VOL. XVII NO. 1 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM January 1, 1999
|ABORTIONS ON THE WANE - The abortion rate recently hit its lowest
level since 1975. The 1995 tally was 1.21 million, down from the peak of
1.43 million in 1990 (12/7 USN&WR). Fewer women need them, due
to: fear of AIDS, increased contraceptive use, fewer abortion facilities,
etc. In addition, Congress has barred the use of federal Medicaid funds
for routine abortions, 29 states now require minors to notify or get parental
or judicial consent, and arson and bomb attacks on clinics are up since
ROMANIA'S DISPOSABLE KIDS - Even after wicked Ceaucescu was ousted in 1989, Romania is still throwing away its children. Abandonment of children is epidemic. Hundreds are left daily in hospitals and at the front door of orphanages. There are nearly three abortions for every live birth, the highest rate anywhere (12/12 World). An estimated 350,000 street children huff inhalants, panhandle, and live underneath bridges and in various city dumps.
SCHULLER SPEAKS FOR MOONIES, MORMONS - Robert Schuller has appeared as a main speaker for the Unity School of Christianity's (New Age) annual conference ridiculing evangelical Christianity, at Unification Church (Moonies) functions with Sun Myung Moon, and at an interfaith prayer breakfast at the Mormon Tabernacle (11/98 Vantage Point). New Agers, Mormons, and Catholics have spoken from his Crystal Cathedral pulpit. Some of his teachings and actions are liberal, postmodern and heretical.
SBC PRESIDENT WARNS OF MUSIC - Southern Baptist Convention president Paige Patterson at a Sept. conference challenged youth ministers to be creative by using music that has "depth" and "theological insight" to teach young people biblical doctrine (12/98 Bapt. Banner). "If you have weak little anemic ballads that don't tell anything about the Word and ways of God, how do you expect your young people to grow up strong in the Lord?" While there is nothing wrong with "taking good tunes of the world and putting godly music to them [some would question this!]," Patterson stressed God's holiness and said: "We have come to a time in the church where we are more likely to have music that makes you shake a leg than bend a knee.... When the music is more experiential than it is focused on the [triune] God of Heaven...then we have gone too far."
INDIA TELLS MISSIONARIES TO LEAVE - The Hindu nationalist Vishwa Hindu Parishad wants all foreign missionaries working in India to leave because of "forcible conversions." This despite the fact that India stopped issuing missionary visas in 1964 (12/7 Chr. Today). A quit-India movement has been launched against Christians, and there have been over 30 attacks on them since March.
POPE OFFERS EARLY SALVATION? - In a recent 29 page decree, Pope John Paul II proclaimed the year 2000 a special jubilee year for Catholics. The edict includes ways of earning indulgences to help get to heaven faster, including by abstaining from smoking and drinking (for even one day is rewarded) during the Holy Year and by giving to charity (12/7 C. News). He also asked rich nations to ease or greatly eliminate Third World debt. (11/28 Houston Chron.).
MORAL INTEGRITY, OR ECONOMIC PROSPERITY? - If the people and the lawmakers of the U.S. are willing to tolerate a man of squalid moral posture to be President, if they are willing to accept that lies, perjury, physical threats, abuse of power, predatory sexual proclivities, and hundreds of other immoral and illegal acts are nothing in comparison to the fool's paradise of a counterfeit and ephemeral economic prosperity, then they will have sacrificed their own moral integrity and brought forth a gathering darkness of despotism upon the formerly God-protected country. [James Thornton, 11/23 New American]
WHITEHEAD & RUTHERFORD HAVE CHANGED - John Whitehead and his Rutherford Institute took a major role in the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit against Pres. Clinton. In college Whitehead was a radical Marxist, but after his 1974 conversion he later was a law professor at Oral Roberts University, and in 1982 founded the Rutherford Institute and handled religious freedom cases. But the Spring '98 Record, a pro-homosexual paper, says he now defends some gay rights clients and quotes him as saying, "I've changed a lot in recent years." The 11/28 World says the kinder, gentler Whitehead supports the big government behemoth Americans with Disabilities Act and he says that belief in the death penalty is not pro-life.
GENDER-NEUTRAL BIBLES - Some Bible translations are going "gender neutral," replacing "he" and "man" with "they" and "humankind" or similar words with neutral gender (11/21 World). Eighteen months after the Internat'l Bible Society said it had abandoned its "inclusive language" Bible project, new supplies of the gender-neutral New International Reader's Version are back in circulation.
NRB '99 SPEAKERS - The 56th Annual Convention & Exposition of the National Religious Broadcasters is set for Jan. 30 - Feb. 2 at Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tenn. Speakers include: Chuck Colson, Alan Keyes (RC), Bill Bright, Brother Andrew, T.D. Jakes, Joni, Erwin Lutzer (Moody), Steve Brown, Larry Burkett, and David Gibbs.
DR.COLAS HAS RETURNED FROM ZIMBABWE WCC MEETING - Watch for excerpts from his report in next CC.
GEORGIA BAPTISTS ON CHARISMATICS & GAYS - An amendment to the Georgia Baptist Convention (SBC) constitution to exclude churches that participate in charismatic worship failed at its Nov. annual meeting (12/3 Ala. Baptist). The vote, 1,190 for and 747 against, fell short of the required two-thirds for passage. But they did vote, by a large majority, to withdraw fellowship from member churches that support homosexual behavior. Wake Forest Baptist Church [NC] voted Nov. 15 to allow its ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings, but stopped short of affirmation of such unions (11/98 PBC).
UCC: FIRST IN LIBERALISM - United Church of Christ president Paul Sherry wants a pastoral letter he wrote supporting acceptance of homosexuality read from all 6,000 UCC pulpits (12/5 World). Back in 1980, the UCC became the first and only mainline denomination to officially allow practicing homosexuals and lesbians to serve as pastors. It allows Catholic priests to serve as UCC pastors (4/13/92 Chr. News). It passed a resolution in 1991 making it the first mainline group to back active euthanasia and allow suicide (8/1/91 CC). Its official statements have supported abortion. The UCC allows its pastors and professors to deny key Christian doctrines.
RC CARDINAL ADDRESSES BRITAIN'S BAPTISTS - Cardinal Basil Hume made the first ever visit by a Roman Catholic archbishop to the assembly of the Baptist Union of Great Britain last May (8/98 Australian Beacon). The Baptist Union is a member of the Baptist World Alliance, of which the SBC is a major member and supporter.
BILL BRIGHT & CATHOLICS - Dr. James M. Boice, pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church (Philadelphia) and president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, in a recent interview with Christian News (12/7 CN), commented on Campus Crusade president Bill Bright as a signer of ECT (Evangelicals & Catholics Together) thusly: "Bill Bright just isn't theological. He's a businessman. I don't think he knows any theology at all. And he's just out to 'evangelize the world.' Well, he's got these 'millions and millions' who are becoming Christians because they've seen his 'Jesus' film. Well, Catholics want to do good things too, so Bill Bright doesn't really have any reason not to think that Catholics are wonderful - co-belligerents, faithful soldiers of the Lord - and they believe in Jesus, right? Catholics believe in the 'Four Spiritual Laws' - that's fine with Bill Bright. So he's with them - he doesn't think any deeper than that. But what has really disturbed us then, is somebody like J.I. Packer who has signed on [to ECT]...." But Packer, though a theologian, is ecumenical like Bright. Bright and Campus Crusade have worked closely with Catholics for years and welcomed them on staff (6/8 CN - also, see 12/15 CC].
COLSON & CATHOLICS - Dr. James Montgomery Boice in a recent interview with Christian News said: "Chuck Colson [is] a great dynamic mover and shaker... trying to do something significant for God. That's great. He has a Catholic wife. His best friends, or at least the people he looks up to in his books, are Catholics - Mother Teresa rates very highly, Malcolm Muggeridge ...I genuinely think he inclines toward a high view of Catholicism. But I've always said that I think that if it weren't that his income comes from Protestants, that he would convert to Catholicism....That's my impression."
BLAKE EXITS BIBLE TRACTS - Rev. Ralph Blake who succeeded the late Evangelist Paul Levin as Exec. Dir. of Bible Tracts, Inc. and the voice of Bible Tract Echoes, resigned in August. No successor has been named. Rev. Don Winch has fulfilled some of Rev. Blake's speaking schedule. Dr. Ralph Wingate is doing the radio program.
MARANATHA HAS NEW PRESIDENT - Maranatha Baptist Bible College (Watertown, Wis.) by a unanimous vote of the Board has called Dr. Dave Jaspers as its third president. MBBC was established in 1968 by Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm who served as its first president until 1983. Dr. Arno Q. Weniger then served as its president until 1998. Dr. Jaspers (son of Dr. Glen Jaspers) was called to preach while working at the Bill Rice Ranch in 1969. He graduated from Maranatha in 1976 with majors in Bible and Pastoral Studies. He has pastored in Michigan and Iowa, served as president of the Iowa Chapter of the American Association of Christian Schools, and as vice-president of the Iowa Mid-America Baptist Fellowship. He entered full-time evangelism in 1986 and has preached over 500 meetings. Since 1994 he has served both in evangelism and as director of the West Branch of the Bill Rice Ranch camp in Flagstaff, Ariz. He and family plan to move to Watertown in Jan. and begin their ministry, with inauguration set for May 6, 1999. Dr. McLaughlin is a member of MBBC's Board.
FALWELL DENIES LU PRESIDENT A CATHOLIC - FBF president Dr. Rod Bell writes in the Nov.- Dec. Frontline: "Recently, it came to my attention that the new president of Liberty University, Dr. John Borek Jr., was a Roman Catholic.... It has now been verified that John Borek was and may still be identified with Rome, and when given an opportunity to testify of a clear-cut conversion he did not do so...." We first heard this last June and later e-mailed Dr. Falwell directly and received this response from him: "Jerry, to my knowledge, President John Borek has never had a Roman Catholic association." Falwell claimed two decades ago to be a Fundamentalist, when all the while his actions belied the claim, causing him be considered somewhat the father of pseudo-Fundamentalism. We have long since found him and LU Dean Dr. Elmer Towns to be a bit less than forthright at times. Dr. Bell adds: "Last year, Falwell said that he was not joining the Southern Baptist Convention. This year he joined!...True Fundamentalists don't join the SBC; they separate from it." He terms Falwell's actions "deception and betrayal."
GRAHAM'S MUSIC AT TAMPA - On Oct. 24, Billy Graham preached in person to over 74,000 in Tampa, FL and another 6,257 logged onto computers on the Internet to hear him (12/7 CT). The Sat. night cyberspace event included music by rock groups dc talk and Jars of Clay in a "Concert for the NeXt Generation." In some ways, this was "like a regular rock concert." People danced in the stands and on the field, per a report in Foundation. Graham's TV special included the Charlie Daniels Band. Moody (8/94) favorably reviewed a country rock "gospel" album by Daniels (see 9/1/94 CC), but an interview in the 7/31/94 Huntsville Times quoted him using profanity.
GRAND RAPIDS' NEW EVANGELICAL SPEAKERS - Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary is a GARBC-approved school. Again this year's Annual Bible Conference, set for Feb. 15-19, features speakers who have clearly positioned themselves in a new-evangelical orbit. Included are: Howard Hendricks, Haddon Robinson, Knute Larson, and Alistair Begg (12/98 Bapt. Bulletin). We covered the Mar. 1994 NAE meeting in Dallas as a reporter and heard Larson deride fundamentalists. GRBS v-p Robert Nienhuis' listed speaking schedule included chapels for Bryan College, Toccoa Falls, Reformed, and Moody.
NEW PICKERING BOOKLET - Many of Dr. Ernest Pickering's helpful booklets are available from Baptist World Mission, P.O. Box 2149, Decatur, AL 35602. Some of these are $2 each, postpaid, including his new 14-page booklet entitled, Should We Kick Theology out the Door?
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