The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
We retired from active church ministry to focus on our world wide compassionate ministry over a decade ago. We estimate that we minister to about a million people around the globe, most of whom feel alienated from the Church because of the hardness of heart that they have encountered, which brings us to the reason for writing this letter.
We have seen many of the United Methodist TV ads about being a receiving church, and see that you are the outreach minister for your church. Unfortunately, we have found that most churches are not reaching out to, or receiving people who are vegetarian (vegan) for reasons of compassion, and who care about animals. The article we saw about you in the December 2008 issue of the Tanglewood Buzz is part of this problem.
We understand that what you were doing was only a game, and that no ducks were actually killed by playing the game, but the comments in the article are very disturbing. In order for a person to kill another living being, especially for "sport", they first have to lose their empathy for that being. When people lose their God given empathy, by definition, they become sociopathic.
Since you are a church leader, everything you say and do has an influence on the people in your congregation, and to the community as a whole, among whom are our children. What you are saying can lead them astray and harden their hearts, which is just the opposite of what Jesus teaches us to do.
People who care about animals also have their hearts broken by such acts and comments, when in fact the church should be a sanctuary for them, too; one in which they can find peace and comfort.
We look forward to hearing back from you about this problem.
In the Love of the Lord,
Frank and Mary
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