VOL. XVI NO. 7 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM April 1, 1999
|CCM: AT THE CROSSROADS—That is the title of a 1999 book
by Charlie Peacock which gives "An Insider's Look at the Past, Present,
and Future of Contemporary Christian Music." He has been a CCM insider
for 16 years as a recording artist, producer, and songwriter, having written
songs recorded by Amy Grant, dc Talk, etc. The author traces CCM from its
early roots in the Jesus People and charismatic movements of the late '60s
and early '70s. We disagree with much of the book - such as the assertion
that "...God seems to have equipped and blessed the work of CCM as it is."
And the advice that Christians are to "acknowledge your God-given freedom
to use music for all kinds of purposes...." However he, along with CCM
artist Steve Camp in 1997, is burdened over the present state of CCM and
is concerned about many excesses. Peacock said: "Charismatic experience
came to be perceived as a more personal, tangible, and valuable encounter
with God than [that] which comes by reading and meditating over the Spirit-inspired
Scriptures." He noted that Southern Baptists came to "recognize that contemporary
rock and pop music could speak to young people in powerful ways." Billy
Graham has used CCM/rock groups in recent years. Peacock said: "What's
missing from CCM is a comprehensive theology of music...." He added: "I
once heard of a young band who, in an attempt to appear relevant...declared
that they were 'into Jesus but without all the theological baggage.'" "From
music to marketing, CCM takes its cue from the world." "Today," he said,
"the listener can no longer count on the music to reveal...that he is indeed
listening to Christian music." This is such a sad disgrace!
DON'T GET SICK IN HOLLAND!—A Journal of Medical Ethics report (Feb.) said one in five cases of assisted suicide in Holland takes place without the patient's consent (3/13 World). The survey also revealed that nearly two-thirds of Dutch euthanasia cases in 1995 were not reported, as law requires. Doctors have dangerous power to kill patients!
DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE—Every day in America, 8,000 young people will try an illegal drug for the first time, and 3,300 young people under age 18 will become daily cigarette smokers (SBC Ethics & Relig. Lib. Comm.). On average, 8% of the most faithful Christian teens will start to smoke cigarettes before becoming adults, 13% will try marijuana, and 19% will try alcohol. The numbers are even higher for those who don't attend church very often.
TURNER'S APOLOGY FOR INSULTING POPE—Ted Turner has apologized for insulting Pope John Paul II by telling a Polish joke and for saying the ban on adultery should be deleted from the Ten Commandments (3/1 CN).
UNITED RELIGIONS IS COMING!—Episcopal Bishop William Swing has been a primary catalyst for the creation of the United Religions Initiative since 1993 (see 9/1/97 CC). After many meetings in many countries, a draft charter of the URI has been revised and widely circulated. The 2/11 Wisconsin Report gave a status report of this dream for a UR, an inclusive "spiritual partner" of the UN. The URI draft charter will undergo extensive development and revision between now and June 2000 when people over the world will sign it, giving birth to the United Religions. Fundamentalists could/would never join such an apostate one-world church of the Antichrist.
MARRIAGE IN TROUBLE—BYU Prof. Brent Barlow warns that if divorce and cohabitation trends continue, "being married could be a minority status" within 10 years. The number of Americans marrying is down to 88% from a high of 94% (What in the World!). For the first time since the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting data on it, a majority of firstborn children in the U.S. are to unwed mothers (1/99 AFA Jrnl); 60 years ago it was 18%.
ALPHA RE-VISITED—The Alpha Course (see 12/15 CC) is becoming one of the UK's fastest growing exports around the world. But the CRN Newsletter says it is useless as a gospel tool, that it presents a watered-down guiltless gospel and a feeble Christ. Its core emphasis is on a Toronto-type experience. Clearly, however, it is popular with both Christians and the secular world. Roman Catholicism has adopted Alpha, and this should be further cause for pause that Alpha's gospel is not the biblical one.
SMEDES SPEAKS AT PRO-HOMOSEXUAL EVENTS—Retired Fuller Seminary ethicist professor Lewis Smedes again speaks at a pro-homosexual Evangelicals Concerned July conference (6/1/95 CC & EC's Record). He, lesbian author Kathy Olsen, and EC's Ralph Blair are keynoters. Smedes has defended homosexuals, approvingly quoted liberals, allowed for pre-marital nude petting, and said factors other than rape, incest or the mother's welfare may justify abortion. The 4/87 Moody praised a Smedes book.
'INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THANKSGIVING'—The United Nations has declared 2000 the "International Year of Thanksgiving." A Thanksgiving World Assembly was planned (for March 12-15) to bring major world religious leaders to Thanksgiving Square, Dallas (2/28 Dallas Morn. News), to heal relations between religions, cultures, etc.
GALVESTON HOTEL TARGETS 'GAYS'—Galveston's first hotel catering solely to "gays and lesbians" opens this spring. Such "perversion" centers are proliferating.
NAE'S NEW LEADER—Free Methodist Church Bishop Kevin Mannoia has been chosen as the new president of the National Association of Evangelicals - the umbrella organization of mainline new evangelicals in the U.S. (3/6 Huntsville Times) He succeeds Dr. Don Argue who was often quoted as saying the NAE was "too old, too white and too male." Mannoia promises to continue Argue's efforts to seek reconciliation with a variety of groups.
ANOTHER CHURCH EXITS GARBC—We received a note last month from Pastor Randall Chovan stating the following: "Our church, First Baptist of Pasco, WA, voted with a 90% majority to disassociate with the GARBC [General Assoc. of Regular Bapt. Churches] on Feb. 24. 1999. We exited because of the increasing compromise in the areas of faith and practice within the association."
MacARTHUR AT CEDARVILLE—The 3/99 Baptist Bulletin reported
that John MacArthur spoke at Cedarville College's Winter Enrichment Conference,
and that CCM trio Phillips, Craig & Dean "provided an evening of praise
and worship on Jan. 8." MacArthur's teachings on Christ's blood, eternal
sonship, and other doctrines have been confusing and termed heretical by
some. Some of his associations have been new-evangelical.
BBF GIVES GRAHAM BOOK TO PREACHERS—Dr. Arthur Houk writes: "As preachers registered for the national Baptist Bible Fellowship, Int'l meeting, Feb. 15-17, at the Midway Baptist Church in San Diego, Jim Baize host pastor, they received as gifts the book Living Beyond The Limits by Franklin Graham, and the booklet Kids Praying For Kids by Franklin Graham...To me the choice of books shows the deep inroads of the new evangelical mind-set in some of the BBFI churches...." In this book, Graham pledged to his father that as his successor as chairman and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association he would not take it to the left or the right, but [presumably] will continue it on an ecumenical evangelism course. He referred to RC nun "Mother" Teresa as an "example of the woman God uses." He highly praised close friend and "Christian" rock guitarist Dennis Agajanian, and has spoken for Promise Keepers rallies.
FRANKLIN GRAHAM: REBEL WITH A CAUSE—That is the title of an interesting and revealing autobiography by Billy Graham's son Franklin. It covers his smoking, drinking and rebellious rock music years, and how he came to succeed Bob Pierce at the helm of Samaritan's Purse. He told of his father ministering in Poland in 1978 and praying that "the Holy Spirit would unite the hearts of Roman Catholics and Protestants in worship together." At a later trip to Russia, orchestrated by the Communists, he thanked Lenin for "converting the Orthodox church" by taking its property and stripping it of its power so it "turned to God." Franklin said, "Communist officials carefully controlled Daddy's schedule during that trip, but never hindered his preaching...." Why? "Daddy never spoke against Communism in his sermons."
DR. BUMPUS HOME WITH THE LORD—Dr. Frank Bumpus, pastor-emeritus of Bethel Baptist Church, Schaumburg, IL died last month after a long bout with cancer. He served as pastor from 1960 until Jan. 3, 1999 when Rev. Bradley Smith became pastor. Dr. Bumpus had served on Baptist World Mission, Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, and other boards. FBF President Dr. Rod Bell brought the memorial message. Dr. Ed Nelson gave the eulogy. Gordon and Jean Greer were soloists.
ABC APOSTASY EXPOSED—The American Baptist Churches, USA (formerly Northern Baptist Convention) is a member of the liberal National and World Council of Churches. Pastor Mark Franklin has prepared a 4-page paper listing concerns in the areas of inerrancy, modern feminism (God as "Mother," women pastors, etc.), homosexuality, abortion, etc. Request a free copy of this paper from Pastor Franklin at 284 Whig Lane Road, Monroeville, NJ 08343. He pastors Hardingville Bible Church, and is an ACCC executive committee member.
METHODISTS TO WORSHIP 'GOD THE MOTHER'—The Methodist Church broke with centuries of Christian tradition in February and included the first prayer to "God the Mother" in its 600-page Methodist Worship Book for the Millennium (3/1 Christian News). It is the first time in Britain that a mainstream church has referred to God as a woman in an official service book, although feminists and liberals have pressed for it for decades.
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS TO MEET NEAR DISNEY?—The SBC executive committee recommends that the SBC annual meeting in 2000 still be held in Orlando, despite its continuing boycott of Disney (3/8 Chr. News). The SBC meets in Atlanta this year. It is counting on its "refusal to patronize" Disney World to be "a profound testimony."
WORLD VISION'S BLURRED VISION—An internal program survey shows that relief agency World Vision is involved in Third World population control. The 3/6 World mentions upset "Roman Catholics such as Jon Merrill, a World Vision food manager in Angola from 1997 to 1998." He learned last year WV floated a funding proposal with USAID in Angola which included a family planning component. He was told that other WV family planning programs included all forms of contraceptives - IUDs, birth-control pills and Norplant. A new policy may limit World Vision's own contraceptive distribution but pro-lifers worry about the interaction of WV with agencies that promote abortion, etc. An article in the WV's Jan.-Mar. Together magazine said "Trees speak, of course, in the same way that humans do...." When confronted, the executive publisher said they have imposed another set of controls. Time will tell the result.
IBFNA'S REVIEW—The Independent Baptist Fellowship of No. America has a good article by IBFNA Moderator, Dr. Charles Dear entitled, "Accountability and Scrutiny vs. Obscurity and Obfuscation" in its Feb. The Review. It pertains in part to some who object to being identified as compromisers and apostates. Dr. Ralph Colas' one page column listed a resolution from the Oct. ACCC conference on "The Flag of Fundamentalism." There is an article on Bible "original writings" by Review editor Paul Gustine, and information about the June 22-24 IBFNA annual conference in Kansas City. For membership and subscriptions, write IBFNA, 754 E. Rockhill Rd., Sellersville, PA 18960, or e-mail Bro. Gustine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PEACE AT EXPENSE OF PURITY—True Christian unity involves believing and heeding commonly-held fixed Bible truths. The false unity of the ecumenical movement today is a "unity in diversity," pluralism, and mixing clean and unclean. But the wisdom from above is "first pure, then peaceable..." (Ja. 3:17). "When a choice must be made between external unity and the truth of the Gospel, unity must yield to truth. "Better to be divided by truth than united in error." Responsibility for such division is on those who depart from truth. A.W. Tozer said: "Compromise will take the pressure off. Satan will not bother a man who has quit fighting. But the cost of quitting will be a life of peaceful stagnation."
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