I have been burned more than once by pastors preaching a prosperity gospel, so I cringe a bit whenever I see magazines running articles on money. It was no different when I saw the headline about giving in the September/October issue ("What Every Pastor Needs to Know About Giving"). But after reading through the piece (and then re-reading it just to make sure I wasn't missing something), I have to say, I wish I'd had a pastor like that.
Robert Morris sets the standard for church leadership when he talks about giving to give, not to get. How often we miss the fact that God does not need our money; giving is a condition of the heart. It's great to see a Spirit-filled senior pastor—of a large church, no less—correctly blending giving and self-denial. I pray he and his congregation remain close to biblical truth rather than veering off (as so many have done) into the land of misquoted Scripture, bigger houses and gaudier jewelry.
James Williams III
Yes, it's sad that a larger percentage of Christians know who Paris Hilton or Oprah Winfrey are over the likes of Rick Warren, Andy Stanley and Bill Hybels ("Ministering in a Celebrity World," September/October). But what do you expect? Christian leaders may be increasingly more recognized in the secular arena, but they still don't have the marketing means or budgets to compete with Hollywood or Washington, D.C. Of course they won't be as famous when their names and faces aren't on every TV commercial, billboard or pop-up ad.
However, I do find it ironic (and somewhat sad) that just a few pages later in your magazine you're "informing" pastors about podcasting, blogs and other "emerging" media ("The New Media Pioneers"). To me, this is indicative of how far we still have to go if we hope to truly vie for the attention of both Christians and unbelievers. Until the church can stay relevent with the changing audiences of culture, this will remain a David-and-Goliath issue.
St. Louis, Mo.
War of the Words
Thank you, David Cannistraci, for actually proposing solutions to the problems you point out in "The War on Error" (September/October). Your practical tips to dealing with disagreement in the church offer healthy ways to resolve issues while exposing the destructive heart behind these "heresy hunters."