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Issue: "Islam and teroris," Oct. 27, 2001

Be heralds

Sadly, we, the American church, have encouraged this erosion of the general awareness of God, to which Joel Belz refers, by our silence, our abdication of the responsibility we have to be the light to our neighbors, communities, and the world. Now that the darkness looms all around us and the paucity of belief throughout the nation appalls us, it is too easy to retreat further into our own little enclaves and become critics rather than heralds of the Good News. May God forgive us for our failures and stir us to action. - Sunnie Waggoner, Salida, Colo.

Different stations?

Perhaps Joel Belz and I have been watching different channels. I have been deeply encouraged by the numerous people who have testified to a providential God who is sovereign. A local pastor here in New Mexico had the opportunity to answer spiritual questions and pray on nightly news. One CNN reporter attributed a survivor's fate to "luck," and the survivor quickly replied that it was the "hand of God" on her life, and how she felt "blessed." Larry King interviewed Lisa Beamer, whose husband David Beamer was on United Airlines Flight 93; she testified that her courage came from her faith, and that she knew where her husband was, and that she would see him again. - Lisa Shin, Los Alamos, N.M.

Weeping for us all

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Your Sept. 29 cover photo of Mary Ortele is framed in our hearts. Her individual grief poignantly expresses our national sorrow. - Marvin & Nancy Richter, Kingsdown, Kan.

Just one more

J. Budziszewski's column was excellent, but there is one extra criterion for a "just war" that is found in the Bible and could be added to his list: to seek the Lord's counsel before carrying out military action. - Daniel Devine, Crown Point, Ind.

Broken-hearted

You shouldn't be allowed to break a person's heart as surely as mine was broken on reading the story of these four brave, young men who fought back against the hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93 ("'Jesus, help me,'" Sept. 29). - Larry Bailey, Redding, Calif.

Fortress America?

I hope that the government can find a way to tighten up security at home without taking away the very freedoms on which our country was founded. Changing our country into Fortress America might improve security some, but at the cost of many of the personal freedoms we hold so dear and which are responsible for the success of our country. May God grant our leaders wisdom in charting the course for the future. - Dennis Scott, Anchorage, Alaska

Making sense

Thank you for "Loving our enemies" and "9/11." I have spent the days since the tragedy asking God to forgive me, because I couldn't forgive "them." I also believe that we need to bring them to justice, but I had a hard time understanding how that fit with Christian ideals to forgive and to love. Both Mr. Piper and Mr. Olasky gave me what I needed to make everything line up. Let's hope that our world's leaders can follow along. - Karla Hamrick, Wapakoneta, Ohio

How long?

Ever since the tragedy of Sept. 11, I have felt oppressive sadness, not only for the victims and families, but for those who continue to turn away from God and continue to search for other explanations. Billy Graham called for a revival in his sermon at the National Cathedral memorial service and some have responded, but now that the shock is wearing off, now that the country is getting back to "normal," I ask, how much more is it going to take? - Candy Mosley, El Paso, Texas

First rate

The photos in your "9/11" Special Report brought to life the terrible tragedy wreaked upon our nation, and your editorials were first rate in explaining sin in our nation and the responsibility our government has in making sure these evildoers are stopped. - Craig Holderman, Somerset, Calif.

Corrections

Bethlehem Bible College is located on Hebron Road in Bethlehem (Sept. 15, p. 26).
The song "Fanfare for the Common Man" was composed by Aaron Copland (Sept. 29, p. 16). - The Editors

See clearly now

Joel Belz cut to the heart of the matter in "Feel lucky?" (Sept. 29). The strong theme from the highest levels of our country is that our hope is in the all-powerful American spirit. In reality, this tragedy is an "act of God" against a society that has had much opportunity to hear and see His hand of mercy but spurned it. It is not a wake-up call for the great American spirit but a call to repentance for a people who have excluded the Creator and Ruler of the universe from their daily lives; this messages is as much for the tepid religionist as the vilest sinner. The judgment of God is an opportunity for us all to see the mercy of God more clearly, to understand that He promises final deliverance to all those who turn in faith to Him through Jesus Christ. - John M. Custis, Gresham, Ore.

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