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Letters from our readers


‘Hidden violence’

May 26  Thanks for alerting us to how many church leaders lack experience with the sin and deceptiveness of marital abusers. Their behavior is similar to how addicts of all kinds respond to questions—persistent lying to protect themselves. But bravo to those church leaders who, like Christ, are seeking to protect their sheep. —Tim Yates on

This article shows how churches are perfect places in which abusive men can hide; many fail to protect the most vulnerable women and children. —Juliette Pardue on

Women can be abusive as well. As a pastor, I have discovered that there is usually more to the story than what first appears. Abuse from anyone, male or female, is unacceptable. —Larry Orr on

While my church handled my situation with courage, truth, and love, even I, when reading your article, felt guilty for subjecting my church leaders to all that trouble. But God’s people ought to seek refuge and relief within the family of God; churches should be prepared to protect their vulnerable members. —Abigail Salyards / Altoona, Pa.

It is hard to imagine anything more harmful to abuse victims than church elders who assume they are owed obedience and deference because of their position. Small wonder that abuse victims very often find churches are among the least safe places to be open. —Hans Decker on

‘The Rachel Divide’

May 26  The absence of science in the debate about Rachel Dolezal, a “trans-black” woman, is astonishing. The genetic differences between white and black people are miniscule. The genetic differences between males and females are enormous; yet race is sacrosanct and gender is not? —Jennifer Eason on Facebook

I feel sorry for this woman’s sons. If she is considered mentally and emotionally unstable for believing she is trans-black, then shouldn’t the same be said for “trans-gender” people? —Rebecca Rabon on Facebook

Why not trans-age, trans-nationality, trans-handicapped, or trans-species? Forcing your way into a group doesn’t make you part of it; it dilutes and disparages the group’s significance. —Kevin Skinner on

‘Pulpit privilege’

May 26  Pastors should refrain from endorsing candidates or political parties even if the Johnson Amendment is repealed. A pastor’s ability to apply Biblical standards to controversial issues is harmed if people sense he has a partisan ax to grind. —William R. Bouknight / Columbia, S.C.

The question is whether the government has the authority to tell a pastor what he can say from the pulpit. It does not, and the Johnson Amendment must be repealed. Pastors must be free to preach as the Holy Spirit leads, even if it might be considered a political endorsement. —John Frisch / Fredericksburg, Va.

‘Breaking the rules’

May 26  Thank you for placing your excellent review of James Comey’s book within the context of the FBI culture and rules. Comey’s actions have seemed inappropriate, but until now I never heard anyone explain what he did wrong. —Yvonne Smith / Apple Valley, Calif.

I found Comey’s book one of the most interesting I’ve ever read. I hesitated to buy it, but it’s not a Trump-bash-fest. —Wayne Asbury on

‘Old “legal person” river’

May 26  Rivers, mountains, and animals should not be granted legal status equal to humans. Janie B. Cheaney provided a clear warning of how these movements give governments and organizations greater control under the guise of extending “rights.” One example is the growing importance of the rights of salmon versus water access for landowners in Washington state. —Betsy Howe / Auburn, Wash.

‘After Auschwitz’

May 26  I visited Auschwitz recently to leave flowers at the execution wall in honor of a dear friend’s relatives. I began crying when I walked under the gate inscribed “Work makes you free” in German and didn’t stop until I left two hours later. No one should forget or deny the evil of that place. —Michelle Ule on Facebook

‘Royally anti-porn’

May 26  Thank you for sharing how Dayton Moore combats the devastation pornography causes in his players. Peter’s warning, that the ungodly are “surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you,” came to mind when I read about Moore’s opponents. —Holly McMillan on

‘Unsweet sorrow’

May 26  I read this while formulating an apology, wording it to put my opponent in an untenable situation. Then I read, “There is nothing like a little moral leverage to make us swell into cruel lords extracting a ‘pound of flesh.’” I thank God for using Andrée Seu Peterson to rebuke me. —Jim Schultz / Decatur, Ill.

‘Spiritual cinema’

May 26  The Dardenne brothers’ fascinating question, “How to announce the death of God without hearing the whispering that He is still alive?” captures the heart of modern man. There is such resistance to admitting the obvious, that God is alive and active in this world. —Rick Flanders on

‘11 AM’

May 26  The church has historically encouraged racial reconciliation, and the times we fell short are blots upon our name. Too often we don’t recognize that racism is not just lynching and segregation, but also subconscious bias. —John Kloosterman on

‘A brutal thing’

May 12  Kudos to Kim Henderson for her great review of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. I’ve been there many times, but her article highlighted nuances and background I did not know. I’m ready now to go again. —Timothy Anger on Facebook

There should be a multistory abortion memorial complete with photos of aborted baby parts, photos of Gosnell and other abortionists, quotes from Planned Parenthood leaders, mounds of discarded baby shoes and crumpled onesies, plus images of distraught post-abortive parents and an abortion clock. Sound emotional? It should. —Jim Craig / Richland Center, Wis.

More letters, emails, and comments we didn’t have space for in the print edition:

‘Hidden violence’

May 26 I am left wondering why any woman puts up with abuse of any kind. Christian husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church, and churches should help women know that they do not have to tolerate abuse. —Lorraine Fritch on

Christians have too often put the all-too-easy formula of “marriage forever” above the safety and spiritual welfare of abused spouses. Church leaders must have the faith and courage to address spouses suspected of abuse and determine the truth, promote repentance, and seek reconciliation, but above all protect the victim. —Nick Greear / Cedaredge, Colo.

‘Pulpit privilege’

May 26 Are we to conclude from this column that the fitness of our leaders is a subject that should never come up in the pulpit? Or perhaps we should be warned that the church that lives by the tax break could very well die by the tax break. —Kenneth E. Isgrigg on

‘A political grid’

May 26 This column was an interesting exercise, but classifying the United States as a Category 4 (order rooted in truth but tolerating error) is more a look back than a look at the present. I would count this country as a modern-day example of Category 3 (order rooted in so-called pluralism), and that is an indictment of the American church—which includes me. —Mark Roth on