Thank you for helping us understand Islam ("The Mysterious World of Islam," February). Indeed we are getting confusing signals asbout Islam from the media.
Richard H. Parvin
Your forum on Islam provided great resources for a conference we are hoping to host. I look forward to every issue of Charisma.
Author Reza F. Safa asked the question, "Is it true that Islam is a peaceful religion at its core?" After quoting from the Quran and pointing out contemporary historical figures who represent the extreme end of Islam, he asked some rhetorical questions that I found hypocritical.
Safa asked: "If this religion is peaceful, how can it produce such a history of bloodshed?" But doesn't Christianity have a long, bloody history too? What about those parts of the Bible in which God orders "genocide"? Christians who view Islam as supporting violence can tear the Old Testament out of the Bible right now!
Charlotte, North Carolina
I am appalled that a pastor at Willow Creek Community Church would invite a Muslim to preach from his pulpit. How could he be so ill-informed about a religion that does not promote Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior?
I have been informed about Islam for many years, and I know it is not a Christ-centered religion. You cannot have the Father without the Son and vice versa. We Christians need to stand up for what we believe.
After reading Larry Lea's apology in your February issue ("I've Learned to Say I'm Sorry," by Joel Kilpatrick) I had to reply. Larry Lea may have learned to say he's sorry, but he hasn't learned to take responsibility for his actions. While I believe the church should hold its leadership in prayer, Lea's fall was not caused by a lack of prayer. His choosing wrong over right caused his fall.
Fort Worth, Texas
Larry Lea seems to be saying, "Sorry, God, I will not obey You." The people of God love you, Larry Lea, and are praying that the cancer of sin will not be terminal.
Meanwhile, I thought the interview with his ex-wife, Melva Lea, was beautiful ("A Journey Toward Healing," by Carol Stertzer). I rejoice with Melva in the new level of glory that the Lord has given her.
Maple Grove, Minnesota
Thank you for the interview with Melva Lea. I appreciate the fact you would allow her a platform to share her heart with us. It is obvious she truly has the love of God in her life.
The articles about Lea and his ex-wife, Melva, made me really angry--not just at the Leas but at high-profile ministers and Larry Lea's former "yes people." There is no way a Christian can spend time with a bipolar person and not know something is wrong. Larry said he blames intercessors for his failure. Excuse me? Isn't this the same old line that Adam offered?
Stone Mountain, Georgia
I am no longer just grieved over the epidemic of divorce among Christian ministers and leaders. Now I am disgusted. So Larry Lea is honoring his "divorce contract" not to discuss details of his failed marriage? Spare me, please.
He should have honored his marriage vows. I am glad Lea and others have found forgiveness in Christ. But as a Christian, I am obliged to place myself under the authority and teaching of those who not only "talk the talk" but "walk the walk."
California City, California
Larry Lea said he believes certain imbalances in the brain "cannot be stabilized by all the prayer in the world." How can that be? Why can't God--who is able to deliver him from cancer--also release people from the bondage of depression?
Somehow the excuse that "God doesn't answer prayers about depression" just doesn't sell. The idea that God can only heal certain illnesses borders on blasphemy.
Thank you for addressing the issue of the divorce epidemic in the church. I would like to see another side of this problem addressed. Could you do an article about the devastated wives and broken children who have been thrown away by "men of God"?
I have seen the grief and pain left behind after a pastor put away his wife and children with no biblical grounds for divorce. He is now remarried and continues in ministry.
While everyone is rushing around to "restore the minister," who is restoring the trashed wife and kids? Who is helping her find a job, childcare and respect after being dumped and forgotten?
What we see among nationally known leaders who are dumping their wives is just the tip of the iceberg. It is happening in many local churches as well--with many unknown women left grieving and barely holding wounded children together.
The Demon Buster
Thank you for the article about deliverance minister Kim Daniels ("They Call Her the Demon Buster," by Lesa Henderson and Adrienne S. Gaines, February). Daniels is a woman of raw courage who is not afraid of the assignment God has given her.
Thank you for the article on Kim Daniels. Her ministry of casting out devils is a necessary part of ministry in this evil age. The anointing of God on her life is a gift not only to the body of Christ, but also to all who are in bondage.
Your article on Kim Daniels was inspiring. Praise God there are people who recognize that demon spirits exist. I am so thankful that there are ministries that operate in deliverance all across the world.
Randy T. Wooding
Richton Park, Illinois
I have always loved and admired Roberts Liardon, and I still do ("Roberts Liardon Leaves Ministry," People & Events, February). I was saddened by the bad choices he has made and by the health problems he is experiencing. I believe he is making things right with God.
As for Charisma, I am surprised that you felt you had to expose this. It was in poor taste.
Your story about Roberts Liardon was in poor taste. Would you really want your sins printed in a magazine? What happened was wrong, and Liardon's decision to step down from the ministry and seek counseling was the right thing to do. But why must you be like tabloid journalists and publicize his transgression?
San Jose, California
I pray that the intention of your ministry is not to speak evil of any anointed man of God. I was so grieved after finding out about Roberts Liardon. You may be reporting the truth about him, but what would Jesus do?
San Jacinto, California
Why do you have to expose fallen leaders in the church? Specifically, you had to do an article on Roberts Liardon. Yes, he fell. It is a shame. But we in the body of Christ should weep for Him.
It would have been better if you had just stated that Roberts Liardon stepped down from ministry for an undisclosed period of time to deal with some personal issues and then asked us to pray for him. I don't understand your motivation in this type of writing.
Stop the Sideshows
I have been so ashamed and grieved at what the church has been showing the world. J. Lee Grady's recent column about pride in ministers said it all ("Stop the Sideshows," January). You will never know how much that did to restore some of my faith. Thanks for putting the focus back on Christians who spend their lives preaching the simple gospel of Jesus Christ.
Cameron Park, California
I agree with you about being "sick of this nonsense"--referring to the prideful attitudes of many leaders in the body of Christ. However, if you are truly sick of this, why would you allow these people to continue advertising in Charisma?
Nathan D. Johnson
Neptune Beach, Florida
Amen to J. Lee Grady's "Stop the Sideshows"! I reluctantly subscribed to Charisma a couple of years ago. I had trouble with the spirit of pride so evident with many of the advertisements in your magazine, and some of the articles written about flamboyant preachers who love to exalt themselves. I believe Charisma is going in the right direction. I love the increased coverage of our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world.
Fort Collins, Colorado
The Brownsville Split
I'm writing in regard to the article about the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry ("Brownsville Assembly of God Moves Forward After Difficult Split," February). I have been blessed at both Brownsville and the FIRE School of Ministry, which split off of BRSM. Your article on Brownsville seemed slanted in one direction. In fairness, I suggest you print a follow-up article telling about FIRE and its founder, Michael Brown.
Madge S. Bowes
Victoria, British Columbia
As the mother of a student who chose to follow Michael Brown in the so-called "split," I feel you should do an update. Yes, the "split" was heart-rending, but there were circumstances other than those put forth by pastor Kilpatrick of Brownsville. This is not about who is right or wrong; it's about hearing from God and walking it out no matter the consequences.
Rae Ann Cooler
Your article on the Brownsville revival was full of half-truths. I was Michael Brown's pastor for six years. I know he is a man of integrity.
He was working through the difficulties with pastor Kilpatrick when he was given an ultimatum and fired. In protest of this underhanded action, the faculty resigned and left with Brown. It was hardly a split. Kilpatrick left Brown and the faculty with no other choice but to continue the school at a different location.
The Rev. Oden L.Woodward II
Park Street Baptist Church
Pittsfield, New Hampshire
Puffed Up in Pride?
Creflo Dollar's full-page advertisement in the February issue says "Creflo and Taffi Dollar are truly ministry pioneers, having recently established a local presence for Creflo Dollar Ministries on every continent of the globe." Does this mean he has started a ministry in Antarctica?
While reading through the February issue of Charisma, I came across a headline that declared: "The New Face of Ministry." This article extolled the person of Creflo Dollar and his ministry. Unfortunately it is only after getting to the bottom of the page that the reader finds out the "article" is actually an "advertisement."
I would hope that in the future Charisma would adopt a stronger policy on what type of "advertisements" are accepted for publication.
San Clemente, California
Why do megaministries spend big money on full-page public relations ads such as the ones I saw in your February issue? Do they need more contributions or followers?
I don't mean to single out the ones I saw in that issue. But I think I speak for most pew-sitters when I say: "Enough of the self-accolades! We don't care if you think you are a bishop or an apostle or the Grand Poohbah of Charismania! We want to see Jesus, not you!"
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida