Literary Wonder

Thank you for the excellent article on Mark Rutland ("Renaissance Man" by Natalie Nichols Gillespie, November). He is one of the most remarkable leaders I know. I stand in awe of his leadership skills and work ethic.

He is also a great writer. However, it should be noted that, like Charles Swindoll and John Maxwell, he writes his books by hand and not by computer.
Rev. Charles H. Gaulden
Evangel Cathedral
Spartanburg, South Carolina

False Light?

What is to be achieved by Christians using "magic" to preach the gospel ("Gospel Magic" by Rachel Williams, October)? If your article was meant to inform the public of how some Christians are confused about the gospel, it's OK.

However, reporting that Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, used illusionist André Kole to address audiences about Christ makes it seem that you are promoting "gospel magic" yourself. Gospel magic should not be promoted, and the Fellowship of Christian Magicians should disband.
Amos Dada
Toronto, Canada

I am greatly blessed by hearing that many people have converted to Christianity through the testimony of Christian magician Brock Gill. But I believe using illusion to get people interested in Christ can send mixed messages of deception to the lost. You can't mix magic with Christianity!
Paul Klemesrud
Owatonna, Minnesota

Thank you for the great article on the use of magic in presenting the gospel.

It is wonderful to see how God uses the talents and gifts of people to reach others with the message of His love and mercy.
Mike and Amy Mitchell
Columbus, Georgia

TBN Scandal

I read Stephen Strang's column "Let's Support Paul Crouch" (November), in which he discussed the recent accusations against the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) president by a former employee. As a TBN supporter, I contacted them about the allegations of money being given to a former criminal.

I already knew in my spirit that there is no way Paul Crouch is guilty of sexual harassment.

But, although your column started out by calling for us to support Paul Crouch, you ended it by suggesting that he might be guilty. That was an accusation, not a show of support.
Ann Doupont
Boise, Idaho

The Bible says we should not receive an accusation against an elder in the church unless we have two or more witnesses (see 1 Tim. 5:19).

If there are no witnesses, then there is no justification to give anything more than a brief audience to an accuser of an elder.

One may argue that Paul Crouch is not a church elder. But there is no merit in condemning a man based on one other man's testimony.
John Neal
Cincinnati, Ohio

I would like to read the recent press reports mentioned in the column by Stephen Strang, titled "Let's Support Paul Crouch." I too believe the charge is bogus. I am praying the ministry can be cleared.
name withheld

I recently read a two-column story buried in the back of the newspaper about TBN. But I thought no more about it other than to rebuke the spirit of Sanballat, which would like to halt the work of TBN. But then you carried the story to the world.

At first you appear to give Paul Crouch your full support, but then you opened the door to doubt. I think Crouch's failure was in not trusting God to handle this battle. As for Stephen Strang, I did not like the ambiguity of his editorial.

Paul Crouch should continue to do what God has appointed to him. Sanballat is not strong enough to stop the work of TBN. If God ordained it, He will sustain it.
Julie Ford
New York, New York

The recent events at TBN are a sad commentary on the lack of discernment and the doctrinal error in the charismatic church. "Success" in ministry has been defined by money and influence in the media.

Christians should stop supporting these corrupt ministries. Riches in this world have caused many to fall. May God forgive us for the lack of humility and simplicity in our lifestyles.
Jim Mather
Friends of Internationals
Mobile, Alabama

Those of us who have seen scandal after scandal over the last 40 years were prepared for the recent TBN mess. Whether Paul Crouch did or didn't do what he is accused of, someone else should be in charge of TBN after all the gross expenditures and exaggerated fund-raising.

When Christian leaders fail, the real victims are all of those who are under conviction and ready to receive Jesus as Savior.

May God tenderly care for all those spiritual babes who didn't receive milk but rather trash from those who should have known better.
Ben Leonard
via e-mail

A Christian leader should never pay off someone to "keep them quiet" because of a false accusation. It is inconceivable to me that almost half a million dollars was used to pay off this man.
Denise Mikkelsen
Naperville, Illinois

The 2004 Vote

Thank you for the articles on the 2004 election (October). As a black woman I have been concerned about some of Bush's decisions that have negatively affected minorities and the poor. I was sure I couldn't stomach the strong dose of Bush morality that I knew your articles would promote.

Yet the Lord spoke to me and told me to vote for Bush. Hank Kunneman's article confirmed what God had spoken to me. Thanks for your stand on issues.
Rhonda J. Smith
Detroit, Michigan

I am disturbed that a Christian magazine did not base its presidential endorsement on the teachings of Jesus. He said that in the last judgment He will choose those who minister to the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and imprisoned. Should not Jesus' priorities be ours?
Elaine Fike
Fort Defiance, Virginia

Why do your writers contradict one another? One says: "Neither political party has a monopoly on morality or righteousness," though another says: "[Bill Clinton] brought wickedness into the White House" and "Righteousness will result from our voting a godly man into office."
name withheld

Your article on African American attitudes toward politics ("God and the Black Vote" by Adrienne S. Gaines and Valerie G. Lowe, October) stated that blacks suffered a disproportionate number of deaths in Vietnam. That is not true.

The majority of soldiers in Vietnam were volunteers. Whites volunteered at a significantly higher rate than blacks. As a result, whites suffered more deaths. Don't take my word for it. Look it up!
Dan C. Lathrop
Hagerman, New Mexico

I applaud Kimberly Daniels for her column ("Yes, I'll Vote"; October). African Americans can save America if they will walk off the Democratic plantation and vote according to the Bible. When I die and stand before God, I do not want to explain why I was a better Democrat or Republican than I was a Christian.
Steve Clark
Conroe, Texas

Kimberly Daniels said President Bush initiated a strategy in which federal funds are set aside for faith-based organizations to use for social programs. Actually the initiative allows faith-based programs to compete for federal grants on the same level playing field as other organizations, without the former prejudices.
Tamara A. Bolthouse
Tucson, Arizona

I was appalled that some unnamed black church leaders told Charisma that they "don't plan to vote this year." That is the worst act of cowardice.

I can't imagine not voting after all the sacrifice that so many people have made over the years to establish and maintain the right to vote.
Wayne M. Richards
Houston, Texas

It's high time God's people realize that it's not about us any more than it is about any other ethnic group or race. It's about Jesus!

Are we going to continue to let the Democratic Party use us as pawns in their bids for election to office?
name withheld

Accurate reporting should include the fact that the candidate for the Constitution Party, Michael A. Peroutka, stands for God, family and the republic. The preamble of the party's platform acknowledges the lordship of Jesus Christ.

If Christians knew that they had such an alternative, perhaps tens of millions would have voted instead of refraining, as they did in 2000. God may hold us accountable for not voting for the one most clearly for God, life and marriage. We should vote for what is right.
Gregory Poulos
Inglis, Florida

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