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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nov. 2 I wish Pastor E.W. Jackson had been President Obama’s pastor.
—Lewis Kisenwether, Little Egg Harbor, N.J.
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.
Oct. 19 Thank you for an insightful article. Innocent people have been executed under our system, but the alternative is also barbaric. Subjecting prisoners to the horrors and sin of prison life does not really purge the evil from our society.
—Paul E. Leightner, Pisgah Forest, N.C.
I found this article profoundly discouraging. Both the Old and New Testaments declare the death penalty to be the keystone of jurisprudence. To undercut it only furthers our ethical devolution.
—R.E. “Dick” Knodel, West Chester, Ohio
Thank you for a thought-provoking article. You comment that there are no biblical instances of judges assigning a death penalty after a just trial. But there are no examples of judges assigning any penalty, except in an unjust trial. God granted the various exemptions from a death sentence mentioned, not human judges, and He deals with hearts in a way no human judge can approach. But I applaud returning to the biblical standard that the penalty for perjury is to suffer the penalty the accused had faced.
—Don Codling, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia
The biblical standard for capital punishment did require two witnesses, but other protections for the accused today include juries of peers and multiple layers of appeals.
—Paul A. Lindberg, Ravensdale, Wash.
Oct. 19 I was reading Micah 3 about rulers who built with bloodshed and violent injustice. Then I picked up WORLD, read about Benghazi, and reflected on the statement in the death penalty article: “Lawyers I’ve spoken with cannot remember rich persons receiving the death penalty.” Power can corrupt, and wise is the man who resists the corruption.
—Jim Craig, Richland Center, Wis.
Oct. 19 Excellent column. We all need to accept God’s way of working in this fallen world and not expect Him to work in other cultures the way He has in our culture. This is His world—we are only passing through it and know so very little about it.
—Herman Smith, Albuquerque, N.M.
I was particularly refreshed by the worldview behind your online feature “Globe Trot.” I read WORLD growing up and attended WJI during college, but now as a journalism grad student I feel that dominant views have muffled my convictions. I’m sorting out how to write for God’s glory, and Globe Trot models godly framing and agenda-setting. (Yes, I’m in a media theory class.)
—Rebecca Dell, Columbia, Mo.
Globe Trot, a summary of international news, appears Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on wng.org and is available by email.
Submitted by Ellen Decker
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