The Real Gospel
I want to say amen to Steve Hill’s “No More Candy-Coated Gospel” (January). I despise the compromising religious spirit. I am not afraid to speak out against it when I see it. I’ve been accused of being too confrontational, as well as having people say, “That offends me.” I’d rather walk in the fear of the Lord and speak the truth in love.
Jason L. Hoover
Blue Ball, Pennsylvania
Steve Hill is right when he says: “The doctors of the Word, the clergy, are afraid to prescribe the medicine. … They see the disease [sin] but are afraid to treat it.” Actually, some don’t even acknowledge or name the correct diagnosis. Being a nurse, I can tell you that if you don’t get the correct diagnosis and determine the right treatment plan, the illness might progress. We need Romans 10:9-10, confession and repentance working through Jesus.
I wholeheartedly agree with Steve Hill. The church has watered down the gospel in their services.
Why be a charismatic if you’re not going to practice what you believe? We believe the world is dying to see the church rise up in love and the power of God and show them what Jesus died to give them-a victorious, Spirit-filled life!
Revs. David and Michelle White
Costa Mesa, California
The Gospel According to Narnia
In your article on The Chronicles of Narnia (December) you wrote about C.S. Lewis’ love for mythological creatures from his youth, and that he and others would critique his work over drinking beer and smoking pipes. This information alone concerns me about the discernment of Lewis.
In Narnia, dark creatures are on the good side, and creatures of God are on the bad. People involved in New Age and the occult know exactly what these creatures represent, and they laugh at us Christians.
The Chronicles of Narnia was an awesome movie. However it would seem to me a bit difficult for an unbeliever to understand its biblical message, especially if the person has very little exposure to the gospel.
There’s an assumption that most viewers will comprehend the underlying Christian theme in the movie. Sorry, but it’s just not that obvious. But it could serve as a great discussion-starter.
Brooklyn, New York
Please check out the pagan characters in Narnia. The centaur (half-horse, half-man) is straight out of Greek mythology. C.S. Lewis had a love for Greek and Roman mythology, but the Bible is not a myth.
Children are very easily led away by fantasy. Beware lest you lead one of Jesus’ little ones away from the truth. Don’t be afraid to do some checking yourself.
Returning to Pentecost
Thank you for J. Lee Grady’s column “Don’t Lose Your Edge” (January). I agree wholeheartedly. It’s sad to go to a church where the working of the Holy Spirit is not there 100 percent.
I have been in churches where I have yielded to the Spirit and have been told by man to quiet down. If it wasn’t for others praying for me, I would be defeated and would even have left the faith.
Auburn, New York
I have seen different “moves of the Spirit,” each one emphasized as the latest move of God. Granted, some of them were. However, some of what has been emphasized has resulted in some fellowships not allowing the gifts of the Spirit to operate. They either didn’t want to offend visitors or had multiple services. Jesus always took time to minister to those in need.
I’m a middle-aged, Spirit-filled Christian. I love my church being relevant and up-to-date. However, I too fear that most Pentecostal churches have lost what it takes to win the world, and to keep our own selves nurtured. In our sophisticated churches, we seem to be doing everything right-except allowing the Holy Spirit to move.
Greenville, North Carolina
Divorce, pornography and other sins have infiltrated the church. These things would not be as rampant if we were willing to confront and offend. Sin is sin and it needs to be addressed.
I appreciate J. Lee Grady’s strong stand on recent issues such as Carlton Pearson’s heresy and the trend of charismatic churches toward lukewarmness in their ministries. It takes courage to confront amid the apathy that pervades the church today.
War on Christmas
In Stephen Strang’s Final Word column in December, he asked, “Why can’t churches lead the way in celebrating Christmas?” A great surprise to our family when we arrived in this country 10 years ago was to find how few churches even held services on Christmas Day. Our church doors are shut tight on the very day we might be expected to hold services.
What conclusions might our neighbors draw? That food, family and frivolity come first? How might the Lord feel about this? Maybe a start is for churches to reconsider priorities, make a stand, open doors and invite Jesus back into our Christmas Day.
John Graham Joscelyne
The Truth about Israel
I read John Hagee’s article about Israel (“The Lord Has Chosen Zion,” October).A conflict between Israel and Iran could easily lead to a nuclear holocaust as Iran’s ally, Russia, steps in to support their oil interest in Iran.
Tracy V. Carman
Letters to the editor reveal a need for teaching about God’s promises to Israel. One reader called it a minor issue, but in reality if someone doesn’t know what the Word says about Israel, they have no hope of accurately understanding end-time events.
The idea that Israel forfeited the land because of Jesus’ death and resurrection shows that the false teaching of replacement theology is alive.
Watertown, New York
One reader wrote Charisma and said: “The land of Palestine belongs to God, and He gave it to Israel as long as they obeyed His covenant. When they continued to break covenant and crucified God’s Son, they lost their right to the land.”
This is a very dangerous position to take as it is not supported by Scripture. It also shows our lack of understanding of a covenant in the Middle Eastern culture of Abraham’s time.
In Genesis 15 (the Abrahamic Covenant), verse 12 clearly tells us that Abraham was asleep. Then, God the Father and God the Son (a smoking oven and a flaming torch) passed between the animal pieces. God made the covenant with Himself and made Abraham and his descendants the beneficiaries. This is a foreshadowing of the New Testament covenant.
God cut the covenant with the Son, making the beneficiaries any who would believe that Jesus (Yeshua) was the Israelite Messiah and accept Him. Like Abraham and his descendants, we are also grafted into a covenant with God by accepting Christ. Neither time was man involved; we benefited from the covenant God made with Himself.
Nowhere in the Word of God does it say that the white man owes Native people an apology (News, December). We may owe each other love and forgiveness, but forgiveness does not hinge on an apology. When we forgive we can be healed, and when we are healed, we can preach healing. Why did God allow all this to happen to Native peoples? What can we do to find Him again, and is there any sin we have not repented of?
Native tribes were fighting and killing each other long before the Europeans and Spanish ever came with their horses and guns. My Bible tells me that when we call on God with repentance, He will hear us and heal our land and us. It says we all are reconciled at the foot of the cross. The blood has never lost its power. It’s all we need for salvation, healing and restoration.
As a Native American, I say that when we learn to let go of the past, when we stop thinking we are owed something, then we get healed and move on to find our ancestors’ God.
John J. Franklin