I write this in response to George Arvin's column ("Guest columnist: Pastor does disservice to church, community with anti-Trump remarks," Dec. 26).
Rather than comment on his defense of President Donald Trump, I want to focus on Mr. Arvin's disparaging Dr. Chuck Queen for Queen's statement, "There are many days when I struggle to sustain hope."
After referencing the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, etc) in Galatians 3, Arvin goes on to say that Queen needs to take a "long sabbatical to find your way back to the teachings of Jesus." Arvin seems to imply that because Queen "struggles to sustain hope," he fails to be an effective pastor.
I write this as another minister in Frankfort (Highland Christian Church) and as one who is grateful to have Chuck (I have never called him Dr. Queen) as a colleague in ministry. Frankly, I have to agree with Chuck, that there are times when I struggle to sustain hope.
Even a cursory look at the daily news can cause such struggle. Gun violence and mass shootings, opioid addiction creating domestic and community turmoil, structural racism and white denial of such, bitter and entrenched hatred in political places of power, fear of the "other," fueling prejudged condemnation of whole immigrant communities — all this and more give us a daily dose of the world we live in.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that many Christians are unconcerned enough about these daily realities that they focus instead on getting to heaven when they die and, especially for ministers, getting people in the pews in the meantime (and keeping happy the ones who are in the pews).
I am grateful that Chuck is not one of these people. I admire that Chuck's faith is grounded in God's desire for a renewed creation, the beloved community, right here on this earth. I admire that Chuck continues to speak out against social ills that work against God's desire for the love, joy, peace, etc., that Arvin quotes.
So I echo Chuck's struggle to sustain hope, as these social ills continue even into the highest political places. And I also echo Chuck's staying with it even in the struggle because, like Chuck, we know that God does indeed go with us in the struggle.