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Forgive [and screen] applicants/Reassigned sheperd/Race adn renewal.
Forgive and Forget?

The article "America's Safest Churches" by Eric Spacek (September/October) reaffirms my conviction that the masses are succumbing to the will of the government. What is the singular evidence of being recognized as a Christian? The answer is simple: forgiveness. It is the only thing that separates Christians from the rest of the world. I believe that, when a church "screens" its members, it violates the basic principle of God: forgiveness.
Coy Phelps
Ayer, Massachusetts

REPLY: In this article, Eric Spacek, a liability expert for religious organizations, was not advocating the screening of all church members. He was recommending FBI background checks for those working with children, to protect children from sexual predators and to protect churches from potential lawsuits.

Race and Renewal

After reading the articles "Black and White Issue" by Harry R. Jackson Jr. and "Fire Down Under" by Craig Borlase (September/October), I asked myself how they might relate to one another. They both talk about poor black populations, one describing a spiritual revival and its social impact and the other calling Christians to a political action for social justice. How do these two fit together? Is one approach more Christian than the other?
Dick Blank
via e-mail

REPLY: Good question, Dick. Visit for Craig Borlase's commentary on the subject of racial reconciliation, social justice and spiritual renewal.

Reassigned Shepherd

I identified with the pastor in "Runaway Shepherds" by Chris Maxwell (September/October). After nearly 16 years of serving as senior pastors, our family resigned and committed what some of our friends called denominational suicide: We became associate pastors. For me, leaving my church saved my life. I have been healed since accepting my new assignment. I identify with people in the pew in a new and refreshing manner and with pastors in an entirely new way. Thank you for sharing this article. It is an encouraging word!
Name withheld

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