“Out From the Rubble” (by Carol Chapman Stertzer, September) is an amazing story of faith and a testimony to the ability for each of us to turn the negative situations we face into something positive. Though we may not understand why God allows seemingly horrible things to happen to us (such as the loss of a loved one, financial instability, a failed marriage, world hunger, and so on), we can stand by His Word in Jeremiah 29:11 that His ultimate plan for us is for our good. The difference between walking in victory or defeat as we face these situations will depend on whether or not we turn to God in the face of them as Sujo John and his wife did. What an amazing example for us to follow!
WHAT REALLY MATTERS
Thank you for the article by Bob Sorge, “It’s OK to Ask God Why” (September). I too am a minister who has lived with chronic pain and fatigue for a number of years. Over the last six years I have lost my husband, my house, my ministry and, most of all, my only child. But also during that time I watched God perform many incredible miracles. My world has been reduced to one room in a townhouse apartment. Every morning I have communion with Him, and even though my pain has in no way subsided and financial problems never seem to end, I would not give up my time with my Jesus for anything. I am like a little child lying in Jesus’ precious arms. Whether or not He heals me and puts me back in the ministry is unimportant. The only thing that matters to me is my Jesus.
For eight years, with a supposedly Christian president in office, nothing was done to change our nation’s health care situation (“Conservative Christians Unconvinced by Obama Health Care Speech”; Charisma News Online, September 10). The church also was silent and noncaring about the fact that tens of thousands die each year needlessly because they cannot afford simple tests or preventive medicine. Why does the church so consistently oppose health care for the needy?
You cannot legislate morality. Yes abortion is wrong. Yes homosexuality is wrong. [But] the way to change a person is not by law but salvation! Do you think outlawing abortion will stop abortions? Drugs are illegal, but people still do them. Let’s get serious about soul winning! If we can introduce people to Christ, their hearts will turn and thus their actions. The government can make everything legal or illegal; it does not change a person’s heart.
SIGNS OF THE END TIMES
The headline of your column “Don’t Get Infected With Last Days Fever” (Fire in My Bones online, August 25) is a subject near to my heart. Brother Grady, I must disagree with you in the strongest terms. There is no harm in Christians speculating on who could be the Antichrist or how long we have before the rapture. This is not the same as “date-setting.” A believer will evangelize or not based on personal conviction—not because they think the rapture is imminent. I don’t know what triggered your outburst, but you really need to rethink your position.
I am disappointed with your article. The study of eschatology has awakened our hearts, caused us to downsize our lifestyles, taking less for ourselves so we can give more to the cause of Christ and be bolder witnesses of the full gospel of the kingdom. We must be a faithful witness to the events that are coming as we prepare ourselves and the body around us. We may not know the day and hour, but Jesus exhorts us to know the times.
I read your newsletter, but never have I been so completely in agreement. I have seen those who search Scriptures for hints of the time of Jesus’ return and are assured they will bask in His glory. But most of them never even consider helping the sick, poor, needy or giving the gospel to the lost. What a shame to waste time in the Bible if no life is changed by it.
ZACHERY AND RIVA TIMS
Reading your article about the divorce of Zachery and Riva Tims (“Florida Megachurch Pastors End Marriage”; Charisma News Online, August 14) reminded me that American Christians tend to treat pastors as professionals. We promote those with great professional skills such as preaching and organization-building. In some traditions, the pastor is treated like a king. Let’s quit following “rock star” megapreachers and step alongside humble, faithful servants who disciple by example instead of growing their ministries by entertaining people from the pulpit!
Many of us singles are fed up with the sexual hypocrisy of many pastors. The church need not act so surprised as more and more single adults abandon celibacy in singleness. Because of this never-ending parade of adulterous pastors, I believe that the church is losing its moral and theological authority to make decrees regarding human sexuality. When pastors mention sex, some singles have just stopped listening.
Raleigh, North Carolina