VOL. XV NO. 21 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM November 1, 1998
|MORMON PRES. ADMITS ITS CHRIST IS DIFFERENT—Mormon President
Gordon B. Hinckley, speaking June 6 in Switzerland, acknowledged that Mormons
do not believe in the same Jesus as traditional Christians (6/20 Church
News - a Mormon paper - via 10/5 Chr. News). He said: "The traditional
Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak." This confirms
what Christians have long claimed. But the Mormon media director still
contends that Mormons adhere to the New Testament account of Jesus.
HAWAII TO APPROVE HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE?—Hawaii may become the first state where a homosexual couple can legally marry. An amendment to its constitution lets the state legislature limit marriage to heterosexuals. If voters defeat this (Nov. 3) homosexuals would likely flock there. Same-sex newlyweds could then take their licenses back to their home states and challenge state laws that limit such unions (10/5 C. News). The U.S. Constitution now "requires" states to honor contracts made in other states.
SECULAR ROCK EBBS, CCM/ROCK RISES—Swing music is making a comeback, rock 'n' roll is at a low ebb. Rock lyrics often reflect the nihilism and hopelessness of the late 20th-century mind (10/3 World). But as rock music hits rock bottom in the secular world, it is riding high in worldly entertainment-oriented churches. Gordon Sears has a new 4-page tract, It's The Music, Brother! that warns of this evil and tells how YOU can make a difference. It deserves wide circulation. Send an offering for a quantity of these to him at: P. O. Box 182, Coldwater, MI 49036.
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT CLINTON—Unsavory dealings and immoral acts by the President and those close to him have rendered this administration morally unable to lead. [10/5 Chr. Today] The Lewinsky affair has obscured far more important impeachable conduct by the President concerning our national security, such as the apparent bribery by foreign contributors and the concessions and transfers of critical technology to Communist China. [10/12 New American] Clinton's sex scandals have badly set back the feminist effort to clarify the difference between sex and harassment. [9/28 USN&WR] The Senate again failed to overturn Pres. Clinton's veto of a ban on gruesome "partial-birth abortion." His veto is all that stands between Congress and women's right to abortion. [10/5 Chr. News]
TBN'S PAUL CROUCH SAYS GOD WANTS YOU RICH—Trinity Broadcasting Network's Paul Crouch writes (10/98 PTL: "How, pray tell, can the Body of Christ obey God's call to [set up His kingdom] if we are poor, broke, in debt, sick and afflicted? God wants you and me to be rich in every way!" Rich Crouch gets funds from poor charismatics.
TV WORSE THAN EVER—The vulgarity dike has been broken on TV fare, so now expect a flood of sex, violence, bad language, scatology and pedophilia (8/22 World). Today, sex, bathroom humor, and vulgarity rule the air, practically unopposed. It seems that anything goes, and ratings are not accurate (10/10 World). Over 90 percent of shows with sex did not have an "S" rating, nor an "L" for bad language per a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
TUTU TO BE EMORY PROF—South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been appointed as a Visiting Professor of Theology at the ultra-liberal Emory University's Candler School of Theology in Atlanta in the 1998-99 academic year. Tutu is a liberation theologist who believes Christ was a revolutionary similar to Castro or Mao (9/14 Chr. News). He does not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, but believes that all great religions lead to God. He was quoted in the 12/29/83 Sunday Times as saying: "I am a socialist. I hate capitalism." Yet Tutu was the "highlight" of the recent Baptist World Alliance's General Council Meeting and spoke at the American Baptist Churches' 6/95 meeting. He favors ordination of homosexuals (4/1 CC).
MISSOURI SYNOD LUTHERANS SUPPORT CHINA—Christian News Editor Herman Otten writes (9/28 CN): "CN has often noted that the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and the Lutheran Laymen's League have been supporting the communist-approved China Christian Council rather than the persecuted Christians in the house churches. Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne [Ind.], awarded Wenzao Han, president of the CCC, an honorary doctorate even though Han supports the murderous one-child-per-family abortion policy of communist China."
ROBERTSON DECEIVED BY CHINA—When Christian Broadcasting Network Pres. Pat Robertson visited Red China (Sept.), he confined his contacts to official circles and did not raise the subject of persecution. His trip was front-page news in China Daily, an English-language paper (10/3 World). It quoted him praising freedom of religion in China and saying he believes the government respects religious freedom. A house-church leader said Robertson should have stood up for the persecuted millions. The bridge-building approach leaves him open as a propaganda tool.
GEORGIA BAPTISTS TO EXCLUDE HOMOSEXUALS & CHARISMATICS? - The Georgia Baptist Convention (SBC) will be asked in November to radically alter its constitution and bylaws (10/3 HT) to set new membership requirements excluding any churches that endorse homosexual behavior or charismatic styles of worship, such as speaking in tongues and "being slain in the Spirit."
CATHOLIC CHARISMATICS GROWING IN BRAZIL—The Catholic charismatic renewal movement is expanding at an incredible rate in Brazil. Over 8 million people participate in over 60,000 prayer groups (10/98 Charisma). Liberal priests and bishops oppose the trend partially fueled by the Pope's blessing of charismatics. "Reports indicate that the Catholic Church of Brazil is losing 8,000 members per day to Protestant baptism. If that rate continues, the Catholic Church here could empty by the next century," per Charisma. But this rapid growth of "evangelicals" in Brazil has helped "wake up" Catholics, and ECT 2 should slow this "proselytizing" (see 7/1 CC).
GARBC TO DROP APPROVAL SYSTEM?—The Council of Eighteen has proposed a change in the GARBC Constitution which would result in, among other things, possibly dropping or revising the Approved Agencies article (10/98 Baptist Bulletin). Messengers will vote on this at next year's annual conference in Bellevue, Wash. Dr. John Greening (Nat'l Rep) said: "I personally feel that the approval system has run its course....I am far more interested in creating proactive partnerships with independent Baptist agencies...." The approval system has often been divisive, with Agency heads being on the "approving" Council. Agencies such as ABWE, Western, Cornerstone, and Cedarville have long been, at times, hardly distinguishable from mainline New Evangelicals.
SBF '98—The CC editor attended a one-day segment of the Southwide Baptist Fellowship meeting Oct. 5-7 at Highland Baptist Park Church (TTU), Chattanooga. We heard sermons by Drs. Johnny Pope, Steve Byrd, and Bob Kelley. There had been a record attendance of over 5,000 at the time we were there. Pope's "antics" received a Pentecostal-type reception, with exuberant hollering! Ditto for the reception given Stephen Davis's jived-up singing accompanied by his "rocking" piano. Byrd said 21,000 had been saved at his church since he came there 26 years ago. He said he didn't know the battle today was the pulpit [speakers] taped music, etc. He added: "I thought it was the Book, the Blood, and the Blessed Hope." He said many Fundamentalists criticize everybody and everything. It is sad to see brethren "criticize" those Fundamentalists who are "criticizing" those who pulpit-share with compromisers. We again heard the tired old misused and over-used wail, "We are the only people who shoot their own wounded." [The "wounded" in this context today are mostly those who are consorting with and/or aiding (directly or indirectly) the enemies of truth.] So there is silence about the apostasy while some criticize those who seek to expose it and those who compromise with it. SBF Resolutions were a big letdown this year compared to the good strong ones last year when the Committee was headed by Sword Editor Dr. Shelton Smith. The 1998 ones were good, but there was nothing about separation, ecumenism, modern-day New Evangelicalism, or the charismatic movement. Next year's SBF meeting is set for Northside Baptist, Charlotte.
SBF RESOLUTION ON IMPEACHMENT—"Whereas, 1998 has been a year of public embarrassment for our nation brought upon us by the licentious, sinful, adulterous and illegal behavior of our 42nd President, [Bill] Clinton; be it therefore resolved that we call upon the elected officials of both the House...and the Senate... to duly perform their constitutional duty to bring impeachment hearings against Pres. Bill Clinton. To allow such indecent and illegal behavior to go unpunished, will only demonstrate to the populace of our nation and to the world that such behavior has no consequences. Furthermore, be it resolved that this should act as a wakeup call to all God-fearing people to follow the command given by the Apostle Paul in I Timothy 2:1-3..."
NEW BOOK ON SEPARATION BY MARK SIDWELL—Dr. Mark Sidwell's new book, THE DIVIDING LINE: Understanding and Applying Biblical Separation, will help fundamentalists to do just that. It is well-documented and has a very helpful Glossary of Terms. It is written as a supplement to earlier good books on separation, such as by Drs. Fred Moritz and Ernest Pickering. We would not call Bernard Ramm an "Evangelical," as Sidwell (pages 106 and 111) and some others do (see 10/1/92 CC). He does, however, warn readers of Ramm's defense of Karl Barth, so it is not as if he is endorsing Ramm. As can be seen from the following excerpts, this is a much-needed, helpful 200-page book. Order it from: Bob Jones University Press, Greenville, SC 29614, $11.95 + postage.
PUBLIC REBUKE, SEPARATION FROM BROTHER WHO PUBLICLY COMPROMISES—Public sin committed by a public figure must be publicly rebuked for the sake of those who are being deceived. For example, a man who advocates fellowship with apostasy and who cooperates with false teachers and unbelievers is guilty of a public defiance of God's command. For the sake of those whom he is leading astray or who might be led astray by him if not properly warned from the Scripture, a faithful minister of Christ must warn against that man even though he pretends to, and perhaps to an extent does, preach the gospel. At best, this is a situation in which a disobedient Christian is behaving like a false teacher. It is unfortunate that men are associated with positions. It would be well if we could concentrate only on the position and deal with the issue of scriptural disobedience or compromise. But when some man is the prime instigator, promoter, and advocate of an unbiblical position, we must expose that man as we denounce the sin he is promoting. [An excerpt from Dr. Mark Sidwell's new 200-page book, BJU Press, Greenville, SC 29614.]
AVOID EXTREMISM IN SEPARATION—There is always the danger of extremism in separation. Personal interpretations are elevated to points of division, and separation is practiced almost for its own sake rather than out of sound biblical conviction. So writes Dr. Mark Sidwell in his new book. He quotes John Ashbrook: "Separation is God's answer to apostasy. Separation is God's answer to the problem of disobedient brethren who will not separate from apostasy. But separation is not the answer to every disagreement between brethren."
ECUMENISM OF POPULAR WRITERS—Prof. Mark Sidwell in his new book The Dividing Line warns against the "Neo-Fundamentalism" of Jerry Falwell and Jack Van Impe. He also warned of popular [New] Evangelical authors who defend inerrancy (Lindsell), protest theological compromise (Schaeffer, Wells), and warn of Charismatism (John MacArthur) and Catholicism (R.C. Sproul). He says Fundamentalists may read their critiques with great profit, but should realize that these authors still differ with them on separation. He writes: "They remain part of a network of organizations and alliances that accepts and promotes tolerance of false teaching and wrong practice. It was part of the Neo-Fundamentalist error to assume that a common opposition to certain danger provides a basis for unity between Fundamentalist and non-Fundamentalist Evangelicals. But the basis for unity must not be a common opposition to error but a common commitment to biblical truth and biblical practice."
HARRY LOVE WITH THE LORD—Dr. Harry Love, retired Gen. Dir. of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Association of Michigan and founder of Camp Co-Be-Ac, passed away Sept. 30. Renal failure was the suspected cause of death. The funeral service was at Community Baptist Church of Saginaw, Dr. Doug Jackson, pastor.
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