PAIN OF DIVORCE REMAINS—Families torn apart by divorce are called “broken homes” for good reason. Nearly everything breaks—emotions, relationships, security, and possibly even a child's potential (Family Voice). Divorce has life-long repercussions for children. About half of all those born in the U.S. this year will see their parents divorce before they reach 18. Divorce, once a last resort, by the late 1900s became viewed as a liberating, even creative experience, a means of “finding oneself.” Women's standard of living after divorce drops 27 percent. Men's increases. Years ago it was exaggerated as 42 percent but a more realistic figure is 10 percent. Divorced men are three times more likely to commit suicide than married men. Divorce predisposes teens to earlier sexual activity and out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

COULD THE BIBLE BE HATE LITERATURE?—This question is asked by Pastor Perry Rockwood in a protest message against the recent ruling of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, regarding an advertisement quoting four Bible passages on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. The ruling states: “These verses can objectively be seen as exposing homosexuals to hatred or ridicule.” Question: If Lev. 20:13 and Rom. 1:26-28 are hate literature, how much of the Bible, if any, remains legal to print? In a June ruling, the commission ordered both the newspaper and the Christian who had the ad to pay $1,500 to three homosexual activists for publishing an advertisement with the references to the four biblical verses condemning homosexuality (7/23 Christian News).

VON BRAUN: CREATIONIST, OR EVOLUTIONIST?—Dr. Wernher von Braun, director of the Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, Ala.) during the 1960s Apollo “man to the moon” program, is referred to as the father of the U.S. rocket and space program. He attended a local Lutheran church, and often affirmed his belief in God as the Creator. He said: “The Old Testament grippingly documents how Yahweh, the only and almighty God, was the beginning of everything. He was not only the creator of the world and of man, but also the sole maker of laws from the very beginning.” But, he also said: “I believe…religion, like science, is evolutionary, growing and changing in the light of further revelations from God.” We would conclude from this and other statements that he was a “progressive creationist” or “theistic evolutionist,” but if a scientific genius can believe a Creator exists, why can't an atheist? [Note: This editor worked for NASA and under (“way” under!) Dr. von Braun in the 1960s and has a copy of the manuscript of a speech he made at a Governor's Prayer Breakfast in Denver, April 1, 1969, the source of the above quotes.]

FRANCE CONSIDERS EVANGELICAL CHURCHES CULTS—A French law that cracks down on religious groups considered sects or cults could set a dangerous precedent for government-targeted minority religions in other countries (8/2 Ala. Baptist). Any religious education (“mental manipulation”) or proselytization can be suspect under the vague crime of “abuse of a person's state of weakness.” The law not only can ban religious groups considered cults, but can also stop them from changing their name and reorganizing. French officials are actively promoting their law as a “model” for other countries. A Yugoslav police inspector says: “Baptists, Pentecostals and others are dangerous religious cults who can damage…your children (8/6 Chr. Today). The pastor of the largest charismatic church in France could be imprisoned if he loses a trial in French court (8/01 Charisma).

SAUDIS CRACK DOWN ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM—Two Christians were recently arrested for reasons related to their faith, in Islamic Saudi Arabia, America's strong Gulf War ally (8/6 Religion Today). Only Muslims are allowed to practice their faith. One-third of the population of Saudi Arabia is foreign workers, many of whom are Christians from the Philippines, India, North Korea, etc. They are not allowed to display any Christian symbols or Bibles, nor are they allowed to meet together publicly to worship or pray. There are no churches in Saudi Arabia.

CHARISMATICS USE JABEZ PRAYER FOR MONEY, SALVATION & HEALINGS—It had to happen. Wilkinson's The Prayer of Jabez book is tailor made for name-it-and-claim-it, health-and-wealth charismatic charlatans. The 7/14 World said this book “plays to the attraction of the 'prosperity gospel'—claiming that one need just pray this prayer and God will, in the words of Jabez, 'enlarge your territory.'” Charles and Frances Hunter, in their July newsletter, write: “Many of you have called, written or spoken to us about the dream we had after we prayed the Jabez Prayer for the first time. We are so excited about this because the more we think about the dream the more we think about the far outreach of it. This not only meant that we will have an abundance of finances and things in the monetary area, but it includes the salvation of your family. The abundance includes not only the salvation of your family, but also healings you or your family need…. Don't forget to pray for that $1 million gift we need!”

GORDON SEARS WITH THE LORD—We are saddened to receive an e-mail from Dr. Gordon Sears' daughter informing us of his passing following a cardiac arrest. We had often promoted his “Song Fest” writings warning of the dangers of CCM, “religious rock,” etc. More later.

OUTGOING NAE CHIEF SAYS NCC POLICY CHANGE A FACTOR IN RESIGNATION—NAE president Kevin Mannoia resigned July 7 at the urging of NAE's executive committee (see 7/15 CC). Relocating from Carol Stream, IL to Azusa, CA and voting in March 2000 that NAE organizations may hold dual membership with the NCC were major causes of financial woes. His conciliatory stance toward the NCC has sparked a firestorm of controversy among supporters. Billy Melvin, NAE's president from 1966 to 1994, disapproves of the NCC's interaction with the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, an association of 300 churches supporting homosexual relationships (8/6 CT). The NAE executive committee plans to meet in October to reevaluate the issue of dual association with the NCC.

BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS…AND THE GOSPEL is the title of a new book by Quebec BWM missionary Raymond Teachout. The subtitle is: The Subversive Work of “Evangelical Inclusivism.” The book warns of an evangelical type of inclusivism that legitimizes what were once considered false gospels, and embraces as brethren those who were once considered apostate. A chapter is devoted to Billy Graham and his redefined, inclusive gospel palatable to Roman Catholics. Teachout discusses the ECT (Evangelicals & Catholics Together) document, Catholicism's false gospel, and the growing acceptance of Catholics as brothers in Christ. He delves into the dangers of dialoguing between those with diverging beliefs. He scolds evangelical inclusivists for removing the essentials of the faith and breaking down the walls that distinguish true believers from false ones. He says: “They are working toward a unity with liberals, Catholics, and others of contrary beliefs. They are creating a melting pot of religious opinions devoid of any authoritative definitions of the gospel. It is time to reject the work of these 'insiders' and expose their evangelical inclusivism as the most subversive enemy of the gospel.” This vital 174-page book is only $8 postpaid, from Dr. Lance Ketchum, 5000 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN 55422, or from author at (e-mail): order@ebpa-publications.org

TEMPLETON DIES—Charles Templeton had a “conversion experience” in 1936, met up with Billy Graham in 1945 and for 20 years was a successful evangelist and preacher. He filled the Harrisburg, Pa. arena with over 40,000 people and many regarded him a better preacher than Graham (Canadian Revivalist). Then he went to apostate Princeton, lost his faith, became agnostic, left the ministry, divorced his wife. [Oh, that deceivers today would be honest and leave the ministry!] In 1946 he and Graham had made a preaching tour of Europe together. He died recently from what he feared most—Alzheimer's Disease.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO C.H. SPURGEON is the title of a new book subtitled The Old Gospel for the New Millennium. It is published by Pilgrim Publications (P.O. Box 66, Pasadena, TX 77501), and has 35 unabridged, original sermons on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Given the impact his writings and preaching has had in the Christian world, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), the “Prince of Preachers,” hardly needs an introduction. We attended a service at his Metropolitan Tabernacle when we were in London to attend the World Congress of Fundamentalists (1990), and heard a sermon by Dr. Peter Masters. We often quote CHS, e.g.: “Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it.”, and “Fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin.” Contact Bob Ross at the address above, or e-mail him at: pilgrimpub@aol.com. The price of this 640-page book is $15.00 + 8% shipping (min. $3). Request free catalogue.

GRAHAM'S ROCK MUSIC FRIENDS SAY 'THANKS'—Pat Boone came up with the idea to honor Evangelist Billy Graham with a song, and co-wrote the song Thank You Billy Graham (8/4 Huntsville Times). A Web site tribute has been set up featuring secular and religious rock groups (e.g., Bono, dc Talk, Reba McEntire, and Take 6) some of which have performed at Graham crusades.

STANLEY SAYS GOD WON'T SEND PEOPLE TO HELL WHO HAVE NOT HEARD GOSPEL—On a recent radio broadcast, popular Southern Baptist pastor/author Charles Stanley said that God will not send people to hell if they have never heard the gospel. Following is an extract: "…[W]ould God send somebody to hell because they did not receive Jesus whom they never heard about, never had the privilege of knowing about? And my answer is: No, he would not" (Stanley, In Touch Ministries, "Reconciling God's Love with His Justice," July 31, 2001). This is a great error. In Ephesians 2, God describes the condition of those who are outside of Christ. They are dead in trespasses and sins (v. 1), by nature the children of wrath (v. 3), having no hope, and without God in the world (v. 12). This is the unsaved man's condition regardless of whether or not he has heard the gospel. He is condemned already, and that is why it is so imperative that Christ's commission be obeyed and the gospel be preached to the ends of the earth. (Church News Notes, 8/3/01, David Cloud, Fund. Baptist Infor. Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061 fbns@wayoflife.org)

MAXWELL SPEAKS ANYWHERE, IT SEEMS—John Maxwell, founder of Injoy and currently living in Atlanta, conducts leadership conferences across America. In his book Developing the Leaders Around You, he frequently refers to management/advertising/marketing experts, but never mentions the Lord Jesus Christ nor quotes the Word of God. Only Moses and Jethro are referred to for their leadership influence (BDM Letter). He never alludes to the plan of salvation yet claims to have “the priority of personal commitment to evangelism,” and pops up as a speaker on all sorts of ecumenical/evangelical platforms (e.g., Promise Keepers, Billy Graham Training Center, and SBC, to name a few). He is listed to speak at the ecumenical “Beyond All Limits” pastor's conference in Jan. along with Bill Bright, Jerry Falwell, Jack Hayford, Joe Stowell, etc. (See 7/15 CC). And he is pictured as a speaker for Jubilation 2001 along with charismatics John Hagee, and John Kilpatrick, pastor of the Brownsville Assembly of God of “Pensacola Revival” notoriety.

CATHOLIC CRUCIFIX– A DEAD CHRIST—Christians rightly object to the Roman Catholic crucifix which bears the image of a dead and spiritless Christ, for Christianity is a religion of life and vibrant spiritual strength. Some Catholics, too, object to this “dead” image of Christ on a cross as the central symbol of Christianity and advocate its substitution at least by the image of a “triumphant,” “resurrected” Christ. The mournful, spiritless effects of Rome's teachings and practices result from this false representation of Christ as one whose redemptive work was not complete, and which needs to be patched up by depressing works of penance, self-mortification and church regimentation. This leads to the slavish subjection of its masses (Gal. 3:1, 4:9) to hierarchical authority and bondage. [Adapted, May-June Mission to Catholics Challenger]

GEISLER SAYS T.D. JAKES TEACHES HERESY—Renewed cult charges have been laid against T.D. Jakes, popular charismatic pastor of the 26,000-member Potter's House in Dallas (7/20 Sword of the Lord). Dr. Norman Geisler says he promotes the “old, old heresy” of modalism which denies the doctrine of the Trinity.

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