VOL. XV NO. 10 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM May 15, 1998
|PK GETS $4 MILLION, RECALLS STAFF—Promise Keepers in
Feb. announced the layoff of its entire staff of 345 effective March 31.
But early last month, employees were told to report to work April 16. About
270 showed up, the others had taken jobs elsewhere (5/2 World).
Donors sent over $4 million during March in response to the crisis.
CLINTON, COMMUNION AT CATHOLIC CHURCH—Under a cloud of sexual scandal, President Clinton took "Holy Communion" from the Rev. Mohlomi Makobane during Mass at a Catholic church in South Africa, Mar. 29 (4/13 Chr. News), arousing the ire of Catholics around the world. The appointed "uncomfortable" Scripture passage for the day was John 8:1-11 (the woman taken in adultery).
MORMONS TO BUILD 30 NEW TEMPLES—Mormons recently announced the construction of 30 new temples around the world, to bring them geographically closer to members of the fast-growing church (4/13 Chr. News). They currently have 51. The new temples will be much smaller.
NEW EVANGELICALS ENDORSE ALPHA COURSE—We recently warned that the philosophy of the Alpha Course is New Age and that it leads to experiences rooted in the occult (3/1 CC). It promotes humanism, ecumenism, and Charismaticism (tongues-speaking, Toronto Blessing, etc.). We now see a full page ad for it in the 4/27 Christianity Today, with endorsements by Leighton Ford, Luis Palau, J.I.Packer, and Alister McGrath. This course was developed at the Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London, but is now also sweeping the U.S. The CRN Journal (Spr.'98, from England) said that in May and Sept. Alpha Course leaders are set on integrating it into every denomination and church group in the UK. It added: "We must do what we can to wake people up to the massively over-hyped and spiritually deceptive Alpha Course with its wholly inadequate view of Christian conversion and experience."
NAE, JEWISH, CATHOLIC LEADERS VISIT CHINA—NAE's Pentecostal leader Don Argue, RC Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and Rabbi Arthur Schneier visited China in Feb. to discuss religious freedom with top officials (5/98 Moody). Argue said: "We observed for the registered church there is freedom within the parameters of 'normal religious activity' as defined by the government. But for the 'unregistered' churches – which includes most evangelicals - those same freedoms do not exist. Those outside the official sphere are subject to pressure, harassment, even detention or imprisonment for their beliefs, although treatment by local officials varies widely from place to place." Many house church pastors were arrested recently (5/98 Charisma). Yet Red China receives MFN trade status.
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, BUT TO WHICH GOD?—The National Day of Prayer was May 7 this year. Again, the chairman was Shirley (Mrs. James) Dobson, co-chair was Vonette (Mrs. Bill) Bright, and the liaisons were D. James Kennedy, a Catholic priest and a Jewish rabbi. Charles Colson and E.V. Hill were on the National Advisory Committee. Organizers of the Colorado Springs event (Dobson Headquarters city) said it's an ecumenical event, and "We would certainly welcome people of all faiths there." A local Huntsville NDP service included Catholic, Jewish, mainline liberal denomination, and Southern Baptist congregations. The Christian's God, the Triune God of the Bible, is the only God that exists (Isa. 44:8). He is a jealous God (Ex. 34:14) who will not share his glory with other gods (Isa. 42:8), e.g., the gods of cultists and "other faiths."
GOSPEL-FREE, GOLDEN-RULE CHRISTIANITY—A most striking feature of post-modern America, the virtual evaporation of Christian conviction, bodes badly for true churches. Hartford Seminary sociologist Nancy Ammerman says we are seeing the rise of a new form of Christianity in America - Golden Rule Christianity - helping others, doing good deeds (5/2 World). This is what's left after you remove the gospel. Sin and redemption are out. GRC is inoffensive and makes few demands on its adherents. The larger culture is now a "theology-free zone" where Christian convictions may be tolerated if they are little more than pretty buildings and religious entertainment.
BAD FAITH?—Four of every five sick children in the U.S. who died after their parents put their trust in faith healing could probably have survived if medical treatment had been sought (5/2 World). In a recent study of child deaths in faith-healing families (1975-1995), 81 percent were due to conditions that had a survival rate exceeding 90 percent with treatment. God certainly can and does heal, but oftentimes he may will to do so through a medical doctor.
HOMOSEXUAL TOURISM—Travel agencies, airlines, and even chambers of commerce are fighting for the "pink dollar" - the vacation business of homosexuals. Key West, Fla. has gained a reputation as a homosexual hot spot (5/2 World). The Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce says homosexuals spend a lot more money than inebriated college students. The London Tourism Board targets homosexuals with an ad campaign in San Francisco. Christians are responding to all this with their own pocketbook power.
NOEBEL IS NEW CACC LEADER—After serving 45 years, Dr. Fred Schwarz, 85, is resigning the presidency of the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade and passing the torch on to Summit Ministries President David Noebel.
IFCA BENT TOWARD NEW EVANGELICALISM—Many times in recent years we have documented the sad fact that the flow of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America is in a new-evangelical direction. Its 69th annual convention is set for Quentin Road Bible Church, Lake Zurich, Ill., June 22-26. Speakers include: Alex Montoya, IFCA Exec. Committee member who teaches at John MacArthur's Master's Seminary; and Al Platt, pres. -emeritus, CAM Int'l (see 8/15/87 CC). The Women's Convention speaker is Joy Rice Martin, who has various ecumenical speakers at her Joyful Woman Jubilees. The IFCA Youth Convention is at the notoriously new-evangelical Trinity Internat'l University, Deerfield, IL. The IFCA has had many links to MacArthur and his church and schools in recent years. It runs full page ads in its Voice promoting his schools and Study Bible. MacArthur's church hosted the IFCA's 1990 national convention. His dangerous/confusing teachings on salvation and certain doctrines of Christ, and his pulpit-sharing with ecumenicals, deeply concern fundamentalists.
MacARTHUR, JEREMIAH JOIN WITH SWINDOLL, SMITH IN GREG LAURIE SEMINAR—The May-June Moody has a full-page ad for a Greg Laurie Leader's Training Seminar in Anaheim, Calif., Aug. 26-29, featuring Chuck Swindoll, Chuck Smith, David Jeremiah, and John MacArthur. Laurie, pastor of the large Harvest Christian Fellowship church in Riverside, CA, is a Promise Keepers and Billy Graham Training Center speaker. This event, held concurrently with a Laurie Harvest Crusade, is not dubbed a debate but, as Rick Miesel puts it, it's five men speaking on the same platform in supposed agreement. Miesel further opines that "perhaps MacArthur has abandoned his hypocrisy on the psychology issue and now openly wishes to identify with it and its infamous teachers?" MacArthur and Jeremiah by thus identifying with ecumenicals and mainline New Evangelicals, again prove they are not worthy of support by fundamentalists. Smith's Calvary Chapel is credited with giving birth to the Jesus People movement and CCM/rock music about three decades ago, and, more recently, to Wimber's Vineyard movement.
WOODROW KROLL & 'BACK TO THE BIBLE'—Dr. Jerry Falwell's National Liberty Journal (April) included Dr. Woodrow Kroll on its "distinguished list of visiting professors" at Liberty Baptist Seminary. Yet when we reported this, Dr. Kroll, in an e-mail from his secretary in response to a CC reader's query, seemed to distance himself from LBS and made the CC the issue. His secretary wrote: "He has no idea what the 'Calvary Contender' is nor knows what it is saying about an association with Jerry Falwell." When Kroll was appointed in 1990 to replace Dr. Warren Wiersbe as general director and Bible teacher for Back to the Bible Broadcast, Christian News (6/4/90) reported that Kroll had been an associate pastor at Falwell's church and a professor at Liberty University. Kroll has spoken at Moody, Word of Life, and at the Billy Graham Training Center ("The Cove") in NC (7/15/90 CC). He is listed again this year at the latter as an Oct. 19-23 speaker. Many erstwhile good ministries today deceive supporters by misleading and evasive tactics to downplay or cover their ecumenical ties.
NEW TRIBES MISSIONARIES ARE SO. BAPTISTS—An article in the 4/23 Alabama Baptist states: "The husbands of three Southern Baptist missionary couples serving in…Panama were kidnapped five years ago…." These missionaries are with the nondenominational New Tribes Mission based in Sanford, Fla. We have long warned of NTM's new-evangelical associations (see 10/15/96 CC), but many fundamental churches still support it based on its somewhat strong statement on separation.
EVANGELICALS EXPLAIN ECT II—The evangelical team (Timothy George, Thomas Oden, J.I. Packer) who helped draft "The Gift of Salvation" (ECT II - see 1/1 CC) decided to explain it publicly in an Open Letter in the 4/27 Christianity Today: "We [new] evangelicals who signed 'The Gift of Salvation' [with Catholics] do not claim a unity of faith with the church of Rome. What we do acknowledge is a unity in Christ with Roman Catholic believers who, no less than we ourselves, have been saved by God's grace and justified by faith alone. Despite our doctrinal differences, we who by faith know, love, trust and hope in Christ the Mediator are brothers and sisters in the Lord.…" The unity from this dangerous, confusing deprecation of doctrine is a false and Satanic one.
WHAT IS NEW EVANGELICALISM?—Pastor Bruce Oyen gives various answers to this question in a feature article in the 3/98 Ohio Bible Fellowship Visitor. "New Evangelicalism is a theology which confesses orthodox Christian doctrine, but which allows ecclesiastical ties with those who do not." Oyen said he gave examples of new evangelicalism "to make us aware of the fact that it is far more common than we think [because] new evangelicalism, according to the father of the term, Harold J. Ockenga, is a theology which professes to hold to orthodox Christianity, but which has repudiated separation from those who profess unorthodox theologies, such as Roman Catholicism, modernism and neo-orthodoxy." Reprints of this 4-page leaflet are available at: OBF, 3865 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214, 10/$3.50.
NewsNotes—The Roman Catholic Church has a long and brutal history of persecuting those who don't firmly believe in its doctrines (4/13 USN & WR letter). *** Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput has endorsed Roman Catholic participation in Promise Keepers provided it reinforces men's Catholic faith (Challenger). *** Jeffrey Gros, a "Roman Catholic theologian" formerly "served as director of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches" (Mar-Apr Fund. Digest). *** CBA Denver Seminary pres. Clyde McDowell calls Billy Graham and Bill Bright "great leaders" (4/15 letter). *** Moody Bible Institute refused to carry Dr. James Dobson's program featuring Adrian Rogers's sermon on immorality in government due to its tone, etc. (4/25 World).
FALWELL DEFENDS AMWAY—Critics accuse Amway of having an occult and New Age connection by the books and tapes it promotes. Napoleon Hill's book Think and Grow Rich is one example given. Some former Amway distributors say Amway is cultish, greedy, and materialistic. But Jerry Falwell denies this (5/98 NLJ). He calls Amway a great business enterprise, and says its co-founder Rich DeVos has spoken at Liberty University.
FBF & IBFNA MEETINGS—The 78th annual meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, June 9-11, is hosted by Bethel Baptist Church, Schaumburg, IL. Keynote speakers: Rod Bell, Rick Flanders, Mike Harding, David Innes, Stephen Jones, Greg McLaughlin, Fred Moritz, Ed Nelson, Steve Pettit, Jim VanGelderen, and John Vaughn. *** The annual family Bible conference of the Independent Baptist Fellowship of No. America is at Plymouth, MA, June 16-18. Speakers include: Dan Brown, George Youstra, Wm.Hopewell, Howard Wilburn, Duane King, Tom Nieman, Russ Carnagey, & Willard Benedict.
BBF PRESIDENT STARTING NEW SCHOOL—Baptist Bible Fellowship president Sam Davison is starting a new school in Oklahoma. Dr. R.L. Hymers believes it will be a "Ruckman" school and has sent an "Open Letter To Sam Davison…" to several thousand BBF pastors, trying (unsuccessfully) to get Davison to answer questions on this.
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