BJU, CATHOLICISM & MEDIA CRITICS—Bob Jones University has been drawn into a firestorm of controversy in the current political campaign and there's a bit of irony in it all. In recent years, it has been scolded for its "Catholic art," for Bob IV getting a master's degree from Notre Dame, for inviting Catholic speakers, etc. Yet for all this, Catholics (e.g., John McLaughlin, Chris Matthews) and (and in) the liberal media have lashed out at BJU's "anti-Catholic bigotry" with a seldom-seen degree of viciousness and intolerance. Pluralism is a one-way street! Catholics Pat Buchanan and Bill Buckley, to their credit, defend BJU's right to its beliefs. Liberal pundits' selective indignation, and hypocrisy, is revealed by their virtual silence when Gore goes to Al Sharpton country and doesn't denounce its bigotry. The media for years have "allowed" Reagan, Quayle, Bush, Dole, and others to speak at BJU with no outcry. We have disagreed with BJU (and all others) on some issues. But we certainly defend their constitutional right and freedom to hold their beliefs, and to allow these political candidates to speak on campus to help educate students and "assist them in practicing good citizenship." The differences between BJU and Romanism are Biblically based—the latter is a corrupt false religion. Is it "hate" to point out Catholicism's doctrinal errors? If so, BJU is hardly alone in this. Bush could now be pressured into choosing a Catholic running mate to prove that he's not an anti-Catholic bigot. We are thankful that Dr. Jones was allowed to present the gospel on Larry King Live, and to pray with him after the program. Pray for BJU.

COHABITATION—Almost 40 percent of all supposedly single-parent families are really two-parent cohabiting families. Over half of today's newlyweds live together before tying the knot, compared with about 10 percent in 1965 (3/13 USN & WR). There is more cheating by couples who cohabit, and more domestic violence and depression. These couples are often politically liberal, less religious, less educated and have lower incomes (2/28 Christian News). Cohabiting relationships also tend to be short-lived.

DATING & ALTERNATIVES—Dating is a new invention, unknown to nearly every age and culture of the world. In other societies, marriage is too important to allow it to rest on the vagaries of mere emotion. Families arranged the marriage, considering a wide range of factors, including money (3/4 World). It was usually the man who married for money. Daughters had dowries. Many Christians today are trying to find alternatives to the dating game. Some are even reviving the ancient practice of betrothal, where children's families play a major role. Some are reinventing courtship, waiting until of marriageable age.

POPE APOLOGIZES FOR CATHOLIC SINS—Pope John Paul II has made an unprecedented public apology and asked God's forgiveness for some past sins and errors of the Roman Catholic Church, including wrongs inflicted on Jews, minorities, and women. But for the Inquisition (and the Crusades) where millions were slaughtered by the RCC and many Christians ("heretics") were burned at the stake, the penitence covered only the "excesses." U.S. Catholic leaders have confessed to a host of sins including racism, anti-Semitism, and sexual misconduct of priests. But, do not be fooled by the "apology." Some see it as a clever act of damage control that will be used to lure people back to Rome. Council of Trent teachings are still in place (and re-confirmed by Vatican II in the mid-1960s). Mariolatry, the Mass, infallibility of the pope, and a host of other unscriptural teachings are unchanged.

ROCK BAND AT SBC CHURCH—"Christian" rock band Audio Adrenaline has sold over a million records and has performed at a BBF and a charismatic church (see 7/15/98 CC). A 3/2 Huntsville Times article stated: "If you come to Audio Adrenaline's concert Friday night [$19.50] at Whitesburg Baptist Church, be well-advised. This won't be the Good Time Gospel Hour by a bunch of choirboys. Nope, this is rock 'n' roll—loud, jamming, Christian rock 'n' roll. You might hear some…classics, but it's more likely you'll hear 'Free Ride,'—yes, the great rock 'n' roll song by Edgar and Johnny Winter…."

CALIF. SAYS 'NO' TO GAY MARRIAGES—It was a major setback for homosexuals and other proponents of same-sex marriages when California last month solidly approved Proposition 22 by a 61 percent-to-39 percent vote, recognizing only marriages between men and women (3/20 USN&WR). Homosexual marriages are not officially recognized anywhere in the U.S., while 30 states now officially recognize only opposite-sex marriages.

MORE CHRISTIANS DIVORCE—A new Barna study shows Christians more likely to go through a marital split than non-Christians (3/00 Bapt. Btn.). Divorce is less likely in the Northeast. A higher rate of whites get divorced. Baptists are the highest likelihood of getting divorced, and 29 percent of U.S. Baptist adults have been divorced.

AMY GRANT REMARRIES, TERRY SEPARATES—Amy Grant and Vince Gill were married last month (see 3/1 CC). The 3/12 Huntsville Times said: "The couple—he one of the biggest stars in country music and she the most famous singer to come out of Christian music…." Meanwhile, Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry has left his wife and children for another woman. (2/28 CN).

FALWELL PAYS TRIBUTE TO BENNY HINN—[By Jackie Alnor >http://www.cultlink.com< adapted] On the "This is Your Day" program (12/28/99) Benny Hinn, in studio with his guests Steve Brock and a man named Ron, featured clips from his 25th ministry anniversary celebration (see 12/15 CC), highlighting several Christian leaders who came to pay tribute to him. Hinn's regular admirers appeared singing his praises, such as Rex Humbard, Paul Crouch and Oral Roberts. But a surprise guest was Jerry Falwell, who gave his own personal endorsement of Benny Hinn. Ron marveled about Falwell's comments, and beamed, "His students knew who you were," "And many of them were your partners! That shows me that the whole body of Christ is waking up to the fact that the Holy Spirit is doing something sovereign in the earth!" Here is the transcript of Falwell's tribute from the clip that was aired: "Pastor Benny and I are friends and I'm glad for every soul that comes and has come to Christ through your ministry over the past 25 years. A few weeks ago Pastor Hinn called, and one of his staff members, and said, 'Benny wants to come to Lynchburg and he wants your undivided attention for a day.'…He came and we had a wonderful day together. He met the 6,000 students on the campus of Liberty University as we walked from building to building, most of them knew him. Many…were your partners (applause). We spent a lot of time and conversation about what God is doing." Full-length videos of this celebration are available from >www.bennyhinn.org< Hinn has been called a false teacher, a charismatic who spreads heresy.

LIGHTHOUSE MOVEMENT WARNING—GARBC's 3/00 Baptist Bulletin ran a letter by Continental Baptist Missions president Dr. Gerald Webber warning of the Lighthouse Movement's "great potential for snaring the unwary in a massive ecumenical net." We had a strong warning about this ecumenical coalition in the 11/1 CC.

CEDARVILLE FEATURES STOWELL—Moody Bible Institute president Dr. Joseph Stowell again spoke at the GARBC's Cedarville College Winter Enrichment Conference. We have often reported Stowell's trafficking with ecumenicals (see 12/15 CC). He is now on Billy Graham's board and has spoken at his Training Center.

INCLUSIVISM DEFINES NEW EVANGELICALS—ACCC Exec. Secretary Dr. Ralph Colas, in his regular column in the IBFNA's The Review (2/00), observes: "There are some new evangelicals who believe in many of the fundamentals of the Faith. What distinguishes them from us is separation. Fundamentalists believe, preach and practice separation. Those who say they are fundamentalists, but who fail to preach and practice separation, should drop the fundamentalist name and correctly identify themselves as new evangelicals…."

'BE CAREFUL IBFNA'—Independent Baptist Fellowship of No. America moderator Dr. Charles Dear warns in the 2/00 The Review: "As a fellowship we [IBFNA] have contended with the compromises and defections from fundamental Baptist principles and organizations for nearly ten years now, but we have been so focused upon what is outside of ourselves, we may fail to honestly appraise our own churches and ministries from within. It ought to be painfully clear that many of our departed brethren were friends who once stood where we are and that the seeds of our own declension threaten us now, if we will permit them to flourish. Good churches are at risk at any time so long as believers still possess fallen natures. Good churches are not just corrupted by their leadership; they are also brought low by congregations infected with a greater love for the world than they have for Christ…."

VAN IMPE COZIES WITH CHARISMATICS—Jack Van Impe used to be a dynamic "fundamentalist" evangelist, but in recent years has praised the Pope and Catholicism, and appears on the Trinity Broadcasting Network with a coterie of charismatics. So it is no surprise to now see him listed as a speaker in full-page ads for International Prophecy Conference 2000, April 5-8, in Orlando. Other speakers include: Morris Cerullo, Hal Lindsey, Chuck Missler, J.R. Church and Zola Levitt.

HINN'S 'HEALING PARK'—Benny Hinn plans a $30 million healing park on a 50-acre site near his new Dallas headquarters (1/00 Charisma). Contributors can have their names recognized on plaques in various sections of the theme park, such as at the Healing Hall of Faith, in the Healing Gardens, the Fountain of Healing, the Healing Stream or maybe at the Eternal Flame of Healing.

SBC MASONS—Masonry is a religion. It is a works-righteousness religion of the Law. It conducts worship services and funeral services. Its god is not the Holy Trinity, the only God who exists. (2/28 Christian News) An estimated 400,000 to 500,000 Southern Baptist men are masons. A 7/3/95 CN article put the estimate at 1.3 million.

ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON BBFI MEETING—BBF pastors Drs. John Waldrip and R.L. Hymers gave the following assessment of the recent Baptist Bible Fellowship meeting (see 3/15 CC): "This was one of the most conservative BBFI meetings we have attended in years. Every speaker was conservative in his message and all preached from the KJV Bible. The music was among the most conservative in a national BBFI meeting."

TIPPIT'S ECUMENICAL TIES—Evang. Sammy Tippitt is said to shun the charismatic label, but has many of those tendencies (see 3/1 CC). He also has ecumenical links. MBI President Joseph Stowell wrote the Foreword to Tippitt's 1988 book, The Prayer Factor, and John MacArthur did the Foreword to his 1987 Fire in Your Heart book from which we glean most of the following. MacArthur wrote: "He [Tippitt] has worked hand in hand with men like Josif Ton [Tson], whom God raised up out of Romania…" Ton led in the formation of a new Evangelical Alliance in Romania which included Seventh-day Adventists (6/1/90 CC), and which invited Luis Palau for a crusade. Tippitt preached in Ton's large church and said Ton was "mightily used of God." He also said God moved mightily through Billy Graham in Ton's former church in Oradea where Tippitt had just preached. Tippitt is a listed speaker for a "Heart-Cry for Revival" conference (May 23-27), of which Life Action Ministries and Luther Rice Seminary (So. Baptist) are two of the sponsors. Our sinful nation needs revival, but can it come when Biblical separation commands are disobeyed?

DOCTRINE DIVIDES—Now there is a sound bite you hear a lot. Of course doctrine divides; it is supposed to. That is God's plan. "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (II Tim. 4:2). The Biblical Christian feels compelled to divide truth from error. To avoid that division, the Neo-Liberal approach is to identify everything denominational, or call it man's doctrine. In an effort not to offend, even the preaching of the cross is tailored to please man and make him comfortable. God's Word speaks to this also. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness…." (I Cor. 1:18) Evangelical ecumenism is committed to erasing any obstacle to its human goal of uniting all peoples and religions. That would include redefining words, definitions and doctrines. [Dr. Clay Nuttall, >shepherdstaff@juno.com<]

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