Greg's Not on A Pedestal
Pastor Greg Laurie is an example of a man who is open to the Holy Spirit's leading ("California's Jesus Freak," by Steven Lawson, April). May we all have the same vision to reach out to a lost world with the good news of Jesus Christ.
You should consider doing a story on another Calvary Chapel evangelist, Raul Ries of Diamond Bar, California. His Somebody Loves You crusades are also reaching many youth.
Claude S. Avilez
Alta Loma, California
I am disappointed in the cover of your April magazine. You have elevated a man as if he were a superstar baseball player, and you treat soul-winning like a sport, as if it were the World Series. You simply put an individual on a pedestal.
Salvation is a supernatural move of God and a miracle. Praise God for people like Greg Laurie, but the message you send to Christians concerning evangelism and salvation is shallow and distasteful. Other evangelists and I have been planting seeds for years in inner cities. But it's the Lord who brings the harvest!
Rev. Michael Angelo Pilla
Jesus in the City Fellowship
The Gospel Of Inclusion
In his interview with Charisma ("Confessions of an 'Inclusionist,'" April) Carlton Pearson says that Jews, Hindus, Muslims and even atheists are listening to his message and considering it relevant and appealing to their hearts. Are they hearing, "You must be born again"?
Maple Grove, Minnesota
I am more convinced than ever that Pearson is either spiritually deceived, or he is intentionally misleading his followers. Anyone who could accept the assertions that he makes can't be grounded in the Word or they would see his inconsistencies.
Bible verses he uses to confirm his opinions seem to have little to do with the point he is making. His interpretations are twisted and stretched to put it mildly.
Carlton Pearson says he has been preaching a "more appealing and attractive message of God's unconditional love for all." I have just read about how all the apostles except John were killed and martyred for preaching the uncompromising Word of God.
I couldn't believe it when Pearson later stated that there are those who will spend eternity in hell because Jesus failed to redeem them, and that the blood of Jesus was too weak to reach and wash away their sins! This must be the utmost of deception in the mind of a minister defending his theology and claiming that Jesus and His precious blood are too weak.
Your article about Carlton Pearson made me mad. To think that this man calls himself a minister! I cannot believe that he had the gall to say that the only people who will go to hell are those whom Jesus failed to redeem--those whom His blood was too weak to reach and wash. The blood of Jesus is anything but weak!
Heather R. Barron
Carlton Pearson says practicing homosexuals will go to heaven. That is a lie. Pearson cannot possibly be a Christian if he believes that. The Bible says no one who continues in sin is born of God.
Rev. Woodrow Steadman
Roebuck, South Carolina
Please quit interviewing Carlton Pearson about his beliefs. It is so sad that he continues to appear so foolish by exposing his beliefs.
If what Carlton Pearson believes is true, we would not need salvation, baptism or the Lord's Supper. We might as well close the doors of our churches with teachings like his.
Fort Worth, Texas
I was surprised and disappointed to read the attacks on Bishop Carlton Pearson. I am not familiar with this controversy, but I question Charisma's intentions. Is this a personal vendetta of the publisher? Are you bringing glory to God with your articles of rebuke?
Michelle Lowe Mintz
Christians and Demons
It was so refreshing to read your recent article on deliverance ministry ("Can a Christian Have a Demon?" by John Eckhardt, March). This is a subject that has caused so much misunderstanding in the body of Christ.
So many times a problem caused by demons is treated like it is just a weakness of the flesh or of the mind. The Christian gets discouraged as others preach to them or try conventional ways to rid them of their problems. Not only are these Christians tormented from within, but also other Christians on the outside criticize them.
I have come in contact with so many Christians who struggle with torment and oppression, and usually others around them don't know how to treat them. Finally, someone was bold enough to set the record straight.
Seneca, South Carolina
Why do so many church leaders want to argue about whether a demon is in us, on us or around us? Who cares where it is? If a person is in bondage, he doesn't care about the geographical location of the demon. He simply wants to be set free.
Jesus healed and delivered people probably every day of His ministry. Why would we think that we have a better plan?
Jamestown, North Dakota
If you encounter a "demon possessed Christian" it could be only one of two things: a panic-stricken heart or an emotionally wounded heart. Therefore, the person is not demon-possessed but hurt. In the case of real demon possession, that person is not a Christian. If we accept the fact that demons can possess a Christian, we are saying that our God has no power.
I've encountered and confronted many demonized people. But in every case, when they identify themselves as Christians, they have been playing with sin and living a lie.
Rev. Eckhardt, please prayerfully reconsider your position and ask God to help you understand His sovereignty.
Hallelujah! It is about time the body of Christ woke up and realized that "deliverance is the children's bread" and that we Christians need to be delivered from the enemies of our souls. Those enemies could be anything from pride to perversion. Don't let the devil cheat you out of one of the most important gifts Jesus could ever give us.
Antioch Christian Center
Pastor John Eckhardt said he saw born-again believers manifest demons. I believe that we as Christians are in a battle against powers of darkness, but I do not believe that we can ever lose to the devil.
Rev. Doug Combs
Can a Christian have a demon? I know it is possible. Once I laid my hands on a preacher to pray for a sickness, and he began to leap around the room like a frog. I prayed for another person who was born again, but he began to manifest a demon. After seeing both of these manifestations, I knew this was possible.
We have made the mistake of categorizing problems of the heart as demonic. Demons are alive and active, but once we understand where we stand, they have no power over us. As pastors and leaders, we tend to take the easy way out and label everything a demon. Our job is to instruct people about their new lives in Christ so they can take possession of their new identities.
It's very dangerous when we use experience as an excuse to formulate our theology, especially when that "experience" opposes basic biblical principles. Unfortunately, when we can't control or understand a situation we reformulate our beliefs. The problem is not the doctrine, but our understanding.
The article by John Eckhardt made me ashamed of being a charismatic. When we look hard at the New Testament we see that the first Christians in Corinth and other cities came from thousands of years of idol worship, yet Paul doesn't seem to worry about their generational curses. He seems more concerned about them knowing the truth and living right. We charismatics must stick to the Word.
Rev. Tony Ropson
Freedom Worship Centre
I read your article about a Christian having a demon. I was surprised that you didn't present the other side. I too have experienced some things in deliverance. But I don't believe that a Christian can even have a demon in his soul.
Rev. Sidney D. Wheatley
Unity Christian Fellowship
I used the article by John Eckhardt as an example of bad theology. The author said his experience did not match his theology, so he changed his theology. The source for Christian theology cannot be experience; it must be the written Word of God.
Zion Bible Institute
Barrington, Rhode Island
Please Love The Catholics
Two anonymous readers of Charisma recently wrote letters offering stereotypes of Catholics, dismissing Catholicism as "pagan" and "a false religion" (Letters, March). Are they unaware that many millions of Catholics worldwide--including many millions of charismatic Catholics--love Jesus, read the Scriptures and seek to honor the Lord in their lives?
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
I want to address those who wrote letters against Catholics in your March issue. For the first 59 years of my life I was a Protestant, and now for the last six years as a Roman Catholic I can tell you that all the superstitious and hateful remarks about Catholics that you espouse are bunk.
Catholics established worship forms, prayers and services to honor God. Look around and see which churches still use these forms. You will be surprised.
My wife and I are born-again, tongues-speaking, Holy Spirit-filled and anointed charismatic Catholics. We don't worship idols or Mary. We believe in all the gifts of the Spirit and salvation through the grace of the shed blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As for the worldwide Catholic Church, and sadly in some areas of the United States, there are some who indeed have infused their indigenous or cultural "pagan" practices into their worship. It is these people, along with those who have a Marianist agenda, who have a mistaken belief that salvation is through works.
Please don't blast all Catholics because of the few or place them all in the same boat. It is these fellow Catholics who I evangelize from within the church.
I get so tired of people bashing the Catholics. I have never been Catholic myself, but I have many Catholic friends--some of whom are very spiritual, and I believe they are Christians. The Catholic Church is misguided and wrong in some areas, but what church isn't?
At least they do not condone abortion and homosexuality like some Protestant denominations. Yes, some Catholics pray to and worship Mary--and I agree this is wrong. Yet I know Pentecostals who run from one place to another to "worship" signs and wonders.
I am not excusing the Catholics for errors in doctrine, but we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water. Don't condemn every Catholic you know. Instead, pray for them and ask the Lord to reveal their errors to them.