GAMBLING IS A LOSING PROPOSITION—A lottery bill to fund education seems to some a noble gambit. But it's often a first step to casinos. In five years Mississippi has grown 30 casinos, trailing only Nevada in square feet of gambling space. Gambling is an ancient vice that has destroyed lives, and is a family-killing industry. It sends bankruptcy and suicide rates soaring. A 1997 study from Miss. State University estimated between 46,400 and 88,700 problem gamblers in Miss. If estimates of social costs of gambling are accurate, problem gamblers cost Miss. at least $600 million annually - a lot more than casinos pay in taxes (5/18 C. Today). But, deceptively, these costs are diffuse, while the taxes are money in the bank. Gambling is a losing proposition for those who can least afford it, a tax on the poor. It is immoral and decadent for a state government to entice its citizens to throw their money away.

CATHOLICS NOW NUMBER 1 BILLION—The Vatican estimates there are now a billion Roman Catholics in the world, if nearly 5 million in China and North Korea are included in the totals (5/4 Christian News). Latin America is a vital RC stronghold, but inroads by charismatics and evangelicals are causing deep concern among Catholics.

CATHOLICS SEDUCE NEW EVANGELICALS—Graham, Schuller, Van Impe, Colson, Dobson, Falwell and others have praised Pope John Paul II. Colson and Richard John Neuhaus (liberal Lutheran who converted to Catholicism) were architects of the 1994 ECT and the 1997 ECT-2. Bill Bright, Pat Robertson and other new evangelicals signed those two ecumenical documents. This is a colossal betrayal of the Protestant Reformation and the memory of martyred millions. At a recent meeting of ECT-2 signers and Latin American Catholic bishops, Cardinal Cassidy declared that the "Catholic Church has evangelized Latin America over a period of five hundred years [and] established the Christian Church [there]." He said a "sense of respect would seem to require that newcomers [evangelicals] not target for their evangelizing work the active, baptized members of the Church that [did] the original evangelization...." This agreement (approved by Colson, Bright, et al.) forbids evangelicals to evangelize the 90 percent or more of Latin Americans who were baptized as infants into the RC Church (Dave Hunt, 5/98 The Berean Call). Blind new evangelicals, tragically, do not discern that Rome's false gospel is powerless to save.

HOMOSEXUALS INTERRUPT EASTER SERVICE—Homosexual rights activists stormed the pulpit at Canterbury Cathedral in London on Easter Sunday, April 12, interrupting the sermon given by Dr. George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury. (5/4 Christian News).

'PRO-CHOICE' OR JUST 'PRO-ABORTION'?—George Will (1/18 Huntsv. Times) says: "Many who call themselves 'pro-choice' demand tolerance of the right to choose to kill almost-born babies, but are intolerant of the right to choose one's public school, to smoke, to own a gun, to rent your basement apartment to whom you choose...or to broadcast a truthful description of...killing [by partial-birth abortion]."

ABORTION PREVENTS CHILD ABUSE?—Some say abortion prevents many unwanted/unloved babies, and child abuse. It may. But it's like using a hatchet to kill a fly on your friend's forehead. Or murdering a husband or wife to prevent possible later spousal abuse. Using such extreme violence to prevent possible lesser violence seems insane.

HOMOSEXUAL HOUSEMATES AT HARVARD—Diana Eck, a professor of comparative religion and Indian studies at Harvard University, assumes duties with fellow professor Dorothy Austin (her lesbian partner for 20 years) this July as housemasters at Harvard's Lowell House. This lesbian couple has been partners for 20 years. (4/26 H. Times). Eck headed a WCC commission dealing with dialogue with pagan religions in 1988. (12/1/88 Christian Beacon).

SELF-ESTEEM FAD LOSING STEAM—James Dobson, Robert Schuller, Charles Swindoll, and others have been big promoters of self-esteem psychobabble - even though its assumptions are wrong and its basic premises have been discredited by a lot of research. John Leo in the 5/18 USN & WR says: "The core assumption in the self-esteem movement is that children cannot learn or develop properly unless they form a positive self-image. But no study has ever demonstrated a connection between feeling good about oneself and improved performance. Some students feel terrible about themselves and become academic and social successes. Others brim with self-confidence and do awful work." Recent research on self-esteem has been devastating. Asian students outperformed Americans in a recent test, but U.S. students felt better about themselves. U.S. schools worry more about sensitivity and how students view themselves than about academic skills. Outcome-Based Education (OBE) promotes this "dumbing down" idea. Also, the argument that low self-esteem is the cause of violence has been discredited. Studies of gang members show that their self-esteem is as high as that of overachievers.

THE DISCERNER EXPOSES CULTS AND HERESIESThe Discerner is an interdenominational heresy-exposing quarterly booklet (24 pages) that has news of cult and New Age cult events and related topics. The Editorial Committee is Dr. William BeVier and Timothy Buege. Get it from: P.O. Box 22098, Robbinsdale, MN 55422, $4/yr., 800/562-9153.

MUGABE CRITICIZES 'GAYS' & WORLD COUNCIL—Zimbabwe's Marxist President Robert Mugabe has once again lashed out at homosexuals and criticized the World Council of Churches, scheduled to meet there in Dec., for being soft on homosexuals (5/4 Chr. News). He said: "Animals in the jungle are better than [homosexuals] because at least they know how to distinguish between a male and a female." He repeated his earlier criticism that homosexuality is neither African nor Christian and is completely unacceptable. It is ironic that a communist has more discernment than an apostate church council!

THE ECUMENICAL ONE-WORLD CHURCH—Roman Catholics now number 1 billion, and half of them live in Latin America. By the year 2000, experts predict, Africa, Asia, and Latin America will have nearly three quarters of the world's Catholic population (5/11 USN&WR). The WCC's general secretary has renewed his call for the main Christian churches to start, in the year 2000, a process to lead to a universal Christian council uniting all churches and Christians (5/4 Chr. News). Pope John Paul II's chief doctrinal officer (Cardinal Ratzinger) speaks of Catholic "responsibility for the unity of the Church, her faith, and her morals," and he envisions the ways in which the exercise of the office of the papacy will change "when hitherto separated communities enter into unity with the Pope." (5/18 Christianity Today). The Pope in 1995 invited non-Catholics to join in rethinking the exercise of the papal office so that it might become an instrument of, rather than an obstacle to, Christian unity.

LUTHERAN/CATHOLIC DIALOGUE—Over 700 people representing church bodies of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the Roman Catholic Church came to Concordia Seminary (Ft. Wayne, IN), on April 15 to listen to and take part in a dialogue that focused on the ecumenical movement. RC Cardinal Cassidy said: "There can be no real unity if we remain divided on doctrinal questions." The Colson-Neuhaus ECT 2 strategy seems to be to redefine doctrinal terms and accelerate a pseudo unity. Christian News editor Herman Otten says liberal Lutherans and Roman Catholics both reject the doctrine of justification by faith alone in the merits of Jesus Christ, and both groups (including the Pope) do not believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and that Christianity is the one and only saving faith.

CAMPOLO A BAD ROLE MODEL FOR YOUTH—A Youth Specialties National Youth Workers Convention is set for this fall at Denver and Nashville. Speakers listed in the brochure include Tony Campolo, David Ring, Al Menconi, and Barry St. Clair. The Nashville meeting will also feature Stephen Brown, Buster Soaries, Jars of Clay, Ken Medema, and Steven Curtis Chapman. At an April 1996 "Summit on Ethics and Meaning" conference - which featured a bizarre assortment of New Agers, communists, radical feminists, abortion rights supporters, and homosexual activists - Campolo claimed he is changing the evangelical community from within by targeting youth.

BARTH, A SOCIALIST, PRAISED BY EVANGELICALS—Karl Barth, a liberal and "father of Neo-orthodoxy," was a lifelong socialist who praised, and refused to condemn, Communism (5/98 The Schwarz Report). Yet he has been praised by many so-called evangelicals/ecumenicals such as Billy Graham, F.F. Bruce, Kenneth Kantzer, Elisabeth Elliot, and a Dallas Seminary prof. (Info Select). Former Fuller Seminary pres. (1950s) E.J. Carnell said: "Whatever Barth may lack in the way of doctrinal consistency he compensates for by his Christian graciousness."

BBFI TO SPLIT?—The Baptist Bible Fellowship Int'l seems to be on the verge of a major rift. At issue, primarily, is the sale of its Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College to the Los Angeles Church of Christ cult (see 9/1/97 Chr. Today), and the King James Bible controversy. Dr. R.L. Hymers has a video of the LACC cult holding a service on the campus of PCBBC. He says BBF President Sam Davison is starting a new school in Oklahoma which he (Hymers) and others believe will be a "Ruckmanite" school. Dr. George Dollar sent us a copy of a 3/30 letter where Davison said: "Until recent weeks, I had no serious thought whatsoever of a Bible college in Oklahoma City....But as BBC Pres. Dr. Leland Kennedy and I talked I knew...that we were drifting apart in our philosophy with regard to Bible college training." Davison added: "We have no intention of 'leaving' the BBFI, splitting the BBFI, or starting a new fellowship." Dr. Dollar said this letter shows the "first major break in the BBF. Pacific Coast will close and 'Mid Central' will open." Stay tuned.

WCC'S 50th ANNIVERSARY, ORTHODOX RIFT? - Orthodox churches, whose 350 million followers account for about 25 percent of the World Council of Churches' membership, have decided to boycott certain parts of the WCC's 8th assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe in Dec. This is initiated by the huge Russian Orthodox Church. The Orthodox churches want the WCC to backtrack on such liberal reforms as ordination of women and acceptance of homosexuals (5/16 H. Times). Speakers at this the WCC's 50th anniversary celebration include: Julius Nyerere, communist former president of Tanzania; Philip Potter, WCC head in 1977 who praised the communist victory in Vietnam (11/1/88 CC); and Pauline Webb, the first woman officer of the WCC and the first woman to preach at the opening worship of a WCC Assembly (1983). The WCC-Orthodox dispute threatens to cause a closer ecumenical bond between the Orthodox churches and the Catholic Church. The latter is not a full member of the WCC but it (and Southern Baptists) works cooperatively with the WCC. [ACCC Executive Sec'y Dr. Ralph Colas attended two important WCC meetings in 1997, and plans to attend the Dec. 1998 meeting, and has incisive reports available at: P.O. Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015.]

PK'S McCARTNEY A CHARISMATIC—Promise Keepers' founder Bill McCartney, who took his family from the Catholic Church in 1988 to join the Boulder Valley Vineyard, speaks the language and worldview of John Wimber's charismatic Vineyard fellowship of Churches (5/18 Chr. Today). He says God drove the nail into the coffin of his football aspirations through "a word" from Randy Phillips, who said: "I believe the Lord would have me tell you that you're not supposed to coach anywhere next year." PK began a "covenant partners" program last year, and currently 40,000 partners are donating an average of $200,000 a month. McCartney says: "It's God's plan to ask the body to do this together."

GRAHAM & DAUGHTER AWARDED—Billy Graham and his daughter Anne Graham Lotz were given the 1998 Golden Word Award from the International Bible Society in Colorado Springs March 20 (4/9 Ala. Baptist). Graham for his 50 years of worldwide preaching; and both he and Lotz, a Bible teacher/preacher, for their "commitment to Scripture." Tragically, this is an incredible reason!

GOTHARD SEMINARS—The Bill Gothard seminars continue to be held in Charismatic, New Evangelical, and Southern Baptist Convention churches (4/98 Fund. Digest). His All Day Ministers Seminars are a composite of these three groupings. [Rick Miesel's 33-page recent report on Gothard's teachings is available for $3.50 from: BFT, 900 Park Ave., Collingswood, NJ 08108, Ph. 800/John 10:9]

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