VOL. XVII NO. 15 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM August 1, 2000
|POTTER BOOKS NOT HARMLESS FANTASY—All witchcraft comes from
a non-God source so witches and wizards are not just harmless fantasy.
The occult settings, ghoulish characters, and menacing atmosphere of Harry
Potter leave a creepy aftertaste. "In Harry's dark world of spells
and curses, where it's Halloween all the time, it's hard to get a grip
on good" (7/22 World). Yale Prof. Harold Bloom says it's horribly
written and says kids are better off not reading at all than reading Potter
DOMINO'S PIZZA PROMOTES CATHOLICISM—The founder of Domino's Pizza, Tom Monaghan, is spreading his dough. He's publicly promised to spend his $1 billion fortune to advance his Catholic faith, continuing to give money lavishly to Catholic causes, trying to "populate heaven." (7/14 Relig. Today). He has funded projects from Central America to the Vatican. His foundation spent $50 million to start Ave Maria Law School near the U. of Mich., and bought a college in Nicaragua (Ave Maria U. of the Americas). He donates to convents and churches. Christians may wish to spend their pizza dough elsewhere.
HOMOSEXUAL ISSUE DIVIDES LIBERAL CHURCHES—Homosexuality has emerged as the single most contentious issue facing mainline Protestant churches since the ordination of women (7/10 Chr. News). It dominated the May convention of the United Methodist Church. Episcopal Church delegates (July) approved a resolution recognizing "life-long committed relationships" other than marriage that are founded on fidelity and monogamy. It made no distinction between heterosexual and homosexual relationships (7/22 H. Times). Presbyterian Church (USA) delegates at its June meeting, by a very close 263-251 vote after an emotional debate, passed an amendment that would prohibit same-sex union ceremonies. And such is the case when "unity in diversity" includes perversity.
WILL ANGLICANS AGREE TO ACCEPT POPE?—The Toronto Free Presbyterian Church hosted a protest against the recent merger talks between high level delegations of Anglican and Roman Catholic clerics (Canadian Revivalist). The ACCC passed a resolution on this (see 5/1 CC) and was represented at the protest rally along with six other constituencies (6/15 CC). A letter, signed by the seven protesting bodies and delivered to Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, stated: "For the Anglican Church to pursue these negotiations to their ultimate conclusion of acceptance of the Roman Catholic pontiff will invite disaster, and will be viewed historically as a betrayal of the Protestant faith…" Carey and Pope John Paul II, in 1996, issued a joint statement on the need for acceptance of the pope's universal primacy.
GARBC TO REPLACE APPROVAL SYSTEM—General Association of Regular Baptist Churches messengers voted at its recent National Conference in Ames, Iowa to replace its Approval System with a partnering and network policy. This required a two-thirds vote, and squeaked by with a 67 percent vote. It will now be interesting to see what (if anything significant) happens concerning new-evangelical compromise at Cedarville, Grand Rapids, ABWE, etc. That is, will "networking" with new evangelicalism be more Scriptural than "approval"? Will the GARBC leadership (National Rep and Council of 18) now be more inclined to stand as separatists, and will churches have a stronger voice? We prayerfully would like to hope so, but if not, what has been gained by the 67 percent vote? Eight new churches were received into GARBC fellowship, and 21 went out.
GRAHAM TO 'PASS THE TORCH' IN AMSTERDAM—Ten thousand itinerant evangelists were due July 29-Aug. 6 for Amsterdam 2000, the largest conference on evangelism in history. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (host) billed it as the passing of the torch to the next generation. Graham convened the conference to help prepare a new wave of evangelists. He said, "I don't need a successor, only willing hands to accept the torch …" Graham was to open the event by satellite from Mayo Clinic (rather than Amsterdam) where he receives treatments for a buildup of fluid around his brain. "I am disappointed at this turn of events, but I have great peace this is God's plan for me and for the conference," he said. The satellite link will allow him to interact in the event. The BGEA hosted similar gatherings in Amsterdam in 1983 and 1986. About 75 percent of the evangelists are from developing nations and received BGEA funding for the trip. The BGEA has invested $35 million in Amsterdam 2000. Morning sessions on evangelism feature popular ecumenical leaders, including Anne Graham Lotz, Campus Crusade's Bill Bright, English theologian John Stott, Reformed theologian J.I. Packer, and evangelist Luis Palau. Afternoon sessions feature hundreds of workshops. Evening meetings feature messages by Franklin Graham, Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, Anglican leader George Carey, etc. ACCC Exec. Sec'y Dr. Ralph Colas is attending with press credentials and will have a report available soon.
MAINSTREAMING OF PORN—Pornography is a $56 billion business and growing (6/24 World). Porn companies trade on the stock exchanges. Two years ago, 8,948 hard-core videos hit the U.S. market, up from 1,275 in 1990. AT&T has become a top provider of pornography, and has transformed the image of "Ma Bell" into a harlot.
EPISCOPALIANS APPROVE PACT WITH LUTHERANS—Last month Episcopal Church leaders approved a pact with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to share clergy, sacraments, and strategy. Both churches are liberal, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, members of the National and World Councils of Churches, and reject Christian doctrines. The Christian News editor calls them "anything goes" churches and says they deserve each other.
SUPPORTERS OF THE LEFT-WING NCC—The United Methodist Church is the largest contributor to the National Council of Churches, with the Presbyterian Church (USA) the second largest. The Southern Baptist Convention and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are not members of the NCC but have long had links with it. The NCC's constitution says that any denomination, which has divisions or boards associated with NCC divisions, must maintain that it is "one in Christ" with all members of the NCC (7/17 Chr. News). The NCC still promotes leftist causes. It is tragic that the NAE now approves NAE denominations also being members of the pro-homosexual and pro-abortion NCC.
BWA MET IN CUBA—World Baptist leaders' meeting with communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Cuba's first public evangelistic rallies in over 40 years were highlights of the July 3-8 Baptist World Alliance General Council meeting in Havana. Some 3,000 people [no doubt, carefully screened by apparatchiks] each evening attended two services. BWA's top leaders (Denton Lotz and Billy Kim) met with Castro. Former president Nelson Fanini called for unity and global Baptist cooperation. "Theology sometimes divides us," he said, "but evangelism and missions bring us all together." The 7/20 Alabama Baptist said this was the first time since Cuba's 1959 [Marxist] revolution that Baptists have been allowed to hold such meetings but warned it would be a mistake to assume Cuban churches have complete religious freedom, or that being a Christian was no longer risky. Christian schools are not allowed, religious activities are strictly regulated and there is no freedom of the press. The meeting with Castro came one day after BWA's resolution to ease sanctions on food and medicine. Why would Baptists want to be used as propaganda pawns by Communists?
STANLEY SAYS REPORTER DISTORTED HIS POSITION—Dr. Charles Stanley says a Charlotte Observer reporter "twisted and distorted" his position on the recent SBC vote to reserve the role of pastor for a man (see 7/15 CC). He supports the SBC vote. But he acknowledged he told the reporter he "…would never say a woman could not preach," noting a difference between being a pastor and a preacher (7/7 BP). He said he was led to the Lord by a "quiet female evangelist," not by a "fiery female pastor."
FOUNDATIONS BIBLE COLLEGE PRES. PASSES—Foundations Bible Ministries of Dunn, NC announced the passing away of their founder Dr. O. Talmadge Spence on July 17. He had a form of ALS and had resigned last August as president. He is succeeded by his son Dr. H. T. Spence. He held earned degrees in Theology and authored 45 books and booklets, 300 songs, 20 cantatas and oratorios. He was editor of Straightway. We heard him speak at the 1990 World Congress of Fundamentalists in London.
ACCC TO MEET IN TORONTO—The 59th Annual Meeting of the American Council of Christian Churches is set for the Toronto Free Presbyterian Church, Oct. 24-26. Speakers include: Drs. Ian Paisley, Bob Jones III, John Ashbrook, Jim Singleton, H.T. Spence, William Hopewell, and Ron Cooke. Get brochure from: ACCC, POB 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SWORD: 'SEPARATISTS & REJECT ECUMENISM'—Sword of the Lord Editor Dr. Shelton Smith, in a long "first of a series" article in the July 7 Sword, warned that the ecumenical movement stresses unity and fellowship above separation and doctrine. He cited Promise Keepers and Neo-pentecostalism. He said: "Even the Southern Baptist Convention, now under the control of Convention conservatives, is…aggressively promoting a totally ecumenical agenda. Although it has not always been the case with them, the SBC today is solidly under the ecumenical umbrella. Independent Baptists…have also had some notable defections into ecumenism—namely, Jerry Falwell…and Jack Van Impe." As separatists, "we cannot fellowship even with our brethren when they get off the scripturally valid course (II Thes. 3:6)…."
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS JOIN ECUMENICAL EVENT—It is with sadness, not glee, that we continue to report problems with the conservative-led SBC at all levels. Some SB friends say more time and patience are needed, but the trend toward compromise seems to be increasing, not decreasing. A recent case in point is the June 11 Pentecost 2000 in Birmingham. The July 13 Alabama Baptist said of this ecumenical event: "It included singers, dancers and other performers from many denominations who came together to praise God as one family of faith. The Birmingham Baptist Association and several area Baptist churches participated." Peggy Sanderford, associate pastor for Christian Growth at Southside Baptist Church (B'ham), said: "Our belief systems are different, but we're united in our faith in our God." Participants included Baptist, Catholic, Church of Christ, and mainline liberal denomination representatives. "Father" Walter Burghardt said: "Doctrine divides but service unites. What we dare not do is act as competitors…." Some/most of the SBC reps may be from the liberal CBF wing of the SBC, but even if so, things such as this should hasten a long overdue split.
CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH is the title of a new book by Baptist World Mission Exec. Director Dr. Fred Moritz. (You may recall his 1994 book, Be Ye Holy: The Call to Christian Separation.) The Foreword is by Dr. David Cummins. The Book of Jude, is the basis for this balanced volume. Chapter titles are a clue to the contents: 1) What is Fundamentalism? 2) The Fundamentalists' Foundation Part I 3) The Fundamentalists' Foundation Part II 4) The Fundamentalists' Fight 5) The Fundamentalists' Foes 6) The Fundamentalists' Focus, 7) The Fundamentalists' Fervency. Dr. Moritz does not shy away from using the term "militance." He says: "Militance is an essential part of any Christianity that claims biblical authenticity.", and "…[B]iblical militance is mandatory, along with a biblical spirit and ethical conduct!" He deals with men, movements, and topics of our day—the Bible's inspiration, special revelation, Charismatics, new evangelicalism, missions, etc. The book is well indexed, and the quotes from many sources are painstakingly documented. Get this book from publisher: BJU Press, Greenville, SC 29614, $8.95, (800) 845-5731.
GRAND RAPIDS SEMINARY IS 'REFORMED'—The Spring 2000 Cornerstone Magazine had the following concerning Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary: "Our Seminary is committed to a Reformed view of the world and life…" Seminary alumnus and former board member Dr. Clay Nuttall said it wasn't always that way, and warned about its "Reformed hermeneutic" several years ago (see 4/15/95 CC). Cornerstone/GRBS were GARBC-approved schools but declined to seek GARBC approval last June. This is now moot, since the GARBC voted by a razor-thin margin to replace its "Approval System."
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