VOL. XII  NO. 22   NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM   November 15, 1995

THE HIGH COST OF GAMBLING—The gambling industry, including state-run lotteries, has grown into a 48-state, $500 billion industry. Louisiana has between 78,000 and 125,700 "problem" gamblers. The cost to society of each of these is as high as $50,000, when "soft" sums such as lost income, the cost of related crime, and prosecution costs are added. In Mississippi, more money is spent gambling than in making taxable retail purchases: $29.7 billion was bet, compared to $27.6 billion that was spent in 1994 (10/21 World). In the first 16 years of legalized gambling in Atlantic City, the police budget tripled. Crime caused property values to plummet. Casino gambling is a magnet for street criminals. Experts say the cost to society of gambling is between $2 and $5 for every dollar in taxes that the industry brings in, and that we will soon begin to see some states reversing themselves and passing bans on gambling.

DISTINCTION DEMANDED IN WORSHIP MUSIC—Lenny Seidel says "Nashville-ization" of contemporary church music is taking advantage of the buying trends of the contemporary evangelical community (10/95 Voice). He says "there is no precedent in church music history to justify what we are hearing today; that is, the rebellious music of a perverted society linked with biblical truth. It is not effective because the message and music do not match, and music is as much a language as printed words. It is disingenuous to suggest that the contemporary writers of pop lyrics which depict a rebellious society would use our historical church music to convey their perverted lifestyle. Consequently, a lost generation will not be influenced with imitation, but by something totally different."

P&G RUMORS PERSIST—Proctor & Gamble has answered about 200,000 calls and letters about rumors over the past 15 years linking it to satanism. The rumors claim that P&G's president spoke in support of satanism on a TV talk show, and that P&G's trademark was a satanic symbol (9/5 HT). P&G has removed its moon-and-stars trademark, but the rumor comes back every few years. Recently, P&G filed its 15th defamation lawsuit. It, like five others before it, involves a distributor for P&G rival Amway Corp. It accuses Randy Haugen, of Utah, of using Amway's voice mail system to spread the devil-worship rumor to other Amway distributors.

PK INFO—O Timothy editor David Cloud devoted over 10 big pages in the latest issue to Promise Keepers, including some correspondence with pastors sympathetic with PK. O Timothy is $20/ yr., 1219 N. Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277.

GOD'S NAME PROFANED ON PRIME-TIME TV—The 10/ 21 World says the pornographic Showgirls movie and the NEA's blasphemous art crudities are not the ultimate problem. It said: "The problem instead lies in the acceptance by millions of Christians of prime-time programs full of double entendres, of PG movies loaded with the blasphemous use of God's name, and with the just-this-side-of-pornographic videos brought by the armloads into our homes...[W]e tend to tolerate an entertainer's using God's name profanely more than we will a long list of sexual or excremental four-letter words...."

THE GREAT GOD ENTERTAINMENT—The 10/95 Voice quotes A. W. Tozer thusly: "For centuries the Church stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment recognizing it for what it was--a device for wasting time...But of late she...appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god Entertainment she may as well join forces [and use] his power. So today we have the astonishing spectacle of millions of dollars being poured into the unholy job of providing earthly entertainment for so-called sons of heaven. Religious entertainment is...rapidly crowding out the serious things of God. Many churches today have become little more than poor theaters where fifth-rate 'producers' peddle their shoddy wares with the approval of evangelical leaders who can even quote a holy text in defense of their delinquency. And hardly a man dare raise his voice against it."

CHRISTIAN COALITION'S CATHOLIC ARM— Maureen Roselli is the new Exec. Dir. of the Catholic Alliance of the Christian Coalition. The Christian Coalition is concerned that it is still not perceived as a like-minded group by many in the Catholic community. Roselli's job will be to change that perception. The Catholic arm is but the latest effort to attract Catholics.

DERSTINE LEADERS FALSIFIED REPORTS—The 9/11 Christianity Today said: "For seven years, Gerald Derstine of Gospel Crusade, Inc., in Bradenton, Fla., inspired his followers with sensational accounts of miracles, mass conversions, and subsequent martyrdoms among Arab Muslims in Israel and the West Bank. His supporters responded generously, contributing $2.8 million in 1994 alone...But in March, one of Derstine's Arab ministry leaders confessed, in the face of mounting evidence, that the reports were fabrications...In 1988, Derstine began circulating accounts...that thousands of Muslims were converting in the wake of healings, signs, and wonders...Recent visits...confirmed a pattern of misrepresentation and staging of events..."

CAMPOLO STILL DEFENDS HOMOSEXUALS—Eastern College (Amer. Baptist) sociologist Tony Campolo's wife Peggy promotes homosexual weddings, and his pastor performs them (9/26/94 C.News). The 10/ 23 Chr. Today in reviewing his new book refers to "the ambiguity that has haunted his thought over the years", and says he is reflective of the Religious Left. It adds: "Tony is a Mario Cuomo when it comes to what he calls the 'hot issues.' Conceding that homosexuality is 'contrary to what is normative in nature,' he then argues that churches have the right to receive homosexuals into full communion and even ordain them to the ministry. Whether he means repentant or proud homosexuals is not clear, either; when he refers to 'the kind of homosexual acts that the Bible forbids,' does he intend to suggest there are some homosexual acts that the Bible does not forbid? The same evasiveness characterizes his discussion of abortion."

ACCC RESOLUTION: CONTINUED COMPROMISE OF AWANA—"We are deeply saddened that Awana Clubs International--for many years appreciated, approved, and supported by Bible-believing churches...--has recently changed its position regarding its relationship to churches within the National Council of Churches (the liberal, apostate organization of the ecumenical movement, USA). It appears that in recent years Awana's policy of not chartering NCC-member churches was not being practiced, even though its own position papers clearly [stated that] 'the Awana charter is not available to: churches affiliated with denominations that are members of the NCC/WCC.' [Its] policy has now been changed to read that the Awana charters are not available to churches that are 'supportive of the NCC.'...[T]his reveals the attempt of Awana to grow at the expense of truth, while deceitfully implying that one can be affiliated with apostasy without being supportive of it...The American Council of Christian Churches...at its 54th Annual Convention [St. Louis, Oct. 24-26] urges all Bible-believing churches and pastors to express...to the Awana leadership their dissatisfaction with Awana's compromise and to request that remedial action be taken by the Awana Board to correct this problem by returning its stated policy to its original wording and insisting that its practice live up to its policy...We repudiate... the idea that...churches can be affiliated with the NCC without partaking of its evil deeds."

HINN'S HEALINGS CHALLENGED—Personal Freedom Outreach (St. Louis) says faith healer Benny Hinn's version of mass healings at an Ontario hospital in 1976 is more fiction than fact (10/ 23 C.Today). Hinn describes the healings in his new book, Welcome, Holy Spirit. But the summer issue of PFO's quarterly journal labels Hinn's "wildly embellished account" a "tall tale." Hinn's book claims that he and other clergy anointed patients in a Catholic hospital with oil and they began to receive instant healing. He said "you could feel God's spirit all over the building. Within a few minutes the hospital looked almost like it had been hit by an earthquake. People...up and down the hallways and in the rooms." But a hospital statement says "No such events have ever occurred [here]" and said Hinn's claims are "outlandish." Chr. Research Institute president Hank Hanegraaff and Evang. James Robison took Hinn to task in the 8/16/93 CT for his teaching of the word-of-faith doctrine (positive confession, prosperity gospel, and divine right-to-be-healed), warning Hinn that if he did not change his ministry it eventually would fail due to false teachings.

ACCC RESOLUTION: ETERNAL SONSHIP AND THE IFCA—"....The Independent Fundamental Churches of America's leadership, while professing to adhere to its excellent doctrinal statement [on eternal Sonship], has allowed departure...[It] keeps Dr. John MacArthur on its membership roles, even though in his published writings and public tapes he has clearly and consistently denied the eternal Sonship of Christ, teaching instead that Christ became the Son of God at the time of the Incarnation....The IFCA leadership defied rightness and logic by concluding that the denial of eternal Sonship is not out of harmony with the IFCA doctrinal statement. This decision resulted in some IFCA men withdrawing their membership from the IFCA, based on the fact that the organization no longer officially takes its own doctrinal statement seriously. The American Council of Christian Churches, meeting at its 54th Annual Convention in St. Louis, MO, Oct. 24-26, 1995, gives its hearty commendation to those IFCA regionals, pastors and delegates who took such a stand against the IFCA's doctrinal compromise and who were valiant for the truth of Christ's eternal Sonship in these difficult days of doctrinal decline....[This] is a vital doctrine that must not be compromised." [The IFCA also promotes John MacArthur in its Voice magazine.]

DR. BELL SEES DANGER WITHIN FUNDAMENTALISM—FBF President Dr. Rod Bell in the latest Frontline says: "...I see a great danger in Fundamentalists losing 'the fire in their belly.' In many of our ranks, some seemingly express the passive attitude, 'We don't want to contend and fight for the great fundamentals of the faith.' Many Fundamentalists see that expression as a growing concern and believe that, for the most part, we are losing our militancy...[It] is frightening to see the position of neutrality taking priority. We have reached a period in battle--which some call the Cold War period-- that was caused by a letdown in the fight against the compromise of truth. That 'comfort zone' does not have many warriors, simply because, if you are not contending, you are compromising... [E]very generation of Fundamentalists must have a 'fire built under them.' I don't know what kind of fire it will take to get some Fundamentalists to wake up before they lose it all... Many times there is the affirmation of a Fundamentalist--but the attitude of a New Evangelical...[We] maintain a position by fighting for it. If we maintain a proper relationship with our Lord, we will fight for His truth..."

E.L. BYNUM NOT A FOUNDER OF SBF—In our "Dr. Harold Sightler Passes" 11/1 article Dr. Dollar apparently mistakenly listed "E.L. Bynum" as a founder of the Southwide Baptist Fellowship. Pastor Bynum says he was not one of the founders and has never attended an SBF meeting. Pastor Bynum is editor of the Plains Baptist Challenger ($5/yr.), and has other books/tracts available: P.O. Box 3100, Lubbock, TX 79452.

ACCC NEW OFFICERS—Dr. Ralph Colas remains at the helm of the American Council (and of the World Council of Biblical Churches) as Exec. Secretary, Dr. Richard Harris is the new ACCC president (replacing Dr. Allen Griffith), Rev. Mark Franklin is V-P, Rev. Ronnie Fieker is Secretary, and Bill Worrilow remains as Treasurer. Dr. Jim Fields is chairman of the WCBC. Next year's annual meeting is at Lebanon, Pa.

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