CHRISTIANITY ALMOST CRUSHED IN BRITAIN—Christianity has almost been vanquished in Britain. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, told a gathering of priests last month that Christ was being replaced by music, New Age beliefs, the environmental movement, the occult and the free-market economy. The Cardinal, leader of 4.1 million Catholics in England and Wales, said people were seeking transient happiness in alcohol, drugs, pornography and recreational sex (9/6 The Times). He spoke of the damage and shame to his church by the scandal of pedophile priests. Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. George Carey last year said a "tacit atheism" prevails in Britain and "concentration on the here-and-now renders a thought of eternity irrelevant."

MORMONS TRY TO APPEAR CHRISTIAN—Mormons are increasingly emphasizing Jesus and de-emphasizing their founder Joseph Smith. Their rhetoric is becoming more overtly evangelical. But their God is married, is a finite being, and their Heavenly Mother" produces spirit children in a "pre-existence." Thus they teach that Jesus and Lucifer were spirit brothers. This deceptive false cult teaches a "works" salvation. They teach a different Jesus, and a different gospel. We and they have the same vocabulary but use different dictionaries. We must speak the truth in love and try to win them to the true Christ, but must not compromise the true Gospel in the process.

'MOTHER' TERESA HAD EXORCISM?—Archbishop of Calcutta Henry D'Souza said last month that Catholic nun "Mother" Teresa had an exorcism performed on her while in the hospital in 1997, but he said this would not affect her candidacy for sainthood (9/7 Religion Today). The 9/15 Huntsville Times had this bizarre account of thoughts that this "nun headed for sainthood" wrote in 1959-60: "Now, Jesus, I go the wrong way….They say people in hell suffer eternal pain because of loss of God. In my soul, I feel just the terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing….Jesus, please forgive the blasphemy…that darkness that surrounds me on all sides. I can't lift my soul to God: No light…." [See also 10/1/97 CC]

A LIBERAL ADMITS HELMS WAS RIGHT ABOUT CLOSING NEAL.A. Times writer Crispin Sartwell says Sen. Jesse Helms was almost always wrong but that he was right about wanting to close down the National Endowment for the Arts (9/5 HT). Of smut artists who complain and cry "censorship," Sartwell says: "I may have an obligation not to shut you up when you say things that disturb me, but I don't have an obligation to pay you to do it." Taxpayers have the right not to fund filth.

U.S. WIDOWS FARE BETTER—American feminists take note! A branch of Muslims believe women do not have souls (9/8 World). And in a Hindu Rite of Sati, the widow is burned alongside her dead husband (lest she reap the bad Karma to be born a woman again in her next reincarnation). In Zimbabwe, a widow is not allowed to inherit from her dead husband. In Swaziland, widows are the poorest of the poor. In Nigeria, a widow may not work for a year after her husband's death, to prove that she has not killed him. [A disclaimer applies for this article!]

TERRORISM IN AMERICA—Islam is a complicated religion. The word means "submission." We have recently witnessed havoc wreaked by certain radicals of this group. Make no mistake, these terrorists hate our values and seek to destroy America, calling us the "Great Satan." Today, they have the will, but not the power, to do this. Today we have the power to destroy terrorist networks, but may not for long have the sustained will to do it. Watch our media's reaction if we shoot down a hijacked plane with civilians on board headed for the White House or other prime target. Former Israeli leader Netanyahu in a 9/13 interview said the terrorist groups, if bin Laden is killed, have other "bin Ladens" waiting in the wings to replace him. He said children are taught at an early age to aspire to be martyrs ("suicide bombers"), and promised special rewards in heaven. The response to all this is different between personal and national enemies. As individual Christians, we must pray for our leaders, and love our enemies, leaving vengeance to God with these. But where are we told to love God's enemies? In fact, the opposite may be sometimes sanctioned (2 Chr. 19:2, Psa. 139:21, e.g.). As a nation, our government is right (Rom. 13:1-4) to protect our citizens from terrorists (self-defense), and a duty to provide for the common defense of its freedom-loving people. Christians are not to fear any calamity the future holds, for we have a Blessed Hope of Christ's any-moment return. The Bible teaches that there will be an end time one-world church/government, but it will be headed by the Antichrist. Things may worsen to the point that world leaders, may soon be glad to turn the reins of government over to a world "super man" ruler, be it via the UN, New World Order, or other such. Luke 21:25 speaks of a time when nations will be "distressed, with perplexity…" (The Greek word is "aporia," for "no way out".) Even David Gergen in a 9/24 USN&WR editorial, said: "Instead of retreating from international leadership—as we have been doing—we must embrace it." Likewise a world church, composed of false religions (Catholicism, apostate Protestantism, pagans, cults, etc.) is in the making. God in His grace has given us another wake up call to witness to a lost world.

ECUMENICAL IDOLATRY—A diverse religious crowd of worshippers united in songs and prayers to various gods in remembrance of terrorist victims last month at a local Catholic church. They heard words of comfort from a Catholic priest, Protestant ministers, a Hindu, an Islamic imam, a Jewish rabbi, and a Baha'i lay leader (9/17 Huntsville Times). There is only one true God, the Triune God of the Bible. Other gods are idols and "an idol is nothing" (1Cor. 8:4), it doesn't exist (Isa. 43:10, 44:8). The Christian's God is a holy and jealous God (Ex.34:14, Josh. 24:19) and will not share his glory with the pagan and false gods of Muslims, Hindus, Baha'is, Judaism and Romanism.

CBF A MENAGERIE OF DISGRUNTLED BAPTISTS?—That is how the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship seems to see itself today, according to a 9/01 Baptist Banner writer. He writes, of the recent CBF Atlanta General Assembly: "In one room, you'll find radical feminists worshipping 'Mother God' and talking about how hard it is to call God 'Father' or 'Lord.' In another room, the dean of a CBF partner school joins with a Jewish rabbi to argue that Jews don't need faith in Christ to be saved. Walk to the next room and you'll find the head of another CBF partner school arguing that Baptists shouldn't try to 'convert' Jews, Muslims and Hindus since non-Christians can 'experience the divine' without Jesus. And, don't pray in 'Jesus name' in mixed company." The CBF is a breakaway, denomination-like group, the former SBC "moderates," but are increasingly being seen as liberals.

MCCARTNEY SAYS CATHOLICS 'LEGITIMATE'—Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney considers the Roman Catholic Church "a legitimate Christian church." Following is an excerpt from a phone interview with Richard Scheinin of Knight Ridder News Service: Question by Scheinin: What parts of your Catholic upbringing do you hold onto? Answer by McCartney: I know many Catholics love God with all their heart. I have genuine respect for anyone who truly has given their life to Christ. We read about Mother Teresa and her heart and what a wonderful example she was. Q. Do you see yourself as having been "converted" from Catholicism? A. I had a born-again experience at age 33. And as a result…I found a church to fellowship in where I felt I was being fed properly. I don't say that as a reflection on Catholicism. But once I was born again, I got an evangelical spirit. Q. Do you consider the Catholic Church to be a legitimate Christian church? A. Of course. (9/15 Daily Oklahoman). David Cloud comments: "Thus it is obvious that McCartney does not believe Rome preaches a false gospel. He considers Mother Teresa a genuine Christian even though she was committed to Rome's sacramental faith-works gospel, she prayed to Mary, and worshipped the mass wafer. (See 'Was Mother Teresa a True Christian' in the Fundamental Bapt. CD-ROM Library.) McCartney's position is contradictory and untenable. He claims to have accepted an evangelical gospel even while continuing to hold to Rome's false gospel. This is impossible. You cannot believe in the truth and in lies, too. You cannot worship God and idols. You cannot believe in a true gospel and a false gospel. This demonstrates the incredible confusion that is created by the positive-only, judge-nothing ecumenical philosophy! In light of this confusion about the very gospel itself, it is sad that even many independent Baptist churches have affiliated with Promise Keepers. An example is Jerry Falwell, who joined the So. Baptist Convention a few years ago but also still claims an affiliation with the Baptist Bible Fellowship. Over 10,000 men congregated at his Liberty University for a Promise Keepers rally in March 1995." (For more on this see 'The Roman Catholic Promise Keepers Connection' in the Promise Keepers section of the End Times Apostasy Database at Way of Life web site: http://www.wayoflife.org Fund. Bapt. Infor. Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061)

GARBC & PARTNERS NEWS—The General Association of Regular Baptists a year or two ago, switched from an "Approval" system for schools and agencies, to a "partnering" or network system. One such "partner" is Cedarville University which will host the 2002 GARBC Annual Meeting. CU is also co-sponsoring a "Youth ALIVE BLOWOUT" CCM/rock concert Nov. 3 featuring Solomon's Wish and Watermark. Meanwhile another GARBC partner, Baptist Bible College (Clark-Summit) at its Bible conference a year or so ago scheduled Drs. Wendell Kempton (ABWE), Bill Rudd (promoted a Promise Keepers conference), Don McCall, etc., as speakers. And a recent BBC Teen Leadership Conference where "rocky and repetitive…charismatic music" was used and Darrell Evans' (attended ORU and is part of the Vineyard movement) music was used and endorsed. Five new (and nine "mission status"—a first for listing this new category) churches joined the GARBC this year, but its Baptist Bulletin report omitted mention that many more than that were dropped or withdrew. The only resolutions we saw listed in the BB report under the "Resolutions passed" heading was one thanking children's workers and one on "Challenge for Partnering." The latter is a popular, "positive" GARBC emphasis, but where are the old passe "defending the faith" warnings? It is sad to see the inroads new evangelicalism is making.

LIBERATION THEOLOGY LEADER DIES—Robert McAfee Brown, a Presbyterian theologian who bridged tensions between Protestants and Catholics and became a best-known advocate of the [Marxist] liberation theology movement, died last month. He was a theological liberal who rejected historic Christianity. He protested the Vietnam War in the 1960s, and co-founded the leftist Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam group.

ACCC MEETING SET FOR LANCASTER—The 60th Annual Meeting of the American Council of Christian Churches is scheduled for Oct. 23-25, at Lancaster, Pa. Host pastor is Rev. Jack Hilton. Conference theme is: "Contending for the Faith." Speakers include: Drs. Bob Jones III, John Stormer, George Youstra, John Ashbrook, Frank McClelland, Ron Cooke, Mark Franklin, Douglas Ardis, and Allen Griffith. The World Council of Biblical Churches Executive Committee will also meet in conjunction with this conference. Panel: "Update on Current Religious Scene." Get a brochure from ACCC, POB 5455, Bethlehem, Pa. 18015, E-mail accc@juno.com

ALFRED SMITH IN GLORY—Alfred Smith was called home August 8 at age 84. Often called the dean of Gospel music, he was an authority on it, as a soloist, song leader, recording artist, publisher and lecturer. A graduate of Moody and Wheaton, he was a classmate and gospel teammate with Billy Graham at the latter. In 1941 he published his first "Singspiration" chorus book. Songs he wrote include: "For God So Loved the World," "Surely Goodness and Mercy," "My Father Planned it All," and "His Banner Over Me is Love." He was concerned about the recent-years drift of God-honoring Christian music. Surviving him are his wife Nancy, 3 sons, and 3 daughters.

CHINESE FUNDAMENTALISTS MEET—The Int'l Conference of Chinese Fundamentalist Christians held their first meeting Sept. 5-7 at the Hamilton Square Baptist Church (Pastor, David Innes), San Francisco. This historic meeting was organized by Dr. Christian Wei and other leading Chinese fundamentalists over the world. Fourteen pastors and other Christian leaders addressed over 20 timely topics. The meeting's heartbeat was reaching the over one billion people of China with the gospel. Next year's conference will be at Singapore.

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