VOL. XV NO. 9 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM May 1, 1998
PRIEST GETS LIFE FOR ASSAULTS ON ALTAR BOYS—Suspended Catholic priest Rudy Kos was sentenced to life in prison from claims of four former altar boys that they were molested about 1,350 times over five years (4/2 H. Times). The scandal led to a record $119.6 million verdict against the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. The chief source of a 25-year decline in the number of priests is "required celibacy" (4/6 H.T.). "Forbidding to marry" is mentioned in 1Tim. 4:3 of some who would depart from the faith.
OUR PRESIDENT, A BAPTIST IN GOOD STANDING?—Assuming that all the women are lying about adulterous affairs with President Clinton (incredible!), he still should be excluded from any true Bible-believing church for his pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality views. Yet he remains a member in good standing at Immanuel Baptist Church (SBC) in Little Rock. We see no remorse or repentance, and he keeps attending the liberal pro-homosexual Foundry Methodist Church in Washington, DC. If conservatives are in power in the Southern Baptist Convention, why is Clinton still in good standing with an SBC church, and his church in good standing with the SBC? Dr. Jerry Falwell's church is now affiliated with the SBC (and BBF).
BANKRUPTCY REFORMS TO PROTECT DONATIONS—Congress has been urged to reform the federal bankruptcy law to prevent churches from being overwhelmed by law-suits concerning donations received from individuals who later file for bankruptcy (3/16 Chr. News). One church spent $280,000 in legal fees trying to protect $13,500 in donations from a couple who declared bankruptcy (4/98 Your Church).
POLYGAMY IN UTAH—Mormons renounced polygamy in 1890 in a bid for Utah statehood. It remains a felony in Utah but is no longer prosecuted. Christian News (3/16) pictures a 35,000 square-foot hotel-style home in southern Utah with 37 bathrooms and 31 bedrooms, for one husband, 10 wives and 28 children. The article had this quote: "How do you lock up a guy for having two wives when Wilt Chamberlain talks about sleeping with thousands of women?"
BEWARE HUGH ROSS, PROGRESSIVE CREATIONISM—A comic book by Dr. Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe aimed at Christian young people has dangerous teachings. It denigrates people who believe in the straightforward understanding of Genesis and teaches all manner of beliefs directly opposed to Scripture. Examples of these are found in the 2/98 Answers In Genesis Newsletter. Yet Ross has been featured/endorsed by Focus on the Family, Wheaton, Moody, Trinity, Fuller, etc. (1/15/96 CC) His books have been endorsed by many new-evangelical leaders, e.g., Bill Bright, Norman Geisler, R. C. Sproul, and James Dobson.
RADICAL RELATIVITY, PLURALISM,EXCLUSIVISM—Radical relativity has invaded our cultural consciousness. Absolutes are disdained as idolatrous, illusory, and bigoted. Choice itself is good, and the only choice that cannot be tolerated is that some beliefs are true/good and others are false/wrong. About 70 percent of today's world population in non-Christian (1/12 Chr. Today). Pluralists teach the absurdity that all world religions are equally valid, that salvation is equally accessible in all of them. But Christians are exclusivists, claiming that when two religions make incompatible truth claims both cannot logically be true. But our cultural climate is becoming such that to criticize someone's religious beliefs is to be an intolerant bigot. Proselytizing thus becomes the worst social sin (crime?).
E.C. PROPHET'S NEW AGE C.U.T. CULT WOES—The Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT) led by Elizabeth Clare Prophet, fearing a nuclear holocaust in the 1980s, built bomb shelters, stock-piled food, fuel, clothing and weapons. Now disillusioned by the calamity that never came, it is selling two-thirds of its 12,000-acre Royal Teton Ranch just north of Yellowstone National Park. Prophet's fourth marriage ended in divorce last year, her epilepsy is worsening, and she has an undiagnosed neurological disease that attacks her memory (4/4 HT). She is believed by followers to be in contact with Ascended Masters (4/6 CN). CUT's teachings, a blend of Eastern/Western religions, involve karma, reincarnation, and communal living.
TBN'S CROUCH REQUESTS DEATH FOR ENEMIES?—In the false unity scheme of a world religion/government, those who persist in claiming that some teachings are wrong will be silenced for the good of society. Dave Hunt says (4/98 Berean Call): "That trend is already reflected by TBN's Paul Crouch, whose prayer demands immunity from correction: "God, we proclaim death to anything or anyone that would lift a hand against this ministry...."
UN IS AN IRREMEDIABLE FAILURE—Architects of a unified world religion and world government may well use something like a United Nations to usher in a new world order to be headed by the Antichrist. Today, 50 years after its founding, the UN is the biggest, clumsiest and most malfunctioning colonial conglomeration ever assembled. William Braun makes this charge and amply documents it (3/98 Chr. Conscience, P.O. Box 57054, Des Moines, IA 50317). He said the UN, war and fraud are synonymous - that over 600 major armed conflicts have broken out since the UN began and that five of the permanent members of the "peace-keeping" UN are also the world's five major arms suppliers. So is the UN a dismal failure in preventing wars, OR is it instead highly successful in promoting them?
DENVER SEMINARY'S SLIDE LEFTWARD, DOWN NEW EVANGELICAL SLIPPERY SLOPE—Denver Seminary is stressing the fact that "changes" are occurring there (see 4/1 CC for indication of liberal trends). Its premiere issue of Vantage Point says DS founders in 1950 adhered to a tight dispensational theology..., and "emphasized our separation from denominations and agencies allegedly deviant in their doctrinal commitments....But changes gradually took place. Indeed, as Dr. [Vernon] Grounds recalled, 'Our critics repeatedly warned that we were starting down the slippery slope of Bible-denying unbelief....' For example, the seminary was committed to premillennialism. Yet, by the end of its first year, our board was no longer insisting that all professors subscribe to the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. We no longer required professors to hold membership in Conservative Baptist churches and allowed [some] non-Baptists to serve on our governing board. [DS] even introduced a counseling program."
CARTER'S SBC 'PEACE TREATY'—Former President Jimmy Carter has convened two meetings and convinced Southern Baptists from liberal, moderate, and conservative factions to sign a declaration of mutual respect ("as brothers and sisters in Christ") and cooperation (4/2 Ala. Baptist). Some liberal-moderate leaders signed it, plus "conservatives" such as SBC president Tom Elliff, Paige Patterson, and SBC Exec. Comm. pres. Morris Chapman.
BMM INVOLVED WITH WARE'S BBC—Baptist Bible College of Indianapolis hosted the 3rd Multiracial Ministry Conference April 22-25 (see 2/15 CC). Listed speakers included well-known ecumenicals such as: Joe Stowell, Jay Kesler, John Perkins, and BBC Pres. Charles Ware. Cedarville College Pres. Paul Dixon and Alex Montoya were also listed to speak. Perhaps what grieves us most is that two Baptist Mid-Missions missionaries are BBC faculty members and were listed to conduct Workshops at this meeting. BMM is said to be "the largest fundamental Baptist missions organization in the world." We spoke by phone with BMM President Dr. Gary Anderson who said BMM is in the process of moving away from BBC ties, that the direction Ware is going is unacceptable. But he is hopeful that the severance can come without destroying the needed work begun. Ware says: "Our passion is to be a biblical multicultural college with an African American emphasis." BBC's goal is "to model biblical multicultural ministry and promote racial reconciliation rooted in redemption." A BBC flyer says: "Clear Communication of the gospel requires an understanding of the culture in which the gospel is being communicated." Ware is listed in Jerry Falwell's 4/98 Nat'l Liberty Journal as a speaker for Rick Gage's "Go Tell" camps, laden with So. Baptist speakers. Ware often platform-shares with ecumenicals.
PCA SPEAKER AT GARBC CHURCH—Susan Hunt, Women in the Church Consultant for the Presbyterian Church in America's Christian Education Committee, was the listed speaker for the Indiana Fellowship of Regular Baptist Church's ladies conference at the College Park Baptist Church in Indianapolis. The PCA is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals.
CECIL TODD CONFERENCE FEATURES BAKKER, HAGEE, HARRINGTON, & MAXWELL—Cecil/Linda Todd were hosts for a Calling America To Repentance And Prayer conference, March 31-April 2, in Branson, Mo. (4/98 Charisma) Listed speakers were John Hagee, Jim Bakker, Bob Harrington ("Chaplain of Bourbon Street"), John Maxwell, Jesse Duplantis, and Billy Joe Daugherty. The latter two appear on charismatic TBN. Harrington and Maxwell are recent Falwell speakers.
PRO-HOMOSEXUALITY OF EPISCOPAL LEADERS— Edmond Browning, in his final address as Presiding Bishop, said: "As Anglicans, we discern God's will through Scripture, tradition and reason. However, some have chosen to embrace biblical literalism instead of our Anglican tradition. History tells us that biblical literalism was used to support both the practice of slavery and the denigration of women. We have moved past slavery and are moving past the oppression of women. It is time to move past using literalistic readings of the Bible to create prejudices against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters." (Spr.'98 Evang. Concerned) And the new Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, is said to have "long been a supporter of the full participation of gay and lesbian persons in the life of the Church."
FALWELL, OPERATION RESCUE FEUD—Operation Rescue leaders, angry that Jerry Falwell failed to publicly support OR director Flip Benham who sits in a Lynchburg jail for trespassing at a local school, seemed to punish Liberty University for its bookstore being run by Barnes & Noble, the bookseller indicted on child porn charges (4/4 World). Falwell says he gave $10,000 of his own money to help defend OR founder Randall Terry, but said: "But when Operation Rescue moved their battleground from abortion clinics to public schools, I could not lend my support to such behavior or tactics."
NAE AN OLD BOY'S CLUB?—The aging of National Association of Evangelicals' members and donors poses a problem. The average age of NAE's direct-mail donors is now over 70. But beyond an aging constituency, the NAE is also beset with the issue of how to include more minorities and women in its life and work. Don Argue, NAE's first Pentecostal leader, has resigned. He had ties with the liberal NCC and has said the NAE is "too old, too white and too male." As older members die off, the NAE can be expected to become even more liberal and social-issues oriented. A 3/30 Christian News article had this quote: "The good thing about NAE is you hear more and more about the poor, about issues of justice, race."
IDAHOSA 'RAISER OF DEAD' DIES—Nigerian pastor and charismatic leader Benson Idahosa died suddenly from a heart attack March 12 while chatting with Oral Roberts University visiting officials (5/98 Charisma). He was closely linked to several American charismatic churches, including Earl Paulk's and Don Meares'. He had been highly touted as one who raised people from the dead. The 5/89 Charisma said of Idahosa: "His bold preaching - born out of having seen the dead raised to life - sparked thousands of miraculous healings and hundreds of thousands of salvations." The 7/90 Charisma noted that he "has been used by God to raise the dead." Why couldn't the ORU guys raise Idahosa from the dead?
PELIKAN CONVERTS TO ORTHODOXY—Liberal Lutheran scholar Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan, one of the best known Lutherans in the world, has left the Lutheran Church (LCMS) and converted to Orthodoxy (4/6 Chr. News). He was a member of the WCC's Faith and Order Commission. The Orthodox Church is a WCC member.
THE 'GOOD' IN FALSE DOCTRINE?—False teaching closest to the truth, without being the truth, is the most dangerous for deception. The addition of good to evil may magnify the evil (1/98 CACC). Adding good grain to arsenic makes rat poison more dangerous. A naked hook from the point of view of a fish is pure evil, but not very dangerous. Add succulent bait, which, by itself is good, and the hook becomes much more dangerous and deadly.
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