Our Readers Respond
The end of a year brings tender thoughts to the Christian. God’s faithfulness melts our hearts and dampens our eyes.
It has been my joy to edit this website on behalf of you, the DBO reader (there are some 100,000 of you out there in cyberspace). I know that many of you have joined me in praying that God would call our nation back to her biblical and constitutional foundations. I know this because you have told me so. As I contemplate the momentous times in which we live, I thought you might enjoy a sampling of our readers’ responses during the past twelve months.
This writer – and there were many like him – appreciated our calls to exclusive allegiance to Christ (“No King But King Jesus!), a frequent theme here at DBO:
Dear Brother Dave.
Just a note of encouragement to you for your insight on what is going on (I surely hope there is an army of like thinkers in the wings). I have been reading your articles … and you (along with others there) have given me a new hope that maybe it’s not too late, but I think you will agree that the showdown between Baal and Jehovah is likely just around the corner. Keep up the good work; there are a bunch of us out here who are not afraid to face the Truth, and without it we do not know how to pray for God’s mercy on this nation.
The following letter, which comes from a Southern Baptist conference speaker who is in great demand nationwide, reflects the same desire for a return to costly Christianity:
I just wanted you to know how much of a blessing your site has been to me. I frequently point friends and foes alike in your direction. I remember what a blessing it was to meet you while I was a student at Southeastern, and I knew then that you were a strange bird (like me). I have often found it difficult to operate within the confines of American Christianity as I strive to be conformed to the image of Christ and discover how unwelcome that image has become.
I am currently serving as an Elder in a Family-Integrated church, and am working on two books…that I hope will contribute to the discussion about the role and goal of the Church as it relates to family life. At any rate, I want you to know that you are a constant encouragement to me as I strive to honor the Lord and confront hypocrisy, mediocrity and anti-intellectualism…. Thank you for being a voice crying in the wilderness.
The editor of Gimmie Back My Bullets was kind enough to send me this letter:
I wanted to thank you for the links and kind words about my blog, Gimmie Back My Bullets. I’ve been coming to your site daily for some time now, and almost had a heart attack when I saw you’d linked to me….
While I’m at it, I want to thank you for your work. Your site has been a real asset. It’s a rarity to see a Reformed pastor tackle politics; it’s even rarer to see one who does so as well as you do. You and your wife will be in my prayers as you’re in Africa.
Thanks once again.
We received numerous emails when we returned to the States after ministering for five weeks in Ethiopia. This is perhaps the most interesting one:
Hey Dave! I’m glad you’re back in the saddle! The devils must be trembling!
Then letters like this one practically knock me out of the saddle again:
Wow! I’ve only read a couple of your essays and articles, but this is some of the most thoughtful, exhaustive, engaging, biblically based commentary I’ve ever read. I strongly agree in your stand on “limited government and constitutionally guaranteed liberty.”
Having lived in Europe, I was pleasantly surprised to see that DBO’s influence is beginning to enjoy a readership beyond the U.S. From the United Kingdom comes this note:
And then there are the letters from our allies here at home. Doug Phillips of Vision Forum Ministries sent me this response to my posts on Christmas:
We agree on so many things. Thanks for your blog entry exposing the paganism of believers introducing theologically unsound, historically inaccurate Roman Catholic/Pagan festival days into their worship. When I left Rome I also left the superstitions of Rome, but have found over the years more persecution and ridicule from other believers on this issue than any other. Men crave their idolatries.
When I hear people say “Let’s put Jesus back into Christmas,” my response is this: “Let’s put the Mass back in Christmas, for Christ was never there to begin with.”
Not every letter is as lengthy, of course:
Excellent site! Keep up the great work. There are others who agree with you and are doing our part!
And then there’s this straight-to-the-point e-note:
As always, I enjoy your blog.
Our emphasis on participatory church services brought this email:
Thank you for your powerful and beautiful message on “Enter To Serve, Depart To Worship.” I am in my 60th year of preaching the Gospel and I can testify that this is a seriously defective and missing truth in modern day “Christianity.”
And when we commented on the fact that our family doesn’t watch TV anymore, we received a horde of letters, including this one…
I read the article on television today. I tend to believe that it is something Christians should not be doing not only because of the content, but also because of the time it takes up. I do watch some television presently, but I am and have been cutting back….
Thank you for having this wonderful site.
…and this one:
There is a reason the TV Guide calls it Programming. It is. They are Not Lying.
Our support for the Constitution Party’s presidential ticket of Michael Peroutka and Chuck Baldwin (a fellow Baptist) did not go unnoticed:
I just wanted to thank you for what you are doing. For months, I have enjoyed your web-site and the articles you have written. They have been a real eye opener. As Christians, we should be voting on principle rather strict party lines, which I have been guilty of. We should be glorifying God in all we do, including those who are willing to uphold the God-given laws this republic was founded upon. I believe God is using you for a just cause and I believe its no accident I stumbled upon your web-site….
I happily voted for Mr. Peroutka and I will continue to support those who are willing to do what is right. I think I will go ahead and switch parties, the Republicans are not the answer. I vote Christian, the Constitution Party will continue to have my vote.
…nor did our position on a national ID card:
Dave: I appreciate your article on the National ID efforts. The very thought sends shivers down my spine.
Occasional I am rebuked by a reader:
Hey Dave, this is just a note to let you know that your website is still getting an “F” in “Margin Hygiene”! Ya’ll are STILL clipping off the last three or four letters of each word on your right hand margin when you go to print something from your website!!!! I know it’s not a big thing, but it is REALLY AGGRAVATING!!! Can’t you please do something about it?????????
Later, after I had fixed the problem, this same reader was kind enough to write back:
Hey Dave, thanks for getting to the margin problem! I just printed an article from your website and it was just fine, no more clipped edges! Thanks again.
Many seemed to enjoy our essay on tithing. This was a typical response:
The danger of blind nationalism (versus genuine patriotism) brought this letter to my inbox:
I was informed about your web site from a member of the Sojourner’s List Serve. I wanted to thank you – it is a breath of fresh air. I am not an evangelical, but I have many good friends who are. They are good people who seem to have been used by politicians and media on the far right to grab power under the guise of Christian values that is entwined with nationalism…. Thanks again.
…as well as this one:
Dear Mr. Black,
And our piece on the Pilgrims elicited this heartwarming response:
Readers sometimes forward our essays to their friends, with varying responses:
Dear Mr. Black,
Thank you for your website. I found it this year and enjoy it very much, and agree with you most of the time. Like you, I voted for Bush in 2000, but Peroutka in 2004. I forward some of your articles to my Christian friends who are still under the Republican Party spell. The emotional reactions I get are most interesting! Thanks again. Have a blessed New Year!
Then there are those likeminded bloggers whose sites I enjoy promoting:
Dear Mr. Black:
Apparently DBO has encouraged a few intrepid readers to take a courageous stand:
Dear Professor Black,
Thank you for your tireless effort in www.daveblackonline.com. These essays provoke such thought and assist me to stand for what is holy regardless of popular opinion.
Still others think DBO is unbalanced:
I’ve been a fairly regular of DBO for several months now and I’ve noticed 1 disturbing trait. That trait is your emphasis on the New Testament over the Old Testament. God’s Word CONSISTS of the Old Testament AND the New Testament TOGETHER AS ONE HOLY BOOK, THE BIBLE. I realize that there are things in the NT that do away with or nullify some OT teachings, i.e. Jewish dietary laws or the OT sacrificial system. The Old Testament is still important and must not be set aside or ignored. That 1 complaint aside, I do enjoy your website. You are trying to call the American church out of it’s apathy, complacency or whatever you wish to call it. That is a great and worthwhile endeavor. The church MUST be salt and light to the world around it. Keep up the good work.
Finally, in response to my request for prayer as I finish writing my book on the church, I received numerous responses including this one:
Dear Mr. Black,
I read your comments about your upcoming book. I prayed for you. I prayed that your book will contain God’s truth and do much good for His church…. Thank you for all your hard work. Your website is a blessing. My home page is set for your website.
…as well as this one:
I will pray for your new book…. I also want to thank you for your eye-opening insight regarding ecclesiology. There seems to be a somewhat small revival in this area. Several fellow grads and pastor friends that I have talked with are more and more coming to the conclusion of plurality elder led churches after close examination of Acts…. Thanks again for your outspoken stand.
…and this one:
Here, then, is a brief sampling of responses – and happily their number is legion – to our attempt to help “restore our biblical and constitutional foundations.” Such marvelous encouragement keeps this web ministry from becoming onerous. Indeed, life is not merely enjoyable but victorious; and we rejoice even in tribulation.
This is no time for drunken Noahs, but for sober saints who understand the times to know what they ought to do and who are enabled by the Spirit to do it. I count it a privilege, dear reader, to consider you a friend and co-laborer in this work.
January 23, 2005
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.