I have been amazed at the letters to the editor that are against speaking out about politics (Feedback, March). Maybe I missed an article, but I can't remember ever reading where Charisma told someone whom to vote for. I don't understand why Christians would be offended by information about political candidates.
Yes, some voters may do their homework before it's time to vote, but the majority of people I speak to during election time don't have a clue about what the candidates stand for. I praise God that you are not afraid to tell the truth about people running for office and political parties. I wish more pastors would encourage their congregations to hold special prayer meetings leading up to election time.
And I want to say thank you for Stephen Strang's column (Last Word, March). He revealed facts about people who have declared their candidacy, and he called for the church to go to war in prayer for our nation and future elections.
What I want to say is this: Wake up, church! Shake the slumber off. It's high time we humble ourselves and pray and repent for our apathy. We need all the information we can get and all the prayers we can pray before the next election.
Charisma, keep up the good work on calling us to pray and vote. Our freedom is not free. It cost a lot of people their lives so we could have our religious freedoms. People in other nations wish they had what we have, and if we don't wake up we're going to lose it.
We Need Revival
I thought the flames of revival in the United States had all but died down until I read your story about Bill Johnson's church in California ("Ignite the Fire" by C. Hope Flinchbaugh, March). I wish churches would catch fire and recommit to spreading the gospel in their communities and across the nation. Let's put aside our personal agendas and seek God's face like never before.
Thanks for the article on Bill Johnson. Last year a Spirit-filled Christian counselor recommended Johnson's book The Supernatural Power of the Transformed Mind. I am amazed at the revelation God has given Pastor Bill and the leaders of Bethel Church. I pray more articles like this will appear in Charisma.
Southold, New York
The Prosperity Debate
Thank you for publishing David Ravenhill's article about manipulative tactics used in fundraising (Prophetic Edge, March). His column was an excellent word in due season.
If only more people would confront this type of false teaching on prosperity. However, although I enjoy Charisma, it is somewhat confusing to read this powerful article and then see an advocate of the erroneous doctrine he exposes in an advertisement in the same magazine.
All the emphasis of some ministries on opulence, personal excess and extravagance is wrong, just as much as the poverty emphasis of a bygone era was wrong. Whatever happened to being reasonable? Why does someone in a ministry need to make so much more money than the average recipients of their ministry? They don't.
David Ravenhill's article is unfair to the whole of Scripture. He is reacting to what he perceives to be error, but apparently he ignores some plain teaching. Luke 6:38 teaches that we can determine our level of prosperity by our giving. I've proven that in my own life.
Rev. John Ponder
God and Your Diet
I was appalled by your recent cover story on health ("God's Secret for Divine Health" by Don Colbert, M.D.; January). In essence Colbert is saying that we must be thin, beautiful and fit for God's work and love. This is pure Babylonian thinking.
It matters not what we look like. The Holy Spirit in us draws people to hear the good news. I am ashamed of Colbert's message.
Havre de Grace, Maryland
I've been a health nut since 1961 and am happy to see healthy diet promoted everywhere. It's long overdue. But for some people there could be a subtle shift from the brokenness that comes from dependence on the Holy Spirit to the external happiness that comes from obsession with health. I've experienced both enough to know I'll take brokenness.
A pastor from Texas wrote to Charisma and said that people are obsessing over health and diet. But he did not address the fact that many Christians are overweight and die early.
Overeating and bad health go hand in hand. I applaud Charisma for doing the special issue on health. It was timely because Americans are eating their way to an early grave.
Lexington, South Carolina
The Texas pastor who complained about Dr. Don Colbert's article should go back to the Bible before he claims others are spreading heresy. Good health is a biblical concept.
We at Genesis HealthCare encourage Christians to eat right, exercise and humbly submit their wills to God. We do not "worship our bodies at the altar of a healthy diet" but rather love God and center our lives around Christ.
My experience tells me that it is much easier to cry "heresy" than it is to put down the hot dog and French fries and go lift some weights. God bless Colbert and his exceptional ministry.
West Bend, Wisconsin
No More Dirty Laundry
I work in a cardiology office that receives Charisma. As much as I would love to put a magazine in the waiting room that has spiritual benefit, I cannot. Do you realize that by airing the church's dirty laundry, you actually turn people away from the church?
Your recent article about the Paul Cain scandal comes to mind. I agree with what was said, but I don't think it's something to air in public.
San Francisco, California
The Pro-Gay 'Gospel'
I agree with J. Lee Grady concerning Jay Bakker's erroneous views on homosexuality (Fire in My Bones, February). If more people would read the Bible they'd realize that God sees this behavior as an abomination. We need to pray for homosexuals to wake up and see God loves them but that they need to change their ways.
Anderson, South Carolina
Amen to J. Lee Grady's simple rebuke of the "gay-affirming gospel." I was brought up Episcopalian, and I pastored a Disciples of Christ church. Both denominations, sadly, have become a stench in God's nostrils concerning homosexual sin—at least among the national leaders. I stand with Grady in combating apostasy and running with open arms to receive the lost.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
I was sexually abused for two years and initiated into pornography for the next 38 years. I met Jesus and He delivered me from the lies. My prayers go out to Jay Bakker, who is in error according to the Word of God.
Rev. John R. Thompson
Jesus defined sin as lack of love. What is so unloving about homosexuality?
San Ysidro, California
I love reading Grady's columns, but this one on Jay Bakker disturbs me. Isn't he shutting out gays and building walls? Some of the people you see as sinful are on fire for the Lord and are making a difference in the world.
I take offense at the way Grady's column gave the impression that the Church of God of Prophecy is in favor of homosexuality. The article was open-ended and needs attention, lest people who read it and hear of our church think we support Jay Bakker's beliefs.
Bunker Hill, Indiana
Editor's clarification: Grady's column stated that Troy Perry, the founder of a gay denomination, was affiliated at one time with the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP), before Perry adopted a gay-affirming theology. Perry has no connection to COGOP today. COGOP adheres to sound, biblical teaching about morality and does not in any way endorse homosexual behavior.
Thank you for being bold enough to address topics that must be addressed. The "gay-affirming gospel" is no gospel.
Bishop Frank Dupree
Bloomfield, New Jersey