VOL. XIV NO. 7 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM April 1, 1997
ABORTION EXPERT LIED-Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers which represents some 200 independently owned abortion businesses, in a Feb. 25 interview said he "lied through his teeth" when he said on Nightline that partial-birth abortions are rare and confined to serious threats to mother and fetus. He knew at the time that thousands of such abortions are done each year, most on healthy mothers and babies (3/7 H. Events). He now says telling the lies made him "physically ill." He said he lied because he feared the truth would damage the abortion rights cause. President Clinton's veto of a bill to ban partial-birth abortions, the brutal stabbing of a 90%-born baby in the birth canal, was predicated on a lie.
TOBACCO & BOOZETobacco products kill over 400,000 people each year. That's more than the combined deaths due to AIDS, car accidents, alcohol, homicide, illegal drugs, suicide and fires (1/6 USN & WR). Tobacco causes approximately 115,000 "spontaneous abortions" every year. If it doesn't get the fetus in the womb, it may get the baby in the crib. Maternal smoking alone is responsible for an estimated 1,200 to 2,200 deaths each year from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (3/97 Christian View of the News). Meanwhile, alcohol is the leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24 (3/4 Indiana Bap.). They die in alcohol related car crashes, drownings, fires, homicides, and suicides.
BUILDING BRIDGES: CHRISTIANITY & ISLAMFouad Elias Accad, in a new NAVPRESS book by the above title, gives many helpful hints for dialoguing with Muslims. But he starts from a false premise. He says (back cover): "Muslims and Christians worship one God.", implying it is the same God. Thus in his passion to build bridges [he died in 1994] and bring the Christian and Muslim communities together, he makes dangerous concessions. He says "beware of the words 'evangelism,' 'missions,' and 'convert.'" and says be "careful not to quote John 3:16 unnecessarily." He asks: "Have we done our part" for the salvation of our lives? There is some good advice and insights, but read with care. We are not to build "bridges" between truth and error.
'BUDDHA' IN A BAPTIST CHURCH?Rev. Tim McDonald has no problem allowing Buddhists to worship a different divinity in his Baptist church's annex. Konomu Utsumi, a Buddhist monk from Japan, established a small temple with a gold shrine to Buddha in the annex of First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta five years ago (1/11 Houston Chronicle). McDonald said: "They worship an idol god, but that god has some of the same principles of love and compassion as our unseen God." He added: "Jesus never called himself a Christian. That's the label we put on it." It is blasphemous to compare God to an idol!
TEMPLETON PRIZE GOES TO HINDU NEW-AGERThe $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion was awarded last month to Pandurang Shastri Athavale, the founder of a spiritual movement that has reached nearly 100,000 villages in India with the message that God is greater than class or religious divisions and is present in all people. He leads a self-knowledge movement based on Hinduism's Bhagavad Gita and urges people to recognize the presence of God within themselves and their neighbors, and that all persons are divine brothers and sisters in the family of God. Previous winners of this prize include Bill Bright, Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, and Mother Teresa.
MOTHER TERESA'S SUCCESSOR CHOSENCatholic nun Mother Teresa, 86, is stepping down from leading the Missionaries of Charity. It has over 4,000 nuns and runs 517 orphanages, homes for poor, AIDS hospices, etc. (3/13 H. Times). Her successor is Sister Nirmala, a Hindu convert to Catholicism. It is feared she won't have the fundraising savvy and close ties to the Pope of Mother Teresa. Chuck Colson praises Mother Teresa, calls her a great Christian, and his sister in Christ (11/15 CC). But others say she is a universalist who tells dying people to "Pray to whatever god you feel comfortable with." O Timothy editor David Cloud has interviewed her coworkers and says she is "anything but an Evangelical Christian." He says she is a self-sacrificing woman who is following a false religion.
CHAVIS JOINS NATION OF ISLAMBenjamin Chavis announced in Feb. that he has joined Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam and has changed his name to Chavis Muhammad. He recently served as executive director of the NAACP. Christian News for years has exposed the anti- Christian and radical views of Chavis, an immoral United Church of Christ clergyman who denied historic Christianity.
BARBOUR DROPS SUIT AGAINST CHRISTIAN NEWSDr. Joseph Barbour has resigned from the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod's clergy roster and as a Concordia Seminary professor. He has dismissed his suit against Lutheran News, Inc. and Rev. Herman Otten, editor of Christian News. CN had exposed the "voodoo psychology" promoted by Barbour, used by him in a counseling case, and by his endorsement of a "Recovered Memory Movement" book, The Courage to Heal.
ANGLICAN PRIEST SAYS O.K. TO STEAL FROM GIANT RETAILING CORPORATIONSChurch of England priest Rev. John Papworth suggested last month it was no sin to shoplift as long as the victim is a big supermarket (3/16 HT). But the commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," is an absolute one and makes no exceptions for giant corporations that "have run little stores out of business" as Papworth says.
GOTHARD REPLIES TO CHARGESWe received a letter in February from Bill Gothard, president of Institute in Basic Life Principles. He denied giving a "prophetic directive" at Bill Bright's 12/94 Fasting & Prayer meeting in Orlando, as reported in the 2/95 Charisma which the 3/15/95 CC quoted. Gothard said he does not believe in extra-Biblical revelations and does not give prophetic directives. Charismatics likely perceived it as such, so it seems to be a problem of semantics since he admitted to speaking out on the reported subject at the meeting. He implied we were untruthful in our charge that attendees included "liberals, charismatics, and new evangelicals." Pro-Catholic pope-praiser and "bridge-builder" Chuck Colson was a main attendee. Ecumenicals such as Pat Robertson, Paul Cedar, Adrian Rogers, Kay Arthur, Carlton Pearson, and Lloyd Ogilvie were listed attendees whose associations would place them in one of the above categories. We quoted California pastor John Mincy (8/15/96 CC) as saying Gothard has Catholics on his local sponsoring committees and as workers at his seminars. Gothard denied having sponsoring committees, but let the rest of the statement stand. Again, semantics! A former FBF board member said (6/93), as we recall, that Gothard has become cultic ,promotes a peculiar kind of homeschooling, and calls himself a fundamentalist but is not. Gothard wrote: "I want to assure you that I am committed to the purity of God's truth and Biblical separation." It is sad and dangerous that one can be "committed" to separation, but not practice it.
LUIS PALAU & ASSOCIATESLuis Palau is known as "the Billy Graham of Latin America," and for good reason. He likes to preach on things Protestants and Catholics have in common (1/15/94 CC). In the past three years he has spoken for Promise Keepers, National Religious Broadcasters, National Association of Evangelicals, Billy Graham and Moody Founder's Week conferences. His own ecumenical crusades have featured Pat Boone, rappers, and rock musicians. Catholics, liberals, charismatics, and Source of Light Mission "endorsed" his 1993 Jamaican Crusade (see 3/15/93 CC). Moody Bible Institute president Joseph Stowell and Bill Hybels participated in his 1996 Chicago meetings.
DR. VAN GELDEREN'S HOME-GOINGFundamentalist leader Dr. Wayne Van Gelderen Sr. went home to be with his Lord March 9. He is survived by five children. Of the three we have met, Jim and John are evangelists and Wayne Jr. is a pastor. The memorial service was held March 13 in the latter's Falls Baptist Church, Menomonee Falls, Wis. , with Dr. Ed Nelson officiating (assisted by Dr. Frank Bumpus). There were testimonies by his children, and friends such as Dr. Bob Jones III. Dr. Van Gelderen pastored several churches, and for 27 years, the historic Marquette Manor Baptist Church (Chicago area). A special tribute was held at MMBC March 14, with MMBC Pastor Mark Simmons officiating. Dr. Van Gelderen served on many fundamental boards, including: Bob Jones University, Baptist World Mission, and Fundamental Baptist Fellowship.
BILL HYBELS' WILLOW CREEK MINISTRYBill Hybels has monthly meetings with President Clinton (3/15 CC). Sword of the Lord editor Dr. Shelton Smith comments on Hybels' mega-church, seeker-sensitive ministry near Chicago: "[I]t is one of the main sources of a philosophy of church growth which we strongly oppose. It is ministry based on giving the community what they want when they come to church, instead of setting strong, biblical standards. It is an anemic and flawed philosophy. Success must be built on the Scripture, or else we cannot be pleased with the 'success." We must not violate scriptural principles to draw crowds.
FULLER'S 'THEOLOGY OF PLURALISM' SEMINAR A recent conference co-sponsored by Fuller Seminary and the American Jewish Committee focused on how evangelicals and Jews view one another and the dynamic interplay between religion and politics in a diverse America (2/24 Christian News). Rabbi A. James Rudin, Harvard Divinity School dean Ronald F. Thiemann, and Fuller president Richard J. Mouw explored the possibility of developing a "theology of pluralism" within Christian and Jewish traditions. Pluralism teaches that no one religion contains all the truth for everyone everywhere. Thiemann is on the clergy roster of the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has been a strong defender of Peter J. Gomes, the homosexual chaplain of Harvard.
URBANA '96 REPORTSThe Feb.-March Foundation (FEA, PO Box 6278, Los Osos, CA 93412, $10/yr.) had reports by Dennis and Matt Costella on the recent InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Urbana '96 mission conference (see 3/1 CC). Urbana and the American Bible Society collaborated in giving each participant a free copy of the polluted New Revised Standard Version Bible. The NRSV is a gender-free, ecumenical Bible prepared by the apostate National Council of Churches. A wide spectrum of Urbana '96 participants exemplified the inclusiveness of this youth-oriented ecumenical gathering. A "Worship Team" provided worldly rock music with Christian lyrics.
35,000 EXPECTED AT YFC'S DC/LA MEETINGSEvery three years Youth For Christ holds the DC/LA Super-Conferences. This year it's DC in July, LA in June. Over 35,000 students are expected at DC/LA '97 the largest crowd ever. Speakers include: Josh McDowell, Ron Luce, and Buster Soaries. Music is by: Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay, Newsboys, and Steven Curtis Chapman. The list of Christian schools involved include (see 9/15 CC): Fuller, Wheaton, Oral Roberts, Moody, Western (GARBC), and Christian Heritage (David Jeremiah, president).
CHURCH OF ROME NOW A MARXIST CHURCH?A new book by Wilson Ewin, The Chilling Significance of Pope John Paul's Oct. 22 Address, says: "The Church of Rome is now a Marxist Church. Before many, it still proclaims there is a God; before others, however, it is building a close association with global atheists." This 32-page booklet discusses evolution, the pillar of atheism, and the one world church. Send $2.50 + postage to: Ewin Publications, P. O. Box 180, Norton, VT 05907.
MARY HAS ROLE IN SALVATION?Pope John Paul stated in his 12/18 general audience: "Mary intensely and mysteriously unites her life with Christ's sorrowful mission: She was to become her Son's faithful coworker for the salvation of the human race." (2/17 Chr. News).
UCC APOSTASYThe United Church of Christ tolerates virtually all kinds of denials of Christian doctrines. It was the first major denomination officially to approve of the ordination of homosexuals and lesbians (2/24 CN). It has endorsed abortion, and euthanasia and suicide in some situations. It allows its clergy to pastor Unitarian churches.
SBC-SDA ECUMENICAL SERVICESA church choir from a predominately black Seventh-day Adventist church and from two predominately white Southern Baptist churches (Huntsville, AL) will "break down racial and denominational walls" that separate them to join for three performances (one in each church) of the musical cantata "Make Us One," March 22-24 (3/15 H. Times). The SDA is still a cult (Dr. John Whitcomb lists six reasons for classifying it as such in the March-April BDM Letter. The article is available for $1 from: BDM, PO Box 679, Bedford, IN 47421.) Apostasy is still rampant in the SBC.
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