VOL. XIII NO. 9 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM May 1, 1996
DIVORCE—California was the first state to adopt
the "no-fault" divorce concept, which is now the basis of divorce law
all 50 states. Under California's 1969 Family Law Act, a marriage could
be dissolved if either partner cited "irreconcilable differences which
have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage."(4/4 C.Today).
Divorces have skyrocketed--tripled since 1960 to almost 1.2 million
After peaking at 1,213,000 divorces in 1981, the numbers and rates of
have leveled off, in large part because more unmarried couples are
One-quarter of female and one-fifth of male clergy have been divorced,
per a 1995 study by Hartford Seminary.
THE DUTCH REVERSE LAX DRUG LAWS—The Dutch now believe that their 20-year experiment with lax drug laws has gone too far, and have reversed course (4/15 USN&WR). Parliament halved the number of shops where soft drugs can be bought, and limited purchases to 5 grams. The turnaround was prompted by pressure from Germany and France, weary of the flow of drugs from the Netherlands, and also by a growing backlash in Amsterdam at the rising tide of drug-related crime.
SCHOLARS SEARCH FOR JESUS—Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News all featured "Jesus" on the cover of their magazines in April. But the stories hardly honored Him. Unbelieving liberal "scholars" of the Jesus Seminar deny that Jesus said 80 percent of the words attributed to Him in the Bible--was not born of a virgin, did not rise. Jesus Seminar leader Robert Funk says "Christianity as we have known it is anemic and wasting away," that it's time to "reinvent Christianity."(4/8 Chr.News). Liberals are opening a new debate and "rethinking" the resurrection. A Barna Research Group survey finds that 30 per cent of "born again" Christians do not believe that Jesus came back to physical life after he was crucified." But belief in the resurrection is a vital part of salvation (Rom. 10:9, etc.).
CHURCHES, RABBIS, APPROVE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE—Mainline churches such as the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have been allowing same-sex marriages to take place for years (4/8 Chr.News). Bishop Spong, Tony Campolo, and others have long promoted acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. Last month the Central Conference of American Rabbis from the Reform branch of Judaism voted to approve same-sex marriages among their homosexual members. And San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown presided over a first of its kind mass wedding of 175 homosexual couples, in a city-hall civil ceremony.
PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS: BRUTAL CHILD MURDER—The late-term partial-birth abortion procedure is a gruesome form of child murder. It involves partially extracting a baby, legs first, then stabbing the infant at the base of the skull with medical scissors, widening the wound, and inserting a catheter to suction out the brain and collapse the skull, killing the child (4/6 World). Of the nation's 1.3 million abortions in 1993, about 13,300 were performed after the 21st week of gestation, according to the CDC.
DOBSON PAPER TEACHES THEISTIC EVOLUTION?—Dr. James Dobson doesn't want to be called a "theistic evolutionist" but an article by Marlo Schalesky in Dobson's 3/96 "Teachers In Focus" seems to suggest theistic evolution. In a "Teaching evolutionary theory without scrapping Scripture" article, Schalesky said the "Bible doesn't really say one way or another" whether God "poofed" everything into existence, or used some kind of evolutionary process. Send $12 for a 90-min. tape of two radio talk show interviews with Dr. Cathy Burns concerning Dr. Dobson's ministry (and other information), to: Sharing, 212 E. 7th St., Mt. Carmel, PA 17851.
BDM REPORTS ON MacARTHUR, DOBSON, PK—Rick Miesel has updated reports on John MacArthur(29 pages), James Dobson (19 pages), and Promise Keepers (21 pages), for $2 each (postpaid). Write: BDM, P.O. Box 679, Bedford, IN 47421.
HUMANISM BOOKLET—"In 1961 the U.S. Supreme Court declared Humanism to be a RELIGION (case of Torcaso vs. Watkins). Now you say, 'If Humanism is a religion, such as Judaism, Christianity, etc., where are the Humanist churches, the headquarters, the Mother Church?' My answer: The public school classrooms have been misappropriated by the Humanists as their 'churches.' Their 'cathedrals' are the universities, colleges and seminaries...." Taxpayer funds promote Humanism/religion; the Bible is banned. These excerpts are from a 1986 16-page booklet available free, as supplies last, from: P. Cuddy, 1027 St. Mary's Street, Raleigh, NC 27605. Send self-addressed, 32-cent stamped envelope.
APOLOGIA is a fundamental Baptist Spanish theological magazine available from Rev. Jose Luis Torres, P.O. Box 6825, Salinas, CA 93912, $12.
VOICE OF VIGILANCE is a new and newsy little paper, published monthly by Jim Ollis, P.O. Box 1935, Southern Pines, NC 28388, $5 per year.
OMISSION—The "United Religions" article, 4/1 CC, omitted Bishop William Swing's last name.
ABWE CONFERENCE FEATURES MBI PRES. JOE STOWELL—A 2/15 letter from Association of Baptists for World Evangelization missionaries David and Wendy (Madrid, Spain) stated: "...We had a wonderful privilege of spending Thanksgiving week at the II All-European Conference in Southern Portugal where 120 ABWE missionaries from Norway, England, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary...as well as Home Office personnel gathered for refreshing times in the Word with Dr. Joe Stowell, III, President of Moody Bible Institute. David had been busy over the last two years in the organization of the conference..." Stowell has become very ecumenical in recent years and involved with Promise Keepers, Luis Palau's Crusade, Southern Baptist Convention events, etc. ABWE Pres. Dr. Wendell Kempton recently criticized fundamentalist "tabloids" for "abusing and bashing"; in essence, for exposing such new-evangelical compromise (4/15 CC). In his 1989 report to the ABWE Board, he said: "The strongest single evidence of whether we are doctrinally what we are supposed to be is centered in a single word....Love."
'LOVE' MISUSED TO COVER COMPROMISE—New Evangelicals espouse an unbiblical view of "love," divorced from doctrine/truth and obedience/purity. Fuller Seminary President (1950s) E. J. Carnell said, "the mark of a true disciple is LOVE, not doctrine" (7/15/89 CC). But Jesus and John made obedience the defining mark of love (John 14:21, 1 Jn. 5:3). James 3:17 puts purity (holiness) first, then unity (love). New evangelicals embrace a false view of love which allows them to disobey, in the name of "love," separation commands and unlovingly excoriate fundamentalists who expose their compromise. Biblical love operates in the bounds of doctrine and truth. New-evangelical "love" disregards separation commands, elevates unity above truth, and produces ungodly alliances and a diluted message. Jack Van Impe and others stressed new-evangelical love as they drifted into ever deeper compromise. Yet they very unlovingly criticized fundamentalists for exposing their compromise, calling them "unloving," "judgmental," etc. We must speak the truth in love, but we must indeed speak the truth, exhort and lovingly warn those deceived by error.
THE 'INBETWEENITES'—This is the day of the "moderate." It always seems to happen in a presidential election year. Politicians who speak with any fervor or certainty are "extremists." What we need, say those supposedly in the know, are people who are less ideological and more pragmatic. Let's occupy a middle position and get rid of the extremists. Let's elect someone as President who can "bring us all together." In church circles the same cry is heard. Liberals in the So. Baptist Convention shun that descriptive term and are almost always known as "moderates." The word "moderate" sounds so soft, so comforting, so personable as opposed to that scary word "fundamentalist." A Christian college president was asked recently how he intended to position his school. "Right down the middle of the road," was his enthusiastic answer. Kind of a dangerous place, isn't it? A car in the middle of the road will cause lots of accidents. Within the professing Church the woods are full of moderates. Years ago, W.B. Riley, a great fundamentalist leader, remarked that the Bible said quite a bit about the Perizites, Hivites, Jebusites, and Moabites, but, in his opinion, the most dangerous enemies of the people of God were the "INBETWEENITES...." [Dr. Ernest Pickering, Spr. '96, BWM World Witness]
FRANKLIN GRAHAM TO SPEAK AT LIBERTY—Dr. Jerry Falwell's 4/96 National Liberty Journal said: "William Franklin Graham III, son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, will lead the May 10 baccalaureate service" at Liberty University. F. Graham was recently named vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The 4/96 NLJ also highly praised and promoted the ecumenical Washington For Jesus Rally, Apr. 29-30, labeling it a "Christian" event. Bishop John Gimenez, pastor of the 5,000-member charismatic Rock Church (Virginia Beach), chairs this event.
CHARLES STANLEY'S WIFE DROPS DIVORCE SUIT—Anna Stanley, wife of Atlanta pastor Charles Stanley, has withdrawn her nearly 3-year-old petition for divorce. She says: "I am pleased to announce that Charles and I are making progress toward reconciling our marriage differences. This past week I canceled my petition for divorce....Although we are not living together at this time, we are working toward that end...." (3/26 Indiana Bapt.). Hopefully this matter can soon be put to rest. Some think this is not a proper subject for media treatment. The 3/23 World said: "But when a Christian leader makes wide use of print and electronic media to win the support of the Christian public well beyond his own local church, that same Christian public has a right to know what's going on in that leader's life." But in doing this, we must be factual and avoid tawdry sensationalism.
MBI'S STOWELL SPEAKS AT PROMISE KEEPERS—Dr. Joseph Stowell, president of Moody Bible Institute, spoke on "The Pastor and His Family" at the recent Promise Keepers clergy rally in Atlanta. Dr. Ralph Colas said: "[Stowell] told the clergymen the same thing he had shared at the PK's Detroit Rally in 1995, how when he was driving he 'saw the Holy Spirit sitting on my steering wheel.' Stowell then added, 'not really--don't tell anyone'...." Dr. Bruce Caldwell said of Stowell's participation in this PK meeting (3/11 Chr.News): "It was sad to me to see Moody involved with such a charismatic disaster. D.L. Moody would have rejected Promise Keepers. The music...was satanic...." Caldwell said PK is engaging in joint worship with Roman Catholics and putting unity above doctrine.
FBF & IBF MEET IN JUNE—Mark your calendars for two annual conferences next month. The FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP meets at Bethel Baptist Church, Schaumburg, Ill., June 11-13. Speakers include FBF Pres. Dr. Rod Bell, Drs. Bob Jones, Phil Shuler, Mark Minnick, Les Ollila, J.B. Williams, E.R. Jordan, Frank Bumpus (host pastor), John & Wayne Van Gelderen, Bob Taylor, and Mike Harding. A symposium on "Symptoms of Neo-Evangelicalism" features Drs. Bell, Bud Weniger, Collins Glenn, and Jim Singleton. For more info, call 847/885-3230. *** The INDEPENDENT BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP of No. America meets at Quality Inn, Lancaster, Pa., June 18-20. Dr. L. Duane Brown is Moderator, Rev. Jerry Johnson is Host Comm. Chairman (717/633-1479). There is a symposium on Christian Colleges, a panel on current issues, and a political insight hour (with John Stormer). Bible message topics will include Secondary Separation, a Critique of Progressive Dispensationalism, and the Anabaptists.
TAMMY FAYE'S WOES—Jim Bakker's former wife and PTL partner, Tammy Faye, divorced him and married former PTL contractor Roe Messner, who now has prostate cancer and was recently convicted of bankruptcy fraud. Bakker is now out of prison. Tammy had surgery for colon cancer in March.
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