VOL. XIV NO. 9 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM May 1, 1997
PSYCHIATRY'S $40 BILLION FRAUDPsychiatry is the smallest department in the realm of health care, but is responsible for almost 90% of health care fraud--$40 billion annually! (4/97 CVN). It won't police itself and depends on government and insurance companies to fund its over-staffed clinics, unnecessary research, and greed.
HOLLYWOOD'S RELIGIONHollywood loves religion, as long as it's New Age, non-western. Richard Gere (who meditates with Tibetan masters) and Oliver Stone are Buddhists (4/97 AFA Journal). John Travolta and Tom Cruise are disciples of L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology). Shirley MacLaine clones are everywhere. So, consider the source when you see the Bible and Bible-believers castigated.
'GAY' AFFLUENCEHomosexuals often complain of discrimination in employment, but a new study reveals that 28.5% of homosexual household incomes exceed $50,000 a year, while 21% were over $100,000 annually (4/97 AFAJ).
CHINA CRACKS DOWN ON RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIESThe Communist Party would like to see religion entirely gone from China, but China's present policy is to tolerate it within the confines of government control. New decrees in late 1994 restricted religious activities of foreigners and this is coupled with a new campaign to shut down underground churches. A Communist party leader met in 1995 with leaders of the "official" churches and explained that the communist-designated "religious" leaders would be required to help "consolidate and expand the party's united front" and to ensure that "people in religious circles play their active role in socialist modernization better." (3/17 New Amer.) Not surprisingly, the "sanctioned" religious leaders promised to "contribute to national unity and the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics."
CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION RAMPANTChristians are the single largest group persecuted worldwide on the basis of religious beliefs (3/22 H. Times). Two Christian villages in Pakistan were attacked and churches and homes were burned by a hostile Muslim mob, Feb. 6. As many as 5,000 Christian homes were burned (4/97 Charisma). The top 25 nations in the world in religious persecution are: Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (South), China, Iran, Sudan (North), Yemen, N.Korea, Morocco, Comoros, Egypt, Libya, Maldives, Qatar, Algeria, Vietnam, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Laos, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Kuwait, Nigerian (No.), and United Arab Emirates (4/5 Berea Bapt. Banner). In over 60 countries worldwide, Christians are harassed, abused, arrested, tortured or executed specifically because of their faith. Christian worship is banned in Saudi Arabia (3/31 C. News). It's illegal to wear a cross or to utter a Christian prayer.
HYBELS, CAMPOLO PRAISE CLINTONBill Hybels meets with Pres. Clinton on a regular monthly schedule. Tony Campolo meets with him about every 1-1/2 months. The 4/5 World said Hybels, on inauguration day, faced the President and praised "the wisdom and the leadership and the vision in your life the past four years." He lauded "the development of your heart, your increasing desire to know God, and to live for him." He wanted Mr. Clinton to know "to the depths of your being that you are loved by many, many of us." Campolo said: "The idea that someone has to tell him what the gospel is about, is silly. But living it out that's the question. His position toward gays and lesbians is right." But President Clinton attends a pro-homosexual, liberal Methodist church and has consistently supported special rights for homosexuals and abortionists.
SHROUD OF TURIN A FAKEWhile Italians rejoiced at saving the Shroud of Turin from a recent fire, Holy Land scholars say the shroud revered by Roman Catholics and some others as Jesus' burial cloth is a crude forgery by someone ignorant of Jewish customs (4/13 Huntsville Times). They present evidence to support their charges (also, see 10/15/88 CC). The shroud's legend began in the 14th century.
UCC SUSPENDS CHAVIS, ANGLICANS BAN PAPWORTHThe United Church of Christ has suspended former NAACP leader Rev. Benjamin Chavis after he joined the Nation of Islam. (Ref. 4/1 CC) *** The Church of England has banned Anglican minister Rev. John Papworth from officiating at church services after he condoned shoplifting and admitted sheltering British spy George Blake. (Ref. 4/1 CC)
PRESBYTERIANS BAR ORDAINING GAYSAfter years of contentious debate, the Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted by a narrow margin to require that all unmarried ministers, deacons and elders be sexually celibate (3/20 H.Times). This was intended to ban the ordination of homosexuals, but has rattled thousands of single, sexually active heterosexual church officers who now must "repent, resign or lie."
MUSIC IS NOT NEUTRALIn his 1992 book "The Battle For Christian Music" Tim Fisher writes: "[T]he testimony against the neutrality of music is overwhelming. Where would Musak (the company that formats music for shopping malls, restaurants and businesses) be if music had no effect on people? Where would the film music industry be? If music didn't have such a profound effect on us, why would it be such an important part of our existence? Those who have looked beyond the current music publications know that no one has ever taken the position that music is neutral except for Christians in the last twenty-five years who are trying to justify bringing rock into the church."
ROCK STARS HELP GRAHAM DRAW CROWDDr. Billy Graham, now 78 and diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1989, plans to continue his crusades "as long as the Lord gives strength." The 4/2 Houston Chronicle said, concerning his April Crusade in the Alamodome: "More than 700 San Antonio churches representing over 50 denominations have joined together for the Graham crusade, which hopes to attract South Texas youth with big-name Christian rock acts [Amy Grant, dc Talk, Charlie Daniels Band, Michael W. Smith, Steve Green, and Jaci Velasquez] and a Saturday service just for kids." Organizers expected 250,000 to attend the event.
CATHOLICS SUPPORT GRAHAM CRUSADEThe 3/30 Houston Chronicle, reporting on the recent Billy Graham crusade at the Alamodome, said: "But the local Catholic community played a key role as well, a sort of payback for the Baptist show of support during the Pope's 1987 San Antonio visit." It added: "As a Christian leader, Billy Graham has earned a respect that so transcends theological differences that Baptists, Catholics and Presbyterians come together for planning, meetings and training sessions months in advance to prepare for a Graham crusade." This will likely be Graham's last South Texas crusade. Some predict he will end his Texas ministry sometime in the future in Dallas where he retains a membership in First Baptist Church (the W.A. Criswell church). Graham said: "I don't see anywhere in the Bible where God's servants retired and went to Florida."
FALWELL SPEAKERSDr. Jerry Falwell's 1997 Super Conference speakers include: Drs. Jerry Vine (Southern Baptist), Jay Strack (SB), John Maxwell (PK speaker), and John Rawlings (BBF). Dr. Billy Graham is still slated to bring Liberty University's commencement address, May 3. A crowd of 25,000 is expected. ServiceMaster chairman and Wheaton College board chairman C. William Pollard is LU's baccalaureate speaker this year.
FBF & IBFNA CONFERENCESThe 77th Annual Meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship is at Colonial Hills Baptist Church, Indianapolis, June 10-12. Host pastor is Dr. Bob Taylor. Speakers include: FBF president Dr. Rod Bell, Drs. Bob Jones III, Bud Weniger, Les Ollila, John Vaughn, Bob Wood, Bill Hall, and Tim Jordan. *** The Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America's Annual Conference is at the Royce Hotel, Detroit, June 17-19. Speakers include: Drs. L. Duane Brown, Richard Harris, Ralph Colas, David Cummins, Robert Delnay, Charles Dear, Lloyd Streeter, Peter Van Kleeck, Rev. Kevin Colas, Rev. Albert Richards, and Rev. Paul Gustine. IBFNA Moderator Dr. Clay Nuttall has accepted a position with Piedmont Bible College.
NEW PK BOOKLETRichard Teachout, a veteran missionary to French Quebec, has a new booklet entitled, The Tidal Wave of Ecumenism and the Local Church, A Lesson from Promise Keepers. He says: "I have ministered for over 25 years in three countries where the Catholic religion is very active and very dominant. Two years ago I began receiving many questions from people in my supporting churches in America, questions or sometimes even affirmations from those who believed that Catholics are actually saved and do not need the gospel. This was a great surprise. I have not been able to stop thinking, 'What am I doing here, if these people don't need the gospel?' Since that time I have encountered more and more people in my supporting churches who have come to the conclusion that it is a very good thing for Christians and Catholics to get together to worship and serve God together Bro. Teachout sounds a good warning against PK and Catholicism. Get this 36-page booklet from him at: 2650 Mont Joli, Ste Foy Quebec, GIV 1C6 Canada, $3.50 postpaid.
CRAIG BRANCH IS PART OF A PROBLEMWe have read some excellent articles by Watchman Fellowship cult expert Craig Branch. But we are disappointed that he says "to work together [with Roman Catholics] as co- belligerents against other evils is wise, prudent, and Biblical," and that he will speak in Churches of Christ, Seventh-day Adventist, New Age, apostate liberal, and Word of Faith churches as "pre-evangelism opportunities to bring truth." Brian Snider, a former Watchman Fellowship volunteer said that when Branch appeared on Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network [RC] to discuss the New Age Movement with Roman Catholic charismatic Jesuit Father Mitch Pacwa he told what's wrong with New Age but not Catholicism. Snider writes to Branch: "If you're only discerning for one audience what's wrong with the next audience on the schedule, I don't see how you're doing anyone much good in these dark days. [Y]our discernment ministry consists of pointing out the errors of liberalism to those who aren't liberals; of word/faith to those who aren't word/faith; of Church of Christ to those who aren't Church of Christ. Tell me how many churches you've rescued from apostasy with this approach." A physician tells a patient what's wrong with him not what's wrong with another sick patient. Somewhat similarly, anti-evolution expert Dr. Kent Hovind speaks at liberal and charismatic churches and tells them what's wrong with evolution but would not be invited back it he pointed out their main error. These are examples of a growing problem.
IS TOLERANCE A VIRTUE?The more popular use of tolerance speaks of accommodating beliefs and practices known to be erroneous. It's hard for me to understand how welcoming error into our ministries could be viewed as virtuous. That's why I cannot join evangelistic efforts which welcome as partners those who are confused about the work of the Holy Spirit, or those whose confidence rests in a religious system rather than salvation by grace through faith alone. Christ taught truth. Truth is absolute. Absolutes are intolerant. Tolerance is no virtue if it means hailing error or those who espouse it as friends and partners. Indulging error is not only contrary to the example of Christ, it contradicts the biblical doctrine of separation. People who eschew personal and ecclesiastical separation are seemingly unable to see the comparisons between marital fidelity and spiritual fidelity. Shunning behavior or relationships that would detract from the keeping of marriage vows is considered an honorable narrowness, a desirable negativism, and a commendable isolationism. If my vows to my wife demand that I be particularly selective, can my devotion to Christ demand any less? My love for God and His Word demand that I keep the lines between truth and error clearly marked. (BMM Pres. Gary Anderson, Spr. '97 Focus on Missions)
SAILHAMER WARNINGIn a review of Dr. John Sailhamer's 1995 book, Introduction to Old Testament Theology: A Canonical Approach, Dr. Robert Bell (BJU's 4/97 Bib. Viewpoint) writes: "After criticizing the evangelical theologians for following the Enlightenment's view of finding theology in history instead of in the Scriptural text, the author accepts far too much of the modern critical views about form criticism and especially redaction criticism (editors adding to already written Biblical books)." Sailhamer in early 1994 was scheduled to become Provost at Dallas Seminary after leaving Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, but plans changed.
CALVER TO LEAD WORLD RELIEFClive Calver, general director of the Evangelical Alliance ("the largest Christian organization in Great Britain"), is the new president of World Relief (3/29 Dallas Morn. News). WR is an arm of the National Association of Evangelicals.
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