VOL. XV NO. 22 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM November 15, 1998
|VATICAN SEEKS TIES WITH HINDUS—The Vatican last month called
for a closer dialogue between Christian and Hindu world communities. Dialogue
leader Cardinal Francis Arinze said while following separate spiritual
paths, both could work together to offer hope to humanity. He said increased
friendly ties between Christians and Hindus, especially in India, should
facilitate a dialogue based on mutual respect for religious traditions
(10/3 Houston Chronicle). The Catholicism claim to be Christian
is again revealed to be false. Christians cannot have "mutual respect"
for a pantheistic religion (2Cor. 6:14-17).
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DECLINING IN RUSSIA—Non-Orthodox Christians have less freedom in Russia now than they did a year ago when a law restricting religious freedom was signed by Yeltsin (10/26 C. Today). This law initiated a season of religious harassment and discrimination and has visited official favors on Russia's dominant Orthodox church. Longtime KGB leader Yevgeny Primakov's (new Prime Minister) filling his government with communists may have an even further chilling effect on religious activity.
'HATE CRIMES' & HOMOSEXUALS—Homosexuality, and lying to a grand jury about adultery, seem to be politically protected sins. The recent deplorable murder of a sodomite in Wyoming has revived a clamor to broaden the current federal hate crime act. But the idea of providing special protection for minorities violates the principle of equality under the law and adds additional punishment based on perceived motivation and frame of mind. Hate crime laws keep expanding. A Wisconsin hate crime statute, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, allowed the tripling of the sentence for an assault motivated by prejudice (10/26 USN&WR). John Leo asks: "Is it morally three times worse to attack an Asian or a gay than it is to attack a randomly selected straight white male?" Should it be illegal to decry homosexuality and oppose special rights for homosexuals?
DISNEY'S HORDES OF HOMOSEXUALS—A new book Disney: The Mouse Betrayed details the swift rise to prominence of the company's homosexual workers (11/98 NLJ). Its co-chair says there are "hordes of gay and lesbian people at Disney." Disney Chairman Michael Eisner has estimated that 40% of his employees are homosexual. So the annual Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom is no surprise.
NDP '99 TO FEATURE HAGGARD, MARSHALL—The keynote speakers for the May 6, 1999 National Day of Prayer are Pastor Ted Haggard and Rev. Peter Marshall. A Jan. NDP Coordinators' Conference will be hosted by NDP Chairman Shirley Dobson. Haggard (charismatic) is an NAE board member and ORU grad (see 7/15/97 CC).
GAMBLING: A BAD BET—Churches in Canada are becoming alarmed by the social costs of legal gambling and the growing dependence of government on its cut of gambling revenues. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) calls gambling "an insidious form of evil which takes advantage of the poor and disadvantaged and undermines a healthy and just society." (10/26 Chr. Today) It says gambling is wrong because: it appeals to greed; it contravenes the Christian duty to care for neighbors instead of taking from neighbors; it encourages the reckless investment of God-given resources; it undermines a healthy philosophy of work, industry, and saving; and it can become addictive. The EFC further claims that when governments sponsor gambling for education, etc., they give "an implicit endorsement of greed, materialism, and the denigration of the value of productive work."
DR. LAURA & THE LAW—We have not read Dr. Laura Schlessinger's new book, The Ten Commandments, but a Christian News (10/12) writer in a long review says she does what all psychology does: "It rightly uses the Law as a hammer to break hard hearts. It rightly uses the Law as a mirror to show dirty hearts. But then it wrongly uses the Law to try to change hearts. DO these things and your marriage will be better...." Dr. Laura gives some good, frank advice, but her Jewish faith blinds her to the Gospel.
ACCC '98 RESOLUTIONS—The American Council of Christian Churches at its 57th Annual Convention in Monett, Mo., Oct. 27-29, passed resolutions concerning: Flying the Flag of Fundamentalism (convention theme), AWANA Clubs, Int'l (continued compromise with ABC-NCC apostasy), The World Council of Churches Jubilee Assembly in Zimbabwe (Dec.), Presidential Misconduct (called for resignation), Reaffirming the Reformation, Violence in our Society, and Environmental Paganism. Send postage and request a copy of these resolutions, to: ACCC, P.O. Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015. [Note: The World Council of Biblical Churches, chaired by Dr. Jim Fields, also met and received new members at ACCC '98.]
NEW BOOK ON MASONIC & OCCULT SYMBOLS—We have just received a new big book by Dr. Cathy Burns that gives in-depth meanings behind the symbols used by Masons, occultists, witches, New Agers, Satanists, and others. This big 550-page (includes 134 pages of endnotes, bibliography, and index) "encyclopedia" includes 728 illustrations. [Note: A few of the symbols may be sexual in nature.] Some Christian groups use some of these symbols. The book sells for $21.95 + $1.55 postage, but if you mention our paper you can have it for $15.00 postpaid, from: Sharing, 212 E. 7th St. (Y), Mt. Carmel, PA 17851.
LAURIE CRUSADE BIG, BOLD, BUT...BIBLICAL?—Loud rock music and hard preaching were featured at Greg Laurie's Harvest Crusade, Aug. 27-30, in So. Calif. This is the largest annual evangelistic gathering, and was this year attended by 140,000 people. Rock bands such as Audio Adrenaline performed. Sword of the Lord Editor Shelton Smith said of this culture-friendly evangelism: "It's big! It's bold! It's barnstorming! But is it biblical?" Laurie has spoken at Billy Graham, Promise Keepers, and other ecumenical and charismatic gatherings, and has been endorsed by John MacArthur (see 2/15/97 CC). With the crusade, Laurie held a three-day church leader conference in Anaheim with speakers such as Chuck Smith, Chuck Swindoll, and David Jeremiah (10/98 Foundation).
FALWELL PRAISES PROMISE KEEPERS—Dr. Jerry Falwell in his 3/95 Nat'l Liberty Journal praised Promise Keepers and promoted an upcoming PK gathering at his Liberty University's Vines Center. Falwell's 11/98 NLJ now has an article reporting PK's financial woes, and its redesigned new millennium approach of utilizing local churches similar to Billy Graham's method. The article stated that PK is "back on solid footing" and ready "to minister to men in pursuit of godly living...." No warning was given concerning PK's ecumenicalism, charismaticism, psychobabble, worldly rock music, etc.
WCC TO MEET IN ZIMBABWE—The World Council of Churches' Eighth Assembly is set for Zimbabwe, Dec. 3-14, celebrating its 50th anniversary. The WCC recently declared itself a failure - in its stated aim of achieving Christian unity. But the financial crises it faced three years ago has reportedly been allayed. Another possible crisis is looming with the Russian Orthodox Church, the WCC's largest body, threatening to withdraw, depending on the WCC's "total reconstruction." Former WCC general secretary Dr. Philip Potter is one of the main speakers. He is a liberal Methodist who in 1977 praised the communist victory in Vietnam. The WCC for about two decades financially aided Marxist terrorist groups (11/1/88 CC). ACCC Executive Secretary Dr. Ralph Colas, pending availability of funds, plans to attend the WCC Jubilee assembly as a press-credentialed reporter.
PINNOCK'S DRIFT TO APOSTASY—In the 1960s and early 1970s, theologian Clark Pinnock was a staunch defender of biblical inerrancy. But in the mid-1970s he began to shift. He abandoned his position on inerrancy and said that there were historical and scientific errors in the Scriptures. Then Pinnock abandoned the doctrine of hell, teaching instead that sinners are merely annihilated after death. In 1997, Millard Erickson included Pinnock in his discussion of "postconservative evangelicalism." In addition to Pinnock's views of the Scripture and hell, Erickson noted his shift on the doctrine of God. Pinnock was now holding that God is not omniscient, knowing all things past, present, and future... [From Mark Sidwell's new book - see 11/1 CC].
CHARISMATISM Q & A—That's the title of a new very helpful book by Dr. Jeffrey Khoo. The sub-title is: "Biblical Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the Charismatic phenomenon." It covers Third Wave, Signs and Wonders, Faith Healing, Charismatic Worship, Satan, Demons, Spiritual Warfare, Prophecy, Visions, Dreams, Tongues, etc. Some may question Khoo when he says God visited John Sung in a special way on three occasions. He says: "God spoke to him in a vision, a dream, and lastly by a voice." He admits these are not normative but very exceptional and not to be taken as Scripture. Don't let this keep you from ordering this timely 96-page book from: Far Eastern Bible College Press, 9A Gilstead Rd., Singapore 309063, US$4.00. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHULLER HAS CATHOLIC SPEAKER—Robert Schuller's Institute for Successful Church Leadership at the Crystal Cathedral, Jan.25-28, features "Father" Hank Albietz as a workshop speaker. In reply to our query to the Crystal Cathedral, Holly Lovas wrote: "Father Hank is a Roman Catholic priest from St. Patrick Church, Bellefontaine, OH....We are lucky to have him speak this year on goal setting in the ministry." Other speakers are Bill Hybels, Habitat For Humanity's Millard Fuller, etc.
PCA SURPASSES CRC—The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has surpassed the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) as the largest [new] evangelical Reformed denomination with 283,381 members, compared to CRC's 279,029 members (10/26 CT). PCA membership increased 22 percent over the past six years, mainly due to church planting, while CRC membership declined by 12 percent. The latter is said to be due partly to conflicts over the ordination of women and issues such as theistic evolution.
CT PANS LYONS' 'SCANDALOUS BEHAVIOR' - National Baptist Convention USA's beleaguered president, Dr. Henry Lyons, received unanimous forgiveness for his confessed "inappropriate" relationship with a female employee, from his 195-member board in a September annual session. Federal prosecutors have charged him with 54 counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, tax evasion, extortion, money laundering, and conspiracy. Christianity Today (10/26) comments thusly on Lyons's "scandalous behavior": "Because Lyons's peers did not carefully monitor his behavior, he was enabled to carry on an extramarital affair and waste allegedly ill-gotten monies on extravagances for himself and his lover. More scandalous, however, has been the unwillingness of his denomination's leadership to hold him accountable...."
PENTECOSTAL GROWTH IN LATIN AMERICA—The growth of the Pentecostal movement in Latin America should point to an increased Protestant presence in those countries, but that is not happening (per the AD2025 Global Monitor). Catholics who become "Pentecostals" are staying in the Church of Rome rather than "becoming Protestant." Doesn't this point up the shallowness of the Pentecostal movement? People are simply adding experience-oriented Pentecostalism to works-oriented Catholicism. [Dr. Morris McDonald, PMU's Mission Banner]
ACCC 'FLYING THE FLAG OF FUNDAMENTALISM' - This was the theme of the American Council of Christian Churches' 57th Annual Convention in Monett, Mo., Oct. 27-29. A resolution stated that the ACCC lifts high the Flag of Fundamentalism: 1) For the clerics of the dying apostate denominations of the failed National and World Council of Churches to see. 2) For the "scholars" in apostate colleges and seminaries to see. They have distorted us by equating biblical Fundamentalism with Khomeini and Islamic terrorists. They have assured our children of "new evidence" of science that renders trust in the Bible as foolish. They have failed, and God's Word stands. We declare the problem is not new evidence, but rather, old unbelief. 3) For New-Evangelicals, who have betrayed Christ by accommodating themselves to so much of the world's standards. They have branded Fundamentalists as "Pharisees," "without love," "fomenters of dissent," etc. They teach that one must work in cooperation with the apostate church to succeed in God's work. They are open to reexamining the inerrancy of Scripture, evolution and even the mission of the church. Yet a faithful ACCC remnant remains, teaching that the Bible alone is sufficient for tasks of today and tomorrow. [Adapted excerpts from the first three points of this seven-point resolution. Send postage and request a copy of this and other six resolutions: PO Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015.]
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