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Mailbag

Issue: "Passing of a peacemaker," Feb. 20, 1999

Truth or consequences

I have greatly appreciated your ongoing coverage of the impeachment hearings and the trial in the Senate ("Clinton's last dance," Jan. 23). I always look forward to receiving WORLD magazine, which I am also using as part of my government credit. But it is also nice to know that WORLD will report the truth in a world where everything seems to be spinning in circles. Since we ignore God we no longer have an absolute truth, but a relative one. One that is defined by majority. The only way for our nation to get back on its feet is for it to turn from its wicked ways and pray and seek God's face. But today our nation wants a feel-good attitude. A philosophy that as long as our country is economically sound, who cares what the president does? And if that is our creed, it is a dangerous one that will take us along the path of destruction. - Kyle Puelston (16), Farmington, Minn.

Let's be clear

Why does Bob Jones IV continue to focus on "presidential behavior" ("Clinton's last dance") as if that justified his removal from office? I too am disgusted by what the president did in his private life, and feel that he has morally disqualified himself to be president and should resign. But when he spotlights the president's moral failures as justification for his removal from office, he is completely misrepresenting the issue. This predicament the president has created is not an "opportunity" for disgusted conservatives to remove him from office. The president can only be removed from office if he is found guilty of committing a crime that jeopardizes his ability to govern. The U.S. Senate is now making that evaluation. Let's keep the issues clear. - Paul R. Hartley, Perkasie, Pa.

Home shopping a blessing

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I'd like to provide a different perspective on the so-called "couch potato" lifestyle being mildly knocked in "Cyber-gnosticism" (Jan. 23). Shopping on the Internet has been a boon to the millions of us who are disabled or frail. I have a chronic illness that has robbed me of strength and stamina; a friend had a stroke that has paralyzed her left side and left her too confused to go out on her own; an elderly person may need assistance and/or mobility aids such as wheelchair or walker to get around. Just getting showered, dressed, fed, and ready to go out can exhaust our limited supply of strength. Driving to the nearest mall (which for us rural folks can be quite a trek), maneuvering our way through the parking lots and the long expanses of the stores, and standing in checkout lines becomes a torturous ordeal for some of us. A person with a computer is no longer the "shut-in" of yesteryear. We no longer have to make the tradeoff of taking care of the necessities but being too sick to have a real life. It's been a tremendous blessing for me to be able to save my strength for the things that truly matter: visiting with friends and relatives, going to an occasional movie or dinner, reading, or even just keeping up on my housework. Being able to go to the Internet for shopping, research, conversation, and entertainment has expanded our worlds in incredible ways. - Patricia Stegman, New Freedom, Pa.

Self-appointed minister

Gene Edward Veith suggests that Amy Grant's singing is no more spiritual than the work of "machinists [and] lawyers" ("Ministry or vocation?" Jan. 23). True, she is not a minister in the church-government sense of the word. However, by preaching on God's truth (as she understands it) through her music she became a self-appointed, de facto teacher of the Word. Therefore she, as well as anyone who expounds on the Word of God as part of his vocation (such as, hypothetically, a columnist for a Christian-worldview magazine), should live and work in light of the higher standards that apply to teachers (James 3:1). - John J. Moll, Spartanburg, S.C.

Pastoral prerogatives

Mr. Veith's column "Ministry or vocation?" said the notion that "everyone is a minister" erodes the distinct role of pastor. If churches are popularizing this idea, then they have missed the importance of the pastoral role. Scripture says that as members of the "priesthood of all believers," we each have a ministry, not that we are all ministers. Each of us has a spiritual gift to use in our ministry for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 12). Only some are gifted to be shepherds of God's people and leaders in His church. The rest of us must acknowledge-and submit to-the authority of these leaders. - Michele Reboulet, O'Fallon, Ill.

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