In his column, "Our Local Mission Field" (Revivng Word, July/August), T.D. Jakes rightly points out how odd it is for churches that are ineffective in their own communities to send millions of dollars abroad to spread the gospel instead of using it at home. However, Jakes erroneously asserts that though we were smart enough to leave the inner city when we could see the writing on the walls, somehow the rot followed us to the suburbs.
Poverty has never been the cause of moral rot. The body of Christ is rotting from the inside--regardless of location--because pastors and parents have given their authority to raise children to an ungodly system. This is obvious to anyone who looks at a good private school located in an inner city.
Instead of sending their money abroad, pastors in the community might well pray about pooling the money they are sending out. They should use it to establish and operate private schools serving families of all faiths, and they should work for a school voucher system. I suggest that pastors in the suburbs clean up their mess before presuming to clean up someone else's.
John W. Axtell
I was surprised, or may I say frightened, to see a two-page church advertisement with a Oneness message on pages 61 and 62 of the July/August issue of Ministries Today. Surely your readers, who are basically Christian ministry people, are not in need of such evangelism. Several times my congregation has walked out of church only to see their cars plastered with Oneness literature that says we must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, or we are destined for hell.
There are a few of us left that still believe that being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is not just a formula, but an act of obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. If Jesus didn't have any problems with it, then why should they? I surely don't believe they are going to hell. I must say that I feel a bit insulted when you allow this propaganda in your magazine.
Remember, the Oneness doctrine is not new, and was rejected by early church fathers as heresy.
Joe Barrie, pastor
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Ministries Today is an inspiring and useful magazine, but it seems so dedicated to the United States. I am a missionary in the Ukraine. All of the former Soviet Union countries comprise a very large ministry zone and a large part of the new 40/70 window mission target. Please consider publishing Ministries Today in a version relevant to that region in the Russian language.
Rev. David G. Hallowell
A column in the July/August issue discussed inner-city ministry.