VOL. XVIII  NO. 18  NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM   September 15, 2001

MARRIAGE BENEFITS TO HOMOSEXUALS AND UNMARRIED COUPLES?—Most married workers receive health insurance that also covers wife and kids. The homosexual lobby said that's not fair to same-sex couples, so now homosexuals claim these and other family benefits. But it still isn't "fair." A new group says: "If homosexual couples can get benefits, why not us heterosexual couples who aren't married but are living together?" Milwaukee has joined other city governments in granting family benefits, at taxpayer expense, to couples living together, no matter their gender (Gene Veith, 8/18 World). What next?

MEGIDDO TO TAKE 'CHRISTIAN' FILMS INTO MAINSTREAM?Megiddo, sequel to The Omega Code, was written by TBN's Paul Crouch and produced by his son Matt. Costing $20 million, it opens in 450 theaters Sept. 21. Its makers hope to astonish Hollywood by drawing large numbers of Christians to the box office (9/01 Charisma). And, therein lies a subtle danger! Crouch says, "This is a ministry project," then later says, "It's a business [from Hollywood's perspective], and unless you operate in the influence of their system, they don't hear you….Whether you like the picture or not, support it. It's biblically sound [?]. If we buy tickets, we get heard by Hollywood." A "Christian ministry" would not have impressing Hollywood (conform to the world) as a main goal. This "Christian film" is like Amy Grant's "Christian rock." And as it did, it will recruit customers for Satan's world system. Be warned, be wise, beware!

RUETHER CALLS DIVORCE 'DIVERSITY OF PARTNERING'—Rosemary Ruether is a radical left-wing, pro-marxist, apostate feminist theologian associated with the United Methodist Garrett School of Theology. She advocates different forms of "family" bonds, even pronouncing her blessing on the tragic trauma of divorce terming it "a diversity of partnering." (7-8/01 Fund. Digest) Ruether says we should seek "compassionate" ways of weeding out people (9/1/98 CC). This Catholic theologian is a universalist who rejects historic Christianity.

DECLINE IN BIBLICAL LITERACY—Pollster George Barna recently observed that Christianity is having a minimal influence on thoughts, words, and deeds of people under age 40. He said "Teens appreciate the value of faith, but cling to erroneous doctrines that lead to bad choices and spiritual confusion." Half of those surveyed couldn't name any of the four Gospels. Fewer than half knew who delivered the Sermon on the Mount. And while 60 percent of Americans attended church last Easter, one-fourth could not say why we celebrate Easter (Sept.-Oct. Moody). We see a dramatic decline in biblical literacy.

DO YOU CONTROL TV OR DOES IT CONTROL YOU?—Your TV machine doesn't operate automatically. Its programs don't enter your home uninvited. To say that hours of daily television viewing "just happen" is like Aaron's excuse to Moses about the golden calf: "They gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!" (Ex. 32:34) You invite this guest into your home. You give it access to your and your family's minds 365 days a year (9-10/01 Moody). You make choices each day between TV and family time, quiet time, productive time, etc. Unless you control this intruder, you will condition yourself to allowing this time-thief to bring profanity, pornography, and harmful philosophies into your home that you would not otherwise allow from an outsider. Remember: You must control TV, or it will control you!

KING UNWORTHY OF CHRISTIAN HONOR—Martin Luther King is still being mythologized as a "committed Christian" and a "martyr for the faith." Even World magazine featured his picture on its 8/25 cover, and a writer called him "that great American patriot." But Christian News has had articles for over 35 years warning of his anti-Christian theology and lifestyle, and his association with prominent communists (see 12/15/89 CC). The 1/24/00 CN said: "King rejected historic Christianity ….He was a Marxist, plagiarizer, and unrepentant adulterer…." Ralph Abernathy, called by King his "dearest friend in the world," in his 1989 book (see 12/15/89 CC) said King spent parts of the night before he was killed with two women; then lost his temper and fought physically with a third woman, using God's name in cursing in the process. As with Presidents Kennedy and Clinton, he is hardly deserving of Christian honor. Patriotic blacks have said that the U.S. should have a Booker T. Washington Day rather than an MLK Day.

PORN A MAJOR THREAT—Pornography addiction is damaging the mental health of millions. It is an obvious factor in the spread of AIDS and other diseases (9/01 NLJ). Pornography is evil. It exploits women and children. Child molesters soften up their victims by showing them porn. Our nation is being engulfed in a tidal wave of hard-core pornography (Light). Some 25 million Americans visit online sex sites between one and ten hours a week. About 60 percent of all Web site visits are sexual in nature.

BOONE DOWNPLAYS DOCTRINE—Charismatics have long said "Doctrine divides, experience unites." In an Aug. 17 interview, Pat Boone said: "We don't all have our doctrine all completely correct but God doesn't judge us on our understanding of doctrine. He judges our heart, our intents…our love, and how we treat other people."

SHOULD ROMAN CATHOLICS BE EVANGELIZED?—This is the title of a good resolution of the recent 65th Synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church, from which we take the following adapted excerpt. There has been confusion and a growing indifference whether we should evangelize Roman Catholics. Prominent New Evangelical spokesmen like Charles Colson and J.I. Packer have said Protestants can find common ground with Roman Catholics in many areas of theology. These self-appointed representatives of ECT I and II have accommodated RC theology in the area of justification before God, while Roman Catholicism has NOT left its traditional teachings nor moved closer to the Reformation truths. Rather, the official position of Roman Catholicism as taught in its modern catechisms is still the counter-Reformation errors of the Council of Trent. The 16th century anathemas, that threatened souls with hellfire for believing the Bible, led to many Protestant leaders being consigned to the flames of the execution stake in RC countries. We affirm that Bible-believers must view Roman Catholics as lost sinners who need the saving message of God's grace. While there may be believers within the pale of Roman Catholicism, these need to be called out of this anti-Christian system.

BAILEY NEW PRESIDENT OF DALLAS SEMINARY—Dr. Mark L. Bailey is scheduled to be installed as the new president of Dallas Theological Seminary next month. DTS is the second largest trans-denominational seminary in the world and has over 10,000 alumni serving in all 50 states and in 98 nations (9-10/01 Moody). Featured inaugural (ecumenical) speakers include DTS chancellor Dr. Charles Swindoll and Moody Bible Institute president Dr. Joseph Stowell (DTS alumnus). Steve Green is set to perform.

SCHULLER CUTS STAFF—Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral recently cut 6 percent of its staff, citing a drop in contributions. The "megachurch" has eliminated or frozen 37 positions after having a staff as high as 600. His "Hour of Power" television program reaches over one million viewers each week, and between 7,000 and 9,000 attend Sunday services weekly (8/6 Christian News). Schuller says "Sin is any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem."

FOUNDATION WARNS AGAINST HUNT, MORRIS 'COMPROMISE'—The July-August Foundation states: "It is disheartening to report that Henry Morris, founder of the Institute for Creation Research, and Dave Hunt, editor of the Berean Call, joined with Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith recently for a 'Wisdom of the Ages' Bible conference…." Noting the helpful warning ministries of Morris and Hunt for many years, the article said "this sad compromise lends credence to the Charismatic theology and ecumenical endeavors of the Calvary Chapel movement." Foundation said compromise occurred when these men joined in ministerial effort with Smith, "who espouses speaking in tongues and other revelatory gifts and feels comfortable in the Charismatic and New Evangelical camp." Hunt and Morris evince excellent discernment in most all other-than-separation areas.

IN MILITANCY AVOID MEANNESS—Fighting fundamentalists can be militant, maintain the proper stand and spirit without being mean. In vital battles, we must at times offend and alienate some brethren and friends we love, but may it ever be due to our courageous position and not to our cruel disposition [adapted from 7-8/01 Fund. Digest]. Dr. John Brock writes in the July-Aug. Frontline: "Most fundamental Baptist preachers and people are not unkind, unthinking, unloving, or legalists. It is the devil's lie that causes us to abandon Biblical teaching because a few who hold that position are intemperate or unkind…."

LCMS'S NEW PRESIDENT—The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod's president-elect is Dr. Gerald Kieschnick. In an 8/6 Christian News article (by L. Blecker) he is said to be, if nothing else, "a consummate politician, who knows that he may not deviate very far from the positions of his power base, if he wants to be more than a one-term president. [His] power base is the 'Moderate' Jesus First [see May 15 CC] and 'liberal' DayStar."

'MOTHER GOD' WORSHIPPED AT CBF MEETING—The 10th anniversary General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (liberal/moderate split-off of SBC) plunged into a heated debate over homosexuality. With songs and prayers to "Mother God," a Baptist Women in Ministry (auxiliary CBF group) breakfast was rife with stridently feminist God language (see 8/1 CC). The CBF promotes BWIM as a partner in missions and ministry and will give it $30,000 from its 2001-02 budget (8/01 Bapt. Banner). Division and apostasy are rampant in the CBF.

JABEZ CRITICSThe Prayer of Jabez book's related merchandise, from mugs to wall plaques, has turned it into a lucrative franchise for Multnomah, its publisher. But three new books, looking similar to Jabez, challenge what their authors say is the book's misguided notion of prayer: focusing on material rather than spiritual gain. The critics point to the "Lord's Prayer" as a better model (9/3 USN&WR). A Moody reviewer (9-10/01) of Wilkinson's newer Secret of the Vine book says: "Wilkinson persuasively argues that God wants all believers to become intimate friends of Jesus Christ. But he admits that he, too, even as the president of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, remained a 'novice' at such intimacy throughout most of his life. I'm not sure how that admission relates to his [30-year] commitment to daily reciting the prayer of Jabez, because in the earlier book he writes that saying the prayer sets 'in motion a cycle of blessing that will keep multiplying what God is able to do in and through you.'" Good point. A seeming discrepancy.

PALAU SAYS FESTIVALS ARE MODEL TO REACH MASSES—Luis Palau's Aug. 10-11 festival in Boise, Ida. brought 100,000 people. This resulted from pastors and members of 375 churches of many denominations praying and working together for a year (8/24 Religion Today). Games, music and entertainment filled the days, Palau spoke each night. He said: "Festivals seem to be the highway to [youth's] hearts. It's this generation's model to reach the masses…." The "denominations" mentioned above typically are ecumenical and include Catholics.

FUNDAMENTALIST LEADERSHIP—Dr. Rolland McCune (Detroit Baptist Seminary) writes (1/1/91 CC): "With the passing of some of Fundamentalism's acknowledged leaders in the recent decade or two, by retirement or the grave, has come a general decline of comparable leadership to take their places. The more recent generation of Fundamentalists has experienced a sort of vacuum in this regard. Put another way, the later heirs of Fundamentalist leadership have tended to be less forceful and decisive, less militant, and less inclined to get very close to controversy. Some have begun to court the New Evangelicalism. Many are anxious to put some distance between themselves and their Fundamentalist predecessors. Others more quietly go off in another direction…still proclaiming that 'things haven't changed.'"

EDITOR NOTE—A big thank you for the outpouring of notes and e-mails with helpful advice, "cures," and expressions of concern regarding my recent diagnosis of early-stage Parkinson's. I answered most of them. I especially appreciate the many promises to pray for me!

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