GERM WARFARE BY TERRORISTS—China, India, Pakistan, N. Korea, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Yugoslavia, and Cuba are among countries that want to acquire, or may already have secret stocks of smallpox virus specimens. These known sponsors of terrorism want to build a biological weapons program (6/2 World). The potency of the smallpox virus (can infect victims 30 feet away) makes it an instant and widespread killer. A suicide germ-warfare terrorist could carry the disease onto a plane or into a sports arena and infect thousands within a day.

HYPNOSIS: MEDICAL, SCIENTIFIC, OR OCCULTIST?—This is the title of a new book by Martin & Deidre Bobgan. They say hypnotism is potentially dangerous at its best and demonic at its worst. And: “At its worst, it opens an individual to psychic experiences and satanic possession. When mediums go into hypnotic trances and contact the ‘dead,’ when clairvoyants reveal information which they could not possibly know, when fortunetellers through self-hypnosis reveal the future, Satan is at work. Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness and the shamanic state of consciousness. Satan transforms himself into an angel of light whenever necessary to accomplish his schemes. If he can make an occult practice (hypnotism) look beneficial through a false facade (medicine or science), he will. It is obvious that hypnosis is lethal if used for evil purposes [and] is potentially lethal for whatever purposes it is used. The moment one surrenders himself to the doorway of the occult, even in the halls of science and medicine, he is vulnerable to the powers of darkness.” This 144-page book is available at the special price of $9.00 from PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries, 4137 Primavera Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93110 (800/216-4696).

EVANGELICALS’ EXCUSE FOR NOT OPPOSING ERROR—“The explanation often given by evangelicals for the lack of confrontation with error is that a harsh militancy has done more harm than good. As Christians, it is said, we do not want to be party to the kind of strident controversy which has too often marred the faith. Dr. Billy Graham has often blamed ‘fundamentalists’ for this fault. But the fact that what the New Testament says on love has been ignored is no reason why its injunctions against error should not be obeyed. That some have followed these injunctions in a contentious spirit is no excuse for others not to follow them at all. A biblical contending against error is fully consistent with love, indeed it is love for the souls of men which requires it. The command to contend for the faith is not abrogated because some have failed to speak the truth in love.” [Evangelicals Divided, Iain Murray. Dr. Fred Moritz has a review of this book. E-mail him at: FredJMoritz@cs.com]

BUDDHIST OCCULTISM—After Billy Graham and the Pope, the Dalai Lama is probably the world’s most recognized religious figure. He is called the “god-king” of Tibet and is Buddhism’s guru. Buddhism says there is no God or Supreme Creator. Tibetans emphasize contact with spirit mediums (6/11 CT). The Dalai Lama regularly consults with the Nechung Oracle, said to be a spirit deity who takes over the body of a chosen Tibetan Buddhist.

IS HOLLAND WHERE WE’RE HEADED?—Full nudity is common on Dutch television after 9 p.m. Pornographic movies are found on television during weekends. Hard drugs are consumed openly in so-called “coffee houses.” Homosexual marriage is legal in Holland. Euthanasia was recently made legal. Abortion is yawned at (6/01 Focus on the Family). Divorce is accepted as normal by 60 percent of Dutch. Supermarket racks feature magazine covers with photos of nude women—in open view. Shocking also is the high incidence of incest. At the root of all this moral decay is a declining belief in God.

POPE ENTRUSTS ‘WHOLE CHURCH’ TO MARY—On June 3, Pope John Paul II entrusted "the whole Church" to the intercession of Mary and "placed in her hands the expectations of peace and justice of the world." He called her the "queen of heaven." The pope commended the Mariolatry of the late Pope John XXIII, observing that Mary took that pope "by the hand and accompanied him" on his earthly journey. Pope John Paul II concluded with these words: "…let us deepen our relation with the Mother of Christ and Tabernacle of the Holy Spirit and, inspired by new fervor, let us invoke her with confidence." This is the same pope who has been praised by evangelical leaders such as Billy Graham, Jack Van Impe, Bill Bright, and Chuck Colson. [Friday Church News Notes, June 15, 2001 (David W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, fbns@wayoflife.org)]

ELCA PUBLISHES BOOK BY DOROTHEE SOELLE—The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s Fortress Press recently published The Silent Cry – Mysticism and Resistance by Dorothee Soelle. Christian News has quoted her from an earlier book at considerable length to show that she repudiates historic Christianity and is a theological atheist (6/4 CN). Soelle also defends Marxism.

OPPOSE HUMAN CLONING—A half dozen companies are now cloning various animals. The science of cloning human embryos is now relatively straightforward (6/16 World). Science is in a realm of danger in this. Human cloning is not just “playing God” but trying to be Him.

F. GRAHAM SPEAKS AT LIBERTY GRADUATION—Dr. Franklin Graham, CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and president of Samaritan’s Purse, was the commencement speaker for Liberty University’s 1,507 graduates. He awarded degrees to his son and daughter-in-law (6/01 Nat’l Lib. Journal). LU chancellor Jerry Falwell and president John Borek led the processional. Billy Graham was LU’s 1997 speaker.

LAHAYES GIVE $4.5 MILLION TO LIBERTY U.—Popular author and pastor-theologian Tim LaHaye and his wife Beverly, founder of Concerned Women for America and a member of the Liberty University Board of Trustees, made a dramatic $4.5 million donation to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Dr. Tim LaHaye was the Baccalaureate speaker May 11. The funds will match an earlier $4.5 million commitment for constructing a $9 million Tim & Beverly LaHaye Student Center on the LU campus (6/01 Nat’l Lib. Journal). LaHaye no doubt came into big bucks from being co-author of Left Behind. A new Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy is set to open Jan. 1, 2002 at Liberty with LaHaye serving as president.

SBC CHURCH PLANS JOINT WORSHIP WITH JEWISH SYNAGOGUE—Over the Memorial Day weekend Southside Baptist Church (So. Baptist) in Birmingham opened its doors to members of the oldest Jewish congregation in the city, Temple Emanu-El. Rabbi Jonathan Miller’s congregation will use Southside’s facilities and sanctuary during the 14-month remodeling of their synagogue (6/7 Ala. Baptist). Southside pastor Steven Jones said Jesus commanded us to “love our neighbor.” Miller said: “We plan to work together for social action and social justice … and hold joint adult education programs to teach and broaden our perspectives on faith and religious life.” Jones said future joint worship services are planned. He said: “Through this time of sharing we expect to get better acquainted with our respective faith traditions but more than that we hope to tear down some of the walls that exists between Christians and Jews and to dispel some of the fears.” But we are not to “tear down the walls” separating Christians and Christ rejecters. But Jesus has already “broken down the middle wall of partition” between those Jews and Gentiles who accept his sacrifice on the Cross (Eph. 2:14).

BOOKSTORES PULL THE GOD CHASERS—Some Southern Baptist and Assemblies of God stores have yanked Tommy Tenney’s popular The God Chasers off their shelves because of doctrinal disputes (6/01 Charisma). Tenney says the decision stemmed from his unwillingness to forsake his United Pentecostal Church [“Oneness”] roots. One LifeWay (SBC) manager listed some problems: 1) Tenney’s description of the Bible as “old letters.” 2) A statement in the book that “a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument….” 3) Tenney’s belief in “presence evangelism.”

BE HOLY WHILE WE PRACTICE SEPARATION—Careful biblical interpretation puts man-centered reason to flight. The Scriptures clearly teach that we are to shun evil in our personal lives. Ecclesiastical separation in the Bible teaches that we are to keep a spiritual distance from apostates, infidels, modernists and liberals. It also teaches holiness, purity and separation from disobedient brethren. Those, who have chosen compromise, despise the holiness of God at this point. They desire to limit God’s holiness to separation from apostates, leaving fellowship with disobedient brethren as their own prerogative. For this prerogative they have a man-made defense that includes unbiblical terms, such as secondary separation. [IBFNA Moderator, Dr. Clay Nuttall, 5/01 The Review]

FBF RESOLUTION CONCERNING AWANA—“Having passed resolutions in the past regarding our concern for the direction of AWANA and having appealed for relief from the compromised position of having to join an association with disobedient brethren in order to use the AWANA materials, the FBF recognizes [AWANA’s] effort to resolve this problem by ending the requirement for membership and charter fees to purchase materials. We are concerned, however, that although under the new arrangement, local churches will be able to purchase the materials without placing their ministries under the aegis of the AWANA organization, this accommodation of independent local churches will likely increase the misuse of orthodox materials by those who misrepresent their ministries as agreeing with the doctrinal position represented in AWANA publications. While there is increased recognition from AWANA of the autonomy of the local church, there is now decreased accountability from AWANA to local churches in maintaining doctrinal purity. We call on AWANA to guard against any deviation from orthodoxy and accommodation to the charismatic movement, and National Council of Churches in particular. We further call on fundamental churches to separate themselves from any AWANA related camps, youth activities, Bible quizzing, and ‘Olympics’ that put them into direct religious union with neo-evangelicals and other forms of compromise.”

BIG SEVERANCE PACKAGE TO NCC’S FORMER LEADER—Drowning in red ink, the National Council of Churches gave a cushy “severance” package of $95,000 to former leader Joan Brown Campbell who retired in 1999 and had a hand in the NCC’s financial decline. She is blamed for much of the disarray. NCC sources say the full amount of her generous “severance” package was $200,000, including $15,000 for moving (6/15 World). Bob Edgar, the now NCC general secretary (president is Andy Young), blames income shortfalls on: (1) Failure of member denominations to support the NCC adequately. (2) Withdrawal of U.S. government funding of an NCC recruiting program for AmeriCorps. (3) Reluctance of foundations to entrust grants to the NCC, given its fiscal track record. NCC leaders hope for a more broadly redefined future and to interest Catholic bishops, the Salvation Army, and some NAE member denominations in pursuing ecumenical talks and projects. But for now, further belt-tightening and staffing cuts are underway.

PRESBYTERIANS RECOMMEND LIFTING BAN ON HOMOSEXUAL CLERGY—The main policy-making body of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted June 15 to recommend lifting a ban on ordaining homosexual clergy (6/16 H. Times). It still must be ratified by a majority of presbyteries over the next year. The PCUSA elected liberal former Fuller Seminary professor Jack Rogers as moderator (6/12 Atl. Jrnl-Cons.). He rejects the historicity of the Genesis account of creation and defends, or at least leaves room for, modalism (6/10/85 Christian News).

SBC SPEAKERS & RESOLUTIONS—Dr. Jerry Falwell spoke in the opening session of this year’s SBC Pastors’ Conference in New Orleans. The SBC main meeting closed June 13 with a speech by Dr. James Dobson. Southern Baptists issued declarations against: Euthanasia, divorce, human cloning, Internet pornography, “gay rights,” and genocide in Sudan. They voted to support a federal lawsuit accusing the Navy of discriminating against chaplains of evangelical faiths, and asked members to give more to fight world hunger. They called for rejection of any form of campaign finance reform that would include restrictions on political speech, and expressed support for “covenant marriages.” Attendance was said to be near 10,000.

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