Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Top 100 Books 1999," Dec. 4, 1999


My wife, Ruth, and I are saddened by the news report and the implications. We love our son, Ned, and very deeply love Carol and their two sons, and continually lift them up in prayer. We respect Ned for continuing the vision of his late grandfather, L. Nelson Bell, for China. We also continue to support the ministry of distributing Study Bibles to thousands of Chinese Christians. East Gates Ministries is not a part of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Its funding is completely separate, though the BGEA has given funds to special projects of East Gates and its ministries. These gifts have been fully reported to our donors in Decision magazine, in our annual reports (in the audit statement footnote), and in a limited way in Mr. Graham's monthly ministry letters. - Statement by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Minneapolis, Minn.

Someone has to do it

You will probably take some flack for printing pieces on Christian leaders who have apparently drifted from the high standards we hold so dear. But I want to thank you for being willing to deal with this sort of issue. Years ago when one well-known Christian singer divorced his spouse, I first learned about it in People magazine. The only place I could learn the truth was in a secular publication. - B.L. Wiedenbeck, Arlington, Wis.

Scandalous detail

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I am very disturbed by the editorial policy concerning the reporting of embarrassing and shameful activities of other believers, specifically in "Ministerial oversight?" Perhaps Christians should be aware that a ministry has "gone awry," but the detail and tone of this report is scandalous. - Richard D. Harris, Denville, N.J.

Standing for Pat

It is an absurd allegation that Pat Buchanan, by running for the Reform Party nomination, is soft-pedaling his long-held pro-life stance ("Not standing Pat," Nov. 6). Mr. Buchanan's phrase "that abomination they call Roe vs. Wade" is obviously a total denouncement of abortion. - Michael Rampy, Fort Worth, Texas

Just a vessel

As an 18-year-old student who sees his life before him, William Smith's article on the importance of Christian doctrine while death approaches was encouraging ("Last words," Nov. 6). It has been difficult for me to realize that death will eventually claim me, yet when I read such faithful words spoken by strong Christians near death, I saw that this body is nothing more than a vessel used to carry me closer and closer to my Lord and Savior. Thank you for reminding me that with Christ, this life can be a life of faith with purpose. - Michael P. Schoon, Azusa, Calif.

Smog demands sacrifice

Perhaps excessive smog has temporarily deadened Cal Thomas's sense of responsibility toward the environment ("Let them eat crude," Nov. 6). While it might make social conservatives smile, his banter does nothing to actually "conserve" natural resources or the environment. It is easy to throw a label on Vice President Gore and criticize him as liberal. But since when is making personal sacrifices considered radical, or even a new idea to Christians, particularly when it fulfills a responsibility the Lord has given us? - Jonathan Carroll, Colleyville, Texas

Don't just do it

Regarding Marvin Olasky's "Doughboyz to men" (Nov. 6), I would have to agree; but not without some caution. Those of us who share the view that compassion means "for the ultimate good of a person and God's glory" also can share being tagged judgmental, self-righteous, and harsh. As a former psychiatric nurse and now a director of a women's counseling center, almost daily I am tested on my compassion beliefs. I have discovered that the so-called emotional disorders-homelessness, domestic violence, etc.-increase dramatically when we just "do it" with handouts. Hopefully, we are taking a different stand on what true compassion means, basing our compassion on setting people free to depend on Jesus Christ instead of us or the government. - Donna Lee Robart, Vero Beach, Fla.

God blessed us all

Thank you for acknowledging the passing of Jean Shepherd ("Shepherd of the airwaves," Nov. 6). As a youth in New Jersey, I would listen to his program every night on my bedside radio, often drifting to sleep under the influence of his homespun tales. He was a good, clean humorist, a precursor to Garrison Keillor. I don't know if Mr. Shepherd was a believer, but I do know that God blessed us all through his talents. - Stefan A.D. Bucek, San Jose, Calif.

It was Fletcher

In regard to the Nov. 13 letter "Movie makers," the actual quotation from Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun is, "I knew a very wise man that believed that if a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation." - Allen Round, Rock Springs, Wy.


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