VOL. XIX  NO. 1    NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM     January 1, 2002

WCC DEFENDS ISLAM—World Council of Churches head Dr. Konrad Raiser sent a letter in Nov. greeting the world-wide Muslim community at the beginning of Ramadan. He evoked the spiritual bonds uniting Christians and Muslims that "need to be rediscovered in the aftermath of the 11 September tragedies." He said: "As Christians, we reject the tendency, not uncommon in many Western countries, to perceive Muslims as a threat and to portray Islam in negative terms while projecting a positive self-image." He called for "intensification of dialogue between religions and cultures." A copy of the letter to Muslim leaders was also sent to WCC member churches and to other ecumenical bodies. In an enclosed note, Raiser asked them to "seek the most appropriate ways" to engage with Muslim partners in acts of spiritual fellowship and prayer for peace and justice. He expressed solidarity with the Muslim community, and of "our commitment to the spirit of dialogue and mutual trust." He wrote: "All acts which destroy life, whether through terrorism or in war, are contrary to the will of God. The recent tragic events [reveal] the vulnerability of all nations and the fragility of the international order. A world in which more and more people and nations are consigned to extreme poverty while others accumulate great wealth is inherently unstable. The tendency to impose one's will, even by force - which is [seen] in the policies of powerful nations provokes resentment among the weaker ones….Here the dialogue between Muslims and Christians, to which the World Council of Churches remains strongly committed, finds its authentic meaning." (11/16 WCC E-mail). [The apostate WCC's bent toward socialism and syncretism is clearly evident. –Ed.]

JESSE JACKSON GUILTY OF RACIAL PROFILING?—After his home and neighborhood were invaded by street punks Jesse Jackson dedicated himself to fighting black-on-black crime. He confessed: "There is nothing more painful for me than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start to think about robbery and then look around and see it's somebody white and feel relieved. How humiliating." (1/17/94 USN&WR, 2/1/94 CC) Law enforcement officials should be able to use, but not abuse, racial profiling. It makes no sense to ignore statistics.

MAINLINE CHURCHES DON'T OFFER MUCH—In a story regarding Islamic converts, and why some Americans find Islam attractive, an ex-Methodist youth minister said she "wasn't concerned about heaven or hell," and didn't see "why Jesus had to die for my sins." (11/24 World) Decades of liberalism are taking their toll as liberal denominational churches fail to offer much, and their social ideology becomes mushier and mushier.

HARRY POTTER MOVIE IS BAD LIKE BOOKS—The Harry Potter movie, like the book series, gives kids a first look at the occult. A Southern Baptist author says: "Besides getting kids hooked on the occult," they teach children "moral relativism" and desensitize children to profanity and off-color humor. Other Christian movie reviewers say the movie presents a "deep occult and pagan world view." Harry Potter conditions children to think of witchcraft as harmless fun (11/19 & 12/3 Chr. News). The books are "entry-level occult tools that introduce readers to witchcraft, sorcery, spells and spiritual power apart from God (12/01 Charisma). A Focus on the Family writer says, "Anytime the dark side of the supernatural world is presented as harmless, or even imaginary, there is the danger that children will become curious and find too late that witchcraft is neither harmless nor imaginary."

THE FIRST HUMAN CLONE—Scientists have finally cloned a human embryo, which promises cures for terrible diseases. This is good, right? Wrong. A 12/3 Christian News article states: "Human cloning is a grievous assault on God as the author of life and an insult to Him as Lord of life. Human cloning of embryos for the purpose of destroying them for their stem cells multiplies that horror…." The scientists have taken body cells and cloned them to generate embryos [harvesting spare parts], then shown that stem cells from those can grow new tissue and cure diseases (12/3 USN&WR). But it is wrong to deliberately kill such innocent human life.

PRES. BUSH & ISLAM—Pray that our president will heed the advice of evangelical advisers and cease making overtures to Islam. It deeply saddens us that he has in recent months visited the main Washington mosque, and declared Islam a religion of peace; hosted a formal (and first!) Ramadan celebration dinner at the White House with dozens of Muslim leaders (where prayers to Allah were offered), and asked our children to find Muslim pen pals, etc. He is likely unaware that Islam has a false god, a false gospel, and that idolatry is such a serious thing.

POPE CALLS FOR PEACE SUMMIT IN ASSISI—Pope John Paul II's 1986 Assisi prayer meeting with leaders of some 32 world religions was a heretical step toward syncretism. He now has called another such meeting at Assisi of the world's religious leaders for Jan. 24 to pray for peace and to work to improve relations between Christians and Muslims, which deteriorated after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. He has told Jews, Muslims, and other non-Christians: "We believe in the same God…." (7/15/88 CC) The Pope also urged Catholics to hold a fast for peace on Dec. 14 (11/23 Religion Today).

DALLAS PROF. SAYS EVANGELICALS SHOULDN'T DRAW SHARP LINES—Last month, Dallas Seminary Prof. Darrell Bock, president of ETS (Evangelical Theological Society), said "sharp boundaries should not be drawn for the evangelical movement." Instead, Bock argued that "evangelicalism may be likened to a 'village green,' which is defined more by the center than by the boundaries." He said this in a speech before the ETS during a debate on whether or not to reject the doctrine of "open theism." This is the heresy that says God does not know all things that are going to happen in the future. Though the ETS passed a non-binding resolution condemning open theism, Bock argued against it….Some Fundamentalist seminaries are encouraging teachers to pursue graduate degrees from Dallas….They should be lifting their voices to warn about Dallas's compromise. [David W. Cloud, 12/1/01, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, fbns@wayoflife.org ]

ETS SPLIT ON 'OPEN THEISM'—The Evangelical Theological Society (Nov. 16) passed a resolution, by about 70 percent, against "open theism" which stated: "We believe the Bible clearly teaches that God has complete, accurate and infallible knowledge of all events past, present and future including all future decisions and actions of free moral agents." (11/26 Christian News) Open theism undermines God's foreknowledge and some other of His attributes. Its main proponents include John Sanders (Huntington College), Gregory Boyd (Bethel College), and Clark Pinnock (McMaster Divinity College).

PINNOCK DEFENDS 'OPEN THEISM'—Clark Pinnock in the 1960s was a Southern Baptist New Evangelical and inerrancy defender, but in recent years has become quite liberal. He now defends "open theism," and argues that God sometimes changes his mind as he gains new information (11/19 CN). He even claims that Jesus was wrong at one point, and that God's limited knowledge of the future causes him sometimes to get prophecies wrong. He cites a litany of prophecies that he claims went unfulfilled. Let God be true and men who dispute Him liars.

SBC CONSERVATIVES NOT LINKED BY DOCTRINE—Mike McLemore was recently re-elected as president of the Alabama Baptist State convention. He acknowledged that Alabama Baptists are diverse and said he wants to respect that diversity (11/22 Ala. Baptist). He stressed that "We can respect our diversity and still be unified in the areas of missions and evangelism." He again says "In the midst of diversity, we remain linked together through evangelism and missions." But Amos 3:3 asks: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" The new North Carolina state president, touted as a conservative and inerrantist, said his goal is to be inclusive, to reach out to all NC Baptists "under the banner of the lordship of Jesus Christ." Inclusivism, where doctrine is deprecated, is what makes conservative Southern Baptists to be New Evangelicals, unequally yoked together with liberals.

MOON'S GOD IS NOT OURS—According to Sun Myung Moon, "in love, God, as the Father, wants his children to be better than Him." Man be better than God? An 11/19 Christian News article states: "Moon's god is not the Holy Trinity, the only God who exists. He maintains that he is the real Messiah and that Jesus Christ failed. Although he is a divorced adulterer, remarried, he poses as a great champion of family values."

NEW FBF RESEARCH SECRETARY—Dr. Gordon A. Dickson, pastor, Calvary Baptist Church in Findlay, OH, is the new FBFI Research Secretary. He succeeds Bob Whitmore who relocates to the mission field in Micronesia.

NCC NAMES FEMALE PRESIDENT—Elenie Huszagh, an attorney and prominent lay member of the Greek Orthodox Church, was installed Nov. 15 as the 21st president of the National Council of Churches. She succeeds Andrew Young, and is the first woman and the first lay person to hold that office (12/6 Ala. Baptist). The liberal NCC, on the verge of bankruptcy last year, has eliminated 16 of the 54 staff positions. Two years ago it had 102 people on staff. By New Year's Day it will have 39.

NRB APPOINTS FIRST BLACK CHAIRMAN—The National Religious Broadcasters has named Detroit broadcaster Glenn Plummer, a charismatic, as its chairman and CEO. He is the first African American to hold the position, and assumed it Oct. 1 after former chairman Wayne Pederson became president of the NRB upon the death of former president Brandt Gustavson (12/01 Charisma). The NRB's convention is set for Feb. 16-19 at Nashville. Speakers include: James Dobson, Bruce Wilkinson, Henry Blackaby, Rochunge Pudaite, Crawford Loritts, Leonard Sweet, and Thelma Wells. (Pres. Bush is invited to speak.) Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address a Campus Crusade Public Policy Breakfast. Gaither Vocal Band, Twila Paris, Michael W. Smith, and Jars of Clay will participate in music/awards.

MANNOIA'S NEW JOB—Former NAE head, Kevin Mannoia, is the new dean of Azusa Pacific University's C.P. Haggard School of Theology in Azusa, CA. He left as president of the NAE last July, after just two years at the helm, in the wake of financial shortfalls and displeasure about his policy to allow organizations to hold dual membership in the NAE and the NCC (12/3 CT). In Oct., Leith Anderson was named as NAE's interim president.

SPONG DENIES CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES—John Shelby Spong, "the most controversial bishop of the late 20th century," retired two years ago as Episcopal bishop of Newark, NJ. He rejects theism, replacing a view of God as "a being, supernatural in power" with theologian Paul Tillich's view of God as the "Ground of Being." But he goes further than Tillich ever did in discarding Christianity's core doctrines of incarnation, atonement, and resurrection (12/3 Christian News). A purely human, not divine, Jesus is what emerges from the rubble.

SBC ENDS TALKS WITH CATHOLICS—The latest six-year round of conversations between Catholic and Southern Baptist representatives has officially ended (11/29 Ala. Baptist). SBC pastor Jerry Moser said: "… We Southern Baptists have already published what we believe, and Roman Catholic officials have published what they believe. These publications have been officially approved by each body. No amount of private 'conversation' with individuals will change these published beliefs. So, what's the point of…any more meetings?"

HAGIN VISITS HELL, LATER SPEAKS WITH JESUS—In Kenneth Hagin's Oct. 2001 Word of Faith magazine, in an article titled "Born Again," he recounts his three visits to hell as a 15-year-old boy in 1933. In his Nov. 2001 magazine, in an article titled "A Sobering Vision," he recounts a 1950 Texas tent revival where Jesus appeared to him in a vision. [This is an excerpt from BDM Letter. Its Web site http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/ has more on Hagin heresies, and new updates on many cults.]

SHOULD CHRISTIANS TOLERATE SIN?—"Should police be tolerant of crime, doctors tolerant of disease, judges of false testimony, etc.? Yet a tolerance is mandated in spiritual matters which in any other context would be lunacy…." (Dave Hunt, 5/00 The Berean Call)

Send comments to rbhall52@gmail.com

Calvary Contender Home Page