VOL. XV NO. 3 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM February 1, 1998
ABORTIONS ARE FAR FROM RARE—The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision resulted in 35 million abortions in the past 25 years. About 1.4 million women have abortions each year - 44 percent have had at least one previous one. Catholic women have them at a higher rate than do Protestant women (1/19 USN & WR). Roe spawned a general disrespect for life, and we now have the partial-birth abortion/infanticide question: "What's magic about a few seconds or inches? If a baby can be legally killed inside the womb or birth canal, why can't it be legally killed just after birth?" A Planned Parenthood director expects that 30 percent of abortions will soon be "medical abortions." RU-486 becomes widely available this year. But technology can never develop a morally perfect way to kill babies!
GEORGI VINS DIES—Well-known Russian evangelist Georgi Vins died Jan. 11 of a brain tumor at age 69 (see 12/15 CC). He was exiled to the U.S. in 1979, and returned to Russia in 1990. He had been general secretary of the Council of Evangelical Baptist Churches and spent many years in the Soviet gulag for his Christian activities. He had headed Russian Gospel Ministries, Elkhart, IN since 1980.
CASTRO, POPE ON SOCIALISM—Communist dictator Fidel Castro insists that with the Cold War's end, Pope John Paul II's concerns often mirror those of socialists. He cited poverty and inequality and nuclear proliferation (1/18 H. Times). The pope is urging industrial nations to observe the year 2000 as a year of Jubilee and reduce or cancel debts owed by smaller nations (1/19 USN&WR). He has long called for a socialistic "redistribution of wealth" to "take from the haves and give to the have nots" (see 11/1 CC). The visit should help Castro in reviving tourism to replace the billions of dollars of Soviet aid lost since 1990.
RELIGION IN CUBA—The most widespread form of religion in Cuba today is neither Protestant nor Catholic, but a syncretistic belief system called Santeria (1/12 CT). It combines the worship of traditional African deities with the adoration of Catholic saints. As many as 3 million Cubans are involved in Santeria, and Catholic baptism is required for many of these (1/18 H. Times). "Protestant" churches (Pentecostal, Baptist, etc.) are growing very rapidly and much faster than the Catholic Church. The pope would like to change this. Cuba remains a controlled and secular society. Persecution is still very real and severe.
PEDOPHILE PRIESTS—A former La. Catholic priest - first of many pedophiles who have cost the church hundreds of millions in lawsuits the past 15 years - is back in custody facing life in prison. Parents won a $119 million judgment last year against the Dallas diocese and a former priest.
HERITAGE USA CLOSED—Heritage USA, the PTL theme park founded by Jim Bakker, closed Nov. 30. It had attracted 6 million visitors in the 1980s and employed over 2,000 people (1/12 C.Today). The Malaysian corporation that purchased the 600-acre complex in 1992 could not find an investor to continue operating the 501-room hotel/resort.
SANDI PATTY BACK AGAIN—Sandi Patty is back to the top of CCM charts with a new recording two years after a 17-month adulterous affair with a backup singer she later married. Her new blended family now encompasses eight children (1/12 CT). Her influence as a role model tells children that marriage problems are solved by divorce.
CHRISTIANS WON'T FIT IN NEW WORLD ORDER—An advisor to the World Bank, the World Resources Institute, and the United Nations has stated publicly that the populations of the industrialized nations of Europe and North America must be cut in half (1/19 New Amer.). He advocates strong economic and social incentives to enforce population control on families and predicts a day soon when "people might be issued with a warrant entitling them to have one child." Those who refuse to flow with the globalist new way of thinking will not fit into the new "sustainable communities" planned by a presidential commission (10/13 C.News). These separatists will be labeled extremists, radicals, and obstacles to unity and solidarity.
BSF FLAWS—A former participant in BSF International (formerly Bible Study Fellowship) says it does much good and most of its teaching is Biblically sound, but says it deviates from Scripture and has serious errors in its structure, method of presenting the Bible study materials, and in content (12/97 Chr. Conscience). BSF was founded by A. Wetherell Johnson. It has dominionist roots, diverse members, and has allegedly become an encounter group.
MUSLIMS ATTACK CHRISTIANS—Militant followers of Islam are attacking Christians. Three million casualties have resulted from Sudan's central government attempt to wipe out Christianity and other religious minorities in the name of Islam (1/98 Bapt. Btn.). In Indonesia, 85 percent of its people are Muslims. Last year they destroyed over 300 churches there. Islam's Allah is not the God of the Bible. Islam denies the Trinity, Christ's resurrection and deity.
WEDDINGS, DIVORCE IN JAPAN—Less than 1 percent of Japan's population are churchgoers, but almost half of its weddings are by Christian clergy - albeit fake ones (1/3 Dallas Morn. News). The average wedding costs $21,760. Most, 10 years ago, were at Shinto shrines. Divorces in Japan have more than doubled in the past 25 years (1/12 C.News).
WILLIAMS TAKES ISSUE WITH GRAHAM'S 'EULOGY' OF JONES—Veteran fundamentalist leader Dr. J.B. Williams in a two-page critique says certain items in Dr. Billy Graham's statement on Dr. Bob Jones' recent death (see 12/1 CC) are misleading and "leave the wrong impression about the strong stand that Dr. Jones took for the fundamental truths of historic Christianity." He said "These also appear as a subtle way of justifying Dr. Graham's betrayal of historic Christianity by his accommodation to the apostates, the Roman Catholic Church, the neo-evangelicals, and the Christ-rejecting world, by his inclusive evangelism." Williams called Graham's claim that Jones "was a long time personal friend of mine" contrary to the facts. Citing his own near half-century close acquaintance (and many discussions) with Jones, Williams said: "Dr. Jones held the same convictions about Dr. Graham as a thousand true Biblical ministers do. We do not have any personal animosity against [him], but we do not consider him as a true man of God, because he betrayed our Lord, Whom we love, and the Christian Faith, that we defend, into the hands of the enemies of Christ." Williams said Graham's "personal friend" claim is "ludicrous and misleading."
GRAHAM SAYS ALL DENOMS HAVE SAME GOD—The Jan. 1998 Baptist Bulletin had this quote: "After Billy Graham wrapped up his three-city crusade in Oakland, Calif., he remarked, 'Wouldn't it be great if we could forget our denominations and just be people of God?' He also stated that all denominations and backgrounds 'have the same God.' More than 100 denominations were represented in the crusade." The Bible tells us there indeed will be an ecumenical world church such as PK and Graham promote, but it will be led by the Antichrist.
BOOK EXPOSES MacARTHUR ERRORS—We have just received a book by Miles J. Stanford entitled "MacArthurism" in which he says: "Dr. John MacArthur has a long and beneficial ministry, both spoken and written, for which all can be appreciative and thankful. Dr. MacArthur has a long and harmful ministry, of which all should be alerted, and warned. Integrated throughout Dr. MacArthur's extensive and influential ministry are a number of dangerous errors." Stanford then procedes to discuss at length some of these flaws. Main ones include MacArthur's teachings on: Dispensationalism, One-naturism, Incarnational Sonship of Christ, His Blood, and Lordship Salvation. He says MacArthur is no valid dispensationalist (as he claims), and that in all his writings most of his sources (39 in one book!) are anti-dispensational Covenant theologians. He warns of the harmful effect MacArthur has on churches (IFCA, e.g.). This big 100-page (8 1/2 x 11) book is available from MJS Books, P.O. Box 9215, Englewood, CO 80111, $12.95 + $1.50 postage.
CORNERSTONE SPEAKERS—Cornerstone College & Grand Rapids Seminary (GARBC-approved) Annual Bible Conference speakers, Feb. 16-20, include: Drs. Warren Wiersbe, Knute Larson, Erwin Lutzer, and GARBC National Representative John Greening. Lutzer and Wiersbe are well-known ecumenicals. Larson was a listed speaker for the 1995 Moody Founder's Week, and spoke at the 1994 NAE convention. Sadly, it seems to become clear why Dr. Greening might not want "tabloids" to report on who speaks where (see 12/1 CC) when GARBC compromise with new-evangelicals is involved!
ARMSTRONG TO RETIRE?—Garner Ted Armstrong is being asked to resign from the Church of God, Int'l, the breakaway cult he founded out of his father's (Herbert W.) Worldwide Church of God (1/8 Ala. Bapt.). This stems from a lawsuit filed by a masseuse who claims he sexually assaulted her during a 1995 massage session.
RELIGIOUS ROUNDTABLE & NRB MEETING—Ed McAteer's Religious Roundtable is sponsoring the 17th Annual International Christian Prayer Breakfast at the 55th Annual Convention and Exposition of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) at Washington, DC, Feb. 2. It is to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" and "to express our unconditional love for God's ancient people." It is billed as "The World's Foremost 'Prophetic Expression' of religious leadership attesting to the trustworthiness of the Word of God." Co-sponsors of this ecumenical religious event include: Jerry Falwell ministries, Tim Lee Ministries, Precept Ministries (Kay Arthur), and charismatic groups. Also participating/attending are: John Hagee, Don Wildmon, and NRB president Brandt Gustavson.
NEW EPISCOPAL PRESIDING BISHOP—The 2.5 million-member Episcopal Church is sharply split over women priests and the role of homosexuals in church life. On Jan. 10, Bishop Frank T. Griswold was installed as head of this liberal denomination. He preaches tolerance, and puts the church's ecumenical involvement with the 5.2 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America highest on his new agenda. The ceremony was launched by drum beats, chants, and traditional hymns (1/11 H. Times). Participants included Muslim, Jewish, Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox representatives, and the wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Episcopal Church is steeped in apostasy.
DALLAS SEMINARY DOINGS—Leighton Ford, who served 31 years with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and is Honorary Life Chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, was the Commencement speaker at Dallas Seminary last May. Christianity Today consulting editor Alister McGrath gave the Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectureship in chapel last year. Dallas president Chuck Swindoll, in an Oct. letter, called "Mother" Teresa a "remarkable woman." Should someone who led people into a false religious system be praised as "remarkable"? Dallas faculty spoke at Promise Keepers meetings last year, and at Wheaton, Moody, and Bryan College. Few today would question that Dallas is in the new-evangelical orbit.
FULLER SEMINARY'S SAD DECLINE—Christian News editor Rev. Herman Otten comments on Fuller Seminary's pathetic departure from the truth: "Fuller Seminary now rejects the theological position of its founder. It no longer affirms the inerrancy of the Bible, rejects what the Bible teaches about women being pastors, and promotes the charismatic movement. Conservative professors have left the seminary. When Fuller invited Bishop Ting, Communist sympathizer, to speak at Fuller, some 50 Chinese students protested by wearing black armbands." Fuller hosted a World Council of Churches (U.S. Conference) meeting in Dec. 1995 (see 3/15/96 CC).
ACCC'S REAFFIRMATION OF BIBLICAL SEPARATION—The American Council of Christian Churches, meeting in its 56th annual convention, Oct. 21-23, 1997, in Kingsport, Tenn., hereby reaffirms its strong belief that, according to the Bible, the basis of separation is the very holiness of God. This entails an ecclesiastical separation and a personal separation. We strongly reject the teaching of "degrees" of separation in the way this is used in our day to excuse pulpit-sharing with Neo-evangelicals and other brethren who have evinced a pattern of blatant disobedience to the doctrine of biblical separation. There are no "degrees" of obedience to God's Word. At the same time, we seek to lovingly admonish and restore such "pseudo-Fundamentalist" Christian brethren (2Thess. 3:14-15), and endeavor to "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (Eph. 4:3).
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