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My Turn

I’m a Spirit-filled Anglican priest, and I’m concerned about some comments made regarding Todd Bentley and supernatural manifestations such as visions of heaven, angelic visitations and feathers (Fire in My Bones online, Aug. 20).

I would encourage Charisma to consider the impact your statements have on believers. Many of us had reservations about excesses in Bentley’s ministry in the revival in Lakeland, Florida, but I can truthfully say that members of our church attended those services and returned with renewed faith and a passion to reach the world for Christ. Whatever problems existed, God certainly blessed our parish through the spiritual impact of those services.

John Wesley made an observation about spiritual manifestations in his journal. Having ministered in a congregation with manifestations of the Spirit accompanying his preaching, he was surprised to return to the parish and find the manifestations had become less pure than at his initial visit. Wesley reflected, “Nature hath mixed with grace.”

No ministry can claim perfection. All of us are growing. Had I not experienced some of the more unusual “minor miracles” of gold-colored dust and feathers falling in our church, I would not have believed them possible. I can hardly describe my surprise when these manifestations happened in our congregation.

None of those who experienced manifestations have become inflated with pride or tempted to worship angels. Spiritual gifts can be misused, but it doesn’t mean they’re not valid.
Rev. Charles Osborne
Light of Christ Anglican Church
Marietta, Georgia

The Sarah Palin Phenomenon

Charisma is consistently right on the money. Especially with this one about Sarah Palin (Fire in My Bones online, Sept. 10). I’ve been saying she has become the “darling of America,” and that God will use her to lead us into some wonderful changes.
John Stevens
Phoenix, Arizona

Please stop turning Charisma into a political magazine. Don’t use this God-given medium as a vehicle to propagate your political biases and preferences. It’s not right. I have greatly admired your magazine over the years as it has brought us sincere and clear information about Christianity. What happened to that sincerity? Posterity will judge us on account of what we do with all we have.
Rev. Folahan Adelope
Atlanta, Georgia

J. Lee Grady called Gov. Sarah Palin a “Holy Ghost-filled woman” (Fire in My Bones online). Isn’t that a bit presumptuous? Just because she’s anti-abortion doesn’t mean she’s filled with the Holy Spirit. And if she’s such a powerful Christian, why couldn’t she teach her 17-year-old daughter to observe abstinence?
Cameron M. Turner
Monrovia, California

In Defense of Barack Obama

I usually agree with J. Lee Grady’s editorials, but not the one he wrote about Barack Obama (Fire in My Bones online). Grady had no problem using Sen. Obama’s middle name, Hussein, yet he did not use Sen. John McCain’s middle name when referring to him. It is my prayer that we would refrain from furthering the slanderous remarks made about Obama and his supposed Islamic ties.
Deborah Moore
Chicago, Illinois

Good inflammatory rhetoric, Charisma. But I must ask: How many unborn babies were saved by pro-life, “born-again Christian” President George W. Bush in the last eight years? I am pro-life, but to suggest that electing Obama as opposed to McCain will make even a shred of difference in saving unborn babies is ridiculous!
name withheld

Sorting Out Lakeland

I was extremely disappointed to pick up your magazine and find many people tearing down the recent revival in Lakeland, Florida (Feedback, August). Some readers of your magazine suggested that evangelist Todd Bentley was casting out devils by use of more powerful demons. The Pharisees accused Jesus of the same thing.
Alisha Droegmiller
Holstein, Iowa

GOD TV owes the world an apology for claiming that any criticism of Todd Bentley is “demonic.” The following that Bentley assembled around himself is a clear sign that the body of Christ needs to get into the Scriptures. Discernment has never been so lacking.
Chadwick Harvey
Kannapolis, North Carolina

I am from Hungary, and I am shocked to see what is going on in the United States. An evangelist on a stage hitting people or kicking others in the stomach when praying for them? Do we need to push people to the floor?

And then, after this evangelist’s failures became known, people were afraid to talk honestly. We need true repentance and true prophetic words—not shallow Christianity.
Rev. Dániel Kriszt
Debrecen, Hungary

The Lakeland revival was a mixture of both good and bad conclusions. But what it showed us is the genuine hunger for worship and for the presence of the Lord.

In some churches today, worship is shoved into 10 minutes, and the worship leader’s ministry is restricted. My prayer is that the “fire of desire” for more of God will prevail. We need it desperately.
Bill Williams
San Diego, California

People seem to be more interested today in signs and wonders than in obedience. Discernment is definitely lost in this generation. It seems some people felt it was ungodly to question the Lakeland revival.
Joe Leier
via e-mail

It seems Charisma is too worried about whether miraculous manifestations are from God or not. These kinds of things happened in the Old Testament: Manna fell from heaven, birds fed prophets, and the Red Sea parted. In the New Testament, Jesus spit in some dirt and put the mud on a man’s eyes. If a miracle is from God it will last.
Emily Wagner
Felton, Delaware

Stephen Strang, writing about Todd Bentley’s tattoos, wrote: “Anyone who covers himself with tattoos while in the ministry raises questions about his stability” (Strang Report, August 13). Tattoos have nothing to do with ministry. My son has two tattoos, one that says “Yeshua” in Hebrew and one that says “Yahweh.”

Your claim about tattoos makes me furious. I will do my best to discredit you.
Barbara Grantham
Cedar Crest, New Mexico

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