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Mailbag

Issue: "Something's rotten," Sept. 30, 2000

God have mercy

After hearing about him on Moody radio one evening late in 1997, I've kept a small slip of paper in the back of my Bible on which I had scribbled, "PTL in State College, PA. Dr. Eric Harrah, abortion doctor, saved 11-1-97," reminding me to pray for a man I'd never met. I had often wondered how he was doing but had not heard or read anything. The note is now stained with tears after reading your article ("Selling celebrity," Sept. 2). Lynn Vincent wrote clear and valid warnings to the church. How often we put new believers in positions of leadership, worship, or teaching, without taking the time to let them "prove" themselves and to be observed while being discipled. I will not stop praying for Mr.Harrah. May God have mercy on him as He has had mercy on every one of us. - Sydney Fissori, Libby, Mont.

No match

Thank you for your thought-provoking and spiritually challenging cover story about the exploitation of Eric Harrah's dubious conversion. The body of Christ should be the first to expose its mistakes, pro-life zeal should always be tempered with wisdom, and healing sinners through Christ should be a priority in the Christian walk. I'm sad for Mr. Harrah's false start. Clearly Mr. Harrah's skin-deep Christianity was no match for his addictions, and I'm disappointed with those who mishandled his discipleship. However, reading this article made me all the more grateful for my own conversion 12 years ago. - Jo Littin-Taich, Charlotte, N.C.

Just can't learn

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Your "cautionary tale" about Eric Harrah was important and well balanced. It also illustrates a lesson that Christian ministries cannot seem to learn. In June of 1972, a major evangelical ministry moved to center stage (literally) Kris Kristofferson, described as a new believer of a few weeks. The results of that day's concert were predictable and disastrous, but he turned away from whatever his newfound beliefs may have been in just a few weeks instead of months or years. Hopefully this most recent lesson will last for a while. - Jim Heggie, Camano Island, Wash.

Still walking

I am a former homosexual and live in State College, where Mr. Harrah lived. Although I never met him, for obvious reasons his story has been of interest to me. I came out of the lifestyle before he did, and his story was one of encouragement and assurance to me for some time. I understand the temptations he faced. However, I am not allowing his recent decision to discourage me and am continuing to walk free. - Jeremy Krider, State College, Pa.

Brother left behind

I feel we have allowed a brother to fall and have failed to go back for him. When Eric needed spiritual nurturing, discipleship in God's Word, and private, personal counseling the most, he was offered a first-class ticket to the church lecture circuit, honorariums, and basketfuls of "God bless you, brother." We at The 700 Club waited two years after his conversion before we told his story. Now, we find ourselves alongside many other Christians in Eric's life, praying that he will be restored and that we, as the body of Christ, will get a second chance to minister to a brother we left behind. - Andy Freeman, Virginia Beach, Va.

Under construction

For many evangelicals, the "dynamic testimony" of a celebrity, rather than the Holy Spirit, is seen as the real power to reach others. When that's the case, it's easy to disregard common sense, ignore God's Word, and exploit those converts for our own purposes. Then, when it turns out badly, we can shrug our shoulders and declare that our intentions were good. Well, we all know what road is paved with good intentions. - Kenneth D. Lueke, Bad Axe, Mich.

Enjoyable insight

As usual, your latest issue provided great enjoyment as well as valuable insight into noteworthy current events. The free spending of the Republican Congress has largely been ignored by the national media, and it is gratifying to see WORLD's exposure ("Tax-and-spend Republicans," Sept. 2). Marvin Olasky's comments on Christophobia should remind Christians of our call to boldly proclaim the gospel ("Fear of the Lord," Sept. 2). Further, "Omega point" poignantly illuminates the difference Christian faith causes in all areas of our lives, including work. - Drew Thompson, Roswell, Ga.

Is now a good time?

After being convicted of my less-than-godly approach to telemarketers, I've decided to take a "ministry" approach ("Don't touch that dial," Sept. 2). I ask them, up front, for "a couple of minutes of their time." All eight so far have been glad to accommodate. Then I ask, "If you were to die tonight, where would you land, in heaven or hell?" And then, "If God said, 'Why should I let you into heaven?' what would you say?" Not one of the callers knew about Christ's work on Calvary for their sin. Now I look forward to telemarketers' calls. After all, it may be the most important call that telemarketer ever places. - Tammy Kobza, Fremont, Neb.

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