The Gender Debate
I loved your cover story on women in ministry ("Make Way for the Women" by Maureen D. Eha, June), but Charisma left out two extremely important women who may not be as well known in the charismatic world. They are Beth Moore and Kay Arthur. God has used both women in educating men and women in the Bible, and Moore especially has had a life-changing ministry to many women.
Take a look at the picture of the women on the cover of your magazine. You are praising them as teachers and preachers. You need to read Titus 2:5—which says women should be "workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands" (NASB).
Why you cannot see that what you're doing is against Bible truth is beyond me. Seems we have a great number of people who claim to be Christians but are nothing more than big bags of wind.
Herman C. Quillin
Fort Blackmore, Virginia
How can these women in your cover story claim to be doing God's will when what they are doing is completely against Scripture? Have they not read 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, which says women should be silent in the church?
How can a woman claim she is doing God's will when by doing so her husband divorces her, as in the case of one of the women you interviewed? It's sad that so many Christians today get caught up in serving themselves rather than the Lord.
Fort Myers, Florida
Although I am all for women advancing in areas of leadership in the church, five of the seven women on the cover of Charisma are wearing pantsuits. I know the outside of a person doesn't reveal what's inside, but I would think that if a woman were going to be in leadership she should at least dress like a lady.
For years I have heard from women that the No. 1 thing they want from their husbands is for them to lead the family. What is the message we are sending here? Is it that the men should follow the next trend in church and let women lead? As long as a woman is in the forefront, a man will always be in the background.
Several years ago Charisma broached the issue of women in ministry. I wrote then, and after reading your June issue I feel exactly the same! Even revivals, though they begin as God's outpourings, are tested against Scripture.
It is incumbent on someone to do the same with regard to women in leadership. I'm asking that the case be made.
Lake Forest, California
Thanks for telling how God is leading women into wider areas of service. But I was grieved to see the word "feminazis" in J. Lee Grady's otherwise good column (Fire in My Bones, June). Someone who makes off-color remarks about women coined the term. It has also been used to wound women who are struggling to answer God's call on their lives.
Greenville, South Carolina
The apparent success of female senior pastors means nothing. Most of the church in the West is infected with "itching ear syndrome," which is reflected in much of what we see on Christian TV. Some women exercise true spiritual leadership in various areas, but not as overseers in the church. Stop pandering and start preparing believers for the trials that are about to descend.
The fact is there were not a lot of men coming to church 10 or 20 years ago. Mostly women with small children attended. Therefore God raised up women in the church to be leaders and more. Then Promise Keepers came along and encouraged men to become godly leaders. Today we are struggling with chauvinistic men who want more control instead of asking, "What does God want?"
As I read the profiles of women in ministry I wondered if they would have come this far if they had been single. The church has come a long way in dealing with racial prejudice, but it hasn't begun to see prejudice against singles for the sin it is.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Editor's note: Two of the women featured in our June cover photo are single.
Why Men Boycott Church
Indeed there is a problem in America when millions of men are staying away from churches, as J. Lee Grady wrote (Fire in My Bones, June). As a longtime churchgoer, I have not seen any "macho religion" as Grady described, and I prefer seeing the core problem addressed rather than a fringe idea.
The matter of men being "threatened by anointed women of God" is a red herring. Most of the men boycotting church are unable to name even one of the anointed women featured in Charisma.
Traditionalists may avoid the Scriptures supporting female leadership, but are we better? I confess my own discomfort with 1 Corinthians 14:34 ("Let your women keep silent in the churches," NKJV) and similar verses, but there must be a reason for them. We must permit them to speak to our hearts.
A more central issue is the devaluation of the masculine role in modern American life. Neither traditional nor charismatic churches have made any real effort to reverse this trend. So why are men staying away from Sunday worship? Because they will hear the echo of a worldly spin on a topic important to them, instead of the support they have a right to expect.
Charleston, South Carolina
No Time to Fear
I am troubled by your promotion of Mike Evans' book about radical Islam in Iran ("The Spiritual Force Behind the Iraq War," June). This is not a Christian message. The book calls us to fear—when Jesus said over and over, "Fear not."
I am glad Evans calls us to fervent prayer, but his book ignores the fact that our war in Iraq is spawning more jihadists.
What's up with the full-page advertisement for the movie Evan Almighty? How could the sequel to Bruce Almighty have any redeemable quality? Where is the fear of God when we align ourselves with Hollywood's debasement of the very concept of God?
Charlotte, North Carolina
It's Time to Pray
Mother Willie Mae Rivers wrote a powerful column (Somebody Say Amen!, June). As a writer, I have been compelled by the Holy Spirit to earnestly pray for Christian marriages. And after reading Mother Rivers' motivating words, I am even more stirred up to pray with passion—coming against the spirit of darkness that permeates America.
Thank God for the seasoned words of Mother Willie Mae Rivers! Her message was powerful and challenging. And with 10 adult daughters, I know she knows what she's talking about.
Wisdom from a Rabbi
I'd like to say thank you to Rabbi Jonathan Bernis for his column about Rabbi Z. Yechiel Eckstein's organization, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (Ask the Rabbi, April). I am a Messianic Jew and I've given to this organization. I was wondering about the group prior to reading his column, and now I have clarity. I appreciate his honesty in helping us understand the subject.
Live Oak, California