Power Over The Dark Side
Your cover story in May on deliverance ministry ("They Shall Cast Out Demons") was thrilling and faith-building. I thank God for ministries that aren't afraid of being labeled kooky, but choose to boldly advance against the enemy. Thank you for excellent Christian journalism.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Thank you for taking a bold stand on the issue of casting out devils. Christians have mistakenly stayed away from this highly controversial topic for too long.
The Lord has used me to minister deliverance on several occasions, and every time it has been Spirit-filled Christians who have needed deliverance from demons. The need for deliverance is real.
As to whether a Christian can be demon-possessed, 1 Corinthians 6:19 says that "your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit" (NKJV). When a person is born again, Satan receives an eviction notice, and Christ moves in.
Jesus never signed a lease agreement to share residence with the devil. There may need to be some house cleaning, but the former resident is gone. Christians who are oppressed or harassed by demonic influence need only to exercise their authority in Christ and remind the devil, "I hear you knocking, but you can't come in."
Kent and Cindy Rogers
Please do an article on the abuses of deliverance ministry. For many people, exorcism has replaced holiness and obedience. When they sin, they reason it's not their fault, and they say they could not help themselves.
I've had more than 100 people come into my office and tell me that their sin problem was the result of possession, soul ties and generational curses. Not one has said it was the result of willful disobedience to God.
Cary, North Carolina
I appreciated the balance you presented. Yes, we are accountable for our sinful behavior, but we must also recognize the activity of demons.
I was grieved when you mentioned a ministry that had a team of 15 people ministering deliverance with a waiting list of three months. I agree that laypeople who minister deliverance must be trained, but it must never be limited to just a select few of the leaders. No believer should have to wait three months for freedom.
I was impressed with the article about casting out demons. God is getting His people ready for an influx of salvations as the Holy Spirit moves upon people. As a church, we must have our house in order to be able to minister to others. We have the authority in Jesus' name to overcome all powers of darkness without fear.
As a pastor I appreciated your dealing with the misunderstood issue of casting out demons. Pastors often are not comfortable dealing with it because they don't know how it will affect their churches or careers. Even some seminaries are unwilling to deal with this issue.
We live in a time when we are surrounded by evil, yet many are unwilling to acknowledge demonic activity. The reason this issue is not being dealt with in church can be summed up in one word: fear.
Tattooed for Jesus?
I've seen the last issue of Charisma that I care to see. Your article "Tattooed for God" (May), about Jay Bakker's outreach to the punk community, was the last straw. There is nothing about Jay Bakker's appearance that spells Jesus.
A few months ago your magazine reported on gold dust. Now it's punks and tattoos for Jesus. I know kids who look like that for no other reason than downright rebellion to their parents, the system and God. Think about it: Missionaries come back from devil-infested jungles with pictures of witch doctors and tribal chiefs pierced and tattooed for their false gods.
Fort Wright, Kentucky
God's Word says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Tattooing is body graffiti. It's like we've taken paint into a church or temple and thrown it all over the building. We are called to be holy. That means holy on the inside and on the outside.
It is appropriate that you had an article on deliverance in the same issue. These tattooed kids need it!
Mount Washington, Kentucky
What are we allowing to go on in the church? When I read the article on Jay Bakker, I thought I was reading a CNN article on cults. It seems that Satan has infiltrated the church.
God looks on the inside, not at appearances, but this is not an excuse to keep our old ways and conduct. Our outside appearance does reflect what is inside. I will continue to pray for young people caught up in these manifestations.
Joseph S. Campbell
In the article defending tattoos ("What Would Jesus Tattoo?" May), your author's interpretation of Leviticus 19:28 reminds me of how the gay community twists Leviticus 18:22. It is easy for us to interpret Scripture so that we do not have to give up something we hold dear.
I take issue with those who already are born again yet conform to the world through body piercing and tattooing. For you to encourage Christians to get a tattoo for Christ is sending the wrong message.
Donna G. Layton
Once again the charismatic movement shows its lack of scriptural integrity and understanding by misinterpreting the verses concerning tattoos. Yeshua would never have had a tattoo, as the Torah strictly forbids the Israelites from putting these markings on their flesh.
The Scriptures forbid us from taking on any of the pagan ways and customs of the heathen nations in our worship of Yahweh. This is another lie and snare of the evil one to trap believers into the worship of Baal. Let's stick to scriptural integrity instead of justifying the ways of the heathen in our youth.
Rabbi Edward Nydle
Your magazine came just in time. I had been witnessing to a young man who had confronted me about Leviticus 19:28. This verse had been thrown in his face many times by well-meaning Christians.
We talked about the grace we have through Jesus and the salvation that comes from His death on the cross. Christians who act like Pharisees need to see the light on this matter. Stop judging people and start loving them. That's what Jesus did.
I'm sure Jay Bakker would agree with those readers who responded to the misguided letter to the editor in a previous issue regarding the lead singer of Delirious. God does not care what we look like. He cares about having a personal relationship with each of us.
T.D. Jakes and the Heresy Hunters
I am disappointed that your magazine is stooping to the level of People magazine with your report "Hanegraaff Accuses T.D. Jakes of Heresy" (People & Events, May). Hanegraaff has his routes of publishing his opinions, and personally I don't want to read them secondhand in Charisma.
The Woodlands, Texas
Isn't it time that Spirit-filled Christians stood up to Hank Hanegraaff and said enough is enough? Which is worse: Believing in one God who has manifested Himself in different modes or to blast an anointed man of God and call him a cult leader?
Paul exhorted us to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit until we come to the unity of the faith (see Eph. 4). Let's silence the accuser of the brethren in this matter.
Borrego Springs, California
I think we have found the cult leader, and it is Hank Hanegraaff. He is a self-appointed judge of God's servants. You be the judge: Who has won more souls for Jesus, T.D. Jakes or Hank Hanegraaff?
It is amazing to me that Christians overlook the blatant heresy Jakes believes. God is one Person, yet three separate Persons. We must accept this by faith. A person who does not believe in fundamental truths has no business being a leader in the Christian community.
Jesus and Ally McBeal
I found your report on actress Dyan Cannon disturbing (People & Events, May). I wonder how Cannon justifies playing her role in the Ally McBeal television series with her Christian faith?
Tommy Barnett is quoted as saying Cannon "is a minister who uses movies to pay the bills." I'm a pastor, and I wonder what my congregation and God would think if I supplemented my income by acting in a show that contradicts the moral values I preach?
Thank you for the well-balanced article, "Just Open Your Mouth And Share Jesus" (May). Before I became a Christian, I was afraid to ask about Christianity for fear I would be condemned if I didn't repent immediately. Believers shared the gospel in gentleness, and I eventually responded.
Acworth, New Hampshire
I would appreciate more articles on sharing Jesus, and recommendations for training, workshops and literature on personal evangelism. The world is an open pulpit and every Christian a minister of the Word. The fields are ready for harvest.
We Love Chasing God!
I am amazed at how judgmental we Christians are. Tommy Tenney ("Who Is This God Chaser?" March) was just at my church. The man's heart is to bring us to the place of total worship in our lives. Tenney said Jesus prayed for the church to be unified five times while on earth, and it was His only prayer that went unanswered.
Why don't we work on loving our brothers and sisters instead of bashing each other? We look pathetic to the world.
Rochester, New York
It seems Tommy Tenney can't win with the "religious" establishment. From the Oneness circle he is called "disingenuous," and the Trinitarian circle says he "ignores the issue to death." Religion will continue to stop any move of God.
Your magazine was on time for my husband and me. The articles on Tommy Tenney and Jentezen Franklin ("The Man Who Set Georgia on Fire," March), threw a few more logs on the fire of our hearts. We are on a chase for God.
It was wonderful to read a confirmation of what God is doing in our hearts. There is a hunger in the world that can only be fed from the table of God.
Jeff and Carol Sherrill
Gaffney and Revival
In the article, "Shaking the Pacific Northwest" (May), Charisma reports that evangelist Jerry Gaffney is being used by God to bring revival to the Northwest.
First, it isn't him. Heaven has been assaulted with prayer for revival in the Northwest for years. Northwest Renewal Ministries has brought thousands of pastors together in repentance and prayer.
My big concern is for Jerry himself. Is it possible for him to be both a person "who admits he has exaggerated things during a service" while at the same time be "brutally honest"? Isn't "exaggerating" the same thing as lying? I don't question Jerry's anointing, but because of it, I fear for him.