LAST DAYS FEVER
Instead of looking at a dichotomy in the views of the end times, perhaps we should see this as two sides of the same coin (“Last Days Fever” by Troy Anderson, October). Yes, the Bible does indicate there will be a catching up of some kind. But it also says, “Behold, darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the people, but the Lord will arise upon you and His glory will be seen on you” (Is. 60:2). The Jews missed Jesus’ first coming because they failed to see both sides of the “coin.” The church must not fail to see both sides now.
Your articles on the return of our Lord Jesus were both comprehensive and informative. However, one current widespread understanding of the rapture could have been better articulated. There are many in the body of Christ today who can no longer accept dispensationalism, which divides restored Israel from the body of Christ in these last days. Consequently, they believe the words of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:1-35 about the time of His coming as relevant for the church. C. Peter Wagner struck this chord in his “Case for Dominion,” but, unfortunately, his postmillennialism is an unpalatable additive. The early church fathers clearly believed Matthew 24:29-31 in their understanding of the time of the rapture, and they also were very clearly premillennial.
—Rev. Charles P. Schmitt
Silver Spring, Maryland
I agree with J. Lee Grady’s column “Apocalypse Now?” (October 2009), suggesting that one should not be misled by (false) claims about the Antichrist, as well as Christ’s second coming, and be so caught up in end-times teachings that one forgets about the Great Commission. It is sad to see how deceptive conspiracy and other false claims have entered various churches and believers’ minds and misled people and distracted them from a balanced, pure, simple gospel that keeps the good news of Jesus Christ the central focus.
I’m pleased that Roberts Liardon once again is continuing in the race that has been set before him (Charisma News Online, September 29). Liardon has been a huge asset to the kingdom of God. He has touched and changed thousands of lives for the positive through his ministry.
When I read the headline for the article “Evangelist Roberts Liardon Leads London Bible College” I thought, Oh, I haven’t heard anything on this man for several years. Because it has apparently been eight years since the embarrassment, I was hoping this story would be a “good news” one of a minister who actually stepped down and let God restore him in the proper time. As I read the article my hopes were not fulfilled. It appears that the man may not have truly submitted to church discipline. I pray that he is fully restored and that he can walk in great humility and honor Christ’s name in word and deed for the remainder of his life.
SCRIPTURE NOT ENOUGH?
David Shibley commits an all too common error in arguing “Is Jesus Really the Only Way?” (October). “Begging the question” (petitio principii) assumes the proposition that one is attempting to prove. He uses nothing but biblical Scripture to argue the case that Jesus is in fact the only way. Thus no one but a Christian would accept that as valid support for his position. I think we need more scholarly approaches that will in fact stand up to intellectual scrutiny of those who are thinking seekers.
In his September 22 online column, Charisma editor J. Lee Grady posed the question to readers, “Is Celebrity Christianity Dead?”
Please feature effective ministries without glorifying individuals. Keep the focus on glorifying God and try to avoid producing celebrities, which does a disservice to them as well as to the church.
As long as we’re human, there will be an element of celebrity Christianity. It’s far from dead because we frail humans who must have someone on the pedestal enshrine people. I would like stories about pastors who are faithful and doing all they can on their own level. We are inundated with bad news about pastors committing adultery, divorcing their wives, and so on. I think we need some good news about pastors who have served faithfully for years under the radar.
Kansas City, Missouri
I’m in total agreement to stop the articles on charismatic superstars. This is contrary to the “true gospel” and borders on idolatry. Choose those known or unknown who exhibit true humility and the pure gospel in his or her personal life. The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable (that is, unless the Lord chooses to expose sin), therefore just boasting in giftings as we have seen through the years only puffs people up in pride and leads to an eventual “fall.”
Correction: Our October article on Islam (p. 30) should have stated that Muhammad was born in A.D. 570.