Divided Over The Iraq War

I am so tired of hearing people criticize President Bush for sending troops to Iraq. Thank you for defending our troops by sending books to them ("Blessing Our Servicemen" by Stephen Strang, May).

My own brother was wounded in Iraq and almost died. But I do not fault the president for that.

If he had not acted by invading Iraq, there would have been more attacks similar to those on 9/11. If we show weakness, terrorists will carry out more acts of terror.
Jesse Ray
Marshall, Oklahoma

I struggle with some of the terms Stephen Strang used in his column about President Bush and the Iraq war. I just saw a headline saying that more than 750 American soldiers have died in Iraq. Who knows how many Iraqis--including non-combatant women and children--have been sent to a Christless eternity as well.

Strang talks about "defending democracy" and "waging war on terrorism." I pray for our servicemen, and I agree that they are brave. But how does their service defend democracy or end terrorism?

Perhaps in Afghanistan. But in Iraq? I don't think you can come to that conclusion without a Ph.D. in convolution.

I suppose it helps to have the faith of George W. Bush. He can invade a nation and say that it is somehow a just act of war. He can say that it will "work out in the end." I just don't see how Jesus Christ fits into all of this.
Del Yoder
Epworth, Georgia

Presidential Faith?

It saddens and appalls me when Christians speak against President Bush (Letters, May). He would not be in the White House if God had not allowed it.

His critics accuse without any truth to their statements. These same Christians support John Kerry.
Marjorie I. Faver
Shelton, Washington

Apparently nobody has yet recognized the real reason behind the outpouring of letters against President Bush. I see it as a direct result of brain polluting by the liberal, left-wing national news media, which no doubt most of your readers drink in daily!
R.G. Peterson
Jamestown, New York

I'm astonished that Christians could have such animosity for the president. As an African American, I'm appalled at how uncharitable we've become. I'm more astonished that anyone would judge Bush's relationship with Christ!
Rev. Raymond A. Johnson
Sheffield Lake, Ohio

Bush has been a disaster as a leader. In 77 years I have never lived under a president who is so unqualified to run the nation.
Russell Watson
Birmingham, Alabama

Whether or not George W. Bush is a Christian, he is a politician--a man who must please people who are affiliated with multiple religions. One politician cannot transform our society or make us obey God.

Christ's kingdom is not of this world. Looking to a political leader such as Bush will not save our nation. Let's look to Jesus.
David Barshinger
Mesquite, Texas

Why does Charisma keep writing so much about President Bush? Some of your readers seem to be putting their trust in him as if he were God.

Bill Clinton was a good leader, but it seems so many Christians are quick to judge him.
name withheld

It amazes me when I read about people who say they are Christians and then bash President Bush. Christians are supposed to act like Christ.

I can't understand people who say they support candidates who disagree with God, yet say they are Christians. That's absurd.
Verlane Townsend
Hickory, North Carolina

The San Francisco Chronicle wouldn't print all of those hate-filled letters that you printed in your most recent issue. It's obvious that the editors of Charisma would rather believe the lies than the truth about our beloved president, George W. Bush. Jules Schindler
Novato, California

Editor's note: We did not publish letters criticizing President Bush because we agree with them. We allow readers to share their differing views. Although we cannot publish all the comments we receive, the letters we choose represent the varied perspectives our readers express.

Mixed Reactions To Gay Issue

I was shocked to read in J. Lee Grady's column that some charismatic ministers are promoting a homosexual agenda ("Heretics Among Us," April). I've been reading Charisma since the 1970s and have never appreciated it as much as I have this last year.

Your up-to-date reporting is so helpful. Please keep us informed of what is happening with the church and its leaders. If you don't, who will?
Wayne Gillie
New Harbour, Nova Scotia

Thank you for revealing the gay agenda of the ministers who met in Tampa, Florida. Some uninformed Christians don't even know that the pastor of Potter's House Fellowship, where the meeting was held, is pro-gay.

Yes, gays can be born again. But they also have to repent of homosexuality if they want to spend eternity with Jesus.
name withheld

I'm fascinated that you sent someone undercover to the Tampa meeting instead of openly engaging those presumed "heretics." Your article was very underhanded and deceptive.

God will make the ultimate decision about the plight of gay people. As a gay African-American minister, I question your ability to make reasoned judgments about the mind of God.
Rev. John W. Garlington III
Portland, Oregon

It took nerve for Carlton Pearson to address homosexuality at the Tampa meeting. I applaud him. I've never heard a minister address this issue with kindness.

I've heard only fire-and-brimstone sermons. We should share the Lord with homosexuals and let God do His will in their lives whether they are delivered or not.
Daniel R. Dry
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lee Grady's article smells. You remind me of the people who brought to Jesus the woman who committed adultery. You, like them, never named the others involved.

Are you praying for these people or condemning them to hell? Homosexuality is a horrible sin, but until the real church stands up it will be business as usual.
name withheld

Thank you for taking a biblical stand against homosexuality. Now more than ever we need to remind our country that God will not stand for the rampant acceptance of this. I have also encountered homosexuals who have been delivered and set free from this lifestyle. It can happen.
Ron Rhoads
Dallas, Texas

Pastor of Pro-Gay Church Responds

J. Lee Grady wrote an editorial, "Heretics Among Us," about a meeting that was held at my church earlier this year. I want to set the record straight on a few points he made. His attempt to vilify us appears to be purely negative propaganda.

The purpose of our meeting was not to discuss ways to promote a homosexual agenda but rather to build bridges of fellowship with other gay-affirming ministries like ours, as well as with nonaffirming ministries.

We had a very diverse group at the roundtable discussion, and a number of things were voiced that not everyone agreed with, such as Bishop Carlton Pearson's views on inclusive theology.

Although I was raised in the Assemblies of God, I was never licensed with that denomination. I was in the United Pentecostal Church International.

It is straight, evangelical parents who put their children in my church pews every Sunday. Their gay offspring view these parents as the Pharisees of our day.

They just can't bear all of your failed attempts to fix a sexual orientation that does not need fixing. Articles such as yours force struggling souls deeper into condemnation.

I highly recommend a less condescending approach, at least until you can legitimately claim to have all the scientific facts on the complicated subject of human sexuality. Your column is titled First Word, but God will have the last word about our salvation. Our trust is in Him alone and His finished work on Calvary.
Rev. Robert L. Morgan
Potter's House Fellowship
Tampa, Florida

Jesus On-Screen

Thank you for your review of The Passion of the Christ ("Screen Savior" by Erika Larson, March). I think the price of sin was deeply embedded in the hearts of Christians by this powerful movie.

And while I think the film did a wonderful thing for Christians, I think the impact on the world was greater. It has everyone talking about Jesus, even CNN!
Richard Green
Goshen, Indiana

Your analysis of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was accurate, but your article title, "Screen Savior," was a poor choice of words. A title such as "The Cost of Loving Humanity" or "The High Price of Redemption" would be more reflective of the film and its attempt to portray God's transcendent love.
Monday Ekenezar
Newark, New Jersey

The Passion of the Christ is violent and hard to digest, but it is based on the inherent Word of God. It brings believers to a point of realizing we take the truth of what Christ endured for us lightly and that we have come to preach a gospel that is "crossless." This movie has been needed as a way to bring unbelievers to a point where they can no longer hide and make excuses.
George Mendoza
Raiford, Florida

Lost Accountability

I read with interest about the leaders who met to discuss integrity issues in today's church (People & Events, April). Two problems in this area were mentioned: the failure of accountability structures and the number of ministries that operate outside of existing accountability structures.

Yet integrity is really ensured only through self-government as godly character is established in our lives.

Policing organizations to ensure integrity only improves our method of shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted. I believe our focus should be on raising a generation that will allow God's character to be developed in it.

The truth is that "covering" networks and accountability structures, because they are institutional and not relational, will never adequately meet the need of ensuring integrity in the body of Christ.
Rev. Dee Alei
Bosque Farms, New Mexico

Racism in Reverse?

Your column about racism in the black church ("Ricochet Racism" by Kimberly Daniels, April) was such an on-time word. Finally we have a message of truth backed by love. I loved it when she said: "Please do not get mad about this. Just get delivered so we can be the bride of Jesus."
name withheld

So Kimberly Daniels believes God has "a special anointing on people of color." Since when did God reserve special anointing for certain races?

God has no special anointing. That statement is blatantly racist!
Ken Parrish
Lynchburg, Virginia

Kimberly Daniels was right on-point! I commend her for exposing the hidden racism that is still prevalent among African Americans. I often hear other blacks say that it's not possible for us to be racist because we were the oppressed. Statements like that are a lie from the pit of hell and need to be sent back there!
name withheld

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