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Mailbag

Issue: "Lord of the box office," Jan. 11, 2003

Family resemblance

Much as Franklin Graham ("Daniel of the Year," Dec. 7) resembles his father, Billy, a great deal of his outspokenness and resolve might come from his mother's side. His maternal grandfather, Nelson Bell, was another "Daniel," a missionary doctor to China. Like his grandson, Dr. Bell had a passion for motorcycles and a greater passion for the gospel that he brought to the tiny rural villages. At the beginning of World War II, as other missionaries fled the invading Japanese, Dr. Bell stayed and later wrote, "The safe place is where He wants us to be." Billy Graham once said, "Dr. Bell's strength is that I know he loves me, but he's never been afraid to tell me what was the truth." - Regina Thorpe, Walworth, N.Y.

I, too, have admired Franklin Graham's forthrightness on Islam. However, I found in the article an underlying criticism of his father, Billy Graham. When I attended the Dallas Graham crusade in October, I was impressed by the simplicity of Dr. Graham's message. Here was a man proclaiming the same basic gospel he started preaching in the 1940s. God did not call him to focus attention on false religion but to faithfully preach the gospel. May we honor Dr. Billy Graham for keeping his eyes on course, for fighting the good fight, and for finishing well. - Carolyn Inlow, Dallas, Texas

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WORLD's story on Franklin Graham was inspiring. We need more Christian leaders to be Daniels and more to be like Franklin Graham-speaking the truth at all costs and trusting Almighty God to protect and guide them. - Lisa Gray, Omaha, Neb.

Congratulations to Franklin Graham for his selection as WORLD's "Daniel of the Year." As a disciple of Christ, his faithfulness in standing for truth is both an encouragement and an example for those of us who profess Jesus as the only truth, the only way, and the only life. - Gary Fellenz, Layton, Utah

Thanks for your article on Franklin Graham. It is refreshing to see someone taking a stand on biblical principles and speaking truth in love. The very fact that Mr. Graham has been made the target of fatwahs only assists in proving that what he said about Islam is correct. - David Focht, Gilbertsville, Pa.

I agree that Franklin Graham has done many great things, but I disagree with your praise of his comments on Islam. I have ministered to many Muslims and completely agree that we should not compromise our belief that Jesus is the only way. But what does it accomplish to say that Islam is "a very evil and wicked religion"? This enforces the stereotype that Muslims are evil and wicked when Muslim terrorists are the exception, not the rule. Second, calling Islam evil in public hinders rather than helps Christians who are ministering to Muslims. It widens the gap between us when the gap really needs to be bridged-not by calling Islam a good religion but by reaching out to them in love and showing them the true way to salvation: Jesus Christ. - Joseph Easley, Portland, Ore.

Thank you for your article on Franklin Graham exposing the evils of Islam, even at great personal cost. Mr. Graham has demonstrated how to speak the truth in love through his countless good deeds to the Muslim people. He is the Daniel of our new millennium. May we follow his example. - Ann Tompkins, Ithaca, N.Y.

It's great that you recognize this man of God who has the guts to tell the world exactly what Islam stands for, especially in light of the criticism he receives from many, including Christians. - Thomas Strong, Black Mountain, N.C.

DeLay de bill

I take issue with you regarding incoming GOP Majority Leader Tom Delay (Flash Traffic, Dec. 7). I heard how Mr. Delay supported bringing to a vote in the House the bankruptcy bill with the amendment preventing pro-life demonstrators from filing for bankruptcy. How could any Christian vote for, much less support, a discriminatory bill like this? - Jerry Queen, Smyrna, Ga.

WJD an SUV?

Why is conservation of resources relegated to a liberal political agenda ("Sunday drivers," Dec. 7)? The arguments defending SUVs, that global warming is suspect and that small cars are dangerous, seem weak to me. Maybe we should all drive 10-ton Mack trucks. Is a 250-horsepower V8 needed for safety? Christians should provide positive examples of being good stewards of resources instead of defending extravagant consumption. - Mel Swanson, Carver, Minn.

The answer to the Evangelical Environmental Network's question, "What would Jesus drive?": a full-sized van with even worse gas mileage than an SUV. How else would He cart all those disciples around? - Beth Campbell, Seneca, S.C.

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