VOL. XIII NO. 3 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM February 1, 1996
BACKLASH AGAINST GAMBLING?—In 1994 Americans wagered $482 billion
on all forms of gambling, 85 percent of which took place in casinos in
27 states, most of them built in the past five years (1/15 USN&WR).
Just two years ago, gambling was spreading so fast that experts predicted
confidently that by the year 2000, 95 percent of Americans would live in
a state with a casino. Instead, no state has legalized casino gambling
since 1994, and a backlash may be developing. Some cities made the mistake
of thinking they could replicate Las Vegas's success, but Las Vegas "succeeds"
because it is a tourist destination. In Tunica, Miss., results are mixed.
Welfare rates were cut by a third, but crime skyrocketed and most jobs
went to workers from Memphis. Gambling is coveting, a regressive tax on
the poor, and creates social ills.
'LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT FOCUS ON THE FAMILY'—That's the title of a new well-researched 32-page paper by Dr. Cathy Burns. After applauding Dr. James Dobson's stand in the areas of abortion, pornography, and homosexuality, Burns warns readers of some dangers in Dobson's ministry (promotion of Promise Keepers, New Age, etc.). Available from Dr. Burns at: Sharing, 212 E. 7th St., Mt. Carmel, PA 17851, $4.00 postpaid.
MUSLIMS MURDER CHRISTIANS, BUT DEMAND RIGHTS—The 12/95 Berean Call says: "Muslims can build mosques and proselytize in the West, but no one can build a Christian church or proclaim the gospel in most Muslim countries. One cannot even have a Bible study in one's home in Saudi Arabia, where it is officially the death penalty for a Muslim to convert to another religion. It is the death penalty in Pakistan to 'blaspheme' Allah. Christians are literally being crucified in the Sudan; but the United Nations, which recently condemned the United States for 'human rights violations,' says not a word! Of 22 Arab nations, not one is a democracy. There is no freedom of religion, of speech, of press or of conscience in Muslim countries, yet Muslims riot in the West for such freedoms..."
NRB 96—Calvary Contender has again been approved for press credentials to cover the 53rd annual National Religious Broadcasters convention & exhibition in Indianapolis, Feb. 3-6. This editor plans to attend as a member of the press and report back to our readers. ACCC Exec. Sec'y Dr. Ralph Colas likewise will attend and file a report. Speakers include: Senate Chaplain Lloyd Ogilvie, former Vice-President Dan Quayle, Alberto Mottesi, Kay Arthur and many others--and music by Kurt Kaiser, Dino, Larnelle Harris, CeCe Winans, The Imperials, etc.
WHERE IS MADALYN MURRAY O'HAIR?—We have read several reports in recent weeks concerning the disappearance of notorious atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair. She may be hiding from the IRS which is seeking almost $750,000 in back taxes from her son and daughter who vanished with her. She may be dead. Her family for years had planned to keep her death quiet "to prevent Christians from praying for her deathbed conversion and to keep her son William, now an outspoken Christian, from sharing in her estate." (12/95 Charisma). Sword of the Lord editor Dr. Shelton Smith observes: "...Wherever she is and whatever she is doing (if...alive) are unknown, and the world is undoubtedly better served if she stays quiet. But if she is dead, then her whereabouts is known because of her unbelieving testimony. It is a sad, pathetic story.... It may be nothing more than another one of her headline-grabbing stunts....Time will tell."
CHARISMATICS SWEEP BRAZIL WITH ROCK MUSIC—The 1/96 Charisma says half of South America's population lives in Brazil, and that evangelicals there now number 26 million. It says: "Long known as the largest Roman Catholic country in the world, Brazil now has the world's third largest evangelical community." But 88 percent of the evangelicals are Pentecostals. Sao Paulo's Church of the Rebirth says "contextualization" is the key to their massive growth. It said: "Knowing that young people love music...and believing that the songs and sounds created to worship the Lord should have the greatest positive influence possible, Rebirth's leaders became determined to create a music that would appeal to youth inside and outside the church." Their church-member musicians were not skilled, so they preached "the gospel" to their "druggie band friends" and brought them in. Today, 20 bands play at the main church, and another 80 play in their 58 satellite churches. Now, "Every week at the Church of the Rebirth, thousands of Brazilian young people move to the beat of funk, reggae, rap, rock and samba music."
DID YOU KNOW?—1) A U.S. court of appeals has ruled that schools can require students to attend sex programs (BJU's WITW). 2) A total of 303 Protestant and 38 Roman Catholic churches participated in Billy Graham's five-day Sacramento Crusade last October--his only 1995 U.S. crusade (WITW). 3) The U. Methodist Church is considering a radical change in its view of baptism--that baptism gives divine grace and that all baptized persons, including infants, should be considered full members of the church (WITW). 4) Rhode Island is the ninth state to extend civil rights guarantees to homosexuals.
NEW EVANGELICALISM AT CORNERSTONE, GRAND RAPIDS—Cornerstone College and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary (GARBC) this year again feature such ecumenical/new-evangelical speakers as Drs. Warren Wiersbe, Joseph Stowell, and Ed Dobson for their Feb. 19-23 Bible Conference (1/96 Baptist Bulletin). Wiersbe's new-evangelical associations are a matter of long record. Stowell is president of Moody Bible Institute and has spoken at Southern Baptist and Promise Keepers ecumenical events. Rock-music-lover Dobson (see 4/15 & 6/1/94 CCs) was Jerry Falwell's assistant and now pastors "mega/seeker" Calvary Church of Grand Rapids (the historic M.R. DeHaan church). Cornerstone also again sponsored Project Angel Tree children during the recent Christmas season. PAT is headed by CCM singer Steven Curtis Chapman (11/15/94 CC) and is a ministry of ecumenical Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship. Colson is a leader of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) movement.
ABWE & OLSON'S DAKTAR II BOOK—The Association of Baptists for World Evangelism is a GARBC-approved mission agency. It has long been supported by many good fundamentalist churches. But, sadly, some of its leaders and missionaries have in the last decade or two cooperated with new evangelicals and/or apostate groups (see 10/15/90 & 5/15/91 CCs). Dr. Viggo Olsen in his 1990 Moody Press Daktar II book praised or admitted cooperating with such groups/people as Wheaton College, Trinity, Moody, BIOLA, MAP, Christianity Today, Leslie Tarr, John Jess, Richard DeHaan, Urbana, Christoffel Blinden Mission, Bangladesh National Council of Churches leader, Roman Catholics, and the UN. Olson also said: "...[O]ne of our first principles is that we do not criticize another person's religion." In a Muslim country but can't tell Muslims they are following a false prophet (Muhammad), and that the Christ, whose deity they deny, is the only Way to heaven? David (Ps. 119:104, 128) said, "I hate every false way." We likewise should hate and criticize all false ways, but seek to point deceived followers to the true Way and Gospel.
OPEN LETTER TO GEISLER—Ex-Roman Catholic Biff Clement reviews Dr. Norman Geisler's new book, Roman Catholics And Evangelicals--Agreements And Disagreements, and in an open letter (11-12/95 Fund.Digest) to Dr. Geisler says: "I find these very ecumenical and compromising goals of yours and others..., along with agreements out there not to proselyte our Catholic 'brothers'...to be the snare of Satan! Dr. Geisler, you are fighting the wrong war--for the wrong cause--using the wrong reasons--standing on the wrong side--with the wrong weapons--associating with the wrong people! Satan would have us all agreeing to disagree in part and join forces with ALL false and apostate religions, working to find 'common ground' with each one. Then we'd be making deals with them not to proselyte the very souls who need to hear the gospel. This 'One World Church' is fast approaching through so-called 'Christian efforts' by New Evangelicals as yourself, and in all drives towards religious unity by AD 2000; in those who believe in an end time revival before Christ returns, in groups as Promise Keepers, in documents as 'Evangelicals and Catholics Together', in Latter Rain Doctrine, in the 'Christian Coalition', and in 'Kingdom Now'/Dominion Theology, to name a few! So, what may seem to be a worthy cause in working together with Catholics today as a 'great social force for good in America' (but minus the gospel), is really of the world, the flesh and the devil."
WHY FUNDAMENTALISTS SHOULD DEFEND THE FAITH—We are commanded in I Timothy 6:12 to "FIGHT the good fight of faith" and in Jude 3 to "earnestly CONTEND for the faith." The New Testament repeatedly warns of deceivers and tells us how to identify and expose them. Paul warned Ephesian elders (Acts 20) that "after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also OF YOUR OWN SELVES shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." He told us to admonish and rebuke certain disobedient BRETHREN. But we are sometimes unjustly accused of being harsh and unloving when we seek to warn and expose false or compromising leaders. However, when we are convinced that our position is right and that loyalty to our God requires us to take it, we can confidently not concern ourselves with such consequences. A fundamentalist not only BELIEVES the truth of God's Word, but is also willing to obediently BATTLE the forces of Satan which oppose that truth.
HOW FUNDAMENTALISTS SHOULD DEFEND THE FAITH—As we contend for the faith, we should ever strive to do so without being mean-spirited or unkind. We must "speak the truth in love." However, if we are faithfully contending, it would be unrealistic not to expect at times to be misunderstood and even ridiculed. Speaking the truth in love means loving the VICTIMS of deception enough to warn them of those who in the name of love are bringing about the opposite of their purported intent. Love, indeed, means loving people enough to tell them the truth and to warn them of those who in the name of love pervert the truth. Accordingly, our compassion is mainly directed to the uninformed multitudes and young Christians who need to be protected from deceivers and dangerous leaders. Our compassion then is not primarily displayed to these LEADERS. Jesus had compassion on the MULTITUDES, but publicly rebuked erring religious leaders. [These two items are from 1/1/85 CC.]
STOTT 'AGNOSTIC' ON HELL—The ever ecumenical John Stott and many other so-called evangelical theologians have tried to make a strong case for annihilationism (see 10/15 CC). Stott now seems to soften his position on this a bit in an interview in the 1/8 Christianity Today. He says: "In Evangelical Essentials I described as 'tentative' my suggestion that 'eternal punishment' may mean the ultimate annihilation of the wicked rather than their eternal conscious torment. I would prefer to call myself agnostic on this issue...." The Bible clearly teaches eternal punishment, not annihilation.
SOUTH KOREA'S MEGACHURCHES—Today, South Korea is home to almost half of the world's 50 biggest megachurches. Ten of the 20 largest churches in the world are in Seoul (1/96 Charisma). Several of these are Presbyterian and charismatic. The world's largest church, Yoida Full Gospel Church with 750,000 members is pastored by David Yonggi Cho. Arthelene Rippy (10/94 Charisma) says Cho struggled over whether to put women in positions of authority in his church. Today, women make up two-thirds of the 700 pastors at Cho's huge church. About 20 churches are planted in South Korea every day.
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