Skip to main content

Voices

Mailbag

Can't tell

I am writing concerning your April 13 article, "Martyrs by the millions," which had some criticism of Israeli military tactics. First, you did not emphasize that the Palestinian militants are not a uniformed military that can be easily distinguished from civilians. Second, the Palestinian military groups even include or at times use children and teenage girls, among others. How are the Israeli soldiers supposed to be able to tell the difference between members of militant groups and civilians? Everyone is a possible threat. - C.J. Kapp, Dunmore, Pa.

Spooked

In "Seeing ghosts" (April 13), you highlight what I believe is a large problem in the Christian community. While working in a public-relations department of a respected seminary for two years as a naïve student, I approached the department head and ultimately the president's office about what I believed was an indiscretion. I was told that it was OK and everyone in the evangelical community did it. I contended then, and still do, that ghostwriting is akin to lying. If an article will not be published on its own merit, despite the byline, then magazines and other publications need to take a hard look at what they are peddling-thought-provoking columns, or name recognition. - Stephen Dechert, Hooper, Colo.

Thank you for the reminder from Marvin Olasky ("I was a ghost," April 13) that whether we are business executives, published columnists, authors, or bus drivers, we should acknowledge publicly the significant contributions to each of our lives that God has sovereignly provided through the talents and gifts of many others. - Walt Davenport, Tacoma, Wash.

I think it's a horrible shame that Christian leaders feel the need to crank out books and articles that they don't even write and still take credit for them. Is their motive to glorify themselves or glorify God? - Frank Nolton, Goodrich, Mich.

Judge for yourself

Anyone who will take the time to examine the evangelical statement, "The Word Made Fresh: A Call for a Renewal of the Evangelical Spirit," will be able to judge for himself or herself whether R. Albert Mohler Jr.'s extremely negative spin on it is fair ("A new low?" April 6). The statement and its list of 110 notable evangelical scholars and administrators (including conservative evangelicals) may be read at www.thewordmadefresh.com. As one of the principal formulators of the statement, I can assure WORLD's readers that Mr. Mohler's take on it ("stale liberalism" and "revisionist theologians") is far from accurate or charitable. - Roger E. Olson, Waco, Texas

No sale

To say I was surprised and disappointed at your glowing report about Wal-Mart is an understatement ("Good and growing," April 13). How did Wal-Mart become the biggest? By incessantly and unmercifully squeezing every last penny from its U.S. suppliers, and when there were no more pennies to be had, moving the business offshore. They move into small communities and effectively put most of the original "mom and pop" retailers out of business. No company I know of is more guilty of abusing its primary customer base. - Martin Fryml, Greenville, S.C.

I worked at our local Wal-Mart during the Thanksgiving to Christmas holiday rush. I found that Wal-Mart is a commendable company, for all the reasons you listed and more. Its philosophy of caring for the customer and promoting associate well-being was consistently implemented. However, for all its well-deserved kudos, Wal-Mart is definitely not a five-star company. Associates are paid poorly; managers, who are deservedly well-compensated, face heavy demands on family life; working mothers, who constitute the bulk of the employee force, receive no on-site day care; and Wal-Mart's heavy-handedness toward suppliers is widely reputed. If they improved in these areas, they would indeed be a five-star company. - L.E. Brown, Cottonwood, Ariz.

Through the fog

Andree Seu's columns are such a blessing. In this day when evangelical women are consumed by fibromyalgia, fatigue, fitness, fertility-focus, and the fog of psychotropic medications, I know of no other like her. Oh, that we had men in our pulpits who would state it so clearly: "On Calvary's perch sat not a counseling center but a bloody sacrifice." - Carol Tharp, Winnetka, Ill.

Andree Seu's "Very great guilt" in the April 13 issue is awesomely perceptive and impeccably accurate. Sadly, erroneous doctrine leads to shameful immorality and the undeniable need for genuine repentance. But let us all take heed lest we fall. - John Larson, Huntsville, Texas

Rock on

I have been meaning to write for months and finally took the time. You guys rock! (Is that Christian?) I read your magazine cover to cover, and my family (parents, with three grown sisters and their families) chats often about your articles. I love it when I see a disgruntled reader who is canceling because you're too narrow or conservative. Thank God someone out there is printing the truth. - Joy Shiner, Overland Park, Kan.

Bad fiction, bad art

Clinton defense treatises have become a major fiction genre in the United States ("Bill's big adventure," April 13). Whence comes this American drive to label the dishonest and corrupt as basically good but victimized, confused, addicted, or mentally ill? The time draws near when liberals won't even be able to heap their scathing moral judgments upon corporate executives. - Anthony Paul Mator, Cheswick, Pa.

Finally, WORLD has published an article on the minimalism of the "art" world ("Lights out in an empty room," April 13). Art like that is about the same as advertising a movie: "Come to the must-see film of the year that critics say will have you bored from start to finish. Nobody stars in nothing! (This film is rated B for boring.)" How long until they give us "art" that lacks even an idea for a work of art? - Harrison Beckmann, 12, St. Louis, Mo.

Dirty little secrets

Thank you for the article on clergy sexual abuse. Often it seems easier to pretend these dirty little secrets don't exist, and many would rather not be reminded. About 25 years ago, as a young married woman, I was the victim of a predatory pastor. He had counseled me and my husband and then proceeded to use the intimate knowledge to manipulate me into a near-affair that nearly cost me my marriage. He was very clever, playing to the insecurities that had become apparent during counseling. The "affair" pretty much blew up in the pastor's face and he had to leave our church in disgrace. My marriage survived, stronger than before, but the pastor was never disciplined in any effective way. He just moved on to other churches. How tragic. One can't help but wonder how many broken homes and spirits he left during his long career. Hopefully, churches will be more willing to take precautions to make such abuse much less likely. - Anne Johnson, Newport, Ore.

Thank you for the well-researched and well-written article by Lynn Vincent about clergy abuse, "Clergy sexual abuse: the Protestant problem" (March 30), and the follow-up story that Campus Crusade for Christ has finally suspended Haman Cross from its speaking list ("'Breaking faith' update," April 13). Our young people do not need the hypocrisy of a clergy who talks of sexual purity and then violates women who have trusted him. This is a heinous act. Also, it appears to me that Campus Crusade could have gotten the information years ago. I hope that young people will not be turned off now that they have learned of Cross's hypocrisy. - Peggy Gale, Cranston, R.I.

Not Dr. Mac's fault

Perhaps if one looks at ministry as merely a career instead of a ministry, then Mr. Belz is correct when he charges that the life of Carl McIntire was mostly the "sad story of squandered talents and a wasted career" ("This fight's over," April 6). To suggest he was a failure because his congregation dwindled from 1,500 to 50 or less may reflect more on the hearers of the Word than on Dr. Mac, who was a doer. We all have our flaws, but Carl McIntire was a giant among men. He deserved better treatment from you. - John A. Orr, Abingdon, Md.

Correction

The Pennsylvania Crimes Code & Vehicle Law Handbook's new category of indictment is "Guilty but mentally ill" (April 20, p. 33).