VOL. XVIII NO. 1 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM January 1, 2001
|FRANCE: FRUIT OF ATHEISM—The France
of today, with its 60 million
people, is steeped in the thinking of its historical philosophers such
as Voltaire and Sartre. God is not part of the national consciousness.
A French pastor said: “Our country's biggest problem is that we have
all references of God out of our nation. We have a generation of people
who have never heard about God.” (1/01 Charisma)
and alcoholism are rampant: 40,000 French youth attempt suicide each
10 percent of adults take antidepressants; and 4 million French are
Meanwhile, French authorities are trying to pass a law that would, in
make it illegal to share one's faith, labeling this as “mental
of the public.” Tragically, our nation seems to be headed in this same
DEVIANCE REWARDED—Since homosexual college student Matthew Shepherd was beaten to death in Oct. 1998, scholarships for homosexuals and their allies have proliferated across the country. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are now available for “self-identified” homosexuals or supporters (12/16 World). At least one mainline NCC/WCC church sponsors a scholarship for homosexuals. This year the United Church of Christ will bestow the first William R. Johnson Scholarships, awards named for the first openly homosexual minister ordained in the U.S. These “church” awards will go to homosexual and transgender seminary students planning on full-time ministry. This is clearly another case where deviance pays in a special way and thus discriminates against “self-identified” adulterers and moral “straights.”
RAP DEPRAVITY—Rap music, filled with obscenity-laced chants from the mean streets about drug deals, murder, prostitution, and crime, surpassed country music last year as the biggest-selling genre after rock 'n' roll. But it is not just poor African-American children who are buying rap. White, affluent, privileged children from the suburbs have become one of rap's biggest audiences (1/6 World). Rap's biggest star to date is an angry white male, Marshal Mathers, who goes by the name of Eminem. His raps about murdering his wife and raping his mother take the form to new lows of depravity.
ALPHA BUILDS BRIDGES—The Alpha course was pioneered by charismatic Anglican pastor Nicky Gumbel at Holy Trinity in Brompton, London, and is now used worldwide as an ecumenical tool to bring change and build bridges between cultures and churches (1/01 Charisma). Gumbel says: “The extraordinary thing is that we have seen a coming together now. The Catholic Church, Anglican churches and Pentecostal churches are running Alpha…”
CHINA REVEALING ITS RED COLOR—China is demolishing hundreds of underground Christian churches and temples. Chinese newspapers have reported a crackdown on unauthorized worship in the coastal city of Wenzhou, an area isolated from government control. Over 1,000 temples, churches, and ancestral halls in the area have been shut down since Nov., and many were demolished (12/14 Religion Today). China says it allows religious freedom, but it restricts religious practice. Congregations must be sanctioned by the government, and those that are not, are often accused of defrauding or abusing followers. Several unapproved sects, cults, and underground religious groups have prospered as Communist ideology loses its appeal. The heavy-handed actions come less than a month after China agreed to resume human rights talks with the U.S. A Dec. 11 Christian News article said: “There is only one legal church in China and that is the Communist-created and controlled Communist church, the Three-Self Church.”
LIEBERMAN EXCOMMUNICATED—A NY Orthodox Jewish court has excommunicated V-P candidate Joseph Lieberman, finding him guilty of misrepresenting or falsifying to the American people Torah teachings against partial-birth infanticide, special privileges and preferential treatment for flaunting homosexuals, and against religious intermarriage of Jews (11/4 World). Lieberman praised inclusive “civil religion” at Notre Dame, Oct. 24, and quoted from the Koran, Torah, and New Testament.
OPEN LESBIAN A CHAPEL SPEAKER AT GORDON—An openly-lesbian minister was one of several speakers at a “Who Is My Neighbor” (alluding to Good Samaritan parable) chapel service at new-evangelical Gordon College last April. Some in the Gordon family welcomed her inclusion, others were outraged, per the pro-homosexual Evangelicals Concerned Fall 2000 Record. The administration apologized. The president and provost met with the symposium planners “who deeply regret their error in judgment.” But pro-homosexual EC founder Ralph Blair had spoken there in the past, and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society.
EYE SURGERY—Some have asked about editor's eye problem. I had gone for a routine eye exam in early Nov. and the Dr. discovered a fluid and pressure problem called "narrow-angle glaucoma.” The laser surgery was to relieve pressure and seems to be successful. This was not supposed to help my vision, but was a precautionary procedure to reduce pressure and prevent future pressure problems. I also needed a prescription change which I now have. Thank you for your concern, and for praying.
POPE SAYS UNBELIEVERS SAVED IF LIVE A GOOD LIFE—Pope John Paul II (Dec. 6) said all who live a just life will be saved even if they do not believe in Jesus Christ and the Roman Catholic Church. He said, “The gospel teaches us that those who live in accordance with the Beatitudes—the poor in spirit, the pure of heart, those who bear lovingly the sufferings of life—will enter God's kingdom.” (12/18 Chr. News) He said Heaven is open to all as long as they are good. This contradicts that Jesus is the only way to heaven (John 14:6) and is a false gospel.
DOBSON & COLSON MEET WITH THE POPE—Evangelical leaders James Dobson and Chuck Colson took part in a conference at the Vatican Nov. 27-29. They joined business executives, Catholic politicians, lawyers, and scholars discussing family issues. Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, and Colson of Prison Fellowship, also had a brief meeting with the pope. "Part of the thing is to get over the hump of knowing each other," said Robert Sirico, a Catholic priest who is Pres. of the Acton Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Grand Rapids. Dobson said he has theological differences with the Catholic Church, but "when it comes to the family, there is far more agreement than disagreement, and with regard to moral issues from abortion to premarital sex, safe-sex ideology, and homosexuality, I find more in common with Catholics than with some of my evangelical brothers and sisters." (12/13 Religion Today)
ANOTHER CHURCH LEAVES GARBC—Dr. Tom Wolfe, Pastor, South Park Baptist Church (Crown Point, IN) writes that his church withdrew from the GARBC and its related associations on Sunday December 3. He said: “The vote was 97.4% for disassociation. Our reason for this is the change in the GARBC over the last 20 years or so, and the resultant downgrade in position and practice. We are very glad to be free for fellowship where there is mutual desire and agreement based on the faith and practice of the Holy Scriptures.” In recent years we have reported several churches separating from the GARBC citing, among other things, compromise and inclusivism trends. The American Council of Christian Churches at its Oct. meeting in Toronto voted unanimously to remove the GARBC from the list of Constituent Bodies of the ACCC. It is sad in our day to see a once-great fellowship such as the GARBC defect from its original strong stand and succumb to New Evangelicalism.
JEWISH LEADERS SAY CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT CONVERT JEWS—Citing improved relations between Christians and Jews, a group of Jewish scholars issued a statement of common ground between the two faiths. It acknowledges that modern Christians are not to blame for the Nazi Holocaust, but says Christians should respect Jewish beliefs and not attempt to convert Jews to Christianity (12/7 Ala. Baptist). The document asserts that Christians and Jews worship the same God and seek authority from the same book. This is only true of Jews who convert to Christianity, since Judaism rejects the Christian New Testament and the triune God of the Bible.
NO SEPARATION WITHOUT PERSECUTION—Dr. Tom Malone writes: “The Bible demands separation. I have felt a particular burden upon my heart in recent days to say more about this than I have said in all the years of my ministry. There is a necessity for God's people to be known as God's people, talking as God's people, acting as God's people, dressing as God's people, thinking as God's people. I believe that the Bible sets up a standard and demands that a Christian meet that standard, if he is to be a good Christian. But he cannot do it without persecution.” (Sword of the Lord,Fund. Digest)
HEARTLAND FRIENDS WITHDRAW FROM BBFI—A group of Baptist Bible Fellowship, Int'l pastors met in Cleveland, Ohio Nov. 13-14 and decided to disengage Heartland Baptist Bible College from its BBFI-approved status and to start a new national fellowship. Dr. Bruce Turner is the moderator and Sam Davison is the college president. Davison cited a drift in direction of the BBFI with regard to issues of ecclesiastical separation, personal separation, music, the King James Version, and the whole philosophy of evangelism and ministry. BBF Tribune editor Mike Randall said, “This action means a four-year controversy within the BBFI has ended.” (12/22 Sword of the Lord) Jerry Falwell, and the KJV, have long been major divisive factors in the cleavage within the BBFI.
ROMANIA'S DOREL POPA—We received the following e-mail from Dr. Kevin Bauder last month: “Dorel Popa is the pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Arad, Romania. He is also now the mayor of Arad. He has been used on several fundamental Baptist platforms in the U.S., and is sometimes regarded as the leader of Baptist fundamentalism in Romania.” Bauder attached one of Popa's ads when he was running for mayor. Since we could not read the Romanian, we contacted our missionary to Romania, Dan Sehested, for help. The ad reveals that Popa is the candidate for (though not a member of) the PDSR, the “moderate” wing of the old communist party in Romania. This is the socialist party of Romania's President Ion Iliescu, “a veteran communist” (12/27/89 USA Today) from pre-revolution days. The ad shows that Popa commits himself to give half of his mayoral salary to the Romanian Orthodox Church (a branch of apostate Eastern Orthodoxy) to build a new cathedral. Only days before former communist dictator Ceausescu was executed (12/89), the then Orthodox patriarch sent him a telegram of support (2/24/90 World). Since Popa has raised money in America for an apostate Orthodox cathedral, and Sehested says he misrepresents himself to U.S. fundamentalists, we thought it would be helpful to inform those who may be unaware of all of this. Bauder opines that “Dorel Popa looks to be the Billy Graham of Romania.”
SDA'S PROPHETESS ELLEN WHITE—Seventh-Day Adventists believe their prophetess Ellen G. White's visions were “divine revelations.” She claimed to have had over 2,000 of them. There was a major scandal among Adventists in the 1970s when researchers published documented proof that at least part of her vision accounts were really stolen from other authors. Yet most of Adventism—Sabbath-keeping, dietary asceticism, soul sleep, and much else—rests squarely on the belief that her visions and doctrines came directly from God. But if her writings are fraudulent, the whole structure collapses. (Doug Kutilek, 12/00 Frontline). World Evangelical Fellowship, of which the NAE is a member, plans to dialogue with the SDA cult in September! (12/4 C. News)
A WATCHDOG GROUP?—The Bible commands every believer to “watch thou in all things.” This then results in discerning the error and compromise flooding the world today and warning unsuspecting believers of such things as Christian psychology, ecumenical evangelism, or compromising church growth programs. A watchful, discerning servant of Christ will also be one who warns—always! A faithful testimony will be marked by watchfulness and warnings and be a ministry that practices Biblical separation from error and from those who embrace it (12/00 Foundation). We must be alert “watchdogs” (not as those blind, sleeping, ignorant, dumb dogs that cannot bark of Isa. 56:10's day), and expose error and lovingly warn believers who are deceived by it.
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