VOL. XVI  NO. 12    NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM    June 15, 1999

GOLD TEETH MIRACLES AT TORONTO—Bad news for dentists? Charismatics now claim that God is filling teeth with gold. John Arnott of Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship says this is occurring all over the world (6/99 Charisma). This church was formerly linked with the Vineyard, and renowned for its "laughing revival" where people fall to the floor laughing, making weird animal noises. The TACF Web site has Ps. 81:10 ("…open thy mouth wide and I will fill it"). After a Los Angeles pastor visited a church, an 80-year-old woman allegedly received five gold crowns and then two more while she slept. He believes the fillings are a sign from God that His glory is coming. Jesus said "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…" and that false prophets would use signs and wonders to deceive. Be warned, be wise, beware!

AIDS IN AFRICA—Barring a medical miracle, many African nations will lose one-fifth of their adult populations to AIDS within the next decade. Two-thirds of the 33 million people infected with HIV live in Africa (5/24 C. Today). This is tragic. Global death rates may soar.

GAMBLING THE GOLDEN YEARS AWAY—More senior citizens now gamble and lose control. The highest increase among gamblers is among those 65 and older. Per the May 24 Chr. Today: "Compulsive gambling causes people who have no past criminal behavior to suddenly write bad checks or steal money from relatives. Out-of-control bettors lose their jobs, gamble away cars and homes, file for bankruptcy, divorce, go to prison, or kill themselves—all because the addiction becomes paramount in their lives." Casinos seduce seniors (arrange low-cost trips and buses) and make it easy and affordable for them to bet. Among 1,100 clients at rescue missions, 18 percent cited gambling as a cause of their homelessness.

FLYNT GOES TO GEORGETOWN—Pornographer Larry Flynt bashed Jesuit Georgetown University's Catholic heritage in a lecture there in May as a guest of John F. Kennedy, Jr. Flynt's porno magazine Hustler is renowned for its racism and degradation of women while his daughter has accused him of sexually abusing her (5/17 USN & WR). Flynt had tried to short-circuit the impeachment process with "a loathsome campaign of sexual blackmail" against congressional Republicans. His daughter said he likely had access to FBI files (5/10 New Amer.). His friend Clinton lackey James Carville played a role in a movie about Flynt. The 5/15 World said some students protested the Georgetown appearance and also the firing of four campus ministers. Part-time Protestant ministers will be hired, two rabbis will stay, and a full-time Muslim chaplain will be added at RC Georgetown.

DISNEY BOYCOTT HURTING—Southern Baptists and others are declaring victory in the latest skirmish with Disney forcing it to sell Dogma, a controversial new blasphemous film (5/24 C. Today). Disney's retail stores are facing double-digit declines in sales. Disney is closing bureaus and cutting correspondents at its ABC News (5/17 USN&WR). Disney has quietly pulled the plug on over 30 violent video games at Disneyland (also some at Disney World) that feature human targets in response to the massacre in Colorado (5/16 H. Times, 5/24 USN&WR).

MICH. COURT LETS LANDLORDS REFUSE TO RENT TO UNMARRIED COUPLES—The Michigan Supreme Court reversed itself and vacated a Dec. ruling that forbade landlords from refusing, for religious reasons, to rent to unmarried tenants (5/22 World). The case now goes back to a lower court for reconsideration.

WOMEN IN DANGER—In many countries closed to the gospel, many women risk their lives every day (6/99 Charisma). A Buddhist proverb says, "She was born a woman because she committed a thousand sins in the previous world." In Hindu countries, women are told they are valued less than a cow, and they pray to be reincarnated as a man. In Pakistan, over 70 percent of women in police custody are physically and sexually abused by jailers. In India, men often marry wealthy women for their dowries, then burn them alive so they can claim the money. In Indonesia, dozens of Chinese women have been raped during recent riots. In many Muslim nations, women cannot enter areas where men gather to pray or go out in public unless accompanied by a male relative. In parts of Africa there are taboos against women eating nutritious foods reserved for men. In Afghanistan, women can be publicly beaten and stoned for not wearing head-to-toe covering. In Pakistan, two female witnesses are equal to one male witness in a legal case.

HINDUS KILL CHRISTIANS IN INDIA, U.S. TAX-PAYERS ASSIST HINDUISM—One of India's popular singers was scheduled to appear in concert at a local high school last month "to help raise money for the Hindu Cultural Center of North Ala." The UN recognized her as the "Cultural Ambassador of India," for her contribution to the spread of Hinduism throughout the world." (5/15 H. Times). Meanwhile, the 5/24 Chr. Today had a report of the burning of 157 Christian homes in India with 13 people hurt in conflicts between Hindus and Christians. As we recall, two Christian missionaries from Australia were murdered by Hindus earlier this year in India. Yet we provide taxpayer-supported school facilities to a Hindu fund raiser while Hindus kill Christians in India.

GRAHAM ROCK FESTIVAL—As we reported in the April 15 CC, Franklin Graham does not use his father's word "crusade" but uses the secular seeker-sensitive word "festival" for his meetings. His recent festival at the University of Alabama drew 50,000. The 5/13 Ala. Baptist listed some CCM performers, and said "contemporary Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman had the young people rocking and singing on the coliseum floor…."

COME LEAVES GARBC—Dr. Eldon W. Stevens, Pres., Committee on Missionary Evangelism, in an e-mail last month, related the following: COME is an independent Baptist mission agency which for several years has been one of the Approved Mission Agencies of the GARBC. Due to the fact that most of our men are now found in the unaffiliated Baptist ranks, and to what we believe to be open compromise by other GARBC-approved agencies, our Board of Directors voted May 18 to no longer seek to be one of the Approved Agencies of the GARBC. This is not a step into isolation. It is a step of separation. We desire to fellowship with any and all independent separated Baptist brethren who desire to fellowship around the eternal Word of God. I hope you will use our missionary evangelists in your churches. We have men of many gifts and talents—some top-notch preachers and musicians who would be a help and blessing to your ministries. Request a directory from: COME, PO Box 537, Allendale, MI 49401, or visit our Web site at: www.come.org .

WIERSBE TO SPEAK AT SAMFORD—A full-page ad in the 5/24 Christianity Today promotes a Samford University (SBC) Pastors School presented by Beeson Divinity School. Speakers include Warren Wiersbe and Raymond Culpepper (Church of God), plus a roundtable discussion with Calvin Miller, Robert Smith, and Beeson Pres. Timothy George. The latter is a senior editor of C. Today, and Wiersbe is a CT advisory editor. Per the 6/4/98 Ala. Baptist, liberal former U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield delivered Samford's May 1998 Commencement address.

MODERN CHURCHGOERS SEEK ENTERTAINMENT—Today's church-going crowds are not seeking churches for their theology as much as for their facilities, programs for their families, and entertainment. They are looking for a combination of the YMCA and a religious rock concert (5/10 Chr. News). Sadly, many mega-church fun seekers give correct doctrine and holy living low priority.

SBC NUMBERS DROP—Membership in U.S. Southern Baptist churches in 1998 registered a decrease for the first time since 1926. The 1.02 percent decline brings the new total to 15,729,356. Baptisms also decreased. Some say last year's amendment to SBC beliefs that women should "submit graciously" to their husbands was a factor in the change and in a few liberal churches leaving.

CHRISTIANITY TODAY AD FOR CULTIC COLLEGE?Christianity Today magazine, whose founder and Board chairman is Dr. Billy Graham, has a big ad in the 5/24 CT for Harding University (Searcy, Ark.), a Church of Christ school. We have had many friends who belonged to the "Campbellite" Church of Christ, and it is very strong in the South. It teaches a "works salvation," and has long been considered by Baptists as a cult in some regards. Joe Stowell, Warren Wiersbe, Ed Dobson, and some Roman Catholics serve as "Advisory Editors" of the mainline new-evangelical and pro-ecumenical CT.

NEW WEB SITE ADDRESS—We hope to have a new Web page up and running sometime this month, with at least the current CC issues available to access. I think the new address will be: http://home.hiwaay.net/~contendr

CATHOLICS REVIVE EXORCISMS—First it was a papal decree on indulgences issued last year as part of a document declaring the year 2000 a Holy Year (5/15 Huntsville Times). Now the Roman Catholic Church is reviving ancient practices such as exorcisms that makes some modern churchgoers uncomfortable. The new rite of exorcism announced earlier this year revised the 1614 rite.

GREG LAURIE CONFERENCE—Greg Laurie is a Promise Keepers and Billy Graham Training Center speaker. He speaks at religious rock festivals, but is perhaps best known for his Harvest Crusades. Speakers for this year's Crusade, set for Sept. 20-22, include: John MacArthur, Franklin Graham, Joe Stowell, Tony Evans, Anne Graham Lotz, and Alistair Begg. MacArthur and Begg also spoke at last year's Crusade (which had rock music – see 11/15 CC), along with Chuck Swindoll, Chuck Smith, and David Jeremiah (see 5/15/98 CC). Begg recently spoke at two GARBC-approved schools.

MISSLER'S SPEAKING PARTNERS—Chuck and Nancy Missler are popular speakers and are often helpful on current event topics. We disagree, however, with their psychobabble teachings and their strong identification with non-separatists. In their May Personal Update, their listed speaking schedule had Chuck joining Chuck Smith, who hosted the May 17 Praise the Lord program on Paul & Jan Crouch's notorious (charismatic, pro-Catholic) Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Missler also is listed to join John Ankerberg, Ed Hindson, and Kent Hovind (et al.) at a Vail, Colo. conference August 27-29.

'HOLY LAUGHTER' WORKS MAGIC FOR CHE AHN—Che Ahn, a Korean-American pastor of charismatic Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena (CA), said he had been skeptical in 1994 about manifestations associated with the Toronto Blessing "revival." (6/99 Charisma) But he says his "doubts vanished when he experienced 'holy laughter' at a healing conference sponsored by John Wimber's Anaheim Vineyard Christian Fellowship."

DECEPTION"For false Christs and false prophets shall rise; and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect." (Mark 13:22) We quote the following from Al Dager, Media Spotlight: "The Lord's prophecy concerning the greatest end-time deception should warn us that things are not always as they seem. For a deception to be so seductive that even the very elect would take pause to wonder if it is of God, it would have to have all the earmarks of a true work of God. That means it would come in the name of Jesus, it would have a great deal of solid biblical truth, it would affirm the Gospel, and it would be a 'good work.' And signs and wonders would accompany it. Those who might recognize and expose the deception would be looked upon as divisive, hateful and deceived themselves…."

DEPRESSION—We glean the following from an article by Gary & Carol Almy, in the May-June PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter (get this free newsletter from 4137 Primavera Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93110). Office visits for depression increased from 10.99 million in 1988 to 20.43 million in 1993. The article lists over a dozen Bible passages refuting the common view that depression is an abnormal event in the life of a Christian. Depression is a kind of suffering. From the world's viewpoint, all suffering is inappropriate, unjustified, unacceptable and to be avoided. From the Scriptural viewpoint, suffering has both meaning and purpose. We are joint-heirs with Christ and if we suffer with Him [for righteousness sake] we may also be glorified together. [Note: This Letter also has an article entitled, "James Dobson promotes Freud"]

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