Churches That Rock!
I'm 16, and I read your cover story on Christian alternative rock churches ("Up From the Underground" by Lindy Warren, October). My city could benefit from a place like Frank's House, the church in Des Moines, Iowa. My city has high drug use because there is nothing to do.
If we had a place like Frank's House, a lot of teens would show up. I have tried to get my friends to come to church with me, but it's too boring. They need to know how exciting it is to be in God's presence.
Warner Robins, Georgia
I loved your article on Christian teens and their music. Finally, speaking out for the teens and not against them--you really put it in terms, I hope, adults will understand. I'm not a "grungy" or a "rebel," but I have friends who are. And to speak for them is totally cool. Maybe adults will open their eyes and realize that teens don't want traditions or weekly rituals. We are hungry for Jesus.
Columbia City, Indiana
I am 15 years old and live in a small town where there is not much to do. Christians cannot expect youth to listen to the same kind of music they grew up with. Older hymns just don't cut it. We need everything we can to reach my generation.
God Loves Arabs
Regarding Christian support for Israel and the lack of the same for Palestinians (People & Events, October), I think true Christianity requires us to pray for and love all people. While I am staunchly pro Israel, I understand that God loves Arabs.
However, I feel your article on Salim Munayer's efforts to reconcile Palestinians and Jews read like a press release. It never once mentioned the reason for the Israeli army's incursions into Arab towns. They do this because of terrorism.
I do support the policies of Israeli leaders such as Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu to target terrorist leaders. This is a vicious war, and it would be helpful if the Palestinians would unequivocally, actively condemn Arab terrorism. No one has targeted the Arab people for extinction. The indifference to Jewish suffering and deaths both sickens and angers me.
Green Forest, Arkansas
Hip-Hop for Jesus
I read the responses from your readers about your August cover story on hip-hop music (Letters, October). The church's job is to love and draw all people. The younger generation is the future of the church. If God could use contemporary music to reach me (and no one should dare to tell me it wasn't God!), what's so different about using another style?
Rex World Outreach
I am 15 years old. I love your magazine, but the letters to the editor in your October issue were discouraging. I don't believe Christian rap music is evil.
There is no verse in the Bible that says Jesus identified with European-style hymns. To the people who are bashing one type of music and calling it satanic: I don't think you are in a right place with God. Check your heart, then judge.
Just when I thought Christians couldn't sink any lower, I received your October issue. I found my heart hurting as I read some of the letters condemning holy hip-hop. Christians took something that is being used to reach the lost and placed their judgments on it--calling it "fleshly," "demonic" and "ordained of Satan." Psalm 100:1 says, "Make a joyful noise." It didn't say make a contemporary noise, a Southern gospel noise or even a hip-hop noise.
I'm not a fan of hip-hop, but if teenagers have the gift to praise Christ with music that will reach other teenagers, then we should support them instead of being judgmental.
Los Angeles, California
I was saddened by the negative comments about Christian rap. Why are we singling out a type of music to bash? It's time to stop the bickering and get to the business we were commanded to do!
How can Satan be using Christian rap when it is preaching against Satan? A house divided against itself will fall. I agree that Satan is using some mainstream hip-hop to destroy youth, but we can't lump Christian music in that same category. How a song changes your life is the true test of God's anointing on it.
Oil City, Michigan
I felt sad as I read some of the responses to holy hip-hop. Some people said this music was "ordained of Satan" to destroy our youth. I am 58 and I don't like all the music, but I can feel the anointing of God through it.
Mays Landing, New Jersey
I was appalled at some of the searing letters to the editor saying that hip-hop is "obviously fleshly and demonic." How can these people have the audacity to pronounce such judgment? God meets us where we are. Do these people honestly think that some 18-year-old is going to go from listening to Eminem to singing "Blessed Assurance"?
False Doctrine in Tulsa
It's troubling to read about Carlton Pearson's departure from the doctrine of salvation through Jesus (People & Events, October). I've always respected his ministry. But after reading about his new position on salvation and having heard him preach this heresy on TBN, I believe he should no longer be given a platform to preach outside of his own church.
Rev. Charles Ferrara
New Fairfield, Connecticut
If Carlton Pearson's beliefs were accurately reported in Charisma, swift action must be taken. His credentials should be pulled, and he should be removed from ministry immediately. He should be allowed to return in two years if he has truly changed. A general is judged by a higher authority.
I read in amazement the article about Pearson's ministry. How sad to see this dear man preaching a different gospel.
Regarding Carlton Pearson's doctrine of "universal reconciliation," Charisma alluded to verses in the Bible from Hebrews, Romans, Isaiah, 1 Timothy and Revelation that Pearson uses to support this doctrine. Wouldn't it have been prudent for Charisma to state chapter and verse so that readers could investigate this doctrine for themselves?
Pearson says he wants to make the gospel more attractive. When did the church come to the conclusion that Christians lived an easy life? I don't think Stephen (who was stoned), John (whose head was cut off), Paul and Silas (who were beaten many times) nor Peter (who was hanged upside down) wanted a more attractive gospel to preach.
Maple Grove, Minnesota
The "gospel of inclusion" message by Carlton Pearson deeply troubles me. The more I attempt to find scriptural basis for Pearson's message, the more I understand why he doesn't like the coined definition "gospel of inclusion." If this inclusionist message were true, we would need to close our churches and all go home because there really is no "gospel" anymore.
John McEntee Sr.
Wilmington, North Carolina
I was shocked when I read what Carlton Pearson is now preaching. I have always enjoyed him so much. We must pray for this man. He has been blindsided by our enemy, Satan himself, to preach another gospel.
Carlton Pearson is a man of God. There is more for him to do in the kingdom. Let's not side with the enemy, but stand for victory in this situation. We do not want more casualties. I think we owe him our love and prayers during this awkward time.
Long Beach, California
Thanks for J. Lee Grady's latest message on the need for financial integrity in the church ("Jesus Has a Whip," First Word, October). My husband, a music pastor, and I recently left our staff position at a growing megachurch. We had to walk away from this "famous" church even though they were paying us a nice salary.
The pastor and his wife spent $30,000-plus each month on clothes (I've seen the AMEX bills myself), Rolex watches, diamonds, first-class airline tickets, breast implants, liposuction treatments, plastic surgery and other luxuries. The people who gave the most financially in this church were single moms. How sad.
The obvious abuses of Christian leaders doing fund raising is not new. What is the answer? I teach our church regularly about how to avoid manipulation. Any form of manipulation is a manifestation of the spirit of witchcraft.
When any minister uses the "heartstrings" of human crisis, need or desperation to solicit money, he has stepped into the arena of sorcery. Unless he repents, it is better for us to miss whatever "ministry" he is marketing. Any time someone is pressured to "give now" lest we miss out on a deal or a "miracle," it is best to miss it.
Rev. Chris Byrd
Open Bible Fellowship
Grady's message should serve as an eye-opener to tens of thousands of deceived, gullible people of God. It is incumbent that these "ministerial extortioners" desist from undermining the reputation of honest ministries.
Queens Village, New York
There was a time when I was hooked by the "slick-haired evangelist in the shiny gold suit" that Grady mentioned in his column. Never again!
I'm thankful that someone has the boldness to stand up and address one of the biggest problems in the Pentecostal-charismatic church today. Some ministers make it sound like God is for sale.
Please continue to speak out and be a catalyst for change in the charismatic movement. I believe that many disillusioned followers of independent, charismatic leaders have come to the painful conclusion that accountability in ministry is essential.
Rev. Jim Williams
Thanks for speaking out against greedy ministers. I believe they are holding back true revival and preventing the lost from coming to Christ.
Willa Deen Skaggs
North Charleston, South Carolina
After reading Grady's column, I was disappointed to find an advertisement a few pages away that said: "All donors are not created equally, and they shouldn't be treated equally." This blatantly advocates special treatment for larger donors. This type of ad is in conflict with your magazine's editorial standards. Where do you draw the line?
Editor's note: Advertisements in Charisma do not imply our endorsement. We apply a set of ethical and doctrinal standards to all ads, but it is impossible to make each one conform exactly to our editorial views.