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In Defense of Marriage

Your marriage article was exceptional (“God Is a Matchmaker” by Leigh DeVore, July). My wife, Tammy, and I met in a Christian chat room. After the first chat, God brought us together. We talked for a while and finally met in person. That meeting verified what the Holy Spirit had already been revealing to us. We dated and after much prayer got married in March 2006.

I praise God for bringing Tammy into my life. Each day she is such a true blessing. My wife has a daughter from a previous marriage, and she is also a blessing to me. God, who has ordained marriage, is of course bringing His ideal couples together. It is such a blessing to be married to the person God has for you.

—Ian Miller, Easley, South Carolina

The Gospel According to Oprah

Regarding your article about Oprah Winfrey (“Oprah’s Strange New Gospel” by Ken Walker, July), I have followed her downfall from the very beginning. Her beliefs have indeed changed over the years—so much so that she made the statement, “I believe there are many paths to God.” This does not line up with the teachings of our Lord; rather, it shows her acceptance of other religions that are on a camouflaged, satanic path.

—Rev. Patrick Williams, Pine Bluff, Arizona

The Lakeland Revival Controversy

We have been following your coverage of the Lakeland Revival (News, June). As a fellow believer, I think it’s a healthy practice to question whether or not God is part of something. Too bad the followers of cult leader Jim Jones didn’t do that.

Though I certainly respect the Rev. Todd Bentley, when I go to Lakeland I will not be going to see him. I will go looking for God. In every place where true revival has occurred, one finds the pure works of the Holy Spirit but also the tainted works of the flesh.

—Annette Oden, via e-mail

If mature leaders can’t allow the love of Christ to dominate discussions and disagreements, or if they simply can’t “agree to disagree” without being hateful and backbiting and exhibiting further unChristian behavior toward one another, then they are no different than those who are unsaved!

—John McClendon, Springfield, Missouri

I sincerely feel let down by Charisma. You were quick to point the finger at Todd Bentley’s methods. When you said that some manifestations in his meetings were demonic you were in no way building up anyone’s faith.

As a Kenyan youth minister who has tasted the miraculous and walks in it, I have been greatly influenced by ministers who initially were falsely labeled cultic. Rodney Howard-Browne was labeled cultic when he began ministering in the United States. This time it’s Todd Bentley.

Why should we fight against people God is using simply because their methods are different from ours?

—Steve Kathaka, Kenya, East Africa

I have been to the Lakeland Outpouring at least once a week since it began, and I watch it nightly on the Internet. I have received many physical healings; but most importantly, the presence of the Lord is so powerful and sweet.

It’s sad that the body of Christ judges its own. I guess things were the same when Jesus walked the earth.

—Doris Finney, Sarasota, Florida

Often, well-meaning men such as Todd Bentley get so passionate about what they are doing that they get carried away in the flesh and start acting irrational. Thank you for your brave, theologically balanced article “When Prayer Ministry Gets Violent” (Fire in My Bones online, June 18).

People do not seem to understand that a godly man can often transition almost instantly into the flesh while preaching and leading a service. It’s something that plagues all men even when they are truly called of God.

—Jobe N. Statum III, Oxford, Alabama

Today’s charismatic movement is a mess. Part of the problem is that leaders in the prophetic movement have refused to correct error. Christianity is not about angels. Leaders, where are you? Stand up!

—Dale McElroy, via e-mail

Editor’s Note: In our story on the 50th anniversary of Teen Challenge (July), we stated that Mike Hodges, president of Teen Challenge USA, graduated from the ministry’s addiction recovery program. He overcame addiction before he joined the staff of Teen Challenge. Charisma regrets the error.

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