VOL. XVII NO. 4 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM February 15, 1999
|GAMBLING LEADS TO CRIME, POVERTY, DEATH - Americans gamble more
money each year than they spend on groceries. Over $600 billion is wagered
legally in the U.S. annually. Nearly 1 in 5 homeless people say gambling
contributed to their poverty, and 75 percent of pathological gamblers admit
they have committed at least one felony to support their habit. More money
is spent on gambling in Mississippi than on all retail sales combined.
Over 30,000 video poker machines are spread over S.C. [1/99 Dobson Ltr.]
Nevada ranks first in suicide, first in divorce. One in 25 visitors who
die in Las Vegas die by suicide.
CHRISTIANS CAN'T CRITICIZE HOMOSEXUAL LIFESTYLE? - Two bills, passed and vetoed in California last year, pose danger for conservative Christians if the new liberal governor supports them (12/98 Nat'l Lib. Jrnl). One would allow taxpayer-funded lawsuits against Christian radio stations, private Christian schools, and other ministries whose religious convictions do not consent to an alternative sexual orientation. Those who oppose a homosexual lifestyle could be severely penalized. The other bill brings churches under state control under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, infringing on churches' religious liberties and employment decisions.
NEW AGE - New Age is a recent and developing belief system in North America encompassing thousands of autonomous (and sometimes contradictory) beliefs, organizations, and events. Generally it borrows its theology from pantheistic Eastern religions and its practices from 19th century Western occultism. New Age is an umbrella term for organizations which seem to exhibit one or more of the following beliefs: (1) All is one, all reality is part of the whole; (2) Everything is God and God is everything; (3) Man is God or a part of God; (4) Man never dies, but continues to live through reincarnation; (5) Man can create his own reality and/or values through transformed consciousness or altered states of consciousness. [This was taken from THE WATCHMAN EXPOSITOR's 32-page "Index of Cults and Religions," available from: PO Box 530842, Birmingham, AL 35253.]
HOMOSEXUALS PERVERT 'GOOD' IN MARRIAGE - The 1/23 World says: "To enter a homosexual relationship is to repudiate the good God has provided in marriage. Even leaving procreation aside, there is something lacking in a man which can only be provided by a woman, and there is something lacking in a woman which can only be provided by a man. Only because the spouses are different can their union take each one out of self for the sake of the other. The homosexual act resists that liberation; it is merely self-love with another body."
LIVE-IN COUPLES TREND SOARS - In 1998, the number of unmarried U.S. couples topped 4,236,000, up from 439,000 in 1960 (2/1 USA Today). Over half of first marriages are now preceded by cohabitation. Those who live together before marriage are about 48% more likely to divorce than those who don't. Also, the risk of physical and sexual abuse for kids is greater. Unmarried couples have lower levels of happiness and greater instability. So, sinful illicit living together is not "marriage friendly."
POPE SAYS MUSLIMS WORSHIP SAME GOD - On a 1985 visit to Morocco Pope John Paul II, using Abraham as a model, told Moslem pilgrims headed for Mecca: "We believe in the same God, the only God, the living God..." (1/25 CN, 7/15/88 CC). Jimmy Carter and others have made similar claims. But Islam's god is not the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It denies the Trinity, Christ's deity and crucifixion. Christians worship the Triune God of the Bible, the only true God; Muslims worship a monotheistic god (Allah), an idol that does not exist (Isa. 44:8, 43:10).
NCC GREETS HOMOSEXUAL CHURCH LEADER - Dr. Gwynne Guidbord, a leader in the predominately homosexual Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, was warmly received as a speaker at the recent National Council of Churches' General Assembly. At least half of assembled NCC delegates gave her a standing ovation (2/99 Nat'l Lib. Jrnl.). She actually blamed opposition to homosexuality for forcing young people into prostitution, drugs, and alcohol abuse. Some NCC leaders, including NCC President Craig Anderson, favor accepting the UFMCC as a member denomination.
LARRY KING & SCHULLER - Agnostic Larry King (12/19) interviewed Robert Schuller and asked him if this was a time for national prayer. Schuller replied: "You know, it surely is. I think it's probably providential that this comes at just the day before [you are] going to be [my] guest and you will offer your first public prayer in the Crystal Cathedral." Schuller said, "We have to find God in our own way...." The Foundation editor wrote (Jan-Feb): "The idea that people [can] 'find God in their their own way'...is completely contrary to Scripture."
GRAHAM'S HEDONISTIC PARADISE - Agnostic Larry King interviewed Billy Graham for an hour Christmas day. He asked "What will paradise be like?" Graham replied (Foundation): "...[E]verything you ever wanted for happiness will be there. People say that the Bible teaches there's no sex in Heaven. If sex is necessary for our happiness and fulfillment, it'll be there...If certain other things that we think are pleasurable - it'll be there."
SOCIAL ACTIVIST JAMES FORBES TO SPEAK AT SBC SCHOOL - Dr. James Forbes, senior minister of the notoriously liberal Riverside Church in New York City, is listed as a Feb. 23-25 speaker at Southern Baptist's Beeson Divinity School Chapel (Samford University) in Birmingham (1/21 Ala. Baptist). He succeeded fiery liberal William Sloane Coffin as Riverside's pastor in 1989, and spoke at the SBC's Southern Seminary in 1990. Riverside was founded by Harry Emerson Fosdick, and has long been a hotbed of radical liberalism (see 10/15/88 & 3/15/90 CCs). Archer Weniger called it "the No. 1 pulpit of modernism." Marxists have spoken there. Forbes' theology is said to reflect a melding of traditions at the adjacent liberal Union Seminary and the black Pentecostal tradition in which he grew up (2/6/89 Chr. News). Jerry Falwell and other new-evangelical SBC conservatives' claims of victory in cleaning up the SBC seem premature.
FALWELL,CHARISMATICS, & BBF - We reported in the 12/15 CC that Dr. Jerry Falwell is scheduled to speak at Cecil Todd's 50 year celebration in Branson, MO in April. Sword of the Lord editor Dr. Shelton Smith notes this (and some other Falwell ecumenical involvements) and says: "Now we notice in the Baptist Bible Tribune announcement of the midwinter meeting of the Baptist Bible Fellowship Int'l in San Diego that Dr. Falwell is listed as one of their main speakers...." Falwell's church is now affiliated with both the BBFI and the SBC.
LOTZ TO SPEAK AT BWA MEETING IN AUSTRALIA - The 18th Baptist World Congress is set for Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 5-9, 2000. Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, is to be a featured speaker. There are now 192 Baptist conventions (including SBC) and unions which are members of the apostate BWA (Baptist World Alliance), with a total community of 110 million. Desmond Tutu was the highlight at a recent BWA meeting (9/1 CC).
ZACHARIAS IS NO SEPARATIST - The highly popular Ravi Zacharias often speaks in new-evangelical or ecumenical pulpits such as PK, NRB, MBI, WEF, etc. (2/15/98 CC). The 2/99 Charisma reports that Harvard University (apostate) female chaplain Kelly Monroe recently invited Zacharias as a keynote speaker. He quotes liberals/new-evangelicals (e.g., Richard Niebuhr, Malcolm Muggeridge, Billy Graham) on his radio program with no warning of their dangerous teaching/stance. If a person is known by the company he keeps, the crowd he runs with, Zacharias (sad to say) is clearly identified.
DEGREE SEPARATION - Obedience knows no degrees. We either obey Bible commands or disobey them. Denouncing Fundamentalists for "second degree separation" is usually a convenient pretext for being tolerant of believers who are tolerant of unbelievers. Fellowship and cooperation in public ministry must be based on obedience to truth, to doctrine. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" We cannot join in common public ministry with erring brethren who disregard and disobey biblical separation commands. We must take a clear stand while lovingly trying to restore them. Spurgeon said: "That I might not stultify my testimony I have cut myself clear of those who err from the faith, and even from those who associate with them." We must separate from apostasy today, and also not identify with brethren who finance and promote it.
MO. BAPTISTS OUST CHARISMATICS - Missouri's Webster County Baptist Assoc. (SBC) voted to withdraw fellowship from Calvary Baptist, Marshfield, over the issue of charismatic worship. The church split earlier over speaking in tongues and being slain in the Spirit.
HELL HAS NO EXIT - Some modern theologians say some who did not embrace Christ in this life may yet do so savingly in the next life. Even some so-called evangelicals expect this and think that our gracious God owes all a clear presentation of the gospel in terms they understand. Of course, postmortem-faith universalists expect all humans will go to heaven. Some others posit as many postmortem lives (reincarnation?) for each non-Christian as necessary to draw them to Christ. Modernist Nels Ferre described hell as having "a school and a door" in it: when those in hell come to their senses about Christ they may leave, so that the place ends up empty [J.I. Packer, 1/11 Chr. Today]. This is all dangerous, unscriptural nonsense!
PK'S MICH. MEN'S CONFERENCE - Fundamentalist Digest Editor Don Jasmin attended the Western Michigan Promise Keepers conference at Grand Rapids last August as a media rep. He mentioned "hard driving rock rhythms," and the mixture of good and evil in the messages. Roman Catholic charismatic "lay" leader Ralph Martin was one of the speakers. Dr. Jasmin concluded: "The PK emphasis is more dangerously ecumenical than ever, with Roman Catholics now occupying strategic places of prominence in administration and operation...."
COCU IS NOW CUC - At the conclusion of its five-day plenary meeting in Jan. the Consultation on Church Union decided on a new name - Churches Uniting in Christ. COCU, at its founding in 1962 with nine liberal denominations, proposed a Protestant superchurch. A new plan seeks affiliation without merger and to join forces to fight racism. They would by 2007 celebrate Eucharist together and accept one another's ministers.
DON'T DARE LOVE A FUNDAMENTALIST - "It seems that nobody loves a fundamentalist. The reason is found in John 15:17-20. Frankly, I have found more real love during the thirty years I have spent among the 'fighting fundamentalists' than I ever saw demonstrated among the love-preaching liberals. And I am not too much impressed with the sentimental exaltation of love over doctrine as advocated by the new evangelicals when they apply it to everyone except those who have preserved for them their own faith." [James Boyer, 1-2/99 Fund. Digest]
NRB '98 - The CC editor attended a one-and-one-half day segment of the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, along with ACCC leader Dr. Ralph Colas (who attended it all), as a member of the press. Promise Keepers staff presented plans for 1999 and new millennium celebration. Campus Crusade's Bill and Vonette Bright received this year's NRB President's Award. Former Lutheran Hour speaker Dr. Oswald C.J. Hoffmann was inducted into the NRB Hall of Fame. Chuck Colson and Brother Andrew of "God's Smuggler" fame were NRB speakers. It is ironic that Roman Catholic Alan Keyes was perhaps the best and most rousing speaker (we did not hear Colson) at this new-evangelical convention! Calling our president "the poster boy of moral depravity," Keyes in his one-hour keynote address focused on the moral and spiritual decline of the U.S. As is becoming more and more common in PK and NRB meetings, big-name CCM/rock music performers dished out repetitious lyrics and deafening drum/bass beats. In a press conference (2/1) NRB Chairman David Clark said this year's convention was the biggest and best ever, with over 5,000 registered attendees to date and over 224 exhibitors. The NRB, an arm of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), voted to build a permanent headquarters facility in Manassas, Va. It meets at Anaheim 2000, Dallas 2001, then back to Nashville in 2002. Dr. Colas will later have a more complete report.
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