VOL. XVII  NO. 17  NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM  September 1, 2000

GUN CONTROL MISSED ITS TARGET—A new study found no evidence that the 1994 Brady law has helped reduce homicide rates (8/12 USN&WR). Brady was no "bull's eye" and has had no impact in reducing crime and violence, as was its "aim." Anti-gun control people quip that gun control means hitting your target (8/12 World).

RICKY SKAGGS: CHARISMATIC 'MUSICIANARY'—The 9/00 Charisma said of country music star Ricky Skaggs: "This bluegrass icon doesn't blink an eye when he gets an opportunity to play for Jesus in casinos or honky-tonks." It continues: "Ricky Skaggs believes God's Word when it comes to music. Like King David of old, he wants to use his instruments in a spiritual way to drive out demons and usher in the Holy Spirit. And when he applies that strategy to casinos, bars, and county fairs…, folks who would not think once about setting foot in a church are led into the Lord's presence right where they are. Skaggs is God's 'musicianary'.…" Skaggs seems a clean-cut, sincere young [46] singer who has come under the influence of charismatics like John Wimber, Paul Cain, Mike Bickle, etc. He claims to be a Christian, but if so, he displays a tragic ignorance of Scripture and is deceived in thinking he can serve God and the world. His partial defense is "Billy Graham is welcome just about anywhere."

DEATHS BY GOVERNMENTS—Prof. R.J. Rummel in his Death by Government study estimated that during the first 88 years of the 20th century, governments had murdered almost 170 million people (7/3 New Amer.). The Soviet Union killed an estimated 62 million from 1917 to 1987; and Communist China an estimated 35 million from 1949 to 1987. [Others place this estimate much higher!] Bad as it was, the Nazi regime's numbers were far less than either of these, yet modern communist-defending leftists would have us believe the opposite.

A TIMELY WARNING—A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until voters discover they can vote themselves largess (generous gifts) from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back again to bondage. (By Alexander Tyler Frasier, over 200 years ago.)

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT—Capital punishment is very Scriptural. From the very beginning, God has required LIFE for LIFE. The death penalty is first mentioned in Gen. 9:6, long before the law of Moses was given, and it stays on God's law books throughout the Bible (Ex. 21:12, Num. 35:16-31, Rom. 13:1-4, Acts 25:11). As we see from Acts 25:11 and Rom. 13:1-4, the death penalty is still God's will for today. God has given man the responsibility of enforcing [it], and justice has not been served until it has been enforced. [Quoted in July-Aug. Fund. Digest.]

GORE & BUSH ON ISSUES OF VITAL CONCERN TO CHRISTIANS—This article presents facts/opinions as they now appear, but is not to be construed as endorsing either candidate: Gore would veto a partial-birth abortion ban bill, as President Clinton twice did; Bush would sign it. Both candidates favor informal partnerships, fraught with dangerous entanglement connotations, between government and "faith-based organizations." Both favor one-world government, trade with Red China, etc. Bush favors a "voucher" program which in large measure subsidizes Catholic schools; Gore is beholden to the powerful, education-destructive teachers union. Gore favors big-government socialistic programs; Bush promises bigger tax cuts. Gore promotes "tree-hugger" environmental issues and New Ageism (see his Earth in the Balance book). Gore strongly calls for special "gay rights" and a dangerous "hate crimes" bill; Bush opposes these, but recently made overtures to homosexual activists (Log Cabin Republicans, Jim Kolbe, etc.). Bush overly "atoned" to Catholics/liberals for his Bob Jones University "error." Gore is closely identified with the Clinton fundraising scandal and called him "one of the greatest presidents in history" on the day he was impeached. Pray!

'HOLY LAUGHTER' / 'THE ANOINKING'—A 7/31 Christian News article comments thusly regarding bizarre activities of the charismatic "Toronto Blessing" / "Holy Laughter" movement: "They bark like dogs. They roar like lions. They oink like pigs. They leap like kangaroos. They prance like deer. They roll around on the floor laughing like hyenas. They get 'pinned' to the floor with 'holy glue' and can't get up. They twitch, jerk, gyrate, and tremble uncontrollably. They become 'inebriated.'"

ALPHA COURSE WORKSHOP AT AMSTERDAM 2000—Billy Graham invited Alpha speaker Nicky Gumbel to present a workshop at the recent Amsterdam 2000 conference (7/27 Wisc. Report). The Alpha course is very ecumenical and comes from an Anglican source (see 5/1 CC). It is compatible with Catholic teaching, and used by Catholic, liberal, charismatic, and other denominations.

NEWS FROM THE LIBERAL WING OF THE SBC—The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship voted July 1 to apply for membership in the apostate Baptist World Alliance (8/00 Bapt. Banner). CBF Coordinator Dan Vestal predicts that at least 5,000 SBC churches will leave it and join the CBF because of recent Baptist Faith & Message changes [restricting the office of pastor to males, etc.]. Mainstream conservative SBC leaders place the estimate far smaller. CBF member and head of the Alliance of Baptists Stan Hastey said: "I cannot say that God does not call gay people to ministry." When asked whether people who do not come to faith in Christ will go to hell, he said: "I don't know." The large Baptist General Convention of Texas may soon "redefine" its relationship with the SBC.

'OPENNESS OF GOD' THEOLOGY IS BLASPHEMY—Self-described evangelical theologians such as Greg Boyd, Clark Pinnock, and John Sanders espouse "openness of God" inclusivism, which holds that God's knowledge of future events is not exhaustive, that God is often surprised by the actions of His free-willed creatures (8/7 Christian News). Many openness teachers deny hell and hold to annihilationism. From Boyd's God of the Possible book: "…if God is eternally certain that various individuals will end up being eternal damned, why does He go ahead and create them? If hell is worse than never being born, as Jesus suggests, wouldn't an all-loving God refrain from creating people He is certain will end up there? If God truly doesn't want any to perish, why does He create people He is certain will do just that?" Through the Cross, God in His Grace has provided a way of escape and we can trust Him to be fair. "Openness theology" is the blasphemous musings of foolish men (Rom.1:22) who ignore God's holiness and thus misunderstand His wrath.

MARCH FOR JESUS IS NO MORE—March for Jesus organizers announced during the June march that the 13-year-old event is officially over (9/00 Charisma). MFJ was ecumenical from the start and included cultists, liberals, and charismatics (7/1/99 CC). Graham Kendrick (London) was the founder. In a final show of unity of Britain's "old" and "new," Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey walked in unity with Gerald Coates, a key leader of the "New Churches," a modern network of charismatics. Together they led 30,000 in London's MFJ.

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA) APOSTASY—The Presbyterian Church (USA) recently voted 268-254 to send the presbyteries a proposed amendment that would prohibit its ministers from conducting same-sex unions. Further, the PCUSA General Assembly refused to reduce funding to the liberal, leftist National and World Councils of Churches. It will give the NCC over $2.7 million and the WCC over $1.2 million. A pamphlet was distributed at a "Feminist Theology" PCUSA workshop calling for the use of inclusive language for describing God. [These excerpts were taken from a resolution of the 64th General Synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church (meeting in Cincinnati, Aug. 3-8) which called for PCUSA members to "separate from the rampant, virulent apostasy… and to join with a church faithful to God's Word…."]

MORE CATHOLICS AT CELEBRATE JESUS 2000—Over 5,000 of the 8,500 pre-registrants for Celebrate 2000 in St. Louis were Catholics (3/15 CC). Organizers had hoped for an even split between Catholics and non-Catholics (9/00 Charisma). Chairman of this Catholic-charismatic ecumenical event, Vinson Synan, said: "One big ecumenical gathering is not big news like it used to be." Participants put the blame on Protestants who "don't seem interested in ecumenical events." Synan said it was because St. Louis is almost 27 percent Catholic.

CATHOLICS TOLD 'SUPPORT ONLY CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT US'—Former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and President of the Catholic Alliance Raymond Flynn told a 1,000-member Catholic Order of Hiberians audience (July 3): "We (RCs) must unite and send a message to our country that the more than 62 million American Catholics intend to turn out in Nov. and support only candidates who support us." (Jul-Aug Fund. Digest) Of course, the major news media "overlooked" this item!

MATT. 18 MISUSED TO SILENCE THE EXPOSING OF PUBLIC SINS—There abounds today a subtle and hurtful effort to silence "contenders for the faith" ministries. Matt. 18:15-17, which is for a local church personal trespass, is often misused in this. In the almost 17 years of this ministry, I do not recall my motivation for reporting a brother's compromise ever being anger at him personally (in a manner where this Scripture passage applies) for his platform-sharing with new evangelicals, e.g. I have often been grieved by this, and felt it was harmful to the cause of Christ. As a Christian courtesy, he should be privately admonished (II Thes. 3:14-15) in some cases. Paul rebuked Peter publicly. As far as we know he did not "go to him" first. Those Peter were leading astray needed to hear it. Nowadays, more often than not, people do not want to be informed. We must be patient and continue to lovingly warn. But if, after being warned, a "fundamentalist" keeps pursuing a new-evangelical course, he is not a fundamentalist! We should not have to get the compromiser's permission in order to rebuke him publicly. Often he is deceiving others who need to know they are being misled. To conspire with him to keep his error secret does grave harm and permits deception to continue unexposed. Christian leaders should not be above Scriptural reproof. Public sin requires public rebuke. Pray for all faithful "contenders": for Holy Spirit discernment, wisdom, love, and courage.

PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE ERROR—Matt. 18:15-17 is often cited by compromisers as the Biblical procedure for dealing with public sins, though compromise is not the subject of this passage—local-church personal trespasses is. Jay Adams comments on this (9/1/92 CC via 4/92 BDM): "Some think that if one Christian differs with the writings or public statements of another Christian on a point of doctrine [e.g., separation], without rancor or any problem between them as persons, he is wrong for stating the differences publicly before going privately to the brother with whom he disagrees. That is a misconception. First of all, there is no unreconciled condition between them; they simply differ. Secondly, therefore, there is no matter of church discipline involved. Thirdly, even if there were a matter of discipline, the first party wrote or spoke publicly—he put it before the church or the world; he did not speak privately. For that reason it is as appropriate for the brother to write or speak as publicly as the first did in refuting what he thinks is a wrong [action, or] interpretation of the Scriptures and which, therefore, he believes may hurt the church if he doesn't."

PURITY, PEACE, INCLUSIVISM—New evangelicals in the late 1940s chose the path of infiltration of liberalism instead of separation from it as the Bible commands. But peace (with liberals) at the price of purity is too high a price to pay. Dr. Jack Murray put it this way (8/00 Voice): "[A] man who holds to the purity of the church must either actively engage in controversy to keep out any force that would destroy that purity or work for the expulsion of any false force which is already in that church. To refuse to be so engaged is to resign oneself to work within the framework of what we call the inclusive church and abandon any attempt as useless to purify the body."

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