VOL. XV NO. 19 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM October 1, 1998
SOUTH AFRICA HAS 350,000 WITCH DOCTORS—A South African government-proposed code of conduct for its 350,000 witch doctors would classify traditional healers into four categories: herbalists, diviners, birth attendants and surgeons (9/3 Alabama Baptist). Up to 80 percent of South Africans are estimated to at some point consult a witch doctor. New Age shamanism is on the rise in the U.S.|
MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME—In a book by this title, John R. Lott Jr. details why gun-control laws don't work. Much of his study comes from FBI files. In areas over the country where average citizens can easily carry guns, criminals are less likely to attempt violent crimes because they don't want to risk getting blown away-especially when concealed weapons are plentiful (9/5 World). Stricter gun controls only open the door to more attacks on innocent people. Criminals like helpless victims. A gun owner is less likely to be helpless. Where guns are common, a crook is more likely to try car theft or larceny than rape or robbery.
ROCK SINGER AMY GRANT—Amy Grant was the first contemporary Christian artist to earn a gold album for sales of over 500,000. But her lyrics have become increasingly secular, per the 8/20 Ala. Baptist: "Where she once discussed her relationship with God, she now focuses on her relationships with other people and herself."
WORLD REVIEWER DIDN'T WARN OF PROFANITY—World magazine (9/5), caught a lot of deserved flak for movie reviewer Chris Stamper's review of Saving Private Ryan in its Aug. 8 issue. He noted that the movie was rated R for violence and gore, but failed to mention the profane language. Readers objected to the "air turned blue" language, and one said the film "contains many uses of the "F" word. World often has good articles, but intermixes bad and good. Why would it praise and favorably review even the "good meat" from Hollywood's garbage can?
THE Y2K SCARE—The "Millennium Bug" or "Y2K" (short for "Year 2000") problem is the inability of many computer systems, using 2-digit dates, to differentiate between year 2000 and year 1900. Some predict chaos, and societal collapse near Jan. 1, 2000. We are told the Internet is abuzz with scare-narios, and, indeed we as Christians should be concerned as the time approaches, but not panic. Extreme fear itself could become a greater problem than Y2K. There is the potential for world chaos, that governments may use this as a pretext for suspending civil liberties and creating police states. Stockpile, if you wish (canned/dried foods, flashlights, firewood, matches, etc.), but let's trust our God, use common sense, and not help dire predictions become self-fulfilling prophecies.
BROWNSVILLE 'REVIVAL' AT PENSACOLA—ACCC Exec. Sec'y Dr. Ralph Colas recently attended an AWAKE AMERICA! crusade at Penn State University, led by the Brownsville Assembly of God staff of "Pensacola Outpouring" fame (see 3/15/97 CC). He has prepared a Special Report on this meeting, attended by over 12,000 charismatics. Pastor John Kilpatrick, Evangelist Stephen Hill, and Worship Leader Lindell Cooley were the featured personalities. Dr, Colas wrote: "About 20 ministers were on the platform as the crusade began. As the loud, syncopated music filled the auditorium many of the pastors began to dance, hop, and jump all over the platform. The 'worship music session' lasted almost two hours, and many of those in attendance stood for the entire time. The shaking, dancing, swaying, and jumping was not limited to the young people." Speaking in tongues, shaking and falling were hardly uncommon. Get Dr. Colas's Special Report from the American Council of Christian Churches, P.O. Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015. A small offering would be appreciated and help underwrite such vital research.
HORROR OF AIDS IN BLACK AMERICA—Because of the widely held and documented connection between AIDS and homosexuality-the latter of which is derided as sinful and immoral by influential leaders of black churches-helpful talk about AIDS prevention and treatment rarely, if ever, emanates from the pulpit. The correlation between AIDS and drug abuse is another tangible reason for the spread of AIDS in the community. The black writer of this article we're quoting, from the 9/13 Huntsville Times, says: "Over 641,000 men, women and children in America have contracted AIDS, and 385,000 have died." He said: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that while blacks comprise just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we now account for 57 percent of new HIV infections. A whopping 82 percent of HIV-positive women ages 13-24 are black and Hispanic."
HAGIN'S STRANGE TEACHINGS—Kenneth Hagin says he died at age 15, went to hell and was brought back to life. He claims that Jesus has appeared to him eight times and talked with him (4/15/96 CC). Hagin rejects historic Christianity. He is "father" of the word-faith and positive-confession movements. David Cloud characterizes Hagin's unscriptural "spirit slaying" phenomenon as demonic and says people have fallen into trances at his meetings (O Timothy). He says "Hagin tells of a woman who danced off a platform and levitated in the air while she was 'dancing in the Spirit.'" Cult-watcher Hank Hanegraaff has compared Hagin and protege Kenneth Copeland to "wolves in sheep's clothing," and described their movement as being as heretical as the Mormon Church.
NCC HEAD SUPPORTS CLINTON—Although she is not his pastor, National Council of Churches Gen. Sec'y Joan Brown Campbell, in her "pastoral response" to Pres. Clinton's immorality, says we should all feel sorry for him and remember how understanding God is! (9/12 World). She then puts her imprimatur on Clinton's key argument: "Our long experience in pastoral care has taught us the wisdom of protecting personal life from public display," she says. "I hope that, as a nation, we are now learning that truth. The private lives of our public leaders are best left private or we will have none allowed to lead." Sin has serious consequences and God is not so "understanding" that he overlooks it and lets it go unpunished. Lying, immorality, and many other crimes or sins which occurred in a taxpayer-supported workplace were not "private." Campbell is very "un-Nathan-like."
SCHULLER TO OPEN A FOOD COURT—Robert H. Schuller 40 years ago popularized a "drive-in church." Then in 1980 he opened his 12-story glass and steel Crystal Cathedral with its 10,000 glass panes. He plans in 2000 to open a 50,000-square-foot food court and offer meals and snacks after church services (9/7 H.T.). We hope this food is safe. His spiritual food is tainted. There may be a kernel of truth but it's encased in a toxic shell.
ECUMENICAL SPEAKER AT SBC SCHOOL—James R. Torrance, professor emeritus of Systematic Theology at the Univ. of Aberdeen (Scotland), will present the 10th annual Reformation Heritage Lectures Oct. 27-29 at Samford University's Beeson School of Divinity (9/10 Ala. Baptist). Torrance has been chairman of the Joint Commission on Doctrine of the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Roman Catholic Church, and of the British Council of Churches' Commission on the Trinity, and of the international conversations between the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Lutheran World Federation. Sadly, this speaker's liberal links are but one more indication that the Southern Baptist Convention is still far from being a conservative Baptist body!
LYONS TAKES A CUE FROM CLINTON—Taking a cue from President Clinton, embattled National Baptist Convention USA president Henry Lyons begged his church's forgiveness for an "improper relationship" with a convention employee. He was indicted July 2 on several federal charges, but NBCUSA board member E.V. Hill has said, "If his boat sinks, I will be the last to jump off."
WORLD CHURCH CONTEST—The World Council of Churches is an agent of Satan and promotes his lies. By its ecumenical movement, it seeks to build a one world super church. The WCC would like to be the dominating force to unite all religions into such a conglomerate body (8/98 Servant). But Islam, Romanism, pagan religions and New Agers are very much in the competition to bring about the great harlot church of the Antichrist. Interfaith dialogue, postmodernism, and universalism are also factors for consideration in this great contest. A proposed Presbyterian catechism says Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and others might be destined for [heaven]. The Pope and others have proposed something similar.
A FRUSTRATING SEPARATION—FBF Exec. V-P & Frontline editor Dr. John Vaughn writes (in Jul.-Aug. Frontline): "...Sadly, one of the most frustrating forms of separation is the all too frequent form of separating from another separatist over a misunderstanding of separation. We're not talking about separating from a disobedient brother-that is clearly Scriptural-but about cutting off the discussion as soon as a disagreement occurs with the assumption that the brother knows everything you know but has chosen to do wrong anyway."
BILL BRIGHT'S FASTING & PRAYER '98—This year's Fasting & Prayer gathering is jointly sponsored by Mission America and Campus Crusade. Participants listed are an ecumenical "who's who." Included are: Bill McCartney (PK), Franklin Graham, Don Argue (NAE), Paul Cedar, Kay Arthur, Bill & Vonette Bright, Adrian Rogers, Pat Robertson, Thomas Trask (Ass'y of God), and David Bryant. Billy Graham, John Perkins, and Bright are honorary co-chairmen. Others listed above are on the executive committee. Steve Green, Robertson, Cedar, and Bright lead one session. Another is led by Rogers and McCartney. It originates live from Houston, TX, Nov. 12-14, and is linked across America by satellite.
RICK WARREN'S MARKETING MANIA—In an 8/98 OBF Visitor pamphlet entitled "How to be Successful Without Being Spiritual" Pastor Tim Potter examines Rick Warren's methods and teachings from his book, The Purpose Driven Church. (See 6/15 CC). Warren's book is endorsed by Robert Schuller, Bill Bright, Fuller Seminary Prof. Archibald Hart, and by U. Methodist Ezra Earl Jones, with Foreword by W. A. Criswell. Potter lists some philosophical and theological flaws, and other problems. He says: "Market driven ministry is a cancer that will eventually lead to unbelief because it caters to the unbeliever." (Order pamphlet from Ohio Bible Fellowship, 3865 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214, 10/$3.50).
POSTMODERNISM—For postmodernists, truth is merely a "construction" by the culture or individual. Truth is relative. What is true for me may not be true for you (9/12 World). Postmodernism represents a growing rejection of rational empiricism, science, and Christian absolutes, or any objective truth. Relativism and one's experience or feelings is the basis of personal truth in postmodernism. (9/98 Watchman Expositor). According to surveys, 86% of Americans claim to be "Christian," yet 72% reject the notion of absolute truth, 61% reject a literal Satan or hell, and 40% believe in a New Age (pantheistic) view of God.
DON'T DELAY DEALING WITH ERROR—When unbelievers try to sway any fellowship away from God's Word, true believers must insist that they repent or leave. If they allow the evil to gain sufficient strength to force "dialogue" over clear scriptural matters, they will have already lost the battle. Either cast them out immediately, or risk having to fight for truth against terrible odds....(adapted, Media Spotlight) But if error is already entrenched, Spurgeon said: "As soon as I saw, or thought I saw, that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate, but quitted the body at once. Since then my one counsel has been, "Come ye out from among them."
SINFUL SILENCE—When a person or group that claims to be Christian seriously departs from historical biblical doctrines of orthodox Christianity, one should not stand idly by in silence (Tit. 1:9-11). To not speak would be dishonoring to God and unloving to both the propagators and the hearers of the error (7/98 Vantage Point). A silent watchman is more dangerous than no watchman because people feel a sense of security if they think a watchman is on duty. God called pastors of Judah "blind watchmen" and said "they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark" (Isa. 56:10). He did not accuse them of false doctrine, only of sleeping when they should have been warning (9/1/95 CC).
FFBC RESOLUTIONS—Rev. Ed Cotton sent us a copy of resolutions passed at the annual August meeting (in NJ) of the Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches (P.O. Box 206, Penns Grove, NJ 08069). Topics include: Muslim Terrorist Bombings, Immorality in High Places, and National I.D. Card. FFBC President is Rev. Mark Franklin; V-P is Gary Myers; Bro. Cotton is Secretary.
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