Ministry Today | Serving and empowering church leaders

Wanted: sound teaching, Symposium kudos and questions, Legislating righteousness, Disease versus demons, Identifying apostles, A wary pastor
Scratching an Itch

The March/April article "Itching Ears?" by R.T. Kendall is a welcomed topic. I am thankful that someone has taken up the issue of teaching in the charismatic/Pentecostal arena. An evangelical professor once told me, "Charismatics are Christians with full hearts and empty heads." I recoiled at the statement at first, but later came to agree with it. It seems we'll travel hours for manifestations but won't cross the street for sound teaching. I trust you will continue to address the issue of the need for teaching. It is of the utmost importance for the survival of a definitive Christian witness in a land that has bought into various anti-Christian dogma.
Ray Ciervo
Monroe, North Carolina

Symposium Response

I think the March /April issue of Ministries Today is a home run. I can't remember tearing out and filing so much of the content of another magazine! Congratulations!
C. Peter Wagner
Colorado Springs, Colorado

God wants to bring revival, but the cleanup begins with His house. Thank you for listening to God by bringing the leaders together ("A Call for Accountability," March/ April). The Lord told me to lay down my title of minister to listen to His voice to do ministry His way. His heartbeat is for lost souls.
S. Jamesette Hutchins
via e-mail

I would like to thank all the leaders who attended the Ministries Today Symposium. I was beginning to wonder whether we as a Pentecostal movement had a voice. I am glad that some serious issues were addressed, and it is my hope that everyone will embrace the conclusions of the symposium. God bless you all.
via e-mail

I found it quite ironic that some of the people who participated in the Ministries Today Symposium ("A Call for Accountability") in which you attempted to set guidelines for accountability are themselves living what I consider extravagant lifestyles. This shows that even top leaders will not hold one another accountable. Why is it that the topic of money was not addressed more directly? Don't you realize that as long as you tolerate--perhaps encourage--this kind of worldly, materialistic leadership, your attempts at accountability will be laughable at best? When will someone in your organization take a stand for true commitment, accountability and sacrifice?
Toney C. Mulhollan,
Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts

The symposium was a step in the right direction, but I would have liked to have seen a more definite statement regarding the ethical treatment of church members. Too many pastors are getting away with abusing their flocks by openly lying to them, preaching heresy and carrying out fradulent fund-raising schemes. The charismatic/Pentecostal movement is in a bad place right now. The ethical treatment of God's sheep should have been a part of "The Orlando Statement," but it is a step in the right direction. Now it is time to put more meat on its bones or else face a worse crisis five years from now.
"No More Yoke"
via Ministries Today online forum

REPLY Funny you should mention it. We tackle the topic of spiritual abuse on page 44 of this issue in an article titled "Thugs in the Pulpit," by Richard D. Dobbins.

Enforcing Morality

Ted Haggard ("The Burden of Freedom," March/April) offends every concerned believer, activist and Christian organization with his philosophy of political and cultural non-engagement. Morality or immorality is the only thing you can legislate. Why did God give the Ten Commandments to His people? Were the Puritans like the Taliban? Did the pilgrims believe in a do-your-own-thing settlement? Were our founding fathers antinomian?
Tom Pedigo
Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Deliverance Debate

I am writing in reference to "Deliverance Malpractice?" by Matthew Green (March/April). I think it did a great disservice to people with ailments such as autism and MPD [Multiple Personality Disorder]. I don't believe that Kim Daniels is in touch with the real world. Her statement that epilepsy and autism were caused by demons is both damaging and far-fetched. One of the main health issues in Jesus' time was leprosy. Does Daniels believe leprosy was and is caused by demons? Jesus simply healed people with leprosy. I hope that everyone who reads this article does his or her own research and realizes that there is not a demon behind every tree.
Tracey M. Owen
Port Charlotte, Florida

Titles Revisited

I'm glad that Ministries Today is talking about the fivefold ministries. The vision came at a time in the body of Christ when there is misunderstanding about the functioning of the fivefold ministries. I thought the problem was only peculiar to Africa until I read J. Lee Grady's article "Stuck on Titles?" in the January/February issue. Here in Africa, we often see the fivefold ministries as occurring by promotion or appointment. How I wish the publication could reach the entire body of Christ--especially the church in Africa!
Martins Mofolade Jimoh
Ikorodu, Nigeria

A lot is being said in Ministries Today that questions the practice of ministers using titles ("Stuck on Titles?"), but not much has been said about the righteous benefits of using them. Granted, there's misuse in this area. But that's not the fault of titles. It's the fault of man-made desires for hierarchical positioning. The obsession for personal position stifles kingdom truth. Far too many leaders have fallen in disrepute because their focus was wrong. But is the answer in taking away everyone's titles? Should those errors negate the intrinsic value of allowing others to use titles?
Kluane Spake
Suwanee, Georgia

Having been mentored by a true apostle, I appreciated Ted Haggard's article ("Building the Body," January/February). The truth is that many so-called "apostles" have a misguided understanding of apostolic ministry. It is not the church's job to feed the apostle but rather the apostle's job to feed the local church. Fruit is a perfect symbol of true apostolic ministry. It is both "food" and "seed." The job of apostle is healing and planting. If we are not planting new churches and ministries, we should stop calling ourselves "apostolic." My experience is that those who insist on being referred to with the title of "apostle" probably are not!
Del Kennedy
via e-mail

On Guard

I want to thank you very much for the article "Beware the Seductress" by Douglas Weiss (January/February). I am a pastor and face many of the challenges Weiss described. I hope he will go on to write more about that subject from wives' point of views. As pastors we need women's point of views on different subjects. Too often women do not realize their approaches are improper when contacting pastors about problems. I have seen many of the approaches that he describes. Many widows and single women are of the thought the pastor is above human thoughts and ways. We are flesh and blood just as any male.
Don Johnson
via e-mail

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