VOL. XVIII NO. 14 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM July 15, 2001
|'GAY CHURCH' MISINTERPRETS
SCRIPTURES—A July 1 Charisma article said "openly gay-affirming
churches…have redefined certain biblical passages to teach that homosexuality
is acceptable to God." It said congregants at Joy Metropolitan Community
Church (Orlando) were "for the most part, openly gay…and have reconciled
their faith with their homosexuality." It added: "They insist that passages
in the Bible condemning homosexual behavior either don't apply today or
have been misinterpreted. They tell gay men and lesbians who visit their
church that God doesn't have a problem with their sexual behavior." A 1997
Barna poll found that 46 percent of those who had an opinion on the subject
said "Christian churches should accept gay people as church leaders."
JOHN JACOBS' POWER TEAM WEAKENS—John Jacobs began the Power Team over 20 years ago while a student at Oral Roberts U. They have since performed in charismatic and Southern Baptist churches (7/1/99 CC). Jacobs now faces an assault charge for attacking a Team member. Over a dozen Power Team members left his ministry after he divorced his wife of 16 years in May, 2000 (7/1 Charisma). He has since remarried. About 24 former colleagues have formed Team Impact. His total annual income is listed at $500,000, but he says it is about $331,000 including royalties and other income.
NEW RELIGIOUS PLURALISM—Harvard researcher Diane Eck says the U.S. has become the most religiously diverse nation in the world (6/18 Chr. News). Muslims here now number 6 million, outnumbering Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and possibly Jews. Only 25 percent of U.S. immigrants since 1965 have been Protestant. Forty-four percent are Catholic and 35 percent are Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and of other non-Christian faiths. Most illegals are Catholic and tend to vote for liberal Democrats.
NCC, HABITAT FORM NEW PARTNERSHIP—The National Council of Churches and Habitat for Humanity formally launched a new partnership May 31 (6/18 CN). NCC's Bob Edgar and HFH's Millard Fuller hope to partner NCC's Church World Service with HFH. Edgar said HFH is about more than just building houses. He said Habitat also builds a "spirit of collaboration." We would add that Habitat is also very much about promoting an ecumenical movement (12/1/94 CC), a global religion, and about money (see 1/1/97 & 9/1/97 CCs).
QUOTE FROM SBC CHIEF—"One president commits sexual sin in the Oval Office and the Christian Right is told to shut up. Another president speaks openly of his faith in God and his trust in Christ and he is told to shut up."
INTERNET PORN A PROBLEM FOR LIBRARIES—Many once-peaceful libraries have now been turned into taxpayer-funded peep shows. Clientele changed as a steady stream of new patrons—mostly male adults but also teens and young children—use library computers to access hard-core sex sites (6/16 World). Library staffers were forced to take on new duties: closing out computer screens left open to scenes of orgies and child sex, calming porn-addicted patrons who raged when all the unfiltered computer terminals were in use, and fielding questions from children about how to view pornography in the library.
TEENS ARE LED TO SEX—Cal Thomas says: "Where teens are led, they will follow. The culture is leading them – through music, music videos, TV and films – toward sexual activity. It is always presented as fun but without consequences." (7/2 Chr. News) He says the sex industry makes money off young minds and bodies, and adds: "The industry would go broke if abstinence among youth were to become a trend." Thomas praises Best Friends which promotes sexual abstinence in the public schools.
HOMOSEXUAL SERIAL KILLERS—The June 25 Christian News had an article titled "Sodomite Terrorism" which quoted from an AP article which listed the leading serial killers in the U.S. It said that research on the five leading U.S. serial killers in the AP article indicates they are all homosexuals. The AP article listed the five with the number of murders each committed, using statistics from the New York Times. Christian News added: "This does not mean that all sodomites are serial killers. It does mean that the leading serial killers are sodomites."
IBFNA CONFERENCE—The 11th Annual Conference of the Independent Baptist Fellowship of No. America at Williamsburg, VA featured good preaching, and good music by Clearwater Christian College and others. Next year's meeting is scheduled for the Cleveland, Ohio area. IBFNA officers are: Dr. Clay Nuttall (Moderator), Dr. David Reinhardt (Secretary), Rev. Jeff Bailey (Treasurer), and Rev. Paul Gustine (Editor, The Review). The June Review had good articles by: Drs. Nuttall ("What's in a Name?"), Ralph Colas ("Common Ground for Evangelicals and Catholics"), L. Duane Brown ("China: A Land Without Churches"), and E. Wayne Thompson ("The Preacher's Fire That Produced Smoke"). The Review is available from: 754 Rockhill Rd., Sellersville, PA 18960, $15/yr. E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.ibfna.org
NOTE:—A reader questioned the listing of one or two of the nine "known sponsors of terrorism" in the 7/1 CC article. We amend it to say "most of these are known sponsors…"
NAE LEADER QUITS—Kevin Mannoia, pro-charismatic president of the National Association of Evangelicals, resigned under pressure last month at an executive board meeting. Donations had dropped sharply, requiring staff layoffs. Other factors influencing his decision include: His welcoming overtures to charismatics and denominations within the liberal National Council of Churches, allowing NCC denominations to be members of both the NCC and NAE. He forged cooperative ties with the Catholic Bishops. And a major factor was the National Religious Broadcasters' recent decision to withdraw from the NAE, opposing the latter's new coziness with the NCC. Mannoia's predecessor, Don Argue, had tried to revitalize the NAE, calling it "too old, too white, and too male."
HOMOSEXUALITY MAY SPLIT DENOMINATIONS—The issue of homosexuality has dogged virtually every major liberal Protestant denomination, including the Presbyterian Church USA, the U. Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and especially the Episcopal Church (6/25 H. Times). In a defiant gesture rooted in the homosexuality battle, two "foreign" Anglican archbishops from overseas sent shock waves last month to Anglicans worldwide by elevating four conservative American priests on U.S. soil as bishops. This was unprecedented and lays the groundwork for a schism.
T.L. OSBORN AT ASBURY—Charismatic faith-healer and World Missionary Evangelist T.L. Osborn was the guest lecturer at Asbury Theological Seminary May 11. He presented a collection of his works to Asbury's library. His wife Daisy, a woman preacher, has asked, "Is God in a woman to be subordinated to God in a man?" When questioned about male church leadership she responded: "I would never permit a few words by Paul, spoken to women of an archaic epoch to limit my obedience to my Lord in my generation." (See 9/15/96 CC & 11/15/94 CC.)
TIM LAHAYE 'MOST INFLUENTIAL LEADER'—A newsletter at Wheaton College picked Tim LaHaye as the most influential evangelical leader in the U.S. the last quarter century (6/11 Chr. News). In addition to co-authoring the "Left Behind" series, he pioneered and helped popularize creationism and wrote books that set the stage for the rise of the Moral Majority, etc.
'CHARISMATICS & EVANGELICALS TOGETHER'—The July 9 Christianity Today has a full-page ad for a "Beyond All Limits" pastor's conference, Orlando, Jan. 17-19, 2002. Speakers include: Bill McCartney, Adrian Rogers, Billy Graham, Anne Graham-Lotz, Tony Evans, Rick Warren, John Maxwell, Bill Bright, Jerry Falwell, Jack Hayford, Joseph Stowell III, and Charles Stanley.
SHOWERS WON'T TEACH AT FALWELL SCHOOL—Dr. Renald Showers said he has not been asked to teach in the new Tim LaHaye School of Prophecy at Liberty University even though Jerry Falwell's May National Liberty Journal erroneously included Showers in a list of "adjunct and guest faculty." (See 5/15 CC.) Showers says he has just completed editorial work on a 200-page book which is a critique of the Pre-Wrath Rapture View.
SYSTEMATIZED SEPARATION—Since the arrival of a new Evangelicalism which repudiated the Bible doctrine of ecclesiastical separation, lines have been blurred and waters muddied, and little has been done on systematized separation. Dr. Jim Singleton writes (6/01 Whetstone): "Each Fundamentalist has become a law to himself. We splinter and our splinters have splinters. At the same time, the strength of Fundamentalism is separation, and the weakness of Fundamentalism is separation…."
BAUDER SAYS IT'S A DEBATE, NOT DIALOGUE—We were surprised last month to see the slate of speakers listed in prominent ads in Christianity Today (June 11), World (June 16) and Charisma (July) for an Oct. 2-3 conference at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School Chapel. The ad said the conference "will bring together representatives of four pivotal intersections, sectors of historic tension and controversy where conversation is helping to define evangelical identity and enrich mutual understanding." Speakers include: Joel Carpenter (Calvin College), Richard John Neuhaus (Roman Catholic priest), Richard Mouw (Pres., Fuller Seminary, Tom Oden (U. Methodist), Gabriel Fackre (Prof., Andover Newton), Timothy George (Exec. Editor, Chr. Today and Dean of Beeson), Cheryl B. Johns (Assoc. Prof., Church of God), George McKinney (COGIC bishop), Diane Knippers (IRD), Kevin Bauder (Prof., Central Baptist Seminary), John Armstrong (Reform. & Revival), and Patricia Outlaw (Assoc. Prof. of Divinity, Beeson). When I first saw the ad, I contacted Dr. Bauder expressing surprise at his inclusion as a speaker. He said he too was surprised at the ad, and went to great lengths to assure me that this was to be a defense not a dialogue, that Dr. George who contacted him had emphasized that this was not a dialogue, but a confrontation. Bauder has asked George to clarify this in future ads, and he will try. Unless this happens, even though it is not a dialogue, it will be perceived as such and confuse many. It is to be a face-to-face confrontation between Fuller Pres. Mouw and Bauder. Mouw will be given 30 minutes to summarize arguments from his book The Smell of Sawdust: What Evangelicals Can Learn from Their Fundamentalist Heritage, Bauder has 30 minutes to respond, then the audience will cross-examine them. Beeson is a member of the NAE and is linked to Samford University (SBC). Even though Bauder laudably invites counsel for future "debates" such as this, cites a few "precedents" for defending Fundamentalism in such a venue (and is well up to the task), is there not cause for caution? We would like to see this entire question openly "debated" in panel discussions and publications by Fundamentalist leaders.
THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS: Roots of Puritan, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Baptist Heritage is the title and subtitle of a new book by Dr. David Beale, Prof. of History, Bob Jones University. It explains all the strands of history that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock, and traces links from the Pilgrims to the Baptists, Presbyterians, etc.—plus much more! Dr. Beale is well-qualified to write such a volume. He regularly conducts "Mayflower Tours" to the British Isles and Holland, tracing the Old World footsteps of the Pilgrims. He has authored several books, including In Pursuit of Purity: American Fundamentalism since 1850. This new book is well-researched, has helpful footnotes, index, appendices, and pictures of religious and historic sites. To order this 296-page book, call Ambassador-Emerald, 1-800/209-8570.
FALWELL'S MENTORS & MILLION$—The following are excerpts from Dr. Jerry Falwell's message at SBC Pastor's conference last month (7/01 NLJ): "I have been blessed to have three very special mentors over these many years: Drs. Francis Schaeffer, B.R. Lakin, and John W. Rawlings….Thomas Road Baptist Church [has] 22,000 members now in a city of 65,000 population with another 100,000-plus in the surrounding counties….As I now speak, a 500,000-square-foot academic nerve center, the Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center is under construction on the Liberty University campus…." He said this $25 million edifice is being built without debt. He said Dr. Tim and Bev LaHaye gave Liberty $4.5 million, matched by another gift, toward a $9 million student center.
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