I received the same mailing that Joel Belz talked about in his column "Analyzing the salt" (Nov. 28). After reading enough of it to see that they were trying to maintain the illusion that the mailing was really something more than it was, I threw it in the trash. I later regretted this decision because I felt that I should have saved the address so I could let the sender know how disappointed I was. I don't want to be lied to by the people who would lead me. I don't care if the lie is about sex. I don't care if the lie is about how much you spent sending me a request for money. I don't care if the lie gets you good results. I don't care if the lie is so bad that anyone with any intelligence can see through it. I especially don't want to be lied to by people that claim they are speaking for God. The sad thing is, I really wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, believing it had been slipped by them by some consultant. Now I can't support their worthy aims until I see this piece of deceptive propaganda repudiated. - David Epp, Sayre, Okla.
Vote and they'll go away
When I saw the phony express letter in your magazine's latest issue, I was curious-I had received these packages myself. You were right on target with your analysis. When I see these tactics, I always think, "Why do these leaders spend lots of money to make sure I do my civic duty and vote for the best candidate?" If there were enough of us who not only voted, but voted for the candidate that most closely followed God's rule book (yes, even some Democrats), all these Christian special-interest groups could shut down for good. - George Rank, Columbus, Miss.
Thank you so much for publicly questioning the highly deceitful fundraising appeals from conservative Christian organizations that are made to look like Federal Express and Express Mail packages but are actually just bulk-mail pieces. Although I have written personally (and received no response), it seemed that no Christian in public was going to expose this deception. And then they rail against the president's deceptions! Christians should never sacrifice integrity and morality at the altar of expediency or results. - Neal Laybourne, Barre, Vt.
I, unfortunately, also received fake FedEx envelopes before the election from "Christian" organizations. I am glad that I wasn't the only one who thought this stunk. I immediately wrote the organization complaining of how dishonest I thought this was. I hope your commentary might convince them also. - Mark Borzillo, Hermann, Mo.
I'm not dumb
I was happy to read Joel Belz's thoughts about those fake Federal Express and Express Mail envelopes that some Christian organizations use to send their requests for donations. That has also bothered me for a long time and my reaction has always been the same. If they think that I'm dumb enough to believe this bulk-mail piece is an urgent overnight package, then I'm not sending them anything. It's dishonest and an insult to my intelligence. - Matthew Chandler, Manassas, Va.
Ouch! Some of what you said in "Analyzing the salt" hurt because it hit home. It's time to change some habits. My mailbox was also cluttered with deceitful mailers this election year and many of them from Christian organizations I considered respectful. However, I did reply to each one-with the message to remove my name from their mailing lists. - Emil Roberts, Las Vegas, Nev.
Lies are lies
The bogus mail coming from noted Christian organizations that is dressed to look like overnight mail or priority mail is disturbing. I throw such items out without looking at them. Anything that purports to be something that it is not is a lie and a sham, and does not deserve to have the word Christian associated with it. My pastor frequently says that there is no such thing as a half-truth. A half-truth is a full-blown lie, because the intent is to deceive. That is the intent of such false and misleading mailings, and it pains me to think that some people believe our Lord and Savior needs this kind of assistance to get his mission accomplished. Christians are called to be different from the world. Using such worldly techniques is absolutely wrong because lying is never in God's will. - Bill Luebkemann, Marlton, N.J.
Call me naive
Call me naive, but until I read "Analyzing the salt," by Joel Belz, I did not know the Federal Express or Priority Mail from Christian organizations and political parties was actually bulk-mail pieces designed to impersonate specialty mail. But their scheme to raise money backfired at my house, because I just figured they mismanaged their funds. Consequently, I opted not to send them any more to squander. - Marge McRae, Poulsbo, Wash.
The plain truth
As a native of Lubbock, Texas, I was crushed to learn from a Minnesota reader that, alas, my home town is now "in the north" of Texas (Mailbag, Nov. 14). Actually, self-respecting Texans, including "former ones," should know that "South Plains" refers specifically to a well-known geographic area, south of the Panhandle and in west, not north, Texas. The Texas State Travel Guide describes Lubbock as the "major city of the South Plains." - Doug Salser, Garland, Texas
Will the true Whitehead stand
At age 78 I have seen men such as John Whitehead prance the stage of history-Chris Stamper reveals the true Whitehead when he asks, "Which John Whitehead will stand up?" Perhaps he would really be enlightened if he studied the Bible with as much time spent on four years for Paula, horror movies, etc. - Lester Kim, Largo, Fla.
John Whitehead is afflicted with what I call the "Franky Schaeffer Syndrome." He started out with incredible potential and great zeal to bring the Christian worldview into every area of life. Now neither one of these men seems to grasp what a Christian worldview is anymore. With Franky trying to fit as many curse words as he can onto the pages of his latest parent-dishonoring novel, Saving Grandma, and John Whitehead's latest cultural contribution being a low-budget Rolling Stone (Gadfly magazine), one has to ask the question: If this is what it means for Christians to invade popular culture, why bother? - Ingrid J. Schlueter, Milwaukee, Wis.
Back to the Bible
Thank you so much for your uplifting magazine. I am homeschooled and eagerly wait each week for WORLD to arrive. It's encouraging to see a magazine that brings everything back to the Bible. - Sarah Hall (13), Phoenixville, Pa.
American, not biblical
I urge all of your subscribers to read and re-read Timothy Lamer's "The value of work" (Nov. 28). It is disturbing to me how widely and readily the church has embraced the un-biblical-but very American-concept of retirement. I've been waiting to hear someone else say it. Mr. Lamer's words were right on the money. Keep up the great work! - Shawn Meyer, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Life after retirement
Thank you for your editorial, "The value of work." We couldn't agree with you more. In 1995, through a series of remarkable events, which we now feel were God-directed, my husband and I saw a financial way to retire from a career with NASA and from a career as an educator, respectively. We now are able to give our time completely to our church, as well as to continue our monetary support. One of the reasons we had not given much prior thought to retirement was that we did not see how we could use our time productively, but all that has changed now, and our lives are more satisfying and fulfilled than ever before. - Gretchen Lupo, Titusville, Fla.
Where does it say?
Thank you for Mr. Timothy Lamer's article on the value of work. I often ask friends and colleagues where in the Bible it says we should retire from our service to each other. Then I tell them that while I am saving for the future, I have no retirement plans, that is, unless God calls me to something else. In the meantime, I will work to the best of my ability and pray that he will guide me in the uses of the "material benefits" I receive for my work. Needless to say, most do not agree with my idea. In fact, there are some of the younger generations that want to earn enough money to retire by age 50. And do what with their gifts and talents? Let them go to waste? - William Demro, Beaver Dam, Wis.
Gene Edward Veith's article, "Politics by other means" (Nov. 28), was right on the money. We need to be reminded that we can serve God in all areas of life, not just in politics. Mr. Veith correctly critiqued those of us who often withdraw from our sinful world when the Lord mandates that we actively work in the world transforming it and its culture to his honor and glory. God has blessed all of us with our own unique talents, and we are called to be productive with those gifts-stated so well by "The value of work" in the same issue-which can be done in any vocation. - Marc Andreas, Pella, Iowa