If Carlton Pearson's inclusionist theology is correct (People & Events, October) then what we really need to do is close all our churches and pull all our missionaries off the field since "the... world is saved; they just don't know it"! The Scriptures make it plain that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Rom. 10:9).
The false doctrine being promoted by Carlton Pearson is a terrible cancer that Satan has released into the body of Christ. Immature Christians could easily be swayed by these teachings. I strongly urge you to publish a teaching that clearly states what the Bible says about salvation through Christ.
Uncalculated damage is being done to the church by this doctrine of "inclusion." Those of us who have been around recognize it as Unitarianism, Universalism and the Baha'i faith. They maintain that God would never send His children to hell.
The Lord gave no human being the authority to exempt anyone from the requirements of salvation decreed by the Father. That is like a citizen of the United States bestowing citizenship on their foreign friends because they loved them so much. An attempt to do this would be considered a forgery and a crime.
Rev. Paula A. Price
It sounds like Carlton Pearson may be ushering in the One World Church system. How sad that a Spirit-filled minister would be the tool of the enemy to bring this about. Get ready, church. It's later than we thought!
Minnie Alice Jones
Carlton Pearson is not teaching that everyone is already saved or that there is no need to personally accept Christ. He is just saying that if a person is not saved, they are not necessarily lost if they die.
I have tremendous respect for Carlton. He is not like some prudish, cold fundamentalists who don't respect people's honest questions. Carlton, take encouragement and keep going.
I applaud you for reporting the truth about what Carlton Pearson is preaching. But I found it disturbing that you gave him the opportunity for a rebuttal. According to Galatians 1:8-9 he should be accursed. I will not support anyone who teaches anything contrary to the Bible.
Winter Park, Florida
Support a Single Mom
Thank you for the powerful and stirring article on single mothers ("Mom Is Raising Them Alone" by Valerie G. Lowe, November). You have raised my level of awareness, and I have been provoked to explore a broader ministry among the women in my area.
Los Angeles, California
Thank you for the article on single moms in the church and the church's responsibility to them. You are so right about there being some churches out there that treat single women with children like they have some virus.
When Grace Is Greasy
J. Lee Grady's recent column, "Greasy Grace" (First Word, November), was critical of a guest preacher who tried to manipulate people to give $400 each in an offering. But he didn't name this person. I've been in services, and the same type of pitch was given, which turned me off. I think we should be told who these individuals are rather than have wrong thinking about a particular person who might fit the mold.
Hats off to J. Lee Grady. God does want us to be blessed, but some have taken it too far. Jesus said it is finished. He took care of it all. So why do people want to sell healing or salvation of a loved one?
I remember a pop song in the 1980s called "Money Changes Everything." This is what causes so much baloney, corruption and deception in the church today.
A minister was at a church in our area recently. At each of his 11 sessions, someone preached for a full hour about giving. They used the same technique that Grady mentioned in his column. They said, "The Lord is telling 10 people here to give $100, so come forward and place your contribution in the basket."
Grady asked at the end of his column if we would support Charisma as you expose corruption. Please know that here is one Catholic priest who does.
Rev. Robert C. Richardson
St. John Baptist de la Salle Church
The body of Christ--and especially the charismatic church--has a terrible credibility crisis. I believe Jamie Buckingham would approve of what Grady wrote. I always felt Jamie was the conscience of the charismatic renewal.
Rev. Ron Thaxton
The Church in the City
Charleston, West Virginia
It's hard for me to believe that the editor of Charisma is bold enough to say what could easily offend most of your readers.
Christ Community Church
Thank God that someone is standing up and telling the truth--that pet doctrines, traditions of men and the worldly spirit of "peace at all costs" has robbed the church of its effectiveness. Please keep it up.
David A. Barrett
The only thing that would have made Grady's column more complete would have been to name the woman who sought to put money into her pocket by putting other people in debt. How long before the moneychangers are exposed for what they are?
Thank God someone finally had enough guts to say it! Scriptures have been misappropriated to mean that looking the other way means "covering." If we don't discipline our own, the world will. And that hurts the reputation of the church and the cause of Christ.
"Greasy Grace" was the "wisdom of the hour" article. Charisma is a newsmagazine with Christian principles. This means the truth has to be disclosed even if it is perceived by some as judgmental. The Word is so clear on these issues.
Greenville, South Carolina
"Greasy Grace" is an on-time message that needs to be heard by all. For too long the church has preached the doctrines of men. We no longer have an impact on the world because too many have become just like the world.
I'm a charismatic Quaker pastor who loves getting out of the pews and into street ministry. I do not care for gaudy Christian television, and at first I did not care for your magazine's flashy ads. But I was won over and strongly appreciate Lee Grady's articles, especially "Greasy Grace."
Rev. Spencer Thury
Mason City, Iowa
Fifteen years ago I canceled my subscription to your magazine for some of the very reasons Lee Grady has been mentioning in his column. It was hard to cancel because I enjoyed the news articles, but I felt I could no longer subscribe.
For some reason I decided to give Charisma another try this year, and have I ever been surprised! I am pleased with the direction the magazine is going and shocked at some of Grady's bold editorials. I love your focus on youth and music, and I so appreciated your recent profile of evangelist Suzette Hattingh (October). Thank you for not being afraid to offend.
Bible Translation Wars
Regarding the release of the controversial Today's New International Version of the Bible ("The Battle for the Bible," November), have these Bible translators who spent years reinventing the wheel ever heard of Wycliffe or New Tribes Mission? Can we possibly convince God that another version of the Bible is a worthy cause when millions are perishing with no Bible at all? Just imagine what could be done if an army of holy translators would descend on the stack of people groups waiting for God's Word!
I hope people will read the TNIV and make appropriate comparisons before bowing to the opinions of so-called experts. This new version will strengthen the true import of God's Word by changing some pronouns where they currently have incorrect or ambiguous meanings.
Jimmy R. Cash
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Keep up your good stand for the full truth. Cheers for Wayne A. Grudem's excellent stand against TNIV. Surely, it is easy to see that the pro-TNIV defenders have allowed themselves to be caught up in the ungodly anti-Christian stand of the present-day women's liberation movement.
Christian C. Fowler
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Thanks for airing both sides of the TNIV issue. I found very good points on all sides. But I want to address one of Ted Haggard's statements.
He said, "As someone who believes men and women have equal value but contrasting roles that complement one another and someone [who] believes that God is 100 percent masculine, I was pleased with the TNIV." This made me ask: Isn't God also 100 percent feminine? I am made in His image, too, aren't I?
Cathy Jo Finch
Ted Haggard said he believes God is "100 percent masculine." However, Genesis 1:27 says, "God created man in His own image...male and female He created them." Haggard might also want to consider that the name El Shaddai contains a reference to the female breast. This Hebrew name of God alludes to God's provision for His people.
To say that God is 100 percent masculine limits God in a way that Scripture does not support.
Gayle Robinson Raleigh, North Carolina
I believe the TNIV compromises the integrity of God's inspired Word. The question of "inclusive language" should be considered irrelevant. Scripture is God-breathed, and it is not open to a rewrite.
Sound the alarm! What are we doing? Translating the Bible to a different language is one thing. But translating it for neutralizing gender is horrendous!
Fort Pierce, Florida
Concerning the controversy over the TNIV, I'll share a comment from a woman who attended the same church I did years ago. A new translation had been published, and people told her it was controversial. She just said: "I don't really mind anything negative about it. My son was saved after reading that new version."
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Divorce in the Pulpit
I just finished reading Stephen Strang's column ("Leadership in Crisis," October). I say, "Right on, brother." Jesus said God allowed Moses to give the Israelites the right to divorce only because of the hardness of their hearts, and I doubt that the leaders were given that much leeway.
Hosea wasn't even allowed to divorce an unfaithful wife! I doubt that God ever tells anyone to divorce. I am surprised that TBN and several other ministries still allow these men to appear on their programs when there hasn't been a public admission that they were wrong.