When Jesus complained about the lukewarm believers in Laodicea, He said, "I wish you were either hot or cold." A society that is talking about Jesus, though in error, is an improvement over a society that cares nothing about Him. While some will use The Da Vinci Code to justify their refusal to follow Christ ("The Da Vinci craze," May 20), they might not have followed Him, anyway. The church must respond to those who, after having read the book or seen the movie, ask, "What is your understanding of Jesus Christ?"
-John Longmire; Quarryville, Pa.
The Da Vinci Code tells a story riddled with, at best, wrong thinking about who Jesus is and, at worst, downright blasphemy. I wholeheartedly agree with the Christian Film and Television Commission's point that "every movie ticket [and book sold] is a vote saying, 'Yes, Hollywood, make more movies like this!'" Isn't a Christian's best response to this media onslaught to fill one's mind with the ultimate debunking authority, the Bible?
-Kelly Bambacigna; San Antonio, Texas
The Da Vinci craze proves that people do indeed want to believe in Jesus, things divine, and the eternal-but on their own terms. Blessedly, His terms are non-negotiable.
-Bob Brown; Belcamp, Md.
Only the completely spiritually blind can't see the frontal assault coming at anything Jesus-related in our society today. From the more than 600 martyrs executed worldwide over the past year alone because of faith in Jesus Christ to the cacophony of elitist uproar over Mel Gibson's movie The Passion, we are in a battle the Lord described.
-Cate Kennedy Marsden; Haverhill, Mass.
I am baffled by the furor over The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown, a gifted writer with an overworked imagination, must be laughing all the way to the bank.
-William Messinger; Whiting, N.J.
The Christian hype over The Da Vinci Code reveals the sad state of the church in America. The fact that so many believers don't know how to answer the story's false claims proves that most Christians don't really know what they believe, and have no clue why they believe the little they do know.
-Frank Nolton; Lodi, Calif.
Andrée Seu put into print what I've been saying for years ("Cisterns in a foreign land," May 20). Many Christians have the idea that psychology has evolved to the point that it is a substitute for the truth. They minimize God's Word and elevate human knowledge. But affirmations and self-esteem are not a fix for worldly problems; they're just an opiate which does not get to the heart of the problem.
-Al Wychers; Jamestown, Mich.
I agree with Gene Edward Veith that the economy can function effectively to regulate energy prices ("Gas attack," May 13), and that Christians should be "conservationists" ("To protect and conserve," May 20). However, I would add that Christian environmental stewardship teaches us that we have an ethical obligation to God, as members of the "economy" of His creation, to conserve energy for more than strictly economic reasons. We should care for God's creation by reducing pollution, and conserve energy to help keep energy costs low for the poor elsewhere in the world who cannot compete with our ability to purchase it.
-John E. Silvius; Cedarville, Ohio
Regarding Gen. Catton, who sent an e-mail on government computers supporting the congressional campaign of former WORLD director Gen. Bentley Rayburn ("E-mail zeal," May 20): Perhaps we need to call this whole "computers are for government use only" business what it is: pure nonsense perpetuated by overzealous individuals who miss simple basic common sense. As for the argument that Gen. Catton's rank may intimidate those of lesser rank, what nonsense. He sent it to "mutual friends."
-Tim Leever; Goldsboro, N.C.
Kudos to Joel Belz for his thought-provoking column regarding private education ("Confessing our weaknesses," May 13). We who are involved in the Christian education sector must be ever diligent to be open to frank discourse, evaluation, and even criticism regarding our schools' methodologies and goals. Given the sad state of affairs with the public-school system, simply being "one up" on these institutions can never be considered mission accomplished.
-Michael Archenbronn; Winston-Salem, N.C.
The cover of the May 13 issue is haunting ("Darfur"). Such old eyes in a child so young. No child should see what these children have seen. And thank you for the story on Darfur. May we all do our part in helping not only these children but all God's little ones around the world.
-Megan Schweitzer; Dalton, Mass.
Where are those tolerant Muslims who, some say, want to live with the rest of the world in peaceful coexistence? Given the situation in Sudan, Indonesia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and 14 centuries of history, on what would we base such hope?
-Robert J. Hughes III; Monroe, N.C.
No more cheesecake
I can't take any more of your hypocritical "Christian" news. Cancel my subscription immediately.
-Scott Wilburn; Pasco, Wash.
I asked my husband for only one thing for Mother's Day: Andrée Seu's collection of WORLD columns, Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me. He provided a cheesecake, as well. As I sat in my chair that day and began to read, I sucked air and cried. My husband smiled at me and asked, "Pretty good, huh?" "It's the introduction!" I replied. The cheesecake is now gone, but I continue with the essays. She makes me laugh and cry and vow to change. Thank you so very much.
-Barb Martin; Pataskala, Ohio
Ready to hear
Thank you to Janie B. Cheaney for her honest and refreshing admonition ("To a young mother," May 13). I felt as though every word was written specifically for me. How sad that your small article is the first time in my 10 years of marriage I have heard encouragement like this-although maybe I am just now ready and mature enough to listen.
-Danielle Carr; Englewood, Colo.
I appreciate the solution that Janie Cheaney provides for the young, or not so young mother. Looking to God is the best course of action for our problems, be they relational or otherwise. But it is worth noting that the less than admirable traits that characterize "that man" are not limited to either sex.
-Bruce Booker; Medford, Ore.
Says it all
Andrée Seu's column says it all for anyone who seeks to live rightly before God while enduring a chronic source of pain such as an illness, a hollow marriage, a past trauma, or a child in jail ("This body of death," May 6). Why don't we get such mature, insightful, scriptural, and challenging lessons from our pulpits?
-Avice-Marie Griffin; Irvine, Calif.