I want to thank Charisma for writing a balanced article about the movie Jesus Camp (Fire in My Bones online, March 16). I am the father of the boy named Levi in the movie and also pastor to one of the other three children highlighted, Rachael.
Please know that there is nothing about Becky Fischer's ministry that is fear-based. When you see children looking nervous in the movie, please know that the shots of the audience do not necessarily match real time with the speaker. Our kids never felt guilty or fearful with Becky. That said, it is amazing how many people have been touched radically while viewing this movie.
One Baptist pastor said he began preaching the baptism of the Holy Spirit after seeing it. A father who watched the movie with his 10-year-old son said the screening marked the first time his son was happy since his mom died two years ago. A Spanish-speaking congregation in New England showed the film to 50 children, and now the members are sharing Jesus with friends.
The kids from our church, many who are seen in the movie, continue to march on with Jesus. We recommend Becky Fischer's ministry to anyone.
Pastor Tim O'Brien
Rock of Ages Worship Center
St. Robert, Missouri
China's Great Revival
Thank you for the report on Brother Yun ("China's Brave Witness" by Paul Steven Ghiringhelli, April). Shandong Province in China was mentioned several times in the story. It reminded me of a great revival that occurred in that province in the 1920s in which thousands of Chinese came into the kingdom. Some believe that revival was the foundation for the house-church movement sweeping China today.
Years ago I met C.L. Culpepper, a Southern Baptist missionary and one of the leaders of that great revival. He told me an amazing story about his wife going blind, and how the doctors said there was nothing that could be done for her. But two Scandinavian missionaries prayed for her and she was healed. This was only one of many miracles that occurred during the revival.
Barack Obama and Unfair Politics
We were disappointed with Stephen Strang's recent editorial about politics (Final Word, March). He wrote: "It's been rumored that [Barack] Obama is a Muslim because his father was a Muslim." This smacks of tabloid journalism.
Mr. Obama wrote about his Christian conversion in his book. He said: "Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God's Spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will and dedicated myself to discovering His truth." If he experienced the Holy Spirit, what does it matter what his father believed?
John and Sally DeVincenzo
San Luis Obispo, California
I find that Christian leaders are not giving a straight story on some of the Democratic hopefuls. Yes, Barack Obama was a young Muslim, but I know a lot of people who were baptized as Christians yet they no longer believe in God.
Obama is a liberal, but I believe he is a Christian. I think we believers are willing to sell our souls to the devil to get a Republican in office.
I read an excerpt from Barack Obama's book The Audacity of Hope in which he stated that he is not sure what happens to us when we die. My heart went out to him and I wrote him a letter, but I don't know if he ever read it. I am a registered Republican.
Aimee M. Richmond, M.D.
I disagree with those who wrote letters against the endorsement of political parties and candidates by Christian publications, ministers and churches. If we Christians do not endorse those who represent our morals, we may end up with people in office who will be against our values and will try to restrict us from speaking about our faith.
The Obesity Epidemic
Your recent cover story on health was excellent ("God's Secrets for Divine Health" by Don Colbert, M.D., January). I thought I had seen obesity before, but when I moved from the West Coast to the South I was shocked. It has become an epidemic—even among believers.
How long will Christians continue ignoring what the Lord told us about our bodies? How can we talk to others about the fruit of the Spirit when our bodies contradict our words? Please continue to address this timely and sensitive issue.
Does God Like Hip-Hop?
Some of your readers must be so wrapped up in hip-hop music that they couldn't hear what hip-hop critic G. Craige Lewis is saying (News, February). He makes a clear distinction between hip-hop and rap music. He acknowledges that godly rappers are doing the will of God and spreading the gospel.
Lewis opposes the hip-hop culture because its origins are not godly. His research is undeniable. He has an anointed message from God. It is sad to see that so many who call themselves Christians don't know the difference between truth and error.
Walter F. Ales
DeFuniak Springs, Florida
The Antichrist in Miami
I was a member of two prominent churches in Tulsa that preached the same false doctrine as José Luis De Jesús Miranda—the cult leader based in Miami who calls himself the Antichrist (News, April). I was deeply saddened to hear that another saint has been deceived by Satan in the form of apostasy and false doctrine.
The Word clearly says we must confess Jesus Christ as Savior for salvation. My prayer is that everyone would seek God and search the Scriptures.
No More Greasy Grace
J. Lee Grady's editorial about the lack of integrity in the church today has some good points (Fire in My Bones, April). But the advertisements in your magazine are full of ministers who have been exposed in sinful lifestyles and then are restored to leadership a few years later. Does anyone read 2 Peter 2 anymore?
I agree with J. Lee Grady. However, "independent charismatic churches" are not the only ones that are soft on sin. This attitude is also prevalent in many Spirit-filled denominations. The church in the United States needs a spiritual awakening from top to bottom.
It was unfair that you listed independent charismatic churches as the only ones that have developed this "lovey-dovey" culture that shies away from hard-line discipline. Second Timothy 4:3-4 says people in the last days will not endure sound doctrine and will turn away from the truth. One reason I left the mainline church was because many were steering away from the truth of the Bible.
What bank would hire a teller who was caught stealing from the drawer at a previous bank? And yet pastors are "restored" to leadership instead of being made to function for the rest of their lives as faithful laymen. We need pastors who are always faithful to God's call to holiness in their lives, behind the scenes and in their marriages.
It is time Charisma magazine stopped running ads featuring Christian leaders who have not been faithful to lead the church by the example of their own lives.
Red Springs, North Carolina
Rescuing the Children
Thank you for publishing the article on the International Justice Mission ("Who Will Cry for Justice?" by David Lee Mundy, February). So many sexually abused girls were not getting help before this organization came on the scene.
West Salem, Wisconsin
The horrible child trafficking I read about in your recent report touched me so strongly that I was on the verge of getting sick ("Girls Are Not For Sale" by Diana Scimone, December). I cannot fathom the pain felt by the millions of innocent children around the world who are abused in this way.
At first I was too upset to even see any hope of rescue for these little ones. I felt an overwhelming feeling of despair. But God opened a door by showing me your article and that introduced me to your organization. I am thrilled to support the effort to help these children, both financially and with prayer.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Editor's note: So far, our readers have given $5,802 to our nonprofit partner, Christian Life Missions, to help the victims of child-sex trafficking.
More on Ted Haggard
This letter is in response to the person who asked how Ted Haggard could be blessed with a large church and prominence in ministry (Feedback, March). God allowed this man to prosper until the time was right to expose Haggard's spiritual darkness to the light. In all things, even immorality, God's will determines the time when sin is exposed.
Beverly D. Harris
With regard to the question raised concerning Ted Haggard, his success as a man, and how we should respond to homosexuality in the church. Jesus would teach that it is sin, and that it is an abomination in God's eyes—even in the pulpit.
Repentance, therefore, is in order for the body of Christ. God will not tolerate this type of lukewarm living. If we do not repent, Jesus said He would eventually spew us out of His mouth. Let's not confuse church growth and "successful Christianity" with the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
I read your coverage of Ted Haggard's removal from church leadership. I tend to argue that power, wealth and sex are usually the reasons for such moral failures. Abraham, David and Solomon accumulated great wealth and power as a result of their relationships with the Lord yet lived in violation of the Creator's command that a sexual relationship is for one man and one woman for life.
As men and women gain power and wealth, many are tempted with the question: "What good is all this if I can't indulge my sexual desires?" We shouldn't be surprised that leaders are tempted in this sex-saturated society.