VOL. XVII  NO. 22  NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM  November 15, 2000

MORMONISM CHANGES ITS TEACHING—The false cult of Mormonism is one of the world's richest and fastest-growing religious movements. It has 100 temples, and last year sent out 58,600 missionaries (11/13 USN&WR). Its real estate holdings are valued in the billions. It has over 12,,000 local “churches.” Nearly half of the world's 11million Mormons live in the U.S. Its founder, Joseph Smith, was killed by an angry mob in 1844. His “golden plates” story is fantasy and coarse fiction, drawing upon Masonic rituals and clumsily reworked Bible passages. To survive and grow, Mormonism has conveniently altered its teachings (polygamy, blacks in the priesthood, e.g.) in the face of strong cultural tides. Mormons claim to be Christians—and say “We revere Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Redeemer and Savior of the world”—but their “Jesus” is not the Jesus of the Bible. They use much of the same vocabulary that we do, but often deceptively attach different meanings to the terms.

'EX-GAY' LEADER OUSTED BY FOCUS & EXODUS—Former homosexual and head of Focus on the Family's gender and homosexuality department, John Paulk, was spotted and photographed at a Washington, DC “gay” bar Sept. 19 (10/16 CN). After initially lying about it, he was removed from the Focus board, but will remain on staff. He has been demoted from board chairman of Exodus, Int'l to board member. As would be expected, “gay” activists were quick to pounce on this as proof that homosexuals cannot change their behavior (10/21 World). This is sad, though possibly indicating that Focus is a victim of the “hasty celebrity trap” (see 9/15 CC). On Oct. 11, Focus on the Family broadcast announcer and co-host Mike Trout resigned after admitting an affair.

NEWBORN INFANTS ARE NOT PERSONS?—Princeton University Prof. Peter Singer and American University Prof. Jeffrey Reiman claim that newborn infants do not qualify as “persons” with constitutional protection (11/13 Chr.Today). Reiman claims that newborns do not “possess in their own right a property that makes it wrong to kill them.” Such callous disregard for life is sinful!

AIDS DEATH TOLL—As of 1999, AIDS has killed 430,411 people in the U.S. (10/21 World). It is taking a disproportionate toll on minority communities, due in part to higher use of intravenous drugs. Together, blacks and Hispanics accounted for 66 percent of all new AIDS cases in 1999. Three times as many Hispanics as whites contracted the disease last year, as did eight times as many blacks. AIDS remains the leading cause of death among blacks between the ages of 25 and 44. Reckless behavior is driving up the rate of new HIV/AIDS infections.

ATHEIST SPEAKS AT SCHULLER'S CHURCH—Mikhail Gorbachev talked with “possibility thinker” Robert Schuller on the latter's Hour of Power broadcast, Oct. 22. The conversation was taped Oct. 15 before 4,500 people at the Crystal Cathedral (10/30 C.News). Gorbachev has become a hero in the West. Union University (SBC), Jackson, TN scheduled him to speak there Oct. 10 (see 10/1 CC). Gorbachev calls himself an atheist. Schuller pressed him to acknowledge that he is not an atheist, but the avowed Leninist/atheist Gorbachev would not do so.

ADVENTISTS REAFFIRM ELLEN WHITE—Seventh-day Adventists at their July general conference reaffirmed support for the prophecies of Ellen G. White. Delegates voted “to intensify efforts to inform all church members, especially young members, about the gift of prophecy through the ministry of Ellen G. White.” (David Cloud, 10/16 Chr. News). One million Adventists were added in 1999, bringing the worldwide total to 11 million, 91% of which reside outside No. America. [Get David Cloud's book exposing the false gospel of the SDA: Way of Life, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277, 360/675-8311]

CAN AMERICA SURVIVE SUCH IDOLATRY?—For the first time ever, a Catholic nun and a Hindu priest in Sept. offered prayers in Congress at the invitation of the Roman Catholic House chaplain. Hindus worship millions of deities (10/30 Chr. News), and behind every idol are demons (1Cor. 10:19-20). So, in short the Hindu priest was praying to demons to help America. “…All nations that forget God shall be turned into Hell.” Repent, America!

FALSE REPORTS—Rumors travel fast in this age of E-mail and Internet. Focus on the Family lists the following as “NOT true” (10/23 CN): The “Belgian Beast” super-computer likely to be used by the Antichrist; Madalyn M. O'Hair's FCC petition to ban religious broadcasting; the 9-mile-deep hole dug in Siberia that reached hell… Proctor & Gamble's CEO is a Satanist; Charles Darwin's deathbed conversion and repentance of evolution; that Al Gore said his favorite Bible verse was John 16:3; that Janet Reno said anyone who believes the Bible is a dangerous cultist….To be credible, we must be careful! [A talk radio host false-rumor researcher lists many of these at this Web site address: www.truthorfiction.com ]

ISLAM SLAVERY—Christian women are kidnapped by Muslim extremists (Pakistan), raped and forced to convert to Islam. Then a Muslim man will marry her. Christian parents or husbands who come to rescue the women are stopped by kidnappers and police (11/00 Charisma). The new Muslim husband often threatens to kill the woman's family.

WILLOW CREEK & WOMEN PASTORS—Bill Hybels' Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago years ago decided “after months of study and debate” that it would support women in any position of leadership—teacher, preacher, elder. The church's theological guru and founding elder, Wheaton College professor Gilbert Bilezikian, argues that “secular socialization regarding sex roles,” whereby men are cut out for certain tasks and women for others, has no place in a Christian community (ll/13 CT). The church has garnered criticism because it requires that a potential member be able to “joyfully sit under the teaching of women teachers” and “joyfully submit to the leadership of women in various leadership positions at Willow Creek before joining. A female elder said, “…if you can't embrace this teaching, practically speaking, you'd probably be happier at some other church.” Bilezikian is said to enjoy a glass of red wine with his meal [“Dr.'s orders!”], and has “legions of female followers.“ Perhaps not surprisingly, “Women at Willow Creek fall in love with him….” Such is the man behind Bill Hybels' seeker-sensitive megachurch ministry.

UPDATE ON BILL BRIGHT—During Campus Crusade's U.S. Leadership Conference the week of Oct. 16, Bill Bright shared with 275 senior staff members that he has a lung condition, initially diagnosed as pulmonary fibrosis (but not yet confirmed), and prostate cancer. Currently, there is no known cure for the p-f, and the average life expectancy is three to five years. Dr. Bright announced to his worldwide staff last July that Steve Douglass would succeed him as president. Douglass currently serves Campus Crusade as executive vice president. Bright, 79, will turn over the presidency on August 1, 2001 (NOT 2000, as we reported in the 8/15 CC). Although he will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors, Douglass will assume full post and authority at that time.

TEXAS BAPTISTS PULL $5 MILLION FROM SBC—No surprise, but the Southern Baptist Convention's largest dissident branch, the 2.7 million-member Baptist General Convention of Texas, voted in late Oct. to reduce funding for SBC seminaries and other agencies (see 11/1 CC). This draws the battle lines a bit tighter, and the major rift may soon result in a new rival denomination—perhaps an alliance of three or four groups with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. BGCT “moderate-liberals” disagree with recent SBC actions regarding biblical inerrancy, women pastors, homosexuality, etc., which make the Baptist Faith and Message statement an “instrument of doctrinal accountability.” Despite the $5 million defunding and reallocation changes, the BGCT will still send over $17.5 million to SBC home and foreign mission boards.

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES' SHAKE UP—Leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses have ordered the biggest organizational shake-up since the cult began 116 years ago, saying it would help the 5.9-million-member group expand worldwide (10/14 Huntsville Times). The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of Pa. had been run by a Governing Body. Now, religious and administrative duties will be divided, with three newly formed corporations running its U.S. operations. The group's president and six other board members resigned in Oct.

COLSON & CATHOLICS—“Southern Baptist Charles Colson is the most effective propagandist for the Roman Catholic Church in America.” So says Dr. John W. Robbins in the Oct. 2000 Trinity Review, Box 68, Unicoi, TN 37692. Robbins lists 33 reasons (10/16 Chr. News). Colson has praised the Pope, and often collaborated with Catholics (ECT, and other unity endeavors). He chose a Catholic to replace him at the helm of Prison Fellowship.

CARTER CUTS SBC TIES—Former President Jimmy Carter, Southern Baptists' most famous layman, has publicly renounced his lifelong ties with the SBC, calling it “rigid,” and aligns himself more with the Texas anti-inerrantists. He said that while homosexuality is a sin, he sees nothing wrong with a “Christian” homosexual being ordained. He said adultery is a more serious sin than homosexuality (10/30 Christian News). He has criticized the Southern Baptist belief that Mormonism is non-Christian and that Mormons are in need of evangelization.

METHODISTS SCOLD SCOUTS FOR 'GAY' BIAS—It is sad to see groups like the United Way stand with homosexuals in attacking the Boy Scouts of America. Further, the United Methodist Church, the second largest sponsor of Scout Troops in the US, chided the BSA for discrimination against homosexuals and implied that the denomination may drop its long standing ties to the Scouts. These "ties" include 12,000 Scout Troops in the UMC. In a statement issued October 10 the General Board of Church and Society of the UMC said "we would like to enthusiastically affirm and encourage this continuing partnership of the church and Scouting, [but] we cannot due to the Boy Scouts of America's discrimination against gays." It is indeed sad to see a church denomination in America condemn a non-religious organization like the BSA because of their stand on morality. Such irony reveals the ongoing apostasy of the United Methodist Church! [An adapted excerpt from an ACCC resolution, Oct. 24-26, Toronto]

PARTIALLY PERSONAL—You are receiving this issue a little later than usual. The CC editor attended the 59th Annual Convention of the American Council of Christian Churches, Oct. 24-26, in Toronto. Four good resolutions were passed. Officers elected were: Dr. Richard Harris, President; Dr. John McKnight, V-P; Rev. Craig Griffith, Secretary; and Bill Worrilow, Treasurer. Dr. Ralph Colas is Executive Secretary. Dr. Frank McClelland and his church were excellent hosts. [Speakers were listed in the 10/1 CC, except Dr. John McKnight filled in for Dr. Bob Jones who couldn't be there due to the impending death of his mother. We offer our condolences.] A revised constitution was adopted, and the GARBC was removed as a constituent body of the ACCC. *** Back home, we assisted our daughter a few days in her bid (a first for her) for Circuit Clerk of Madison County. She lost by 3 percentage points (53 to 47 percent). *** Our church's annual Missions Conference was Nov. 1-5 with Dr. Ron Allen the main speaker. *** My eye exam last week revealed the need for laser surgery to the iris to relieve a fluid/pressure problem. This is a minor in-office procedure but could result in blindness if postponed. It is set for Nov. 14 (right eye) and Nov. 28 (left eye). Please pray. (I am way behind in answering e-mails and other letters.)

OLD GOSPEL VS. NEWRev. Gary Gilley says the new gospel is based on flawed philosophy (felt-needs) and misguided methodology (market-driven), and that it ultimately crystallizes into a mutated gospel of self-esteem and personal fulfillment (9-10/00 VOICE). He adds: The old gospel was about an offended God; the new gospel is about a wounded us. The old gospel was about sin, the new gospel is about needs; the old gospel was about our need for righteousness, the new gospel is about our need for fulfillment. The old gospel is offensive to those who are perishing; the new gospel is attractive. Many are flocking to the new gospel but it is altogether questionable how many are actually being saved. What we need in our churches is not a therapeutic, altered gospel that mirrors the spirit of the age, but rather the courage to become relevant by preaching the foolishness of the cross.

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