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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "How Mark Souder fell," June 19, 2010

"Tested by fire" (May 8)

Mindy Belz correctly points out the hardships of the Israeli blockade on the inhabitants of Gaza. But until Hamas and other Palestinian leaders stop teaching their children about martyrdom, praising violent resistance, and denying Israel's right to exist, conditions will not change. How can a country constantly threatened with extinction by its neighbors always act in accordance with Western sensibilities?
Igor Shpudejko; Mahwah, N.J.

My heart was so encouraged to see a heartfelt, in-depth look at what's really happening to Palestinians. Jesus would be grieved to see the human rights abuses going on under the guise of "self-defense."
Douglas Bennett; Dearborn, Mich.

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Thank you for continuing to cover the struggles of Palestinian Christians. With American evangelicalism's unquestioned support of Israel, I appreciate your broader perspective.
Taylor Nakamoto; Montrose, Colo.

"Gamble or gimmick?" (May 8)

The use of gimmicks, giveaways, and entertainment to get people to come to church is a sad commentary on the current state of the church. If we need these "marketing" tools to reach people then God's people are not living as true followers of Jesus.
Frank Nolton; Woodbridge, Calif.

I'm heartened by the Bay Area Fellowship's concern for the lost, but not so encouraged by the methodology. Cars, bikes, and TVs are not desperate needs. Most often they are only desperate wants. As for the church trying to speak the cultural language of the day, I would say that materialism is the disease of our culture and it's fed by greed.
Joel H. Sarrault; Adrian, Mich.

I'm weary of the worn-out rationalization that if even one soul is snatched from hell, it's worth the material cost. I simply do not believe that even when some are saved, the church can be absolved of concern for proper stewardship and methods. How many could have been saved through a different use of this money? And how many of the lost were further alienated from the gospel through what many will perceive to be crass materialism?
Mark Heijerman; Rock Valley, Iowa

I appreciated "Gamble or gimmick?" It was well written. Janie B. Cheaney hit the mark when she observed that people came to Jesus for many reasons, not seeking forgiveness of sins or eternal life, "but if they stayed, that's what they received."
Thomas Christiansen; Herndon, Va.

"Muslim minds" (May 8)

Marvin Olasky is right. It would be good if Muslim countries allowed their residents to learn who Jesus really is. Christians should also know what Muslims are taught about Jesus and His role in Islamic eschatology. Signs of the Qiyama and the Arrival of the Maseeh says, for example, that Jesus "will testify against those who had called him Son of God, the Christians," and other passages suggest that Jesus will judge according to Islamic law and "kill the swine [Jews]." That's not the Jesus I know.
Randy Weestrand; Long Lake, Minn.

"Pardoned passer" (May 8)

Thank you for writing truth about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. I was born into the Steelers' fan nation in 1949 and in past years would have defended any Steeler no matter what the circumstances. Not now. Mr. Roethlisberger has taken advantage of the reputation of this fine NFL franchise, its many fans, and the city of Pittsburgh.
Ellen Noyes; Goffstown, N.H.

"Adoption trauma" (May 8)

I was surprised to see your initial report that U.S. adoptions from Russia have been frozen. We waited and prayed, and our contacts at the adoption agency and the orphanage told us that everything was still in motion. And then we got the call-we had 7 days to get to Russia. No longer was the freeze a concern, but the volcano was! God made a way and on April 28, 2010, Kristina became our sixth child!
Rodney McCart; Loganville, Ga.

"Resigned" (May 8)

Professor and Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke says that "the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution." That same data also points clearly to God who did not use or need evolution to create. Perhaps He should have realized that any "data" in the hands of an atheistic philosophy will be used to diminish God's glory rather than reveal it.
Michael DuMez ; Oostburg, Wis.

"Jobs matter" (May 8)

Mindy Belz notes that "long-term unemployment is the worst it's been in memory." That really brought home how God has provided so well for our family despite some recent trials. Thank you for insight into God's workings in my little corner of the world.
Cindy Stephens; Howe, Texas

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