ABORTION PILL RU-486 IS 'BABY POISON'—The Food and Drug Association, Sept. 28, approved the RU-486 abortion pill. This will make abortions more casual and common. A N.J. congressman said "RU-486 is not just poison for babies, it is potential poison for the mothers who take it." (9/29 Huntsville Times, 9/15 CC) He said it can cause prolonged bleeding and severe cramps.

CHILDREN OF DIVORCE—For a decade the evidence has piled up concerning children of divorce. They are more depressed and aggressive toward parents and teachers; more likely to later develop mental and emotional disorders; likelier to abuse drugs, turn to crime, and commit suicide; they start sexual activity earlier; have more children out of wedlock; and are less likely to marry (10/2 USN & WR). These are just some of the massive effects of the divorce boom of our day and indicate that a "good" divorce may be worse than a bad marriage.

WEIGH DOWN FIRES BAPTIST WHO WOULDN'T ATTEND ITS CHURCH?—Thomas Nelson Publishers on Sept. 8 halted publication of a new book by Gwen Shamblin, founder of Weigh Down Diet, due to dissension over her doctrinal positions (9/25 C. News). She said: "If God wanted to refer to himself, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as the 'trinity,' he would not have left this word… out of the Bible." She has ties to the Church of Christ, and helped start a new church in Nashville (1/99) which has about 80 (mostly Weigh Down Workshop) employees. At least 35 WDW employees have been pressured to quit their jobs, and a Southern Baptist employee says she was fired, because they would not attend Shamblin's church.

GANGSTA RAP IS NOW MAINSTREAM—Hard core gangsta rap is laden with bad language, explicit sex, and violence, and breeds a culture of crime. It is obsessed with a "disrespect-me-and-I'll-kill-you" attitude, the swaggering macho bragging of impregnating and abusing women (9/23 World). Eminem is the meanest, most violent and lawless.

TIPPER KEEPS CHANGING HER TUNE—Tipper Gore, who severed ties with the Parents' Music Resource Center which she co-founded in 1985 to have warning labels on sexually explicit and violent rock music, apologized to West Coast entertainment executives (9/15/99 CC) and tried to atone for her original "fault" by drumming with a lesbian rock band at a homosexual rights event (8/15 CC). After raising huge showbiz funds from California, it now seems politically correct to have her join Lieberman and revert back to the original Tipper. This whole thing smacks of hypocrisy. [Mrs. Gore has been a member of Peace Links, a far-left disarmament lobby (8/1/92 CC).]

SO. AFRICAN CONGREGATIONS ROBBED—Bandits are robbing entire congregations at gunpoint during Sun. morning services in South Africa. Church robberies are the latest trend in this crime-plagued country, where hospitals, doctors' offices, even courtrooms, are targets (ReligionToday). Some churches are hiring armed guards and locking their doors 10 minutes after services start. This has sure cured latecomers. Everyone's on time now!

HATE-CRIME LAW MAY CRIMINALIZE RELIGIOUS SPEECH—The "hate crime" law may ultimately be used to punish Christian pastors who preach that homosexuality is sinful—that is., a sermon against sodomy could be considered as hate speech. The law would make some victims more worthy than others, thus denying Equal Protection. The way liberals seem to apply it is that to murder a homosexual would likely be a hate crime, but for a homosexual to murder someone would likely not be.

DOBSON PROGRAM PROMOTED BAD BOOK ON EVOLUTION—Popular creationist Ken Ham is quoted as follows in the 9/18 Christian News: "Recently I heaved a heavy sigh of disappointment when I heard Mike Trout, James Dobson's announcer, highly recommend a book for teenagers on the creation/evolution issue titled It Couldn't Just Happen at the end of a Focus on the Family radio program (an interview between Dr. Dobson and Philip Johnson). This book is also listed in Focus on the Family's master book list as one that 'offers solid, biblical answers to questions about the Big Bang Theory, dinosaurs and much more.' My heart sank as I pictured thousands of eager moms and dads buying this book for their children. And, what would they learn? 1. Noah's Flood could be local or worldwide – we can't know for sure. 2. The days of Creation could be ordinary days or millions of years – we can't know for sure. 3. The Earth could be thousands or billions of years old – we can't know…."

RELIGION IN RED CHINA—Atheism is the official religion of China, but the communist government has not been able to wipe out the many ancient religions that are practiced by millions of Chinese. Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism are widespread, and occult activity is woven into these false religions (10/00 Charisma). Among the unusual beliefs in China are: 1. Ancestor worship – believe spirits of deceased need to be fed and cared for. 2. Animism – believe non-human objects such as trees, animals, and mountains have spirits. 3. Bon – Tibetan religion- mixes occult, black magic and reincarnation. 4. Folk religion – a blend of superstition, and elements of traditional religions. 5. Astrology – each year is named after one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac.

LEIGHTON FORD'S NEW MINISTRY—Leighton Ford, Billy Graham's brother-in-law, served 31 years with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and is Honorary Life Chairman of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. But the 10/2 Christianity Today says his new ministry is "spiritual direction," mentoring, etc., which seems dangerously akin to New Age mysticism. In 1993, he heard Princeton Seminary's Diogenes Allen speak about the Benedictine discipline of lectio divina, a very ancient Catholic art which involves "a slow contemplative praying of the Scriptures which enables the Bible to become a means of union with God." Ford is now said to be "simply walking in people's souls" and finding out what God is doing there. He was the May 1997 Commencement speaker for Dallas Seminary, and has endorsed Alpha. He recently said individuals "should preach the gospel," but they shouldn't "be so negative as to refuse to endorse or work with those who belong to a group that proclaims a different gospel." (9/1/98 CC).

CHARISMATICS 'WORSHIP WITH ABANDON'—A 10/00 Charisma article describes a Friday Night Alive service at First Assembly of God in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a hub of a four-year "revival" under pastor Larry Sohn: "The 1,000 people here tonight express worship in a variety of ways. Some shout, clap and blur the aisles, twirling and hopping as the band energetically pounds through a contemporary rock-style praise song. A woman on the timpani grooves while playing her drum. Choir members dance in the loft while other men and women lay still on the floor, soaking in the presence of the Holy Spirit." Sohn said half the people in his church had come from Catholic backgrounds and most hadn't "experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit. But returning to the church after attending a 1994 Rodney Howard-Browne meeting he said: "Suddenly, I was laying hands on people, but my hands weren't empty. The Holy Spirit in me was touching them…." The article quotes an ex-alcoholic attendee: "When the guy touched me I went down. I felt peace like I'd never known. Tears were running down my face. That was the day I knew I was going to heaven." Charismatics seem to base salvation on emotions or experiences instead of on the Gospel of Christ. In the entire eight-page article which had many "salvation" accounts, we saw at least nine mentions of the Spirit but no mention of the Gospel, or of Jesus except in a sidebar. This is a misplaced emphasis. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would testify of Him and glorify Him.

A CHURCH OR CAMPUS CULT?—The International Churches of Christ, known also as the Boston Movement, began as a splinter group of the mainline Churches of Christ. Its leaders were influenced by the discipling or "shepherding" movement of the 1970s (10/00 Chr. Today). Its founder is Kip McKean. The ICC teaches that water baptism is a condition of salvation, and you can't be baptized until you are a disciple. And you can't be a disciple until you finish the ICC's discipleship program. Their rigid rules get taken to a legalistic extreme ("abusive mind control") designed to coerce and control people. At least 39 colleges have banned the ICC at one time or other.

AMSTERDAM 2000 REPORT READY TO MAIL—Dr. Ralph Colas, Executive Secretary of the American Council of Christian Churches, attended Dr. Billy Graham's recent international conference of evangelists at Amsterdam (8/15 CC). This has been dubbed, "Billy Graham's Torch-Passing Event," "The New Evangelical Event of the Year," and "The Greatest Worldwide Conference on Evangelism." Dr. Colas has a big six-page report on this now ready to mail. Send offering for postage to: ACCC, P.O. Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015.

HALF OF RC PRIESTS MAY BE HOMOSEXUALS—We have seen this charge made before, and from various Catholic sources (11/1/99 CC), and also the estimate that one-third of Episcopal priests are "gay" (7/1/97 CC). Now we see in the 9/18 Christian News a report from the 8/15 The Remnant stating: "A leading American churchman is claiming that the Roman Catholic priesthood has become 'primarily a gay culture'…." Father Donald Cozzens says an exodus of experienced priests from the church, many of them to marry, has drastically altered the gay-straight ratio. The report says the RC Church in America has paid out millions of dollars in child sex abuse cases. It says figures for the number of homosexual priests in the American Church are very difficult to pin down. Cozzens says estimates range up to 60 percent.

CASTRO IS APPLAUDED AT RIVERSIDE CHURCH—Mass-murdering communist atheist Fidel Castro spoke for four hours to a crowd of 2,000 admirers at notoriously liberal Riverside Church in New York after attending the UN Millennium Summit (9/18 Chr. News). Former NCC head Joan Brown Campbell and Maxine Waters were in the crowd that applauded. Riverside, located adjacent to Union Seminary and NCC headquarters, has long been a hotbed of subversive activity. [See 10/15/88 CC for a report of our 1988 visit to Riverside, etc.] It was built by John D. Rockefeller and made famous by liberal Harry Emerson Fosdick. Left-wing peace demonstrator William Sloane Coffin and James Forbes were more recent senior ministers there. But all kinds of political and theological left-wing radicals have spoken at Riverside through the years. So Castro fit in rather compatibly.

POPE ATTEMPTS DAMAGE CONTROL—Pope John Paul II has sought to repair damaged relations with other religions done by the Vatican document Dominus Jesus released last month (see 10/1 CC). He said the document was misinterpreted and was not intended to be arrogant to other faiths. The document described non-Catholic religions as "gravely deficient" and other Christian churches as having "significance and importance in the mystery of salvation", but said the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation. The Pope said the document shows that other Christian churches contain "precious elements of salvation." He said that while it declares that "the only Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church," it doesn't mean "to express a lack of consideration for other churches and ecclesiastic communities." This "repaired no damage" but reveals once more that the Roman Catholic Church's aim is that it remain "greatest among equals" in any ecumenical dialogue scheme.

RC NUN, HINDU OFFER PRAYER IN CONGRESS—Just two days after the first Catholic nun opened the U.S. House of Representatives with a prayer, the Roman Catholic House chaplain invited a Hindu priest (for the first time ever) from Ohio to offer the prayer, Sept. 14 (9/25 CN). Guest chaplains are recommended by members of Congress. Farewell, Christian America, when our leaders seek wisdom/guidance from false gods!

FOUR DIE IN KENYA WAITING FOR HINN TO HEAL—Four people die in Kenya April 30 while waiting for visiting American evangelist Benny Hinn to heal them. They had been allowed to leave a hospital to attend a two-day "Miracle Crusade" in Nairobi led by Hinn (5/11 Ala. Bapt.). They had hoped for a cure, but died before Hinn could pray for them. Others suffered serious injuries when they fell out of trees they had climbed in order to better see the charismatic evangelist. Dr. Jerry Falwell paid tribute to and endorsed false prophet Hinn at Hinn's 25th ministry celebration last December (4/1 CC).

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