Thank you for such an encouraging article about women in ministry ("Make Way for the Women" by Maureen D. Eha, June). Many times I felt called to ministry and ran into so many obstacles that I pretty much gave up.
When I was in my early 20s, I was asked to share my testimony at a church. When I showed up, the pastor said God told him to give me the service. Well, I had already written a Bible study on the fear of God and I started preaching on that.
The response was overwhelming, with people running up to the front of the church for prayer. It freaked me out. God moved powerfully, but the next day when I shared this with my pastor, he said I shouldn't have preached! He made me feel as if I had done something dreadfully wrong.
Thankfully today I'm attending a church where the senior pastor, Steve Gray, believes in empowering women. His wife, Kathy, is a dynamic example of a female minister. They mentored me for several years when I was on staff and totally turned my view of ministry around. Now I serve in several volunteer positions and I'm empowered to be all God wants me to be.
My heart goes out to the millions of women who have a passionate desire to minister but have no support. Your article shows it can be done and leaves us without any excuses.
Kansas City, Missouri
Defining True Worship
In your recent article about the David Crowder Band ("It's a Worship Revolution" by Chad Bonham, July), the writer made an important point that needs to be emphasized. Please don't call all church music "worship"—it is "worship music."
Music certainly is one element of worship. But just because there is music does not mean there is true worship. I recall my surprise some time ago when I went to a worship conference and found that it actually was a conference for musicians.
The Gender Factor
I was saddened that those who do not hold to the egalitarian view of women's roles in the church were slandered as chauvinistic in your recent cover story ("Make Way for the Women" by Maureen D. Eha, June). This is loaded language that does not help the debate. It dismisses those with a different view as having a wrong motivation.
Some Christians believe men and women have role distinctions. I know the women portrayed in the article. They are great women of God. However, to portray one's opponents as chauvinistic is a bold power assertion that has no place in the argument.
Daniel Juster, director
Take a look at the seven women on the cover of Charisma in June. You are praising them as teachers and preachers. Do you really believe the Bible is true? If you do, you do not follow its teaching. The Bible says women should remain in silence and be keepers of the home.
Herman C. Quillin
Fort Blackmore, Virginia
As women who study the Bible and attend weekly Sabbath services, we question the validity of the ministries these women say God called them to. This is diametrically opposed to the scriptural directives Paul wrote to Timothy.
We would like to encourage women everywhere who seek the truth of God's Word to accept what it says to them. For then and only then can they truly belong to Him.
Annette Scott and Rosa Lathon
There is a subject I want to get on my soapbox about. Too many Christian women are wearing low-cut necklines. Even those in ministry are modeling them.
I love style and well-dressed women, but a plunging neckline is not what I believe Paul had in mind when he said women should dress modestly.
It makes me sick how these women are just copying the world. It grieves me to see Christian women who are leaders yet are poor examples in this area.
Huron, South Dakota
Ten and even 20 years ago there were not a lot of men coming to church. Mostly women with small children would come and go to the altar for prayer. Therefore, God raised up women in the church. Then the Promise Keepers movement came along encouraging men to get into the Word and become godly men.
Today, we are struggling in churches with controlling male chauvinists who want more control instead of asking what God wants. The Father does not look at gender. He is releasing more women to rise up and pray and prophesy in church.
Randy and Paula White
It's interesting that people seem to be overlooking the fact that Paula and Randy White are "media moguls" ("Trouble in Tampa Bay," Charisma Online, June). They have television shows, tapes and books. Their wealth does not come only from inside the church.
If they didn't have a church, they would still be extraordinarily wealthy! There are simply some people in this world who will be wealthy.
Regarding wealthy church leaders, doesn't the Bible say we are to live modestly? This is very confusing. God does bless, but it seems a lot of emphasis is placed these days only on financial blessings. I don't know what to think because there is conflicting teaching using the Scriptures for each viewpoint.
Down on Israel
I was disappointed with the June issue of Charisma, which contained a section about travel to Israel. I thought your focus was the Great Commission. Are Christians supposed to supply the tourists that Israel needs to bolster its economy?
Jews, Muslims and all people need the gospel, and it is our responsibility to see that they receive it. You seem concerned that Christ will reject unbelieving Israel, yet you forget the Palestinian believers who are brethren in Christ.
It is time to get off this prophetic kick. Our first responsibility is to fellow believers (both Jewish and gentile) and not to unbelieving Israel.
W. Herbert Woolley
Is Israel the "Holy Land," or is it just plain dirt that Jesus told His disciples to shake off their sandals? If Jesus were ministering on the earth today, He would turn over the tables of Christian leaders who are making so much money hawking the very thing He said to leave behind. So much is spent for the welfare of the Jews, but almost nothing is spent to spread the gospel of salvation.
Many people are led to believe that they can be blessed only if they make a trip to the Holy Land. The poor and the rest of us who are left behind have only Jesus.
There is no way that I as a Christian could support President Bush's Roadmap to Peace. He was lying when he said giving Gaza to the Palestinians would make them more peaceful. It has only placed more Israelis in danger.
Bush is dangerously naive, and Condoleezza Rice should refuse to be his secretary of state. I applaud Colin Powell for refusing to be part of his war or diplomacy.
How does one explain the "quiet faith" of Condoleezza Rice and her longtime membership in the Council on Foreign Relations ("The Faith of Condoleezza Rice" by Leslie Montgomery, June). The goal of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an atheistic, one-world government.
You cannot serve two masters. Either Rice is a deceived Christian or she knows exactly what her membership in the CFR requires of her.
Where Does Obama Stand?
In response to Final Word by Stephen Strang, April, I agree we can't say Barack Obama is Muslim just because his father was. But we do need to be careful not to assume someone is a Christian just because they say they are. We can't judge their souls, but we can check their fruit. Where do our prospective leaders stand on abortion, gay marriage and other issues? Being a Christian isn't just a title; it's a lifestyle choice.
Fire in My Bones (J. Lee Grady, July) was very timely. He mentioned that he loves the new worship bands on the scene but that he had been having some unusual times of intimacy with God while singing from an old Baptist hymnal he has owned since childhood. I can relate because of the lyrics in my memory bank from years of singing from the hymnal.
Merritt Island, Florida