LIBERTARIAN PARTY HEADED BY HOMOSEXUAL?—The 1/94 Amer. Infor. Newsletter said Gene Cisweski, the new director of the Libertarian Party, is an active homosexual who opposes all sodomy laws and will move the party toward a sodomite agenda. He favors taking away laws that give heterosexual rights. He says marriage licenses give heterosexuals special privileges by virtue of who they are.
CHINESE COMMUNISTS USE GRAHAM—Over 1,700 people are known or believed to be in China's prisons because of their religious, political or ethnic views (3/14 Chr.News). There is a large and growing underground church in China with perhaps 70 to 80 million Christians (3/5 World). There now begins a campaign against these "house church" Christians. Billy Graham, just prior to his North Korea visit in January spent ten days in Red China and held private discussions with political and religious figures (3/7 Chr.Today). He met with China's top religious leader, K.H. Ting, a master deceiver under the control of the communist government. He preached in one of Ting's official TSPM churches. But just days after Graham touted China's new openness to Christian activity, China issued edicts forbidding house churches and all other congregations not sanctioned by the government and making proselytizing within China a crime (3/5 World). Last Oct. Graham's son Ned disappointed house church supporters by sponsoring a U.S. visit by Chinese dignitaries who told Americans the brazen lie that Chinese people are never arrested for religious reasons (3/94 Charisma).
RUSSIA'S MAFIA GANGSTERS—Day-to-day life in Moscow and other major Russian cities is now dominated by Mafia-type organized crime groups. About 150 criminal gangs control some 40,000 private and state-run companies. About 80 percent of all Russian businesses are forced to pay protection money to these gangs--as high as 20 percent of revenue. The gangsters control food distribution, and work with former communist party bosses and the successor to the KGB (3/7 USN & WR). Russian crime groups are all over Europe, and are increasingly forging ties with criminals in the U.S. U.S. missionaries in Russia are special targets of the racketeers (3/94 Charisma). Pastors say if Mafia extortionists come wanting a percentage of church donations, pastors will either have to pay protection money to maintain peace, or put their lives in jeopardy and stand against evil.
EEOC RULES BAN 'RELIGIOUS HARASSMENT'—Recent guidelines from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission extend, for the first time, the law of sexual harassment to other civil rights categories, including religion. The Family Research Council says that in recent years, representations of God have been driven from the schoolroom and public square, and the EEOC scheme could now drive religion out of the work place. Under the proposed guidelines, you could be charged with violating federal civil rights law if: 1. You display a calendar with a religious theme on your bulletin board at work, 2. You sometimes share your faith with others during work breaks, 3. During work hours, you invite someone to your church or Bible study, or 4.You have religious books or jewelry on your desk. Attempts are being made to get the EEOC to exempt religion from the new rules.
'BENEFITS' OF SMOKING—At the big pro-smoking rally in Washington in March, the tobacco tax protesters failed to mention that smoking provides jobs in health care by making millions of people sick. And for morticians by killing 419,000 people each year (3/20 HT). Or that smoking saves the Social Security system money by causing millions to die before collecting benefits. Really, it is incredible that after 30 years of solid scientific evidence linking smoking to premature death and horrid diseases, the tobacco industry can still persuade new volunteers to take deadly risks.
ACCOMPANIMENT TAPES, SOUND TRACKS—Pastor Mike Doney, writing in Dr. James Singleton's Builder, says he does not oppose them but lists some points of concern: First, they take away from the use of "real" people in the ministry. God gives to each church those members He wants them to have. We ought to be willing to work with the people that God gives us. Those with limited abilities need time to develop their talents. The church should help them. It is better to worship and serve the Lord with "live" instruments than artificial electronic recordings. Second, they restrict musicians to someone else's interpretation of a piece of music (tempo, dynamics, phrasing). Third, many of the "tracks" for churches today were recorded by worldly/unsaved studio musicians and professional bands and orchestras. Fourth, the use of "tracks" is mere entertainment--accompaniments used to make the music more "exciting." Many "tracks" today are nothing more or less than rock music. Fifth, the church that lives on a steady diet of professionally recorded accompaniments will have a hard time being satisfied with the musical arrangements played by the pianist and organist. People grow by interacting with other people, not by artificial taped accompaniments
TIM LEE'S CORE CONFERENCE—We were only able to attend one-and-a-half days of Dr. Tim Lee's five-day Conference On Revival and Evangelism in Montgomery last month. First we heard Dr. Jerry Falwell speak on why God has blessed the U.S., and his vision for America. He also gave "worldly fame" goals for his Liberty University (e.g., beating Notre Dame in football). Billy Graham's grandson attends Liberty. His son Franklin spoke on Falwell's TV program recently. See 8/1 CC for LU's "sell-out" of convictions. Even liberal Barry Lynn (9/13 Chr.Today) said: "Falwell clearly has compromised the Christian character of Liberty U. in an effort to retain public funding." In his CORE address Falwell repeated the worn-out dig:"A Fundamentalist is an Evangelical who is mad about something," and said there is "very little difference in what they believe." Perhaps, but the "little difference" (lack of separation) "leavens the whole (evangelical) lump." He said, "I don't care if you're Southern Baptist, independent, GARBC...." Then Tim Lee, in introducing So. Baptist Adrian Rogers said it used to be ok to have Southern Baptists in independent pulpits, and added, "It still is!" The dissimulation here, however, is in equating the situation before the SBC became so infiltrated with liberals with the way it is today. Many SB leaders such as Rogers are great pulpiteers, but have for decades remained so entangled with and financially supportive of liberals. Yet Lee and Falwell crusade to unite fundamentalists with new-evangelical SBC conservatives. We are grieved that Southwide Baptist Fellowship men like Dr. Randy Ray follow Falwell and Lee. Ray, in his mostly good CORE message, said he had "wonderful people such as Jerry Falwell and Adrian Rogers" on his Christian radio station in Tallahassee. A panel of SBF preachers (Drs. David Bouler, Bradley Price, and Gary Coleman), moderated by Lee, dealt with mostly non-controversial questions from the audience. Much of the CORE music was rather charismatic/pentecostal--loud, trendy--some CCM or religious rock. Drums and sound track tapes were used. More than once the "apology" given, that if you don't like such "enthusiastic" music, implied that the only alternative was the other extreme of "dead music, dead church." But those who think they can sanctify the world's music by using Christian lyrics with it deceive themselves. Instead of sanctifying the evil music, they are defiled by it. It feeds the flesh, exalts the performer. Lee on the platform and the crowd repeatedly raised their hands, frequently applauded, and gave standing ovations.
MANY INDEPENDENT BAPTISTS JOINING SBC?—Jerry Falwell and Tim Lee in recent years have often platform-shared with So. Baptists leaders and sought to build bridges between So. Baptists and independent Baptists. Now the 3/15 Indiana Bapt. reports an SBC study group's recommendation of "a plan to reach independent churches of like mind...and invite them to join the SBC." SBC Pres. H. Edwin Young said: "There are literally thousands of independent Baptist churches that are more Baptist than a lot of us....Their pastors are lonely people. The days of bitterness that we felt so many years from all the independents...is generally over." Young said he has met with 300 to 400 of these pastors during his two years as SBC president and, "Many of them are already coming in, in a considerable number, and I think we've only just begun to see this happening in our denomination. They like where we are, they like where we're going and, really, they're ready to come home...."
SBC SEMINARY PRESIDENT FIRED—Southwestern Baptist Seminary trustees voted 26-7 March 9 to dismiss Russell Dilday as president after he refused to take early retirement and insisted on having Keith Parks as 1994 commencement speaker. Parks last year switched to the new more liberal Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Dilday had called for toleration in doctrinal matters in the 15-year Southern Baptist struggle, and had attacked Biblical inerrancy. He will receive his full $85,000 salary, plus benefits, for two more years. Southwestern with 4,000 students is the largest of the six SBC seminaries. The abrupt firing is causing an uproar among faculty and students, and appears to be further fragmenting SBC conservatives.
FALWELL VISITS JIM BAKKER—TV evangelists Jim Bakker and Jerry Falwell "embraced and prayed together" at the Jesup, Ga. federal prison where Bakker is serving an eight-year sentence for defrauding followers of $150 million(3/94 BB & 3/94 Charisma). Billy Graham's son Franklin has visited Bakker three times and says, "God has changed him in prison...He's just not bitter about anybody." Bakker reportedly has repudiated his "prosperity gospel" message and plans to live simply when he leaves prison Oct. 20. Meanwhile, former wife Tammy Faye and her millionaire husband plan to build a church in Indio, CA that she can preside over as minister.
FAITH BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE & SEMINARY—This GARBC-approved school in Ankeny, Iowa stands in contrast to other GARBC schools. While others are compromising in recent years, FBBC/TS's Board of Directors recently reaffirmed its historic position which includes secondary ecclesiastical separation. Board Chairman Ray Taylor says: "It is our earnest desire to maintain our historic purpose and tradition, and to continue to train students to be leaders in fundamentalist Christianity. We intend to stand for the great principles of Bible-believing Christianity, our separatist Baptist heritage, and the authority of the inerrant Word of God. While many educational institutions are softening their stand and broadening their fellowship to be more inclusive, we intend to militantly honor Christ and the purity of the Church, even if we must do so independently..."
SEPARATION—We applaud the good statement in the Jan-Feb Frontline magazine entitled "Eroding Militancy in Ecclesiastical Separation" by Baptist World Mission Exec. Dir. Dr. Fred Moritz, and the timely warning in the Frontline "Editor's Note." Dr. Moritz has a new book, "Be Ye Holy: The Call To Christian Separation," now at the printers at BJU Press. We had a sneak peek at an early draft, and highly recommend it.
COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARD SYSTEM—O Timothy Editor Rev. David Cloud has a new Fundamental Baptist Bulletin Board System up and running. It has a Calvary Contender section, and much more. Many files deal with Roman Catholicism, Bible versions, music, charismatics, and cults. About 100 new doctrinal text files are added monthly. If you have an IBM-compatible computer and modem, write Bro. Cloud for a flyer with all the details: 1219 N. Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277.
N.A.E. MEETING—We attended the recent annual meeting of the National Association of Evangelicals in Dallas, substituting for ACCC Exec. Dir. Dr. Ralph Colas who was called to meetings in India on short notice. We plan to write a comprehensive report as soon as time permits.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org