MARINES FORCED INTO NEW AGE MOVEMENT?—An effort is under way to drag the Marine Corps into the New Age movement, complete with Eastern mysticism, Zen meditation, pop psychology, etc. The Corps is developing a new Marine Martial Art (10/9 Wall St. J. via 11/4 World). A pilot program has been expanded and 15,000 Marines are now learning how to be ninjas. Plans are to make it mandatory for all Marines. But forcing Christians (also Jews and Muslims) to participate in pagan religious practices goes too far. All Marines are not forced to attend Christian church services and should not be forced to practice Eastern mysticism.

FONDA FUNDS ABORTIONS—Tax-exempt groups raised $97.3 million and spent $132.6 million since July 1, to influence the fall elections. Actress Jane Fonda, the largest single contributor on the list we saw, personally bankrolled an $11.7 million campaign to inject the abortion issue in battleground states (11/4 H.Times). She shelled out the $11.7 million of her own money in two checks Sept. 15 & 26. Pro Choice Vote used her money to make large donations to abortion choice groups. Her impending divorce and “conversion” as a born-again Christian were widely reported last Jan. Something seems wrong, here!

GORE, CLINTON TAKE POLITICS TO CHURCHES—ACLU, where are you? Why can liberal political leaders campaign and promote candidates in church pulpits, yet conservatives can't? Pres. Clinton (Oct. 29) begged blacks at Shiloh Baptist Church (Washington, DC) to choose the “outstretched hands” of Al Gore over the “clenched fists” of George W. Bush (10/30 Wash. Times via 11/6 Chr. News). He said it would be a “terrible mistake” to elect Bush. From Shiloh, Clinton went to Alfred St. Baptist Church (Alexandria, VA) to continue stumping for Gore. Gore appeared during church services at a Detroit church that day. Barry Lynn (AUSCS) has filed an inquiry with the IRS over this, but don't hold your breath. They will likely get the same “punishment” as Jimmy Carter and Jesse Jackson got when they used church pulpits for political ends. A double standard?

GOOD QUESTIONS—From the 11/11 World magazine Mailbag: “Christian 'beauty queens?' How can they speak with a straight face about purity and chastity while marketing their flesh in evening gowns and bikinis? And why do Christians watch and defend this trash?”

WORSHIP & MUSIC—Asbury Seminary President Maxie Dunnam says “…the biggest revolution in the church today is in the area of worship and music.” Dunnam commends contemporary music and worship.

MOON MOVING TO BRAZIL—Billionaire cult leader Sun Myung Moon, the self-proclaimed second coming of Christ, has become disappointed at the American public's refusal to worship him and is moving to Northern Brazil. His Family Federation for World Peace recently joined with Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam to sponsor a Million Family March on Washington, D.C.

CATHOLIC SHROUD A FRAUD—Catholics, Mormons, and charismatics put great emphasis on signs and visions (see Matt. 12:39). The Catholic Shroud of Turin has been debated since it first surfaced in 1357 AD. Scientific evidence continues to mount that it is one of the greatest art frauds in history. Scientists from Oxford and Cambridge universities have called it a fake and dated it around 1350 AD (see 10/15/88 CC). Bandaging was the custom for burial in Jesus' day. John 19:40 says Jesus' body was “wound“ in linen clothes (plural), and 20:7 states that His head was covered with a napkin, not a shroud. The local bishop when it was first exhibited in 1357 called the Shroud a fraud, based on the testimony of the artist who made it. We believe the Shroud is as phony as the twentieth-century Catholic visions of Mary.

LIVE-BIRTH ABORTIONS—The Supreme Court, June 28, ruled that a Nebraska law forbidding partial-birth abortions except in cases when required for the life of the mother was “unconstitutional” because “the Constitution offers basic protection to a woman's right to choose.” This method of abortion typically kills a viable child late in pregnancy. A mother now has a “constitutional” right to have a medical professional stab her child's brain when all but his tiny head is protruding from the birth canal. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Scalia rightly referred to this as “live-birth abortion.” More directly, it is infanticide –an act of murder that God forbids and detests (Ex.20:13).

RADICAL FEMINIST MARY DALY A SPEAKER AT RE-IMAGINING EVENT—Mary Daly, barred from teaching at Boston College after 25 years, was one of the speakers at the eighth Re-Imagining Gathering in Minneapolis in Oct. Daly, who abandoned her Catholic faith (“the patriarchal church”) in the early 1970s, describes herself as a radical feminist. She invited participants to “an other-world journey” revealed through quantum physics (11/11 H .Times). She encouraged them to have courage – “the courage to leave patriarchal institutions, which all churches are. The courage to sin The sin is to be – to be ourselves.” The first Re-Imagining Conference (1993), held in conjunction with the WCC, caused quite a stir (see 4/15/94 CC) and used a controversial incantation to “Our maker, Sophia.”

NCC & SAME-SEX 'MARRIAGE'—Bob Edgar says his signature on the Christian Declaration of Marriage may not mean what some think. Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, signed the document in Oct. It defines marriage as "a holy union of one man and one woman" and calls for "a stronger commitment to this holy union." But later the same week Edgar said he made a mistake, apologized, and said his support had nothing to do with same-sex unions (11/18 HT). He said churches in the ecumenical NCC disagree over same-sex unions. But "there is unanimity among us in our longstanding advocacy for full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons. Through our dialogues, we have come to celebrate the gifts and challenges they present to us. We stand with them in our common battle against hatred and violence and the pain of exclusion. In our dangerously fragmented society, I regret and will resist any attempt to interpret support for one beleaguered segment of society as an attack on another." The NCC is trying to broaden its membership base. It now has 35 mainline Protestant, black Protestant, and Orthodox denominations, but announced plans in an Atlanta meeting to reach out to Roman Catholics and evangelicals. It also reportedly is being forced into another round of staff cuts. [11/20 Religion Today]

NAVIGATORS YOKE WITH CATHOLICS—The Navigators, a popular “evangelical” parachurch group that has a vast discipleship and publishing (NavPress) ministry, is yoking together with the Roman Catholic Church. An e-mail sent to Navigator field staff Sept. 14 stated that “God has led several staff to develop ministries with Catholics…” and cites an example of one Navigator staffer who now directs the small group ministry at the largest Catholic church in Colorado Springs. David Cloud (9/6 Chr. News) comments: “To preach the blessed gospel to Roman Catholics is obedience to the Lord's command; to yoke together in ministry with the Roman Catholic Church in any fashion whatsoever is grave disobedience and confusion.” We cited an example in the April 1, 1997 CC of the extremes to which a NavPress book went in promoting building bridges with Islam.

ROME ASSERTS PAPAL AUTHORITY—The Vatican, in its recent Dominus Iesus document (see 10/1 & 15 CCs), declared Catholicism the sole path to salvation and claimed that Peter and his successors were commissioned by Jesus to rule the church (12/00 Proclaiming the Gospel). It said no one can “interpret Sacred Scripture outside the Tradition and Magisterium of the [RC] Church.” By declaring that bishops have sole authority to interpret Scriptures, the Vatican supplants God's authority with its own authority.

LOVING WITNESS, OR HATE CRIME?—A group of liberal Protestants and Roman Catholics asked Southern Baptist evangelistic teams not to come to Chicago, that their coming would contribute to a climate conducive to hate crimes (12/00 Moody). Southern Baptist Seminary President R. Albert Mohler said there is a deepening hostility to authentic gospel witness. He added: “These days, it is considered intolerant and unloving to tell someone that without Jesus Christ, he will spend eternity in hell. To claim that Jesus Christ is the only Savior is to preach intolerance and imperialism.” Post-modernists of our day say no one can claim to know THE truth, for there are many truths. Persecution and testing may be in store for those who seek to obey the Great Commission.

HUMANIST, POSITIVE RELIGION—“The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Spirit, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, and heaven without hell.” (Gen. Wm. Booth)

TIM LEE RUNS WITH SBC CROWD—Dynamic preacher Dr. Tim Lee's two 2001 Youth Alive conferences are scheduled for North Carolina and Houston, according to his ad in Jerry Falwell's National Liberty Journal. His Southern Baptist speakers include Jerry Johnston, and David Ring. His two conferences this year included Southern Baptists Falwell, Johnston and Ring. Falwell, who began as a fundamentalist, recently identified with Southern Baptists. Lee seems to be pursuing the same course of compromise as his mentor. In his March 1994 Target paper he said “the lines of separation in Scripture are clear and they do not include separating from our Bible-believing brethren.” He listed Drs. W.A. Criswell, Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, and other inerrantist (but unequally-yoked) Southern Baptist leaders as fundamentalists. It is sad to see Lee continuing to defect toward the SBC which is a major supporter of the apostate Baptist World Alliance.

GRAHAM & THE MODESTO MANIFESTO—Elmer Towns, in the Nov. National Liberty Journal, tells of a late 1940s meeting at Modesto, CA of four young men that we know today as leaders of the Billy Graham evangelistic team. The men fasted and prayed for the group's leader (Billy Graham), and made a composite list of four major problems that plagued evangelism: 1. Exaggeration, the common misuse of the truth concerning size of crowds, number of converts, and need of money. 2. Money – Because evangelists were always raising money, it appeared many were in it for the money, so financial books would always be open. 3. Agreed to never be alone with a member of the opposite sex. 4. A critical spirit – pledged themselves to a positive ministry, and promote unity. Towns concluded that “the blessing of God is the main reason God used Billy Graham.” Indeed, many have been saved in Graham's ecumenical evangelism crusades, in spite of his ministry of disobedience (Phil. 1:18). But his “end justifies the means” philosophy has done untold harm to the cause of Christ, leading him to yoke up with false-gospel leaders, promote worldly rock music, and blur the lines of Biblical separation thereby promoting a new evangelicalism and the end-time one-world church of the Antichrist.

MAINSTREAM ALABAMA BAPTISTS—Ala. Baptists recently affirmed the new Baptist Faith & Message, but some walked out of the meeting and formed a separate Mainstream Alabama Baptists group. The Bible and women pastors are two main issues. Frances Jones of First Baptist Church, Huntsville, said she worries that the new faith statement will stop her from being a deacon in her church (11/16 Huntsville Times). She said her worries began over two years ago when Baptist women were told to be submissive to their husbands. “I don't want to be submissive to my husband,” said Jones.

CHARISMA SAYS: 'LET THE WOMEN PREACH!'—The Southern Baptist Convention recently passed a policy which states: “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” Charisma Editor Lee Grady responds to, but fails to refute, this in a five-page article and an editorial. Most Southern Baptists would likely agree with much of what he says in giving Old and New Testament examples of women serving in various roles. His interpretation of 1 Tim. 2:12 and 1 Cor. 14:34-35 passages seems weak at best and seemingly a stretch. And we failed to see, in all the six pages, any mention of a key-phrase requirement for a pastor, “the husband of one wife” (1 Tim. 3:2). Women can serve the Lord in a multitude of ways in a local church, but is not the SBC restriction a Biblical one?

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