Be in love and charity with your neighbour.
Then I got gobsmacked when I read the two letters to the editor, which were critical of and hostile to Don Cherry. Is someone’s outrage going to bring people into our churches?
Is it not being a bit of a hypocrite to state that Don Cherry is a poor role model because of his choice of clothes?
I have labelled myself a “Christian curmudgeon” and find that I may forgive these people even though I might strongly disagree with them. Our church does not stand in judgment of those who are in the congregation. It does not refuse to listen to the voices of fellow citizens. It has the grace to sit and share coffee with those amongst us that have a different life story. Their life story may have aspects that we may disagree with. Everyone sitting in the pew next to us is proof of God’s love.
What attracts people to join us on Sunday is the joy, the singing and the smiles of the congregation. Let us remember that!