Meet the ‘better halves’ of 10 well-known ministers
There was a time when the role of a pastor’s wife was virtually set in stone: She was expected to serve as pianist, choir director or children’s director—or all of the above. She attended every service and sat near the front, carefully groomed to avoid scrutiny. She was required to be part of most midweek meetings and host after-church socials. Remember the day?
Today’s booming churches illustrate that times have changed for such women in ministry, whether their husbands are pastors, presidents or founders. The 10 women featured here serve in areas where they are gifted. Though most of them aren’t in the pulpit regularly, they have a profound impact on their church’s culture. Some were called to be a pastor’s wife as a child; others willingly took on the role after marriage. Charisma celebrates the way in which they use their God-given talents while honoring their husbands and making a difference for the kingdom. read more
How I learned a lesson from my children about taking bold leaps of faith
As the father of four energetic boys and a beautiful daughter, I am regularly jumped upon in the comfort of my own home. Often I will be minding my own business, perhaps walking past the stairs, when one of my sons will leap from a great height and land on me, trusting that I will catch him. Having gotten over the initial shock of being mugged in my own house by a person half my size, I’ve learned to take this activity as a huge compliment. It says so much about what they think of me and of what they consider me to be capable of.
Apparently, they even think I have eyes in the back of my head. When they launch themselves from the sixth or seventh step, they are counting on my strength and quick reaction to make sure they don’t end up in a heap on the floor. I love their bounding confidence and enjoy the way it fuels a sense of carefree adventure in them. read more
Former lesbian Janet Boynes is living proof that despite a past filled with physical and sexual abuse, depression, and failed homosexual relationships, God still offers a way out—in love
There is a dark and destructive lie that the enemy is perpetrating in the world today, a lie that keeps many in bondage and despair, preventing them from becoming all that God has called them to be. While the devil seems to have no shortage of ways to deceive people and drive them ever further into hopelessness, one of his chief tricks is to convince them their sinful lifestyle is, in reality, an integral part of who they are—part of their very DNA.
“You can’t change,” he whispers. “You were born this way, and whether you like it or not this is the way you’ll be until the day you die. You might as well just accept the way you are and make everybody else accept it too.”
Does that line sound familiar? It should, because it dominates our culture today. read more
I agreed 100 percent with the article “Don’t Freak Out” (J. Lee Grady, May) about the rapture prediction. I heard Harold Camping over my shortwave radio ... over a year ago. Grady said it well, “I don’t need to know what day Jesus is coming back—my prayer is that I can take as many people as possible to heaven with me when He splits the sky!” Amen! God bless you for telling it how it really is.
Mary A. Morrow, Mineola, Texas
Covered in Prayer
I love the cover and the story of your May prayer issue. I have been a part of three churches that exploded by simply dedicating time for the entire congregation to meet regularly in prayer.
Brian Boisselle, Via Facebook
Charisma ‘Saved My Life’
Many years ago I went through a personal tragedy that cost me tremendously. One day I picked up Charisma. Its lead article, “Why Do Christians Shoot Their Own Wounded?” (by David Kyle Foster, March 1998), saved my life. It brought a fresh perspective on many things, which eventually paved the way to my healing. I want to thank you for your ministry and all that you do to bless the body of Christ. People whom you never thought you would reach have been reached because your ministry brought me healing. Because I know what it’s like to be lost and broken, I can now reach out to others with a better understanding than ever before and be more effective in my ministry to them. Thank you.
Daniel Rodriguez, El Paso, Texas
Marvin Sapp Sets an Example
As a long-time reader of Charisma, I was so moved by the “Praise Through The Pain” article (DeWayne Hamby, April) that carried us through pastor Marvin Sapp’s grief journey. His willingness to be transparent and openly share his tears will serve as a positive role model for healthy bereavement. Thank you for sharing this powerful story!
Ellen M. Walston, Greenville, N.C.
Binding ... and Loosing
I love your magazine. It seems, however, that it falls apart easily at the middle. I like to save and preserve my copies. I hope you get better binding in the future.
You’re Already in the Debate, Why Not Learn the Argument?
As homosexuality has become more accepted in society, many believers have been forced to defend the biblical view of homosexuality. But do you know exactly what Scripture has to say about this hot-button issue? Visit gaydebate.charismamag.com to find out what you need to know in the debate.
I used to cringe whenever the topic of homosexuality came up in church. It wasn’t because I had anything to hide, but because of how poorly we Christians have dealt with this hot-button issue in the public arena. As with many things, we’ve become known more for what we stand against rather than the God we represent.
The “God Hates Fags” and “God Abhors You” signs obviously don’t help reflect the heart of Jesus, nor do they accurately reflect the beliefs of most Christians in America. But it hit me recently that maybe the more embarrassing, cringe-worthy believers aren’t the extremists wielding such signs but those who, like me, have stood on the sidelines and done virtually nothing to change the public opinion of God or His people.
Homosexuality is anything but a simple topic—certainly not one that can be reduced to a protest sign. As we’ve tried to represent in this month’s Charisma, it involves multiple angles that, if expressed without the Holy Spirit’s filter of truth, grace and love, can be easily misunderstood amid all the lies and politicalspeak surrounding the issue. read more
How churches must respond to increasing attacks from radical opposition
When a national organization representing the gay community targeted pastor John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio two years ago, Hagee responded with Christian love, and whatever negative publicity the group intended to stir up failed. But as the cultural battle over homosexuality escalates, the incident exemplifies how the church can and should respond to any radical opposition. In the end, love always wins over hate, and light always extinguishes darkness.
In this case, a soft answer turned away wrath. It started when Soulforce launched a 2009 campaign targeting churches that oppose the gay lifestyle. The group wrote Hagee and informed him they’d be coming to his church on a certain Sunday. Hagee replied to the Soulforce’s leader and not only welcomed them to attend any of Cornerstone’s worship services, he also said he’d like to meet with them in a reception immediately following the morning service. What Hagee did after this was nothing short of brilliant—or maybe I should say Spirit-led.
The group of 40 from Soulforce sat quietly through what was otherwise a routine service. Afterward they met over lunch with about 40 of Cornerstone’s church leaders and elders. Hagee began by welcoming them and saying they might never agree about their differences, but that he sincerely wanted to listen to their concerns. He invited the group’s leader—a Baptist minister’s son who’d come with his live-in partner and the children they’d adopted—to meet with him in a side room. The rest of the group visited with the other leaders and Hagee’s vivacious wife, Diana. Hagee asked his leaders to greet each person in the delegation individually and let each speak his or her mind freely. Meanwhile Hagee told the Soulforce leader that he appreciated the respectful way they attended the worship service. He listened to his concerns and at the end prayed for the group. read more
I’ve withheld comment until now about author Rob Bell’s controversial book Love Wins because I don’t think Christians should judge books before reading them. But I can’t bite my lip any longer. Something needs to be said.
Bell’s core theme is that Christians have been too narrow in their view of God and His mercy. He argues that God loves people too much to banish them to hell. In the end, he says, after this life is over, everybody will find ultimate reconciliation in Christ. Bell claims this is what the Bible teaches, and he suggests that Christian theologians have promoted the idea for centuries.
He writes: “At the center of the Christian tradition ... have been a number who insist that history is not tragic, hell is not forever and love, in the end, wins and all will be reconciled to God.” read more