Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Worldview warehouses," July 17, 1999

Hurdlers wanted

Kudos to Joel Belz for highlighting a profound tension in missions today ("Not to be served," June 12). It may be most visible in medical missions, but it is far more pervasive. After 18 years of vocational involvement in the missionary enterprise, I am still a great fan of short-term missions.The downside, though, is that it easily becomes a substitute for long-term commitments, particularly when difficult circumstances are part of the package. Our youngest son is beginning college with a vision for long-term medical missions. Mr. Belz has correctly described the psychological and financial hurdles he will have to overcome. Perhaps his reminder will stir churches and Christians to greater encouragement of those like my son who hear plenty of advice to be less "radical" and less "extreme" with their life choices. - Gary R. Corwin, Charlotte, N.C.

Still around

Not all medical missionaries are relics of the past. I am preparing to accompany two doctors, a husband and wife team, to Nigeria this December, where we will serve in a 140-bed hospital. This couple has obeyed God's call to "Go ye ..." by giving up a family practice and ranch home to serve the Lord as career medical missionaries. - Jamie Kiesle, Temple, Texas

A small price

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The point you missed is that all of us professionals should be willing to sacrifice two weeks of our vacation time to support the people who are out there every day of the year. It is a small price to pay. - Larry Reagan, Lusby, Md.

Hmmm ...

Our reluctance to leave comfortable situations leaves me wondering if we just don't consider our message important enough. - Alicia Emery, Kamiah, Idaho

Renew it

In my experience as a pastor who has led short-term missions trips, a short-term mission is more likely to renew the call to the mission field than to kill it. - Dale Ribble, Lincoln, Neb.

Air heroes

Mindy Belz's "Another day at the office" (June 12) captured the life of a fighter pilot in combat better than any non-flyer I've read or heard. If there can be any heroes in this sad Serbian affair, it is our airborne warriors who answer the call regardless of the motives of their political leaders. - J.D. Wetterling, Association of Christian Fighter Pilots
Tampa, Fla.

A great one

I was pleasantly surprised to see Gen. Dan Leaf on the cover of your June 12 issue. I had the pleasure of serving with then-Col. Leaf in my previous assignment in Korea. He is truly a great officer, leader, and warrior. - Scott A. Printz, Montgomery, Ala.


I agree wholeheartedly that failure to set firm boundaries (within the context of unconditional love, respect, and a strong, active faith) is criminal negligence ("Hating our children," June 12). It stems from our falling prey to an all-consuming materialism rendering us capable of indifference, even toward our own children. - Bud Kuppenheimer, Barrington, Ill.

Abuse in disguise

"Hating our children" showed clearly the hypocrisy of many educators, psychologists, and child-welfare experts. The "expressive theory," which advocates unrestrained self-expression, is nothing more than child abuse disguised as child advocacy. Children who test the limits of acceptable behavior are longing for discipline and are let down when no one steps forward to fulfill that biblical role. - Gary Miller, Pantego, N.C.


I was reading your article, "Hating our children," and saw mention of a copycat shooting in Atlanta, fortunately not fatal. I thought you might be interested in knowing that there was also a copycat shooting in Taber, Alberta (Canada), and one child was killed. - Lynn Michie, Austin, Manitoba

Injustice served here

We will never make significant progress on school vouchers until we convince the public that all schools are religious, not just Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish ones ("The rain in Maine," June 12). Justice is not being served when taxes are collected from all, regardless of creed, and then distributed only to secular humanists. - Elsie P. Palmer, Wayne, N.J.

Standing tall

The 4,000 people who recited the Lord's Prayer at a high school graduation ("To the front of the bus," June 12) should get a standing ovation for "standing up" to the ACLU. - Tommy Cheng, Torrance, Calif.

That's OK

I am sorry I am late renewing my subscription. I can't tell you enough how much I enjoy your magazine and am edified by it. I think your biblically based commentaries on current events, societal trends, and trends in the Christian community are well-researched and spiritually sound. I wish I had started receiving your magazine years ago. - Kenneth B. Bennett, Westfield, Wis.


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