I just read the June cover story on the plight of homeless children around the world ("Listen to the Children Crying"). Lately it seems I've been hearing people in church leadership pray something like this: "Lord, we don't seek your hand; we want to see your face."
I think His face was on the cover of your June issue. How much more effective we would be if we saw the face of Christ in each hurting, starving, naked child?
As I read the accounts of contemporary Christian heroes touching the needy children of our world, my heart was tenderized and stirred by the Spirit of God. May this magazine experience increasing grace and anointing to be a voice for the voiceless.
Kansas City, Missouri
I am currently reading the June issue of Charisma, and I want to put in my 2 cents worth: Please do not continue to put pictures of dead children in your magazine.
name and city withheld
Miracles in Mozambique
I was so touched by the article "Floods of Love in Mozambique" (June). One truly sees the heart of God expressed through the lives of Rolland and Heidi Baker. May many Christian families and ministries rise to support this ministry and these beautiful children.
After reading your report on the Bakers' ministry in Mozambique, I went back and took a long, deliberate look into the face of that child on the cover. I couldn't help myself--I ended up clutching the picture to my breast and bawling my eyes out.
This is probably one of the best "sermons" I've heard in many years. After the gut-wrenching cry, I repented for all of my attempts to shield myself from really seeing this nightmarish condition. Thank you for the wake-up call.
Big Flats, New York
Divorce in the Church
Thank you for your article on divorce ("Overcoming the Shame of Divorce," June). I survived one thanks to the good advice mentioned in the article. But most important, we are all children of a forgiving God, and He helps us survive all things. I am a stronger person and closer to God.
Holbrook, New York
If a person has been a drug addict, alcoholic, prostitute or murderer and later becomes a minister, churches beg them to come and give their testimony. But the same church might say to a divorced person, "Sit in the back and be quiet."
I hate divorce. God hates divorce. I don't know why I endured two divorces. But now I'm on our prayer team and greeting team, and I substitute teach in Sunday school. I just want to please God and serve Him.
I was happy to see your article on bringing healing to those who have suffered through divorce. However, it was disconcerting to read the point regarding your stance on remarriage after divorce ("Where to Turn If Your Marriage Fails").
I suppose it can be argued that Jesus' words in Matthew 19 are not an in-depth exposition on divorce. However, Paul's detailed description given in Romans 7 on the weight of the marriage covenant are not arguable.
Just as we cannot be joined to God until we are dead in Christ, the true marriage covenant is not broken until there is a death. Should we dilute the marriage covenant in order to promote our future happiness?
I've been a Christian for more than 20 years, yet considering divorce after almost as many years of marriage. Although we have been through marriage counseling several times, my husband's frequent rages continue. Your article confirmed that God's mercy and forgiveness apply even to broken relationships.
name and city withheld
I'm reading articles about second marriages that appear happy and how the Lord has healed and restored. Why couldn't the couples have depended on Him to do the same for their first marriage? If two Christians can't live peaceably together, what message are we sending to the world?
My ex-husband left me with two babies, no job and a lot of debt. He divorced me and married another woman. I was hurt and angry.
But, thank God, I go to an anointed church with an anointed pastor. He told me not to condemn myself and that I was free to remarry whenever God sends the right man. He said I didn't have to wait until my ex-husband died, nor would I be committing adultery if and when I remarried.
Many Christians look down on divorced people. So many times you're treated like an outcast. But God is using me to minister to other women who have been abused and abandoned by their husbands.
Diane D. Bullock
Asbury Park, New Jersey
Married to Muhammed
Thank you for the article, "Married to Muhammed" (June). I once lived near Florida State University and frequently saw young women marry Muslims because they were dazzled by their wealth.
One young woman, after three years of relative peace in her marriage, agreed to accompany her husband back to his homeland. She told us later, "He became cold, like a monster. He was beating me..." He warned her that there would be plenty more when they arrived in his homeland. She fled in the night to safety.
name and city withheld
I have been married to a Muslim for 22 years. I have seen the looks from my brothers and sisters in church. I have seen them squirm uncomfortably and not know what to do or say. Much of this is related to stereotypes of Muslims in this country.
My concern is that your readers will think the treatment of women profiled in your article is the norm. We shouldn't paint all Muslim men with this brush.
Recently a new pastor and his wife entered our lives. This couple reached out in total acceptance of my husband. They asked about his religion, they visited the mosque with him and they prayed with him. My husband has always found Christianity hostile to him. Now he sees something different.
I'm disappointed with your report on Christian women who marry Muslim men. Seeds of hate and prejudice are formed by such labeling and generalization. Abusive situations occur in Christian homes, so it's unfair to assume all Muslim men are women haters.
Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania
Drums and Feathers
Regarding your report, "Native Americans Use Culture for Christ" (People & Events, July), I am in full support of Native Americans keeping their culture intact--music, dress and worship. Here in the United States we suffer from a disease called "ethnocentrism." There are other cultures in the world besides Western culture. Keep up the good fight, brothers!
I am an ordained Cherokee minister, and I have been greatly impacted by the teaching of Kenneth Copeland. However, I received an invitation to go to the Native American conference in Branson, Missouri, this summer and was quite put off by the warning, "No Drums or Feathers," and opted not to attend. I wish Copeland would address this topic because from my standpoint he needs to clarify his position.
I've had the privilege of spending time with Richard Twiss and Doug Yates. I listened to them as they spoke of the ministry the Lord has called them to. I've been blessed by their love for Him. They are fruit-producers. God has given them the keys to the hearts of our "host people."
Our culture is not going away. Neither are we. We were created to worship our Father the way He made us and to display His glory as Native Americans.
Rev. Julia nee-Threekiller-Looft
Mount Hood, Oregon
The Bible says if Christ is lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him. When missionaries go to foreign people with the gospel, there is nothing wrong with them using things that people are culturally familiar with, as long as it doesn't conflict with the Word. The Bible says "praise His name in the dance" and also with all musical instruments.
Hating for Jesus?
In response to your report, "Hating for Jesus draws controversy" (People & Events, June), I got a totally different interpretation from the word "hate" that Timothy Williams centers on. Jesus is not saying to hate everyone to be His disciple. He is saying that if you love your father, mother, son or daughter more than Him, then discipleship is not there. God should always be your first love.
Timothy Williams gives new Christians bad ideas on the principles Christ gave us to live by. He needs to study harder.
Goldsboro, North Carolina
I've crawled through the book Hating for Jesus twice. It has prompted me to dig deeper into the Word to build a firmer foundation. I've been reading it to our Sunday school class, and it has caused more people to go to the Word of God to actually "see if that verse was in there."
I recommend the book for those looking for some answers to questions that aren't coming out of the pulpit these days. It's God's Word that we need to get His understanding on tough terms, such as "few," "die," "love" and "hate."
Casting Out Demons
I appreciated your report on deliverance ministry ("They Shall Cast Out Demons," May). I felt it was informative for all who are unfamiliar with deliverance ministry. I find that many Christians are hesitant to accept this ministry as being for the church today. And few seem to realize the importance of and need for freedom for Christians. Thank you, Charisma.
J. K. Jackson
I have been involved in deliverance ministry one or two times per week for three years now. It's very apparent how great the need is and how few the workers have been.
I believe the enemy has done a good job at keeping the wool pulled over many believer's eyes on this issue. The devil has convinced many Christians that Christians can't have problems with demons. Deliverance was a major part of Jesus' ministry, and it should also be a part of ours. God's people need to be trained in this area and more churches need to be doing it.
My wife and I lead Freedom Encounters, a ministry in the United States and overseas, in which we train and teach people called to deliverance ministry. We were pleased to see balance in your article, since deliverance ministry is so fraught with extremes.
We are excited to see the body of Christ turn more favorably to deliverance as part of the answer to people's needs. I have been involved in it for more than 29 years and have watched the church's attitude toward it change slowly, until just recently. Thank you for giving attention to this subject matter.
Ken and Sylvia Thornberg
I believe there are demons and that the church has not always recognized demonic activity. But I have a problem with the statement, "Jesus spent a fourth of His time casting out demons." I can only find a few instances in the gospels where Jesus cast out demons.
I have seen cases in which undisciplined living was called "being controlled by demons." There is as much danger in claiming demonic activity for lives of disobedience to Scripture as there is in overlooking demonic power.
Smile, chuckle, shed a tear... Read about real folks finding bits of heaven in the most unlikely places!