VOL. XIV NO. 15 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM August 1, 1997
ALCOHOL IS ALSO BAD—Over 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to smoking. (A forthcoming book says obesity claims 300,000 premature deaths a year!) But the same arguments used against the tobacco industry can be used against the liquor industry. While the number of alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. each year is placed at 108,000 (7/7 USN & WR), it kills people in their prime, often in car crashes. It deprives people of more years of life than smoking does. Almost 14 million adults abused or were dependent on alcohol in 1992. Thirty percent of suicides, 50 percent of homicides, and 30 percent of accidental deaths are related to alcohol abuse. Two-thirds of violent crimes are committed by perpetrators using alcohol, and many babies are afflicted with fetal alcohol syndrome.
WHO IS DR. LAURA?—Columnist and author Dr. Laura Schlesinger gives advice on a daily radio program to over 20 million people. She was raised without religion by a Jewish father and Catholic mother who often argued. Her "on the air" abrasive style offends some. She emphasizes responsibility, accountability, and character, and gives much good advice. But since she is the most popular woman in radio, we need a closer look. The 7/14 U.S. News, in an in-depth critique of her "ministry," says televangelist Robert Schuller has turned over his pulpit to her more than once. It says: "Schlesinger admits now and then that moral absolutes don't always hold...[S]he has advised callers against honesty...She breaks with Jewish law to condone homosexuality...." She is divorced, remarried, and has a strong belief in evolution (12/15 CC). The U.S. News article says she found her life's purpose by reading in Genesis about the covenant between God and man. She said: "I'm a priest and my mission is to help God perfect the world!"
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT—There are as many as 3,500 "new" religious groups in the U.S. today (4/7 USN & WR). The New Age Movement is an ecumenical movement of epic proportion sweeping our world today. It offers a menu of spiritual choices which can be combined like making soup. Pastor William Bischoff in the 6/16 Christian News said: "New Age thinking has permeated every area of society. Because it is so broad and diverse, it may seem difficult to pinpoint its basic philosophy, but such is not the case. The NAM is the embodiment of Eastern mysticism and has its origin in ancient Hinduism and the mystery religions of the Orient...New Age groups believe in the inter-connectedness of all things. All is one, and God is all. Therefore...God [is] in us. Man's great need is to discover the deity within [through] positive thinking, meditation, visualization or drugs...." For Christians, the New Age worldview is the same old ancient, occult cosmology used by Satan in the Garden of Eden to tempt Eve.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS A DISASTER—Something is terribly wrong with the public school system. Violence has escalated; the growing emphasis on sex education, environmentalism, political correctness, and multiculturalism has crowded out the teaching of fundamentals; God and His eternal truths have been expelled from the classroom; free love and free living often replace self-discipline and respect for God, family, and country; and "Johnny" often does not know how to read-write-add-subtract, how to apply his mind, or how to tell right from wrong (7/21 New Amer.). Many college students are terribly underprepared-some 30 percent have to take remedial classes (5/19 USN & WR). In a dumbing down and conditioning process, schools promote socialism, relativism, globalism and ignorance. To seize control over the child from parents, America's most liberal labor union's (NEA) official resolutions advocate distributing condoms, promoting homosexuality, and providing abortion counseling without parental knowledge or consent. Trying to save public schools by throwing more money at the problem is like trying to save a drowning man by giving him a drink of water.
FEE-FOR-SERVICE COUNSELING—"Imagine what it would be like if pastors were to charge fees for ministering God's grace to [members] just like the fee-for-service biblical counselors. There would be fee-for-service worship services, fee-for-service Bible class and Sunday school, fee-for-service hospital visitations, fee-for-service prayer, fee-for-service funerals, baptisms, marriages, etc. Before or after providing each service, the provider would ask, "Will you pay by cash, check or credit card?" Martin and Deidre Bobgan pose the above scenario, and say: "We say categorically that any biblical counseling ministry that charges a price is unbiblical." (July-Aug. PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter). They cite Lk. 10:7, I Tim. 5:18, and I Cor. 9:11, but also cite I Cor. 9:18 and I Pet. 5:2.
HONG KONG CHRISTIAN LEADERS MUZZLED?—Christian leaders living in Hong Kong hold opposing views on how to deal with Chinese ministries in the future. Many who were formerly critical of the Communist Chinese government reportedly have been silenced by mission leaders (7/97 Bapt.Bulletin). References to persecution and the house church movement in China have disappeared, replaced with more neutral subjects in missions literature.
HOMOSEXUAL NEWS—Increasingly, gay/lesbian couples are becoming foster parents for thousands of children left stranded from parental abuse, abandonment or neglect-3100 in San Francisco alone (6/30 C.News). *** Atty. Gen. Janet Reno has endorsed legislation favoring homosexuals, and received an award from a gay group in June. (7/7 CN).
SBC CHIEF TOM ELLIFF PANS PRES. CLINTON—Southern Baptist Convention President Tom Elliff in his June 17 presidential address at the SBC annual meeting in Dallas listed seven areas where Southern Baptists are "winning the battle, but must finish the war." On Sanctity of Life he said SBs have clearly affirmed their belief that life is a gift from God and their opposition to abortion. "But as long as any person of any rank would claim affiliation with Southern Baptists while having such a cavalier disregard for the sanctity of life that partial-birth abortion remains as an option...there are still battles to be fought," he said (7/8 Indiana Bapt.). This, an obvious reference to President Clinton's stance permitting partial-birth abortions, brought a standing ovation.
GRAHAMS SIDE WITH RED CHINA—At a time when our nation is flooded with various goods produced by slave labor in Communist China, America's "revered" evangelist Billy Graham and his son Ned recently supported most-favored-nation trading status for a nation which practices infanticide and brutally persecutes Christians (7/19 World). The debate in Congress put the Grahams against Gary Bauer, James Dobson, and Ralph Reed who all opposed MFN status for the "evil empire." Graham said it is "far better for us to keep China as a friend than to treat it as an adversary." This seems closely akin to the rationale King Jehoshaphat used to "justify" his disastrous alliance with wicked King Ahab (2Chron. 18). Jehu's warning (2Chron. 19:2) still stands.
PK PRO-CATHOLIC OVERTURES & DUPLICITY—Promise Keepers' board of directors at its March meeting welcomed Mike Timmis, a Catholic charismatic renewal leader, as a new member. PK hosted a "Catholic Summit" in June at its Denver headquarters. Earlier this year, PK amended its statement of faith revising lines [e.g.,"by faith alone"] offensive to Catholics. PK founder Bill McCartney told Our Sunday Visitor (a Catholic weekly, and the source for all the above) that full Catholic participation was his intention from the start. Fundamental Baptist News Service editor David W. Cloud comments on the above: "When questioned by 'Protestants' about Catholic participation in Promise Keepers, they claim they want Catholics to come simply because they want them to hear the Gospel and be saved...When questioned by Catholics about Catholic participation in PK, they claim they want to receive Catholics as they are as brothers in Christ without any desire to evangelize them away from their 'church.'" Ecumenicals such as PK, when forced to choose between doctrine and unity, ultimately opt for unity and forsake doctrine.
FOR ELCA?—Ecumenical proposals are being voted on this summer among some liberal denominations. Rev. Frank Senn, ecumenical officer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), frets about the potential impact a Lutheran-Reformed full-communion agreement would have on other ecumenical relationships (7/7 Christian News). He said: "I'm in the camp that says our relationship with the Roman Catholic Church has to be the most important agenda for us." He added: "We're the ones who parted company in the 16th century, and we're the ones that must get back together again."
GENE EDWARDS' TEACHINGS—Some say Gene Edwards is "obviously a mystic" and term some of his teachings "heresy." (See 1/15 CC). He believes churches should be administered by laymen instead of pastors (2/97 Christian Media). He was pictured in 2-page ads appearing in Charisma and PK's New Man (April) on a panel of speakers which included liberal Robert Webber.
CAMPUS CRUSADE'S LEADER, BILL BRIGHT—The 7/14 Christianity Today has a 10-page article on Dr. Bill Bright, the ecumenical founder and president of Campus Crusade. It mentioned that he received the Templeton Prize last year, and said "charismatics today are warmly embraced by Bright." Some evangelicals denounced him as a heretic for his endorsement of the 1994 Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) statement of mutual recognition and cooperation. Some ask him to recant his position on ECT but he refuses, saying: "There are tens of millions of true believers among the Catholics...." True believers will separate from the false RC religion.
BLACK CHURCHES PUT UNITY OVER DOCTRINE—Many of the 5,200 African-American ministry leaders who met at Hampton University (Va.) in June devoted their efforts to bridge-building across the doctrinal chasms between eight historically black denominations with a combined membership of 26 million (7/14 Chr. Today). Bishop Samuel Green of the Church of God in Christ said: "We're headed toward unity in the black church, where all our denominations will eventually come together, forget about our doctrinal differences, and work as one for the benefit of the gospel of Jesus Christ."
RCs HOSTILE TO EX-PRIEST BART BREWER—Dr. Bartholomew F. Brewer is a former Catholic priest who wrote the book Pilgrimage From Rome which tells of his fascinating search for truth and his journey (via Seventh- day Adventism and Charismatism) from Romanism to fundamentalism. In a letter to us last month, he reported opposition by Roman Catholics to some of his recent meetings in the Philadelphia area and said this could be a growing trend. Up to 32 RC protesters attended his meetings, behaving rather rudely, and some had to be dismissed by host pastors. He reported the "disgraceful opposition" to Cardinal Bevilacqua. Dr. Brewer has written many booklets, tracts, and books which are helpful in witnessing to Catholics. For sample tracts, send $5; for above book, send $10; or write for free order form: Mission to Catholics, Int'l, Box 19280, San Diego, CA 92159. To schedule meetings, call 619/698-1823.
NewsNotes—The Presbyterian Church (USA) is losing about 35,000 members a year. The Episcopal Church has suffered a 30 percent drop in membership in 30 years. (7/19 HT). ***Church attendance in the U.S. has dipped to its lowest level since 1940, per new Gallup Poll. (7/7 CN).*** Daniel Lockwood is Multnomah Seminary's new president, succeeding Joe Aldrich who left because of Parkinson's disease. (7/14 CT). *** Harvard University Memorial Church's gay pastor Peter Gomes says it has decided to allow same-sex marriages. (7/17 HT). *** China's president and Communist Party head recently said: "Our enemy is not those with guns, but missionaries with Bibles." (7/97 Charisma).*** Spain was recently rated the most sinful nation in the industrialized world. (2/7 Sword). *** Pat Robertson sold his Family Channel's parent company to media baron Rupert Murdoch.
DR. J. B. WILLIAMS OUTLINES—Dr. J.B. Williams is a veteran missionary and missions leader and a life-long fundamentalist. He has a large number of sermon/lesson outlines, some dealing with "defense of the faith" topics, available from Pastor Robert Cunningham, Metropolitan Baptist Church, 1315 Old Woodbine Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30319. He requests only postage reimbursement. We suggest $2 for a packet of some of this helpful material.
DR. BEN BYRD BOOKLET—Pastor Ben A. Byrd, Pres. of Bread of Life Ministries, has a booklet of 4 sermons "Truths Worth Knowing" (also other booklets/writings) available from him at: PO Box 1467, Hickory, NC 28603.
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