VOL. XV NO. 13 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM July 1, 1998
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH'S EVIL TACTICS—The Russian Orthodox Church has worked hard to stir up nationalist sentiment through the parliament, in efforts to ban Protestant, Catholic and foreign-originated evangelistic work altogether (6/98 Charisma). One source said that Gideon Bibles, after being given out free to Moscow hotels, have vanished from the rooms, later ending up for commercial sale at Russian Orthodox churches over town.
THE MORMON EMPIRE—Some say Mormonism will be the next world religion. With 55,000 missionaries serving in 160 countries, and doubling since 1981, it now has a membership of over 10 million. Each Mormon missionary, on average, leads about six people each year to Mormonism (1998 On Mission). The Mormon Church produces an estimated $5.9 billion a year and has over $30 billion in assets. It owns many temples and meeting houses, 16 radio stations, a television station, a daily Salt Lake City newspaper, a book company, a ranch near Orlando worth $858 million, and Utah's largest department store chain. All these make Mormonism the largest religious financial enterprise in the U.S. outside of the Roman Catholic Church.
L'ENGLE PRAISED BY NEW EVANGELICALS—Fiction writer Madeleine L'Engle is praised by Chuck Colson and other New Evangelicals, but a critic says her writings are "laced with occultism and New Age imagery." (1/1 CC). Her manuscripts and papers are at Wheaton College. Two months ago an Orland Hills (Ill.) school opted out of an essay contest in honor of L'Engle's 80th birthday, saying her fictional works "do not glorify God," contain "appalling, degrading and blasphemous teachings about Jesus Christ" and "undermine the truths of the Bible." (6/11 Chicago Sun-Times). L'Engle says Christians are the only people who "don't get it." She said "fundamentalists are afraid of the word 'imagination.'" She added: "God is a god of love. He doesn't look like Moses in a bad temper. He isn't out to get you if you do wrong." On creationism vs. evolution, she says "Evolution seems the most likely at the moment."
FBF RESOLUTION ON 'GOSPEL OF SELF-ESTEEM'—The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship condemns the continued slide of the religious world into a Gospel of self-esteem which changes the Biblical message of how a holy God accepts depraved humanity into an emphasis of how good people accept themselves. This perversion has severely distorted the true Gospel of Christ and has produced a generation devoted to hedonism (pleasure is the principal good in life) and narcissism (an infatuation with self). This has resulted in an "entitlement ethic" rather than a work ethic which has moved beyond simply wanting something into a feeling that we deserve it.
PAT ROBERTSON PREDICTS ORLANDO'S DOOM—Pat Robertson has warned Orlando, Fla. that it risks hurricanes, earthquakes and terrorist bombs by allowing homosexual organizations to display multicolored rainbow flags on street lamp poles in support of sexual diversity (6/10 H. Times). "Gay Days" at Disney World prompted Robertson's statement. He said the Apostle Paul made it very clear in Romans that the acceptance of homosexuality is the last step in the decline of Gentile civilization.
LOTT CALLS HOMOSEXUALITY SIN—Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott came under fire last month for delaying approving yet another Clinton-appointed sodomite to a high post (in this case, ambassador to Luxembourg). Lott called homosexuality a sin and said "gays" should be helped just like alcoholics, sex addicts, or kleptomaniacs. Lott is right and his critics better be careful debating the biblical consequences (Gen.19) of sodomy with someone named Lott!
ARNOTT TAKES 'TORONTO BLESSING' TO FRANCE - John and Carol Arnott and Guy Chevreau led a team from the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship ("laughing revival" church) in March to Paris for a unity conference. This came at the invitation of a former Anglican who now pastors a Reformed church. Before the meeting, Arnott stressed gathering as many denominations as possible for the event. The preparation committee included 12 leaders from Pentecostals, charismatics, and mainline Protestants and Catholics (6/98 Charisma). In parts of France, Catholics and evangelicals come together once a month to pray for revival.
NewsNotes—Colombia (So. America drug center) has the world's highest murder rate (6/15 CT). *** Pres. Clinton on a recent Africa trip "apologized" for crimes purportedly committed by other Americans, but remains silent about his own sins (6/22 New Amer.). *** The Clinton administration recently hosted what is believed to be the first formal White House meeting with an organized atheist group.
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PALAU'S ECUMENICAL CRUSADE IN EGYPT—The 6/98 Charisma said Luis Palau's mid-March "gospel blitz" through Egypt won more than 30,000 souls and was the largest and most successful Christian evangelism campaign in Egypt's history. Palau's 35-year-old son Kevin credited his father's acquaintance with President Clinton as contributing to gaining approval for the campaign, saying "We heard that Pres. Clinton put in a good word for us." Palau said many Egyptian churches "don't really worry about labels like 'charismatic'.... God reveals Himself and breaks down walls through dreams, visions and miracles." The Charisma article said Palau believes God will soon "whirl His Holy Spirit through the Middle East...." Argentine-born Palau is often called "the Billy Graham of Latin America."
ECT2 CONFUSION—RC Cardinal Cassidy, last October in a meeting with those who signed the "Evangelicals and Catholics Together II" document, urged evangelicals not to target the Catholic Church's active members for evangelization. The 5/98 Berean Call (our main source for the 6/1 CC article with Cassidy's declaration) said "evangelicals present acquiesced to [Cassidy's] disingenuous statement....", adding, "This agreement (approved by Colson, Packer, Bright, et al.) forbids evangelicals to evangelize the 90 percent or more of those living in Latin America who were baptized as infants into the Roman Catholic Church." We assume "This agreement" refers to ECT 2, however it appeared in the BC article right after Cassidy's declaration and might be taken to refer to all evangelical signers of ECT 2. ECT 2 states: "Evangelicals must speak the Gospel to Catholics and Catholics to evangelicals," but its acceptance of Catholics as Christians muddies the waters. This is all a bit confusing! [Send $1 (postpaid) for a 10-page booklet discussing the 1994 ECT and the 1997 ECT2, and listing the dozens of Catholic and big-name evangelical signers, to: Ephesians 5:11, P.O. Box 99141, Louisville, KY 40269.]
CHRIST FOR THE NATIONS, CHARISMATIC—Christ for the Nations celebrates its 50th anniversary with an "Empowered by the Spirit" conference June 21-26. Speakers include Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, and Ala. Governor Fob James whose daughter attended CFN (5/30 Dallas Morn. News). Dennis Lindsay, who has worked with Youth With A Mission, succeeded his mother in 1994 as CFN president and CEO. Under his mother's leadership, CFN helped build 9,400 churches worldwide, including David Yonggi Cho's first church in Korea. The 4/98 Charisma said missionary Martin Lombardo in Jan. opened a CFN Bible school in Rome, and that he and other Charismatics are working to unite Catholics and Protestants in Italy. Lombardo says: "We now see God pouring out His glory on [Catholics, and] charismatic Catholic groups are springing up everywhere - especially since Benny Hinn's visit last year." He added: "We plan to see the day when evangelicals and Catholics will get along and worship the one true God in the fullness of His glory together." Only errant evangelicals could do this.
FBF RESOLUTION ON ROMAN CATHOLICISM—The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship continues to affirm that Roman Catholicism is not Biblical Christianity, but rather perverts the Word of God with its doctrines of papal infallibility, the sacraments, the place given to tradition, and auricular confession to a Roman priest who absolves sin in the name of the Roman Catholic Church. Further, we condemn all attempts made by ecumenical groups such as the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, Promise Keepers, and the documents issued as "Evangelicals and Catholics Together," to gloss over these differences and present [Catholicism] as falling within the parameters of Biblical Christianity.
ELLIOT A SPEAKER AT RC CHARISMATIC EVENT—Elisabeth Elliot was listed in the 6/98 Charisma as a speaker for a national Catholic charismatic renewal conference held at the University of Notre Dame, June 12-14. Other speakers included Dorothy Ranaghan and Ralph Martin (RCs). About 10,000 people attended a 1988 similar conference at Notre Dame (7-9/88 Foundation). Elliot often appears on very ecumenical platforms, but she has also spoken on many evangelical ones (5/15/95 CC).
SBC REPORT—Southeastern Seminary president Dr. Paige Patterson, who in 1991 was offered the presidency of Dr. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, was elected as the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention without opposition or debate. Focus on the Family president Dr. James Dobson gave the final message at the SBC's Salt Lake City meeting. He has since suffered a mild stroke. A controversial amendment stating that "A wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband...." passed easily. An amendment to ask Pres. Clinton's home church to prayerfully consider disciplinary action against him failed by a small margin.
IBFNA MEETING—Last month this editor attended the FBF meeting in Schaumburg, IL and the IBFNA meeting in Plymouth, MA. (Much good preaching at both.) The word "militant" was used more at this year's FBF meeting than at any other such meeting we can recall. It was good to see many friends at both meetings. We displayed free copies of the CC on the ACCC table at both meetings. Got one new "subscriber" at FBF and a dozen at IBFNA. (Many at both were already on our list.) IBFNA's paper, The Review (754 E. Rockhill Rd., Sellersville, PA 18960) is edited by Rev. Paul Gustine. An article in the June issue (St. Paul, A Tabloid Journalist?) discussed the GARBC leader's recent Baptist Bulletin article on "tabloids." Rev. Gustine ended the Review article with gracious comments about the CC. Dr. Ralph Colas's Review column is always informative. New IBFNA officers: Dr. Charles Dear, Moderator (replaces Dr. Clay Nuttall who served well the past two years); Dr. David Reinhardt, re-elected as Secretary; and Rev. Jeff Bailey, Treasurer (replaces retiring Rev. Ralph Weer). Rev. Bailey did a super job as Committee Chairman (coordinating registration, tours, trips to airport, etc.). IBFNA '99 is set for Kansas City. FBF '99 is combined with the World Congress of Fundamentalists Conference at Bob Jones University.
G. ARCHER WENIGER ON NEGATIVISM—Dr. G. Archer Weniger, editor of The Blu-Print, was president of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship from 1964 to 1977. From 1977 to his death in 1982 he served as Research Secretary for the FBF and also served as editor of its Information Bulletin. In a series of letters over two years, a Fundamentalist leader and critic implored him to be more "positive" in his writings. The May/June Frontline says: "Weniger, however, stood firm about what he believed his ministry to be" and replied to his friend and critic thusly: "I appreciate what you say concerning the Information Bulletin and its negativism. ____, every pastor in this movement has a whole library full of positive material on our shelves, but we do not have anything which exposes the modernism and the apostasy of this hour...."
FIGHTING OR FLEEING?—Martin Lloyd-Jones once warned, "Be careful with whom you associate if you want to stand fast in the faith. You have got to avoid false teaching, to avoid error, to avoid wrong practice." Dr. Mark Simmons says you may be conservative, you may be orthodox, but Biblical Fundamentalism demands vigilant militancy for its maintenance (5-6/98 Frontline). He adds: "Contending for the faith necessarily implies struggle, conflict, and opposition. We will either fight or flee...."
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