A View of The World
Regarding your January 2002 issue, I was immediately overwhelmed when I saw the cover photograph of the young Mexican girl raising her arms in praise. I believe that photo is the most spiritually provocative and heart-grabbing image you've ever printed. How I wish all of us would come to the Father in the same fashion as that young girl.
Your January cover photo was breathtaking. The little girl seems to be lost in total praise to God. And she will probably never see herself on the cover of an international magazine. It gives us something to think about.
Your January issue on what the Lord is doing in other countries is fantastic. I have been involved in what is happening in Cuba. The Lord is doing amazing things there including miracles, healings and an unusual openness to the gospel.
Ken and Diane Ulrich
While reading your well-written report on revival in Spain ("Changing Hearts in Spain," by Tomas Dixon, January) I was encouraged until I read the words: "There was no time to preach." There was no time for God's Word in a revival service? No teaching? How sad.
Perhaps the result again in Spain, as in so many other places, will be another "sign" revival. Without the Word of God only a limited amount of impact can be expected over time.
South Portland, Maine
I appreciated the way J. Lee Grady handled the utter arrogance displayed by the hierarchy of the Christian community ("Stop the Sideshows," First Word, January). Ministers demanding fruit baskets and limousine service? That's an embarrassment. We need Holy Ghost accountability.
Long ago, many churches lost their way to the Savior and went their own way. Maybe we should do as Jesus did. We could hold church on a flat rock, and instead of counting nickels and noses we could just preach the gospel, lay hands on the sick, set the captives free and look after widows and orphans.
There is so much hype in some popular churches that I believe God is not getting His just glory. We hear so little coming out of preachers and churches about character, integrity and holiness.
Fort Belvoir, Virginia
Why doesn't Charisma go a step further and identify those who are an embarrassment to the charismatic movement? Instead of claiming that "Charisma's editors are just as sick of this nonsense as you are," why not expose those who have proliferated such nonsense?
Ricky A. Roubique
San Jose, California
The privilege of reading Grady's insightful, right-on comments is worth the price of the magazine. I read Charisma from cover to cover. It keeps me well-informed on what the Holy Spirit is bringing about in the body of Christ.
Jane L. Belden
My wife and I were sent to the United States as missionaries in 1993. I felt bad that I wasn't suffering for Jesus as many missionaries do in Third World countries. But the Lord showed me how we can be lost in wealth just as people can be lost in poverty. We need to reject religion and embrace Jesus.
Graham D. Deary
It was encouraging to be reminded that God honors us "little people" who are unknown in the eyes of man but great in the eyes of heaven.
Grady offered some bold correction about "bigheaded preachers." However, I found no less than three prominent advertisements lauding and promoting ministers who are alleged or confessed adulterers. Charisma needs to examine its own integrity.
It seems everyone these days is an apostle, prophet, evangelist, bishop or God knows what else. We devalue our spiritual currency by such pretentious labeling. If one is truly functioning in a fivefold office, God will commission and validate that person without our titles.
My respect for your magazine--which I already enjoyed but suspected of being part of the "flashy" side of Christianity--has greatly increased by reading an editorial that identified the "nonsense" practiced by some big-name preachers and evangelists. Much worldly success has resulted too often in a mood of arrogance and material prosperity that must be foreign to our Lord--who confessed He had "nowhere to lay His head."
Tim Schultz, pastor
Harris Hill Mennonite Church
Williamsville, New York
Please do more articles on the spiritual abuse going on in the church today. Is it any wonder why we can't seem to reach the world with any real power the way Christ did? The world is not stupid. They can see the "Christian Hollywood," the scams and the controlling atmosphere that exists in some churches.
Spotlighting a person, church or the gifts can distract us from the message of salvation. Grady's column made me think of the widow's mite. Jesus didn't see her as small and insignificant, did He? Please keep reporting on these "small" saints.
Theresa G. Dinvalds
After reading Charisma for a long time, I stopped reading it because I was embarrassed by the endless conferences, "revivals" and self-promotion of eccentric leaders. Imagine my surprise when a conservative friend recommended that I read J. Lee Grady's "First Word." I immediately subscribed. I'm eager to travel with Charisma in a new direction!
For years I have read Roberts Liardon's books and listened to his tapes. They are food for the spirit. I have always loved and admired Roberts Liardon. And I still do!
It is sad about the wrong choices he has made and the health problems he is experiencing. However, I believe he is making things right with God.
As for Charisma, I am surprised that you felt you had to expose this situation in your magazine. Just because one person's light dims a little doesn't make someone else's light burn brighter. It was in poor taste that you shared this story with the public.
Islam and the President
How refreshing to read how Franklin Graham told the truth about Islam and what it teaches, even though he contradicted President Bush (People & Events, January). Graham apparently is not willing to fade into the mushy background of our soft culture. Unlike some of our prominent Christian leaders who recant words of truth, he was willing to offend someone!
Gloria M. Vittner
Middleburg Heights, Ohio
Bush's response to Franklin Graham seems to answer my question as to which is worse, a lukewarm Christian or an on-fire sinner. We would have all been better off with Al Gore as president. He would not have tried to convince American Christians that the Muslim religion is good.
President Bush is responsible for promoting unity and diffusing tension. He must keep respectful communication open with the Muslim nations of the world.
On the other hand, Franklin Graham is an evangelist. He must proclaim spiritual truth. Jesus was not known for mincing words when confronting sin or deception.
Both Bush and Graham are right in what they are professing--because of their callings. What a blessing for our nation to have both of these great spokesmen.
It is ironic to me that the three "great" religions of the world have books, yet the followers of these religions don't read the books. I suspect that many Muslims don't or can't read Arabic, so they don't know or believe that the Quran says anything about the treatment of "infidels," or nonbelievers, in their religion. Jews don't read the Old Testament, and Christians have the complete Bible and don't read it.
Emma B. Stephens
Stand Strong With Israel
In your report on Egyptian Christians who are reaching Muslims (People & Events, February), ministry leader Ehab El Kharrat was quoted as saying he found "no biblical basis" for the possession of the land of Israel by modern-day Jews.
This land is called an eternal possession of the Jews in both the Old and New Testaments. Christians are grafted into the Jewish vine and must support the Jewish people. This includes the right of the state of Israel to exist and defend itself.
We must pray for God's blessings on the Jewish people. At the same time we must be willing to confront Israel's leaders if they err in their treatment of Messianic Jews or our Arab Christian brothers.