Aug. 9 I read this excellent article while ministering at a Christian deportation ministry in Reynosa, Mexico, that provides food, shelter, and hope. Pastor Hector, who was himself deported seven years ago, established the center with no government funds. He does not feel that the deportees were treated poorly by America—they had broken the law—but their desperate need is all too real.
—Kristofer Sandlund, Zanesville, Ohio
Aug. 9 I totally agree about the “babies” coming to our doorstep. God tells us in Scripture to help orphans. We should not stand in front of the bus and yell, “Go back to where you came from!”
—Jim McCann, Waynesville, Ohio
I’m a big fan of Joel Belz, but I’m not pleased with this column. This explosion of illegal child immigrants is shameful for America, which won’t secure its borders, for the parents of these children, and for the countries from whence they come. In raising a hue and cry about the babies, Belz is helping Obama, the Democrats, and liberal Christians generate a crisis that will encourage biblically minded folks to support liberal immigration policy goals.
—Steve Boggs, Columbus, Ohio
What a thoughtful wake-up call for all of us to do something about our continued failure to love, protect, and give hope to all of God’s little children.
—Russell Guetschow, Vicksburg, Mich.
As the children of legal immigrants, we believe the blame for this horrible mess belongs at the feet of those who orchestrated it. Illegal immigrants should be sent back to their home countries and the border secured. There already is a legal path, and that is the only path that should be open.
—Beverly Larsen, Suffield, Conn.
Aug. 9 Mars Hill Church made its pastors sign a non-compete clause? God has a non-compete clause: “You shall have no other gods before me.” Perhaps Pastor Driscoll and the church are dangerously close to confusion on this issue. It reminds me of the “3G” advice I heard given to Chinese pastors: “Don’t touch the girls, don’t touch the gold, and don’t touch the glory.”
—Stephen Morris, Grand Blanc, Mich.
I love WORLD but am saddened by articles that portray Christian leaders negatively. God is doing good work through Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church. Doesn’t any pastor trying to be faithful to God’s Word already face enough criticism?
—Peter Habegger, Tucson, Ariz.
Our little church regularly suffers from “competition” with larger churches with better music, TV preachers, and video messages. The Mars Hill model troubles me for what it implies about spiritual gifts and how churches should function. Does the Spirit of God still work through small, struggling congregations and teachers less polished than the superstars? I think so.
—Val Beard, Toppenish, Wash.
Aug. 9 In Catholic doctrine, any information imparted in a confession is not the priest’s personal possession but God’s. Revealing it would be a betrayal and a theft from God. This ruling from a Louisiana court is no less offensive than the IRS’ recent demand that religious groups seeking tax-exempt status reveal the content of prayers offered at meetings.
—Samuel L. Edwards, Waynesville, N.C.
Why didn’t the Catholic girl who had been assaulted by a parishioner tell her parents an old guy was pursuing her? If priests begin reporting to others what they have heard in the confessional, even something as horrendous as abuse, then the seal of the confessional will lose all meaning.
—Jeff Minick, Asheville, N.C.
Dave Swavely mischaracterized “most Protestant ministers” as people “who view the Bible as their only source of authority.” Protestants recognize other sources of authority, including reason and nature. Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”) elevates Scripture not as the only source of authority but as the ultimate source of authority.
—Nelson D. Kloosterman, St. John, Ind.
Aug. 9 Thank you for Mindy Belz’s piece describing the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. We don’t see this kind of journalism in the other media. Is that because such stories would reflect poorly upon current leadership and possible presidential candidates?
—Judith Burr, Bethel Park, Pa.
Aug. 9 Common Core is supposed to develop critical thinking in fifth-grade students. Janie B. Cheaney concludes, “The program is huge, awkward, overly ambitious, and at odds with itself … expect a tangled mess.” Would that there were more “critical thinking” among adults, especially adults sent to Washington.
—Arthur Thompson, Atchison, Kan.
In criticizing Common Core, Cheaney distorts what educational experts mean by phrases like “21st century” skills and “college and career readiness” and then pronounces judgment on the entire curriculum. Critical thinking is not incompatible with passion, and the curriculum prepares students for a brave new world where analysis and critical thought are scarce commodities.
—Joel Scherer, Loveland, Colo.
Aug. 9 I’m following your coverage of Iraq’s profound humanitarian crisis with numb sadness. What else can be said but, “Lord, have mercy”?
—Tim Laitinen, Arlington, Texas
Aug. 9 It’s a sad day in our country when so many believe that people’s religious convictions should not apply in their work-a-day world. Fortunately, the Supreme Court saw the issue for what it was and maintained religious freedom.
—Paul E. Taylor, Vineland, N.J.
July 26 This article was a poignant reminder that all of life is sacred, from the womb to eternity. The love and faithfulness lived out by Janie Grelen was such a beautiful reflection of the enduring love our Savior Christ has for His church.
—Alda Walton, Arlington, Texas
July 12 I so appreciated Marvin Olasky’s unapologetic endorsement of the authority of God’s Word over Darwin. While some claim that kids taught “Darwin was wrong will abandon Christianity,” the opposite is true. Didn’t liberal Protestant Christianity stem from accommodating Darwin? And now the mainline denominations that took this path are dead or dying. I was raised in this type of church and had no faith because I did not trust in the authority of Scripture when challenged by Darwinism. My parents stopped believing in the atoning work of Christ because they saw the Bible as inspirational myth, not the glorious story of God’s redeeming work in history.
—Lynn Barton, Medford, Ore.
Reading WORLD challenges and expands my worldview and more firmly establishes my understanding and love of Scripture. I often encourage others to discover WORLD for themselves. Thank you!
—Rebekah Arnold, Vidalia, Ga.
Some countries refuse to recognize the independence of Kosovo from Serbia, but the United States and many others do: Kosovo is the 11th country of the Balkans (“Balkan drama,” Aug. 9, p. 32).
Submitted by David Berryman
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