VOL. XIV NO. 8 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM April 15, 1997
DISNEY TV SITCOM'S 'ELLEN' IS HOMOSEXUALThe main character on the ABC sitcom Ellen comes out of the closet in a one-hour special, April 30. Although she is the first openly homosexual character to have her own show, there have been dozens of positively portrayed homosexual characters (3/22 World). The once family-friendly Disney produces the show and has overtly approved the script.
TV, VIDEOS FEED LUSTBaywatch is the most-watched television program in the world (3/1 World). This bikini-fest is seen by nearly 2.4 billion viewers in 103 countries. Playboy was the leading distributor of home videos in 1996. I Pet. 2:11 says: "Abstain from fleshly lusts." Sinful passions war against the soul and steal our passion for God.
HARVARD'S 'GAY' CHAPLAIN PETER GOMESHarvard's chaplain, Peter Gomes, is a black homosexual Republican. He is also Harvard's Plummer Professor of Christian Morals. He rejects biblical interpretations that condemn homosexual practices (2/24 Chr. News). He says: "No credible case against homosexuality or homosexuals can be made from the Bible unless one chooses to read scripture in a way that simply sustains the existing prejudice" (W.'97 Record). A 4/7 Christianity Today reviewer seems too quick to praise Gomes, and a former archbishop of Canterbury (Runcie) calls him "one of the great preachers of our generation."
BORK'S BOOKJustice Robert Bork's best-selling book, Slouching Toward Gomorrah, cites religious liberalism as a major cause for the virtual decline of decency, integrity, and traditional morality in many sectors of American life. Bork says the feminist movement has been permeated if not controlled by witchcraft proponents (2/97 Religion Watch). In seeking to protect traditional morality, he favors having the courts tighten up the current definitions of sexually explicit and offensive speech in the print and electronic media.
PK EMPHASIZES RACE, DE-EMPHASIZES DOCTRINEPromise Keepers continues to break down racial and doctrinal walls. It has drawn more than 2 million men to stadium conferences since 1991. It has 19 conferences scheduled for the U.S. in 1997, and plans a Washington, DC gathering for Oct. 4 (4/97 Charisma). About 30 percent of its 437 staffers are minorities, and a strong push is on to increase this. Race seems the MAIN thing; doctrine is downplayed for the sake of unity and racial reconciliation.
ONLY ONE GODAtheists, such as Madalyn Murray O'Hair, say there is NO God. New-Ager Shirley MacLaine says she (and everyone) is God. Christians say the Triune God of the Bible is the only God that exists (I Cor. 8:4). God's Word says He is the ONLY God there is (Isa. 43:10, 44:8). Let God be true and all naysayers liars (Rom. 3:4)!
SELECTIVE OUTRAGE AGAINST TOBACCOTobacco is addictive and harmful. Alcohol is this and more. It causes people to murder, rape, assault, and to slaughter thousands on highways each year. Many other drugs are also addictive and harmful. Some foods are addictive and harmful. Television and pornography can be addictive and harmful. Where is the outrage against these, especially the liquor industry? Cal Thomas said (3/26 H. Times): "I may be at risk from exposure to secondhand smoke. I am more at risk when I try to walk down almost any street in Washington, and most other cities, at night. And I am at greater risk, still, when I put my body in the hands of a medical profession that is rapidly abandoning standards for life and death."
MESSIANIC JEWS SHUN CROSS,CHRISTIAN LABELMessianic Jewish believers question Fuller Seminary's recent sponsoring of a conference on religion and politics with the American Jewish Committee, an implacable opponent of evangelistic outreach to Jews. An AJC leader, Rabbi A. James Rudin warned that whenever he hears the claim that "there is only one way to God," he hears an echo of totalitarianism (4/7 C. Today). But even many messianic Jews seem to shun the Christian label and the Cross of Christ. Many say, "I'm not a Christian, I'm a messianic Jew." The 4/97 Charisma says: "Also, you won't find a cross in a messianic synagogue. Stars of David are plentiful. The cross is a huge stumbling block for many Jews.It's synonymous with the symbol of death for all the wrong reasons." Without the Cross there is no Gospel, so Christians should not be ashamed of it (Romans 1:16).
HOMOSEXUALITY AT CRC'S CALVIN COLLEGEThe Christian Reformed Church has been embroiled in controversy in recent years over its toleration of beliefs in homosexuality and theistic evolution. But most of the over 30,000 members quitting the CRC in the last five years, were opponents of its approval of women's ordination (3/3 CN). Now, a special insert in the Calvin College Chimes has an extended interview with three homosexuals (3/24 CN). One homosexual alumni estimated that Calvin currently has fifty to one hundred homosexual students on campus.
MANY MEN MEANER THAN WOMENPK's Men of Action (Spr. '97) says: "America suffers the highest violent crime rate of any nation in the world. Of the 1.6 million people that are incarcerated, nearly 93 percent are men."
FREE HUMANISM CHARTA "Humanism/Naturalism New World Order Tree Chart", showing the New Age Movement's globalist, educational, masonic, UN, religious and environmental ties is available free for anyone sending a self-addressed, stamped legal-size envelope before July 1 to: P. Cuddy, 1027 St. Mary's Street., Raleigh, NC 27605.
NIV TO GO 'GENDER-NEUTRAL'?Susan Olasky in the 3/29 World said: "The New International Version of the Bible the best-selling English version in the world is quietly going 'gender-neutral.' Say goodbye to the generic he, man, brothers, or mankind. Make way for people, person, brother and sister, and humankind." She said by the year 2000 or 2001, if the 15-member Committee for Biblical Translation the NIV's controlling body has its way, the 35 percent of American Bible buyers who prefer the NIV will not be able to buy a new copy. But publisher Zondervan may choose to put out two separate versions as it does in England. The CBT wants there to be just an inclusive language edition here. Pressure for unisex language came from women who "felt left out" by traditional language, and from NIV publishers. Olasky said this fits with the trend toward egalitarianism the denial of any distinctions between men and women, and that women should be pastors and co-heads of families. Pro-abortion feminist Virginia Mollenkott, "a practicing lesbian who promotes adultery and repudiates the Christian faith" (11/25 CN), was a consultant for the NIV translating committee.
HYBELS CHURCH FAVORS WOMEN PREACHERS?Wheaton Prof. Gilbert Bilezikian, a founding elder at Bill Hybels's Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago, favors the "full inclusion of the constituency of members into the ministry, life, and leadership of the group." Such egalitarians assert that women should be pastors, elders, and co-heads of families (3/29 World). Willow Creek has had women elders since its founding in 1978. In the past year, the church has demanded that staff and prospective church members agree with a draft position paper which makes clear the church's belief that "when the Bible is interpreted comprehensively, it teaches the full equality of men and women in status, giftedness, and opportunity for ministry, despite "a few scriptural texts [that] appear to restrict the full ministry freedom of women."
MacARTHUR A SPEAKER AT NRBThe National Religious Broadcasters is an affiliate of the NAE. Speakers for the recent convention in Anaheim included: Franklin Graham, MBI-president Joe Stowell, Church of Christ minister Max Lucado, David Jeremiah, Beverly LaHaye, and John MacArthur (replaced Stephen Olford). Stowell, Lucado, and Graham have spoken at Promise Keepers meetings. MacArthur can speak at ecumenical NRB and SBC meetings and still be a member in good standing of the IFCA, and be its main speaker this year! Dr. Ralph Colas attended the NRB as a reporter and his extensive report should be available in a few weeks. He voiced concern over the involvement of the former Armstrong cult (Worldwide Church of God, Plain Truth Ministries) and its doctrinal statement. It is already an associate member of the NRB and has applied for NAE membership. NRB exhibitors included: The "Toronto Blessing" church, Voice of Prophecy (Seventh-day Adventist), and Awana Clubs International (for the first time).
TRUMPET VOICES NOW MUTEDMany who were once strong and vocal in their defense of personal and ecclesiastical separation have greatly mollified their stand. It appears that the notion is that some things that used to be wrong are not wrong any longer and some truths held dear and worth fighting for are not so important as they once were. The lines that were once clearly drawn are now smudged and barely legible. The voices that were once a trumpet sound are now hardly a whisper. A metamorphosis is taking place. Militance is being replaced with diplomacy. Values and priorities are changing. Militance which was once considered honorable and scriptural is now considered crude and uncouth.While we are "militant" and "contending" for the truth, we are to do it in a right spirit and for the right purposes. (Maranatha Bapt.Watchman)
NAE HEAD DON ARGUE POPULAR WITH NCC & CLINTONLast Nov., for the first time ever, National Association of Evangelicals president Don Argue and a Muslim leader addressed the National Council of Churches (see 2/1 CC). The 4/97 Charisma said "prominent Pentecostal ministers" supported President Clinton on Inauguration Day. It said that at the National Prayer Service at an A.M.E. church in Washington: "Clinton asked Don Argue, a Pentecostal to lead the audience in prayer" Argue has met with Clinton and other religious leaders on other occasions. He is an Assembly of God minister, popular with the ecumenicals and charismatics.
SIX MARKS OF FALSE PROPHETS:1) Through signs and wonders they lead astray after false gods (Dt.13:1-4); 2) their prophecies don't come to pass (Dt. 18:20-22); 3) they contradict God's Word (Is. 8:20); 4) they bear bad fruit (Mt. 7:18-20); 5) all men speak well of them (Lk. 6:26); 6) they deny that Jesus, the one and only Christ, has come once and for all in the flesh (1Jn. 4:3). Any one of these marks is sufficient identification. Dave Hunt
CANADIAN CATHOLICS TO JOIN COUNCILThe Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops voted in Feb. to become a full member of the Canadian Council of Churches, the counterpart of the U.S. NCC. Meanwhile, the WCC's financial crisis last year led to major staffing cuts, reducing the number of full-time staff from 237 to 189 (3/24 Chr. News). The World Council now seeks a common date for Easter for eastern and western churches.
CATHOLIC ECUMENICAL BRIDGESThe ecumenical movement today attempts to unify all religions. Pope John Paul II has been building bridges to non-Christian religions. Even Mother Teresa has the ecumenical spirit as seen from the book Servants of Love. She states, "we went every day to pray in some temple or church. The Archbishop gave us permission to do so. We prayed with the Jews, the Armenians, the Anglicans, the Jains, the Sikhs, the Buddhists, the Hindus. It was extraordinary. All hearts united in prayer to the one true God." (4/97 Proclaiming the Gospel). The New Evangelicals of our day are being enticed into this ecumenical "bridge-building" web. Instead of warning believers of the apostate world church, they embrace those who are building it.
FUNDAMENTALIST BRIDGE-BUILDINGMany Fundamentalist groups today, instead of building walls to protect young Christian lambs from the wolves (in sheep's clothing), are busily building unscriptural bridges with pseudo-fundamentalists, new evangelicals, charismatics, Roman Catholics, liberals, and various and sundry other apostates. Be warned, be wise, beware!
BAPTIST WORLD MISSION CHANGESDr. David Cummins resigns his pastorate in Warren, MI about July 1 to become Deputation Director of Baptist World Mission (Decatur, AL). He succeeds Dr. Ernest Pickering who now serves as BWM Field Rep. Dr. Pickering lost his eyesight last Nov. due to radiation therapy after 1995 cancer surgery. He has moved to Pa. and continues to write and preach. Dr. Fred Moritz is BWM Executive Director.
ACCC REPORTSAmerican Council of Christian Churches exec. sec'y Dr. Ralph Colas has attended several key conferences over the past year or so and filed first-hand extensive reports on issues of vital importance. These meetings include: WCC, Promise Keepers, Urbana, Fasting & Prayer (Bill Bright), NAE, and NRB. The latter two reports won't be available until next month. These are available on an offering basis, but please keep in mind that some involve tremendous travel expense. Order from: ACCC, PO Box 19, Wallingford, PA 19086.