WHY AREN'T ASTROLOGERS RICH?—Something's wrong. If astrologers, palm readers, and fortune tellers could foretell the future they could make a killing in the stock market, winning the lottery, etc. But instead, most of them live in rundown shanties, trailer courts, etc. (4/01 VITW). Their fakery is revealed. They're not millionaires for a similar reason that the many “faith healers” can't go to hospitals and send all the patients home healed.

COLORADO GOV. SIGNS FAITH HEALING BILL—Colorado Gov. Bill Owens April 16 signed into law a bill which makes faith healing a crime, under the state's child abuse law, when used in place of medicine for a child in danger of dying (4/23 Religion Today). The law was prompted by the illness of Amanda Bates, 13, who died Feb. 5 of complications from untreated diabetes. Her parents, members of General Assembly Church of the First Born, did not believe in medical treatment for their daughter. Since 1974, 13 children of parents in religious sects have died in Colorado from lack of medical care.

NEW AGE, HINDUISM, & YOGA—The 3/23 Vanguard states: “So-called New Age thought is for the most part a recycling of Hinduism [basically pantheistic] plus magic and occult ideas and practices in a way acceptable in the West. The use of drugs, especially the so-called harmless drugs like marijuana, is a way in to the altered state of consciousness, which opens the mind up to the Hindu way of looking at life. Yoga and Hindu meditation have now become mainstream, often offered in church halls, with no understanding that 'there is no yoga without Hinduism and no Hinduism without yoga' (a Hindu saying)….”

HATE CRIME LAWS VIOLATE FREEDOM OF THOUGHT AND BELIEF—From a religious standpoint, it is frightful to think of the government's penalizing certain beliefs. Such a practice can potentially criminalize any religious teaching that is not politically correct. For example, the freedom to so much as quote Bible passages that call homosexual behavior an abomination to God cannot stand long in a society laced with hate crime laws protecting homosexual behavior. (4/01 Baptist Bulletin

NAVY BIASED AGAINST CHARISMATICS?—When charismatics join the U.S. Navy, there is no way for them to register their religious preference. That and numerous other complaints have sparked four lawsuits charging the Navy with religious discrimination (5/01 Charisma). Thirteen charismatics and Pentecostals are among the 27 plaintiffs in the suits. Also at issue is the Navy's chaplaincy system, which plaintiffs say is unfairly tilted toward Catholics and members of mainline denominations. 

ALCOHOL: THE 'MOST DAMAGING SUBSTANCE IN SOCIETY'—The director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism calls alcohol “the most widespread and damaging substance we have in society.” The May 7 U.S. News has an 8-page article showing, among other things, how alcohol alters brain chemistry. New science uses new imaging techniques and shows how alcohol can rewire the circuitry of the brain, eroding its ability to feel pleasure and act wisely, and replacing it with a locus for intense craving and destructive behavior. The article terms alcoholism a disease [the Bible calls it sin, drunkenness] that interferes with home life, work, interpersonal relationships, and eventually with health.” It says “excessive drinking can ruin lives through betrayal, broken promises, lost jobs, car accidents, and a host of other personal tragedies.” Bingers can suffer impaired concentration, slowed reflexes, disrupted sleep and high blood pressure. “For active alcoholics, drinking trumps reason. It distorts judgment. It severs the connection between behavior and consequence. It lays waste to marriages, friendships, and careers. It leaves children stranded.” Some 14 million people in the U.S. are alcoholics or abuse alcohol. Moderate drinking is not an option for a true alcoholic. Be warned, be wise, beware!

CCM GROWING IN POPULARITY—John Styll, president of Nashville-based CCM Communications and chairman-elect of the Gospel Music Association notes that contemporary Christian music is having a huge impact on the church and is the only category in the Grammy nomination process defined by lyrical content (4/26/01 Ala. Baptist). While there are many styles of CCM, contemporary/pop is the most popular, but the “praise and worship” category is quickly growing. Styll says CCM has made the worship experience more relevant… to a new generation but “the danger is, contemporary music is very performance-oriented. The line between worship and entertainment can very easily get blurred.” 

NEW AIDS CZAR IS OPEN HOMOSEXUAL—Scott Evertz has been appointed to head the president's Office on National AIDS Policy. He is “the first ever openly gay GOP appointee, and the first homosexual AIDS czar….” (4/21 World) This has drawn fire from conservatives. Dr. James Dobson says: “This appointment sends a disturbing message that the problem of AIDS can be resolved without dealing with the (rampant) promiscuity of many in the homosexuality life….” (5/01 NLJ) Evertz has called the Boy Scout policy of banning openly homosexual leaders “absurd.” He has urged black ministers to stop describing homosexuality as a sin. How long will our president try to please both “gay” activists and pro-family conservatives?

CONFESSIONS OF A CHARISMATIC—Lee Grady is the editor of Charisma, the main charismatic magazine. He had this to say in the May issue: “We charismatics have been blessed with a season of spiritual refreshing during the last seven years….We soaked in the anointing. We saturated ourselves in the glory. We saw heavenly gold dust on the pews, felt oil running from our hands or smelled the fragrance of the Lord. We fell to the floor, overcome by His power. We trembled, shook, shouted and danced as we celebrated our own personal Pentecost….” He could have said “we have brayed like donkeys, barked like dogs,” etc. (see 6/15/97 CC). He continued: “Many of us are addicted to the charismatic euphoria of yesterday, not realizing that God has moved on….It's time to get off the floor. How many more doses of the anointing do we need before we will go out into the harvest where the Lord is waiting to demonstrate His power?” That last question (change “anointing” to “sermons”) should challenge fundamental Christians to see that it is “high time to awake out of sleep” (Rom. 13:11) and get busy about the task of world evangelism and world missions. 

KUNG WANTS TERM LIMITS FOR POPE—Hans Kung, a prominent theologian and a frequent critic of the Vatican, has proposed term limits or a mandatory retirement age for popes (C.E.C. Journal News, 4/24/01). He said it was “unbearable” that the church is currently headed by someone "not fully present from a psychic or physical point of view.” Pope John Paul II, 80, suffers from Parkinson's disease and has undergone several operations that have reduced his mobility. The Vatican has acknowledged he has been slowed physically but deny it has affected his mind. Most popes have served until their death. Kung, a modernist globalist whose mandate to teach as a Catholic theologian was withdrawn by the Vatican years ago, thinks the next pope will be Italian. 

AWANA IS CHANGING AGAIN—Awana recently sent a letter from its president to churches who currently use Awana. The biggest changes are in the doctrinal statement where it has reverted back to its weaker original statement and dropped the stronger recent one. It claims it is going back to its roots, but this is really a step toward further compromise. A Kansas pastor wrote the following, in a recent long discourse with an Awana official: “….I will not argue with you about Awana's glorious history and how God has used it….My problem is with the deceit of chartering American Baptist Churches [member of apostate NCC/WCC] despite the clear statements prohibiting it, and now the removing of key parts of the doctrinal statement that clearly speak against false doctrine and trends such as the charismatic movement, and the policy change. Its statement formerly said churches who used Awana were not to be 'affiliated with' the NCC/WCC at all. Then they weakened it to 'not be supportive of.'” Now this more recent change is to drop the policy on this completely, and opens the door for charismatic/Pentecostal and liberal churches. The Awana official, in an e-mail to the Kansas pastor, noted specifically that the Assemblies of God and all American Baptist Churches now would be free to use Awana. The Kansas pastor adds: “In this latest change, Awana has dropped its policy of selecting churches completely. All you have to do now is say you agree to teach the materials as they are given.” He said Awana's philosophy, and that of many other organizations and churches that formerly stood for the truth, is to downplay doctrine so that more people can be reached for the gospel. The Bible clearly condemns that philosophy [“end justifies the means”]. In recent years both the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship and the American Council of Christian Churches have had strong resolutions warning of Awana's compromise. 

MORMONS MAKE CONVERTS FROM BAPTISTS—Mormons claim that they have more converts from Baptists than from anybody else (4/16 Christian News). SBC's Paige Patterson says it could be partially true because “we have not taught our people the truths of the Word of God. If we had, they wouldn't be sitting ducks out there on the pond for every 'ism' that comes along.” 

MORE EVIDENCE OF NEW TRIBES COMPROMISE?—We reported in the 5/15/98 CC that three couples with New Tribes Mission (Panama) were Southern Baptists. We now read in the Mar.-Apr. Fundamentalist Digest that missionaries associated with NTM were guest speakers March 5 at the United Methodist Church in Wolfsville, MD. The FD editor said NTM has “departed from its Fundamentalist moorings and is New Evangelical in orientation and practice.” We have long warned of this (e.g., 10/15/96 CC). Many supporting fundamental churches apparently still trust NTM's statement on separation.

FALWELL ANNOUNCES 'TIM LAHAYE SCHOOL OF PROPHECY'—In the May National Liberty Journal, Dr. Jerry Falwell wrote: “Dr. John Borek, president of Liberty University, and I are pleased to announce the formation of the Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy…to be unveiled in January.” Dr. LaHaye, co-author of the popular Left Behind series of novels, will be president and Dr. Ed Hindson will serve as dean. Adjunct and guest faculty includes Drs. John Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost, Thomas Ice, Robert Gromacki, Renald Showers, Earl Radmacher, and John Ankerberg. Falwell is to speak June 10 at the SBC Pastors Conference. He says: “I firmly believe that the New Testament church is poised—with the SBC in the vanguard—for spiritual awakening across America and unprecedented world evangelization.” 

ECUMENICALS CELEBRATE ARMENIA—Leaders from America's Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox communities will gather at Washington's National Catholic Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, May 30, for an ecumenical prayer service marking the 1700th anniversary of Armenia's becoming the world's first Christian nation in 301 (NCC 4/24 e-mail). Main speakers are National Council of Churches Pres. Andrew Young, and Cardinal William H. Keeler. 

'JESUS FIRST' WANTS WOMEN PASTORS IN LCMS—A Christian News (4/23) headline reads: “Jesus First: An Umbrella Group Open for LCMS [Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod] Liberals, Uninformed Conservatives, Supporters of the Ordination of Women Pastors, Evolutionists, Charismatics, Church Growthers—Supporting Kieschnick for President—Diekelmann for First Vice-Pres.” The drive for women pastors is said to be gaining momentum in the LCMS, as its July convention in St. Louis nears. The names of 661 LCMS members who support Jesus First are listed in the 4/23 CN.

SOME EVANGELICALS WEAK ON HOMOSEXUALITY—Ralph Blair in the Spring 2001 issue of the pro-homosexual Evangelicals Concerned Review, had these questions for the authors of a new IVP book: “Is that why an Old Testament scholar and president of The Evangelical Theological Society conceded that there is nothing in the Old Testament that corresponds to homosexuality as we understand it today? Is that why a leading evangelical theologian conceded that, for purely historical reasons, we can't turn to the New Testament for specific data on homosexuality today?…” We might dismiss this as pro-homosexual propaganda except for the evident compromise of ETS on this subject in recent years past. (For more on this, see 1/1/96 & 1/15/99 CCs). 

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