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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Mailbag

‘The slow work of God’

[ Nov. 23 ] Thank you to Jamie Dean for an inspiring and hopeful article about WORLD’s Daniel of the Year, Michael Miller, and his ministry in Honduras. His comment that preaching to a “broken population” means you deal with “very significant loss and disappointment” was a reminder I needed as a teacher at a nonprofit school in Virginia. The world is broken, but God is not. —Rachel Hood / Grundy, Va.

Great article. I’m glad there are folks like Miller. A friend of mine has a very similar ministry in Tegucigalpa. They care enough to live in difficult places and try their best to make a difference. —Lowell White on wng.org

I am overwhelmed by Miller’s example. You did a great job capturing the highs and lows of his story and his redemptive work in Honduras. The picture of the wedding feast at the end was just beautiful. —Erin Long / Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

Married to the minister

[ Nov. 23 ] It would be sinful to expect a pastor’s wife to be perfect and extroverted and responsible for anything other than being an extraordinary helpmate to her husband. In fact, pastors’ wives should not be so involved in the church that it prevents them from being primarily wives. —Patrick Rowe on Facebook

Being a pastor’s wife is just as much a calling as being a pastor. If the wife is not supportive, a pastorate is doomed. —Steven Anderson / Auburn, Maine

Baptist battles

[ Nov. 23 ] I was saddened to read that an adviser at Southwest Baptist University told a student that Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was a “bastion for Calvinism,” as if that’s a bad thing, and that “there won’t be a Calvinist on my street in heaven.” I suspect his street in heaven will be very short. —Harry Koops / Grand Rapids, Mich.

It is tragic to see the left gaining any ground among Southern Baptists. —John Guill on wng.org

Moral incoherence

[ Nov. 23 ] Mindy Belz’s column about the refugees is heartbreaking. It’s difficult to comprehend such an environment. One is compelled to weep and pray for them every day. I applaud your efforts to discover the truth and eagerly await your continued reporting. —Melvin Lee / Dover, Pa.

Is the tone of the headline necessary? How to develop and implement American foreign policy is a difficult and thorny issue. This is not, on WORLD’s journalistic scale, a class one issue on which the Bible is clear. —Jeff Singletary on wng.org

Exemption attack

[ Nov. 23 ] Beto O’Rourke suggested that religious institutions that oppose same-sex marriage be stripped of their tax-exempt status. He and his supporters should be reminded that higher education, healthcare, and adoption services were started by “religious people.” It’s government that has drifted over the line. —Joan Allmendinger / Fort Collins, Colo.

I would argue that the Founders believed that certain human institutions are grounded so deeply in natural rights that the government has no right to tax them. I do not believe the loss of tax-exempt status can cripple the work of Christ, but I am concerned with the underlying attack on the idea of God-given natural rights and how it furthers the power of the government. —Randy Martin / Bakersfield, Calif.

No cape necessary

[ Nov. 23 ] Harriet, about Harriet Tubman, was excellent and emotionally moving. The script is a bit stilted at points, but the story overcomes all that as does the acting. Also, the music is really, really good. —Gary W. Hendrix on wng.org

Twists of grace

[ Nov. 23 ] I work at a nursing home, and in our town we have occasional tornado watches. It short-circuits my brain to think, “What if a tornado hit our facility?” Some residents are around 100 years old. It teaches me to pray, pray, pray. —Kathy Peterson on wng.org

The lost supper

[ Nov. 23 ] Too bad that somebody didn’t teach Janie B. Cheaney some basics of cooking. This is what we do with our kids, boys and girls: teach them how to shop, cook, do laundry, balance a checkbook, and change their car’s oil to prepare them to be on their own. —Rexann Bassler on wng.org

The great disappearing film

[ Nov. 23 ] This is one of the ironic conundrums for creators this decade. It is easier to publish a book, audio drama, or movie now, but finding an audience has become exponentially harder. —Nathan James Norman on Facebook

Surrendering to the state

[ Nov. 9 ] Michigan now requires all organizations that want to find homes for children in foster care to consider foster care applications from all families—including same-sex couples. Not complying would have jeopardized Bethany’s ability to provide any foster care services in Michigan. It would also mean violating our sincerely held belief that Christians are called to serve children in need and eliminating the opportunity for children to experience Jesus through Bethany’s loving care.

WORLD’s article cited South Carolina’s Miracle Hill as a victory for religious liberty. Yet, there is a catch. Miracle Hill received an exemption from the current administration in Washington, as requested by South Carolina’s governor. The next president or governor could easily overturn that. Numerous Christian nonprofits have been shut down during these legal battles (like Catholic Charities in Illinois and Massachusetts) or have lost related lawsuits, such as with Fulton v. City of Philadelphia—Chris Palusky, President & CEO, Bethany Christian Services / Grand Rapids, Mich.

A good cop’s calling

[ Nov. 9 ] A major component of the Netflix series Unbelievable was how rape victims were treated. The temperament and procedures of the different investigators ranged from almost hostile to sensitive and compassionate. Detective Karen Duvall’s faith-based demeanor and compassion were worth mentioning. —Gary Zajicek / Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Prayers for NPR?

[ Nov. 9 ] Much of what Joel Belz said about NPR also applies to the public education system. He noted, for example, that his father used to say it would be better to have the government feed and house his children than let it shape their minds. Isn’t that what public schools do? —Glenn R. Andes / Gratiot, Wis.

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

Life trajectory

[ Nov. 9 ] I am deeply troubled by the affirming article about Dr. Joe McIlhaney and his work with in vitro fertilization. Christians should have more than a few ethical concerns with IVF, which separates the act of marital love and the fruit of marital love. We have no business meddling with God’s mysterious and precious formation of human life. —Emily Perez / Clifton, N.J.

Prayers for NPR?

[ Nov. 9 ] Amen to Joel Belz’s warnings about NPR. It is the kind of organization where an imprecatory prayer would be most appropriate. The same for Planned Parenthood and possibly the Democratic Party, given its stance on so many moral issues. —Tom Burley / Alto, Mich.

Boots on the ground

[ Oct. 12 ] I just finished Marvin Olasky’s new book, Reforming Journalism, and am grateful for its clarity and precision. Thanks for all your work at WORLD. —Zachary Biesecker / Canton, Ga.

A bad day in court

[ Sept. 28 ] Thank you to Sophia Lee for her recent articles about immigration issues. I have appreciated her balanced approach and am sorry to hear about negative feedback to some of her articles. I am praying for her and the entire WORLD team as you report on this issue. —Elizabeth (Lizzie) Kiesle / Temple, Texas