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Mailbag

Issue: "The Marriage Amendment," June 8, 2002

Pray for peace

From John Piper's column, I understood for the first time in my life how to look at the Israeli-Palestinian dispute in a godly manner ("Land divine?" May 11). Both groups of people deserve a place to work and raise their families in peace and security. As a result of this article, I will be praying in a new way for the Mideast crisis, for both Jewish and Palestinian hearts to be softened to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that the land issue will be settled in a compassionate and just way. - Joan G. Martin, Marietta, Ga.

I was so glad for John Piper's column on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I was totally for Israel and their actions, but I was not sure about how to take the Palestinians' position. Thanks for a biblical response. - Phil Martin, Urbana, Ohio

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I must disagree with John Piper's assessment about Israel's divine right to the holy land. I think it is quite possible that God's promise to restore Israel was fulfilled in 1948, and that God's purpose for the United States in world history is to support Israel. - William J. Wright, Oklahoma City, Okla.

That was a wonderful article by John Piper. Evangelicals have rushed headlong over the last half-century into a Zionism based on a knee-jerk application of prophecy to headline news. As Mr. Piper's article points out, the biblical-theological reality paints a vastly different scenario. Christian Zionism betrays our born-again Palestinian Christian brethren suffering under the regimes of that land while allying itself to one political power. - Joseph Ng, Singapore

I strongly disagree with John Piper that Israel has no spiritual rights at this time to the land of Israel. I suggest that the return of the Jews to the land of Israel, a miracle of God after 2,000 years of dispersion, is the first step in the restoration of Israel. Also, the last thing the world needs right now is another terrorist nation, which is surely what a Palestinian state would become. - Jeff Jackson, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Bold, vigilant

The letter from prominent Christians to President Bush regarding anti-Semitism is brilliant ("Letter to the President," May 11). Without sacrificing its principled essence, it adroitly utilizes several politically correct shibboleths. This bold statement may be the first ever to juxtapose thoughtful quotations by George Washington and Andrew Sullivan. - Steven Fantina, Phillipsburg, N.J.

Thanks so much for printing the letter seven Christian leaders recently sent to President Bush regarding the "ugly specter" of anti-Semitism. That well-reasoned and well-documented letter should be a wake-up call to all Christians to be more discerning and considerably more vigilant in refuting verbal and physical attacks against our Jewish brothers and sisters. - Zanese B. Duncan, Atlanta, Ga.

Hear me roar

In a world of benign religious platitudes, I delight in the concise insights, flavored with the "roaring lion" approach to Christianity, that Joel Belz delivers ("The deaf will hear," May 11). - Jim Mathwig, Weed, Calif.

Slaves to Christ

I was struck by the comment from Mr. Masih, a Christian in Pakistan whose family will likely spend their lives making bricks ("Slave wages," May 4). "I have a strong faith in Jesus Christ," he said. "We're happy in this situation also." I try to have the same attitude, to treasure my connection to Christ above worldly goods and ease, although I am sure that my small sacrifices pale in comparison to his. Thanks for the small attitude adjustment. - Bill Cook, Lexington, Ky.

Real persecution

Thank you for the enlightening and practical April 27 special issue on media spin, "Osama bin Ashcroft?" and the timeline, "The one immortal blemish." I am a 10th-grader just concluding a European history course, and this issue helped me to understand the many historical misinterpretations of Christianity and helped me place my Christianity in the context of the last century's physical and verbal persecution throughout the world. - Bethany Peck, Abingdon, Md.

Although I found the quotes themselves offensive, I appreciated "Western intellectual leaders discuss Christianity" (April 27). The timeline revealed a true hatred of Christianity by many prominent leaders of society. Perhaps some Christians are guilty of having painted too broadly the anti-Christian bias of the media, but who can objectively read those quotes and dismiss our objections as mere paranoia? - Clarke McIntosh, Asheville, N.C.

End of Day

I have to challenge Mr. Olasky's assessment of the recent Canadian Alliance leadership race ("Day into night," April 20). My husband and I were part of the reason Mr. Day lost, and it was not because we were afraid of religious zealots taking over Canada. Mr. Day showed a lack of strong leadership skills in moral issues (homosexuality) and political issues (health care). In the most recent race, his opponent, Stephen Harper, is conservative on economic issues but is unwilling to take a stand on moral social issues. This left us with no good choice. - Micki Ewert, Langley, British Columbia

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