Step up and draw
The article about graphic novels is right on ("Left behind," June 28). I am 17 and hope one day to write my own graphic novel. Comics and graphic novels seem so much more reader-friendly to me. If more Christians were to step up to the plate and start their own novels or maybe even a series of comic books, we would be able to make a huge impact on society today. I just hope we make a difference before it is too late.
-Sommer Little; Wayne, N.J.
There are plenty of artists and budding authors who would jump at the chance to do a graphic novel with a Christian theme. But we need publishers willing to back the medium and foot the bill to get it to market. In my experience trying to get Christian video games launched, I found that everyone was afraid to dive into something so "edgy."
-Marty Bee; Sulphur, La.
Susan Olasky did a fine job interviewing Richard Abanes and debunking the writings of Eckhart Tolle ("An old deception," June 28). If only she had been so forthright in her article on William P. Young's The Shack ("Commuter-driven bestseller," June 28) in pointing out more of the apostasy in this piece of New Age drivel. It is dangerous in its theology.
-Robert Shillingstad; Hayden, Idaho
William P. Young is wrong. The institutional church does work for those of us who are hurt and damaged. Although I was a very tainted lady, I found God's forgiveness and healing through a message received in a church. Unlike Young's portrayal of God, my God is a magnificent, compassionate, benevolent, sovereign king.
-Elizabeth Patchet; Eau Claire, Wis.
Sold as Christian
Although the story lines for many Christian books have improved ("Changing Times," June 28), the Christian content has not. Where is Christ in many of these "Christian" books? What bothers me most is to read a good book that is sold as Christian and find it has no Christianity in it. I'd rather buy a regular book and know what I'm getting.
-Christy Mason; Miramar, Fla.
I'm disappointed in WORLD's article about the Outpouring in Lakeland, Fla. ("Same old scam?" June 28). I attended for three nights with many misgivings to start with, but I saw true worship. I spoke to many who had traveled far because they wanted to see their own lives and ministries refreshed and newly empowered. And yes, I saw people healed.
-Linda Okerstrom; Boca Raton, Fla.
Thank you for your words of caution on the events in Lakeland. To accept Todd Bentley's spiritual leadership is to follow a man who has allegedly raised more of the dead than Jesus and the apostles combined and received direct messages from angelic beings. We've seen this all before. Could we just stop looking for another appealing leader, another amazing story, and stirring signs and wonders, and stick to the simplicity of devotion to Christ?
-David Leeson; Trussville, Ala.
WORLD suspects that Bentley is just another scammer. I say you're just another cynic. Bentley doesn't answer to you. I went to the event in Concord. He relentlessly proclaims Jesus based on Scripture and he gives the glory to God. I hope he earns a billion dollars.
-Z.K.; Clayton, N.C.
Joel Belz ("More on the 'Manifesto,'" June 28) briefly contrasted the claimed concern for "civility" of the Manifesto's authors with the document referring to some fellow evangelicals as "useful idiots." Wow! It made me think of the hypocrisy of vocal Democratic leaders calling for respectful bipartisanship in one breath and then blasting our president in the next.
-Bob Morris; Atlanta, Ga.
Think inside the Book
I found a connection between three articles in the June 28 issue: "More on the 'Manifesto,'" "Commuter-driven best seller," and "Same old scam." Theological liberalism, faith that is based on bizarre signs and wonders, and a "create your own God" mentality are eroding our Christianity. In our attempt to be culturally relevant, we have become theologically irreverent. Instead of "thinking outside the box," perhaps it's time we go back to thinking inside the Book.
-Frank Nolton; Lodi, Calif.
Hats off to the staff at California's Sutter County Courthouse who took a stand (The Buzz, June 28). It took courage to refuse to issue licenses and perform same-sex marriage ceremonies because it would violate their consciences. The battle is the Lord's, but He does ask His soldiers to take a stand. Hats off also to Oklahoma for its new law, which takes a stand on illegal immigration ("Looking Ahead," June 28). It is not about meanness of spirit but a matter of law and order.
-Martha Windisch; Blairsville, Ga.
What the day brings forth
Thanks for the good reminder based on Marvin Olasky's cardiac surprise and John Piper's experience with cancer ("Don't waste your bypass," June 28). I had my own wake-up call in April via aggravated assault while I was out walking and reviewing Scripture. We do not know what a day may bring forth.
-Nancy Henrickson; Houston, Texas
When I had cancer, well-meaning people told me, "You don't deserve this!" But according to the Bible, I did deserve it, and worse. If I had died at age 26 and left my two little girls without a mother, my life was still a picture of God's grace. Every time I had seen a baby smile, held my husband's hand, smelled a campfire, or even taken a breath, I experienced a precious gift from God. Seven healthy years and three babies later, my kids' drawings and my husband's loving glances still get me teary-eyed. Dirty diapers, uncorrected math papers, and piles of unwashed laundry are proof that I'm still alive and experiencing God's grace in another day.
-Melanie Burns; Becida, Minn.
One would think that Barack Obama, in meeting with prominent Christian leaders ("The natural," June 28), would want the Christian community to know where he stands theologically on questions such as whether he believes Jesus is the only way to God. Instead, his answer was off the record. That says far more than he would like it to say. It seems to me that he is not a new kind of politician, only a regular politician in a new package.
-Thomas Burley; Alto, Mich.
Our foremost concern
I was thrilled to read in "Less is more" (June 14) the sentence that, apart from the command to love the Lord our God, "all the rest of that school's education will be as hollow as it is shallow." Many Christians, without batting an eyelash, send their children to godless institutions. Thank you for reminding us that a Christ-centered education should be our foremost concern for our children.
-Tiffanie Rajki; Windsor, Ontario
Mark of faith
I just returned from a Mennonite Heritage Tour to Poland and Ukraine to find your article about heritage tours ("A journey up the family tree," June 14). Like the author, I got to meet distant relatives, hear stories of the past, and see where my great-grandparents lived and worked. It was a thrilling surprise and a special blessing to see Poles and Ukrainians restoring Mennonite homes and cemeteries; my ancestors' faith must have left a positive mark on the countries of their sojourn. I saw a Ukrainian train station from which Mennonites had been deported to Siberia after World War II. While they waited they sang a hymn, and as the last train pulled away their Ukrainian neighbors also sang "Take Thou My Hand, O Father."
-Vangie Poggemiller; Rustburg, Va.
Letting lies pass
Joel Belz argued that racism is not the cause of Obama's problem ("Don't blame racism," May 17). Regardless, it would serve well to mention the xenophobic and racist attacks against Obama based on his purported Islamic roots. I have received countless emails forwarded by Christian friends with an apparently low view of the truth. The emails describe how close "Obama" is to "Osama," his secret Islamic agenda, and hidden Arab roots. Followers of one who called Himself the Truth shouldn't be comfortable letting lies pass through their inboxes and communities.
-Michael Rhodes; Memphis, Tenn.
Keith Ellison represents the 5th congressional district of Minnesota ("Under wraps," July 12, p. 48).