VOL. XIV NO. 19 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM October 1, 1997
WAS MOTHER TERESA A CHRISTIAN?—Catholic nun Mother Teresa died last month. She did "many wonderful works" in ministering to India's poorest of the poor. She was a Nobel Prize winner and a universalist ("we are all children of God") who told dying people to "Pray to whatever god you feel comfortable with." (4/1 CC). Billy Graham and Charles Colson have praised her profusely. But her theology bordered on blasphemy at times. She said of AIDS patients, "Each one of them is Jesus in a distressing disguise." She said "When we destroy an unborn child, we destroy God." She boldly and commendably spoke out against abortion to our president. David Cloud has a book, "Is Mother Teresa a True Christian?" available from: Way of Life Literature, 1701 Harns Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277, $5 postpaid. It deals with her beliefs and has an interview with one of her nuns.
WHO TO BLAME FOR DIANA'S DEATH?—A reckless, speeding, drunken driver was the most direct cause of her tragic death (alcohol kills hundreds daily). Indirect factors include: tabloid buyers, paparazzi, seat belts, bodyguard, and her boyfriend (may have ordered the driver to go fast). The list could go on. The treatment she received from a cheating husband (divorce, etc.) and his family, are other "what if" considerations. But don't forget, it was God's timing. Even with fame and fortune, sadly, the shy princess had problems: bulimia, despair, and suicide attempts. She was helping over 100 charities, but was going into left-wing things like land-mine banning and AIDS research. She was an admitted adulteress. We grieve for her sons and her death, but she is undeserving of public deification.
PERILOUS PORN PEDDLERS—The most profitable Internet sites today belong to peddlers of pornography. They expect revenues this year of up to $200 million. In March, over 28 percent of home Internet users visited an "adult" Web site (8/97 Moody). Children use public library computers to access pornography and sexually-oriented online chat rooms. Pornography's pernicious lie: it promises pleasure, but delivers perversion. It undermines morality, leads men to destructive sexual addictions, degrades women, destroys marriages, corrupts youth, threatens public health, contributes to sexual crimes, and ruins neighborhoods (Morality in Media). Obscenity is neither a First Amendment right nor a "victimless crime." Convictions for obscenity law violations have sharply declined under Pres. Clinton.
GAMBLING FEVER—Record numbers of Americans are becoming addicted to gambling. An estimated 55 million play the lottery at least once a month, spending a staggering $88 million/day on lottery games (9/97 Charisma). Gambling is a regressive tax on the poor who can least afford it.
AMERICA'S $100 BILLION ALCOHOL PROBLEM—There are 40 million problem drinkers in the U.S. - people whose drinking causes economic, physical, or family harm but who are not technically alcoholic (physiologically dependent on alcohol). Twenty percent of American adults are problem drinkers, compared with 5 percent who are alcohol dependent. In Wisconsin, 25 percent of residents say they binge drink. Alcohol figures in 41 percent of traffic crash fatalities, is a factor in 50 percent of homicides, 30 percent of suicides, and 30 percent of accidental deaths (9/8 USN & WR). AA has an estimated 1.2 million U.S. members. If alcoholism is a disease, why is the treatment non-medical?
HYBELS & WILLOW CREEK—Bill Hybels pastors Willow Creek Community Church, a near-Chicago megachurch of about 17,000 who attend its seeker-friendly services. Hybels says: "Monthly I meet privately with Pres. Clinton to provide spiritual mentoring and encouragement for him." (9/97 Charisma). Wheaton Prof. Gilbert Bilezikian, Willow Creek's theological guru and a founding elder, reveals that Willow Creek will not hire to its ministerial staff anyone who is not committed to a feminist/egalitarian agenda (5/97 NLJ). Hybels says: "We encourage women to identify and develop and use their spiritual gifts. We don't restrict any office or position in the church on the basis of gender." He said on some Sundays, women might be in the pulpit (7/31 Ala. Baptist). Hybels often speaks at Robert Schuller's church. He says Willow Creek's theology is like that of Wheaton College or the Billy Graham Association.
SODOMITES ARE NOT GAY—Phil Arms in his Promise Keepers: Another Trojan Horse book says: "'Gay' is a misnomer. I have never met a 'gay' homosexual. These people are not happy. Theirs is a world of dark bondage inundated with inordinately high rates of drug addiction and alcoholism. The suicide rate among homosexual men as a group is appalling. Many homosexuals are infected with four or five venereal diseases simultaneously". Arms says the worldwide AIDS plague is primarily a homosexual disease in North America. He says homosexuals could find deliverance through the power of an indwelling Holy Spirit if they would repent and cease their rebellious and perverted lifestyle. He adds: "It is a spiritual constant that when perversion among a minority is tolerated and condoned by the majority, soon the majority will begin to suffer the consequences that come upon the perverse minority."
KING'S NIECE OPPOSES HOMOSEXUAL BILL—The niece of Martin Luther King spoke out against a proposed Calif. law that would equate homosexual civil rights with race. She said: "No one is enslaving homosexuals or making them sit in the back of the bus." (8/27 Kan. Chr.).
PROMISE KEEPERS FRAUDULENT—A new book by Phil Arms entitled Promise Keepers: Another Trojan Horse says: "Camouflaged under the cloak of Christian ministry, Promise Keepers ranks among the most fraudulent, spurious and dangerously pretentious deceptions in more than 2,000 years of Church history." Arms never questions the sincerity of PK leaders, but says of Bill McCartney (Catholic background) and his Vineyard pastor James Ryle: "Their extreme, bizarre and far-fetched doctrinal positions represent the very core of Promise Keepers' origin, existence and agenda." The author analyzes PK's "seven promises," its Catholic-Mormon involvement, and Ryle's earlier claim that "God told him" that the Beatles were anointed to bring a worldwide revival. Arms spent 15 years as a Southern Baptist evangelist, and has pastored Houston Church for over ten years. While we do not agree with the theology, or practices, of a few men he favorably quotes, we believe this book is much-needed and would be a very valuable reference tool. It has 332 pages + 82 pages of appendices, etc. The cost is $15.95. Call 1-800/829-9673 to order.
McCARTNEY & CATHOLICISM—Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney was (is?) a Roman Catholic whose "conversion" to the Vineyard movement, a hyper-charismatic group with strong conviction that God is giving new revelation today, led to the birth of PK. In ages past to leave the Catholic church and renounce its doctrines would result in excommunication, branding one a heretic. During the Reformation, tens of thousands of godly Christians were slaughtered and tortured for rejecting the profane Mass (Promise Keepers: Another Trojan Horse, p.134). Yet the cozy relationship today between McCartney and Catholicism suggests they have not parted company at all (see 8/1 CC). PK openly endorses the Catholic church, takes no stand against its occultic practices/beliefs, welcomes Catholics as brothers in the faith, and has a Catholic on its board of directors.
PK'S 'FAITH ALONE' REVISION—Early this year, Promise Keepers changed "by faith alone" (for salvation) to "Only through faith, trusting in Christ alone" in its "statement of faith." This subtle change may seem harmless, but it was done to please Catholics. Catholics can accept that salvation is by grace and faith, but not by these alone. They mix works/sacraments with faith. O Timothy editor David Cloud quotes the PK revision (and more) from the July 20 Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic paper, and discusses the significance of the change. Contact him at: Way of Life Literature, 1701 Harns Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277, Phone # 360/675-8311.
JACK HAYFORD A PK ECUMENICAL- Jack Hayford is a tongues-speaking charismatic and pastor of The Church on the Way, a Foursquare Gospel church in Van Nuys, Calif. He is also a Promise Keepers supporter and speaker, board member, and author of the book The Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper. In this book he says: "Redeeming Worship centers on the Lord's Table. Whether your tradition celebrates it as communion, the Eucharist, the Mass or the Lord's Supper, we are all called to this centerpiece of Christian worship." The Mass is blasphemous. Phil Arms, in his new book Promise Keepers: Another Trojan Horse, says: "True Christians should feel a righteous indignation when they hear a teacher who is as widely known as Pastor Hayford say that there is no difference between the table of our Lord and the demon-driven, satanically-inspired activity of the Catholic Church's Eucharist." Hayford in recent years has spoken for Robert Schuller, Oral Roberts University, and also new-evangelical conferences such as at the Billy Graham/L. Ford Lausanne II, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the National Religious Broadcasters.
WAKE FOREST APOSTASY—Wake Forest University cut governance ties with the NC Baptist State Convention over a decade ago but continued to receive some Southern Baptist money. In 1993 it appointed "Mother Earth religious poet" Maya Angelou "Professor for Life" at a salary of $100,000 (5/15/93 CC). WFU has now designated 1997-98 as the "Year of Religion" and the program will feature speakers and topics on worldwide faiths. Featured in September: a Buddhist monk, a rabbi, and an Appalachian snake handler (8/31 News & Record). Other speakers this year include Tony Campolo and PBS newsman Bill Moyers. Bill Leonard is program chairman and dean of Wake Forest's new divinity school.
NEW GOTHARD REPORT—Rick Miesel has doubled the size of his earlier report on Bill Gothard (it is now 23 pages) and has included comments about a recent complaint letter he received from Gothard. Gothard is a 1957 graduate of Wheaton College and presents Basic Life Principles (IBLP) seminars to large crowds in cities across America. His ecumenical fellowship base is very broad and includes new-evangelicals and charismatics. The booklet is available for $1.00 postpaid from: Biblical Discernment Ministries, P.O. Box 679, Bedford, IN 47421.
POPE APPROVES OF CHARISMATIC CATHOLICS Charismatic Catholics danced in the aisles in Pittsburgh last June and celebrated 30 years of "renewal" (9/97 Charisma). These people speak in tongues and clap their hands. Pope John Paul II has given his official blessing to the renewal but few cardinals or bishops have embraced it.
POSTMODERNITY—Since the early 1960s, the modern world view was gradually replaced with a postmodern world view. James Grier told recent GARBCers: "Although post-modernity has many things in common with modernity, it also has distinctive differences from modernity. One of the key elements of postmodern thought is its belief that there are no known standards whereby truth claims can be judged as true or false or values be judged as superior or inferior. This means that no religion can be judged superior or inferior to another. Multiculturalism has become the agenda in politics, education, and the media..." (9/97 Bapt. Bulletin).
SEPARATION URGENTLY NEEDED—Ecumenical fellowships are leading us back to Roman Catholicism. Dr. O. Talmadge Spence, Pres., Foundations Bible College, says (8/97 Straightway): "Because of the increasing artistry of error and deception, men are compromising with apostates directly or through unseparated brethren indirectly. More and more former fundamental soldiers are leaving the battlefield from fright and fatigue, while others are leaving their former separated walk for doubtful platforms and unseparated pulpits. Ecclesiastical separation remains urgently needed as was practiced by our forebears to historic Fundamentalism. Scriptural sanctification demands this separation."
ACCC '97 MEETING—The American Council of Christian Churches' 56th Annual Convention is slated for Oct. 21-23, at Cedar View Independent Methodist Church, Kingsport, TN. Dr. Jim Fields is host pastor, and is chairman of the World Council of Biblical Churches which also meets in conjunction with ACCC meetings. Dr. Ralph Colas is ACCC Exec. Sec'y, and Dr. Richard Harris is ACCC President. Theme is: "The Challenge to Biblical Authority." Speakers include: Dr. Harris, Rev. Mark Franklin, Chap. Floyd Chapman, IBFNA Moderator Dr. Clay Nuttall, Dr. John McKnight, Rev. G.W. Fisher, and Dr. Bob Jones III. Panel discussion topics: "The Challenge of New Evangelicalism" and, "Problems the Charismatic Movement is Creating on the Mission Fields."
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