BETTY EADIE'S BOOK IS SUBTLE MORMONISM—Betty Eadie, a Mormon, in her best-selling book, Embraced by the Light, claims to have a message from Jesus. But her near-death experience narrative is full of covert Mormon or New Age-style teachings. Baptist Book Stores have been told to pull it. Near-death experiences should be interpreted in light of Bible teachings, not religious beliefs.
A PARENT'S VIEW OF OBE—The following are excerpts from a letter by a W. Chester, Pa. parent: "For the past two years, my children have been exposed to the Outcome-Based Education monster. Disguised as intervention programs, OBE and [my] School District have robbed my children of valuable academic time--instead concentrating on feelings, self-esteem, acceptance of others, and family living programs. [Using] relaxation tapes, chanting exercises, group encounter situations...schools... have been watering down academic curricula for years. Since OBE's inception in our school district five years ago, parents and taxpayers have watched SAT scores decrease by 2.5 percent and taxes increase by 68 percent...OBE is an expensive psychological experiment."(5/94 Blum. Ed. Ltr).
GAITHER SINGER MICHAEL ENGLISH QUITS AFTER AFFAIR—CCM singer Michael English, gospel music's artist of the year, left The Gaither Vocal Band in April. Then in May, he returned his six Dove awards after confessing to an adulterous affair with another CCM performer, First Call's Marabeth Jordon, who is now expecting his child (5/21 World). This is a wake-up call, and may just be the tip of a long-rumored scandal-ridden "gospel" entertainer iceburg. English, citing human failings, quits as a Christian singer, but may pursue plans with Bill Gaither to form a new record label. (5/6 H.T.). The Gospel Music Association says he can have his awards back anytime he wants them.
PSYCHOBABBLE DANGER—Thousands of families have been torn asunder by so-called memory recovery therapy. A jury recently ruled that therapists had planted false abuse memories in the mind of a woman who accused her father of raping her as a child. Psychologists have made alarming inroads into churches, helping us "learn to accept ourselves and to get in touch with our unconscious or the child within." (5/16 CT). The main tone of many therapies is that the client is a victim of his society and unjust upbringing. Responsibility and sin imply guilt, and so are anti-therapeutic. Psychiatry has been unable to prove that it cures anything. A danger is that unscriptural psychologies may, to some degree, replace Christianity without most people noticing the substitution.
HEALTH CARE CONCERNS—The Clinton health plan sounds so nice, yet it would endanger Americans by reducing the quality and availability--but increase the cost--of medical care. It would force Christians to pay for abortion services, mental health care, and counseling for drug and alcohol abuse--and require doctors to act as "social agents" instead of healers. Joni Eareckson Tada says it would jeopardize people with disabilities: "If [it] decides certain disabled people don't merit life-sustaining treatment, then a further step may be taken to terminate their lives." A surgeon said: "If you use up your money and you're still on the respirator, that's it, you're shut off." (4/25 CT). We suggest that Congress delete pages 1 through 1,342 of this 1,342-page bill.
UNTOUCHABLE ENTITLEMENTS: DARE WE CALL IT SOCIALISM?—Welfare spending from its 1965 inception to the present has cost taxpayers $4.9 trillion in constant 1992 dollars. It is now 5 percent of our GNP compared to 1.5 percent when Pres. Johnson declared war on poverty (4/23 World). In 1968, 2.2 million Americans received food stamps at a cost of $173 million. Today, 27 million are enrolled in a food-stamp program that costs taxpayers $24 billion a year. And fraud is rampant, as recipients trade the stamps for cash or drugs. (2/94 R. Digest). These are but two of the large number of "legal plunder" government giveaway programs. For government to GIVE (spend) something, it must first TAKE (tax). "Entitlements" imply that a vast number of people have a legal claim to the property of others. To take (steal?) from the haves to give to the have-nots is socialism
CATHOLICS EXALT MARY—Many Catholics today ascribe to Mary attributes of God--even the power to save. The Winter'94 Fatima Crusader (published by Roman Catholics) had the following quotes: "The Madonna has a share in the royalty of God...One rightly calls her Jesus' Queen-Mother, and...She now takes Her place in glory at Her Son's right hand." *** "Yes, O Mary, Mother of God, Sovereign Virgin, God's most glorious creature, we want to follow You as our Queen of love, who art all-powerful..." *** "The Holy Mother of God revealed...: 'I am She who is in the Divine Trinity... Submit yourself to the authority of the Pope...'" *** "The Madonna brings Jesus to us and takes us to Jesus. That is why we call Her Mediatrix..." *** "Mary came to Fatima to save souls from Hell." *** "Mary said, 'Through the Rosary and Scapular I will save the world." Read 1Tim. 2:5.
JOHN HAGEE A HERETIC?—Dr. Jerry Falwell's 5/6 Liberty Flame quoted Southeastern Baptist Seminary Pres. Dr. Paige Patterson (from 4/30/88 Houston Chronicle) as saying John Hagee's "Two Covenant teaching is "heretical." The article said Hagee believes that Jews are saved by keeping the Mosaic law, while everyone else (Gentiles)--whether Buddhist or Baha'i--needs to believe in Jesus. Former SBC pres. Dr. Jerry Vines said: "Most [evangelicals] do not know John Hagee very well...not aware of his 'Two Covenant' theological position nor his marital difficulties." In 1975 Hagee resigned as pastor of a charismatic church saying his marriage had collapsed and he had become "immoral" in his personal conduct. After leaving that church, he immediately became pastor of Cornerstone Church (San Antonio) where he is now. After a 1975 divorce, he married a young woman from the former church. Hagee is popular on Paul Crouch's TBN, and, in the past year he has spoken at National Religious Broadcasters, Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship, and Oral Roberts University conferences. (See 3/1 CC).
MORE EVIDENCE OF FULLER SEMINARY APOSTASY—In recent-year books, Drs. Harold Lindsell and George Marsden have documented the sad apostasy of Fuller Seminary, its failure to affirm inerrancy, its movement toward neo-orthodoxy, etc. Recent-year speakers have included Roman Catholics, charismatics, David Yonggi Cho, etc. Robert Schuller Crystal Cathedral Co-pastor Bruce Larson is scheduled to teach a Jan. 9-20 course at Fuller. Fuller is deeply enmeshed in social concerns, and is about as ecumenical as they come. Even its new office receptionist is Seventh-Day Adventist minister Bertie Degraphenreed. Of the Fall 1992 student body, 35 percent were female. There were only 86 doctoral students in the School of Theology, but 271 in the School of Psychology. A Fuller brochure says roughly one student out of two is from a mainline church. Presbyterians are most common, followed by nondenominational, Assemblies of God, Methodists, and American Baptists. Over one-third are charismatics or Pentecostals. Richard J. Mouw recently succeeded David Allan Hubbard as president of Fuller. He says: "I borrow unashamedly from the teachings of the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodoxy in my attempts to grow in holiness." (4/4 USN & WR).
ASBURY GETS NEW PRESIDENT—Dr. Maxie Dunnam, senior minister at Christ United Methodist Church (Memphis), succeeds Dr. David McKenna as the fifth pres. of Asbury Seminary (Wilmore, KY). Dunnam is a member of the Roman Catholic-Methodist International Dialogue Commission. McKenna was presented the J. Elwin Wright Award at the recent NAE convention, for "significantly influencing the worldwide evangelical movement..." The Fall '93 Asbury Herald pictured Wolfhart Pannenberg and Jurgen Moltmann and praised their "high-caliber lectureships", "cutting edge theology," and "doctrinal distinctives." Pannenberg does not acknowledge the personality of the Holy Spirit, accepts evolutionary assumptions (11/4/88 CT), and rejects any special inspiration/authority of Scripture. (6/22/92 CT). Moltmann, a liberal German Lutheran, rejects historic Christian doctrines(2/15/93 CC).
SEPARATION DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN ISOLATION—It is hard to separate from disobedient brethren. Paul, at last, had to stand alone. Elijah, however, thought he stood alone, but God revealed 7,000 others. We need to stand fast, but not be too fast to dwindle the number down to ONE.
SBC REACTION TO CATHOLIC-EVANGELICAL PAPER—Two Southern Baptist leaders, Larry Lewis (head of Home Mission Board) and Richard Land (head of Christian Life Commission), signed the 25-page Colson/Neuhaus Catholic-Evangelical document released March 29 (see 4/15 CC) which called for avoidance of proselytizing each other's converts. Charles Colson is also a So. Baptist--a pro-Catholic ecumenical one. Reaction within the SBC that we have seen thus far is mixed but mostly mild. An editorial in one of the SBC's most conservative papers, the Indiana Baptist (4/26), offered cautious praise. It stated: "Initiatives such as this might be helpful in our state in several ways. First, we can multiply and unify our influence on our culture.... Second, division for its own sake is very hard to justify...." Conservative SBC author James Hefley said he might sign it if asked. He said: "If put on the spot, I'd have to think about it for awhile." (5/24 IB). But Foreign Mission Board trustees approved an expression of concern that the document is "subject to interpretations harmful to the work of foreign missions." (5/10 IB). What good does it do if SBC conservatives clean out some liberals, then rush to help Rome build the one-world ecumenical church of the Antichrist? Dr. Tim Lee calls SBC conservative leaders "fundamentalists" on the basis of their belief of the "5 fundamentals."
CEDARVILLE HELPS ELWA—GARBC-approved Cedarville College has in recent years edged closer to a new-evangelical stance. Speakers such as Drs. Vernon Grounds and Warren Wiersbe are indications of this. Now the 5-6/94 Ohio Independent Baptist says a Cedarville engineering team "will design and build an electrical control system for ELWA, a Christian radio station in Monrovia, Liberia." ELWA was set up by the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM International) in 1954 but was destroyed in the 1990 Liberian civil war. SIM has long positioned itself in the new-evangelical camp and became a 1917 charter member of the IFMA which has indirect links to the WCC and cooperates with WCC groups. In recent years it has weakened toward charismatism.
FREEDOM FROM JUDGING, REPROOF?—Subtle subverters of the faith hate those who expose their error. Compromisers sometimes explode in anger at those who warn and inform others of their pattern of unscriptural associations. They often misapply Mat. 7:1-5 and 18:15-17. The Mat. 7 passage condemns hypocritical judging. But Jn. 7:24 commands "righteous" judging. (Also, see 1 Cor. 6:1-5 and Rev. 2:2.) 1 Cor. 2:15 says, "He that is spiritual judgeth all things." We all make judgments every day. We have a scriptural duty to judge/examine apostates and compromisers' practices/associations and to identify/ expose them, but not in a hypocritical or mean-spirited way. Rom. 16:17 says: "...mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."(1 Jn. 2:10 indicates disobedient brethren cause "divisions.") We are to "rebuke," "exhort," "reprove," and "contend." But some "fundamentalist" leaders today act as if they are above scriptural reproof, and can fellowship with whom they please. Dr. Tim Lee's "fraternity of the free" seemingly gives license for pulpit-sharing with Southern Baptists and other new evangelicals. "Judge not," "strive not," and "speak the truth in love" commands are to be interpreted in their context and are not to be unscripturally misused to excuse a softness or disobedience to Biblical separation commands, or to silence "contenders for the faith."
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