VOL. XV NO. 20 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM October 15, 1998
240 METHODIST MINISTERS WOULD PERFORM HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS
- A recent binding ruling by the United Methodist Church's highest
court stated that same-sex unions by UM ministers shall not be
conducted in UM churches. But a conservative UM leader says that 240 UM
ministers earlier this year signed statements saying they would conduct
same-sex unions if asked (10/5 CT). World
for 9/19 said Glide Church (UM) pastor Cecil Williams (San Francisco)
and other clergy signed a declaration stating their willingness to
officiate at same-gender unions.
GLOBAL PRAYER AT UN—United Nations Sec'y Gen. Kofi Annan addressed world leaders (at St. Bartholomew's Church in NY) representing religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Shintoism, and Buddhism, yoked with Christian, Jewish, Jain, [and] Sikh groups in a UN-sponsored "Global Religious Service for Peace."(9/26 World). He put a new slant on the meaning of prayer, saying the challenges before the UN "give prayer a rightful place in the work of the United Nations," and, "prayer is compassion and concern; it is thanksgiving and atonement; it is yearning and relief."
CT PRAISES LIBERAL CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN—The 9/7 Christianity Today highly recommended the late "Father" Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament and said he "provides an excellent synthesis of contemporary New Testament scholarship." Brown was an influential Roman Catholic theological liberal who said Jesus was not the all-knowing God and was in error. He rejected the Bible's inerrancy, and was active in the World Council of Churches. He went to New York's liberal Union Seminary in 1971 and became its first tenured RC professor (9/14 C. News). Yet Fuller Seminary's 1984-85 catalog listed Brown as a recent-year lecturer at Fuller (10/15/84 CC). CT's founder and Board chairman is Billy Graham. Joe Stowell (Moody), Warren Wiersbe, and Ed Dobson (IFCA) are listed with Catholics as CT "Advisory Editors."
REAGAN COMMUNISM COMMENTS FIT CLINTON—We received the following in an e-mail from Colorado pastor Dan Unruh: "I've just finished reading Dinesh D'Souza's book, Ronald Reagan. I find it interesting that comments Reagan made concerning communism fit Pres. Clinton as well. Just substitute Clinton's name any time the Soviet Union or communism is mentioned. For example, on Page 135: '...the only morality the Soviets recognized [was] that which [furthered] their cause...' Pg. 76: 'Calling a Communist a liar is pretty frustrating. How do you insult a pig by calling it a pig? Communists are not bound by our morality. They say that any crime, including lying, is moral if it advances the cause of socialism.' Any question as to where Bill Clinton got his philosophy of lie, deny, 'forget'?"
REASONS TO OPPOSE THE LOTTERY—1. It changes the values of the state from a work ethic to a chance ethic. 2. It diverts dollars from goods and services to lottery tickets. 3. The state becomes a bookie. 4. The chance of winning is very low. 5. It is an unpredictable source of state revenue. 6. It exploits the poor and creates new gamblers (9/24 Ala. Baptist). 7. It is immoral and bad social policy.
ROCK IS ROCK, WHO DO CCM'ERS FOOL?—A secular writer in our local paper rightly discerned what a contemporary "Christian rock" performance is all about. He wrote (9/20 HT): "Yes, it looks like a rock concert, it sounds like a rock concert, and in every aspect except for the lyrics, it's just like any standard rock concert by today's teen-oriented bands: plenty of flash and lots of thrash on stage; heads bobbing and bodies moshing in the crowd...." The message is the music - the rock beat!
RELIGION BANNED IN UZBEKISTAN—Former Soviet country Uzbekistan's constitution provides for religious freedom, but a harsh new law bans all religious activities not certified by the government, and makes it illegal for anyone except government-certified clergy to talk about religion. Sunday School and home Bible studies are banned, Any church with fewer than 100 members must close its doors and stop all activities in this mainly Muslim country.
BROTHER ANDREW NEUTRAL ON THEOLOGY?—This year, for the first time, Open Doors with Brother Andrew (of God's Smuggler fame) linked up with the ecumenical Global March for Jesus (6-8/98 Contending for the Faith). In answer to critics, Andrew said it is not his task to expose wrongs in theology, and that "Open Doors as an organization does not have a standpoint on doctrinal issues." This neutrality is evident also by his guesting with Robert A. Schuller in the Crystal Cathedral, Apr. 10, 1994.
WELLS TO G-C CHARLOTTE—David Wells is new dean of new-evangelical Gordon-Conwell Seminary's Charlotte, NC campus, replacing Wayne Goodwin (9/7 CT). He will continue as theology professor at Gordon's Mass. campus.
STORMER HAS NEW BOOK ON EDUCATION—John Stormer sold 6 million copies of his 1964 book, None Dare Call It Treason in eight months. He writes: "My new book, None Dare Call It Education documents how Goals 2000, Outcome-Based Education, School-to-Work, sex education, and other school 'reforms' are transforming how we live and the way of life we will pass down to our children...." This 224-page hardcover book is priced at $21.95 + $3 shipping, but until Oct. 15, it's available for $20 postpaid, from: Liberty Bell Press, P.O. Box 32, Florissant, MO 63032.
PROBLEMS WITH SWINDOLL—Dallas Seminary President Chuck Swindoll plans to grow a new megachurch near Dallas. The 7/98 Australian Beacon said Swindoll is one of the most eminent popularizers of new evangelicalism and pop psychology, and also highly esteemed in charismatic circles. It says he has no qualms in supporting Billy Graham and the work of Mother Teresa. In the past five years he has spoken on NRB, MBI, Word of Life, and Promise Keepers platforms. He has praised the unreliable Living Bible, referred to Chuck Colson as a prophet, and promoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Swindoll's "grace" in his Grace Awakening book disregards its bounds of doctrinal truth. This "legalism vs. liberty" book is ably refuted by fundamentalist theologian Dr. Ernest Pickering in a 33-page 1994 booklet, Are Fundamentalists Legalists?" (Baptist World Mission, P.O. Box 2149, Decatur, AL 35602, $2). Much of the above is discussed in greater depth in a 5-page paper from BDM, P.O. Box 679, Bedford, IN 47421, $1.
MORE PK DOWNSIZING—Promise Keepers this month in a major ministry realignment is trimming its full-time staff by 28 percent, from 250 to 180. Former CEO Bill McCartney is now overseeing three divisions as president and founder (10/5 CT). Randy Phillips has moved from president to the new position of vice president for global ministries. McCartney concedes that these and other changes will not be easy and admits there's an up-and-down staff morale problem. PK will continue holding conferences but they will be smaller and based on a Billy Graham crusade model that requires an invitation from a local network of churches that do most of the groundwork.
NEW EVANGELICAL PULPIT-SHARING MEETINGS - Franklin Graham and E.V. Hill are slated to speak at Bill Hybels' Willow Creek Community Church's Evangelism Conference, Oct. 19-21 (6/15 Chr. Today). *** Hybels, Habitat For Humanity founder Millard Fuller, Lyle Shaller, and Bishop Charles Blake are listed speakers for Robert H. Scholler's conference, Jan. 25-28 (10/5 CT). *** John Maxwell and Chuck Swindoll were listed as main speakers at Jerry Falwell's Super Conference, Oct. 4-7. Maxwell was also listed to speak at charismatic Jack Hayford's new King's Seminary, August 26-28 (6/15 CT).
AEF MERGES WITH SIM—The boards of the Africa Evangelical Fellowship and SIM have agreed to become one mission under the name of SIM (Sep-Dec '98 Action Africa). Organizationally, AEF will join Andes Evangelical Mission, Int'l Christian Fellowship, and Sudan Interior Mission as part of an expanded SIM (Society of International Ministries). Sadly, SIM and AEF have been solidly in the New Evangelical camp for about three decades (see 3/15/91 CC). Both are members (SIM a charter member) of the IFMA. Fundamentalist missionaries (e.g., Drs. J.B. Williams and George Birch) separated from SIM's compromise about 30 years ago.
THE ART OF PASTORING - is the title of a new 230-page book by Pastor David Sorenson. The sub-title is "New Testament Principles for Pastoring Independent Baptist Churches." We read only part of it but it looks very helpful to pastors, and is recommended by evangelists, educators, and pastors such as: Drs. Bill Hall, Joe Mark, Frank Bumpus, & Ron Comfort. It retails for $16.95 but is available now for $10.17 + shipping, from: Northstar Baptist Ministries, 1820 W.Morgan St., Duluth, MN 55811.
'WHAT KIND OF FUNDAMENTALIST?'—Dr. Rick Arrowood is starting a new series on this subject in his free quarterly Temple Trumpet (Troy Baptist Temple, 691 Staunton, Troy, OH 45373). The Fall '98 issue deals with Pseudo-Fundamentalism, with help from Dr. J.B. Williams.
BROWNSVILLE REVIVAL: AN INSIDER'S REPORT—Dr. Ralph Colas recently attended a crusade at Penn State University led by the Brownsville Assembly of God's staff (see 10/1 CC). He sent us a big pictorial book (1997) by insider Cathy Wood chronicling the Brownsville "revival." She gives first-hand accounts of charismatic happenings - healings, people laying on the floor for hours ("completely out of it"), "heads shaking or jerking," in a "dazed, drunken condition," "woozy," "dancing in the Spirit," and strange bodily manifestations. Wood says (2/10/96): "Full-blown revival broke out along with many being slain in the Holy Spirit for hours as waves of something came, cleaning us all out. We did not know what hit us..." She said (2/16/96): "...[We] have heard over 170 sermons in a row that are very similar." She tells (2/18/96) of "dancing in the Spirit" and being "completely lost in another place." She added: "I felt like I had jumped off a ski slope and was flying. It was so glorious to be free. I did end up on the floor right in front, but no one noticed except my husband who graciously covered me....Being picked up by God in uninhibited worship is unlike any human experience." She said intercessors (3/17/96) were all "slain in the Spirit in the hallways and went into deep wailing and moaning. She says of leaving church at 2 a.m. "it seemed like it was not the same day we arrived...I think it is because we actually do GO somewhere while we are in that building!" Wood (7/14/96) told of an experience that was "like a bolt of lightning hit me. I hit the wall, slid down it, and shook and jerked uncontrollably for I do not know how long. It took my breath away and I was taking deep gasps over and over...my head would jerk...I was being filled with a fresh anointing of the Holy Ghost." On the way home, she started "wailing out loud." She said (9/29/96) that Pastor Kilpatrick came toward her waving his hand. "When he blew air toward me, it knocked me completely down." She said, after services, the next morning, if Vineyard music was on, she would be "deep bowing, swaying, and staggering, running into counters, sometimes falling on the floor...praising and worshipping." Get Dr. Colas's report from: ACCC, P.O. Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015.
PREACH THE ONE TRUE GOSPEL!—Dennis Costella (7-8/98 Foundation) wrote: "...The forerunners of the ecumenical movement long ago replaced the emphasis on personal redemption for social reform. Ecumenical evangelism and programs like Promise Keepers presently cloud the issue of what it really means to be saved and do not differentiate between the Gospel of God and the gospel of man's invention. Universalism has become the default theology of mainstream evangelicalism, even of Billy Graham. Ecumenical dialogues between Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, Lutherans, etc. have so twisted Bible terminology that the Gospel which is the 'power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth' (Romans 1:16), is made ambiguous at best...."
ACCC MEETING—The American Council of Christian Churches meets in its 57th Annual Convention at Monett, MO, Oct. 27-29. Speakers include: John Ashbrook, George Youstra, Bill Hopewell, Howard Carlson, Allen Griffith, and Mark Franklin. Host pastor is Kevin Hilton. Panel discussions: "Claiming the Future for Fundamentalism," "Organizations Challenging Fundamentalism," and "How the ACCC can be More effective." Conference theme is: "Flying the Flag of Fundamentalism." ACCC President is Richard A. Harris, and Exec. Sec'y is Ralph Colas. The Exec. Comm. of the World Council of Biblical Churches, headed by Jim Fields, meets Oct. 29. For more info, contact ACCC at above address, or call 610/865-3009.
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