VOL. XVI  NO. 17     NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM     September 1, 1999

ROCK MUSIC CAN CAUSE VIOLENCE—Hard rock music is a "virus" in American culture that contributes to youth violence, charges a recent report released by Paul Weyrich's conservative think tank the Free Congress Foundation (7/22 Ala. Baptist). The report notes that the Columbine killers idolized shock-rocker Marilyn Manson, as did other recent perpetrators of teen violence. The music industry dismisses this as a coincidence. It says music reflects violence in culture but does not cause it. The report strongly disputes that. Studies indicate that some kinds of music can negatively affect behavior. Music surpasses television as an influence on teenagers.

AFTER LITTLETON SHOOTINGS, A PASTOR ASKS: "How can you expect orderly behavior from people who have never been properly disciplined? How can you expect orderly thoughts from people whose music is close to chaos? If you refuse to impose values, why are you surprised when [kids] act as if they had none?" (7/99 BB).

WOODSTOCK A RIOT—It took 700 riot-geared police to clear the Woodstock '99, Rome, NY rock concert site last month, after concession stands were looted and burned (8/9 USN&WR). Workers said molestations and rapes were commonplace and often cheered by onlookers.

TODAY'S TEENS—Today's teenagers are more affluent and less rebellious. They have come to accept divorce as normal (8/7 World). Most of their parents are achievement-oriented Baby Boomers so, often sadly, teens don't see unconditional love or feel that anyone cares about them. They don't believe in absolutes, either. Over 80 percent of teens say there are no moral absolutes, no absolute truths, no definitive ethical realities. They need the Truth.

BLOCKBUSTER GOES HARDCORE—Blockbuster, the largest video rental chain and which had built its reputation on a family-friendly image, has apparently found the pornography business too lucrative to pass up (8/99 A Chr. View of the News). It stocks over 70 Playboy and Penthouse titles and is re-rating X and NC-17 movies.

SOUTHERN BAPTISTS ENDORSE NEW ESV—Several prominent Southern Baptists recently endorsed an inerrancy-based edition of the Revised Standard Version (1971) to be published as the English Standard Version. (7/22 Ala. Baptist). It will be "more literal than the NIV" and "more readable than the NASB." Jerry Falwell is listed as one of "Southern Baptists on the new ESV's 51-member advisory council." It also includes: SBC Pres. Paige Patterson, Carl Henry, and Timothy George. Wayne Grudem and J.I. Packer are on an oversight committee.

PEGGY CAMPOLO AFFIRMS 'GAY' RELATIONSHIPS—Peggy Campolo recently spoke at a pro-homosexual Evangelicals Concerned event. Her opening prayer to the "God of love" did not mention Jesus. She said "We are standing on holy ground here," and later said the first homosexual wedding in her Central Baptist Church (ABC USA) was a "high and holy experience" for her. She called her church a "safe place" for homosexuals, where they are "welcomed and affirmed." Over and over she referred to "my gay brothers and lesbian sisters," and called them children of God. She stated her belief that homosexuals should have the right both legally and in the eyes of the church to marry whoever they choose as a life partner. She said, "My husband [Tony] got in trouble in 1985 for saying that God was inside every person whether that person was a Christian or not. [And] Tony said the place to find God was in loving service to other people….Tony was right about where to find God." She started her journey by feeling sorry for homosexuals, but then found she could enjoy their company. She and Tony have gone back to "P-town" (a "gay" summer Mecca on Cape Cod) every year for the last 19 years.

SCOUTS FORCED TO ACCEPT HOMOSEXUALS—The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled last month that Boy Scouts were forced to accept homosexual scouts and scoutmasters, even though they are a private group with moral objections to homosexuality (8/9 H.Times). Scouting depends on schools and religious organizations, especially the Mormon Church which sponsors almost three times as many Boy Scout groups as the second-ranked religious sponsor, the United Methodist Church. (8/1 Chr. News).

CANADA UPHOLDS LESBIANS AS FAMILY UNIT—The Supreme Court of Canada recently recognized two lesbians as a family unit. Dr. Frank McClelland in the 6/99 Canadian Revivalist notes that a main purpose of the family unit is procreation. Homosexuals can't reproduce, so those traits can't be passed on. Thus it is not an inherent but largely a learned behavior. Homosexual practices are both unscriptural and unnatural, condemned by both Bible doctrine and human practice. "Gay" is a misnomer: "98% of 'gay' people are desperately unhappy."

GAMBLING IS HAZARDOUS TO OUR HEALTH—Dr. James Dobson served two years on the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, and concludes: "Gambling is a destroyer that ruins lives and wrecks families. A [mass] of evidence…demonstrates a direct link between problem and pathological gambling and divorce, child abuse, domestic violence, bankruptcy, crime and suicide." Over 15.4 million meet the technical criteria of those disorders.

KIM NOMINATED AS BWA PRESIDENT—South Korean pastor Billy Kim has been nominated to serve as Baptist World Alliance president from 2000-2005. He served as BWA v-p from 1990-1995, and is the immediate past president of the Asian Baptist Federation (8/5 Ala. Baptist). He pastors the 7,000-member Central Baptist Church, and has traveled/spoken with David Yonggi Cho, the Assembly of God pastor of the world's largest church who has been said to use occultic mind techniques. The apostate BWA featured socialist Bishop Tutu at a 1998 BWA meeting (8/15/98 CC). Kim is also president of the Far Eastern Broadcasting Co. of Korea and is no stranger to new-evangelical pulpits in America. These include those of Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, John MacArthur, and Moody Bible Institute (see 5/1/93 CC). Conservative SBC leader James Draper calls Kim a "great evangelist." The Southern Baptist Convention is a major BWA member.

ABC HAS CATHOLIC SPEAKERS—Matt Costella (7-8/99 Foundation) filed a firsthand report of the June Biennial Meeting of the American Baptist Churches USA. He said the ABC wholeheartedly embraces and teaches a "social gospel," that the purpose of the church is to change society to advance the kingdom of God. He discussed the ABC's homosexual problem and its ecumenical inclusion of speakers from other denominations at the biennial meetings, including Roman Catholics. He said: "The ABC Minister's Council met during the first day of the biennial and heard Adrienne Kaufmann, a Benedictine Sister from the Mother of God Monastery in Watertown, SD, speak on the theme, 'Substantive Dialogue: A Tool for Congregations to Deal With Potentially Divisive Issues Without Becoming Divided.' (In a past biennial, a Roman Catholic cardinal preached at a plenary session)."

MAX LUCADO HAS 'BOOK OF THE YEAR'—Max Lucado's best-selling book Just Like Jesus was recently named the Christian Book of the Year by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (8/1 Chr. News). Yet he is pastor of Oak Hills Church of Christ (Campbellite—see 6/15 CC) near San Antonio. Lucado was a featured speaker at a Promise Keepers clergy meeting in Atlanta. He signed the ecumenical ECT (Evangelicals & Catholics Together) and ECT II (The Gift of Salvation) documents (3/1 CC). He wants to break down denominational walls.

MacARTHUR PRAISES HAYFORD—In Jack Hayford’s 1997 book, Pastors of Promise, popular author and speaker John MacArthur praises Hayford, the hyper-charismatic pastor of the 9,000-member Foursquare Gospel Church on the Way. Robert  Schuller,  Bill Hybels, Chuck Colson, Bill Bright, and Greg Laurie have also praised him. Hayford promotes Promise Keepers, serves on its board, and speaks at major ecumenical PK events. The BDM Letter (P.O. Box 679, Bedford, IN 47421,  $4/yr.) has an in-depth report on MacArthur for $4. George Zeller, 349 East St., Middletown, CT 06457, has a huge near 100-page report  on  MacArthur’s  unscriptural teachings for  $7.  [NOTE: The above is a corrected version of this article.]

POPE SAYS HELL IS SELF-INFLICTED—Pope John Paul II said hell is a reality and eternal damnation is a self-inflicted punishment (7/31 HT). He said: "Hell is not a punishment imposed externally by God, but the condition resulting from attitudes and actions which people adopt in this life." He added, "Hell exists, [but] not as a place. …" Some of this seems similar to Billy Graham's view. But the Bible teaches that hell is a terrible place of eternal unquenched fire and torment, and that God does impose it as a punishment for those who reject His salvation and offer of grace and mercy provided for by His Son.

LIARDON'S WACKO CHARISMATIC TEACHINGS—Roberts Liardon takes his name from Word-Faith heretic and huckster Oral Roberts. He claims that at age 8, Jesus took him on a tour of heaven where he saw a storehouse of unclaimed spare body parts awaiting believers' faith for their healing (6/15/96 CC). He promotes an unscriptural gibberish and says if you don't speak in tongues you're not normal. A 6/99 Vanguard article states: "If Roberts Liardon is not possessed by devils, he is surely deceived by Satan….If he is not deceived, he is a cynical manipulator of gullible church-goers….If he is none of these things, he is a vicious, brutal…bully who evidently takes pleasure in forcing his bulky frame into people's personal spaces, humiliating them and pushing them over."

WHY NAME NAMES?—Some say "criticize teachings, not the teachers," but we can't always separate the two. An article in the 6/99 Vanguard discusses this: 1. It is Biblical to name names. Paul did it positively to commend ministries (1Cor. 16, Phil. 2:25, Col. 4), and negatively to warn against ministries (1Tim. 1, 2Tim. 4). John also was specific (3 Jn. 9,10). 2. It is consistent to name names negatively if we are happy about praising people positively (e.g., biographies of Luther, Spurgeon, Wesley). Is it not equally just to speak as clearly about men who are instrumental against God? And when we write, we [identify men] not that you might hate them, but rather that you might "beware" of them (2Tim. 4:15). 3. It is practical to name names. Sadly, people often follow preachers [big name personalities] rather than preaching [and, thus to warn such people, we must name names]. 4. It is historical to name names. Throughout church history, men have not shrunk from clearly stating against whom they are objecting, as well as against what. But in our day, "not hurting people's feelings" often seems more important than "speaking the truth in love."

BURNING BRIDGES AND BUILDING WALLS—This is the age of compromise. Instead of simplicity for clarity there is complexity for confusion. This is the age of bridge building, acceptance and a violent reaction to the old guard who still believe that some walls have purpose. Some believe that as long as the apostasy is a bridge away there is no real threat. I remember some friends in the ministry saying we had nothing to fear from "old liberalism" that it was an impotent vestige. They saw the conflict between liberalism and fundamentalism as an old issue. Now many of those men have embraced, or have closed their eyes, to the liberal doctrine in their midst. Most of these men would call themselves fundamentalist. However their practice includes elements of the apostasy. How could this happen?…The answer is really quite clear. They are going back because of the failure to destroy the bridges that would allow them to return. True, they did lay waste some of them but now these bridges are being rebuilt. Yes, there were some walls built by our forefathers but those walls are unpopular and obstacles to "Ecumenical Evangelicalism." They must be destroyed. Walls are hated, derided, despised. Bridges are fashionable despite the fact they lead the "New Liberalism" to the same destructiveness of the old liberalism. [For more on this subject the writer, Dr. Clay Nuttall (Piedmont Baptist College), has available a published series of articles on the "New Liberalism." You may request it from him by e-mail (shepherdstaff@juno.com) or from: 712 Rivertree Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.]

ROBERTSON TO MAKE BIBLE READING 'COOL'?—Pat Robertson is spending $7 million to advertise The Book, a contemporary "thought for thought" English Bible version. He says, "We want to make Bible reading cool in America." Promo ads will use rock music stars.

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