VOL. XVI  NO. 24     NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM     December 15, 1999

HATE CRIME AMENDMENT DROPPED—Congress recently rejected an amendment that would have added "sexual orientation" to federal hate crime laws (11/99 Wash. Watch). Sen. Lott reportedly thought it wrong for Congress to suggest that "someone's [e.g., homosexual's] murder or abuse is more important than someone else's." (11/1 CN). It would have expanded federal jurisdiction over criminal cases and made some opinions (thoughts) illegal.

GOSPEL HIDDEN IN CCM/ROCK—"Evangelical" bands like Petra, Stryper, and Whiteheart (1980s) sought to baptize heavy metal, in a "me too" approach to secular music (11/15 Chr. Today). The justification was that these "evangelical" musicians were simply preaching the gospel in a new medium and that we should just give attention to the lyrics. But the lyrics tended to be superficial, sometimes a mere reworking of pronouns so that the pining "I love you" secular songs became "He loves you." But critics insisted that the "gospel message" was so buried under the beat and the pyrotechnics and keening guitars that it would take the FBI weeks to unearth it.

AIDS DEATH TOLL, 2.6 MILLION THIS YEAR—Africa with 10 percent of the world's population has 70 percent of the world's 40 million people infected with HIV. It has 5,500 AIDS-related funerals every day, per the Fall '99 Record. This year, 5.6 million people will be newly infected with HIV, and 2.6 million will die as a result of AIDS (11/28 HT). AIDS causes one in every 20 deaths worldwide.

GET TV OUT OF CHILDREN'S BEDROOM!—And some would add, "and out of the house, period!" The 11/29 USN & WR reported a survey of kids showing that they spend 5 hours and 29 minutes on an average day using some sort of media (TV, computer, video games, Internet) outside of school. It said kids are much more isolated than ever. "They just disappear into their rooms and spend all of their time with [these] media." We have a generation of loners. In 1979, 6 percent of sixth graders had TVs in their rooms, compared with 77 percent today.

FORGIVE DEBT OF POOR COUNTRIES?—There are many pressures in various quarters to cancel the debt of some of the world's poorest countries. Jubilee 2000, the Pope, and the WCC are pushing this idea. But many third world countries would revert right back to poverty since it was caused, in many cases, by dictators stealing funds given to ease poverty. Socialism, heathen religions, and poverty often go hand in hand. The best way to help victims is to reach them with the Gospel and help them change corrupt governments. To forcibly "take from the haves and give to the have-nots" is socialism, and theft.

1999 PARLIAMENT OF THE WORLD'S RELIGIONS was scheduled to convene in South Africa, Dec. 1-8. As in 1993, this year's "parliament" brought together experts on exotic faiths—including Scientologists, Zoroastrians, Wiccans, and Theosophists—to discuss the role of religion in modern society and to continue to hammer out a new one world religion (12/6 New Amer.). Conferees were invited to create a new "sustainable" Earth-centered faith and to provide "leadership to assure that the Earth is respected, revered, and protected." The Dalai Lama (Tibetan Buddhist) was the keynote speaker. Other listed speakers included liberal Catholic theologian Hans Kung, folk singer Arlo Guthrie, actress Goldie Hawn, and a full slate of Hindus, Buddhists, and New Age practitioners. [Charles Colson accepted the Templeton prize at the 1993 Parliament (1/1/94 CC) and the 11/93 Moody Monthly said it was "right" for him to do this!]

BAD DECISION ON SCOUTS—The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled against the Boy Scouts for dismissing a homosexual scoutmaster. It bluntly rejected the Scouts' moral stand against homosexuality, dismissing it as "little more than prejudice." (11/15 Chr. Today) If upheld, this ruling could be dangerous. For if government can tell private groups what their own creeds "really" mean, what is to prevent it from telling Christian ministries and churches what their creeds "really" mean.

POKEMON FRENZY—Dungeons and Dragons, Pokemon, and many other role-playing games are dangerous and often lead to a deeper curiosity and fascination with the occult. Some schools have banned Pokemon cards due to the occult link. Christian parents must show tough love and become censors. They dismiss the Pokemon craze as harmless fun and innocent fantasy at their own, and their children's, peril. Be warned, be wise, beware!

ANNE GIMENEZ PASTORS LARGE CHURCH—Anne Gimenez was named senior pastor of the 4,000-member Rock Church (Va.), the nation's largest church pastored by a woman, Oct. 17. (12/99 Charisma). She crusades for gender equality and says she sees no basis for barring women from clergy roles. She has been co-pastor with her husband John and helped found the charismatic Rock Church in 1968. John spearheaded massive charismatic Washington for Jesus prayer rallies in 1980, 1988, & 1996.

SUDAN GENOCIDE—The West is going all-out to rescue the Muslim Albanians in Kosovo, but ignores a far more brutalized class of victims—the Christians being raped, enslaved, murdered, bombed, starved and even crucified in the religious genocide in Sudan. (11/99 Charisma).

STOWELL NOW ON GRAHAM BOARD—Moody Bible Institute President Joseph Stowell and Dennis Lotz (Baptist World Alliance) were added last month to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association board (11/11 Ala. Bapt.). Stowell is an Advisory Editor of Christianity Today where Billy Graham is the founder and Board Chairman. Stowell speaks at Billy Graham's Training Center, and Graham spoke at MBI's 100th Anniversary celebration. Stowell is a member of the NAE (National Association of Evangelicals) and has spoken at Promise Keepers and SBC-related events [also at an ABWE conference in Portugal and at Cedarville College a few years ago]. We grieve at the accelerated pace Stowell has taken Moody into new evangelicalism and ecumenism in recent years.

LIBERTY U. JOINS SBC—Liberty University, led by Jerry Falwell, is now linked with the Southern Baptist Convention. It established a formal affiliation with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, Nov. 15 (11/17 Relig. Today). The new relationship encourages Southern Baptist students to attend Liberty and makes financial support of the school possible by the 47,000 SBC churches. Liberty's entry into the SBC "is an answer to prayer for us all," said SBC president Paige Patterson.

WCC ON VERGE OF COLLAPSE?—An 11/1 Christian News article stated: "After 30 years of controversy, the World Council of Churches may stand on the verge of collapse." Over the last three decades the WCC became increasingly identified with radical movements worldwide, even providing financial support for Marxist terrorists in the 1960s and 70s, and their own financial support has gradually declined. Theology also, is in short supply for these global ecumenists. They perhaps will feel at home in the newly-being-formed United Religions, which could soon evolve into the one-world church of the Antichrist.

BWA HEROES—The SBC is a major member of the Baptist World Alliance. Desmond Tutu spoke at a 1998 BWA meeting (see 8/15/98 CC). BWA's Oct-Dec Baptist World had an article praising Billy Graham as the "greatest evangelist of this century," and termed as "Twentieth Century prophets" the likes of Bonhoeffer, King, and Oscar Romero. Billy Kim was recently nominated to be President of the BWA from 2000 to 2005.

COMPROMISERS DESPISE WALLS—Promise Keepers and other ecumenicals today place a strong emphasis on tearing down denominational walls. A SB pastor, quoted in the 11/25 Ala. Baptist, warns against building walls. He said: "A wall is a divisive feature. A wall separates." He added: "[W]alls shut people out, make people choose sides…" He said Jesus' manner was universal love, and was inclusive. But God's Word erects walls, designed to divide/separate, and force a "choosing." The pastor had a point, but failed to stress the importance of Divine walls.

BENNY HINN'S 'ANOINTING'—TBN's Paul Crouch interviewed Benny Hinn, Sept. 13 on TBN. In the opening exchanges, Hinn appealed to Kathryn Kuhlman for his "cursing and blessing" pronouncements at a recently held Healing Crusade in Denver. He said: "I place a curse on every man and woman that will stretch his hand against this anointing. I curse that man who dares to speak a word against this ministry. But any man, any woman that raises his or her hand in blessing toward this ministry, I bless that man…." The New Zealand paper, Contending Earnestly for the Faith (9/99) mentioned "a dangerous trend toward Catholic-type worship and ecumenical unity" in recent Hinn programs. It said a number of third wave charismatics were recent guests, and that Hinn is assuming the apostolic father figure of the healing ministry.

BENNY HINN SAYS DEAD IN CASKETS WILL BE RAISED TO LIFE AT TV SETS—Charismatic leader Benny Hinn on Paul & Jan Crouch's TBN said people are going to be raised from the dead watching TBN. He said "People are going to be canceling funeral services and bringing their dead in their caskets, placing them before a TV set, waiting for God's power to…touch them." He said they would be raised from the dead by the thousands (11/22 Chr. News). BDM editor Rick Miesel said the listed speakers for a 12/3 $100/plate Benny Hinn 25th anniversary dinner in Anaheim, CA included Paul Crouch, Jack Hayford, Oral Roberts, E.V. Hill, and Rex Humbard. Hinn mentioned, at the start of his 10/99 Denver Healing Crusade (TBN tape), that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Falwell would also be dinner speakers. In a phone call to Falwell's office, a Mr. Westover told the CC editor that Falwell "may be there, but he's not going to be speaking." Falwell and Hinn were featured speakers at a 4/96 Washington for Jesus rally (6/15/96 CC). Hinn said he recently had a long meeting with Falwell. He has left his Orlando church and moved to Dallas. In Jan. he breaks ground for a $30-$35 million Healing Center in Dallas, which will operate 24 hours a day when opened in 2001.

FIRM FOUNDATION MEETINGS—Firm Foundation student conferences, founded by Gene Wolfenbarger, are scheduled for many key cities next year. These big events mainly feature Southern Baptist speakers (Jerry Falwell, Jay Strack, Jerry Johnston, e.g.), but we note with sadness that independent Baptists such as Dr. Ralph Sexton are also sometimes involved. Orlando Baptist Church (independent), pastored by David Janney was listed to host a Firm Foundation conference, Dec. 3-4. We were told (by FF) that Wolfenbarger, Jay Strack, and Ritchie Miller (World Quest Min.) were the speakers.

PARADOX OF SEPARATION—We don't separate from obedient brethren just because they are friends with apostates or from those who claim to be Fundamentalists who don't agree with us on matters of opinion and interpretation. We separate from unrepentant sinners who claim to be obedient Christians….New Evangelicals avoid us on rational grounds; we avoid them on Biblical grounds. We separate from them because we love Christ; they separate from us because they want the world to love them….[In separating from a disobedient brother], we separate from the man who will not separate from his sin in order to help separate him from his sin…. [Excerpt from Dr. John Vaughn's article, Nov.- Dec. Frontline]

DOCTRINE OF SEPARATION & IT'S IMPORTANCE—[In recent years] we have seen Evangelicals and Catholics signing documents of agreement with one another to eliminate the wall of separation set in place by God the Father Himself. Self-professed Fundamentalists and New Evangelicals are also finding common ground on which they might stand together. Yet God's command to "come out from among them and be ye separate" continues to stand firm. It is still forbidden for truth and error to dwell together as one. God's purpose for the doctrine of separation is to protect those who belong to Him by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Amos 3:3 asks, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" The Scriptures teach us that Judas walked among Christ and the disciples, but he was not of them. Paul referred to the Judaizers as wolves because they added to the doctrine of grace. It is impossible for a born-again believer to yoke himself together with non-believers or compromisers without being unfaithful to the Lord. Disobedience is sin. …Faithful adherence to the doctrine of separation preserves the holiness and purity demanded by God for His children. [Excerpt from 10/99 ACCC resolution]

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