COLSON AT ECUMENICAL DAY OF PRAYER—For the May 3 National Day of Prayer, Chairman Shirley Dobson encouraged all people of faith to “set aside their differences….” Billy Graham served as honorary chairman and wrote a special prayer for the occasion. Speakers included Michael Smith and Dean Jones. Chuck Colson was the keynote speaker, and said: “At the end of our lives, we too must kneel before the cross and ask Jesus, 'Did I live a life worthy of the sacrifice you made for me?'” (5/4 Religion Today) No one is ever, nor could be, worthy of the sacrifice Christ made for sinners.

PURGATORY REJECTS CHRIST'S CROSS WORK—Purgatory is said to be under the jurisdiction of the pope, who has the power and authority to transfer merit from an invisible treasury to those who are being purged in purgatory (Proclaiming the Gospel). This transfer of merit is done by indulgences and is said to shorten the time of suffering. The Catholic Church defines an indulgence as the means of remitting the temporal punishment for sin. But God's word clearly refutes this (Psalm 49:7-8).

FAITH-BASED CHARITABLE CHOICE—John DiIulio heads the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. A Roman Catholic, he praises Catholic Charities which receives about 2/3 of its funding from government and has become “just another government contractor.” (3/31 World) But the NAE and other new-evangelicals have endorsed the “charitable choice” faith-based program. But recipients will not be allowed to discriminate in hiring. So influence and pressure follows the funds. Could a church refuse to hire a homosexual drug counselor? Weird religious groups could qualify in some cases.

ILLEGAL ALIENS BAD FOR OUR COUNTRY—With one million crossings a day, the U.S.-Mexico border is the world's busiest. An estimated six million illegals are today costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars per year for education, health care, food stamps and public housing (2/22 Wisc. Report). Most of today's immigrants are poor and unskilled. The 12/12/94 U.S. News said we should replace our present policy which discriminates against Europeans, and admit more people with high skills and education (1/1/95 CC). Roman Catholic prelates have often called for a Catholic majority in the U.S. and boasted that one day they would accomplish this “by the stork and immigration” (1/1/86 CC). Most illegals, by far, are Catholic and tend to vote for liberal Democrats. The Pope has called for more [RC] babies and for capitalist “have” nations to feed RC socialist “have not” countries. It seems Catholicism and socialism often cause poverty, while Christianity and freedom produce prosperity.

HOMOSEXUALS CAN CHANGE IF THEY WANT TO—An explosive new study led by Columbia University psychiatry professor Dr. Robert L. Spitzer said some homosexuals can turn straight if they really want to. Mental health groups dispute this. Homosexual-rights activists insist they are born with a "gay gene" or some uncontrollable element that leads to homosexuality. But homosexuality (and adultery) is a sinful behavioral choice. Homosexuals and adulterers can be saved and delivered just like other sinners. Dr. Spitzer said: "Like most psychiatrists I thought that homosexual behavior could only be resisted and that no one could really change their sexual orientation." He added: "I now believe that to be false. Some people can and do change."

SELF-ESTEEM, NEA, SCHOOL VIOLENCE—Years ago, in an international study of 13-year-olds all taking the same math test, Koreans came in first, Americans last. A question asked was, “Are you good in math?' Only 23 percent of Koreans said “yes,” while 68 percent of Americans said “yes.” Aren't we proud of our proud kids! Much of the blame for our public schools lies with the National Education Association. It supports abortion on demand, school health clinics, and the aggressive agenda of the “gay-rights” movement (5/5 World letter). Americans have raised their kids in a culture of death and told them it's OK to kill their unwanted babies. Why the shock when they kill each other? (4/21 World letter)

JUBILEE CAMPAIGN TO CANCEL POOR DEBT—The total foreign debt of the 41 poorest nations is over $207 billion. This does not include the over $3.25 trillion debt of middle-income countries such as Mexico and Brazil (5/21 Chr. Today). The Jubilee 2000 movement has convinced the “rich” nations of the world to write down the debt of impoverished nations. The World Council of Churches, Catholics, and other liberals have pressured the G-7 nations to forgive much of the debt. Some aid in the past has gone to third world dictators who rob their people blind and have borrowed heavily to finance Marxist revolutions (3/1/00 CC). The U.S. is the largest contributing member of the IMF at 60 percent of funds.

AFRICA RICH BUT POOR—Even with 30 percent of the world's minerals, Africa is considered the poorest of all the continents (Jan-Mar Baptist World). Africa staggers under a debt burden of over $200 billion. Jubilee 2000 (supported by the Baptist World Alliance), without economic reform, help in replacing corrupt leaders, and evangelization of this spiritually “dark continent,” seems rather futile. AIDS has reached epidemic proportions in Africa, leaving death and orphaned children in its wake.

FALWELL'S CHURCH A MEMBER OF SBC FOR 'SEVERAL YEARS'—Dr. Jerry Falwell is slated to speak June 10 at the Southern Baptist Pastors Conference in New Orleans, in conjunction with the SBC's annual meeting. In promoting the SBC, he writes (5/01 NLJ): “Several years ago, my Thomas Road Baptist Church joined the Southern Baptist Convention. Liberty University became an officially-approved SBC university two years ago…. [I]t is a great delight to fellowship with America's largest Protestant denomination….The SBC is presently engaged in the most formidable global evangelistic effort in the New Testament era.” An official press release from Falwell's office (10/24/96) was carefully worded but clearly implied they were not joining the SBC (8/7/98 Sword of the Lord). Yet at the June 1998 SBC meeting, he and ten messengers from his church were there and voted. It is misleading for Falwell to say that “All six SBC seminaries are now led and taught by biblical inerrantists” when dozens of SBC schools are still led by liberals (see 5/1 CC book review). And he apparently can overlook the SBC's membership in, and major support of, the apostate Baptist World Alliance which held it General Council meeting in Cuba last year (see 9/15/00 CC), and seemed to have been used by Castro for propaganda purposes.

NAE GIVES UP THE FIGHT AGAINST LIBERAL NCC—The National Association of Evangelicals, formed largely in response to the liberal National Council of Churches, was in reality at its inception, a neutralist body. In a recent capitulation it altered its policy and allows a denomination to be a member of both the NAE and the NCC. NAE president Kevin Mannoia says a new day has now arrived, and calls for defining itself in terms of what we are “for.” (5/21 Chr. Today) He says: “To continue defining ourselves in opposition to the liberal groups not only validates their importance but ties our identity to a dying cause.” And, “Now is not the time to fight secondary battles with a diminishing adversary [e.g., NCC].” If fighting liberals is only a “secondary” battle, what is a primary one? Or, “Is there no longer a cause?”

LIBERAL LUTHERAN A FORMER V-P OF FULLER?—Dr. David Luecke was a supporter of the liberal professors at Concordia Seminary years ago who were found guilty of false doctrine. He is now a member of the “Jesus First” (see 5/15 CC) steering committee. He was a former V-P of Fuller Seminary, a seminary which ordains women, supports the charismatic movement and no longer affirms the inerrancy of the Bible (4/30 C. News). Fuller is modernistic, ecumenical and charismatic (11/15/99 CC).

IBFNA CONFERENCE—The 11th Annual Conference of the Independent Baptist Fellowship of No. America is set for Williamsburg (VA) Hospitality House, June 19-21. Speakers include: Pastor Laurence Brown (NH), PARBC State Rep. Paul Connor, Pastor Dan Davey (Va. Beach), Dr. Duane Brown (Fla.), Dr. Kevin Bauder (MN), Dr. Robert Delnay (Fla.), Rev. Jack Keep (Va.), Pastor Bob Payne (MI), and Pastor David Reinhardt (CT). Dr. Clay Nuttall is Moderator. For information call: 215/536-9200.

FBF CONFERENCE—The 81st National Meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship is set for First Baptist Church of Troy, MI. Speakers include: Drs. Les Ollila (Pres. Northland), David Doran (Pres. Detroit Bapt. Sem.), Wayne VanGelderen (Pres. Baptist College of Ministry), Chuck Phelps (NH pastor), Rolland McCune (Prof. DBTS), Mike Harding (Host pastor), John Vaughn (Exec. V-P of FBF), Jim VanGelderen (Minutemen Min. evangelist), Mark Minnick (SC pastor), and Rod Bell (Pres. FBF). Workshop speakers include Dr. William Combs and Tim Fisher. For more info call 864/322-0700.

POPE URGES NEW EFFORT AGAINST 'SECTS' [CHARISMATICS] IN LATIN AMERICA—Pope John Paul II, alluding to Pentecostalism and other groups, called religious sects a serious problem in predominantly RC Latin America and urged bishops there to re-evangelize their flocks (5/21 CT). Pentecostals have been attracting large numbers of Catholic converts in recent years and the 289 million Catholics in Latin America make up almost a third of the 1 billion Catholics worldwide. The number of “evangelicals” in Latin America has grown from 50,000 in 1900 to about 64 million in 1997—about three-fourths of whom are Pentecostal or charismatic.

GRAHAM'S AFFINITY WITH CATHOLICISM—Dr. Billy Graham wrote the foreword in the book, John Paul II, A Tribute, and has often praised the Pope. Dave Hunt comments (5/01 Berean Call): “Anyone, Catholic or Protestant, recognizes that by commending the Pope and Roman Catholicism as the true faith…Billy Graham has implicitly renounced the Protestant Reformation. His embrace of Catholicism implies that the Catholic bishops were actually in biblical agreement with their victims and preached the same gospel as evangelicals preach today. Yet they anathematized and burned Protestants and Rome honors them for having done so….If Graham is right that the Roman Catholic Church preaches the true gospel that saves souls, all the Reformers were wrong….Take your pick: either Graham is right or the Reformers were, but not both of them. Furthermore, if Catholicism is the true gospel, then what must be said of the hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics who have been convinced over the last 500 years that Rome's gospel is false, who have believed the true gospel and left the Roman Catholic Church? If Graham is right, they are absolute fools. They should have stayed in the Catholic Church—which is exactly where Graham sends all Roman Catholics who come forward at his crusades….”

THE OPENNESS DEBATE AGAINChristianity Today for 5/21 carried a 7-page dialogue between John Sanders and Christopher Hall on Openness Theology. (See 9/1 & 3/15 CCs) This view holds that God's knowledge of future events is not exhaustive, and He is often surprised at our “free-will” actions. Sanders says God has “flexible strategies” and has “chosen not to control every detail” of our lives. But the Bible teaches that God's knowledge is incomparable and he knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:9-10). “[God's] certain knowledge of our choices did not cause them to be made; rather our making those choices caused God to possess that prior knowledge.” (Dr. Myron Houghton, 5/01 Baptist Bulletin)

SPURGEON ON SEPARATION—Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. ** It is our solemn conviction that where there can be no real spiritual communion there should be no pretense of fellowship. Fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin. ** As soon as I saw, or thought I saw, that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate, but quitted the body at once. Since then my counsel has been “Come out from among them.” I have felt that no protest could be equal to that of distinct separation from known evil. ** That I might not stultify my testimony I have cut myself clear of those who err from the faith, and even from those who associate with them. ** Cost what it may to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone our liberty but our duty.

NEXT CC MAY BE LATE due mostly to trips to Pa., Miss., Ark., Mich., and Va. in June and late May. Please pray for safety in travel—whether flying or driving.

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