VOL. XVI NO. 16 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM August 15, 1999
|VOUCHERS COME WITH STRINGS ATTACHED—Some schools are refusing
the school voucher program for fear of losing control of doctrine. The
headmaster of a 1,200-student Christian academy in Florida says it would
no longer be allowed to accept only students whose parents are born-again
Christians, nor could Bible class or chapel attendance be mandatory (7/12
Applicants must be taken on a first-come, first-served basis with no screening
allowed. Washington runs what It funds!
PBS CRITICIZED FOR AIRING PRO-GAY FILM—The pro-homosexual film, It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School is a slick propaganda production meant to instruct public school teachers how to teach children–as young as elementary age–that "gay is O.K." (7/99 AFA Jrnl.) PBS's decision to air this has met with controversy.
TING PRAISES SOCIALISM, BLASTS CHRISTIANITY—Retired Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement leader Bishop K.H. Ting recently criticized evangelical theology in a Chinese communist government paper. He said "socialism is the best social system which has appeared in human history" and suggested that any theology that is "incompatible with socialism should not be preached." The Red Chinese communists own church properties and permit no evangelizing off church properties (7/19 CN). The Lutheran Laymen's League, the LCMS, the SBC, and Billy (& son Ned) Graham have sent millions of dollars to Communist puppets such as Ting and his successor.
EVANGELICALS & CATHOLICS CONFUSION—We had ECT (Evangelicals & Catholics Together), ECT-2, and now comes a new declaration titled "The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration" (See 7/15 CC). This document was endorsed by leading new evangelicals to clearly define the biblical gospel. But it vigorously testifies (without naming it) that the Roman Catholic way of salvation is false, says T.A. McMahon (7/99 Berean Call). He adds: "Yet 15 signers (4 drafters, 11 endorsers) also signed ECT-1 and/or ECT-2, which accept Roman Catholics as 'brothers and sisters in Christ' and propose a partnership with Rome for spreading the gospel!" Some of their ministries (e.g., Promise Keepers, Prison Fellowship, and Campus Crusade) are staffed with Roman Catholics in leadership positions. What goes here?
DON'T CALL SCHULLER A CHRISTIAN—Robert Schuller long ago bid good-bye to Paul's teaching on sin and no longer wants to be called a "Christian" because it cuts him off from Hindus and Muslims (6/99 The Discerner). He does not preach that Christ is the only way to heaven and that Christianity is the only saving faith (7/19 C. News).
N.O.W. IS WORSE NOW THAN EVER—The 1999 National Conference of the National Organization of Women drew only about 800 attendees, a low turnout for a group that claims half-a-million members. NOW clings to a pro-abortion, pro-lesbian stance on the left-wing fringe of radical feminism. The 7/24 World cover story stated: "While it's well known that NOW embraces lesbianism, few realize that the organization is awash in a Romans 1:26 subculture. At the Beverly Hilton [NOW conference], female couples held hands in the ballroom..."
MAINLINE LIBERAL CHURCHES DIVIDED OVER HOMOSEXUALITY—The United Methodist, and other liberal denomination churches, are in big trouble (7/19 USN&WR). There are growing movements within these churches to permit the ordination of self-avowed homosexuals and the performance of same-sex weddings by clergy. The deep divisions prompted one U. Methodist minister to predict: "Within a couple of generations, you'll find three Christian churches: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and evangelical Protestant." He said the liberal mainliners will be gone. Other experts foresee liberals from various mainline churches joining forces under some common ecumenical banner. Liberals are "ripe picking" for the one-world church of the Antichrist.
FALWELL PAPER DROPS CAL THOMAS—Dr. Jerry Falwell's National Liberty Journal will no longer carry a syndicated column by Cal Thomas due to what its editors believe is his "repudiation of Christian activism." (7/12 Chr. News). Thomas recently joined with Ed Dobson in a book which said churches should not be involved in politics. He resigned in 1985 as a v-p of Falwell's Moral Majority. He writes many good articles, but his discernment at times is seriously flawed (see 4/15/90 CC).
TED TURNER PRAISES COMMUNISTS—Over the years Ted Turner has made outrageously flattering comments about communist nations such as Cuba, the Soviet Union, and China (9/98 R. Digest). He has praised Fidel Castro, and after a duck-hunting trip, pronounced him a "great guy." He became an ardent cheerleader for then-top Communist Mikhail Gorbachev. He has supported and defended the Red Chinese communists.
UN OVERPOPULATION MYTH—Pro-abortion groups and radical feminist organizations got more than they dreamed of last month when the United Nations General Assembly agreed to an aggressive global plan for increasing access to contraceptives and abortion services among poor women (7/17 World). The zero-population-growth crowd spreads the hysteria of the myth of overpopulation.
NAE CHIEF WANTS TO EMBRACE CHARISMATICS, CATHOLICS, & THOSE FROM LIBERAL GROUPS—Kevin Mannoia took over at the NAE last month, replacing Don Argue who resigned in 1998. He says evangelicals "have lost spiritual power," and wants the NAE to "call the church to become a movement in transforming our culture." He said the NAE needs to "grow around the edges" to embrace other like-minded Christians. He said "The term 'evangelical' applies to more people than have felt welcome [7/21 Religion Today]. On one side we have mainline [liberal] denominations like the Presbyterian Church (USA) and others. Then we have charismatic Catholics and Episcopalians. I want to make them feel welcome. There are other groups like the Vineyard [which birthed Promise Keepers and the laughing revival]. They believe they are evangelical but feel they are not accepted as such….We want to be inclusive. Of course there are absolutes – we can't compromise Scriptural authority. I am looking for any way we can include more churches and leaders…."
BIBLE STUDY DRAWS CROWD TO BAR—Charisma editor Lee Grady (8/99) told of Catholic priest John Zenz's "Theology on Tap" Bible study in a Birmingham, Mich. pub. He said: "Apparently this mixture of booze and Bibles was a hit with tavern patrons, as 150 people crammed in the back of the bar to hear Zenz while they sipped Guinness and Bass Ale." Grady said: "I hope Zenz's philosophy sparks a trend. Imagine what could happen if compassionate Christians took Bible studies into every bar….You don't think Jesus would take His message into a pub? Actually, He spent most of his time there, hanging out with tax collectors, prostitutes and the riff-raff…." He suggests that readers "Invade your local bar with your own version of 'Theology on Tap.'"
CHARISMA: 'HOW TO REACH HARD-CORE SINNERS'—Rules for this as listed by an evangelist with the Christian Motorcyclists Association include (8/99 Charisma): "Don't rush to make a convert, you must make a friend first…. Don't be ashamed to use the name of Jesus without being 'preachy.' Don't perpetuate the image that Christians are 'hunting' converts. Don't use religious words or phrases such as 'atonement' or 'washed in the blood.' Just talk like a normal person and use relevant language."
SEEKER WORSHIP—The seeker worship service is geared to the consumer. If he doesn't want to be "preached to," then "share" with him. If he is sensitive about what used to be called sin, then empathize with him about his needs, his brokenness, his hurt. If he doesn't want to be put on a "guilt trip" at church, then don't mention God's law, judgment, responsibility or accountability. If he mainly wants what religion can do for him, then give him an upbeat talk about how Christ can enrich his life (7/17 World). Be afraid to offend, baptize pop-psychology with a Bible verse or two, put together a contemporary rock band and you will send him home entertained but empty.
20th CENTURY CHANGES—FBF President Dr. Rod Bell writes in the May-June Frontline: "The 20th century will be known in church history as 'The Age of Change.' It will be known as an era when (1) Biblical thinking was changed to psychological thinking, (2) Christ-centeredness was changed to self-centeredness, (3) the needs of others were changed to our own personal needs, (4) mental attitudes changed to become feelings, (5) humility and favor with God were changed to self-esteem, (6) sacrifice and service were changed for a 'health-and-welfare Christianity,' and (7) faithfulness and loyalty changed to convenience. The end result in the church has been an acceptance—no, an embracing of the world's philosophy."
NEW BOOK ON BIBLE'S TEXT & TRANSLATION—A new book entitled From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man, subtitled "A Layman's Guide To How We Got Our Bible," sold 1,300 copies during the week of the World Congress of Fundamentalists last month. It was produced under the oversight of Dr. James B. Williams (General Editor), Dr. Randolph Shaylor (Managing Editor), and The Committee on the Bible's Text and Translation. In addition to the editors, chapter authors include Drs. Mark Minnick, John Ashbrook, and John Mincy. Dr. Ernest Pickering states in the Preface: "The authors of this work have presented their information objectively and without attacks on the character of their opponents. It is a clear commitment to biblical infallibility. While acknowledging the variances between ancient manuscripts and the problems of translation attendant to that, there remains a definite commitment to the full inerrancy and authority of Scripture." The book includes a thumbnail sketch (and warnings) of 26 modern English versions and a helpful 13-page Glossary of terms. With so many writers, one may not totally agree with one or two of them (association-wise, or who one of them quotes, e.g.), but we appreciate the vital contribution this book makes toward clarifying the mass of misinformation promulgated by extremists. We also liked the kind tone, and grieve at the often unnecessary hurt being caused by extremists. The "two-text-families" dispute may never be solved. We use only the KJV, but, can't we disagree with those who don't always use it without making this a test of fellowship? We have warned against Ruckman, and unreliable modern versions (NIV, RSV, NRSV, Living Bible, etc.). This timely 231-page book is a very helpful resource. Order it from: Emerald House, 1 Chick Springs Road, Suite 203, Greenville, SC 29609, $12.50 postpaid.
ABC HOMOSEXUAL 'CHURCHES'—There are 37 congregations in the liberal American Baptist Churches USA that belong to the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, a caucus that encourages participation by homosexuals (7/22 H. Times). Rev. Esther Hargis, the pastor of one of four churches recently expelled (see 8/1 CC), has now been notified that due to several protests, the expulsions have been frozen, a step toward a reprieve.
CHIPCHASE IS NEW CALVARY PRESIDENT— Dr. Elwood Chipchase is the new president of Calvary Bible College/Seminary, Kansas City. He has been Senior Pastor of Cicero Bible Church (Ill.), a prominent IFCA International church, for 14 years. He is a past president of the IFCA which, along with Calvary, sadly takes a weak stance in the area of practicing biblical separation.
DR. McLAUGHLIN HONORED FOR 20 YEARS AT CBC—Congratulations to Pastor Greg & Shari McLaughlin for a 20-year tenure at Calvary Baptist Church! He serves on Boards of Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Baptist World Mission, and the FBF (also as National Secretary of the latter). MBBC conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree on him in 1991. He later earned a Doctor of Ministries degree from Bob Jones University. Dr. Arno Q. Weniger, his mentor, was the scheduled speaker. Perhaps the best indicator of the degree of God's blessing on his ministry here is the large number of young couples sent out from here into full-time service for our Lord.
CAMPOLO WON'T SAY JESUS ONLY WAY TO HEAVEN—On CNN's Crossfire with Jerry Falwell, Tony Campolo refused to say Jesus is the only way to heaven. He said, "I am not convinced that Jesus only lives in Christians."
ERRATUM: Our 7/15 "Letis" article implied Wesleyan University is linked with The Wesleyan Church. It is not.
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