Regarding “The Church Dropout” (December), church attendance seems to be on the decline everywhere, whether you attend a traditional church or new model; and the new generation just doesn’t want to live a life that’s in line with God. I think the “new” things get some people interested for a short time, and then they leave that so they can do as they please. If you are preaching the truth, your church is on its way out; if it points people to accountability for what they do, you are on the way out. It seems like the only way a church can grow in this culture is to turn from God’s ways and let people believe and do as they please.
Ted Haggard’s Return
It is very common for leaders who have fallen to want to get back into the pulpit too quickly (“Ted Haggard to Begin Home Prayer Group”; Charisma News Online; November 5). Being back in ministry makes them feel that they’re OK. But the problem is that there are always two camps that need healing: the wounder and the wounded. The question is not only whether Ted is ready to be in ministry again, but also whether the people are healed enough to not be wounded again by his current leadership.
Everyone makes mistakes; everyone falls. God’s grace has no limits or boundaries. As we can see in many great Bible characters and leaders, flaws existed and great mistakes were made. God knew these failures were going to happen in their lives, yet He still chose them for a great purpose. Explain that. If you are the man for the job, you are the man for the job, even with your flaws. You go, Ted. May God’s grace be with you.
Thank God that King David didn’t live in our time. We would have overthrown him. David committed adultery, had a lust problem and was still considered a man after God’s heart—because he repented! We in the church are great at killing our own. If people could see the nasty little secrets in our lives, we would want them to show us grace. Problem is, we don’t understand grace. Yes, Haggard’s life will never be the same; but he still has a gifting and calling, so let God lead him.
Out of control
Your article “Breaking Free From the Spirit of Control” (Fire in My Bones online, November 11) was great. God recently delivered me from a very controlling team of pastors (husband and wife). The wife was the controller, and the husband did nothing. This article allowed me to see the sickness that went on and that in my weakness God’s glory and power came through. What the devil meant for evil, God used to thrust me into His destiny for my life. I am connected with ministries now that are all about His power and glory.
Missing a Beloved pastor
Regarding your article “Billy Joe Daugherty Dies at 57” (Charisma News Online, November 23), I have met many people in my 75 years, but the person who has influenced me more than any other is Billy Joe Daugherty. What a prime example of all that is good in a pastor; he was full of humility and integrity. I’m so grateful to God for the privilege of sitting under his ministry and having his hands laid on me in ordination. He changed countless lives for the better. May God grant comfort and understanding to his faithful wife and family.
Rev. Keith Beverly
My prayers are with Billy Joe Daugherty’s family in their loss, even though we know he is with the Lord and that they will be reunited with him one day. I truly enjoyed watching his TV program. Both Billy Joe and Sharon were so precious and down-to-earth together. They were a breath of fresh air. He was a genuine man of God that touched so many people.
The SUBMISSION Debate
“The Dark Side of Submission” (Fire in My Bones online; November 4) is a great article! Too many individuals and ministries are out of balance in their perspectives on the issue of biblical submission. Quite honestly, the subject of submission in a marriage often reflects the atmosphere or teachings of a church or ministry and can extend to submission abuses in other areas.
This message must get out to the church. There are too many men who use these passages of Scripture to browbeat their wives until they no longer know who they are. Having lived in a relationship like this I know what it’s like to feel worthless and think no one cares about what you’re going through. Jesus helped me get out of my marriage to my alcoholic husband. I will be there to help any woman who finds herself caught in a relationship like this, even if it’s no more than to pray for her and to encourage her to get out as fast as she can.
Anneve Marie Haskins
Mr. Grady I am a dedicated reader of your column, and I agree with your writings most of the time. This time, though, I must say I am surprised. Although I do not in any way support a husband’s abuse of his wife, your column is very biased and of a feminist nature. Husbands who are abusive are no reason for you to pervert the Scripture. The head of the church is Christ; maybe you can tell me what that means in Greek. The head of the wife is her husband. What you write is only your opinion; don’t try to twist the Scripture to align with your perverted belief.