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Mailbag

Issue: "Forbes: Right on the money," Nov. 8, 1997

Not the standard

It concerns me when a Christian singer's explanation that he took part in an event at a Disney theme park to minister to Christians and reach out to their non-Christian friends is dismissed as "self-congratulatory self-justification" ("Duped by Disney," Oct. 4). Nothing in his statement suggests that he "uncritically" dismissed the boycott. Perhaps he did think it through carefully and decided that the potential impact on the lives of the kids who attended outweighed the potential impact of participating in the boycott that night.I wonder if using participation in the boycott as a standard to judge the actions of fellow Christians doesn't border on raising it to the level of an article of faith. - Larry Hoop, Holland, Iowa

Need perspective

The controversy among Christians mentioned in your Oct. 4 cover story ("Building a better boycott") regarding the Disney boycott stems in part from the failure of its supporters to put their actions in a biblical perspective. Discussion revolves around the use of power to change Disney. By contrast, the Bible devotes an entire chapter (1 Corinthians 8) to a Christian response to an unChristian world. Paul instructs believers to refrain from doing otherwise harmless acts that may mislead weaker brethren. Disney produces a great number of harmless products, but if our purchase of those products supports other products which promote promiscuity or violence in the young or weak among us, it is our obligation to avoid the appearance of support. It should not be our goal to change Disney's social agenda, although I pray that it does change, but to avoid supporting anything that would lead the least of his brethren astray. - Mark Yunque, Myunque@aol.com

Better to be Sodom

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While I support the Disney boycott, a mere boycott is not going to stop America's slide into depravity. The sad thing is that, as Leonard Ravenhill has observed, Sodom had no Bible. Unless revival occurs in our country, it will be more tolerable for Sodom than America on Judgment Day. - Bobby Russ, Nashville,Tenn.

How to be salt and light

Taking a stand against unrighteousness is a good thing. The question is: What do the Scriptures teach about how this should be done? One must know the Scriptures in order to know how to engage in being salt and light. Jesus said to his disciples, "You are the salt of the earth.... You are the light of the world." Not a command, but a statement of reality. When a culture declines, the church, among other things (not the only thing), needs to question the biblical validity of its discipleship. When the extent of our salt and light is merely being disgusted with the sins of others and dismay over not having Christian T-shirts to fight against sin, we are very far removed from biblical discipleship. It's time we mourned the sin in the church and humbled ourselves before God. - David P. Smith, zwinglinc@juno.com

Don't judge motives

Although World's Oct. 4 cover story quoted AFA's Tim Wildmon as saying, "I don't measure someone's Christianity based on whether they participate in a boycott," the sidebar flanking that quote ("Duped by Disney," by Arsenio Orteza) did exactly that; it accused a few CCM artists of being "uncritical," "corporate puppets" who by appearing in Disney World's "Night of Joy" are missing an opportunity to "nudge the culture toward righteousness." Mr. Orteza's acerbity seems often to approach the behavior condemned by Paul when he wrote, "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other" (Galatians 5:5). - Bob Hostetler, Hamilton, Ohio

Wrong mission

As a former Air Force flyer and recent departee from the military, I assure you that the lure of commercial aviation is not to blame for the drain of talent from the services ("Going commercial," Oct. 4). I entered active duty in 1984, at the height of the Reagan build-up. The airlines paid just as well then as they do today. However, during the Reagan-Bush years good people were motivated by the mission and confidence in the military's civilian leadership to stay in despite attractive offers from the outside. Today, the Clinton military is a force that is adrift in hopeless malaise. It is impossible to convince smart people in an all-volunteer force that restoring "democracy" in Haiti and standing guard in Bosnia are missions worthy of sacrificing life, limb, and family. The military is being ripped apart as it is being used as an agent for social change at home and sword-dulling, non-military missions abroad. Accordingly, is it any wonder that we're having trouble keeping good people in uniform? - Jerry M. Lang, jlang10@juno.com

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