I appreciated your voice of spiritual reason about this Y2K issue ("A Y2K scare-nario," Aug. 22). Your call for careful thinking about what we as Christians should do in the face of the Y2K problems is very needed. Your exhortation for us to decide based on principles of Christian conduct instead of taking the worldly minded survivalist options was a very welcome addition to this discussion. God may use the instrumentality of the Y2K software problem to send judgment on this world system. If he does, this should be a golden opportunity for Christians to show God's love and grace to others who are caught in the turmoil. Sharing what we have in the midst of privation has always been an effective witness to the power of Jesus' transforming grace. Historically this has been one of God's most useful methods to reach lost souls. - David Withe, Newbury, Mass.
Defending our Spaghetti-Os
Most of the Y2K hysteria seems to be in the Christian community. As Christians we should have the most hope. David said he has never seen the righteous forsaken or begging bread. Of course we should be prepared both in season and out. But my wife echoed Joel Belz's attitude: Are we really ready to close ourselves off from the rest of the world and defend to the death our last can of Spaghetti-Os? - Daniel Diehl, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Those who believe the church will usher in the Golden Age are likely to be optimistic that Y2K and all the horrors emanating from Washington are just a large bump in the road to the Kingdom. Those of us who believe the end of this age is near and the coming of the Lord which will then usher in the millennial age is just around the corner are more likely to see Y2K as the "beginning of the end." And it is not with great glee that we greet that possibility, but with sober hearts and minds preparing not only for the physical problems that may loom, but more importantly, the spiritual challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. If we are prepared, we have a base from which to minister to those in need around us, both of the household of faith and the lost. - Joy Smelser, Elizabethton, Tenn.
I have found that I can use Y2K to reach out to my neighbors-you know, the people that Jesus told us to love as ourselves. In the past few months I have been trying to educate my neighbors about Y2K and have been able to tell more people about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit than I have in the past few years. It's easy: When you start telling people to prepare physically for something that is coming in the near future, why not tell them to prepare spiritually for something that is coming in the near future also? - Paul Lowry, Statesville, N.C.
Fear makes news and saviors
In the article "Binary Blowout" you point out the concerns many have now regarding the Y2K problem. Fear makes good news and makes saviors out of politicians. What we need most is balance for the sake of his people and our economy. More trust and faith should be placed in the knowledge that God is in control, that he is our provider, that he is our refuge. - Elaine Lopez via Internet,
No force, never
Joel Belz seems bothered by those with guns on their Y2K shopping list, and then justifies their "appropriate" use. What's the difference? This armchair hair-splitting sounds good in theory, but when you're really "under the gun," how do you tell when his hypothetical commandos have crossed the imaginary line of merely wanting our food to posing a direct threat to our family? Frankly, I find it hard as a Christian to justify any distinction. Those who think they can sort out such life-and-death decisions (much less shoot straight) in a split second in the middle of the night after being wakened from a sound sleep have watched more late-night westerns than I have. The Bible says "do not return evil for evil, … do not resist him who is evil, … pray for those who persecute you." If the Lord can send an angel to blind the Sodomites on Lot's front porch, I trust that he can deliver my family from similar harm, and if he does not, I know whatever he ordains is right. - Mike McMillan, Duncanville, Texas
Only a fool ...
Only a fool would do nothing when confronted with such clear evidence of potential problems. I would rather see 2000 come in with no problem at all and be called an alarmist, than to see the problems materialize and have even one person say, "Why didn't you warn me?" - Jim Wade, Huntsville, Texas
Hold the criticism
I would be slow to criticize those who seek a safer place to live in order to live to serve in a time of great need. Were Mary and Joseph wrong to flee to Egypt so the Savior could live to serve at the appropriate time? - Jeff Brower, DeLeon Springs, Fla.
Who are you to judge?
The cover story title: "Backward Christian soldiers?" implies that those who take measures to protect themselves are running and hiding. Those who feel the Lord leading them to prepare are actually acting as Christian soldiers. Our family wants to be prepared (whether Y2K, an earthquake, etc.) to be in a position of ministry. A soldier is prepared. Let's be careful to acknowledge that the Lord often leads one of his children differently than another. That's OK. There will be those he calls to relocate and others he calls to stay put. Everyone is quoting from Romans 12; let's go on and read Romans 14 too. It says, "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand." - Bonnie Klein, Weimar, Calif.
They deserved honor
I am dismayed by your support of Grant County High School's decision not to allow teenage mothers Somer Chapman and Chastity Glass to join the National Honor Society ("Dishonor society," Aug. 22). I agree that teenage pregnancy and parenthood should not be glorified, but I also feel that these bright young women should be commended for staying in school and maintaining such good grades. The fact that they did not drop out of school or get abortions is commendable. Miss Chapman and Miss Glass may have made some mistakes, but they have obviously taken responsibility for them, which is increasingly rare in our society. They deserve to be commended, not punished and condemned. - James McGinnis, York, Pa.
Scamming, not gaming
In the Aug. 29 letters to the editor, Mr. Schansberg answered his own question when he mentioned "questions unasked about the morality of purchasing stocks, futures, insurance, and so on." The key word in his statement is purchasing. One is buying something that may or may not appreciate in value, even as one purchases real estate or an automobile. Gambling, however, is not investing for profit-it is really a scam. And governments that scam their citizens lose the moral authority to govern. - David Hammons, Fort Worth, Texas
I would like to cancel this magazine subscription. I have no wish to be affiliated with such a publication. Jesus Christ called us to "love one another" and to "forgive just as God has forgiven us." He also reminds us that "whoever has not sinned, let him throw the first stone." I hope you are proud of yourself for further dividing the body of Christ. - Doris F. Rodriquez, Elgin, Texas
Since I don't have television or go to movies, I am really ignorant of much of what is happening in pop culture. (No regrets.) I love the Christian perspective I get from your magazine. I am so glad to have read the piece on scatology, although at the time I wished I hadn't. While shopping for a birthday card I was shocked at some of my finds. Because of your magazine, however, I at least had a reference point for these disgusting greeting cards. Otherwise I might still be standing at the card section with a look of disbelief frozen on my face. - Susan Tallon, Fairfax, Va.
Lolita, too much
I do not own a TV or VCR, and I never go to movie theaters, as a matter of principle. But I do very much enjoy reading WORLD each week. So what's the connection? I get all the TV and movies I can stomach from "Culture Beat." The essay on Lolita was too much, finally: For the first time I tore a page out of a Christian magazine because it had defiled my mind, my home, and threatened my children. Please, is this necessary? - Timothy Murray, Dublin, N.H.
When you report on ungodly books, movies, music, etc., why do you have to be so explicit? Here I'm finding myself tearing out pages of a Christian news magazine so my teenage boys aren't tempted by the reviews ("Crossing the lines," Aug. 22). Give lengthy reports to the edifying material but be brief and to the point on the lousy. - David Lipsy, Grand Rapids, Mich.