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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "2013 Daniel of the Year," Dec. 14, 2013

‘The high cost of negligence’

Nov. 2  I have the highest respect for Jennifer Bicha. I too had a brother who sexually abused others. I know all too painfully well how family and churches would rather look the other way. The shame and embarrassment of sharing—expecting help yet being met with silence and disapproval—is enough to undermine one’s faith. Yet we serve a redeeming God of much grace.
—Sharon Stoltzfus, Bird-in-Hand, Pa.

This excellent article was a stern warning. I have been in prison ministry for eight years and counseled many sex offenders, a shocking number of them pastors and Christians. I am alarmed by how little help there is for those struggling with sexual addiction and by the appalling way it is handled in both churches and the judicial system.
—Ted Ludlow, Georgetown, Texas

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As a former abuse victim and a biblical counselor, I commend Jamie Dean for addressing this important issue. Jennifer and her sister showed much courage. I pray that thousands of pastors and churches are blessed with wisdom as a result.
—Robin Downs, Ewing, N.J.

After practicing church law for 25 years, I believe the most effective step for reducing sexual abuse in churches is to eliminate the unbiblical practice of age-segregated activities that give sexual predators private access to children.
—Mark Charles Bowman, Lodi, Calif.

As a parent and grandparent, I too am angry at the lack of adult intervention in this case. But the statement that only a “small percentage” of child sexual abuse accusations are false troubles me. Too many children are exposed to graphic sexual material, and those who want attention or revenge are finding that an accusation of inappropriate touching or worse against those they resent is a sure way of getting it.
MaryJo Dawson, Trinidad, Colo.

‘Not bluffing’

Nov. 2  Thank you for the article on Jerry Jenkins and his gambling. I am appalled! The apostle Paul teaches that our freedom should not become a “stumbling block for the weak.” This article made me more aware of how subtly our enemy blinds the eyes of believers, helping them compromise with the world.
—Carol Osborn, Denver, Colo.

I admire Jenkins for his willingness to talk about his gambling hobby. My single objection to his form of entertainment is that the money lost could have been spent to feed hungry people.
—Paul Merrill, Littleton, Colo.

I am a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and to say I’m shocked is an understatement. The more Jenkins rationalizes, the worse he looks. Reading that one of the men at the top is doing the exact opposite of the standards set in the student handbook hurts. What kind of message does this send to the students?
—Brian Oberg, Marquette, Mich.

Jenkins is not just another person. He has put himself forward as a public Christian figure and been financially rewarded for it. With that standing comes responsibility.
—Barbara Lucht, Goldthwaite, Texas

Jenkins suggests there’s no biblical justification for prohibiting poker while allowing the spending of comparable money on golf or other hobbies. But gambling carries significantly greater risks, as it can lead to addiction, hurt a Christian’s testimony, and lead others astray—and it may break several commandments. I admire Pastor James MacDonald for giving up playing poker both in public and in private.
—M. Lumsdaine, Knoxville, Tenn.

‘Science supremacists’

Nov. 2  Thank you for this excellent column on the aggressiveness of scientism. I appreciated Janie B. Cheaney pointing out Steven Pinker’s contradictions and hypocrisy, but I doubt he would care. In my experience in witnessing, it’s not about the arguments. Those who choose to believe will, and those who choose not to believe won’t.
—Joshua Burba, Nashville, Tenn.

Those whose god is science, like Pinker and Dawkins, are so intent on their atheism that they miss their own hypocrisy. The fool has said in his heart there is no God, and such men are examples of suppressing the truth, as Paul described in Romans 1, and exchanging the Creator for the created.
—Gary Karwoski, Brookfield, Ill.

‘Hall of Fame heralds’

Nov. 2  The column about street preachers reminded me of Proverbs 8, where Wisdom raises her voice in the streets to all who would listen. I wish more churches would actively pursue the lost instead of waiting for the lost to darken their doorways.
—Erik Illi, Kalispell, Mont.

‘Under conviction’

Nov. 2  I wish Pastor E.W. Jackson had been President Obama’s pastor.
—Lewis Kisenwether, Little Egg Harbor, N.J.

‘A long way from Tehran’

Oct. 19  We have been procrastinating beginning a prayer book for our family, but this article and “Dead seriousness” made it happen. We are also praying for Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran, who stirred us again to plead for the persecuted church.
—Katherine Williams, Everson, Wash.

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