VOL. XVII NO. 1 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM January 1, 2000
|MARRIAGE STATISTICS MISLEADING—The idea that 50 percent of American
marriages are doomed to divorce is a specious piece of statistical nonsense.
The 11/ 27 World said this legend began when the Census Bureau one
year reported that there were 2.4 million marriages and 1.2 million divorces.
Someone did the math without calculating the 54 million marriages already
DRUG WAR GETS WORSE—Mass graves of enemies of the drug cartel were discovered last month near Juarez. Mexican drug gangs still operate with impunity along the border. Since the mid '90s, jumbo jets ferry multi-ton shipments of drugs to the border (12/13 USN&WR). Mexico is the primary corridor for all drugs entering the U.S., accounting for about 70% of the flow. It is frustrating but predictable that corrupt police officers are involved with Mafia leaders in kidnapping and killing people.
GLOBAL GUN CONTROL—The U.S. anti-gun lobby will not be content until only criminals have access to guns. The UN is seeking to mandate a three-stage global disarmament plan. Just as domestic gun control does not mean the total elimination of all firearms, neither does global disarmament mean the total elimination of all armies and weapons (11/22 New Amer.). With both, what is really being proposed is the transfer of control over all weapons to an all-powerful central police-state government.
IS IT 'BOOK BURNING' TO NOT SUBSIDIZE FILTHY 'ART'?—The Brooklyn Museum hosts an exhibit that has a painting purportedly of the Virgin Mary, adorned with clumps of elephant dung. Some supporters of this publicly funded anti-religious display say that yanking the taxpayer subsidy is like burning books. But book burning may violate the book owner's liberty, whereas abstaining from subsidizing art violates no one's liberty (12/6 Chr. News). Artists and museums have no constitutional right to taxpayers' money. If the painting only featured Mary, without the grossly offensive "adornments," would there be a clamor for taxpayer subsidies, or would that be government funding religion?
ABORTION A NECESSARY EVIL?—While many Americans see legalized abortion as an evil, they see it as necessary—a key tactic of pro-abortionists. But this myth explains why 49 percent may believe that abortion is "murder" without translating this into social or political mobilization. Middle Americans agree there are too many abortions (5/24 CT). But the myth of abortion as a necessary evil has serious implications for public debate, and it means that pro-lifers have won the essential debate that the unborn is a human being and not mere tissue.
ISLAM & VIOLENCE—Islamic scholars agree it is the sacred duty of every Muslim in every age to wage jihad (holy war) whenever possible to force the entire world to submit to Islam. There are over 100 verses in the Koran about fighting and killing in that quest. A Libyan cabinet minister explained, "Violence is the Muslim's most positive form of prayer."…Islamic countries are dictatorships, led by ruthless murderers and international terrorists such as Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Kaddafi and Syria's Assad. In the name of Allah they imprison, torture and kill tens of thousands of their own citizens and train and finance worldwide terrorism. [Berean Call]
DALAI LAMA'S 'GOD-FREE RELIGION'—Tibetan Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama was the keynote speaker at the 1999 Parliament of the World's Religions (12/15 CC). His message of spirituality without a deity is now said to be "the perfect way to satisfy the spiritual hunger of people living in a scientific and secular age" (12/6 C T). Buddhism, which has 358 million followers world-wide, is non-theistic. A Buddhist teacher says, "Now it's becoming the in thing to be spiritual. It's more cool, modern, and progressive to be spiritual. But without God."
FALWELL TONES DOWN HIS 'GAY' RHETORIC—In an unprecedented event, Jerry Falwell recently made an about-face in his war of words with homosexuals and hosted 200 evangelical leaders and 200 homosexual activists at his Thomas Road Baptist Church. Homosexual leader Mel White said: "What we have here is a great moment for our country—gays and Falwell worshiping together." Falwell still believes homosexuality is a sin, but was careful not to offend his visitors during his sermon (10/25 HT). The 11/1 Time quoted Falwell: "If we are to have a real Christian witness to millions of gay and lesbian people," he says—abandoning such terms as "homosexual deviants"—"we have to use our language carefully." The Bible's language for "gays" is "sodomites."
THEOPHOSTIC COUNSELING: DIVINE REVELATION? OR PSYCHOHERESY? is the title of a new book by Martin & Deidre Bobgan. It is a critique of a psychotherapeutic system developed by Dr. Ed Smith which he claims is a divine revelation from God. The Bobgans examine its claims, cures and cases and show that Smith's system is an eclectic mixture of existent therapies, including elements from the inner healing, "recovered memories," and Freudian systems. Smith encourages clients to find Jesus in the memory picture and to interact with Him. You can get this 144-page book and a free newsletter for a special price of $9 from: EastGate Publishers, 4137 Primavera Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93110, 800/216-4696.
HOW COULD MacARTHUR SIGN IFCA DOCTRINAL STATEMENT?—Since Dr. John MacArthur recently changed his position on the eternal Sonship of Christ [see 10/1 CC], the CC editor called his office and asked how he could sign the IFCA's "eternal Sonship" doctrinal statement all those years when he strongly denied this doctrine. We received a helpful reply (12/1 e-mail) from his personal secretary who pointed out that IFCA Executive Board president Richard Gregory was aware of the difference in view and allowed him to sign it. She added: "John has mentioned in a letter to someone else that the statement on sonship in the IFCA doctrine is simply that Christ is the eternal Son of God without any explanation." She said: "Even people who believe in an incarnational sonship, such as he used to, could affirm the statement that He is the eternal Son of God [with] qualification. Therefore, signing it was not a problem for the board or for John." MacArthur doesn't think his teaching created the rift in the IFCA but blames it on "divisive" people. George Zeller observes: "1) I know the men MacArthur is referring to, and these men are not divisive. It was never their desire to bring about a division in the IFCA. Their only desire was to defend and uphold the IFCA doctrinal statement and not to broaden its meaning so as to allow for contrary views. These men were not the ones who caused the rift. It was MacArthur's "incarnational Sonship" teachings that triggered the controversy and the whole problem could have been easily solved from the beginning if the IFCA leadership had simply enforced its own doctrinal statement. 2) The IFCA doctrinal statement simply says Christ is the eternal Son of God without any explanation because we believe exactly what these words mean….Such a clear statement of doctrine does not need explanation. The words mean what they say. MacArthur once taught the following: 'The Bible nowhere says that Christ is the eternal Son.' This denial of eternal Sonship is also very clear and needs no explanation. 3) The problem that we have had with MacArthur is his affirmation of our doctrinal statement 'with qualification.' [In essence he said:] 'I affirm that Christ is the eternal Son of God with the qualification that He did not become the Son of God until Bethlehem.' But what if someone said, e.g., 'I affirm the full deity of Christ with the qualification that I don't really believe He is God!' If the IFCA allows for such qualifications, then any person holding any deviant or heretical view could sign the IFCA statement!"
NRB 2000—The National Religious Broadcasters' 57th Annual Convention & Exposition is set for Anaheim, Ca., Feb. 5-8. Speakers include ecumenicals such as Billy Kim (newly-nominated President of the apostate Baptist World Alliance), Pat Robertson, Jack Hayford, Tony Evans, Cal Thomas, and Jill Briscoe. Campus Crusade sponsors its usual Public Policy Breakfast. Music will feature Michael W. Smith, Kathy Troccoli, Chris Smith, and the Ralph Carmichael Big Band. Exhibitors include Catholics.
F. GRAHAM FESTIVALS—Plains Baptist Challenger editor E.L. Bynum writes (11/99): "The Franklin Graham Festival will soon begin in Lubbock and the publicity continues to build for this event. Billy Graham called his meetings Crusades, but Franklin has chosen a less suitable name. In defining 'festival,' the dictionary uses [these] words to describe its meaning, 'pertaining to a feast, entertainment, merrymaking, and mirthful.' What we need today is not a Crusade, or a Festival, but a Revival. Ecumenical evangelists no longer use the term Revival, because they are promoting something entirely different. They are promoting all denominations getting together in an ecumenical meeting, where there will be entertainment from worldly people who perform in night clubs [etc.]….
NCC A SINKING SHIP?—The National Council of Churches threw a $750,000 party for its 50th anniversary in Nov. It faces the worst financial and management crisis in history, and has begun radical restructuring (see 12/1 CC). Over the last 50 years, most NCC member bodies have suffered a dramatic loss in membership. It made headlines by coming to the defense of radicals such as the communist anarchist Angela Davis, supporting the treasonous Panama Canal giveaway, opposing the Vietnam war, and promoting the "inclusive language" for both human beings and God (12/4 World). It is high time to pull the plug and give the liberal NCC the burial it deserves.
HAYFORD MOVES FROM PASTOR TO SEMINARY—Prominent charismatic pastor, author, and songwriter Jack Hayford moves from senior pastor to founding pastor of The Church on the Way (Calif.) and becomes president of The King's Seminary. His Foursquare Gospel Church has had Pat Boone as an elder for the past twenty years.
DIXON TO SPEAK AT SBC SEMINARY—A Cedarville College publication notes that its president, Dr. Paul Dixon, will be at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Southern Baptist) March 28 at Wake Forest, NC. Southeastern's president, Dr. Paige Patterson, gave a chapel message at Cedarville (a GARBC-approved school) and spoke to its board of trustees April 7 (7/1 CC).
DANGERS OF ECUMENICAL UNITY—The call for ecumenical unity and interfaith dialogue and relationships is becoming increasingly common as the world prepares to embrace a one-world religious system as prophesied in the Scriptures. No longer are Orthodox Protestants, Catholics and Anglicans pushing for a unified mega-church or global denomination, but rather, they are striving for unity through tolerance and consensus on key issues and doctrines. Rev. 17 describes the apostate one-world church to be formed as well as God's judgment on such a monstrosity. Believers today must be aware of the dangers of ecumenical unity and separate from that which will one day be judged by God. To be "blameless" at Christ's appearing, every believer must be separate from unbelief and compromise and separated unto Him. [Foundation]
TODAY'S APOSTASY is the title of a new 224-page book by Dr. R. L. Hymers Jr. and Christopher Cagan, a sequel to their earlier book reviewed in the 10/15 CC. The book further develops the theme of how "decisionism" of Charles G. Finney is destroying churches. The authors delve deeper into the theology of Finney, scrutinize his "testimony," and say he was "apparently" unconverted and a false prophet. (Some Finney quotes may surprise!) Conversion and a historical study of revivals are major topics. We assume the authors would not endorse all the men they quote. The book is provocative and, maybe surprisingly, praised by Drs. Lee Roberson, D.A. Waite, Carl McIntire, and James Combs—but, conversely, Dr. Jerry Falwell has called Finney "one of my heroes and a hero to many evangelicals, including Billy Graham." The book is available from Dr. Hymers at: 10068 McBroom Street, Sunland, CA 91040. Phone 818/352-0452. $15.
MASTER'S MISSION UPDATE—Dr. John MacArthur was listed as a board member on the letterhead of a Sept. 20 letter from Master's Mission, but his name is missing from the letterhead of an Oct. 18 MM letter (see 11/15 CC). We are told that he is no longer on MM's board.
ROMANISM IS WICKED—David Cloud writes: "Rome preaches a false gospel which is cursed of God (Gal. 1:6-9). Romanism is even more wicked than paganism because [it] comes under the guise of Christianity." [O Timothy]
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