A tricky business
I am not as prepared as Marvin Olasky seems to be to disavow the methods of Michael Marcavage and Repent America ("How to hurt evangelism," March 5). We need both the a\ggressive confrontation of evil and the message of compassionate grace. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, confronted a nation much like our own with "in-your-face" firmness and compassion. It is a tricky business to confront sin without self-righteousness, but we cannot abandon the balanced approach.
-Mike Martin; Larkspur, Colo.
I cannot approve of Mr. Marcavage's "prophetic" message and methods. Men and women caught in the bondage of same-sex attraction or behavior are hurting, whether they acknowledge it or not. It is far easier to make noise than to reach out in love and transforming ministry to self-identified homosexuals. Mr. Marcavage's antics make it all the harder for those of us who do.
-Karen Booth; Lewes, Del.
Mr. Marcavage is a hero who understands that the one thing homosexuals cannot tolerate is being confronted by their sin and its consequences. Mr. Marcavage and Repent America have stripped away the tent covering their hypocrisy and posturing to reveal, not for your benefit or mine but for homosexuals themselves, what's really at stake.
-Jim Nelson Black; Washington, D.C.
Mr. Olasky does us all a favor by reminding us that speaking the truth isn't nearly as effective as speaking the truth in love. The impact of what we say can often be completely negated by how we say it. In a rancorous and polarized environment, we must ask: Are we motivated by compassion or are we intent on demonstrating the righteousness of our views? Not too many folks are bludgeoned into the kingdom.
-Sam Reid; Issaquah, Wash.
I am normally a fan of Mr. Olasky but was disappointed by "How to hurt evangelism." The biggest stumbling block to evangelism today is not the zeal of such "radical" groups as RA. It is apathy within the "proper" church.
-J. Keith Bateman; York, Neb.
Jesus called the Pharisees to the carpet for their religiosity but to the "sinners" He was kind and compassionate, drawing them to Him with God's love. How many of us shout in prideful arrogance to our unsaved neighbors without the megaphones?
-Carson Coatney; Boone, N.C.
I think John Piper is calling for a reformation of evangelical America ("The doctrine difference," March 5). That is what I pray for. There will be no changes in the behavior of evangelicals until there is an understanding of biblical theology.
-Kenley Leslie; Morgantown, W.V.
I appreciated greatly Andrew Coffin's article about the types of movies that typically win the Academy Award for best picture ("Oscars for families," March 5) but was more than a little surprised, given the dearth of family-friendly Oscar-winning movies, that he neglected to mention Driving Miss Daisy as one rare and shining example.
-Brian Hendricks; Springfield, Ill.
Especially tax cuts
"Two Americas," indeed ("Head of the classes," March 5). We, our fellow small-business owners, and our neighbor farmers and ranchers are neither affluent with well-stuffed stock portfolios nor poor and underprivileged. Most of us have high-deductible health-care plans and MSAs and live in relatively modest homes. We occupy both the red and the blue states, and we love our occupations. We especially love tax cuts. When is the left going to figure out that they can't win elections by pretending that we don't exist?
-Claire & Peter Hughes; Corvallis, Mont.
The self-proclaimed atheist who is the plaintiff of a lawsuit before the State Supreme Court of Texas opposing the Ten Commandments being displayed on a public property floors me ("The power of Ten," Feb. 26). He cites "irreparable injury" because of its religious heritage. My definition of irreparable injury: abortion. Attorney General Abbott is right-there was a reason that tree did not kill him. Texans should be proud.
-Tom Criswell; Grants Pass, Ore.
I was disturbed by Gene Edward Veith's article, "Onward Christian soldiers" (Feb. 26), concerning the enjoyment Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis had in killing people. Smiting our enemy "with a confidence and untroubled spirit," as Luther said, hardly entails the enjoyment of it, and Proverbs says not to rejoice when our enemies fall.
-Ryan McIlhenny; Irvine, Calif.
To quote George Orwell: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
-Gary Ferris; Lacey's Spring, Ala.
Regarding Andree Seu's "Eating as entertainment" (Feb. 19): It's about time someone said it. I sit in a Southern Baptist church full of godly men and women who would never touch alcohol or tobacco because they believe their body is a temple; then they walk around 30 pounds or more overweight, put gravy on everything, and eat donuts at all events before noon. I watch in amazement. How do they reconcile this?
-Debi Crouch; Mission, Texas
We were reading about Louis Pasteur and learned that his research into germs and other microbes was opposed by naturalists and their erroneous worldview. This brought to mind the articles about Intelligent Design, especially Mr. Sternberg's troubles ("Science's new heresy trial," Feb. 19). Here we are 150 years later and science continues to be hampered by an incorrect worldview.
-Renee Pouchak; St. Anthony, Minn.
Regarding Joel Belz's comment that people in his informal Wal-Mart survey were ignorant of the basic facts of Social Security ("A little too casual," Feb. 26): They might be a little more outraged if they were required to make their Social Security contributions in person each payday at a government office instead of having it automatically deducted from their paychecks.
-Jim Johnson; Clarks Summit, Pa.
The title Queen Elizabeth conferred on Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Quotables, March 12, p. 16).
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