VOL. XIV NO. 4 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM February 15, 1997
C.O.R. REPORTThe Coalition on Revival was formed in 1984 and is headed by Jay Grimstead--a Fuller grad, charismatic, and former Young Life area director. It is a theopolitical movement with a 24-point "Master Plan" for implementing God's kingdom on earth. It, as Christian Reconstructionism, is strongly post-millennial. [BDM has an 18-page report on COR and Dominionism for $1: P O Box 679, Bedford, IN 47421.] Grimstead, in a Dec. 1996 "12 Year Assessment of COR & Year End Report," said: "Many of us believe the Church cannot fulfill it's God-ordained function on earth at this historic moment unless it first embraces and commits to the kind of Christianity outlined in [the COR] Manifesto." He calls for a series of global Church Councils where the world's leading theologians and Christian leaders meet to discuss 21 issues now dividing the evangelical Church. He says every city needs a united, mobilizable, spiritual army of Christians from every denomination and group, and a 25 Year Plan "To rebuild civilization on the principles of the Bible." COR has hired a new Administrator (Rick Johnson) and plans to hold a COR Worldview Symposium next fall.
JARS OF CLAY AT CREATION 97Speakers at this year's Creation 97 "Christian" rock festival include: Tony Campolo, Greg Laurie, and Luis Palau. Music is by Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Jars of Clay, etc. Jars of Clay, currently the most popular Christian band, has recorded for a new R-rated film that has nudity and 83 obscenities.
ASTROLOGER JEANE DIXON DIESPsychic-astrologer Jean Dixon, famed for her predictions on the rise and fall of politicians and film stars, died last month at 79. She rightly predicted that Pres. Kennedy would die in office, but many of her forecasts proved untrue. Dr. Noel Smith called her a medium. Alice Braemer, a former Dixon aid and traveling companion, said Oral Roberts was Dixon's friend for many years and that Billy Graham helped give her credibility (2/1/88 CC). We are to "test the spirits" and warn Christians of those who dabble in the occult.
PANIC FOR NEW SONGSThe music industry is doleful, waiting desperately for the next big sound. Teens are buying records—alternate rock sales are up 12 percent and rap is up 36 percent—but music bought by adults is down: Country dropped 12 percent; rhythm & blues fell 8 percent; and classical fell 10 percent. A 1/25 World article said: "Christian musicians may find new opportunities. But this will mean more than simply writing Christian lyrics to secular sounds. Those are the sounds that have become used up." CCM today follows secular trends and becomes increasingly worldly and degenerate.
JOHN HAGEE WARNINGJohn Hagee boldly denounces sin and the moral decline of our day, much like Jimmy Swaggart used to do. Two Southern Baptist leaders have warned that his "Two Covenant" teaching is heretical (see 6/15/94 CC). Hagee became pastor of the large charismatic Cornerstone Church in San Antonio following his 1975 divorce. He is popular on Paul Crouch's TBN and received his honorary degree from Oral Roberts University. He is listed in the 2/97 Charisma as a main speaker again at ORU's International Charismatic Bible Ministries Conference (June). Other speakers include: Benny Hinn, Marilyn Hickey, Oral and Richard Roberts, and Paul Crouch.
WCC DOWN-SIZINGA story in the Dec. 18-25 liberal Christian Century reported "WCC Faces Major Structural Changes." This includes the abolishing of the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches which meets every seven years and the elimination of the seven WCC presidents (1/13 Chr.News). Many churches have left the WCC, so this will alleviate the severe financial crunch for a while at least. But it reveals the utter failure of the WCC and ecumenical movement. The New World Order's United Religions (UR), planned to be formed in San Francisco in June (see 1/15 CC), may be the ecumenical wave of the future--networking with Catholicism, COR, New Age religions, etc. Sadly, the charismatics, new-evangelicals, and Promise Keepers seem to be "bridge-building" catalysts for a UR world church of Antichrist.
DANGER POINTS FACING CHRISTIANSA 1/97 Rutherford Institute letter said: "Our society has forsaken its Christian roots and is in the midst of a moral and cultural crisis…" It listed several "danger points." Pres. Clinton vetoed the partial-birth abortion bill and his people advocate the RU-486 abortion pill and fetal experimentation on unborn children. There is the danger that government will eradicate any kind of protest against abortion. Also lurking, is physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia for the aged "not fit to live." Government's increasing harassment of families by social workers on trumped-up charges of child abuse, and forced acceptance of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle are "danger points."
DUTCH EUTHANASIAEuthanasia is widely accepted in the Netherlands, but conditions are different in America. Dutch malpractice suits are rare. Patients cannot demand euthanasia. Three-fifths of all cases go unreported, and 1 in 5 of these is death without a patient's request—900 such cases in 1995 (1/13 USN&WR). This shows that once a doctor has authority to end life, even under regulated conditions, it will be easy to do so in ambiguous situations.
BAPTISTS CALL MERCER PRESIDENT'S BOOK HERESYMercer University, a Southern Baptist school in Macon, Ga., is embroiled in controversy over a new book by its president R. Kirby Godsey (see 11/1 CC). Baptist Book Stores have pulled the book from their shelves. The Ga. Baptist Convention has chastised Godsey, but Mercer trustees back him. He says the Bible is not infallible, God is not omnipotent, and Jesus is not God. He says Jesus "points us to God," but that Christian faith is about "following Jesus, not worshipping Him"(1/13 C.News). A former Ga. Convention president calls the book "theological pornography and Biblical heresy." O Timothy editor David Cloud, in a 7-page review of this book, says: "…[I]n this one book Godsey denies, reinterprets, or questions practically every doctrine of the Christian faith." [O Timothy is $20/yr. Address: 1219 N. Harns Road, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.]
MacARTHUR ENDORSES GREG LAURIECharismatic pastor Greg Laurie is perhaps best known for his Harvest Crusades. His Greater Philadelphia Harvest Crusade is set for June 12-15 and involves over 300 area churches. Some of his past crusades have involved Church of Christ, Assembly of God, Vineyard, Catholic, Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations. Laurie speaks at ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized Promise Keepers conferences, and at various Billy Graham ministry meetings. He is on the BGEA board. Yet John MacArthur (IFCA) has allowed Laurie to video tape him and use this as an endorsement for Laurie's Harvest Crusades. BDM Letter editor Rick Miesel says MacArthur justified his Grace Church's involvement in the Los Angeles Harvest Crusade on the basis that Laurie allowed Grace to train Crusade counselors and provide overall direction for the follow up process. [Send $4 for a 5-page report on Greg Laurie and a 31-page report on John MacArthur to: Biblical Discernment Ministries, P.O. Box 679, Bedford, IN 47421.]
GARBC'S CORNERSTONE, GRAND RAPIDSCornerstone College and Grand Rapids Seminary are GARBC-approved schools. Speakers for their Feb. 17-21 Bible Conference include: Drs. Jerry Falwell, Warren Wiersbe, and Bill Rudd. Falwell's and Wiersbe's new-evangelical credentials have long been established. Rudd is chairman of the GARBC's Council of Eighteen, and has promoted Promise Keepers (see 8/1 CC). Amway's billionaire president Richard DeVos spoke at a 12/9 luncheon hosted by Cornerstone (1/97 Bapt.Bulletin). Amway denies having occult/New Age links as some accuse them of (based on marketing of books promoting this). Cornerstone again sponsored Project Angel Tree children (a Chuck Colson/Steven Curtis Chapman ministry) during the recent Christmas season. Dino performs at Cornerstone Mar. 23. He for years was pianist for Kathryn Kuhlman, a divorced charismatic preacher.
BARCLAY A HERETIC & UNIVERSALISTBritish theologian and Scottish preacher William Barclay saw Christ as a good man adopted by God as his Son, but denied the deity and miracles of Christ and his substitutionary atonement. The 1/97 Evangelical Times documented Barclay's denials from his books (1/97 Australian Beacon). It quoted him as saying: "I am a convinced universalist…", and quoted Lloyd-Jones as saying Barclay was "the most dangerous man in Christendom." Barclay said pain and suffering are not the will of God for His children, and thought such a suggestion was blasphemous. He viewed the Bible as a badly flawed document and denied its divine inspiration. Yet his books and commentaries are sold in most Christian bookstores, advertised in new-evangelical papers, and he is favorably quoted by many new-evangelical leaders of our day.
SMITH, LIGHTNER DEFEND FALWELLLiberty University board member and former SBC president Bailey Smith defends Jerry Falwell in the Feb. National Liberty Journal against the recent "Christianity Today hate article" (see 1/15 CC). He says "Jerry Falwell is the greatest" man of God he has known. Dallas Seminary Prof. Robert Lightner (GARBC) also has a letter to CT's David Neff decrying CT's "put down" of Falwell and LU. He said: "By stark contrast you gave a loving, gracious, understanding, conciliatory, apologetic, treatment of Lesslie Newbigin. This despite the fact that most of his adult life has been spent advancing the ecumenical cause of the theologically liberal World Council of Churches…." Defending liberals is nothing new for CT.
LIBERTY TO FEATURE HOLYFIELD, NEWSBOYSLiberty University this spring will have heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, a "disciple" and financial supporter of charismatic Benny Hinn, as one of its "distinguished convocation speakers." LU has also booked a concert by the Newsboys. A 9/96 Charisma article said the Newsboys "speak in a language called rock 'n' roll…" and "are translating the gospel into the language of rock 'n' roll for an alienated youth culture."
A TWO-FOLD DUTYPaul the apostle in Titus 1 reminds preachers of a two-fold ministry: to encourage others by sound doctrine, and to rebuke those who oppose it. Sound doctrine must be proclaimed, but the error of opposers must be exposed. Many Fundamentalists of our day increasingly seem to consider the latter duty optional. Toleration is the word. Spurgeon said: "Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it."
HYBELS TO SPEAK FOR AMERICAN BAPTISTSRev. Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago, is a special speaker for the liberal American Baptist Churches' biennial meeting June 24-27 in Indianapolis. ABC President Dr. G. Elaine Smith is also a speaker. Dr. Molly T. Marshall, formerly a controversial liberal professor at SBC's Southern Seminary in Louisville, will lead a Bible study.
GEISLER PRESIDENT OF SEMINARYDr. Norman L. Geisler recently assumed the Presidency of Southern Evangelical Seminary, Charlotte, NC. He had been Dean of this school that he co-founded with Ross Rhoads, who served as its first president until assuming duties with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (1/13 Chr. News). Geisler has said it is "a gross overstatement" to call Catholicism a cult (see 2/1/95 & 2/1/96 CC's).
GORDON-CONWELL LEADERSHIP CHANGESGordon-Conwell Seminary is a major bridge-builder between liberal Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, evangelicalism, and the charismatic movement. It has had liberal and Catholic speakers (see 3/15/91 CC). Assembly of God charismatic Robert Cooley has been its President for 16 years but now becomes its Chancellor, effective July 1. Dr. Walter Kaiser, who formerly taught at Wheaton and Trinity, is G-C's new President. G-C has an enrollment of over 1,000 at its three campuses.
FUNDAMENTALISM focuses on evangelism. It engages in a militant defense of the faith. Love for souls demands the protection of gospel purity. This involves, of necessity, a militant mood or ethos (Phil.1:7, 17, Jude 3, Acts 20:26-31). This disposition is watchful and distrustful of reason, philosophy, scholarship, history, and tradition (Col. 2:8). This protection demands the public exposure of false teachers and disobedient brethren who strengthen their hands…. [Bob Dalton, 1/97 The Bapt.Vision).
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