Go for It, Beth!
Thank you for the cover story on Beth Moore ("Her Redeemer Lives," by Maureen D. Eha, July). I've gone through two of her Bible studies, and I am leading one at my church now. Beth is reaching across denominations and bringing us together.
Beth says that if you know and love Jesus it doesn't matter what church you go to, you are her sister. Her love for people and the Lord shows in the way she speaks and writes.
If Christian men have a problem with Beth Moore, it is because they have a lack of understanding of God.
R. Lee Baker
Daytona Beach, Florida
Why couldn't J. Lee Grady write a nice editorial about Beth Moore (First Word, July) without attacking the Southern Baptist Convention? Grady presented his comments in such a way that it appeared Beth is in conflict with her denomination. Her material is distributed through LifeWay, the Southern Baptist publishing arm, and she is heavily promoted by and within Southern Baptist churches.
The Southern Baptists are having a strong, healthy influence in the United States. Their family values and their promotion of homes built on biblical principles is to be admired, not condemned.
We may disagree with them for not accepting the promotion of women in leadership. But they certainly do deserve respect from all of us. I believe most of us evangelicals are beginning to question the overemphasis on promoting female leadership in the church. There are plenty of Scriptures that give reason enough to question where this will lead.
Your article on Christian drama was uplifting and exciting ("When Church Becomes a Theater," by Carol Chapman Stertzer, July). I have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit through Christian drama and know that it can be a powerful tool if surrendered to the Lord.
The excellent theater group called Friends of the Groom from Milford, Ohio, came to our church two years ago. The moving of the Holy Spirit among us was unmistakable and remarkable. Many lives were changed, and a fledgling drama ministry was born.
Gail Ellison Mullis
The Hugh Ross Debate
I was riveted by Charisma's article on Hugh Ross ("He Sees God in the Stars," by Andy Butcher, June). The man is obviously quite intelligent, but he's also interested in sharing the gospel. In this day of conflict between young-earth and day-age or intelligent-design camps, it is refreshing to see someone like Ross out on the front lines for Christ.
I am disappointed, but not surprised, at the venomous attacks that some of your readers have launched on Hugh Ross. The recent full-page ad for the book In Six Days that appeared in your July issue made it seem as though there is an army of research scientists who take issue with Hugh Ross' approach to integrating science and faith issues. These unnamed sources lace their propaganda with emotional intimidation and omit key points.
If we are to believe Hugh Ross, then we would have to change the first chapter of Genesis to say: "And the evening and the morning were the first million years. And the evening and the morning were the second million years."
Talk about trying to stretch Scripture to fit your preconceived notions or evolutionist theories! I'm disappointed that you failed to give equal space in your Hugh Ross article to the young-earth creationists.
Thank you for the article on Hugh Ross. I was raised in a committed Pentecostal home by two loving parents who showed me the reality of Christianity. However, my early interest in science eventually led me to questions in college that I didn't know how to approach. Hugh's ministry fills a much-needed gap.
Lake City, Tennessee
Hugh Ross may be all gung-ho about melding evolution and the Bible, but there are just too many places to get tripped up in one's faith doing that. Besides, as more research is being done, the need to compromise anything with evolution is rapidly evaporating.
I cannot believe that a Christian magazine would resort to leftist, liberal editorial tactics. What I mean by this is covering your side of the creation issue while giving only insufficient coverage to the other side.
I believe the Word of God and take the Genesis account literally. I see no reason to appease those who would seek to distort the truth and deny the deity and power of God.
Thank you for giving Hugh Ross and his ministry, Reasons To Believe, a favorable cover story in the June issue. Since hearing Ross on James Dobson's Focus on the Family radio broadcast several years ago, my faith has been greatly fortified and validated by his ministry.
It strikes me as humorous--and yet sad--that a Christian magazine would support the beliefs of someone who totally undermines the belief system they say they defend. Your article on Hugh Ross would have been more credible if you had tried to give both sides of the evolution-creation debate.
I am so disappointed in your position of compromise that is reflected in the article on Hugh Ross. When Christians take what they want from Scripture and combine it with the world's view of science, truth is left far behind.
Jenny R. Gibbs
I have found Hugh Ross' writings to be the most accessible and scholarly in science apologetics. While young-earth creationism continues to be a stumbling block for both Christians and skeptics, Ross has detailed the perfect compatibility of science and the Bible.
New Castle, Pennsylvania
Boo to Charisma for highlighting the work of someone who denigrates the Word of God. Hugh Ross is a champion for those who wish to compromise the fundamental, authoritative Word of God with the opinions of men.
It's a shame that Charisma can't discern what the Bible clearly teaches. If you did, you would realize that Ross is not teaching the clear Word of God but a convoluted, harmful version. If Jesus believes the book of Genesis as written, why can't Charisma?
As a new reader, I am impressed with your magazine, particularly your cover article on Hugh Ross and his ministry. I look forward to seeing more articles like this.
Am I to understand that you do not support the basic biblical view of when death entered the world? Romans 5:12-17 leaves no room for private interpretation. The ideas that Hugh Ross promotes are not only evidence of complete compromise with the "wisdom of this world," but they are also very destructive to the body of Christ. How can you promote him as a champion of the faith?
Thank you for the outstanding article on Hugh Ross. It took courage to provide your readers with such an evenhanded and well-documented insight in a ministry that has for years been one of the better resources for Christian apologists reaching out to agnostics, atheists and other skeptics.
I was offended when I saw the advertisement for the book In Six Days in your July issue. This ad tries to make Hugh Ross look like he does not believe in creation. I showed the ad to a friend, and it caused her to believe Ross is an evolutionist.
I find it hard to believe that Christians can create an ad that demerits a fellow brother in Christ. I will forgive those who created and chose this ad to be placed in your magazine.
Hugh Ross Responds
I feel compelled to respond to the full-page ad Master Books (MB) placed in the July issue of Charisma. Notice that instead of simply saying "Meet 50 Ph.D. scientists who believe the earth is young," MB made the ad personal and negative, using my name--"scientists who don't agree with Hugh Ross"(in reference to Charisma's June article about me)--to sell their product.
The ad clearly expresses intent to disparage my scientific credibility and competency. Here is yet another manifestation of what geologist Ian Plimer said of young-earth creationists in his book, Telling Lies for God. Plimer observes that these folks make every effort "to silence, discredit or belittle" those who dare to challenge their views.
These leaders are wiling to disparage, denounce and vilify any and all Christians who offer an alternative interpretation to theirs--even if that alternative upholds the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. They use intimidation tactics of all kinds (such as the Web article titled "Shame on Charisma") to silence and marginalize those who disagree with their position.
I have been the brunt of such tactics for years. I'm wondering when the community of believers will rein in this behavior.
Allow me to add a comment about "Ph.D. scientists who disagree" with me. Those who are not believers usually accept my science but are not yet ready to accept my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Those who are believers may reject my science but not for scientific reasons.
Some years ago, on KKLA radio in Los Angeles, an interviewer asked creationist John Morris if he knew of any scientist, Christian or not, who had come to believe the earth is young on the basis of scientific evidence alone. Morris' answer was a forthright and honest "No."
Reasons To Believe
Hope for a Transvestite
Thanks for the article on the Remar ministry in Spain ("Journey of a Transvestite," June). I'm so glad to see that ministry is hitting where people really are.
I have a brother who is battling gender confusion and really needs help. I am not trying to judge him for trying to live as a woman even though I think it is wrong. Above all else, he needs Jesus. Your article brought hope.
God and Gays
Thanks for David Aikman's recent columns on the church's response to homosexuality (The Global Picture, May and June). Eight years ago God convicted me about my preaching on this subject and led me to get involved in Exodus, a ministry that offers hope for change to homosexuals.
I made a motion at the Southern Baptist Convention two years ago that we appoint a task force to encourage the SBC constituency to be proactive and redemptive in reaching those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction. The SBC has been acting on this motion.
I know of few churches that are doing anything about this problem. I truly believe it is a watershed issue in this generation.
Bob Stith, pastor
Carroll Baptist Church
Our ministry offers deliverance and inner healing to individuals. Right now, 50 percent of the people who have come to us in the last 12 months are Christian men who struggle with homosexual issues. They are desperate to be set free.
One thing has frustrated us: It is difficult to integrate ex-gay people back into the life of the church. Those we minister to rarely disclose their previous homosexual orientation to their churches. They live very isolated lives. If you receive any feedback from churches that have successfully integrated former homosexuals, I would welcome that.
God Used Charisma to Change My World
I wanted to share with you how God used Charisma to change my life. In December 2002 you included an article about a group that is reaching African AIDS orphans ("A Big Heart for the World," by Adrienne S. Gaines). The article told about Lighthouse Christian Center, a church in West Palm Beach, Florida, that sponsors this ministry.
I was so touched that I contacted Delane Bailey, the leader of this group. I became part of their team and went with them to Zambia in April. I am a nurse, but I was overwhelmed by the sickness I saw there, and I often felt inadequate and helpless when I held those tiny children.
We opened clinics where people would wait six to eight hours in long lines at night to get help the next morning. We gave medicine to hundreds of people, and we also prayed for them. We fed 3,000 orphans on our second day, even though we were prepared to feed only 1,500. God multiplied the food!
I was forever changed. Thank you for featuring this ministry in your magazine.