PERSONAL NOTE—The CC editor was involved in a serious automobile accident June 13 en route home from mailing the 7/1 CC (early) before leaving the next day for the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship meeting in Tempe, AZ. Both vehicles were “totaled.” The other driver suffered minor injuries, but the CC editor’s left leg was broken in four places at the top of the femur (thigh) bone, just below the hip. Ribs were fractured and there were bruises and other injuries. The insurance adjuster said he had seen many cars wrecked in a less major way where the driver was killed. He said, “You sure must be tough” But actually it was purely a miracle of the Lord’s mercy that spared my life. The outlook now appears to be about six months of rigorous physical therapy. The retinas of both eyes were “bruised” during the wreck and pose a minor vision problem. Hopefully this will soon clear up. Please pray to this end. I appreciate the many dozens of cards and letters assuring me of your prayers but regret that I will be unable to answer them individually due to the enormous backlog of reading material that is rapidly stacking up. In the over 10 years of publishing, this is the first time we have had to combine two issues. We are hopeful that, Lord willing, we can get back on schedule in a few weeks. Please pray for us in the upcoming months. God in His mercy spared our life--we now trust His grace to sustain us in the arduous months ahead. [Note: We also missed attending the IBFNA late June conference.]
BREYER IS BAD NEWS FOR CHRISTIANS—The appointment of Stephen Breyer to the Supreme Court is of great concern to Christians. He, as was Pres. Clinton’s other appointment (Ruth Bader Ginsburg), is Jewish. He is a member of the one-world Council on Foreign Relations. He has carved out a rather liberal judicial record. Friends and colleagues say he supports abortion rights and ruled against the Bush administration’s ban on abortion counseling at federally funded abortion clinics. The Home School Legal Defense Association opposes Breyer’s nomination “because of his position on religious freedom for private education.” It says he grants virtually no real freedom to private schools and says he explicitly implies it is constitutional to totally ban home education.
SOCIAL SECURITY IN DANGER—Two rather liberal Senators recently said, “The present trend is not sustainable,” referring to our Social Security system. Outlays are expected to exceed revenues in 2013 and to deplete the trust fund by 2029--20 years earlier than was expected a decade ago. By then, there will be only 2.8 workers for each beneficiary (7/4 USN&WR). Since such estimates have almost always erred on the optimistic side, current benefit levels cannot be maintained for many who are now working. Either taxes must rise, or benefits must fall, the article concludes.
PRESBYTERIANS MEND RIFT OVER ‘RE-IMAGINING’—In a surprising display of unity, the 206th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) took a major step in June to heal a split caused by its participation last November in the blasphemous “Re-Imagining” conference which turned into a bizarre New Age celebration of lesbianism and goddess worship. The national office had received over 3,000 letters, mostly negative, and top staffer Mary Ann Lundy was forced to resign, after many churches withheld funds and some threatened to leave (6/27 Chr.News). But a resolution from the General Assembly supported Presbyterians who attended “Re-Imagining” but rejected part of the theology it presented. So the feared mean protest ended as a love-fest, as delegates danced in the aisles. One said: “It was wild. It became a Presbyterian Pentecostal prayer meeting.” By a narrow margin, delegates (called commissioners) voted to prohibit homosexual marriage ceremonies.
JIM HENRY IS NEW SBC PRESIDENT—Jim Henry, pastor of First Baptist Church of Orlando, surprisingly defeated Mobile pastor Fred Wolfe by a 55 to 45 percent margin to become president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Wolfe had been backed by SBC conservative leaders, so this ends the 15-year conservative resurgence in the Convention. Though Henry is an inerrantist, he was endorsed by moderate-liberals such as Russell Dilday. Henry is more inclusive. Someone said, “Jim Henry speaks more to the yuppies, Southern Baptists influenced by Willow Creek”, the trendy Chicago mega-church pastored by Bill Hybels. He stresses reconciliation, and says “OK, that battle [over the Bible] has been won. Let’s move ahead.” (6/7 Ind.Bapt.). Henry says he will listen to all points of view. Some perceive that he will try to convince the moderates that they can return to the SBC.
SBC PASTOR’S CONFERENCE SPEAKERS—Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, former HUD secretary Jack Kemp, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship pastor Tony Evans, Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden, SBC motivator Zig Ziglar, and Evangelist Jay Strack were some of the speakers for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastor’s Conference in Orlando, FL last June. (6/21 Indiana Baptist). Dr. W.A. Criswell was honored for his lifetime of service to Southern Baptists.
LOOK WHO GRAHAM PRAISES—Dr. Billy Graham in recent years has had good things to say about various and sundry religious and political leaders in communist countries where he was being feted. He has praised the Catholic pope. At former president Richard Nixon’s funeral, Graham said Nixon now is in heaven. Graham recently defended Pres. Clinton and urged newspaper editors to support him and ease up on criticizing his character, etc. Graham now says new South African president Nelson Mandela’s victory and the events surrounding the election “are a testimony to us all of this great man’s resiliency. . . and the ultimate triumph of good” (6/13 C.News). The 6/20 CN said: “Nelson Mandela is an atheist, as are the Communists who make up a majority of the South African cabinet.”
GRAHAM’S NEW STRATEGIES—Dr. Billy Graham returned in May to his old alma mater Wheaton College for the dedication of the renovated Billy Graham Center Museum. He said his half-century of ministry has caused him to rethink his strategies (6/20 Chr.Today) . He said for the June Cleveland crusade he will shelve his suit and tie for a more casual look. The golden melodies of George Beverly Shea, Graham’s longtime soloist, also are being temporarily exchanged for the hip-hop rhythms of Christian rap artists DC Talk. He said: “I used to say take a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other and go preach the gospel. Today I’d say take a television set and a radio--you have to be relevant.” Pastor John Ashbrook in the May OBF Visitor said the crusade (Cleveland) sponsored a rock concert May 13,and that a Graham staff manager had praised the “unprecedented ecumenical support” the June crusade had gathered. Ashbrook said it is obvious that the Graham Crusade is unashamed of its cooperation with the unbelief of liberalism and the works religion of Roman Catholicism.
REPORT ON FBF MEETING—Though our accident prevented us from attending the FBF meeting this year, we have heard good reports from it, and were encouraged to read the good strong resolutions passed at this meeting. Resolution topics included: Ecumenical Evangelism, Charismatic Movement, Jerry Falwell Ministries, Secondary Separation, Evangelicals and Catholics Together, SBC, Missions and Evangelism, WCC, Tim Lee and CORE, Christian School Associations, Jack Van Impe Ministries, Fundamentalism and its Fight, Morality and Ministry, Clinton Administration, Revival, Euthanasia, National Health Care, Hollywood, Homosexuality, Dealing with the Government, Church Marketing Methods, Improper Charges of Legalism, Preeminence of Doctrine Within Fundamentalism, Counseling Theory/Methods of Lawrence J. Crabb, Church Planting, Balance, Music, and Personal Responsibility. Dr. James Singleton was the host pastor, and also chaired the resolutions committee. Other committee members: Dave Doran, Bruce Hamilton, Brad Smith, and J.B. Williams. Dr. Rod Bell is FBF president.
REPORT ON IBFNA MEETING—What a sad disappointment to also miss the IBFNA meeting this year. We heard good reports about the preaching, and have a copy of the two good resolutions that were passed. Dr. L. Duana Brown was reelected as Moderator, Dr. Richard Harris as Editor of The Review, Jeff Bailey as Sec./Clerk, and Ralph Weer as Treasurer. Membership now exceeds 400, and about 500 attended the first evening service. Drs. Ernest Pickering and Robert Delnay were featured speakers. The 1995 IBFNA Conference is scheduled for Seattle, Wa.
CHRISTEN DECLINES GARBC NATIONAL REP JOB—In a 5/11 letter to the GARBC’s Council of 18, California pastor Dr. Richard D. Christen turned down the proffered position as head of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, succeeding Dr. Paul Tassell who is resigning due to health reasons. Christen cited ongoing GARBC tensions, such as the controversy over the name “Baptist” as the reason for withdrawing his name from further consideration.
FBF RESOLUTION ON THE SBC—While applauding the attempts of conservatives in the Southern Baptist Convention to reemphasize the doctrine of the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, we do not believe that these men are “fundamental” Southern Baptists. Our reasoning is twofold: first, they still accept the ecumenical evangelism of Billy Graham which makes them new evangelicals; and second, they do not desire to be known as Fundamentalists. Writing in The Church God Approves, James Draper (SBC conservative), condemns Fundamentalists for their divisiveness, bigotry and unfairness; and says they have a wholly negative approach and show little love and compassion. Those who call for cooperation in pulpit ministries between Fundamentalists and Southern Baptists either misread the nature of the conservative movement in the Convention, or themselves have compromised the cause of biblical separation.
FBF RESOLUTION ON TIM LEE AND CORE MINISTRIES—The FBF believes in revival and evangelism, but contends that the bridge-building advocated by Lee and his ministries is wrong and will result in mass confusion among a younger generation of independent Baptists who consider themselves Fundamentalists. We believe that all attempts to camouflage the issue by attempting to show a distinction between an actual merger of independents and Southern Baptists and having simply a time of fellowship between independents and those in the SBC is a smokescreen for a departure from the principles of Biblical separation and will lead a generation of young Fundamentalists into compromise.
FBF RESOLUTION ON SECONDARY SEPARATION—The FBF believes that the attacks on so-called “secondary separation” are really an attack on first degree or primary separation and come from sources that do not understand the meaning of biblical separation. We do not believe that the word of the Psalmist (119:63), “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts,” can be used to express tolerance toward those who, while sound in the faith themselves, express tolerance and cooperation toward those who deviate from the faith. We believe that the Scriptures do command separation from those who aid and encourage compromise with infidelity.
IBFNA RESOLUTION ON MUSIC—...Charismatics and others have sought to contemporize Christian music...and promote Gospel Rock as a morally neutral means to the end of building evangelistic bridges to young people preoccupied with rock music, heavy-metal bands and MTV; CCM and Gospel Rock serve to blur the distinction between secular entertainment music and Christian worship music, resulting in confusion...We the members of the Independent Bapt. Fellowship of No. America...do hereby condemn CCM and Gospel Rock as attempts to blend the holy with the unholy, and declare that the message/lyrics cannot justify or excuse the music that conveys it...The music is an integral part of the message..
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