Preach It, Sister!
Thank you for the article on Anne Graham Lotz ("She Will Not Remain Silent," by Maureen D. Eha, June). Your interview with her was enlightening. She is like a breath of fresh air from God. Thank you for sharing her thoughts with your readers.
Kudos to Anne Graham Lotz for having the courage to walk in her calling. For too long women have been marginalized and denied freedom to be who God created them to be. Any man who would refuse to learn from a woman has a pride problem.
Raleigh, North Carolina
When Jesus told the women at the tomb to "'Go and tell My brethren,'" that was before the day of Pentecost. After the day of Pentecost He did not tell any women to preach. Read the book of Acts and see what God has written about women in the church.
Anne Graham Lotz is one of those valiant women who is fulfilling the Joel 2:28-30 prophecy with respect to the last days. May these women indeed become a great host! Jesus released the woman at the well to be a gospel preacher to her village (see John 4:28), and she pointed them to Christ.
Perhaps the first woman preacher was Anna, the prophetess who proclaimed Christ when He was only 8 days old (see Luke 2:38). And there were Philip's four daughters who prophesied in Acts 21:9. I wish my brothers would read the Scriptures before they open their mouths and put their feet in them!
Rev. Syd Doyle
Harrisburg, North Carolina
It really blessed my heart to see an article on the Pentecostal revival in Nigeria ("Nigeria's Miracle," by J. Lee Grady, May). However the number of churches there is not a true reflection of genuine faith. It is refreshing to hear voices such as pastor Tony Rapu, who is calling for integrity in the church. I agree with him that legalism and celebrity Christianity mixed with an emphasis on prosperity will contribute to a downfall of the Nigerian church.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Your coverage of Nigeria is encouraging in the midst of a lot of bad news. I have been following reports from Mozambique, where God is doing a great work also. People are being raised from the dead, and new churches are being established daily. Thank you for your commitment to present the truth even though it may not always be a totally positive story.
By focusing on numbers and noise in the Nigerian church, you perpetrate the myth that outward results matter more than inward integrity. It is this myth that has caused much deception among Nigerian Christians. The Bible tells us that in the end times there will be great crowds and mighty miracles--in the camp of the Antichrist!
Nigeria's real miracle will come when the church starts focusing on holiness rather than on hype and hoopla.
Progress in the UPC?
Regarding the new leadership of the United Pentecostal Church (People & Events, June), the UPC has lost many more ministers and churches than it has gained in the last decade. That's because of legalism--a doctrine of salvation through works--the isolation of other Christians who do not submit to rules and dress standards for women designed to keep them subordinate to male leadership.
Your article says the UPC is more open to dialogue. That simply means they are willing to talk in order to change your way of thinking to theirs! It doesn't mean they will accept other Christians.
Rhonda R. Cyprus
I read your article about the changes in the UPC. I would not hold my breath for any walls to come down soon--if ever. I am an ex-UPC member, and I have family members who are faithful followers of this heretical doctrine. If I were a betting man I would say there is an ulterior motive in this new "dialogue."
They want to get the Assemblies of God, the Pentecostal Church of God, the Church of God and other groups to let their guards down so they can manipulate their way into the ranks. They do not view us as saved.
John H. Johnson
The UPC teaches that a person needs to be baptized in water--in their tank--and speak in tongues to be born again. I have heard this from their pulpits and read it in their materials. When I visit UPC churches, I leave having been told I was not saved. I know this because they have told me to my face.
According to their doctrine, I'm not born again because I wasn't baptized for salvation. I will not help bridge a gap between the UPC and Bible-believing churches unless that gap allows us to share the simple gospel with them.
What Happened to Accountability?
Thank you for J. Lee Grady's column, "Baffled in Boise" (First Word, June).
I have been praying for 13 years that men and women in national church leadership would wake up to the curses that are on the church. Sloppy teaching and faithless living have been strongholds on the church for too long. Please don't listen to the naysayers. Keep up the call for purity.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Sometimes you are criticized for exposing pastors and leaders who have failed to hold to a moral standard. Some have sent letters to the editor, expressing that Christians should forgive. It almost seems that they are asking us to ignore sin, but I have not found anything in the Bible that tells us to ignore sin.
It seems that people are having difficulty seeing the difference between a corporate response and an individual response. As individuals we should forgive, but that does not mean a church needs to allow an individual to continue in leadership if he is walking in flagrant disobedience. The New Testament holds leaders to a higher standard.
Thank you for holding up a standard regarding the marital and sexual integrity of Christian leaders. Even though you mention names, your motive is for restoration of both leaders and the body of Christ. You are to be commended.
Rev. Mike Davis
U2 vs. the Pharisees
I was blessed to read about the Christian faith of the rock band U2 (People & Events, April). I am an assistant pastor, and I am completely convinced that the members of U2 are not only Christians, but also are in a most subtle way reaching the lost with their nonthreatening style. Maybe the church needs to stop throwing their religious rocks and embrace sinners the way U2 is doing.
For the Love of Israel
Stephen Strang's column "Let's Support Israel" (June) raised some concerns. There is no question that the Lord is faithful to His chosen people. But calling Christians to support Israel today in light of its own failings--politically for sure, but especially spiritually--is not right. As Christians, we should support Israel by praying that it accepts God's plan for Israel through Jesus Christ.
Perhaps if we were all honest we might also see the injustice Israel does by using the banner of "self-determination" to cover the atrocities they commit against others instead of repenting and turning to the Lord for their salvation.
East Palo Alto, California
God has no supreme interest in the well-being of Israel, the United States or any other political system. He has only one passion, His kingdom! Stephen Strang states that the destiny of Israel and the church are intertwined, but that is absolutely not true.
Rev. Doug Sparks
I read Stephen Strang's editorial with mixed feelings. I was concerned because he did not mention that most of the Christians there are Palestinians. We must be concerned with both the biblical right of Israel to exist and the terrible injustices being committed by Israel.
I have seen the hurt inflicted by people who claim that Jews are God's chosen people. Do God's people steal land from Palestinian Christians after they have paid money for it? Do they cut off water and power to the Palestinians for no reason? Do God's people render major obstacles to Arab Bible bookstores?
I have no problem with your saying that we should support Israel. Scripture is there for this premise.
But isn't there also Scripture that says we should do good to our Arab brothers and sisters? Who is helping them rebuild the homes that have been destroyed by Jewish tanks?
Open Doors With Brother Andrew
Locust Grove, Virginia
Catching the Wave
As a pastor and surfer who came to Christ at a surfing contest back in 1971, I want to say a big thank you for your article on surfing ministry ("Surfing for Jesus," by Steven Lawson, June). In the 1970s we saw hundreds if not a thousand or more surfers come to Christ in the Myrtle Beach area. God is pouring out His love and His Spirit on a culture we love.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The article "Surfing for Jesus" is one of the best I have read. It is great to see how the Lord is using Britt Merrick and the "reality" studies at Calvary Chapel of Santa Barbara. May the Lord continue to move through these ministries reaching out to youth.
Claude S. Avilez
Alta Loma, California
In response to those who criticized the advertisement by Rev. Creflo Dollar (Letters, April), please read 1 Thessalonians 1:6. You need to be careful when you put a man of God down. Creflo Dollar has done more for the kingdom of God than thousands of dead church members who do nothing but sit in pews. Thank you, Charisma, for accepting his ad.
Carlton Pearson Responds to Criticism
It is not my intention in this letter to retract what I feel led of the Holy Spirit to preach to the world ("Gospel of Inclusion," People & Events, May). It is, however, my desire to restate some of what has been misunderstood.
In an attempt to reach out to more of the spiritually unresolved, I have sought to present what I believe is a more appealing and attractive message of the unconditional love of God for all. In trying to carry out this commission, I have decreased emphasis on man's responsibility to repent, believe, and receive truth. Consequently, my zeal to reach the lost has caused me to neglect an important aspect of our belief systems in evangelical Christian traditions.
For the record: I do believe that all will be saved with the exception of those who, in their heart, intentionally and consciously reject the grace of God, which brings salvation and has appeared to all men (see Titus 2:11). I believe in heaven and hell, though I am persuaded that hell is much worse and heaven is much greater than I can imagine.
I think it would be better to print what I am saying before printing what people are saying about what I am saying. Reading our Web page (www.HigherD.org) might answer some of the questions regarding my teaching series and help some who are confused. Failing to do so does more harm than good and creates division, confusion, and hurt among believers.
Bishop Carlton D. Pearson
Higher Dimensions Church