Taking Risks For God
The article on Heather Mercer and Dayna Curry ("Angels in Afghanistan," by Carol Stertzer, September) was so needed in the times we are living in. Thank God these two women took a venture in faith and went to a country where being a Christian is a crime. They took part in the Great Commission and went out into the world to share God's love.
Claude S. Avilez
Alta Loma, California
What a blessing it was to read about the two women who made it out of Afghanistan. The Lord was faithful to watch over them. It's obvious God was ordering their steps, especially their escape out of the country. And to think that they even want to return. May God give all of us the grace to sustain us through difficult times.
Brooklyn, New York
Is Hip-Hop Holy?
In your article on hip-hop music ("Welcome to the Hip-Hop Revolution," by Adrienne S. Gaines, August), you talked about how God was using hip-hop to win a generation. Yet my Bible says in Isaiah 53:2, "He has no stately form or majesty that they should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him." Jesus didn't draw attention to Himself by being like the world. We need to be different from the world, not act like them.
Rev. Daniel Jarvis
Lovell Assembly of God
Praise the Lord for all those who are reaching Goths and youths involved in the hip-hop culture. My wife and I are not putting Charisma's cover photograph of the young hip-hop artist on our refrigerator--as J. Lee Grady suggested in his August editorial. But we are posting his column, "Don't Burn This," there because it is a timely word for this season. We will keep it there for one year to help us remember that Jesus came to reach everyone.
Gary and Celeste Johns
Every month in your Letters section, someone complains about seeing something they don't like. Goths, hip-hop artists and anyone under 20 fall into the criticized bunch. In your May issue, one writer complained about "disturbing images on your covers including Goths, Vladimir Lenin and Muslims."
Has it ever occurred to this person that these people really need Jesus? How are Christians supposed to be a light to them if they can't even stand looking at them? I am 19 years old. There is one thing my generation hates more than anything else, and that is hypocrisy.
Syracuse, New York
God Used a Nobody!
Thanks for the feature article on evangelist Todd Bentley ("God Can Use Nobodies," by Gail Wood, August). Whenever I listen to Todd's timely teaching and revelation, I'm reminded of what the people said about Jesus: "And they were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes" (Mark 1:22). Todd's hunger and radical boldness is not a threat. It blesses me.
Your article on Todd Bentley was a glowing report. However, what concerns me is that you neglected to report the type of gospel this man preaches. Bentley's teachings are full of angel encounters and other supernatural phenomena. Jesus did not teach us to walk in the supernatural. He called us to walk in the Spirit.
The Debate Over Israel
Many of your readers criticized Stephen Strang's editorial about Israel ("Let's Support Israel," June). I was struck by the inability of those writers to comprehend what support for Israel means to America's prosperity. Israel's eyes are blinded to their Messiah until the tribulation period, but that doesn't mean the Lord has forgotten His promises concerning them.
I was appalled at the negative letters from your readers concerning Israel. Genesis 17:7-8 says the land of Canaan is an everlasting possession of the Jews! Who are we to say that because they are not serving God like we think they should, God's Word is no longer valid? God established His covenant with them, and it is unconditional. Stephen Strang's column was right-on!
I am sad to see how effective deceptive media coverage of the struggle in the Mideast has been. People talk about the Jewish tanks, but why doesn't anyone care about Jewish children being blown up by suicide bombers? Lord have mercy on us for not loving God's chosen people more than we are concerned for terrorists.
Please read the Old Testament and then say the Jews should have no rights. The Palestinians have no right to drive the Israeli people into the sea. Jews have lived in the area for thousands of years. These anti-Israeli comments from readers are just plain garbage.
God's Word says we must support Israel! The apostle Paul said in Romans 11:1: "I say then, God has not rejected His people has He? May it never be!" We also must love the Arabs, too, and we should pray that God takes the veil away from their eyes.
Stephen Strang's column is predicated on the assumption that modern-day Jews represent all the descendants of ancient Jacob. This is easily refuted not only by Scripture, but also by modern-day Jews themselves.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
I was more than a little upset by the comments from readers about so called terrible injustices and atrocities committed by Israel. What atrocities? Retaliation against the murderers of women and children? It is the maniacs who strap themselves with bombs loaded with nails and use their children as human shields who commit atrocities. Stop listening to CNN and wake up, people!
I am disheartened by the lack of love I see in the church for Israel. Replacement theology has infected the church to the degree that I fear the church as a whole will turn her back on the Jews again. I know Charisma has a heart for Israel. May I suggest that some teaching about the Jewish roots of the gospel be included in your magazine? There are many fine teachers in the Messianic movement.
Christine Weiss Tranchell
Liverpool, New York
The pro-Israel church in America ignores the universal and international nature of the gospel, and they ignore the thousands of Palestinian Christians who are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
While some American Christians are cultivating friendships with Jews, others are doing what Jesus, Paul, Stephen and Peter did in the New Testament. They confronted Jews with the gospel!
Paul split every synagogue he entered. So did Jesus in Nazareth.
Today, Jews for Jesus is not a popular organization because they witness to Jews about the Messiah. And while millions of people in the world are starving and dying of AIDS, what are American Christians doing? Bringing Jews from Russia to Israel, of course! I want no part of the pro-Israel cult.
I will never understand modern evangelicals who insist that it is biblical to support the state of Israel. The Jews are certainly an object of God's love and grace. But Jews will not be saved just because they are Jews, any more than Gentiles will be saved because they are Gentiles.
If you want to repatriate Jews from Russia, that's fine. If you want to support the state of Israel, do that with joy. But don't claim an exclusive biblical mandate.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
I wonder how many people who have written to complain about Carlton Pearson's teachings (People & Events, May) have actually taken the time to listen to them. Or are they just taking the word of others?
I know things I have said have been twisted around after the second or third person relayed my thoughts. If you don't want to hear his messages, then don't listen to them. But if you are going to take the time to gossip about him or trash his name, at least take the time to buy a tape and actually find out on your own what you think instead of letting others dictate your thoughts on a person.
When I read the news about Carlton Pearson teaching heresy, I had to wonder about his salvation. He says he is willing to receive loving correction. What is his view of Jesus Christ? If we don't need Jesus for eternal life and life here on Earth, then why did Jesus die? Wasn't that the whole point of His coming as Savior?
Evangelists and Unpaid Child Support
I read your report about Chad Taylor, the evangelist who is wanted in the state of Washington for owing back child support (People & Events, August). We have been on his mailing list for some time, though I don't know how. We find it sad that he is still going to more places than ever before to minister. Can something be done to stop him? We are troubled that he may mislead many people before he is stopped.
I have not read Charisma since my husband showed me the article about Chad Taylor. I was disappointed and felt angry after just a few lines of it. It was not what I would have expected from your magazine. There was nothing productive in printing that article.
Rev. Sharon Grooms
Repairing the Breach Ministries
Summerville, South Carolina
Called to Evangelism
Thanks for publishing Scott Hinkle's column ("Get Out of the Pews!" August). What a refreshing word! But I am not sure that training in evangelism is the answer.
People have a built-in resistance to talking to non-Christians about Jesus. There are two reasons for this. Many Christians' faith is in such a pitiful state that they wonder who would want it. Second, many Christians are convinced they'll be asked a theological question they won't be able to answer. We need to fall in love with Jesus, feel His heartbeat for people and simply introduce others to Him.
Maurice L. Fuller
Scott Hinkle is an insightful evangelist. His passion for the lost is so evident in his writing. We must all be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within us.
I've been a reader of your magazine since its early days. There isn't a part of Charisma that has not challenged me or that I have not enjoyed and profited from over these many years.
However, I have a question. Why do you publish anonymous letters? In the September issue there were seven letters from readers who withheld their names. These letters remind me of the anonymous letters that pastors receive from disgruntled church members.
This is just a suggestion from an appreciative reader. If these people don't have the courage to put their names on a letter, then you shouldn't bother publishing it.
Rev. G. Mark Denyes
Emmanuel Christian Center