VOL. XVI NO. 8 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM April 15, 1999
|NEW AGE REPLACING DARWINIAN EVOLUTION—As Darwinian evolution
fades into oblivion, occultic New Age evolution takes its place. In New
Age literature, the Jehovah God of the Bible is maligned as a malicious
judge, keeping enlightenment from His followers, and denying them sensual
pleasures. To New Agers, God is identified as the Creation itself, specifically
Mother Earth or Gaia (Rom. 1:25), as we become one with God by gaining
cosmic consciousness. [Dr. John Morris, Acts & Facts]
BIBLICAL CREATION—Biblical creation took only six days, not eons of time. Gen. 1 records what God did from the "first day" through the "sixth day." (Dr. Jonathan Henry, Clearwater Chr. College Courier) The Hebrew phrase "first day" signifies an ordinary 24-hour day. Biblical creation is also recent - thousands not millions of years ago.
POPE STARTS TO MAKE MOTHER TERESA SAINT—Pope John Paul II has given the archbishop of Calcutta permission to begin the process of making "Mother" Teresa a saint less than 18 months after her death (3/22 Christian News). He waived the normal five-year waiting period between death and the process of sainthood. She evidently trusted in the works-salvation of Catholicism which could never make anyone a saint in God's eyes.
POPE URGES WAR AGAINST PROTESTANTISM—Alarmed at losses in Romanism Pope John Paul II, in his recent visit to Mexico, called upon the faithful to wage war against Protestantism which he called an "untruthful ideology." Canadian Revivalist editor Dr. Frank McClelland noted: "It is interesting to see his ecumenical colleagues in the so-called Protestant churches squirm."
BOESAK FOUND GUILTY OF THEFT—Allan Boesak, former president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (and a former official of the pro-communist African National Congress), was found guilty last month of fraud and theft by a South African court. The money was from a charity to help children victims of apartheid.
LYONS QUITS AS HEAD OF NBC—Rev. Henry Lyons, convicted on state racketeering charges including the misuse of money intended for rebuilding burned black churches, resigned last month as president of the National Baptist Convention, USA. He was also convicted of swindling millions from corporations wanting to market products to NBC members (3/22 Chr. News). E.V. Hill, a strong Lyons supporter and NBC board member, was stunned by the verdict, but saw no reason for Lyons to resign. Sentencing on state charges was March 31, and in a federal plea deal, it is June 18. He remains as pastor.
AMY GRANT FILES FOR DIVORCE—CCM/rock singer Amy Grant and husband Gary Chapman announced their separation in Dec. (3/22 C. News). Amy last month filed for divorce from their marriage of 16 years, citing "irreconcilable differences." She has been a pathetic role model and served as a CCM "bridge" to lead young people to "cross over" into secular rock music.
PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION BAN—In a late-term partial-birth abortion, the baby is dismembered while in the birth canal. Congress has twice passed legislation to restrict such gruesome abortions, but Pres. Clinton vetoed it both times. A new Minn. law requires doctors to use a 10-point checklist to pinpoint why patients want abortions and to record the number of abortions they perform.
DISNEY DOLLARS DROP—Disney earnings, profits, and stock are plunging. The 3/99 Baptist Banner says the boycott by Southern Baptists and others of Disney products is an important factor. Why isn't there a permanent boycott by Christians of all Hollywood sleaze?
VULGAR TV, MOVIES CORRUPT OUR CULTURE—Gene Edward Veith writes: "Professional wrestling, staged with obscene gestures and in-your-face vulgarity, is the most popular programming on cable TV." And: "Rap has now become the most popular musical style among young people today." (3/13 World) Hollywood seems to put sex, nudity, and vulgarity/profanity into its movies every chance it gets. Naked bodies and exploding cars clutter most current movies. From 1988 to 1997, Hollywood produced 17 times more R-rated films than G-rated, but G-rated produced eight times more gross earnings (4/5 CT). An agenda, and Oscar gold, is the goal. No outside threat to our nation is greater than the danger of corrupting of our culture from within.
HINN GOES WEST—Faith healer Benny Hinn plans to relocate later this year from Orlando to So. CA, to be closer to his World Outreach Church's TV production studio (4/99 Charisma). Other parts of his ministry, which employs 400, will remain at Orlando. Hinn, a charismatic, has recanted some heretical teachings in recent years.
JEWISH EVANGELISM—Messianic Jews teach that Jewish survival demands the embracing of Jewish life and culture along with embracing faith in Yeshua (10/98 Charisma). Messianic Jews in Argentina offer Christians "a two-year course on Jewish evangelism that eliminates Christian jargon…." (4/5 CT) 1Cor. 1:23, indeed indicates that the Christian cross is a "stumbling block" to Jews, but we can't "eliminate" such necessary "jargon."
FOR NAE TO SURVIVE, NEW LEADER WANTS TO ENLARGE BORDERS - REPLACE WALLS WITH PICKET FENCES—Only 350 attended the National Association of Evangelicals' recent annual meeting. Its new leader, Free Methodist Bishop Kevin Mannoia, thinks it is time to enlarge the borders and include those with compatible views who are outside the traditional realm of evangelicalism. The Worldwide Church of God became an NAE member in 1997. Mannoia says the NAE should not be fearful of charismatic movements such as the Vineyard [John Wimber group]. He noted that many evangelical United Methodists [an oxymoron?] would feel at home in the NAE (4/5 CT). He said, "We don't need to be looking for litmus tests. We should be replacing block walls with picket fences." GARBC leader Richard Christen in 1995 said: "Instead of a two-foot thick wall around our GARBC, lets build a sturdy picket fence around us." Nehemiah built a wall, and walls of separation (not flimsy picket fences) are vital in our day. But NAE board chairman Lamar Vest said the NAE has an unprecedented challenge to make Christianity relevant.
FRANKLIN GRAHAM'S ECUMENICAL FESTIVALS—In succeeding his father Billy Graham, Franklin has, to keep up with the times, reconfigured some of the outer trappings of the crusades. George Beverly Shea has "deferred to the grittier, rowdier (and hunkier) Michael W. Smith," says the 4/5 Christianity Today. The shorter attention span of today's audience forces the younger Graham to keep his message to 15 minutes. Video clips keep the audience entertained between speakers. CT reports: "Franklin no longer calls them crusades - 'that's a church word.' They are festivals - 'that's a secular word.'" For baby boomers, this evokes images of Woodstock. This is called being "seeker sensitive," but might also be called "pragmatism," "watering down," "men-pleasing," "compromise," or catering to the world.
FRANKLIN GRAHAM DIFFERS FROM HIS DAD—The 4/5 Christianity Today notes some ways in which Billy Graham's son Franklin is more outspoken than his dad. He criticizes Jesse Jackson for being silent on the race and religious war in Africa, and calls Pres. Clinton's lying and sex outside marriage "sin." He stated his disgust over the movie The Apostle which other new evangelicals (including CT) praised, in a commencement address at Wheaton College last year. He said: "When Hollywood portrays the church of Jesus Christ as immoral, no, don't tell me this is a great film. No way." He said it's bad because "Hollywood portrays a minister of God's Word as a murderer, a womanizer, a drinker, bringing the level of the pastor…down to the level of trash." CT, which lists Billy Graham as its founder and board chairman, says Franklin seems to communicate "an understanding of the Christian life that is rooted in behavior and harks back to the belligerent fundamentalism that his father and 'new evangelical' cohorts eschewed." It said he, like Billy Sunday, calls drinking sin. Yet, sadly, he seems to have the same ecumenical mind-set of his father. [See 4/1 CC.]
PROMISE KEEPERS CANCELS STATE RALLIES—Due in part to uncertainty over Y2K computer problems, Promise Keepers has abandoned plans to hold rallies outside every state capitol on January 1, 2000 (4/5 CT). There were also objections in northern climates about standing outside in January. PK now urges Christians to stay home and be a witness in their neighborhoods and to gather for devotions and prayer, etc., January 1. PK will continue to hold its ecumenical conferences this year.
We're saddened to hear that Rev. Virgil Romans, Terre Haute, Ind., went home to be with the Lord last month.
FALWELL LIKENS RAWLINGS TO SPURGEON?—Dr. John Rawlings has pastored for 55 years, mostly at Landmark Baptist Temple, Cincinnati. He helped found the Baptist Bible Fellowship, the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo. and served as the former's president. He has been called "the towering 20th century giant of Fundamentalism" (7/15/90 CC). Jerry Falwell has often called him one of his mentors, and his 4/99 National Liberty Journal calls Rawlings the "Outstanding Baptist Pastor of the 20th Century", "Mr. Baptist of the 20th Century", and the "Charles H. Spurgeon of the 20th Century." Yet Rawlings, now 85, has shared platforms with and promoted, over the past two decades, Southern Baptists and other new evangelicals. A Spurgeon? Hardly.
POLITICAL PLURALISM SELL-OUT OF DOCTRINE—We've seen it happen over and over for two decades since Moral Majority - the putting aside of doctrinal differences to unite to fight a social evil such as abortion. Dave Hunt writes (3/22 CN): "For example, if a Christian is involved in a social issue that includes a Mormon on one side, a Catholic on another, a Moonie over there and maybe an atheist somewhere in the mix, all involved share certain moral values. But the Christian cannot share the gospel with the others because it would 'break up the coalition.' Therefore, he has to compromise…."
GRAHAM'S DAUGHTER A PREACHER—Billy Graham calls his daughter Anne Graham Lotz "the best preacher in the family." (4/5 CT). She is the keynote speaker at the liberal Baptist World Alliance's Baptist World Congress in Australia, January 5-9, 2000. (3/25/99 Alabama Baptist)
MISSING MEMBERS—Life-Way Christian Resources (formerly the Baptist Sunday School Board) indicates that 31.8% of members of Southern Baptist churches are nonresident - they moved away but didn't change their membership (3/99 Baptist Banner). Another 20.7% remain in the area but are inactive. This is disgraceful.
THE EXTREME MIDDLE—We have heard about the extreme right and the extreme left, but it is the extreme middle we need to expose as being extremely deceptive, extremely disobedient, and extremely dangerous. (Rev. Hayes Minnick) Dr. W.B. Riley in bygone years said: "The middle-of-the-road man is the theological menace of the twentieth century." Beware of the "betweenites"!
WHEN TOLERANCE IS COMPROMISE—Terry Arnold writes: "Today the word 'tolerance' is being lauded as the new way of thinking. There is an increasing plea for tolerance in Christian circles and in Christian doctrine. However, what is really meant and achieved is often compromise rather than tolerance....[T]o compromise with God's laws and His Word is sin! To compromise with important doctrines is also sin! To compromise with men who are false teachers and who are leading multitudes away from sound doctrine is sin. The Bible speaks often about separation rather than unity….Jesus was tolerant of most people but never compromising. The fact is He was [often] in controversy!…I am wary of 'peacemakers' who compromise on small things because they are more prone to compromise on bigger things later. Many… pastors will not take a stand on some issues for fear of losing people or their own positions and popularity.… Tolerance at the price of truth leads to compromise. Compromise always lowers the original standard. Truth has boundaries, error has none. Unfortunately compromise is now a virtue and to many people truth has become an offense." (3/99 Diakrisis, via Cheryl Dee e-mail. You may order Arnold's book, To Catholics Whom I Love, from Dr. Bill Jackson, PO Box 99141, Louisville, KY 40269.)
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