Bernice King Has the Spirit
Thank you for the cover story on Bernice King ("She's Been to the Mountaintop, Too" by Valerie Lowe, February). Bernice's witness in Charisma was a tremendous blessing. I've read and reread it several times. I give thanks to the Lord for her story of meeting the Lord, coming to fully surrender to Him and being anointed by the Holy Spirit's fullness.
I also give thanks for how the Lord helped her to finally process her father's tragic death. I have a joyful satisfaction in how God is placing her in ministry for such a time as this.
I am praying for this anointed minister. May God bless and keep her close to Himself and protect her with His mighty hand.
Ruth L. Sentz
Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
The Devil in the Toybox
I appreciated the article "Pokémon Invasion" (February). I am an elementary school teacher at a Christian school, and teachers there have the opportunity to show children why the cards are contrary to the Word of God.
One Pokémon card explained that it had the ability to "induce splitting headaches" upon its victims. But our memory verses teach children about healing through the blood of Jesus!
Thanks for having the boldness to publish the article on Pokémon. Your magazine is helping to further God's kingdom by alerting the church to potential dangers.
I hope Satan has overplayed his hand on this one. Because of Pokémon, the church will sense the deep spiritual hunger in our children that God wants to meet in them today.
Rev. Jeffrey L. Bundt
A 9-year-old neighborhood boy, who had never been a problem before, broke into our home three times to steal Pokémon cards. When we asked him why, he replied with a wild look in his eyes: "I know it's wrong, but I just can't control it. A voice in my head tells me I just have to have those cards!"
We've learned that Pokémon is an introduction to witchcraft that has a demonic anointing. We asked God to forgive us and we threw all the cards away.
Nina May is quoted in the Pokémon article as allowing her kids to engage in Pokémon mania despite insight she gained from the TV show. It was based on her reasoning "to be in the world, but not part of it."
Why not toss the kids tarot cards and an Ouija board while you're at it? Pokémon is either a negative influence, or it's not.
It disappointed me when one of the parents quoted in the Pokémon article expressed that they think it's OK if you let your children play with the cards as long as you pray over them first and limit the time kids are allowed to play.
That's like bringing a Ouija board into your child's room and saying, "Let's pray over it first, and then you can play it for 10 minutes." There are better ways for a Christian parent to explain good and evil without playing with it.
As a Christian parent, I welcome Pokémon into my home. Unlike many vulgar and violent cartoons on television today, Pokémon has a refreshing sense of innocence, honor and tenderness. We have watched the show as a family for more than a year and have enjoyed its messages on integrity, responsibility and compassion.
There are Christian messages in Pokémon, like when Ash gives his life for Pikachu after Pikachu refuses to fight. Yes, there are battles--but not the shoot-to-kill violence of most shows and video games. And as for "magical powers" we need to remember: This is make believe. Do we ban Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, too?
Unless we believe that there are forces out there stronger than the Almighty, we have nothing to fear.
Jim and Lori Bakker
Thank you for sharing how our wonderful and restoring Lord is using Jim and Lori Bakker ("When Mourning Turns to Joy" by Mary Hutchinson, February). Even though Jim made horrible mistakes and Lori had five abortions, through the righteousness of Jesus He is using their pain to help heal others.
I can't begin to tell you what the article on Lori Bakker meant to me. I wish there were some way to get reprints, or perhaps a tract, for personal distribution to teens, hurting women and men. People I admire the most are not the people who make it and never fall, but the ones who fall, yet get up.
Friday Harbor, Washington
Thank you for your report on the Bakkers. With all the hurting people in the body of Christ, I found much hope and encouragement in their ministry. I believe multitudes of wounded people will be transformed and healed because of the grace of God working through Jim Bakker.
The article about Lori Bakker really touched me. It is a blessing to know that Charisma is open to printing articles on the topic of abortion. Far too many Christians have chosen to believe that it doesn't happen in their church.
Churches need to be open to the cries of their people and generously support their local crisis pregnancy centers where Christian love and counseling are available for those who are not only in a crisis pregnancy, but who need help to overcome the trauma of past abortion. I applaud what Lori Bakker is now doing and pray that many others will follow in her footsteps.
I recently watched Jim Bakker and his wife on the Larry King Live show and was amazed to hear him say that he believed that all the Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis during World War II would enter heaven. Where did he get this new doctrine? I am surprised that with his knowledge of the Word he made such a statement.
I see Jim Bakker wants to start another TV ministry. I supported PTL for a long time, but I wouldn't trust Jim again with my money. He misused it.
I think his starting a new TV ministry would be telling young people, "Go ahead, commit adultery and have abortions--God will forgive you when you're older."
It was with sadness that I read the reports about the new homosexual denomination (People & Events, January). It seems people are changing the gospel to suit their lifestyles rather than allowing the gospel to mold and change them.
Santa Claus, Indiana
It was with an open jaw of surprise that I read National Gay Pentecostal Alliance co-founder William H. Carey's negative and shocking exploration on homosexuality in the church! Men like Joe Dallas and Arnold Lastinger have boldly stood up for the truth. Scriptural truths like Genesis 19:4-8 and Leviticus 20:13 can't be explained away or swept under the carpet.
Rev. Moses Emujeghwro
Warri, Delta State, Nigeria
Homosexuality has been around for a very long time. According to Genesis 9:20-25, one of Noah's sons practiced it, and in the book of Judges we are told some Benjamites gave place to it. The righteous must speak out against all sin, in love.
Arnold Lastinger's comments concerning gay Pentecostals reminded me a lot of the prodigal son's brother. Instead of rejoicing that his gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters are experiencing the fullness of God, he is angered that God's grace is being poured on those he feels are undeserving.
For years I struggled with spirituality and my sexuality, but I can't deny the power of God working in my life as a gay Christian.
Michael Barnard Baltimore, Maryland
I am a fourth generation Pentecostal minister's son and graduate of an Assemblies of God college in Lakeland, Florida. I grew up "getting saved" every Sunday night at a Pentecostal altar, and I received a call to preach when I was a teen-ager.
Along with thousands of others, I jumped through the evangelical and Pentecostal hoops to change my sexual orientation. But when jumping through all the prescribed hoops did not produce the promised result, I was forced to admit the potential causes of my sexual orientation.
Because of the preeminence of God's Word in my life, I had to know the right way to interpret the Bible on this subject. Regardless of whether the causes of homosexuality are genetic, biological, environmental, hormonal, chemical, social or emotional, one thing was certain: I was homosexual.
I went back to God's Word in the original languages and reexamined the historical and cultural context of the passages that are traditionally used to condemn homosexuals. "Peace be still" began to be spoken in the midst of my storm.
I couldn't live the lie anymore. I had been serving Jesus with all my heart: Born again, Spirit-filled, a husband, a father, pastoring...but with a secret. I was killing myself and hurting others trying to fit a mold the church created for me.
Thanks, but no more hoops, molds or masks for me. I'm still born again, Spirit-filled, have a partner, am a father, pastor a church, love Jesus and believe in sexual fidelity.
Robert L. Morgan, pastor
Potter's House Fellowship
COGIC Battle Continues
I'm glad Charisma published the report "Church of God in Christ Goes to Court in Florida" (People & Events, February). It is sad that those in authority have tried to become God! I admire pastor Derrick Hutchins and Bishop Charles Blake for taking a stand.
Instead of Christ's church moving forward, it is moving backwards. Where there is no vision, the people perish, and I'm afraid we are perishing as a people.
Newark, New Jersey
I was thoroughly disgusted by your story on the Church of God in Christ. The report reminded me of secular publications that often resort to partial facts and muckraking. Charisma's publication of internal matters in COGIC reflects unfavorably upon the magazine. You should seek to know both sides of the issue and present an unbiased article.
Bishop Norman L. Prescott
Montclair, New Jersey
No More Family Secrets
I just had to comment on the article by Scott A. Hagan, "Are You Haunted By Your Family Tree?" (February). Why is this man not writing novels?
He captured my attention and stirred my heart with the opening story about John Stocker, and to this day I am still wondering about John. Hagan painted the story with masterful imagery. I liked how he weaved the story and the Word together.
I read with interest your article on generational curses. The only scriptural support for this idea comes from Exodus 4:5-6, a passage that has nothing to do with "finding freedom from sin" as Hagan contends. The entire context has to do with divine judgment, not the "traits passed among the branches of the family tree."
The word visit in verse 5 is a judicial term. The "curse" portion is said to extend only to "the third and fourth generation of them that hate" God.
A Heart for Missions
My heart was moved by your cover story on world evangelism, "Why We Must Go to the Ends of the Earth" (January). Unfortunately, the statistics regarding the world's poor were greatly magnified by the report on Benny Hinn's planned $30 million healing park in Dallas.
It doesn't make sense. We don't need a healing park. Our job is to heal the nations.
San Diego, California