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Letters from our readers

Issue: "Endings & beginnings," Jan. 13, 2007

Gospel growth

Congratulations on your cover story "Looking at India" (Dec. 9). I've been traveling in China and India for more than 20 years, and there is no doubt that what happened in China, with tens of millions turning to Christ, is also now happening in India. These conversions are mainly among the many indigenous evangelical agencies and churches, and Christians beg for training to reach their spiritually hungry neighbors.
-Dave Stravers; Grand Rapids, Mich.

"Looking at India" has a picture on page 16 worth an avalanche of emotion. I immediately thought of Jesus' words: "Suffer the children to come unto Me." I wanted to reach out and tenderly clean the child's face and arms, even if it meant relief only for a moment.
-Paul Kester; Kingsley, Pa.

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Thank you for the cover story on India, and praise God for organizations such as Gospel for Asia that carry the good news of Christ to a world largely ignored by American Christians.
-Charlie Markum; Louisville, Ky.

The American dollar goes a long way in India. An Indian pastor and his family can be supported for $120 a month, for instance, and a church building with parsonage can be constructed for $3,000 to $5,000. When we all work together to aid these India-based mission organizations we can accomplish a lot.
-Tim Inman; Ypsilanti, Mich.

What are we doing?

Joel Belz's column ("Over there," Dec. 9) said so much that I have been feeling lately. I am a conservative who has twice voted for George W. Bush, but I am struggling with the war in Iraq. Are we accomplishing anything of lasting value? As the father of two sons, ages 22 and 17, I have great reservations about sending them to this conflict. As a pastor right next door to an Army base I fear for the men and women in my church who are soon to be redeployed. Thank you for helping me see that I am not alone in my frustration.
-Brad Butler; Pembroke, Ga.

I supported the war, thinking that maybe, just maybe, a democracy could be built from an Islamic nation to serve as an example to other nations in the region. Sadly, now I believe that I was in error. I've also come to realize once again the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, who warned us against getting overly involved in other people's affairs. We've not won many kudos or much gratefulness trying to be the world's policeman. Isolationism is a bad word of late, but I think that its alternative has proved too costly in lives, money, and material.
-Dan LaRue; Lebanon, Pa.

I grew up in the '40s and '50s watching World War II movies and thinking that we lived in a country that stood for what is right and was willing to fight for it. I don't think that is true anymore. The United States needs to get out of Iraq if Iraqis don't want to fight for their freedom, but instead are willing to kill each other over their understanding of Islam.
-Herman Smith; Albuquerque, N.M.

Oversight

As sad as it is to see a prominent Christian such as Ted Haggard fall in such deep sin, it is refreshing to see that the leadership of New Life Church recognizes the need for corporate repentance, oversight, and restoration ("Steady and stable," Dec. 9). Many churches do not understand the importance (or the biblical imperative) of oversight. Indeed, they do not practice it or even understand that it is an act of love.
-Thomas Burley; Alto, Mich.

Rev. Mike Ware's comment-that his committee's goal is to restore Haggard to "public life, and hopefully sometime in the future, Christian ministry life"-made me so angry. Why is it so impossible for Christian public figures to retreat permanently back to private life, like the rest of us live everyday? Must they always speak, write, or sing to audiences (or congregations)?
-B.L. Wiedenbeck; Oregon, Wis.

There was a ray of hope in the congregation being exhorted to accept some collective responsibility for Haggard's behavior. For any congregation to allow leadership to live a life without accountability is unconscionable. When are we going to take the pastor off the pedestal and treat him like an equal brother?
-Edmond Caouette; Atlanta, Ga.

The meaning of gender

If New York had allowed nonsurgical gender changes ("Pick and choose," Dec. 9), all it would take to legalize a "marriage" is for one partner to have his birth certificate changed. That way one of them would be male and the other female. This would also bring all the benefits that a legal marriage brings. You can bet the homosexual community is aware of this unintended consequence. If this spreads throughout the country, we will find that all of the work to get marriage amendments passed was for nought.
-Dennis Babish; Evansville, Wis.

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