Inside the Resilient Faith of the #BringBackOurGirls Hostages

I remember #BringBackOurGirls, but as with school shootings, the next story makes us shake our heads and cry for the victims. Years ago, a woman in Bible study was talking about being persecuted. Turns out, a neighbor didn’t like her blow-up Christmas decorations. Around the same time, these beautiful girls found a way to survive real persecution, malnutrition, and deprivation with faith in Christ Jesus and friendship. I’ve been a Christian for 43 years, and your story reached in to the teenage girl who asked Jesus into her heart and found home.

Jennifer Porter
Massillon, OH

Excellent work on the July/August issue! Had everything I appreciate about CT. Glad to see articles on the international church (Nigeria, Germany), racial justice (Promise Keepers, Jemar Tisby), and church history (Reviews). Even the branded content was very interesting.

Joey Chin
Seattle, WA

‘Pray Away the Gay’ Has Gone Away. Why Are Governments Trying to Stop It?

Normally I enjoy reading @CTmagazine; however, they have come out with a problematic article claiming pray-the-gay-away has essentially disappeared. This claim is anything but true. First off, there are still a slew of ex-gay ministries in operation both within the United States and abroad. Restored Hope Network is a great example of an active one. The push for ex-gay ministries that came out of such groups as Focus on the Family and the 700 Club still impacts our churches today. Often pastors and other leaders within churches do not know how to minister to a queer individual. They may have ideology still in their head that change is possible. Their denomination or they individually may have belief that the desire itself is sinful. It is not uncommon for pray-the-gay-away to be encouraged in a church among its members without the leaders being aware.

@Ben_R_F (Twitter)

Christian College Boards: Stay Strong on Sexual Ethics

I agree very much with your encouragement to the boards of Christian colleges and universities to stand strong for biblical truth in dealing with the LGBT agenda. We need schools where there is freedom to have respectful conversations, but that also have a grounding in the truth of Scripture. Keep up the clear testimony for truth.

Dan Kastelein
Mt. Airy, MD

Why Do Some People Think Jesus Was a Racist?

I just wanted to let you know how meaningful Andrew Wilson’s columns have been to me and my family. Please continue printing his work. I enjoy your magazine and articles very much. A big shout out to you—well done.

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Elaine D. Stover
Northridge, CA

Promise Keepers Tried to End Racism 25 Years Ago. It Almost Worked.

That’s my dad on the left [in the top picture on p. 42 and the top picture on the web article]. He said, “That was the end of my first 40-day fasting and prayer for spiritual awakening in America. It concluded at the Stand in the Gap rally, and I always knew in my spirit that the prayers prayed that day by close to one million men would change America. I believe God is still answering the prayers we prayed that day.”

@adam.f.eubanks (Instagram)

Some of this is accurate. But you say, “when the leadership decided that racial reconciliation would be its No. 1 priority”— it was the No. 1 priority in 1996, and thus the theme “Break Down the Walls.” In 1995, it was “Seize the Moment.” In 1997, it was “The Making of a Godly Man.” Every year there was a theme, and yes, Coach Mac and Raleigh Washington were true champions of racial reconciliation. The men’s ministry of PK was the platform to speak into this. The larger issue—larger than racial reconciliation—is the disengagement of men and the lack of godly men who will lead their marriages, families, churches, and communities. Racial reconciliation is part of that.

Brian Doyle
Jacksonville, FL
Promise Keepers staff 1995–2000

‘How Could All the Prophets Be Wrong About Trump?’

A seminal work by Jessie Penn-Lewis, War on the Saints (1912), demonstrates anyone can deceive themselves or be deceived by the enemy. So, sure we need to correct our mistakes, but deception and ground given to the enemy has to be addressed. The apostle Paul and Jesus warned of deception in the later days.

Hal Welch
Kalamazoo, MI

I do not advocate the death penalty for prophets whose declarations prove false. Christ paid our death penalty. But I think the church should respond more forcefully than merely accept an “Oops, my bad” repentance statement.

Dave Searcey
San Antonio, TX

It is well to point out that God answered the question directly and succinctly in Deuteronomy 18:22. As the article suggests, these “prophets” have been caught up in the politicization of the church and become more interested in doing the will of the party than the will of God.

Don Thurber
Easley, SC

Having Polio Was a Privilege, Not a Punishment

I, too, became disabled from polio. My journey began [by] hearing a sermon about a paralyzed man healed by Jesus. The real eye-opener was that first Jesus forgave his sins!

Michael Odle (Facebook)

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