Greed, Giving And the Gospel
James Robison's article about the prosperity message ("Another View of the Prosperity Gospel," May) certainly is the right view. Let's stop all the 30-minute sermons telling us what we will get from God if we give in the offering. There is only so much blood in a turnip, then there is nothing left.
Maple Grove, Minnesota
I was disappointed with James Robison's prosperity article. It wrongly portrayed the prosperity message as erroneous rather than focusing on specific sins such as greed or pride. Why are you making prosperity the villain? The photo, the heading and the article itself were slamming the prosperity message--to the delight of many Christians who will be even more deceived.
Thank you for the prosperity article written by James Robison. For me, it was scriptural, humble and anointed.
Punta Gorda, Florida
I'm a firm believer in giving money to the Lord. I live on a fixed income, yet I have all the necessities and still manage to give my tithe. I believe we should ask and receive from the Lord.
I was ensnared by a health-and-wealth preacher in the early 1980s, and I observed many similar philosophies employed by the likes of many others. I wonder how many believers have read 1 Timothy 6:5, which speaks of "men of depraved mind" who "suppose that godliness is a means of gain."
Thank you for printing the article by James Robison. That was the best article I have read in Charisma in a long time. I refuse to listen to prosperity ministers any longer. Sadly, that leaves out a lot of TV preachers.
Lewisburg, West Virginia
As I watch the fund-raising telethons on Christian television, I hear much about the "hundredfold return." It seems to me that all these networks need to do is put these principles into practice themselves. If they would give to other ministries, they would never have to have another telethon because they would be receiving so much money in return.
The Demon Dilemma
Regarding Christians and demons ("Can a Christian Have a Demon?" by John Eckhardt, March), I shuddered at the implications of the article. The obvious unscriptural errors should cause an outcry from every pastor who reads your magazine. If every new believer has demons, it's obvious the true gospel of Jesus has not been proclaimed, but another gospel!
I praise God for your courage to print the article on deliverance by John Eckhardt! Next to the topic of speaking in tongues, this issue has been one of the most debated. How tragic it is that the father of all lies uses this deceptive tool to rob many of the abundant, victorious life for which Jesus paid such a dear price.
Jennifer M. Bonner
I applaud Charisma and John Eckhardt for tackling a very misunderstood subject in the church. Christians cannot be possessed by demons because the Holy Spirit indwells their spirit. Yet, most people involved in this ministry know that believers can be demonized. Only unbelievers can be possessed, with oppression occurring until we enter heaven. With a little understanding, many more believers can get free!
One person wrote a letter criticizing John Eckhardt because he changed his theology after he started seeing Christians getting delivered of demonic oppression. Eckhardt said he had to change his "theology," not the Word of God. That's a big difference.
Theology is man's interpretation of the Word of God. Like Eckhardt, I have had to change my theology, but I will never change the Word.
Grand Junction, Tennessee
I read with great joy the article by John Eckhardt. I know firsthand about Christians having demons because I saw my brother-in-law infested with them. They eventually took his life. The Word says, "My people perish for lack of knowledge." I know the truth, and the truth has set me free!
Jacksonville, North Carolina
John Eckhardt's article does not stand up to doctrinal scrutiny. A subject of this magnitude needs a little more theological thoughtfulness. I think he relied more on experiences, observations and misinterpretations of Scripture than clear doctrinal exegesis.
If demons could be cast out of a new believer at salvation, he would be worse off when each demon goes and gets seven more wicked demons. After we receive Christ, we knowingly or unknowingly rid ourselves of demonic presence as we grow in the Lord and make decisions to give up the various sins that we used to indulge in. We fill the "void" with the Holy Spirit.
Stone Mountain, Georgia
I was a pastor for 19 years, and now I travel internationally. I have seen demons manifest many times in Christians. I was almost choked by a Spirit-filled woman who had demons. She got free when I cast them out. Christians who disagree simply haven't been around people who manifest or who have been delivered.
The subject of demons, as well as speaking in tongues, seems to create more division. You can call it possession, oppression or a Twinkie for all I care. If anything is influencing a Christian to do, say or act in a manner that goes against the Word of God, it must go, in the name of Jesus. How about we stop debating and start delivering?
Rev. Bob Wagner
The Fathers House
New Bern, North Carolina
Praise the Lord for John Eckhardt's dealing with the issue of demons and Christians. I agree that it is not a matter of possession but of "demonic squatters" who must evacuate their residence once the Word of God and the Holy Spirit secure that area of a believer's life.
Rev. Cynthia Blackwell
The Bible should be the only source Christians use to formulate their doctrinal beliefs. Our personal experiences, no matter how dramatic, cannot be allowed to interpret the Bible. The Bible must be used to interpret our experiences. There isn't one Scripture in the New Testament that even hints at a Christian being possessed.
I applaud Charisma for having the courage to print an article about such a controversial subject as deliverance. Those who wrote letters in opposition to the idea of Christians needing deliverance are obviously ignorant of Scriptures that support the need for deliverance for everyone. Those who say Christians are exempt because of salvation, justification or sanctification are clearly not reading the Word.
Set Free Ministries
Montour Falls, New York
As my husband and I minister to the body of Christ, we too have pondered the question of Christians and demons. It was wonderful to read in John Eckhardt's article what we have believed for years. Anyone who has spent any time ministering to God's people must come to the realization that the need for deliverance is vital.
Concerning those who don't believe Christians can be demonized, I believe
C. Peter Wagner speaks well: "Almost all those who themselves are actively involved in a ministry of exorcism or deliverance affirm that Christians can be demonized. Those who deny it, by and large, have had little or no direct contact with the demonic."
Rev. Aaron de Neui
I am writing in response to your articles about evangelists Mike Murdock (People & Events, May) and Benny Hinn (People & Events, March). These men need to be more careful to remain above reproach in their lifestyles and ministries. We should not give the unbelieving world any reason to question our integrity.
Albert Lea, Minnesota
Mike Murdock is a powerful, anointed man of God. He likely has received many gifts, including cars, from people who have become millionaires because of his ministry. People who find fault in those who prosper are upset because they probably don't understand stewardship.
The Catholic Debate
Sadly, I just read letters to the editor stating the Catholic religion is a cult. There are other Christians who actually teach false information about the Catholic faith. Why? I have been a Catholic for 55 years. I assure you I have never worshiped Mary or prayed to statues, nor is this a teaching of the church.
As a Catholic Christian I am appalled that you published two letters that contained venomous anti-Catholic hatred (Letters, March). Allowing divisive lies and distortions about Catholicism to be placed consecutively, back-to-back, shows me that you have a partial indifference toward (and perhaps covert approval of) such division in the body of Christ.
Paul R. Seideman
Santa Maria, California
The Catholic Church is not a cult, and we Catholics do not worship idols or the Virgin Mary. If someone ever states that Catholics believe salvation can be found in Mary, they are in error and have no approval from the pope. I thank Charisma for your fine article on the Catholic charismatic movement that was published in February.
Christians and Martial Arts
Regarding your article on Christians who use martial arts as an outreach tool ("Warriors of Light" by Eric Tiansay, May), I was once involved in martial arts. I fully understand the rituals of entering a martial arts school.
Traditionally, a person bows upon entering the training floor. Upon starting the class, you bow to the instructor, to the flag and to the head of the chosen system. Once I became a born-again Christian, I learned what the Lord commanded us to do. The second commandment says that we are not to worship any graven image.
The term martial arts is derived from Mars, the Roman god of war. Isn't it interesting they call their trainers "masters."
I commend to your readers a book titled Martial Arts and Yoga: A Christian Viewpoint by Brenda Skyrme. As a Christian counselor she has helped many people who were involved in these activities.
People involved in martial arts have been delivered of confusion, depression, headaches, anger and even suicidal tendencies. God's Word can set us free.
South Hill, Virginia
Correction: Our story about Christian attorney David French ("Defender of the Faith," May) should have stated that "a private school in Pennsylvania contemplated a ban on proselytizing." Charisma regrets the error.