LESS LIKELY TO BE MURDERED IN BUSH COUNTY—Last election results showed profound differences and deep divisions in the U.S. electorate. Gore scored in the Northeast, West coast and Midwest urban areas (Light). The Mountain West, Southwest, South and Midwest went heavily for Bush. Gun ownership was not controversial in counties won by Bush, yet individuals are six times less likely to be murdered in a county carried by Bush.

DON'T CALL THEM 'MORMONS'—Mormons let it be known last month they no longer wanted to be referred to as “the Mormon Church,” “the Latter-day Saints Church,” or by “LDS Church.” If the name must be shortened, “the Church of Jesus Christ,” or “the Church” is acceptable, they said (3/19 USN&WR). But “Mormons,” or “Smithites,” would be more accurate titles than either of the latter two. Some see the name change as but one of a series of recent steps by the Mormonism cult to deceptively pass itself off as a Christian church.

CAN'T PROTEST BLASPHEMY OF JESUS—Temple Univ. (Phila.) officials committed honor student Michael Marcavage to a psychiatric ward for protesting a play depicting Christ as a homosexual. He had posted flyers complaining about plans to produce “Corpus Christi,” a vile play that debuted on Broadway in 1998 (WITW). Jesus can be blasphemed and depicted as a nude female, but such is not tolerated against other religion leaders. 

NEW AGE: “An alternative religious paradigm…rooted in Eastern mysticism, eclectic in its practices and beliefs, tolerant (or undiscerning, depending upon one's perspective) of nontraditional practices and beliefs, and optimistic about humanity's capacity to bring about a great evolutionary leap in consciousness.” [Per Dole & Langone, Media Spotlight] If New Age teachings are so beneficial to humanity, why haven't they improved life in countries where they originated (e.g., India)? The New Age movement has subtle and occultic implications. Its meditation differs from Christian meditation. In the former, you empty your mind (leaving it open for demonic control); in the latter you fill it with God's Word.

WORLD CRIMINAL COURT ON THE WAY?—Pres. George Bush announced that he will not send a treaty signed by Bill Clinton just prior to leaving office, that creates the world's first global criminal court, to the Senate for ratification. But he needs to officially “unsign” it (3/01 NLJ). So far, 27 countries have ratified this dangerous International Criminal Court treaty. It needs only 33 more. The ICC would give the UN the mechanism it needs to enforce global “laws” against U.S. citizens. 

DANGERS OF HATE-CRIME LAWS—A hate-crimes bill has been reintroduced in Congress. A big danger for Christians is that this will be used to stifle religious dissent in calling homosexuality a sin or choice (3/01 NLJ). Already, laws prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals have been used to bar religious leaders from quoting scripture as a basis for calling homosexuality a sin. 

PRESBYTERIANS KILL BAN ON SAME-SEX RITUALS—In a victory for Presbyterian Church (USA) liberals, a proposal to ban blessing rituals for same-sex couples was defeated last month, leaving clergy free to conduct such ceremonies so long as they are not confused with marriages.

WHY SCHOOL VIOLENCE?—At Pottsgrove (Pa.) High School, kids can't drive to school for fear that bombs might be hidden inside their cars. The school got 19 bomb threats last year and 10 so far this year. The recent school shooting in Santee, CA has again raised the “why” question. Guns are not the problem and gun control is not the solution. California has some of the nation's toughest gun control laws. More parental involvement, and less broken homes, would help. Allowing teachers to discipline would help. Rock music, raunchy movies, video games, and the Internet are major negative factors. If TV, MTV, and movies do not influence behavior, why would advertisers waste their money on commercials? Kids' attitudes are affected by a public school system that has gone awry, and education policies that forbid teaching about God. Kids are taught to create their own morality with no consideration of God or right and wrong. 

PAX CHRISTI CATHOLIC ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT—Pax Christi is the international Catholic peace movement, headquartered in Belgium. It has been linked with the Catholic “liberation theology,” “Christian Marxism” movement in Central America, etc. A Jesuit liberation theologian, and William Sloane Coffin, addressed the 1989 meeting of Pax Christi USA (9/11/89 Chr. News). Coffin, a radical left-winger, was president of SANE-Freeze (nuclear disarmament) and pastored the notorious Riverside Church in NYC. Now we see in the local 3/17 Huntsville Times a large promo article with the HT editorial page editor's wife listed as the contact for more information regarding Pax Christi's local area chapter which meets monthly at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Some might relate this to the editorial page's liberal bias!

ANGLICAN WINS $1 MILLION TEMPLETON PRIZE—Arthur Peacocke, a biochemist and Anglican priest won the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion March 8. Colson, Bright, and Graham were past winners.

WOMEN OF FAITH NEW STUDY BIBLE—Zondervan (“world's largest publisher of Bibles”) is publishing a new Women of Faith (“America's largest women's conference”) Study Bible in the NIV (“most widely read translation in the world”). This is from a promo “Fact Sheet” from Zondervan. Jean Syswerda is the general editor, with input from the Women of Faith team (Patsy Clairmont, Barbara Johnson, Marilyn Meberg, Luci Swindoll, Sheila Walsh, Thelma Wells) and other women leaders. It has almost 1700 study notes, and character sketches of 80 women of the Bible. WoF, “the most popular speaking team in America,” have performed in charismatic and Southern Baptist churches (see 1/15/96 & 3/15/97 CCs), but now require large arenas, etc. Women of Faith founder (1996) and CEO is Stephen Arterburn, co-founder of New Life Clinics which absorbed Minirth-Meier in 1984. [Note: New Life is said to be the “largest Christian provider of psychiatric and psychological services” and Arterburn's pastor is Rick Warren! -- 2/9/98 CT] WoF is often compared to the all-male Promise Keepers. But “rather than atonement or admonishments, it uses an entertaining and feel-good approach to promote joy and self-affirmation.” (1/22/99 USA Today). Women of Faith has a global outreach through the new-evangelical World Vision. We do not recommend the WoF ministry nor the Study Bible.

STANLEY'S HANDBOOK FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING—Charles Stanley's Handbook for Christian Living was released by Thomas Nelson Publishers at the Feb. NRB convention. The 515-page book was originally published in 1996, with the title, The Glorious Journey. The cover has a large picture of Stanley who pastors a megachurch in Atlanta. He is a former president of the SBC, and a speaker on the popular “In Touch” radio ministry. At Stanley's recent divorce, Charles Colson, who himself has been divorced and remarried, said Stanley should be removed from the ministry (RPDigest via 3/5 Chr. News). Stanley had promised to resign if a divorce became final.

LESLIE WEATHERHEAD,METHODIST MODERNIST—Leslie Weatherhead, author and past president of the Methodist Church in England, toward the end of his life wrote a final book expressing the view that Jesus was perhaps a spirit reincarnated many times. A 3/5 Christian News article stated: “These views reflected his disastrous drift into the occult. Epworth refused to publish it….” Weatherhead in a sermon entitled “Is Christianity the Only Way to God?” said: “To my mind Christianity is certainly not the only way to God.” This contradicts John 14:6. He was “agnostic” toward other vital doctrines. Yet Billy Graham permitted this apostate to participate in his London Crusade forty years or so ago. 

COLAS REPORTS—American Council of Christian Churches Executive Secretary Dr. Ralph G. Colas has attended with press credentials the following major conferences over the past year. Current incisive reports on these are available from the ACCC, P.O. Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Conferences include: World Council of Churches (Geneva & Germany), Urbana 2000, NRB, and NAE. It is vital that Fundamentalists stay abreast of trends and decisions arising from these key organizations. The reports are made available on a freewill offering basis, but please be aware that the travel, printing, and postage costs are enormous! The CC editor knows of no other source, however, for first-hand, on-the-scene, in-depth reports on all of the above. With the deepening apostasy, insidious new-evangelical compromises, and creeping apathy, it is imperative that discerning Fundamentalists stay warned and informed concerning the men and movements of our day. 

GARBC LINKED WITH NEW EVANGELICALS—The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches is once again linked with new evangelicals, in teen leadership and Bible conferences. Its 3/01 Baptist Bulletin reported on the Dec. 27-29 24th Annual Northwest Teen Leadership Conference at the Young Life Camp of Wildhorse Canyon in central Oregon. It stated: “Young Life Camp was originally the location of a 1980s cult known as the Rajneeshees. But God had greater plans; today the camp represents our Lord Jesus Christ! The 64,000-acre facility has the barren yet beautiful and familiar look of the land walked by our Lord Jesus." This goes beyond the mere use of a facility, to promotion of a new-evangelical ministry! The listed speaker was John Ruhlman, Jr., “who serves as pastor of High School Ministries at Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, CA.” This is David Jeremiah's church (see 2/1/99 CC for his n-e associations). Although Cornerstone University opted not to join the GARBC's Partnering network, the GARBC's Michigan State Youth Teen Bible Conference meets on Cornerstone's campus (3/29-31) and features Larnelle Harris. The latter “funky gospel/CCM/rock” singer has performed for PTL, 700 Club, Billy Graham, NRB '96, Promise Keepers, SBC churches, and a benefit concert for a Seventh-day Adventist college radio station. It is sad to see the GARBC capitulating to new evangelicalism while seemingly unaware it is happening. 

YOUNG LIFE was founded about 1940 by Jim Rayburn. It is comprised of non-denominational Christian clubs within schools that meet for discussion and socializing. It has worked closely with liberal denomination leaders and, e.g., Catholic Youth Services. Its theological approach is “friendship evangelism,” working outside the church “because it reaches teens who [mostly] do not attend services or do so only because of parental insistence.” Liberal Fuller Seminary professor Paul King Jewett listed himself as the Dean of the Young Life Institute (Lindsell's Battle for the Bible, p121). Colorado Springs-based Young Life draws over 30,000 teens each summer to its 19 national camps. It was recently donated a huge ranch in Oregon now valued at $20 million (11/15/99 CT) formerly owned by the late Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

DALLAS SEMINARY HAS NEW PRESIDENT—For only the fourth time in 76 years, the helm of Dallas Seminary—second largest inter-denominational seminary in the world—changes hands in May. Chuck Swindoll steps up to chancellor and former provost and v-p for academic affairs, Mark L. Bailey assumes the presidency. 

BIGNESS IS NO SIGN OF BLESSING—One of the basic unwritten premises of new evangelicalism is that bigness is a sign of blessing and compromise is a growth strategy. But the strategy of sacrificing principle on the altar of growth is not a divine directive but a Satanic strategy. It is folly to try to use compromise as a growth strategy. The differential advantage of fundamentalism is in being different from the crowd. [John E. Ashbrook]

WCC DILEMMA: PROSELYTIZE, OR DIALOGUE?—Taking up the topic of proselytism when he met with the faculty of the Roman Catholic National Seminary, and with Protestant students in Sri Lanka, World Council of Churches gen. secretary Konrad Raiser said: "We must admit that Christianity historically has been a proselytizing faith, trying to make converts of 'heathens.' We now have a deeper understanding of other religions, but we have an inner ambiguity: on the one hand proclaiming the uniqueness of Christ and, on the other, wishing for a true dialogue." (3/19 WCC e-mail) The Christian's duty and privilege is to proclaim the gospel, not to dialogue.

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