I enjoyed the article "Afflicting the Comfortable," by Matthew Green (January/February), but Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron seem to entirely discount the concept of friendship evangelism. Most people that come to Christ do so as the result of a relationship that they have with a believer. I understand their concerns that the gospel is being watered down, but for some people this may be the only way they come into the kingdom. I think it would have helped if you had included some dissenting opinions in the article.
Evangelize the Jews
I agreed with Matthew Green's column "Extreme Christianity" (January/February), in which described the blurring lines between Christianity and other religions. But a greater danger today is the mix of Christianity with Judaism. That Jews are lost without Christ and that they face eternity in hell without Jesus fades into the background. Some Israel supporters believe that Christians do not have to evangelize the Jews.
Prophetic Blind Spot
I enjoyed the article "Speaking for God," by Matthew Green (September/October), but at the same time I was disappointed that it was so one-sided. Does God only speak to white people? The way you presented your article did not acknowledge the move of God among the black churches in the United States and the world. Eighty to 90 percent of the world's population is people of color, and the Lord is moving among them also. There is a story to be told that relates to this neglected segment of the body of Christ. There were blacks moving in the prophetic and the apostolic before many of the black leaders came along that whites do accept, after they became super-stars.
Kansas City, Missouri
REPLY: Thanks for bringing this oversight to our attention. Throughout our 20-year history, we have endeavored to engage the contributions of Christians leaders of all races and nationalities, and we will strive to keep this in mind in future explorations of the prophetic movement. In fact, we're still getting letters on this topic:
Thank you for your focus on the prophetic and apostolic and for bringing forth much-needed information on the fivefold offices. An area that I feel is essential is that prophets be connected to and an active part of a local church. The office ministries in Ephesians are given by Jesus to equip and train the saints. If a prophet is never available to reproduce after his or her own kind in a local setting, how is this mandate fulfilled?
You interviewed Clem Ferris and Keith Hazel for the article "Speaking for God" (September/October). I can say from experience that both Clem and Keith hear from the Lord. They are not perfect, but at least in my life they have been. Just wanted to let you know that you picked two men with great humility and character of Christ to include in your article. God bless!
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here's a sample of some of the debate on apostles from the Ministries Today online pastor's forum at www.ministriestoday.com:
As I read Ephesians 4, it seems very clear that apostles were given "to prepare God's people for works of service ... until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." We haven't all reached unity of the faith or the whole measure of the fullness of Christ yet.
I agree. The church is not yet in unity--that is why we need the apostles. The government of God is not complete without the gift of the apostle and neither is the body of Christ. We have four ministry gifts in operation now, but we need the ministry gift of the apostle. In 1 Corinthians 12:28 the Bible says God has set in His church "first apostles."
The Bible says an apostle is one who has seen the risen Lord--or does this mean nothing anymore? Now we define an apostle as anyone who likes the title, or can afford to write a book or get on television.