VOL. XV NO. 2 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM January 15, 1998
PROFANITY: LOSING ITS POWER TO SHOCK? -
Prime-time TV language is saltier than ever. The main reason is the
increasing competition from other media such as cable-TV. "NYPD Blue"
detectives repeatedly toss gutter-al epithets at suspects. There are
now no absolutes in terms of language barriers. But someone said:
"We've pretty much used up all of the shocking language we could
imagine." And, because so many bad words are used in everyday
conversation, they've lost the impact they once had (12/25 Hunts.
Times). This sounds much like the "not at all ashamed,
neither could they blush" of Jeremiah 6:15.
TONY ROBBINS, NEW AGE GURU—Success guru Tony Robbins is a high school graduate with no formal training, license or degree, but earns up to $60,000 a day conducting corporate seminars and $12 million a year from tape sales. His clients have included Bill and Hillary Clinton (10/5 Parade). As a best-selling author and king of motivational speakers, he makes walking on hot coals a personal-growth sign (7/14/96 Denver Post). He participated in Gorbachev's Fall 1995 "State of the World Forum: Toward a New Civilization," which was loaded with New World Order or New Age speakers such as Robert Muller, Carl Sagan, Nelson Mandela, and Deepak Chopra. His books teach New Age techniques such as human potential, visualization and imaging. He says: "people can succeed if they imagine something vividly enough just as easily as if they had the actual experiences." (Awaken the Giant Within). Firewalking, imported from India, is popular in the U.S., France, Spain, Indonesia, and other places. It is explained as a benign physical feat or, more seriously, a dangerous demonic-hypnotic trance activity. Searching for personal power can lead to humanism, New Age mysticism, and satanism.
HEALING SERVICES SUPPLEMENT MEDICINE—Healing services to supplement modern medicine are becoming popular. Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish groups are experimenting with prayer, laying on of hands and anointing to soothe pains (1/3 HT). Most HMO executives believe relaxation and meditation techniques (New Age?) should be part of medical training (12/17 Houston Chron.).
NEW AGE 'CHRIST,' NEW WORLD ORDER—British futurist Benjamin Creme recently said that Maitreya, World Teacher for the coming age, would appear on a global satellite hookup within months. He claims this is the same expected spiritual leader known by various names in all the world's religions (1/3 HT). Dr. Cathy Burns' new 116-page book, A New World Order is Coming: Who Will Rule?, discusses Creme, New Age, UN, Antichrist, redistribution of food/wealth, and world government in general. Order it from: Sharing, 212 E. 7th St., Mt. Carmel, PA 17851, $7 postpaid.
CAMPUS BINGE DRINKING—The Jan. Journal of Studies on Alcohol shows that nearly three of every four fraternity leaders are big-time booze-bingers who average 14 drinks per week. And over half of sorority leaders binge drink - "just" six drinks a week, but that's more than the student average. Binge drinking is taking five or more drinks in a row in one sitting. The 12/3 Kansas Christian says Super Bowl Sunday is the number two drinking holiday proceeded only by New Year's Eve and followed by Halloween.
WRONG TO EVANGELIZE MORMONS?—Jimmy Carter said Southern Baptists are wrong to believe Mormon doctrine is non-Christian (12/15 CC). Mormonism expert John L. Smith (12/97 Utah Evangel) says: "One wonders, if it's wrong for Baptists to share their message with Mormons... would it not be equally wrong for a Mormon to attempt to win a Christian? If a Christian witnesses to a Mormon he is called 'anti-Mormon.' Would it not also be appropriate to call a Mormon who attempts to convert a Christian an 'anti-Christian'?" Dr. Cathy Burns has a new 132-page book Mormonism, Masonry, and Godhood that covers key Mormon doctrines and gives a close look at founder Joseph Smith and angels. Get it from her at: Sharing, 212 E. 7th St., Mt. Carmel, PA 17851, $8 postpaid.
CARTERS CONCERNED OVER GOD'S 'HARSHNESS' - Former president Jimmy Carter says: "There are some elements in the Old Testament that in particular cause my wife concern." (12/21 H. Times) He said: "There are some elements of harshness and massive destruction where every person in a village is killed, all the cattle are killed, carrying out the orders of God. They cause us concern... ." Liberal Bible-doubters serve a non-existent, ecumenical god of love, and reject the God of the Bible who is a God of love indeed, but is also a Holy God of wrath and judgment. (See Rom. 11:22, Dt. 28:63, and Josh. 24:20, Ez. 33:11, e.g.) Carter is a So. Baptist Sunday School teacher. How can conservative SBs tolerate unbelief, and the pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality stances of our SB president and v-p?
L'ENGLE A NEW AGER—An ecumenical video series titled Questions of Faith portrays God as a cloud, a black woman, or the cosmos. In it, fiction writer Madeleine L'Engle warns that we must not "visualize" God as Moses did. "The cosmos is God's body," she explains. (12/97 National Liberty Journal). Others interpret her "questionings" as deviation from orthodoxy. Yet, Chuck Colson has encouraged Christians to read her works in spite of the fact that her writings are "laced with occultism and New Age imagery." (10/93 Flashpoint). And Wheaton College reportedly has had her for a lecture, and she refers to Wheaton as her second home. (See 6/1/95 CC).
TOWNS SPEAKS WELL OF 'OCCULTIST' CHO—Dr. Elmer Towns, co-founder (with Dr. Jerry Falwell) and dean of Liberty University's School of Religion, discusses his Praying the Lord's Prayer for Spiritual Breakthrough book in the 1/98 Nat'l Liberty Journal. He says his book was actually born in a breakfast meeting in Korea with Dr. David "Paul" Yonggi Cho over 15 years ago. Towns says: "Pastor Cho leads the world's largest church (attendance over 700,000 weekly). At that breakfast meeting, I asked him, 'How would you advise me to become a more godly man and to get power with God?' Dr. Cho respects me as a Baptist and I have great respect for him as a Pentecostal. I have even preached for him in a prayer meeting to over 12,000 people." Towns said Cho begins his devotions each day by praying the Lord's Prayer several times, then spends over two hours a day praying. He said: "Perhaps American pastors would have a church growing like this church... if they spent the time in prayer like he does." But Christian News editor Herman Otten (9/19/94 CN) called Cho "a charismatic and occultist who rejects historic Christianity." And Metropolitan Tabernacle (Spurgeon's old church) pastor Dr. Peter Masters, in Dr. Robert L. Sumner's April 1, 1989 Biblical Evangelist paper, suggested Cho's teachings were a marriage of Christianity and the occult.
FALWELL SAYS MOON DIDN'T BAIL HIM OUT—A Washington Post story in late Nov. said a Sun Myung Moon-related business recently bailed out Jerry Falwell's Liberty University (12/15 Chr. News). But Falwell's 1/98 National Liberty Journal said Liberty University has never solicited or received funds, directly or indirectly, from Moon's Unification Church, though Falwell said he would accept unrestricted gifts from Unificationists, the American Atheist Society, or even Bill Clinton, if received.
MOON TO CLOSE UNIFICATION CHURCH?—Korean "messiah" Sun Myung Moon and his wife arranged the marriages of 3.6 million couples in a Nov. 29 ceremony at a Washington stadium. Moon has many business ventures, doles out lavish funds to clergy (and others), has been divorced, and claims he is the "third Adam," following in the footsteps of Adam and Jesus to rid the world of sin (12/15 Chr. News). In a surprise move, Moon, in a front-page report in the 11/24 Wash. Post (competitor to the Unification-owned Wash. Times) claimed he is shutting down his Unification Church (Watchman Expositor). He has become frustrated with America, saying "the period of religion is passing away." Post writers attribute his announcement to his advanced age, the lack of a clear succession, failure of recruiting efforts in the U.S., etc. Some critics see it as a maneuver to remake his church's image into a non-denominational parachurch entity.
MICHAEL HORTON'S SACRAMENTAL GOSPEL—Michael Horton is vice-president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and a research fellow at Yale Divinity School. He is a graduate of Biola, Westminster, and Oxford. He is ordained by the Christian Reformed Church. He is editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation, and the May/June MR gives a confusing 50-page account of "HOW DO WE RECEIVE CHRIST: God's Sacraments or Ours?" Writers discuss Baptism, the Lord's Supper, Infant Baptism, etc. Rick Miesel in a 16-page paper on Horton's teachings (BDM, P.O. Box 679, Bedford, IN 47421, $2) says he teaches a false sacramental gospel, has exhibited a fondness for the psychological gospel and those who teach it, and he supports ecumenical efforts with Rome.
CHERIYAN KILLED IN CAR WRECK—Missionary (to India) James Cheriyan was killed in an auto accident in W. Va., Dec. 10. He served under Int'l Bapt. Mission. A memorial service was at Maranatha Bapt. Bible College.
PINNOCK'S DANGEROUS BELIEFS—The following is taken from a penetrating new book The Evangelical Left (Baker Books) by new-evangelical Western (and Truett) Seminary professor Millard Erickson. Theologian Clark Pinnock says general revelation is a means by which God saves, and approvingly quotes liberal Dale Moody who questions what kind of God would make enough known about himself to make persons guilty, but not to save them. Pinnock, granting that Buddhism is not Christianity, asks: "But how does one come away after encountering Buddhism and deny that it is in touch with God... ?" He teaches annihilationism and says the traditional doctrine of hell is not biblically and theologically sound. He says the teaching that God would create persons, only to send them to an endless torture, "makes God into a bloodthirsty monster who maintains an everlasting Auschwitz for victims whom he does not even allow to die." He says such a God "is more nearly like Satan than like God." (See 2/1/95 CC for more on Pinnock.)
FULLER'S SLIDE FROM INERRANCY—When dean-elect Daniel Fuller son of Fuller Seminary founder Chas. E. Fuller returned from Switzerland (1962) from studying under neo-orthodox theologian Karl Barth he suggested that the Bible was free from error when referring to revelational or doctrinal matters pertaining to salvation, but that it was not inerrant in matters of science and history. Faculty members William LaSor and George Ladd sided with Fuller on this. The selection of David Hubbard as Fuller's new president (1963) began an even stronger trend to the left. Fuller Seminary's slide into apostasy is further chronicled in a new book by (new-evangelical) Millard Erickson, entitled The Evangelical Left.
SBC CONSERVATIVES ARE INCONSISTENT—Fund. Digest editor Dr. Don Jasmin says: "The conservatives within the SBC framework are totally inconsistent. While they are in the process of gradually separating theologically from the SBC liberals, they continue to unite ecumenically with the same crowd. While they bash each other in convention meetings, the same SBC liberals and SBC conservatives can be found side by side at the ecumenical Promise Keepers rallies hugging each other, promoting unity, and cavorting together with RC priests and preachers from NCC-WCC apostate denominations."
PENSACOLA/BROWNSVILLE 'REVIVAL' UPDATE—The Pensacola News Journal claims that revival leaders at the Brownsville Assembly of God are amassing personal fortunes. It accused revival leader Steve Hill of lying about his past, and accused Pastor John Kilpatrick of recent luxurious purchases. Church leaders make multiple claims of miraculous healings, but the paper could not verify a single one (12/22 CN). Meanwhile, a reconciliation of sorts was recently reached with chief critic CRI's Hank Hanegraaff in a meeting with Brownsville leaders.
A SONG & A SWORD—Assuredly, believers are in a battle today against the forces of compromise, sin and evil. Dr. Don Jasmin asks (12/97 Fund. Digest): "Can a Fundamentalist be strong and still be sweet? Is it possible to be Scripturally militant and be spiritually merry at the same time? Can the child of God maintain the song of the Lord in his heart while marching with the sword of the Lord in his hand? Speaking of the Christian soldier's activity, Psalm 149:6 says 'Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand.'"
SBC LUNCHEON AT UN—Bob Reccord, pres. of the SBC's No. American Mission Board (NAMB - formerly Home Mission Board) hosted a NAMB-sponsored luncheon at the United Nations Dec. 12, marking the beginning of So. Baptists' 25th year of ministry at the UN (12/23 IB).
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