Faith and War
You published some awesome articles about how God has protected soldiers as they prayed ("Miracles on the Front Lines" by Glenn Thomas, April). I had been wondering if my prayers for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan had been answered. Then I opened Charisma and there was the answer! Prayer changes things in a dramatic way.
The first article I read in the magazine was the one about prayers for the soldiers in Iraq. I am adding those soldiers' names to my prayer list. I always knew God would protect the military in battle if we asked Him to.
In your article on Iraq you referred to "soldiers of the 8th Marine Regiment." Please be conscious of the fact that thousands have paid a special price to earn the title of U.S. Marine. Referring to them as soldiers is unacceptable. Otherwise, it was a great issue and a great story.
West Swanzey, New Hampshire
I did not agree with J. Lee Grady's column about the Iraq war ("It Was for Freedom," April). He called Saddam Hussein "barbaric"--but Saddam was not the only one to gas his people. Iranians also used cyanide gas on Iraqi soldiers and civilians.
I don't think you realize that Saddam kept the price of gasoline low for his people--at about 10 cents a gallon before the war. I'd rather have Saddam, whether he's good or not. But oil companies chose to follow Satan by keeping gas prices high. They will face God's judgment.
Dannie J. Williams
Lee Grady's article about his uncle who died in World War II brought back many memories. I was a GI in World War II and half of my unit was shipped out to board planes for Germany and the Battle of the Bulge.
I submit, however, that the war in Iraq is not the same as World War II or Korea. Nor do I agree that only a few bad apples in the U.S. military were involved in the torture of Iraqi prisoners.
From what I have read, the involvement goes all the way to the top of our administration. If our leaders were truly Christians, they would disavow their slams against the Geneva Convention.
I certainly agree with Lee Grady that the sacrifice of our soldiers in Iraq should not be mocked or trivialized. But still we must ask, Is this sacrifice worth it? I say no.
We must work to reduce the possibility of war, not increase it. Of course Saddam Hussein was a ruthless dictator. But there are at least two dozen other vicious regimes in the world right now that fit the same description. Should we invade each one of these?
If so, we had better get the draft going and double the income tax. We'll need every body and every dollar to fight all those wars.
Sugar Grove, Illinois
Brother Andrew's Politics
Brother Andrew is certainly worthy of much respect for his faithful service to God and to the world ("Secret Agent Man" by J. Lee Grady, March). But I think he's missing the point by disagreeing with our president's foreign policy in the Middle East. Though it isn't any president's job to make Brother Andrew's job easier, President Bush is doing so by example.
Federal Way, Washington
God and Hollywood
Thank you for the great article on the spirituality of movie stars ("What Hollywood Believes" by Ray Comfort, April). It seems that famous people seem to be going all around Jesus Christ to find spirituality. Many of them were raised with some kind of Christian background, yet they choose to follow far-out religions.
I believe they want a religion that won't call their lifestyles into judgment. How sad it will be for many of these folks to discover that the One they were searching for was right under their noses.
Fountain Valley, California
Paul Cain's Confession
I shed tears when I read the article about Paul Cain and his public confession (People & Events, March). Again, another highly respected leader has fallen, all because the church has rejected deliverance ministry! Jesus brought both salvation and deliverance to the captives (Luke 4:18). We accept forgiveness for our sins but we reject deliverance from bondage.
Rev. Rose Mary Ferguson
Discipleship Ministries International
District Heights, Maryland
For years I have personally gleaned from Paul Cain's ministry. I count him a true prophet of our day! His teachings and ministry have encouraged me.
I want Paul Cain to know there are more people for him than there are against him. We stand with him in the healing and restoration process.
Mount Vernon, Washington
Church Dropouts Spark More Debate
I read the wimpy letters about why people don't want to go to church (Letters, April). The Bible refers to it as a "falling away." They should be glad to go to the church of their choice.
The church is not here to entertain. These dropouts should start their own Christ-like fellowships.
Cross Plains, Tennessee
To those who are critical of church dropouts, your judgmental attitude may be part of the problem. In the compassion of Christ, please become part of the solution.
To those who are still disconnected from contact with your brothers and sisters in Christ, view your situation as transitory. Look with faith to a time when you can be integrated into a church family.
Some church dropouts say, "We left our local assembly, not the body of Christ." But that is like saying, "I didn't leave my husband, I just left the house."
I'm in love with Jesus and His church, which represents His body on Earth. I'm in this relationship "for better or for worse," and I plan to stay where the highest concentration of the body of Christ can be found--the local church. I grieve for my friends who have left.
Those who have felt the sting of betrayal within the church cannot just snap out of their pain any more than those with physical injury can be instantly healed. The wounded need neither repentance nor condemnation but the healing and restoration that comes through the love of God and the brethren.
Five of the "dropouts" who wrote letters to the editor were identified as "name withheld." These anonymous persons are afraid to take any heat for their opinion.
Would the dropouts be happy if we ripped out Ephesians 4:11-12? Most pastors know the truth. These people are saying: "I just don't want to submit to anyone or anything but myself."
Rev. Bill Dropko
The American church hinders body ministry and has created a clergy vs. laity divide. It has vested its ministry in professionals. Yet a church must have all its members functioning to maintain health.
We are getting ready for another move of God, and the "stayaway saints" are just the beginning. Many are meeting in homes for fellowship. I believe there is nothing we can do to stop it.
I have attended church all my life. But it wasn't until 1979 that Jesus saved me. Can you imagine? Going to church and never knowing about Jesus?
Since that time the Lord has directed my life, not man. I feel like many of your readers. You do not have to be in a brick building to be in the body of Christ.
My husband and I were in a church, but the leadership operated with a controlling spirit. The Lord had been dealing with us to leave. We obeyed and joined a church in the same town.
What a blessing! We don't believe in church-hopping, but when there's abuse, and leadership refuses to correct it, there comes a point when you forgive and walk away.
New Testament believers all were expected to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and be Christ-like. Today, most believers are expected to be passive followers of those who lord over them.
Manipulation and intimidation are used to maintain control. There are few or no opportunities for believers to participate in the gifts. This is not the pattern established by Christ.
Robert E. Green
Las Cruces, New Mexico
A vast majority of dropouts left church because there is no life in it. It is filled with religion and a hierarchal system that was foreign to the early church.
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
I decided to leave church after years of hypocrisy, manipulation, guilt trips, exploitation, favoritism, nepotism, selfishness and a focus on increasing attendance by doing frivolous programs, instead of saving the lost. Pastors need to wake up and start to find out why people are leaving. It's a two-way street.
Cedar Park, Texas
Jesus could have done His ministry alone, but He chose to work with a group of 12. They betrayed and deserted Him. Do you think He didn't want to leave His "church" at times? Let's be challenged as we love and serve God's people as He did.
Ann Arbor, Michigan