VOL. XV NO. 14 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM July 15, 1998
NEA FUNDS INVOLVED IN PLAY DEPICTING JESUS AS 'GAY'—A firestorm of controversy surrounds Corpus Christi, an off-Broadway play about a homosexual Jesus character (Joshua) who has sexual relationships with characters resembling the twelve disciples - most especially Judas (7/98 NLJ). The group scheduled to put on the play received $125,000 in government grants last year from the National Endowment for the Arts, the agency that has funded blasphemous "art" attacks on Christianity and promoted the most sordid homosexual lifestyle "art."
COST OF ILLEGAL DRUGS TO U. S. ECONOMY—Combining the abuse of alcohol with other drug abuse, the total cost to the economy is estimated at $246 billion per year (7/6 New American). This 1992 figure (latest available) is much higher today. Some two-thirds of alcohol abuse cost comes from lost productivity; with drugs, over half the abuse costs are associated with crime. The estimate represents about $965 per person in the country.
TV VIOLENCE & VULGARITY—A recent study found that 61 percent of TV shows depicted violent acts in 1997. Viewers see an average of six acts of violence per hour. (5-6/98 Light). The N.Y. Times says mainstream television this season is flaunting the most vulgar and elicit sex, language, and behavior that it has ever sent into American homes.
GOLDWATER ENDED UP LIBERAL—Barry Goldwater was called "Mr. Conservative" in the 1960s, but in the recent years preceding his death May 29 he made a u-turn on religion, morality and politics (see 12/1/93 CC). An Episcopalian, he became the liberals' favorite conservative, hostile to the Religious Right - pro-abortion (a daughter had an illegal abortion in the 1950s) and pro-homosexual rights (a grandson was homosexual). He credited his second wife, a founder of Planned Parenthood, for his change.
PRISON FELLOWSHIP NOW HEADED BY CATHOLIC—Detroit businessman Michael Timmis has been named chairman of Prison Fellowship Int'l, succeeding founder Chuck Colson who remains on the board as Chairman Emeritus (8/98 Moody). Timmis is a Roman Catholic who also serves on the Promise Keepers board (9/1/97 CC), and spoke at the October 4th PK assembly in Washington, DC.
SBC MASON PROBLEM—Several thousand Southern Baptist pastors and hundreds of thousands of SBC laymen are Masons. Masons deny the Trinity and teach salvation by works. Masonry is just as anti-Christian as Mormonism (6/1 Chr. News). The SBC should demand that its pastors withdraw from Masonry. Meanwhile, SBC "conservatives" are dialoguing with SBC liberals for "common ground."
OUR SEX-CRAZED CULTURE—Can Christian teenagers stay pure in today's world? Absolutely, but God's protection is a must (6/98 Charisma). For America's teens, sexual immorality is no longer the accepted lifestyle; it's the expected lifestyle. Sex saturates the atmosphere in our schools, our entertainment, and even our shopping malls.
SECULAR COMPANIES OWN CCM RECORD LABELS—Christian music is now virtually owned by the secular entertainment industry (5/20/96 CT). CCM'er Jill Chambers is quoted in the 7/98 Charisma: "Contemporary Christian music may be called 'Christian,' yet it's being influenced and governed by a secular mind-set. They are taking the music of these people, who ultimately have a gift to write songs about the Lord, to the chopping block and extracting the Spirit of God because they're afraid it won't make money." We disagree with her on the Lord's involvement in CCM, but the lady has a point. Her husband Danny says: "We believe you take on the spirit of what you align yourself with," given that non-Christian companies own most major "Christian" labels. A musician from his church took songs to a leading record producer who said he loved the music but couldn't help him, saying, "Ultimately, I work for 'Pharoah.'" As CCM becomes more worldly, it is more evident that "Egypt" and mammon control most CCM.
SALVATION ARMY & 'DOMESTIC PARTNERS' LAW—The Salvation Army decided in June to end its contracts with San Francisco and reduce its benevolence programs because of a city ordinance that requires companies that do business with the city to provide the same benefits to unmarried partners (specifically homosexual couples) as they do to married couples (7/98 Nat. Lib. Jrnl.). The action to terminate the contracts was apparently initiated by our 7/15/97 CC article (reprinted in the Baptist Challenge), according to a letter from the SA's Commanding Officer.
WORLD VISION'S SEIPLE TO STATE DEPARTMENT—World Vision President Robert Seiple was appointed last month to the newly created State Department position of senior advisor on international religious freedom. Seiple recently said the UN needs reform but that it fills a necessary role Christians should support (1/1/96 CC). He said: "Evangelicals must change their basic attitude toward the UN. Instead of demonizing it, we should work toward persuasive influence." The UN is an ungodly tool for bringing a new world order, a one-world government of anti-Christ. World Vision is a radical new-evangelical relief agency that has used funds donated by Christians to help communists, Muslims, etc. Seiple has called for diplomatic relations and trade with communists, and can hardly be expected to aggressively defend religious freedom from their tyrants.
FALWELL YOKED WITH SBC UNBELIEF—After all the late 1996 hoopla and doublespeak, Dr. Jerry Falwell now admits the long obvious. He says (7/98 Nat'l Lib. Jrnl.): "For the first time ever, Thomas Road Baptist Church sent ten messengers [to the recent Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Salt Lake City] and we voted." This puts his church as a sister church to Pres. Clinton's and in fellowship with thousands of SBC pastors who are Masons. He says his decision to join the SBC follows its completion of its move to a conservative stance. His NLJ article paints the SBC picture a bit rosier than it really is. He says: "All six SBC seminaries now have fundamentalist presidents and faculties." [Actually none are - especially Southwestern's Hemphill. To Falwell, a fundamentalist is an inerrantist who believes "the five fundamentals," but may not practice biblical separation.] He doesn't mention the Georgia SBC's Mercer College liberal president. He says not one moderate or liberal has been elected president since 1979. But Jim Henry was pro-moderate. Falwell says "Over 12,000 delegates" were in attendance, but the number was 8,586 (6/18 Ala. Bapt.). His church, in the SBC, will also continue its relationship with the BBF. Next step for Falwell: SBC president?
BBF 'FLAGSHIP' CHURCH HAS ROCK CONCERT—Temple Baptist Church (near Detroit) under G. Beachamp Vick became known as the "flagship" church of the Baptist Bible Fellowship. We are saddened to see quotes from the 2/12 Oakland Press [MI] reporting that rock group Audio Adrenaline [AA] was to appear at Temple Baptist Church Feb. 13. The reporter said AA's sound was so loud that it "nearly blew off the roof of the church," the "exterior plate glass doors were vibrating," and said over "2,000 teens [were] jumping, dancing, yelling and rawking...." AA performed Mar. 3rd at a charismatic tongues-speaking church in Pensacola. [5-6/98 Fund. Digest] The Huntsville Times referred to AA as a "hot Christian rock act" when AA performed locally June 18.
STOWELL, ALDRICH, UNITY AT ALL COSTS?—In recent years we have been told that for a revival, and for evangelism to be fruitful, evangelicals must unite with any and everyone (even Catholics and Mormons). Doctrinal distinctions are allowed, but are not to be a barrier to ecumenicity. For example, Moody President Joe Stowell [a PK speaker] participated in The National Consultation on Evangelism (5/1/96) near Washington, DC. Reportedly, he "reminded participants that God historically moves only when His body is unified." Multnomah then-president Joe Aldrich argues that unity is the universal cure for all spiritual ailments. [Thomas Ice, IFCA's Voice, May-June, 1998] God's Word does not exalt unity above truth. "Better to be divided by truth than united in error."
CHARISMATIC, EVANGELICALS TO UNITE?—The 7/98 Charisma had this quote: "There is an inevitable tension between evangelicals and charismatics, but by the grace of God, if love predominates, we are going to come together and be united." And, "Pastors must drop their denominational barriers and pursue unity." The NAE has a large and growing constituency of charismatics.
PEALE'S 100th ANNIVERSARY—Last month about 2,000 worshippers celebrated the 100th anniversary of Norman Vincent Peale who died at age 95 in 1993. Peale said, on a 1984 Phil Donahue program: "It's not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God: I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine....Christ is one of the ways. God is everywhere." (6/8 CN). Peale was the main speaker at a Mormon president's birthday festivity in 1980 and praised Mormon leaders. He was a Mason and denied Christ's virgin birth, deity, and resurrection, yet was praised by Billy Graham and other evangelicals.
IFCA & SEPARATION—The Independent Fundamental Churches of America's stance on biblical separation is so anemic that it has allowed them during the past decade to pulpit-share with new-evangelical compromisers of various stripes. To the IFCA, to separate in ministry from the likes of Joe Stowell, John MacArthur, Woodrow Kroll, Tony Evans, and Ed Dobson would be "second degree" separation. But biblical separation does not allow for "degrees" of obedience and is not limited to separation from liberals. The 5-6/98 Voice has an article on "Ecclesiastical Separation" by Southeastern Bible College Pres. Dr. John Talley where he discusses Romans 16:17-20, 2Cor. 6:14-7:1, and 2John 7-11. He says: "These passages emphasize separation from false teachers, not separation from people not practicing separation. The suggestion is, therefore, that what has been called 'second degree separation' is not biblical." These three passages may not (?) teach separation from those not practicing separation, but that doesn't prove it's not taught elsewhere. Many passages (e.g., 1John 1:6-7, 2Thes. 3:6, 14-15). teach separation from disobedient brethren. It is not surprising that five out of eight of the names listed in the bibliography for this article are: Earl Radmacher, A. Plummer, John R.W. Stott, B.F. Westcott, and F.F. Bruce. These "scholars" are hardly reputed as stalwart fundamentalists. Talley concluded the article by listing the "five fundamentals" which sadly today do not distinguish a Fundamentalist from a New Evangelical.
EVANGELICALS & SCHULLER—A defining aspect of New Evangelicalism is its refusal to separate from error. The relationship of many "evangelical" leaders with modernist Robert Schuller is a prime example of this. Schuller reinterprets Bible doctrines to conform with his self-esteem philosophy. His Christ is a Jesus who provides men with self-esteem. His gospel is the replacement of negative self concepts with positive ones. To Schuller, sin is merely the lack of self-esteem. To him, the greatest evil is to call men sinners in a biblical fashion and thereby injure their self-esteem. Schuller is a universalist who believes that all people are the children of God. His goal is to help each person understand and enjoy this "fact..." Yet a wide range of popular evangelical leaders appear with and praise Schuller. [Adapted excerpt, David Cloud's O Timothy, Way of Life Literature, 1219 N. Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277.] Schuller is a "disciple" of Peale.
FBF RESOLUTION ON AWANA—The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship recognizes the valuable contribution made by AWANA Clubs International in the evangelization and discipleship of children and youth. It appreciates the benefits of Scripture memory in the many churches whose pastors are identified with the FBF. According to its own documents and published correspondence, the AWANA Charter, prior to 1995, was "not available to churches affiliated with denominations that (were) members of the National Council of Churches (USA only) and/or the World Council of Churches." By its own admission, NCC churches, such as those in the American Baptist Churches, USA, were chartered since 1963. When the American Council of Christian Churches pointed out this contradiction, AWANA changed its policy to state that "the AWANA Charter is not available to churches that are supportive of the National Council of Churches..." The FBF affirms its agreement with the ACCC in its concern over this significant weakening of the AWANA policy. Whereas AWANA should have enforced its original policy, it changed its policy to state more directly its own contradictory practice. The FBF calls on the AWANA Clubs International to correct this unscriptural compromise with the NCC and declares its conviction that there can be no NCC member that is not in "de facto" support of its unscriptural mission.
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