VOL. XIV NO. 21 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM November 1, 1997
MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE—There is a clamor today for legalizing marijuana for its "medicinal value." It and tobacco share the same chemical compounds except it contains mind-altering, high-producing cannabinoids (10/13 New Amer.). Yet cigarettes are deemed more deadly, while pot is touted as a medical necessity. Other medications are just as effective, and without marijuana's side effects. Marijuana is addictive, and with repeated use, dulls thinking, affects concentration and ability to perform tasks, and impairs memory. Proponents never mention that chronic use causes permanent brain damage, nor its role in promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, high school dropout and failure rates. Rather than being a medicine, marijuana is a health hazard. Using it for illness is like a doctor prescribing moldy bread (has penicillin) for infection or cigarette smoking for stress or weight loss.
NEA SAVED AGAIN—Tax-payers are again forced to fund the National Endowment for the Arts, which has a long record of funding pornographic, homoerotic, and blasphemous "art." Congress in October broke a pledge to abolish the NEA, but cut its budget from $99.5 million last year to $98 million this year and decided to put its own representatives on the board that makes grants. Actress Jane Alexander now plans to resign as NEA head.
HOMOSEXUAL SCHOOLS- Walt Whitman Community School is a new private high school in Dallas, designed especially to shelter students who have been harassed and discriminated against because of their sexuality. The New York City public school system has had a high school for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students since 1985 (9/14 Houston Chronicle), and hands out condoms to students (10/3 H. Times). The Texas Eagle Forum may examine the sodomy law for the legal status of a school that openly condones homosexuality. Meanwhile, U.S. Catholic bishops say homosexuality orientation is not freely chosen and that parents should accept their "gay" children (10/1 H. Chron.). They encourage priests to welcome homosexuals into parishes and to promote support groups for parents.
POPE'S DIAGNOSIS OF BRAZIL'S PROBLEMS—Pope John Paul II visited Brazil, Catholicism's largest country, in Oct. and diagnosed its social ills as caused by an "unequal and unfair distribution of wealth." He has often called for a "redistribution of wealth" [Marxism] and condemned the gap between rich and poor. But Catholicism and Socialism are part of the problem and are not the solution.
CLINTON VETOES ABORTION BAN- Pres. Clinton, the "Abortion President," has again vetoed a bill that would ban gruesome partial birth abortions. An override is hoped.
THEISTIC EVOLUTION ILLOGICAL-"Some Christians may still want to be theistic evolutionists, those who believe each [creation] day may have been vast periods of time. In so doing, one still cannot escape illogical thinking. If each day was a million years long, how did insects pollinate flowers which were created on day three? If the sun was not created until day four, how did those plants created the day before survive millions of years without photosynthesis? Also, Adam lived through day six and day seven yet was only 930 years old. Clearly God created the universe in six, 24-hour days!" (Brian Young, 9/8 Chr. News)
PK OPPOSED BY FUNDAMENTALISTS AND OTHERS While the Promise Keepers movement is enjoying immense popularity from an assortment of charismatics, cultists, and new evangelicals, the number of organizations warning of its danger steadily increases. The Free Will Baptists are the latest to denounce "this ecumenical, compromise movement." Others previously issuing warnings include: ACCC, FBF, IBFNA, OBF, SBF, BWM, BJU, and GARBC. PK problems include its inclusivism, deprecation of doctrine, ecumenical speakers, rock music, psychobabble, and dividing (and draining resources from) local churches.
DYLAN PERFORMS FOR POPE—Folk-rock icon Bob Dylan "embraced Christianity" in the late 1970s, but returned to Judaism in the mid-1980s. At a recent outdoor youth rally in Italy, he clasped hands and chatted with Pope John Paul. Billed as the first "rock concert" for the Pope (9/29 Chr. News), it received his blessing. The Catholic Church chose Dylan because his music is "true and beautiful."
ELEVATE MARY TO DEITY?—The Marian cult of the Roman Catholic Church sees Mary on a higher plane than the Bible reveals her. Pope John Paul II credits her with saving his life when attacked by a gunman in Rome (8/97 Canadian Revivalist). He has shown extreme devotion to Mary and said "Mary, I am all yours." There is now a movement within the Catholic Church to elevate her to the status of deity. It has gained the quiet support of NY's Cardinal John O'Connor. It calls for expanding the Trinity to form a new "Holy Quartet" in which Mary would be recognized as the daughter of God the Father and spouse of the Holy Spirit, and the mother of Jesus (10/97 Chr. News & Views). Advocates have collected 4.3 million signatures for the plan.
TERESA IN HEAVEN BECAUSE OF WORKS?—Mother Teresa's death elicited immediate calls for making her a saint. Archbishop O'Connor of New York said on TV, "If she is not in heaven, then I am really terrified of dying, because of all she did." (9/15 Chr. News). Catholics teach a salvation by works. This is a false gospel (Rom.4:5).
WCC DUE FOR MAJOR CHANGES—The World Council of Churches, formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, is a fellowship of over 300 churches. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church, but is a full member of almost half of all national ecumenical bodies. American Council of Christian Churches Exec. Secretary Dr. Ralph Colas attended the recent Central Committee meeting of the WCC in Geneva, Switzerland and said a service there dealt with Mary the "Mother of God." He said that "Lord, may your mother pray for us" was repeated several times. He said the WCC's financial state has improved in the past year but that the WCC is in a state of major changes. The Russian Orthodox Church is likely to sever ties with the WCC before the WCC's eighth general assembly in Zimbabwe next year (9/29 Christian News). Dr. Colas's full report is available from: ACCC, P. O. Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015.
MILLIONS DECEIVED BY ROMAN CATHOLICISM Pope John Paul II has convinced top evangelical and charismatic leaders (Graham, Bright, Van Impe, Crouch, Robertson, and Roberts, e.g.) that he espouses and preaches the Gospel in spite of the fact that, while he uses much evangelical terminology, he still preaches the false gospel of salvation by faith plus works, plus sacraments, plus purgatory (8/97 Foundation). Praising of the pope and advocating of acceptance of Catholics as fellow members of the body of Christ, by these and other top leaders, is deceiving millions of Christians today.
PK ECUMENICAL BRIDGES VS. BIBLICAL WALLS OF SEPARATION—Promise Keepers' mantra (and 1996 theme) is "tear down the walls," "reach beyond denominational barriers." The unity produced by this stated goal is unbiblical. We cannot achieve God-approved results by using God-forbidden methods. Catholicism's works-salvation "gospel" is "another gospel" which comes under the twice-stated curse of Gal. 1:6-9. The peace and unity produced by PK's ecumenicism is not Christian. God-pleasing obedience cannot occur without the "dividing doctrinal walls" established by Scripture.
NASHVILLE'S NEW EPISCOPALIAN DEAN—Rev. Kenneth Swanson, the new dean at Christ Church Cathedral (Nashville), used to be in a "quasi-Hindu" movement that combined drug use with readings from the Tibetan Book of the Dead (9/21 The Tennessean). He brings unusual credentials to the liberal and emotionally reserved Episcopalian world. After his sect-and-drug experience, he is said to have become a born-again Christian and attended Fuller Seminary. He said New Age cults are so self-absorbed that the line between God and everything else gets so blurred that people start believing they're God. He favors church ceremonies for homosexuals once Episcopalians reach a consensus on it.
J. HAROLD SMITH: KIND WORDS FOR RC STATUE Widely known Southern Baptist radio evangelist ("The Bible Hour") J. Harold Smith had these comments in his 6/97 Your Good Neighbor paper after the death of his wife (9/97 Perilous Times): "The Methodists, the Church of God, the Presbyterians, the Episcopal Church... all of them were a help to me... One precious Catholic lady, some months before when Myrtice became so sick, sent her a little statue of Saint Christopher, the healing saint of the Catholic Church. Myrtice placed it on the night stand next to her bed and it never moved until her death, and then my daughter (Martha) put it in her mother's casket. Martha received an express package from one of her dearest friends [with] a rosary with the note, 'I have had this rosary since I was confirmed [at age 6], and it is the most precious thing I have on this earth, and I want you to have it.' Our hearts were broken. What love!"
SBC TO DEFUND BWA?- Tensions have arisen between the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist World Alliance, resulting in the SBC Executive Committee appointing an eight-man committee to "assess the manner in which the SBC should support BWA's work." (10/2 Alabama Baptist). Questions about doctrine surfaced at a July Baptist Int'l Conference on Theological Education. The SBC allocates $417,000 to the BWA in the current budget. That is about 35 percent of the BWA's nearly $1.2 million budget for 1997, making the SBC the largest contributor to the BWA. Many BWA member bodies have ties to the World Council of Churches (see 8/15 CC).
O. S. HAWKINS RESIGNS CRISWELL CHURCH—For the second time in five years, the most famous Southern Baptist Church in the world is losing its pastor. A power struggle with Dr. W. A. Criswell [senior pastor emeritus] drove the Rev. Joel Gregory from First Baptist Church [Dallas] in 1992 after only 20 months and embittered him enough to write a tell-all book. Now the sudden and surprising resignation of Dr. O. S. Hawkins has rocked the congregation and other Southern Baptists (9/27 Dallas Morning News). Hawkins becomes president of the Dallas-based Southern Baptist Annuity Board.
WORD OF LIFE 1997 SPEAKERS—Listed speakers for Word of Life Florida for this year include: Erwin Lutzer, George Sweeting (MBI), Jill Briscoe, Woodrow Kroll (Back to the Bible), Ron Allen, Ron Blue, Dan Gelatt, Martin DeHaan, Elwood McQuaid, Renald Showers, Randy Faulkner, Charles Wagner, Dean Ortner and Dave Hunt. Music by: Steve Green, Dave Wyrtzen, Steve & Annie Chapman, The Cathedrals, and Squire Parsons. Word of Life Schroon Lake speakers include some of the above (Wagner, Showers, McQuaid, Faulkner and Hunt) plus Earl Radmacher, Tom Mahairas, and Dave Breese.
SEPARATION IS SEPARATING EVANGELICALS—Dr. Chester Tulga decades ago wrote the following: "It has been said that 'separation is separating evangelicals." What kind of evangelicals? Is separation separating compromising evangelicals from uncompromising evangelicals? It should. Is separation separating evangelicals who want to collaborate with the destroyers of the Christian faith, from those who refuse such unholy alliances? It should. If this is what is meant by this pious but misleading slogan, then such evangelicals should be separated so that the true soldier may be distinguished from the collaborator with the enemy. Why the objection to distinguishing evangelicals who fellowship and support Modernism and evangelicals which refuse such fellowship and support?... "
WCG'S TWO FACES—The Worldwide Church of God commendably has renounced some Herbert W. Armstrong heretical doctrines and now adheres to a Trinitarian belief. It appears evangelical in many ways, and recently was accepted as a member of the NAE. But, the WCG still rejects the doctrine of eternal punishment, holds observances on the Jewish Sabbath, and accepts the unscriptural teaching of a second chance for salvation after death (10/97 Fund. Digest). Further proof of its flawed teaching on hell is seen in an 8/12 Christianity Today letter from a WCG Director of Ministerial Education.
M. H. REYNOLDS JR. CALLED HOME—Foundation magazine editor Dr. M. H. Reynolds went home to be with his Lord Sept. 3. His father headed the founding of the Fundamental Evangelical Association in April 1928. The ministries remain in good hands, as his son-in-law Dennis Costella has assisted for over 25 years and now becomes editor. Grandson Matt Costella helps with writing chores. Foundation ($10/yr.) and other literature is available from: P. O. Box 6278, Los Osos, CA 93412.
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