VOL. XV NO. 18 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM September 15, 1998
FILMS, TV SHAPE U.S. CULTURE—A culture that is fed a steady diet of Hollywood fare heavy with violence, crime, all manner of sexual perversion, rebellion, and disrespect for authority is a culture that will find itself increasingly reflecting these behaviors in real life (8/31 New American).
TOO MUCH SELF-ESTEEM MAKES KIDS VIOLENT?—Psychologists warn that a seemingly benign attempt to raise children's self-esteem may actually be creating a violent society (8/30 H.T.). Out-of-control self-esteem (narcissism) could be responsible for a recent spate of school shootings.
INTOLERANT HOMOSEXUALS WANT TOLERANCE—A world that for thousands of years viewed homosexuality as unnatural and shameful has been coerced into granting special privileged status to it. This, in spite of the fact that the so-called gay lifestyle is replete with the most unhealthy practices which spread diseases that threaten society and cut life expectancy nearly in half. And, once in power, homosexuals who pleaded for tolerance have proved to be totally intolerant, viciously attacking any who retain an independent opinion (8/98 Berean Call). Globalist tolerance permits no tolerance for Bible-believing Christians.
JARS OF CLAY NO CHRISTIAN BAND—The lead vocalist of the Beatlesque alternative rock band Jars of Clay, says: "We don't want to be called a 'Christian band' because it is a turn-off." (8/20 Ala. Baptist). Don't worry, we would not accuse it of such! (See Mark 8:38, Rom. 10:11.)
CAN'T MIX CCM & TRADITIONAL MUSIC?—Many "seeker sensitive" megachurches today use contemporary music in a Saturday evening service and in a 9:00 a.m. Sunday service, then use traditional music with a blend of choruses in the 11:00 a.m. service. But Elmer Towns quotes a pastor (9/98 NLJ) who says: "I have learned that you cannot mix music in a worship service. If you use contemporary music, some people will not like it; and if you use traditional music, some will not like it." He explained that when you try to use both types of music in the same service, you will eventually get everyone mad. Worldly CCM/rock music and the "give the people what they want" philosophy is dividing and destroying churches.
RUSSIAN ORTHODOXY IS ENEMY OF GOSPEL—Dave Hunt in his 8/98 The Berean Call wrote: "Orthodoxy, like Roman Catholicism, is the sworn enemy of the gospel. The Orthodox Church has kept the Russian people in bondage and superstition, looking to it for salvation, kissing its icons, paying for prayers and sacraments. Though it rejects Catholicism's purgatory, it teaches that, by our prayers, souls can be moved from hell to heaven...."
CLINTON'S CYNICISM TOWARD REPENTANCE—President Clinton evinces a cavalier attitude toward seeking forgiveness, saying it "gets a little easier the more you do it," and said he has become an expert at it (8/29 H. Times). If truly contrite, instead of seeking advice from politicians, pollsters, and lawyers he should resign and turn to Bible-believing preachers who could steer him toward true repentance/restoration/salvation. Billy Graham forgave him before he confessed. Wogaman, Schuller, Campolo, and Hybels have seemingly failed him. As in Jeremiah's day, "prophets prophesy falsely" and too many of God's people seemingly "love to have it so." (Jer. 5:31). But economic prosperity is not proof of, nor a substitute for, morality.
ECKSTEIN: JEWS SAVED WITHOUT CHRIST—Jewish rabbi Yechiel Eckstein of Chicago, known for building bridges with Christians, frowns on evangelism of Jews. Like other Orthodox rabbis, he believes Jesus is a way Gentiles can graft onto a branch of their own covenant with the God of Abraham, but he says Jews have a special covenant with God that does not require the Christian concept of salvation (9/98 Charisma). Eckstein defends the Pharisees who Jesus said were of their father the devil. He denies that Jesus said this (9/15/95 CC), and has been praised by Pat Robertson, Paul Crouch, and Jerry Falwell for his bridge-building ministry between evangelicals and Jews.
HUBBLE PREVIEWS DEATH OF EARTH IN SIX BILLION YEARS?—A U. of Washington astronomer says Hubble Space Telescope pictures of dying stars support a theory that in about six billion years the sun will flare out streamers of hot gas at over 100,000 mph and fry the earth to a crisp (1/5 Chr. News). He says: "We won't go to hell - it would come to us." This man apparently disbelieves or is unaware of the Bible's teachings and how to rightly divide them, and is evidently not looking for the soon return of our Lord. Meanwhile Jim Odom (no evolutionist), who managed the Space Telescope Project for NASA from 1983-86, says: "The more I learn about science or physics, the more I appreciate God's creation." (7/23 Ala. Baptist).
MARCH FOR JESUS SMASHES BARRIERS—Seattle was one of 700 U.S. cities that participated last May in the annual March for Jesus which drew an estimated 1 million (10 million globally). The 8/98 Charisma stated: "In the first visible Catholic involvement in the Seattle march, a priest led prayer and invited believers to his church that day for a Pentecostal feast." The goal is to "break down" racial and denominational walls. This year Open Doors with Brother Andrew linked up with MFJ, explaining, "Open Doors as an organization does not have a standpoint on doctrinal issues." Unity is more important than doctrine!
SO. BAPTISTS UNITE WITH CHARISMATICS—Jim Herrington, director of the Union Baptist Association which represents some 500 Southern Baptist churches in Houston (TX), says: "We Southern Baptists have always had a vision of reaching the city as Baptists...But until around 1993 I'd never seen that we could involve the Methodists, the Pentecostals and others. Scales fell from my eyes." (9/98 Charisma) Charismatic leader Doug Stringer says it is unity for the purpose of evangelism. "We are putting aside our divisions so we can win souls," he said. Herrington is convinced that if Southern Baptist and charismatics can cooperate to win Houston, any other division can be overcome. Bible doctrines cannot be put aside to win souls or for any other godly endeavor.
PACKER CRITICIZES FUNDAMENTALISTS—J. I. Packer criticized fundamentalists at a 1995 conference on Ecumenism at the Threshold of the Third Millennium, saying: "Can conservative Protestants, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics of mainstream type join together in bearing witness to all that I have spoken of? I urge that we can, despite our known and continuing differences about the specifics of the salvation process and the place of the church in that process....To be sure, fundamentalists within our three traditions are unlikely to join us in this, for it is the way of fundamentalists to follow the path of contentious orthodoxism, as if the mercy of God in Christ automatically rests on persons who are notionally correct and is just as automatically withheld from those who fall short of notional correctness ...." Focus on Missions Pres. Leigh Adams comments on this, thusly: "[Packer's] railing accusation does not bode well for this noted theologian and expositor. Sadly, it appears he has chosen to walk with the crowd rather than follow the clear teaching of the Word of God to separate from error. Obedience to the Word of God cannot be defined as 'the path of contentious orthodoxism'...."
GRAND RAPIDS PROF PROMOTES PENSACOLA BOOK—Dr. Michael Brown was appointed Visiting Professor of Jewish Apologetics at Fuller Seminary (1997) and has been affiliated with Pat Robertson's Regent University. In 1996 he became part of the "Pensacola Outpouring" Brownsville Revival team (see 3/15/97 CC), and is president of its School of Ministry. Brown has written a book confronting the critics of this "wild and weird" charismatic "counterfeit" revival. The shocker, to us, is that on the back cover, Dr. Victor M. Matthews, Professor Emeritus of Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary (a GARBC-approved school), highly praises this book. He writes: "Michael Brown has pointed the way for us in these days of revival, drawing our judgmentalism and traditionalism out into the open. And he has presented a biblical model which, if followed, will lead us into freedom from standing in judgment on one another. My prayer: Oh Lord - that all believers may read this book!"
WAS C.S. LEWIS A CHRISTIAN?—Since C.S. Lewis' death in 1963, sales of his books have risen to 2 million a year, and he was recently rated the most influential writer by some Christianity Today readers. The 9/7 CT listed some "weaknesses": his idea about the Atonement, his failure ever to mention justification by faith when discussing forgiveness of sins, his hospitality to baptismal regeneration, and his noninerrantist view of biblical inspiration, plus his affirmation of purgatory and the possible final salvation of some who left this world as nonbelievers. Martyn Lloyd-Jones doubted whether Lewis was a Christian at all. His closest friends were Catholics. He is well received by Mormons. He taught a Medieval idea of salvation by becoming good. God was to help man become good enough to be saved. Such salvation by infused grace is not grace at all (6/29 CN). Lewis's theology is fatally flawed.
SAVORY SALT, DIM LIGHTS—Christians today have a two-fold duty: to be "salt of the earth" and "light of the world." Many New Evangelicals would have us join forces with Catholics in battling abortion, homosexuality, pornography, and other evils. We may join with others as individuals but must not pray together, march and minister together in a religious mode with false religious leaders. We see a danger in yoking with unbelievers to strengthen our "salt" role, at the expense of compromising and confusing our "light" role. God's work, to have His blessing, must be done God's way - or it's not His work. Spurgeon said: "Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it." How can we tell Catholics they need to be saved, when we "put theological differences aside" and work and worship with their leaders who promote a false gospel? In doing the latter, we "hide our light under a bushel." "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost." God commands separation (2Cor. 6:14-17). We are to be salt AND light, and not weaken the "light" in order to strengthen the "salt."
BRAD GSELL IS NEW PMU PRESIDENT—Dr. Morris McDonald reports in the 9/98 Missions Banner that Brad Gsell of Charlotte, NC is the new Presbyterian Missionary Union president. He is an elder and minister of music in the Charlotte Bible Presbyterian Church. McDonald, as PMU field rep, works closely with an executive committee in PMU's day-to-day operations. BPC at its recent synod passed resolutions on such topics as Worship, Evangelical-Catholic Compromise, Women in Combat, Pharmaceutical Abortion Pills, PCUSA apostasy and advocacy of Civil Disarmament, and Commendation of Trent Lott for courage in stating that homosexuality is sin.
THE ECUMENICAL NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER—Many today propose that all Christians ignore their differences and unite for the purpose of evangelism or prayer. Shirley (Mrs. James) Dobson is the chairman of the National Day of Prayer which features Catholics, Jews, charismatics, and new evangelicals. NDP '98 began with prayers by Rabbi Howard Hirsch and Bishop William Lori (5/18 CN). NDP's Prayer Lines (Sum. '98) reveals the unscriptural, ecumenical nature of this event. It said: "Nothing has been more exciting than to hear of Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Messianics, Pentecostals and others joining in prayer for the nation!" Vonette Bright was co-chairman of NDP, and liaisons were: Rabbi Joshua Haberman, Dr. D. James Kennedy, and "Father" Robert A. Sirico.
NAUSEATED BY NEGATIVITY—We saw this phrase mentioned recently in a religious paper and thought how it increasingly seems to be the attitude of some pseudo fundamentalists of our day who seek to be "neutral" and "balanced." But such lukewarm neutrality in the battle for truth makes God "nauseated." [Rev. 3:16] Jesus spoke more of Hell (negative) than Heaven (positive). When he said he must go to Jerusalem to be killed (negative), he rebuked Peter's "positive" view. But former fundamentalists want their compromise (scandals) kept secret. They (like Pres. Clinton?) say it is a private matter, and that we are "negative" by reporting it. They by their accusation are "negative" toward us! They are nauseated by negativity, but God is nauseated by lukewarmness.
HELPFUL LITERATURE -1) The Deity of Christ, 24 pgs, $1 postpaid. Exposes error of Jehovah's Witnesses. Order from George Zeller, 349 East St., Middletown, CT 06457. 2) A Scriptural View of Hell, Cathy Burns, 40 pages, $4.95. Order from Sharing, 212 E. 7th St., Mt. Carmel, Pa. 17851. (Media Spotlight, P.O. Box 290, Redmond, WA 98073, also has a helpful document on this subject.)
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