Dec. 14 I am humbled yet inspired by the Syrian Christians and Bishop Antoine Audo, WORLD’s Daniels of the Year. What we in the West see as senseless war, our Syrian brothers and sisters see as part of fulfilling our ancient calling: to be a blessing to the nations. Thanks to Mindy Belz for using biblical history to help explain our calling as the church.
—Dennis Turner, Fredericktown, Ohio
I agree that Christians should passionately support the persecuted church with our prayers and other means. But let’s remember that while some people are being persecuted because of the name of Jesus, not all of these individuals or churches believe the gospel of Jesus.
—John Crotts, Newnan, Ga.
Dec. 14 The juxtaposition of this story, about the nine defectors returned to North Korea, with “The house that Steven built” is a telling commentary on the opulent and self-absorbed nature of many churches in North America today. Can you imagine trying to explain to frostbitten orphans like No Jong Yeon why that church spent so much money building a mansion for one pastor?
—John Holmes, Omaha, Neb.
Dec. 14 We have enjoyed your magazine for years, but your article on pastor Steven Furtick is extremely disappointing. You talk about “a secular world ready to pounce” over his house, but it doesn’t have to because you already have.
—Rich Kirby, Stillwater, Okla.
Dec. 14 With sadness I read “The preachers of L.A.” and “The house that Steven built.” They shame the name of Jesus, but the congregations that pay these guys exorbitant salaries to tickle their ears are culpable too. They are responsible for holding their leaders accountable for what they teach and how they live.
—Frank Nolton, Woodbridge, Calif.
Dec. 14 Congratulations to Rikki Stinnette for a well-written article highlighting a mercy-giving missionary effort.
—Medwyn Sloane, Parker, Colo.
Dec. 14 I agree that politicians must be careful not to appear extreme, but neither should they accept a false label. Also, I find it odd that Democrats will support liars in their own leadership and vote in unity, whereas Republicans will capitulate to pressure, eat their own young, and fail to rally around their leaders.
—Albert (Ted) Browne, Martinsburg, W.Va.
This is the first thing I have read hinting that Obama is God’s judgment on America. The church in America has fallen away to the point that we as a nation are no longer under God’s protection.
—Robert Cox, Kokomo, Ind.
Dec. 14 My house was destroyed by the recent Sunday morning tornado you reported, but the story of Washington, Ill., is that God protected His flocks. The tornado just missed several different churches and went over another, damaging cars and houses, but everyone who went to church in Washington that morning was uninjured. We have an amazing God.
—Malcolm Kinsinger, Washington, Ill.
Dec. 14 Every medical system has some form of rationing. Countries with universal healthcare ration their services by requiring long waits for elective procedures and deny certain procedures for patients near the end of their lives. Many Americans believe that everything medically possible should be done to prolong life but, as you point out, the math won’t work.
—Bob Medeiros, Charlotte, N.C.
Dec. 14 God bless Marilyn Rhames for initiating Teachers Who Pray. A couple of churches here have matched prayer partners with school staff members and teachers. It is about time we put prayer back into the schools, and we don’t need anyone’s permission.
—Bill Kobza, Largo, Fla.
Dec. 14 Thanks for the article on the short-term rental website Airbnb. My family has been both host and guest on a similar site, Mennonite Your Way. It’s not about empty apartments but about the hospitality of fellow Christians while traveling, with Mennonite simplicity.
—Gene Chase, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Nov. 30 Sure, we can become legalistic about eating and forget that godliness, not bodily exercise, “is profitable unto all things.” But we should not assume that Christians exercising better stewardship of their bodies are doing it because they have turned their selves into gods.
—Aaron Henkel, Madison, Wis.
You write that Daniel’s health was a great testimony of God’s favor but “it wasn’t about the food.” It wasn’t? There is no need to spiritualize this passage. Daniel was healthy because he followed God’s natural laws and plans for eating. I commend Rick Warren for taking seriously the biblical injunction to care for our bodies.
—Carolyne Nielson, Dallas, Texas
Nov. 30 Excellent article. Food manufacturers who adulterate processed food with addictive substances are sinning. The answer is educating parents.
—Katherine Christy, Lake Mary, Fla.
Nov. 30 I have enjoyed WORLD’s reporting on the Affordable Care Act. The players benefiting the most from these laws are in a symbiotic relationship, including politicians, lawyers, and the medical and insurance industries. We have created national anxiety about asset protection and then laws that force people to pay for protection.
—Dean Bachelor, Lancaster, Ohio
Nov. 30 Thanks for navigating the rapids for readers. Regarding capital punishment, deciding if someone was a murderer may have been simpler in Bible times. There weren’t high-powered lawyers and lazy law enforcement officials determined to pin the crime on someone, although life in prison gives the system an opportunity to correct mistakes.
—Barbara DeVault, Lakeland, Fla.
Nov. 30 As a full-time student who also works full time, I don’t appreciate your portrayal of North Carolina State students. Televisions and video games are hardly the focal point of the library, which is usually packed. The Retreat, a private enterprise unaffiliated with the university, houses less than 2 percent of students, yet you define us using images of cottages with tanning beds and a giant pool.
—Michelle Orlowski, Raleigh, N.C.
Nov. 16 My husband and I have adopted a baby boy from South Korea and two teen girls from Liberia. We know many fellow Christians who have adopted internationally and several have had significant problems. The costs are exorbitant; the paperwork, red tape, and delays are endless; and Reactive Attachment Disorder is the elephant in the room. I love my children, but the system is broken.
—Jaelle Eby, Farmington Hills, Mich.
Missionary Steve Strauss, who died June 11, joined Dallas Theological Seminary in 2010 (Departures, Jan. 11, p. 69).
Gluten-free bread includes no wheat (“American bounty,” Nov. 30, cover).
We ran the wrong photo with “Another school shooting” (Jan. 11). Here’s a photo of the shooting victim, Claire Davis. We regret the error.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Submitted by Brenda Kauffman
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