It’s great that Charisma mentioned the names and churches of the leaders who converged in June to "align" evangelist Todd Bentley during the Lakeland Outpouring on June 23. Yet it seems you carefully avoided mentioning that the Assemblies of God (AG) is involved in this movement (Charisma News Bulletin, June 24).
Aren’t you ignoring the elephant in the room? It’s like you are purposely avoiding a mention of the largest, most influential movement of leaders and churches in the charismatic world. Pastor Stephen Strader, who has hosted the Lakeland meetings since April 2, is an AG minister.
You seemed to go to great lengths to mention fringe players who have done so little to be the initiators of this move but are heralded to establish its legitimacy. I’ve seen hundreds of our leaders take bold steps, fast and pray, make the investments, take the heat, and then see God move in their ministries. It’s a testimony to the strength of our nearly 100-year-old fellowship that is committed to seeking revival.
We’re not the best, we’re not the greatest, but some really neat things consistently happen in our churches and ministries that often are deliberately ignored. We probably should accept the marginalization of our movement by the print media as part of the price for a genuine move of the Holy Spirit. But it would be kind if you would include us, even though everybody knows.
Missionary to Latin America
Obama and the Wright Controversy
I read your recent comments about Barack Obama (Fire in My Bones by J. Lee Grady, June). I was somewhat disappointed. The comments give the impression that Christians are myopic and somewhat disingenuous.
We must remember that Sen. Obama is not running for pastor of the Christians in the United States; he is running for president of the whole nation--including the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
B. Andrew Lane
Destiny Covenant Christian Center
Buffalo, New York
I am not voting for Barack Obama. He stated once we need to embrace all religions. Wrong! Many politicians call themselves Christian, but do not have a saving knowledge of Jesus. And I can’t vote for those who believe in abortion and same-sex marriage.
Klamath Falls, Oregon
I applaud you for writing about Barack Obama. During a television interview in Illinois, before he became a candidate for the U.S. Senate, I heard Obama strongly endorse gay marriage and say that anyone who is against gay marriage is a bigot. Voters need to be aware of Obama’s unbiblical viewpoint.
Orland Park, Illinois
J. Lee Grady was right on the money about Jeremiah Wright. I have never read a more well-written article. It is hard to believe so many people are listening to what Barack Obama is saying, and ignoring all the signs from his life choices that make it so obvious that he is not a wise choice for president. It’s like "sheep being led to slaughter." More people are interested in who won American Idol than what is going on in the real world anyway. It is indeed a sad society we live in.
When Revival Gets Messy
Thank you for bringing clarity to the main controversial points of the Lakeland, Florida, revival (Fire in My Bones online, May 14). Like every other minister of the gospel, I want to see people experience the presence of the Lord. But it is so important that we maintain biblical integrity.
Wes R. Cleaver
Spectacular claims that turn out to be false do severe damage to the church’s credibility. It discredits the church in the eyes of the world and may shake the faith of the weak and wavering. The claims of Christianity must hold up against tough scrutiny; otherwise it’s just an empty worldview.
I experienced the Latter Rain revival, the Voice of Healing revival, the charismatic renewal, Word of Faith revivals, the Pensacola Outpouring and some revivals in between. They all began as a sovereign work of the Spirit because believers prayed earnestly. Each of them slowed and finally stopped when pretenders promoted a center-of-stage attitude.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
I, too, want true revival and believe in all gifts and manifestations of God, but I want the real thing and will settle for nothing else. It is easy to be deceived when people are calling us to join this or that movement. Yet the warnings are clear in His Word.
Regarding the Lakeland, Florida, revival, prayer is the strongest recommendation I can muster. Everyone must pray that God will have His way in this revival, and that He will root out any false voices. Let God do it, not us. After all, this is God’s work, and He can certainly take care of all the details.
Pray and leave it up to Him! You’ve made your recommendations. Everyone on the Internet who is concerned will read it. So now, having had your say, drop it and let God be God.
The Gay Debate
I found your article about homosexuality disturbing ("What to Do When Your Child is Gay" by Mike Ensley, June). The author used phrases such as "homosexuality happens" and "your son no more chose to experience same-sex attractions."
Excuse me? There is an underlying assumption in the author’s writing that it’s a natural state. Nothing could be further from the truth!
St. Paul stated in at least two places in the New Testament that homosexuality is an abomination. That is a very strong word for something that "happens."
Mike Ensley’s advice is valid and helpful, but we must not understate the uncompromising sinfulness of homosexuality. Parents will struggle as described, but the process of self-introspection should not let a child off the hook in his struggle with sexual identity.
Homosexual practice is sin. Parents’ responsibility for such struggles is variable, but the individual’s responsibility to align his conduct in accordance with God’s clear admonition is not open for debate.
The struggle need not be borne alone. The Holy Spirit enters the hearts of people who are contrite. We must study the Word of God, pray and freely love others, including the unlovely. But we must not shrink from our duty to clearly identify sin before offering the ultimate solution, which is Jesus.
God and the Other Jews
Thank you for your issue honoring the work of believers in Israel ("Faces of Zion" by Nicole Schiavi, May). However, your readers would appreciate knowing that most of the Jewish believers I know, especially in Israel, do not think of themselves as "Christians," but as Jews who have found Yeshua, their own Messiah.
Thank you for your recent article about how God loves both Arabs and Jews ("God Loves Arabs, Too," Fire in My bones, May). It beautifully expresses our heart as we deal regularly with that awkward question you posed: "Has anybody noticed that there are Arab Christians in Israel who also need our support?" Thank you for your courage in asking it.
We pray that because of your question, more people will respond to your simple plea that their prayers remember our Arab brothers and sisters along with all the others in this nation whom the Lord desires will come to know Jesus Christ.
Steve and Jolene Hansen
Thanks for your article about reaching Arabs. Now I have a burning passion to get the word out to Muslim countries. It’s a privilege to help support Christian TV networks and the American Bible Society through satellite and other means.
Mary A. Morrow
It is clear we are called to pray for Israel and love the Israeli people by showing them the Messiah is alive in Jesus Christ. I believe it is equally clear that it is God who will judge and we are called to be His ambassadors pleading with all men to be "reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20).
For the month of August we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Charisma. Join us for giveaways each weekday, pages from our past, and more. We're including an anniversary special where you can get 40 issues of Charisma for only $40!