VOL. XVIII  NO. 3    NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM    February 1, 2001

STILL THINK HARRY POTTER IS HARMLESS?—Some evangelicals have commended Harry Potter, who “fights evil with spells and flying brooms,” as harmless fantasy. But in Britain, The Pagan Society claims it gets over 100 calls a month from children wanting to become witches (12/00 CEFTF). Dt. 18:9-13 forbids as “detestable to the Lord” any involvement in witchcraft, sorcery, omens, spells, spiritism, and calling up the dead. The Harry Potter series is but the next step to desensitize and manipulate kids to accept the occult as harmless ecstasy. 

THE JESSE JACKSON SCANDAL—The “Rev.” Jesse Jackson joins the list of sex scandals spanning both sides of the political aisle—and Pres. Clinton. He was forced to admit he fathered a child with an aide who wrote a 1997 book, Beyond the Boundaries: Reverend Jesse Jackson and International Affairs. Jackson has repudiated historic Christianity, and his Christ is not the Christ of the Bible (see 10/1/85 & 3/1/95 CCs). Yet he spoke at a worship service in Jerry Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church, Sept. 1, 1985. He has a long record of extortion, racism, and collaboration with terrorists and communists. 

DERSHOWITZ CANCELS FROM NRB DEBATE—We reported (12/15 CC) that Alan Dershowitz was to be a speaker at the Feb. 10-13 National Religious Broadcasters convention in Dallas. We later received a FAX from the NRB stating that Lanny Davis (former special counsel to Pres. Clinton) would be in that slot in a public policy debate on: “Has religious speech been targeted for discrimination?” In response to our query, NRB said: “Dershowitz was invited, but unable to come. So, yes, Davis will be in that slot.” We had hoped that the NRB had canceled Harvard Prof. Dershowitz because of his disgraceful statements aired on C-Span Dec. 22 from a 9/27 debate with Alan Keyes. Rev. Eddie Carnes in the 1/15 Christian News termed his remarks as “the most vicious attack on Christians and their faith.” Dershowitz said: “I will continue to be a skeptic all the rest of my life,” and that he doesn't think homosexuality is wrong.

LETTY RUSSELL & FEMINIST THEOLOGY—Yale Divinity School's pioneer feminist theologian Letty Russell is retiring, and the radical feminist movement is charting new courses. She said “My theology is liberation theology [Marxist!] with a feminist perspective.” A Christian News editorial observed: “In other words, an anti-Christian 'social gospel' is at the center of 'feminist theology,' NOT Jesus Christ.” Over the past 25 years, feminist theology had wider mainstream acceptance and a broader impact. Today, at Yale Divinity School women make up 48 percent of the students and 30 percent of the faculty. 

POPE AWARDED CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL—House Speaker Dennis Hastert presented Pope John Paul II with the Congressional Gold Medal last month, and praised the Catholic pontiff for delivering “a message of love and truth” to the world (1/15 Chr. News). Hastert led a delegation of about a dozen members of the Senate and House to award the Pope. Last year Congress gave the Medal to Cardinal John O'Connor. Catholics have been the largest religious bloc in Congress since 1964.

GUN LAWS ARE NO PROTECTION—The statistics are in and gun control doesn't work. Gun laws have never been an effective way to reduce violence (2/01 National Liberty Journal). The reverse may be true. Mass shootings, rapes and assaults are less likely in states that have issued a large number of concealed weapon permits. 

GOD, YES – JESUS, NO!—On television, you don't use the name “Jesus.” “God” you can use. On Touched by an Angel, they never refer to Jesus, only God….It's sad that you can talk about Satan, you can talk about Hitler, but when you start talking about our Lord and Savior, it's taboo (2/01 Frontline). Various religions accept “God,” but reject “Jesus.” Some cults accept Jesus as “a son of God” but not God the Son, as the Bible presents Him. Jesus said (Jn. 5:23), “He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father who hath sent him.” Alcoholics Anonymous teaches belief in a generic god (“as I understand him”) while prohibiting discussion of Jesus Christ. 

RAVES & ECSTASY—Raves, large all-night dance parties, are fueled by music and dancing but also are associated with dangerous drugs. Ecstasy is the staple at raves and produces a trance-like euphoric state that all but defines rave culture. It has scary, extremely dangerous, and sometimes fatal side-effects. A drug- and alcohol-free group in Toronto (Willowdale Baptist Church, e.g.) is seeking to use raves for evangelism and to take dance music back and “use it for Jesus.” 

FAMILY RADIO, HAROLD CAMPING, BAPTISM—The Family Radio Network (Oakland, CA) has been offering a book, Baptism: The Washing Away of Our Sins, by Harold Camping who achieved notoriety in 1994 with his false prophecy books. He writes in Baptism…. “There appears to be plenty of evidence that water baptism must be experienced as part of the salvation process.” He states, regarding immersion: “When we search the Bible carefully, we find nothing that speaks of immersion. Nor do we find any examples of believers being immersed (10/00 Bapt. Bulletin). Camping goes on to say sprinkling is the New Testament mode of water baptism.

CEDARVILLE FEATURED BEGG, CYMBALA—The Cedarville University Web site listed Alistair Begg and Jim Cymbala as January speakers. Begg has spoken there before, and also in conferences featuring ecumenicals such as Franklin Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, Tony Evans, Kay Arthur, and Greg Laurie (6/15/99 CC). He has been scheduled for Gordon-Conwell Seminary and the Billy Graham Training Center (9/15/99, 3/15/00 CCs). Jim Cymbala is pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle whose huge choir is led by his wife. Despite the fact that he is identified as a charismatic, he was featured by Jerry Falwell and last year at Moody Bible Institute (9/15/99 CC). His new book is favorably reviewed in the Feb. Charisma. Cedarville was an “approved agency” of the GARBC until last June when the GARBC changed its “Approval” system to a “Partnering network” of which Cedarville became a “partner.” Cedarville sadly seems much like its GARBC cousin “partner,” ABWE, in that its new-evangelical associations and practices are at odds with its fundamentalist statement of faith. 

JOHN HAGEE LINKED WITH HINN, ROBERTS, CHARISMATICs—Popular author and speaker John Hagee is pastor of the large charismatic Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. He has an honorary degree from Oral Roberts University and is on the Executive Committee for ORU's International Charismatic Bible Ministries Conference, June 19-21, which features Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, and other charismatics as speakers (2/01 Charisma). He was an NRB '98 speaker, and has spoken at Hinn and Roberts meetings (see 8/15/00 CC). He preaches against the moral sins of our day, but is solidly linked to the charismatic movement. 

LCMS PRES. SAYS ELCA NO LONGER LUTHERAN—Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod President Dr. A.L. Barry writes thusly concerning the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1/15 Christian News): “Since ELCA today has now given up what the Bible teaches about Holy Communion, supports abortion and homosexuality, has more than a thousand women pastors, and is taking no action against those in ELCA who deny the virgin birth, deity and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it can no longer be considered a Lutheran Church in any confessional and true sense of the term.”

MORE CHARISMATIC GOLD DUST—A charismatic sculptor who created an acclaimed statue of Christ washing Peter's feet has been embroiled in controversy over the appearance of gold dust during his latest project, The Coming King, a 9-foot statue of Jesus on a white horse. While sculpting the horse's hoof in wax (10/99) sculptor Max Greiner said it turned to gold in his hands, and that golden particles also covered his skin and his clothing (2/01 Charisma). Texas A&M University tests showed it wasn't gold, but was unusual. Be alert that signs and lying wonders will increase near the end of the age. 

SEPARATION NOT GRACIOUS BUT MAY BE RIGHT—A pastor friend sent us this note from W. F. Adeny's commentary on Neh. 13:25: “When he heard the hated sounds, Nehemiah simply lost his temper. With a curse on his lips he rushed at the fathers, striking them and tearing their hair. It was the rage of bitter disappointment, but behind it lay the grim set purpose in holding to which with dogged tenacity Ezra and Nehemiah saved Judaism from extinction. Separation is never gracious; yet it may be right. The reformer is not generally of a mild temperament. We may regret his harshness, but we should remember that the world has only seen one perfect meek…'Lamb of God' who could be also named 'the Lion of the tribe of Judah.'” 

'NO AUTHORITY TO REMOVE LIBERALS' FROM LCMS CLERGY ROSTER?—The 1/8 Christian News had these words: “The 2001 Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's clergy roster shows that almost all the theological liberals, religious unionists, evolutionists, pro-abortionists, charismatics and pastors with unscriptural divorces who were on the LCMS clergy roster when [Dr. Ralph] Bohlmann was first elected in 1981 are still on the 1999 clergy roster of the LCMS….Conservatives have said that, while top officials often talk and write like confessional Lutherans, they refuse to practice orthodoxy when they allow liberals to remain on the LCMS clergy roster. Officials say they have no authority to remove liberals.” Baptists and others have the similar problem of ignored orthodox doctrinal statements and unorthodox practices.

ANOTHER NEW 'CHRISTIAN' UNITY GROUP—Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox leaders met Jan. 5 at Princeton University to form a new “Christian” unity group. They plan a two-week conference in 2004. The group calls itself the Foundation for a Conference on Faith and Order in No. America. It is unusual because it includes Catholics, evangelicals, mainline Protestants, Pentecostals, and Orthodox Christians (1/10 RT). Among the board's 16 members are Catholic archbishop William Keeler, Greek Orthodox archbishop Dimitrios, Fuller Seminary president Richard Mouw, Church of God Seminary prof. Cheryl Johns, and Princeton Seminary president Thomas Gillespie. A Canadian nun is treasurer.

NEW EVANGELICISM: THE GREAT POLLUTER—Paul warned in Acts 20 of an attack on believers from outside their ranks, but in verse 30 pointed to a more insidious danger from within: “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Rev. John Ashbrook (11-12/00 OBF Visitor) writes: “The great polluting force attacking fundamentalism today is new evangelicalism—an attack from the inside….There is ecumenical evangelism uniting believer and unbeliever. There is the blending of charismatic and non-charismatic. There is the proposed union of Protestant with Roman Catholic. There is the mega-church and seeker sensitive movement. There is the psychological approach to the Gospel. There is the contemporary Christian music movement. There is the attack on the literalness of heaven and hell. There is the open view of God. This whole sad scene came from the rising of men within fundamentalism speaking perverse things and drawing away disciples. …We make a fatal mistake when we think we can be friends with new evangelicalism, read its books, attend its conferences, listen to its speakers, and not be drawn into its perversity….”

READERS COMMENT ON 'LEFT BEHIND' VIDEO—“The foundational premise of the Left Behind series is unscriptural. Believers who were 'left behind,' supposedly had heard the gospel before the Rapture and then got saved after all the chaos….But the Apostle Paul said (II Thes. 2) that won't happen. He said God would send a strong delusion '…that they all might be damned who believed not the truth…' So, those 'left behind' won't be given a second chance to hear the gospel.” (Rich Woods). “My own belief is that the Rapture will be explained as a UFO kidnap, since it will correspond with an open manifestation of demonic power…” (Gary Turnbull). Other developments: The 1/13 World said co-author Tim LaHaye is disappointed with the movie. It lacks the big screen impact he envisioned, and was a year late. He has sued claiming breach of contract. His spokesman said the issue is not money but communication of a strong Christian message. The book publisher is slowing the pace. The next in the series won't be released until Oct. 30.

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