POPE GETS MIXED REVIEWS
Thanks for the article about Pope John Paul II and the Catholic charismatic movement ("Vicar of the Spirit," by Stephen Mansfield, June). I thank God that when the wave of the Holy Spirit went through churches in the 1960s and 1970s, it fell on me. It messed up things in my life for the better.
When I tried to tell Baptist people, they thought I had lost my mind; they thought I had gone to the holy rollers. I was bubbling over with a new thing in my life.
Willa Dean Skaggs
Charleston, South Carolina
Your presentation of the legacy of Pope John Paul II was excellent. May we all continue to learn from his example.
I am a former Catholic from Brazil, and 80 percent of my family is Catholic. Pope John Paul II has not helped them see the truth. Catholics in Brazil pray to idols. The Bible says idolatry is a sin, and it says those who practice it will not go to heaven.
I read your articles about the pope, and I noticed that he never once said Scripture was the only authority for his faith. He believed that the traditions of his church were equal to the Bible. That raises a red flag for all evangelical believers. I love the Catholic people. We should pray for them.
We live in a culture that works hard at legitimizing every belief system. For believers, this is a lie. Your devotion to the legacy of John Paul II appears to agree with this worldview. No amount of accolades can negate the anti-Christian doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.
Your magazine uses the title "Vicar of the Spirit" for Pope John Paul II. What spirit are you referring to? Certainly, you do not mean the Holy Spirit! I know word meanings change with centuries, but be aware that "vicar" means "vicarious substitute." In the Catholic Church, the vicar is a substitute for Christ!
Evangeline R. Johnson
A missionary from Spain sent in a cruel, anti-Catholic message and requested that his name be withheld (May). I was disappointed that you would enable someone saying such things to hide his identity. Please, I implore you, require these people to sign their names.
Has Charisma gone Catholic? Just about everything in the June issue was about Catholics. I thought you were Pentecostals. The Catholic Church is full of paganism and witchcraft, and the pope is worshiped to some extent. You should get away from all that mess.
Spartanburg, South Carolina
I was saved out of the Catholic Church. Imagine my disgust when I discovered that you had put the pope on the cover of Charisma. If the head of the Jehovah's Witnesses dies next month, will you put him on the cover?
The Catholic Church isn't another sect of Christianity; it's a cult. I even went to a Catholic seminary for a weekend with the intent of becoming a priest. Still, I was dead in my trespasses. Then one day Jesus saved me and filled me with His precious Holy Spirit.
Rev. Michael Autera
Tender Mercies Ministry
In espousing the pope as "vicar of the Spirit," Charisma missed the point! What has the Catholic Church shown for its so-called moves of the Spirit? You shouldn't be a champion of a worldwide ecumenical "unity" of Catholics, Pentecostals and other Protestants. Scripture warns against this.
I was absolutely amazed that your magazine exalted Pope John Paul II. This is not to say he was a bad person, but deception often comes cloaked in righteousness. Those allusions to him being "open to the Spirit" (and I want to ask which spirit?) are cleverly stated.
Gloria M. Vittner
Middleburg Heights, Ohio
Was the pope born again? In 1987 he said Mary was divine and sinless. Was Mother Teresa born again? In a documentary featuring her in 1986, she stated clearly that one could get to God through any religion, including Islam and Buddhism. Although some believers are Catholic, the Catholic Church has always been at enmity with the true, believing church.
Battle Ground, Washington
I appreciated J. Lee Grady's column about the excesses of prosperity preachers ("Charismatic Idols," May). But I was disappointed to see a conference ad a few pages later declaring that God wants you to have the best in health and wealth. I would be encouraged to see Charisma editors put their money where their pens are by refusing such ads.
St. Cloud, Minnesota
Thank you for speaking the truth about the lavish lifestyles of some in ministry. God led me to give to a ministry once and the leader said that for every $100 gift he would rescue one girl from prostitution in India. I pledged $1,000 to get 10 girls out. Later this evangelist came back to my church and said, "We now have the building, and we need money to get the girls out of prostitution." I confronted him, and his response was:" We needed the building first." He did not speak of a building when he asked for pledges. I felt deceived.
Your article walks a fine line between preachers who scam the body of Christ and those who are truly blessed. I'm much more encouraged by preachers who walk in biblical prosperity. That is more godly than financially broke churches that say: "Give us all you can, but don't desire too much for yourself." That's hogwash. Jesus did not come so that we could "have life and have it more average."
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
I rarely attend revivals anymore or listen to "guest preachers." I hear them say things such as, "God says He wants a certain amount of people to plant a seed." It has started at $1,000 and ended with "just bring whatever you can." The book of Malachi says if I pay my tithes I'll be blessed.
OVER LOOKED BIBLES
I was thrilled to see an article about finding the right Bible translation in your April issue. However, I was dismayed to see two major translations completely overlooked in your article: The New King James Version (NKJV) and the New Century Version (NCV). The NKJV is the No. 1 translation on the Christian Booksellers Association's charts today, and the NCV is at No. 4. These translations could not have achieved the major status and growth they have received without strong consumer support.
Diane M. Crawford, publicist
Thomas Nelson Publishers
Corrections: In a feature article about Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida (June), we reported that attendance at the church has declined to less than 1,000 since revival services ended. However, pastor Randy Feldschau tells Charisma that average attendance is now close to 1,600. A news article about conservative Anglicans (February) should have stated that St. Stephen's Anglican Church is located in Oak Harbor, Washington, not Washington, D.C. A news article about spiritual revival among Navajo Indians (June) mistakenly reported that Daniel "Larry" Furcap is licensed with the Church of God. Charisma regrets the errors.
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