JOHN TODD GOES BACK TO WITCHCRAFT—In the late 1970s John Todd deceived some fundamentalists and evangelicals with his sensational claims of being a former witch, Illuminati member, etc. The 9/12 Christian News reports that Todd today is serving a 300-year prison sentence for rape in Columbia, SC. It says Todd is divorced, and today disavows all Christianity. He has realigned with Wicca, a school of witchcraft and magic, and is a Wiccan spokesman in the prison. Jack Chick, with his comic books, promoted Todd, and Chick publications still stands behind its comic books.
ACLU, WHERE ARE YOU?—It can be dangerous for churches to become entangled in politics. But if it is wrong for conservatives, it should be equally wrong for liberals. Church-state watchdogs such as the American Civil Liberties Union (a misnomer) can look the other way when Pres. Clinton pushes his liberal politics from a church pulpit. A most recent case in point was when he delivered a 15-minute sermon promoting his bad crime bill from the pulpit of the Full Gospel AME Zion Church in Maryland. He noted his role as a government official is a ministry of God, and asked them to pray for Congress and "ask us not to turn away from our ministry."(8/27 World). Dr. Hugh Pyle asks (9/23 Sword): "Where is the ACLU when Pres. Clinton goes into black pulpits to preach his politics of liberalism? Does the government revoke the tax exempt status of such churches?"
AT&T, MCI, SPRINT, OR LIFELINE?—Don Wildmon's 8/94 AFA Journal says: "If you are an AT&T customer, you are helping to promote homosexuality in America." The 10/3 Christianity Today agrees that AT&T gives money to homosexual-rights groups and sponsors immoral TV programs, but says MCI and Sprint support abortion-rights organizations and provide 900 numbers for the "phone sex" industry. Wildmon is pushing Lifeline Long Distance Service which gives "10% of your long distance billing" to his American Family Association. His AFA Journal is a good source for being informed on moral issues, but he is a United Methodist(NCC/WCC member) minister who has welcomed Catholic and liberal-denom leaders into his ecumenical AFA, and has praised them as "Christian leaders."
RADICAL CAMPOLO SPOKE AT SBC CONFERENCE—Tony Campolo's wife promotes homosexual weddings (9/26 Chr. News), and he defends homosexuality. Rick Miesel says Campolo is "a theological liberal, a New Age pantheist, and a radical political socialist whose teachings are heretical at best and blasphemous at worst." Yet he spoke at the 6/94 Southern Baptist Convention's Religious Education Association annual meeting in Orlando (6/21 IB). SBC churches regularly use his videos for Sunday School and Bible studies, and promote his books. The 5/6 Liberty Flame said: "For those who are horrified with Campolo's continuing assaults on historic Christian beliefs regarding issues such as homosexuality, a literal six-day creation, the rights of animals, population control and radical feminism, the obvious question is this, how can this man continue to be welcomed in circles where his views should be considered anathema?" Youth For Christ sponsored him as a speaker at the DC/LA conference (5/16 CT). He is a "good friend of Pres. Clinton (See 5/15 CC).
McDOWELL PROMOTES 'CHARISMATIC ROCK'—Josh McDowell is a product of the charismatic Campus Crusade. He preaches the humanistic gospel of self-love/self-esteem, and supports this hedonism with a paraphrase from the unreliable Living Bible (Eph. 1:18): "I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ's have been given to Him". McDowell sometimes co-speaks with socialist, radical, homosexual sympathizer Tony Campolo at "religious rock" concerts around the U.S. He says of "Christian" rock band, Petra: "I've never worked with people more godly than the guys in Petra." A Josh McDowell Ministries-sponsored "Christian" rock party was held in the First Baptist (GARBC) church in Stanton, Mich.(3/6/93). It was attended by over 1,300 teens, and included dancing and lewd behavior. An observer reported that the music was so loud it hurt to breathe, and it "was just like any other rock concert." [This was from a paper by Miles Stanford. It and other materials are available from him at: 840 Vindicator Dr., #111, Colo. Springs, CO 80919]
PROCTOR & GAMBLE RUMOR—The 9/94 Chr. World Report says Proctor & Gamble is again victimized by a false rumor that its president appeared on Phil Donahue's show March 1 saying he is linked with the Church of Satan. This rumor surfaces each year for the past several years. It is always dated March 1, current year, with a list of P & G products to boycott. P&G appears innocent on this score, but the 9/94 AFA Journal says P&G is the leading advertiser on pro-homosexual TV programs.
BOOKLET TO CONSIDER—Dr. Cathy Burns has a new booklet, "Astrology & Your Future." Send $1.00 for this, and request a list of other books/booklets: Sharing, 212-S E. 7th St., Mt. Carmel, PA 17851.
BIG SBF CHURCH CO-HOSTS SMALLEY SEMINAR AT NEW EVANGELICAL CHURCH—Dr. Bradley Price succeeded Dr. Jack Hudson as pastor of Northside Baptist Church (Charlotte) in 1990. He has had Jerry Falwell, Southern Baptist, and other new-evangelical speakers (see 4/1/91 CC). This large church has hosted Southwide Baptist Fellowship meetings as it also did this year (Oct. 3-5). The 9-10/94 Northside News said: "Northside is joining with Calvary Church to co-host [a Gary Smalley] seminar, which will be held at Calvary Church" Sept. 23-24. Dave Hunt (2/89 CIB) referred to a Smalley speech as "humanistic nonsense." Al Dager (1989 Media Spotlight), Martin & Deidre Bobgan, and Rick Miesel have warned of Smalley's flawed theology and psychobabble. It is sad to see Northside Baptist, the 1994 SBF host church, yoked up with Calvary Church, a new evangelical mega-church where Billy Graham sometimes speaks, to co-sponsor a Gary Smalley seminar. Calvary had a "Billy Graham Christian Life & Witness Seminar" Sept. 25 (9/24 Charlotte Observer). Tim Lee, "bridge-builder to Southern Baptists," was listed to speak at Northside Oct. 2, the day before the SBF meetings. The SBF has long had a close relationship with Tennessee Temple University. Both now sadly seem largely lost to new evangelicalism.
TIM LEE'S 'THEOLOGIAN' IS A RECONSTRUCTIONIST—Dr. Tim Lee's 8/94 Target paper carried a long article by Andrew Sandlin which attempted to refute "Secondary Separation" [Biblical separation] teachings and practices of fundamentalists. Sandlin said many good things in a kind way, but concluded that the Bible does not require "separation from Christians who disobey Scripture by associating with apostates." We strongly disagree with this clearly unscriptural conclusion which forms the basis for so much of today's "bridge-building" compromises with Southern Baptists, etc., as now practiced by Lee and others. We were rather surprised to learn that Lee turned to a Reconstructionist such as Sandlin for counsel on matters pertaining to fundamentalism. Sandlin wrote an article in R. J. Rushdoony's 7/94 Chalcedon Report, entitled, "A Reconstruction Manifesto" where Sandlin is identified as "pastor of Church of the WORD, Painesville, Ohio, an orthodox, Reformed congregation; founding member of the Association of Free Reformed Churches; moderator of the Reconstructionist Society of Ohio; and associate editor of Calvinism Today."
DAVID RING SPEAKS WITH CHARISMATICS—The 10/94 Charisma says David Ring is to speak, along with Rich Wilkerson and others, at "Winterfest '95," a youth retreat at the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.). The Church of God has become increasingly charismatic in recent years (See 6/87 Charisma). Ring is a Southern Baptist who often pulpit-shares with Dr. Tim Lee.
DALLAS SOLIDLY IN NEW EVANGELICAL ORBIT—The inauguration of Dr. Charles Swindoll as Dallas Seminary's fourth president is set for Oct. 27 at Prestonwood Baptist Church (SBC) in Dallas. The next day includes a general conference featuring such speakers as James Dobson, Stuart Briscoe, and the pro-Catholic Templeton Prize recipient Charles Colson. The following day Swindoll is to speak at a Promise Keepers conference (PK is ecumenical). He was listed in Dallas's Kindred Spirit paper as speaking at Moody Memorial Church and Bill Hybels' Willow Creek Community Church in September. Faculty Fall itineraries include Campus Crusade, Word of Life, Southern and American Baptist churches.
GRAHAM SAYS SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY 'NOT THAT BIG'—Billy Graham was asked about abortion and gay rights in a recent TV Guide interview. He said: "I don't get involved in the abortion thing. I agree with the Pope...But I just don't take extreme positions...I think homosexuality is a sin, but no greater than idolatry or adultery. In my judgment it's not that big." The 9/12 Christian News article quoting the above said: "...God takes extreme positions on sin and its consequences, and so must the preacher of His Word. In fact, sodomy was such a 'big sin' in God's eyes that He wiped out an entire people, Sodom and Gomorrah, because they did not consider that sin all that big to repent from..."
DOBSON COMMENTS ON AIDS, SELF-ESTEEM—Dr. James Dobson in the 10/94 Focus on the Family says he doesn't think AIDS is God's plague sent to punish homosexuals and other promiscuous people "because little babies and others who bear no responsibility are also suffering." But, the latter didn't keep God from destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.*** Answering another question, Dr. Dobson said "...[S]ome things in life are more important than academic excellence, and self-esteem is one of them." He said if a child doesn't have some measure of self-confidence and personal respect, he won't have a chance in life. Dobson, Schuller, and other "psychoheretics" say we should "esteem" (love) ourselves. But the Bible does not teach self-love, but warns against it (2 Tim. 3:2), and teaches us to focus our esteem on others. (Phil. 2:3-4).
GRAHAM CONFERENCE—The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and 40 denominations and organizations sponsored a North American Conference for Itinerant Evangelists in Louisville, Ky. in July. Ecumenical plenary speakers included: Luis Palau, pro-Catholic Chuck Colson, E.V. Hill, and Billy Graham. Graham said he believes the U.S. is positioned at the center of a sweeping spiritual revival (10/94 Charisma). But conference speaker and church growth expert Lewis Drummond said 50 percent of people who make public decisions for Christ in North America "show no fruit of the Spirit" and cannot be found six months after the evangelistic effort.
TIPPIT A CHARISMATIC WHO SAYS HE ISN'T—Evang. Sammy Tippit shuns the charismatic label, and has acquired a reputation as a bridge-builder, bringing charismatic and non-charismatic groups together. He says he has "never been afraid of charismatics," has cast out demons, and has had several charismatic experiences (10/94 Charisma). He says he has received three distinctly charismatic gifts, including healing, and words of knowledge. In private, he received the gift of tongues which he said "blessed me in my own devotion and praise to God." Billy Graham is his evangelistic inspiration. Tippit's "God's Love in Action" ministry has led him to preach in about 40 countries, including Soviet ones.
MORE ABS APOSTASY—The American Bible Society gave us the unreliable "Good News Bible" and other polluted versions. Its 2/94 Record reveals further apostasy: "Anton Metelko...is the only one in the ABS office in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which opened Sep. 1. He spends most of his time on correspondence with the United Bible Societies, working on a Bible Society Constitution and the...registration of the national Bible Society...[He] reports to an advisory committee of 11 people who represent all the main churches, including the Roman Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists...and Serbian Orthdox..."
CONTROVERSY BAD? TOLERATION OF ERROR IS WORSE—To oppose and resist error is sometimes hard for fundamentalists and against our nature. It's easier just to love everyone and not rock the boat, to be an appeaser and not an opposer. When we name names and expose errorists and compromisers, they say we are negative and unloving and should not engage in name-calling, then THEY proceed to call US names ("legalist," etc.). J. C. Ryle said: "Controversy in religion is a hateful thing. It is hard enough to fight the Devil, the world, and the flesh, without private differences in our own camp. But there is one thing which is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine tolerated, allowed, and permitted without protest or molestation." Spurgeon said it's better to be divided by truth than united in error.
FOOLISH DATE-SETTING FAILS—September came and went with no Rapture, as Family Radio chief Harold Camping had predicted (6/1 CC). He "wrongly divided" the Word of Truth, and left himself vulnerable to being called a false prophet.
WATCHMAN NEE THE MYSTIC—Watchman Nee's writings have profoundly influenced many evangelicals of our day. Nee died in 1972 in a communist prison camp in China. He insisted that none but his "little flock" churches were authentic, and that more than one congregation in any given area is unbiblical. He blended evangelical and liberal views of revelation and Scripture (5/9/75 CT). In a recent Moody Press book, Faith Misguided: Exposing the dangers of Mysticism, Arthur Johnson says Nee's theological position is "deeply mystical." Johnson suggests Nee's writings should be carefully scrutinized for "major errors." (p. 90). He says Nee insists on a secondary place for doctrine, and shows Nee's influence on the modern charismatic movement. He says A.W. Tozer, Pat Robertson, Richard Foster and many others have shown philosophical affinity for Nee's mysticism.
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