VOL. XIII NO. 14 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM July 15, 1996
CONDEMN CLINTON FOR 'SHAMEFUL' VETO OF PARTIAL-BIRTH
ABORTION BAN BILL—In an unprecedented action, eleven of the
living past presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention joined
in writing a letter strongly condemning fellow Southern Baptist Pres.
for vetoing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Catholic bishops had
a similar condemnation. Three "liberal" former SBC presidents (Jimmy
Carl Bates, and Wayne Dehoney) refused to sign the June 5 letter. The
said: "This grisly procedure cannot be morally justified....Your
rationale for an exception 'for the mother's health' is a discredited
loop-hole which has been demonstrated to include any reason the mother
so desires." They asked Pres. Clinton to "repent" of the shameful veto.
VATICAN & UN URGE UNIVERSAL HOUSING—Various pretexts are being used to establish the UN as the solution to all crises. Calls at the recent UN "Habitat II" Conference in Turkey for a universal right to shelter could subject any country to legal risk for failure to provide housing for its citizens (6/29 World). This was watered down in the final statement. Habitat II organizers said that in the year 2025, two-thirds of the world's expected population will reside in cities and many will be in poor countries. The Vatican called on governments to make housing for all people a universal right (6/8 Dallas Morn.News). It said: "The Holy See does indeed believe that adequate shelter and housing are a right of each and every person."
PAT BOONE: NICE OR NAUGHTY?—Crooner Pat Boone was once a harsh critic of the rock scene, but he now says, to get attention, his next recording will be a heavy-metal album, tentatively titled "Pat Boone: No More Mr. Nice Guy" (6/17 USN&WR). He has gone from the Church of Christ to the charismatic movement, and is now active as an elder in the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif. (2/28/93 Parade). This is Promise Keepers and NAE speaker Jack Hayford's church! The 4/96 Australian Beacon refers to a 10/95 Charisma ad for a "Musical Catholic Pilgrimage" to the Holy Land with Pat Boone listed as host.
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE THOMAS IS CATHOLIC AGAIN—Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a lapsed Roman Catholic for the last 25 years, has returned to the Catholic Church (6/24 Chr.News). He was raised a Catholic, but had been a member of the charismatic Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax, Va. (9/11/91 HT). His return to Catholicism means there are now three Catholic, two Jewish, and four Protestant Court members.
HILLARY'S NEW AGE GURU JEAN HOUSTON—A new book says First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton had imaginary talks with Eleanor Roosevelt and Gandhi. She asked Mrs. Roosevelt for guidance during sessions with psychologist Jean Houston, co-director of the Foundation for Mind Research. From Dave Hunt books, we learn that Houston got her start in life as a young girl deeply influenced by Teilhard de Chardin and has blended Darwin and Freud into a bizarre therapy. In some of her workshops she leads participants to awaken ancient pre-human memories. The 4/6/89 Wisconsin Report says: "Occultist Jean Houston fancies pagan myths and uses them to advance altered states of consciousness." Humanist Margaret Mead, a charlatan and LSD user, was her mentor. Pray for Mrs. Clinton. It is dangerous to dabble in the demonic spirit realm.
FALWELL WELCOMES 'PRODIGAL' BOB HARRINGTON—Remember ordained Southern Baptist evangelist Bob Harrington from the 1970s, "The Chaplain of Bourbon Street"? He "ministered" to hookers and strippers, toured the country in a huge bus donated by pornographic Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, staged a series of radio debates with atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, divorced his wife and married a woman preacher....Well, the flamboyant Harrington now turns up in Dr. Jerry Falwell's 7/96 Nat'l Liberty Journal and in his pulpit (June 9). Falwell says: "After shunning his ministry and family for years, Bob Harrington has recovered spiritually and is launching a ministry to backslidden saints." Harrington's son-in-law Dr. Chuck Kelley is the new president of New Orleans Baptist Seminary.
HIGH SELF-ESTEEM LINKED TO VIOLENCE—It is popular to link violence, hate crimes, and terrorism to low self-esteem, but not much evidence supports this. In a recent Psychological Review, three researchers conclude that a much stronger link connects high self-esteem to violence. They found that violence is much more often the work of people with unrealistically high self-esteem attacking others who challenge their self-image (6/17 USN&WR). Under this umbrella come bullies, rapists, racists, psychopaths and members of street gangs and organized crime. The researchers say it is difficult to maintain belief in the low self-esteem view after seeing that the more violent groups are generally the ones with higher self-esteem.
UNITARIANS SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGES—The Unitarian "Church" voted last month to support legal recognition of homosexual marriages--the first major denomination to make same-sex marriages official policy for its 1,040 congregations.
PROMISE KEEPERS: 'NO DOCTRINALLY DEFINED FOCUS'—A new book, Beyond Promises, by Los Angeles attorney and "Reformed Faith" author David Hagopian and Idaho evangelical pastor Douglas Wilson says Promise Keepers is an organization that "works in concert with other organizations which are the avowed enemies of a biblically-defined grace." [p188]. They say it blurs the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone. John Armstrong in the Foreword says: "Concerns have been expressed regarding the lack of strong doctrinal teaching, the proliferation of charismatic leadership and worship styles (emotional excitement is often equated with the presence of God), the overuse of psychotherapeutic helping models, and the increasingly ecumenical nature of both the meetings and the leadership of the movement....But none of these concerns touch the real heart of the matter. In the end Promise Keepers is simply what evangelicalism has become, a movement without a doctrinally defined focus, that can draw multitudes to exciting events but without a theology of the church that will build Christ's church in a New Testament sense." This 268-page book is available from Canon Press, P. O. Box 8741, Moscow, ID 83843; or call 800-488-2034.
CATHOLICS PROMOTE PROMISE KEEPERS—The new book by David Hagopian and Douglas Wilson (Canon Press, 1-800-488-2034), Beyond Promises, says: "Promise Keepers plays down the rift between Protestants and Catholics, treating it as unimportant." It quotes PK founder Bill McCartney: "Promise Keepers doesn't care if you are a Catholic...." It says (p230): "Given PK's position, it is not surprising that Roman Catholic leaders have supported the movement wholeheartedly. Assuaging any possible fear that PK is out to proselytize Roman Catholics, a priest in the Los Angeles area [said]: 'PK places a very strong emphasis on returning to your own church congregation or parish....'" The book says: "In the end, the official PK position calls us to transcend and overlook the barriers between Catholics and Protestants. By so doing, PK calls us to transcend and overlook the gospel."
WHAT IS PROMISE KEEPERS' GOSPEL?—Sword of the Lord editor Dr. Shelton Smith says: "I have not seen any announcement to indicate what their gospel is. Nothing in their documents addresses the subject. So who knows what 'gospel' they are preaching! Since they so strenuously oppose doctrine, since they abhor distinctives, what are they telling folks to do to be saved??? Since [their platform speakers] espouse a wide range of views on salvation, what will they say? I would not be part of anything that was so hazy on the great issue of salvation." [Send $1 and request Dr. Smith's complete interview on Promise Keepers to: Sword of the Lord, P. O. Box 1099, Murfreesboro, TN 37133.]
IBM STATEMENT ON SEPARATION—When International Baptist Missions was voted into existence in 1980, it included a section on Biblical separation which reads: "We believe Biblical separation includes: 1. Separation of church and state (but not government separation from its Scriptural foundations); 2. Separation of the local church from any affiliation or fellowship that denies the basic fundamentals of the faith, from those that practice inclusivism, and from believers who are tolerant of unbelievers; 3. Separation from worldly practices and amusements." IBM General Director Dr. Dave Sproul says "[W]e have not deviated one iota on any portion of our doctrinal statement...."
SBC NAMES ELLIFF AS NEW PRESIDENT—Southern Baptists at their convention in New Orleans last month elected inerrantist Oklahoma Pastor Tom Elliff as their new president--the first time in over 50 years that a non-incumbent president did not face opposition. The SBC passed a Jewish evangelism resolution and resolutions against Disney, homosexual marriages, assisted suicide, gambling, persecution, and the President's veto of Partial Birth Abortion Ban.
FBF & IBF CONFERENCES—This editor journeyed to Schaumburg, Ill. and Lancaster, Pa. last month to attend the FBF and IBFNA annual conferences. There was good preaching and some good resolutions at both. IBF Moderator Dr. L. Duane Brown graciously promoted the Contender ministry from the platform, yielding some new CC "subscribers." Dr. Brown is retiring as pastor of Parsippany Baptist Church (NJ) at summer's end, and plans to travel and do some writing. He is succeeded as IBF moderator by Dr. Clay Nuttall, pastor of GARBC patriarch Dr. Robert Ketcham's historic Central Baptist Church in Hobart, IN. (See 12/15/94 CC). [Paul Gustine is IBF Secretary, Ralph Weer is IBF Treasurer.] FBF '97 is set for Indianapolis, IBF '97 for Detroit.
IBF & FBF RESOLUTIONS—The IBF passed resolutions on Extramarital Unions and Benefits, and on U.S. National Elections. FBF resolutions: Fundamentalism and its Beliefs, The Blood of Christ, Promise Keepers, Ecumenical Trends, Roman Catholic Church, Jack Van Impe, Evangelicals and Catholics Together, Bible Translations and Heresies, Charismatic Deviations, Fundamentalism and Militancy, Organizations Profiting From False Divisions, SBC and Ecumenicity, Perversions of Grace, False Church Unity, Unity in Non-Essentials, Homosexual Marriage, and Separatist Fundamentalism. Dr. James Singleton was chairman of the FBF Resolutions Committee. Get Copies of FBF resolutions from FBF Pres. Dr. Rod Bell, 717 N. Whitehurst Landing Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23464.
GARBC MEETING—Per a report from one who attended the GARBC's annual meeting last month, in Lakeland, Fla.: John Greening was elected by a strong vote as the new National Representative. William Rudd is the new Chairman of the Council of Eighteen.[In the 4/1 CC, we said he was on the Council of Eighteen and Chairman of the Search Committee, but those were his positions the prior year.] All GARBC-approved schools and mission agencies were re-approved. Again this year there was no resolution on Promise Keepers. Twenty-six churches left the GARBC over the past year, and eight were added.
AWANA COMPROMISE—The following note is an excerpt from Dr. L. Duane Brown's final letter (June 7) as IBF Moderator: "How sad this once great organization [AWANA] has committed itself to compromise with the ecumenical National Council of Churches by chartering 36 American Baptist Churches. Our church voted to discontinue AWANA after writing for clarification."
BBF PASTOR SPEAKS AT PK MEETING—Billy Hamm, pastor of the Mountain States Baptist Temple, Denver, spoke at a Promise Keepers seminar earlier this year. He was listed with 30 other men in a PK brochure announcing its seminars around the country. O Timothy Editor David Cloud says Hamm has served five terms as treasurer of the Baptist Bible Fellowship, and has taught at a BBF-connected Bible college. Dr. Jerry Falwell's 8/95 paper had a largely positive article by Hamm on "The Promise Keepers Phenomenon."
FBF RESOLUTION ON VAN IMPE—The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship continues to look with amazement at Jack Van Impe's exaltation of the Pope and calls upon fundamental pastors to alert their people to the dangers of his ministry. For many years Van Impe practiced a strong stance on biblical separation, but in recent years he has moved to a non-separatist and New Evangelical position rather than a scriptural position on separation. Van Impe's radical change reinforces the scriptural teaching that in the latter times men give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (I Tim. 4:1).
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