EVOLUTION DISCLAIMER IN ALABAMA TEXTBOOKS—The Alabama state school board last month voted 6-1 to put a note in biology textbooks telling public school students that nobody witnessed evolution, and therefore it must be taught as a theory and not as a fact (11/10 H.Times). The note presents a series of unanswered questions about origins and the fossil record. It allows for "microevolution" (white moth evolve into gray moth) to be described as fact, but says "macroevolution" (reptile into bird) has never been observed and must be considered a theory.
CHINA PERSECUTES CHRISTIANS—Jonathan Chao in the 11/13 Christianity Today said China's Communist Party would like to see religion completely dismissed, but its present policy is to tolerate it within the confines of government control. The government has set up "patriotic" organizations such as the Three-Self Patriotic Movement led by the Communist Party through pro-government clergy and state-approved pastors. Many itinerant evangelists and unlicensed house-church leaders who evangelize are arrested and tortured. Still, most Chinese Christians are in house churches. Chao said: "If evangelicals from America align with TSPM churches or accept invitations to speak at those, house-church leaders interpret such visits as endorsing the TSPM, abandoning the lordship of Christ, and forsaking the commitment to evangelism."
'GAY GENE' OR SODOMY SIN?—Cal Thomas (11/11 World) says the "discovery" of "new evidence" of a "gay gene" was trumpeted on the front page of The Washington Post as a scientific breakthrough equivalent to a cure for cancer. The story quotes another "study" by Dean Hamer, a molecular biologist, and fails to mention that his widely trumpeted 1993 "gay gene" study is under investigation for alleged fraud. And neither the Post story nor a long article in the 11/13 USN & WR mention Hamer's homosexuality, which might indicate to some that Hamer has a bias in favor of discovering a biological cause/excuse for homosexual sinful behavior.
CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP—Contemporary (or alternative) worship services come in all sorts of combinations of new and old traditions. A few or more of the following things happen: 1) The singing is led by 3 or more people up front with microphones in their hands. 2) Song words are projected on a screen. 3) Pastor is dressed casually. 4) Little is read from a script. 5) Music is with an ensemble of synthesizer or piano, guitars, drums, etc. (Canned music). 6) Choruses sung over and over, woven with medleys. 7) Lively applause. [Adapted from 11/6 C.News]
GRAHAM'S 'PRODIGAL SON' TO SUCCEED HIM—Franklin Graham last month was named first vice chairman and eventual successor to his father's $88 million-a-year crusade organization. Billy Graham, 77 and suffering from Parkinson's disease, will remain chairman and head preacher as long as he is able. Franklin wears jeans, boots, denim shirt and leather jacket. He was a teen rebel who drank, smoked, fought, and led police on high-speed chases. He was kicked out of LeTourneau College. He will continue as director of Samaritan's Purse and World Medical Mission.
HAGIN & WORD-FAITH, POSITIVE CONFESSION—Kenneth Hagin says in his 10/95 Word of Faith: "Christ has redeemed us from sickness, disease, and poverty" and we are not to suffer these. Hagin, a tongues-speaking charismatic, is known as the father of the "Word-Faith"/"Positive Confession" movement (12/95 BDM Letter). Linked to this movement is the concept of Positive Mental Attitude. PMA has become the major link between sorcery and Christianity. It is the human potential movement that incorporates the age-old Eastern mystique that all men can acquire godhood, that "we can achieve anything we conceive." (Dave Hunt). Be warned, be wise, beware!
JUDGE UPHOLDS SCOUTS' BAN ON GAYS, CITES BIBLE—A New Jersey state judge, citing the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah as evidence that homosexuality is immoral, upheld the Boy Scouts' ban on homosexuals (11/10 Chatt.Times). He said the Scouts is a private organization and has a constitutional right to decide who can belong.
PRESIDENT ENDORSES HOMOSEXUAL BILL—Pres. Bill Clinton recently became the first U.S. president to endorse a major homosexual rights bill. The legislation proposed by Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Jeffords would prohibit job discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation."(11/7 Ind. Baptist). It is a perennial political gesture which is unlikely to pass in this Congress.
EVOLUTION IS A HOAX—ICR President Dr. Henry Morris has announced his retirement and will be succeeded by his son John, Jan. 1 (11/95 Acts & Facts). He says: "Evolution is about as false scientifically as any theory could ever be. It is not occurring at present, has never occurred in the past, and could not possibly occur in the future, unless the basic laws of science are all wrong." Randall Hedtke has a new 46-page booklet, Inside the Evolution Curriculum, which relates evolution to religious humanism and Dewey's "Progressive Education" (Outcome Based Education). Get it from him at: Rt. 1, Box 138, Barrett, MN 56311, $4.70 (postpaid).
TOP EVANGELICALS MET WITH POPE—Pope John Paul II gave a speech to the United Nations in Oct. and met with prominent American evangelicals, including: NAE-chief Don Argue, Charles Colson, Pat Robertson, and Bill Bright. About 25 non-Catholics (including NCC gen. sec'y Joan Campbell and liberal denom leaders) and five Muslim leaders attended the Mass in Central Park and later that evening gathered again with the pope at Cardinal John O'Connor's residence. Twenty Jewish leaders met separately with the pope after the Jewish Sabbath concluded at sundown. The pope in effect invited evangelicals to join Jews, Muslims, Protestant and Orthodox leaders at the table of interfaith dialogue.
ROBERTSON MET WITH POPE—Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson had a seat of honor at the Mass during Pope John Paul II's Oct. visit to New York. He marched at the head of an ecumenical procession to the papal altar and was seated with Protestant, Orthodox, and evangelical leaders (10/23 C.News). He said his meeting with the Pontiff was "very warm" and, through a personal letter hand-delivered to the pope, pledged to work for Christian unity between evangelicals and Catholics (11/3 Sword). Robertson called the pope "a humble and caring servant of the Lord." He said: "I believe the time has come where we must lay aside minor differences and focus on the common ground of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." (10/14 Phoenix Gazette). In an AP phone interview, Robertson said of the pope: "He's got great humility and spirituality..." He said: "We all admire the Holy Father tremendously. We all want to build bridges with the Catholic Church."(10/95 Plains Bapt. Chall.)
SBC TIES TO CATHOLICISM—For two years in a row Romanism has reared its ugly head at Southern Baptist conventions. In 1994, SBC messengers endorsed a theological dialogue with the Catholic Church (3/15 CC). In 1995, for the first time in history, the SBC received and applauded a representative of the RC church who asked for forgiveness, on behalf of Roman Catholics, for not always treating Southern Baptists as part of the "family." (9-10/95 Fund. Digest).
CAMPUS CRUSADE 'SIGNS & WONDERS'—In a 10/31 letter, Campus Crusade founder/pres. Bill Bright says: "The number of Muslims who are seeing a vision of Jesus is growing. We cannot ignore what the Spirit of God is doing." He said CC's Middle East director has received thousands of letters from Muslims, many telling of seeing Jesus in a dream. He said: "A fanatical Muslim woman had spent four years in prison for her political activities. While there, Jesus appeared to her in her cell. He personally explained redemption and the gospel. She is now on Campus Crusade's staff...I could tell you other stories--miraculous, incredible stories of visions. Muslims are seeing the risen Christ!"
GARBC SILENT ON PROMISE KEEPERS—The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, the Southwide Baptist Fellowship, the American Council of Christian Churches, and many other fundamentalist groups passed strong resolutions warning against Promise Keepers. But the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches had no such resolution. Some GARBC men have attended PK rallies, and we acknowledge that some men, families and churches have been helped by this movement. But at what cost? PK is the most dangerous ecumenical threat our churches face today. So, is the GARBC is so steeped in new-evangelicalism that its leaders cannot sound a warning against PK?
SBF RESOLUTION ON PROMISE KEEPERS—Whereas, a men's movement called "Promise Keepers" is invading our nation that is ecumenical in nature and deceptive in some of its proposed promises and whereas, it approves the use of some psychological approaches and techniques that are unscriptural and promotes charismatic teachings and worldly music; therefore be it resolved that we return to the New Testament institution of the local church as the Biblical institution for encouraging mates to keep their promises to each other and the best "support group" for Biblical accountability, Matthew 18:15-17.
GRAHAM CHOSE FELLOWSHIP OVER SEPARATION—Billy Graham is listed as Founder and Board Chairman of Christianity Today. The 11/13 CT celebrates 50 years of Graham's evangelistic ministry. It quotes from a 1958 lengthy letter "on separation" Graham wrote to Eternity magazine: "During the past few weeks, I have come to some very deep convictions. It seems to me that the entire weight of Scripture lies in the direction of fellowship rather than separation." He quotes John 13:34-35 concerning "love," and says the overwhelming evidence that we have passed from death unto life is not orthodoxy, etc., but love. But Verse 15 of the next chapter says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Graham pits love/fellowship against obedience/separation, creating an unscriptural "either/or" tension. All four are commanded, not optional. It is like saying I will choose not to commit murder instead of not committing adultery. We don't have this option. And separation, likewise, is not an option, but a command (2 Cor. 6:14-17). If we do not obey it, we can't claim to love Christ (Jn. 14:15, 21, 23). Graham's "fellowship" with, instead of "separation" from, false-gospel Catholic and liberal leaders has been sad to behold in the past 40 years.
NO FELLOWSHIP WITH DISOBEDIENT BRETHREN—The Faith Baptist Bible College (GARBC Ankeny, IA) 1992-95 Catalog states: "We believe that progressive sanctification involves separation not only from ungodly living but also from ungodly teaching; that though we love all men and seek their salvation, there are areas in which we cannot have fellowship with unbelievers; that, in areas of ecclesiastical fellowship, it may be necessary to separate even from our brethren in Christ, if they in turn maintain fellowship with unbelievers." The 10/95 Servant says separation from unbelievers and rebuke of apostates is commanded; immoral believers are to be disciplined; disorderly, disobedient, and divisive believers are to be avoided.
BLOESCH'S NEOORTHODOXY—Dr. Donald Bloesch is Emeritus Prof. of Theology at the Univ. of Dubuque Theol. Seminary. In a recent book, he insists that the Bible has errors (1/1 CC). A Trinity Review article says: "Bloesch's errant view of Scripture leaves him without an epistemological foundation upon which to base his theology." (10/23 CN). And: "Even though Bloesch attempts to distinguish himself from neoorthodoxy, his writings betray him. The shadow of Karl Barth looms large across the pages of his work."
SANDY COVE'S MIX OF SPEAKERS—Sandy Cove's (MD) Fall 1995 Leader lists a wide array of speakers for the coming year. Its 1996 Summer Bible Conference will feature: Tony Campolo, George Sweeting, Jay Kesler, Ron Blue, and John Ankerberg. John MacArthur speaks at a 10/95 Shepherds' Conference. ABWE's Wendell Kempton is the listed speaker for a Couples' Conference.
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