VOL. XV NO. 16 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM August 15, 1998
UN OPPOSES CHRISTIANITY—Christian relief
workers charge that United Nations efforts are prolonging war and
famine in Sudan. They say they have to register with and get permission
for everything they do from the UN. It then gives veto power over
everything to Sudan's Islamic government (8/1World).
The project director for Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse, Ken
Isaacs, said it cannot take Bibles in with its privately-funded food
and medicine. He said, "We as an evangelical organization cannot work
with the UN because they will not let us take Bibles in." Frontline
Fellowship's Peter Hammond said, "The UN is not against religion, it is
just against Christianity."
VINS' RUSSIAN GROUPS SPLIT—With the new-found religious freedom in the USSR in the late 1980s, Georgi Vins' beloved Council of Evangelical Baptist Churches began taking on a stronger hierarchical nature. Claiming higher authority over local pastors and churches, it deposed or ex-communicated pastors who questioned it or its authority. Autonomy of the local church is not recognized by CEBC's present leaders. Vins' Russian Gospel Ministries began funding local churches directly and now says its closest ties are with these independent ones that have been planted in recent years, or have separated from the CEBC. The CEBC has a new ministry in the West with a similar name to RGM, Russian Evangelistic Ministries. Vins died Jan. 11. Dr. Ed Nelson was in Ukraine in late June. He distributed copies of Strong's Concordance in Russian and led a seminar on the Biblical basis for forming a fellowship of churches without violating local church autonomy.
GAMBLING A DEADLY MENACE—Even the liberal U. Methodist Church in 1996 added an anti-gambling statement to its Social Principles: "Gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life, and destructive of good government." The poorest families have the most gambling-related problems (8/1 World). A Miss. State University study found that poor gamblers lost about 10 percent of their income to gambling but richer ones lost only about 1 percent.
PK'S JAMES RYLE PULLS OUT OF VINEYARD—Pastor James Ryle withdrew his prominent church (Boulder Valley Vineyard) from the Association of Vineyard Churches last May (8/98 Charisma). He told AVC president Todd Hunter: "The Vineyard as it now exists is not the same as what we aligned our church with in 1984." The AVC changed its structure after founder John Wimber died last year. Ryle, co-founder of Promise Keepers with Bill McCartney (and is the latter's pastor), said his congregation has been renamed Vinelife Community Church. Ryle, McCartney, Promise Keepers, and Vineyard are all very ecumenical.
OPRAH'S GOSPEL—The Oprah Winfrey Show is touted as the highest-rated talk show in television history. Oprah denies being New Age, but spouts its philosophy. And Shirley MacLaine is a close friend and sometimes guest. The 7/98 Vantage Point quoted Oprah: "There couldn't possible be only one way...Does God care about your heart or whether you called His Son Jesus?", "[Claiming exclusive Divinity] would make Jesus the biggest egotist that ever lived.", and "You are responsible for your life - the power of God is within you [whether you are a Christian or not], above you and through you. You control your life." For an expanded version of "The Gospel According to Oprah" contact Watchman Fellowship, P.O. Box 530842, Birmingham, AL 35253, Phone 205/871-2858.
CATHOLIC SHROUD A HOAX—TBN chief Paul Crouch said he believes the Shroud of Turin is "the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ." (7/98 PTL). But scientists from Cambridge and Oxford have called it a fake and dated it around 1350 A.D. Bandaging was the Jewish custom for burial in Jesus' day (10/15/88 CC). John 19:40 says Jesus' body was "wound" in linen clothes (plural). John 20:7 says his head was covered with a napkin, not a shroud. A 7/20 Christian News article calls the shroud "an elaborate fake."
PRESIDENT'S 'GAY' DIRECTIVE—The liberal news media have been quiet about a May 29 executive order Pres. Clinton issued mandating affirmative action on the basis of homosexuality. Gary Bauer says the President's real agenda is to force acceptance of homosexuality on everyone (6/15 CN). He said: "This creates a special advantage in [mostly federal] employment for people who are defined solely by engaging in behavior that most people and all major religions declare to be immoral and destructive."
NATIONAL ID CARD?—A New York Times article says the Clinton Administration is quietly laying plans to assign every American a "unique health identifier," a computer code that could be used to create a national data base that would track every citizen's complete medical history. A privacy consultant (8/3 USN&WR) is concerned that a health ID would become a national ID overnight.
PRO-HOMOSEXUAL NEW EVANGELICALS?—The pro-homosexual Evangelicals Concerned headed by Ralph Blair holds annual summer retreats. Its Spring '98 Record states: "Since 1980, gay and lesbian Christians from around the country have gathered...to share in fellowship and to deepen evangelical discipleship. Over the years our keynoters have included Rosalind Rinker...Peggy Campolo, Nancy Hardesty, Letha Scanzoni, Virginia Mollenkott, Lewis Smedes, Mel White, Ken Medema...and other evangelicals."
BWA PRESIDENT SAYS TUTU 'GREAT EXAMPLE' - About 500 Baptist leaders of the general council of the Baptist World Alliance, at a meeting July 5-11 in South Africa, "sat in rapt attention" as Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu described South Africa's atrocities under apartheid and reconciliation efforts (7/23 Ala. Baptist). BWA President Nelson Fanini told Tutu, "We have, in you, one of the greatest examples of (leaders in) human rights." Tutu in 1996 called for the ordination of practicing homosexuals (6/1/96 CC). In the 1980s, Tutu admitted to being a socialist, and said: "I think the West, for my part, can go to Hell." Some "example," he! The SBC is a major member and supporter of the BWA.
SCHULLER MEETS WITH CHO AND POPE—Dr. Robert Schuller joined David Yonggi Cho in Sicily's first Church Growth conference in March, visiting Pope John Paul II en route. Korean Cho pastors the world's largest church. The 9/19/94 Christian News called Cho "a charismatic and occultist who rejects historic Christianity." It was "the fourth time Schuller and the Pope had met, hand-to-hand, heart-to-heart at the Vatican." (5-6/98 Foundation). The Pope expressed interest in how their churches could work together in the Vatican's preparation for the Year 2000 Jubilee celebrations.
YFC PROJECT GETS UN FUNDS—According to the Youth For Christ International's 8/98 Global Perspective, the Uruguay YFC's Youth Guidance Center was funded partly by the United Nations. Why would a so-called evangelical group accept funds from the satanic UN? Catholics, charismatics and all stripes of New Evangelicals have been involved in YFC endeavors. The YFC (USA) list of colleges involved in DC/LA '97 (see 9/15/96 CC) included Oral Roberts, Western Baptist (GARBC-related), Liberty, and John MacArthur's The Masters College.
IFCA NAME CHANGE—A letter from a reader states: "You mentioned the Independent Fundamental Churches of America in the July 15 CC....As of the 1996 national meeting in Grand Rapids, they voted to no longer use that name. As Richard Gregory stated publicly, he was embarrassed by the term 'fundamental' when checking into motels and the clerk would associate him with militant Muslims. They are now known as IFCA International."
BIBLICAL SEPARATION—"Separation from disobedient brethren is not 'secondary separation,' it is Biblical separation. Failure to separate from disobedient brethren is not love, it is disobedience." (Rev. E.D. Hettinger, 7/98 Perilous Times) In the battle for truth, it is traitorous to forge alliances with the enemies of truth. Those who aid and abet God's enemies do His cause great harm. We must separate from, warn, and exhort (in love) such disorderly and disobedient brethren (II Thes. 3:6, 14-15).
SPONG'S ATHEISM—Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong says there is no personal God (7/13 Chr. News). He rejects miracles, the Virgin Birth, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus as historical events. He said: "I would choose to loathe rather than to worship a deity who required the sacrifice of his son." (6/15 Chr. Today). He favors ordaining homosexuals, speculates that Paul was a "deeply repressed, self-rejecting gay man," and that the Virgin Birth maybe was to cover up Jesus' illegitimacy.
PERSONAL NOTE—Our area code has changed from 205 to 256. The new phone and FAX number is (256) 830-1905. Our E-mail address is: email@example.com Web page: www.whoisit.com/contender Question: Does anyone out there have a sequential (by name/orgn.) data base of CC articles for the past 3 years (preferably one that runs on Word for Windows 95, or Word Perfect)?
METHODIST CONSERVATIVES MAY LEAVE—Some Methodist conservatives say "we can no longer in Christian conscience remain members" of the United Methodist Church. Some quotes from a report in the 7/25 World: "Believers cannot be spiritual partners with those who do not affirm the basics of the faith," "We have two separate faiths in this denomination that cannot be held together," and, quoting Wesley on schism: "In churches where ungodliness and apostasy prevail, the evil of schism rests on those who make it impossible to stay." The catalyst for much of the recent controversy is UMC pastor Jimmy Creech's recent performance of a "covenant" union ceremony for two lesbians, and his "preaching" at a Gay Pride Sunday service at notorious Riverside Church (NYC). And Glide Memorial UMC pastor Cecil Williams (San Francisco) said his moorings are in Liberation theology. He said: "Rules and doctrines aren't what's important; relationships are." He said he has performed union covenants for homosexuals for over 30 years.
FREDDIE GAGE SEEKS SBC UNITY—Southern Baptist evangelist Freddie Gage is founder of Wounded Heroes, a "Christian" psychotherapy ministry. In 1982-83 he was president of Southern Baptist Evangelists. A 7/4 Houston Chronicle article tells of his bout with depression, entering a psychiatric hospital, later becoming marketing director for Rapha. His Wounded Heroes has received $50,000 from the SBC Annuity Board and $20,000 from the SBC's North American Mission Board. Gage is convinced that Wounded Heroes not only will help ministers and their families, but also bring together the divided SBC. Both moderates and conservatives sit on the board. He says "It's time for Baptists to quit fighting and go fishing for men, to minister to wounded people." It is unscriptural to bring moderates-liberals together with Bible believers.
BWA ECUMENISM—At the March Executive Meeting, Baptist World Alliance President Nilson Fanini said: "While theology sometimes divides us, mission and evangelism can bring us together." (7-9/98 Baptist World). Billy Graham made a similar statement a few years ago. Graham and Coretta Scott King will be Co-Chairs for the Internat'l Summit of Baptists Against Racism, Jan. 9-11 in Atlanta. The So. Baptist Convention, Jerry Falwell's "new" denomination, is a member of the apostate BWA.
THE COMPROMISERS ARE THE 'BAD GUYS'—The "fundamentalists" of our day who insist on fraternizing in ministry with New Evangelicals try to excuse such disobedience with an unscriptural "degree" system of separation. Their disobedience causes a serious breach of fellowship with historic biblical fundamentalists who they then blame for the breach. But responsibility for the evil schism among these brethren rests upon those who ignore or disobey separation commands. Compromisers are the ones who break the fellowship and lack love. If they loved their fundamentalist brethren, they would abide in the light (1Jn. 2:10, 1:7). Their compromise with ecumenicals and New Evangelicals demonstrates a lack of love for fundamentalists who by God's grace cannot tolerate evil and sacrifice truth for unity, and sadly must withdraw from the compromising brethren who have already broken the fellowship. But even though they are "bad guys," they are not our enemies (2Thes. 3:6, 14-15).
TOLERATION—"There is a toleration which is treachery. There is a peace which issues in paralysis. There are hours when the church must say NO to those who should ask communion with her, in the doing of her work, upon the basis of compromise. Such standing aloof may produce ostracism and persecution, but it will maintain power and influence....The Church today has destroyed her own influence by compromise." - G. Campbell Morgan
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