VOL. XIX NO. 15 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM December 2002
HOMOSEXUAL MEN WIN AGAIN—Headquartered
in Philadelphia, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has for 98 years
provided mentors for kids. Responding to a recent new policy announced
by BBBSA, Lynn Vincent (10/26 World) asked: “BBBSA
forbids matching girls with men because of the potential that sexual
attraction will lead to molestation—so why should homosexual men be
matched with boys?” Matching young boys with such mentors is not a
sensible policy. Homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of the
total number of child offenses in the U.S., even though they comprise
less than 5 percent of the U.S. population.
POT IS DANGEROUS—Drug czar John Walters says more teenagers are addicted to marijuana than to alcohol or to all other illegal drugs combined (9/28 World). Many try to legalize this drug believing it is harmless and non-addictive, “safer than a cigarette,” but this is an urban myth.
RADIO STATION DROPS DOBSON—A California radio station has ended its 17-year relationship with Focus on the Family because station officials say the broadcasts are "too racy." Santa Ana's KWVE – run by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa – says it has dropped Dr. James Dobson's program from its broadcasting format (10/16 AgapePress). Per a statement on KWVE's Web site, concerns were aired earlier in the year with a series of Focus broadcasts on women and sexuality.
A.B.C. & FEMINIST GOD—An article in the American Baptist Churches' WATCHword (11/93) tells of a woman who felt worse after praying to God over guilt from an abortion. The writer said: "Then a friend suggested that she pray to God as a mother. Being desperate she tried that and called on God, the Mother of us all, and immediately she felt whole. Now she was identifying with a God who was not masculine and approaching her problem as all the other males. This God understood her situation, had experienced her circumstance, knew her feelings, her plight, and yes the options placed upon her. And this God she could not only approach, but confidently bare her soul and receive full acceptance....What a shame we can only know the God of judgment, authority, legalistic, strong and hierarchical, when the real God is like a shepherd, or a mother hen...But God in her own mysterious way...." An earlier article warned: "But for many victims of child abuse or incest, insistence upon their calling God "Father" can result in their rejecting God..." [The liberal ABC is a member of the apostate Baptist World Alliance. The SBC is also a member and is its largest donor.]
SNIPER IS A MUSLIM—Best-selling author and columnist Ann Coulter says the mainstream media is covering up the fact that Beltway sniper suspect John Muhammad is a Muslim. He converted 17 years ago and changed his name. He also belonged to Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam and cheered the September 11 terrorist attacks on America (11/7 Agape Press).
CARTER AWARDED NOBEL PRIZE—Former president Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Oct. 11. A Boston Globe conservative writer says the Nobel committee by this has reached an all-time low. He states his reasons for concluding this (Arafat, UN, Cuba, etc.). But from the religious standpoint, Carter is well known as a popularizer of the “born again” term which he says personally didn't happen to him at his conversion at age 11, but has been an evolutionary series of steps (3/15/97 CC). He has expressed concerns over God's “harshness and destruction” in the OT (1/15/98 CC). He publicly renounced his lifelong ties to the Southern Baptist Convention two years ago and aligned himself with a more liberal breakaway group. He said homosexuality is a sin, but he sees nothing wrong with a “Christian” homosexual being ordained. He has criticized the SBC belief that Mormonism is non-Christian and that Mormons are in need of evangelization (11/15/00 CC). Carter boasted that he kept the peace; Reagan freed the hostages.
BRAZIL'S CATHOLICS—By 1968 there were more Protestant preachers than Catholic priests in Brazil, the world's largest Catholic country. Pentecostalism was mushrooming. Latin Americans moved from childhood Catholicism to speaking in tongues, emotional worship, and faith healing (11/9 World). By 1995, more Catholics lived in Latin America than in any other region on earth. Brazil had the world's largest national church, with over 110 million members on its books.
PK PASTORS CONFERENCE—The Promise Keepers Pastors and Leadership Conference is set for Feb. 18-20 at Phoenix, AZ. Speakers include: Jack Hayford, Joe Stowell, Bruce Wilkinson, Max Lucado, Tony Evans, John Perkins, and PK founder Bill McCartney. ACCC Executive Secretary Ralph Colas has press credentials and plans to attend and file a report on this ecumenical, and largely charismatic, meeting.
HOMOSEXUALITY: FROM VICE TO CELEBRATED MINORITY—Homosexual activists' demands have moved from mere toleration to favored acceptance—demanding special privileges for their vile lifestyle. They now target children, and demand domestic partner benefits for homosexual couples. Questions to ponder: “Is it possible that someday it may be a crime to oppose homosexuality? Could the Bible eventually be designated 'hate literature' and preachers be accused of 'hate crimes' for condemning the practice from their pulpits? Will parents be forbidden to teach their children to abhor homosexuality?” (11/18 New Amer.) Mel White told Larry King (8/13/93): “We [homosexual activists] have gone underground and we have people in everyone of the Religious Right's organizations….We're reading everything they're putting out. We think the words from their mouths trickle down into violence. And when our evidence reaches a critical mass, we're going to use the best attorneys in this country to bring a class action suit in 50 states to have it stopped.”
STRONG GARBC TIES TO VFY—Vision For Youth was formed in 1985 by some men attending the Teen Leadership Conference at Baptist Bible College, a GARBC “partnering network” school. Two of the founders were Mel Walker, who is current youth editor for Regular Baptist Press (and for years taught at BBC), and VFY director Tim Ahlgrim (teaches youth ministry at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis). VFY sponsored the 17th Annual National Youth Ministries Conference in Columbus, OH, Jan. 7-11, 2002. Bo Boshers, Director of Student Ministry at Bill Hybels' Willow Creek Community Church was a main speaker. Other listed speakers were: Ahlgrim, Walker, Ken Rudolph (at BBC and a member of the GARBC's “ruling” Council of 18), and John Colyer (staff member of new-evangelical Grace Church, Des Moines). Listed speakers for VFY's Jan. 6-10, 2003 NYMC include: Ahlgrim, Rudolph, Colyer, GARBC National Rep John Greening, and Vice President of Youth for Christ/USA Ministries David Rahn! Turn on the audio at VFY's Web site and you will hear rock music. This is all sadly indicative of the GARBC's downward spiral to New Evangelicalism.
RICK WARREN'S PURPOSE - DRIVEN CHURCH—Christianity Today for Nov. 18 has a 7-page article on Rick Warren's Saddleback Community Church (Calif.)—a seeker-sensitive, purpose-driven mega-church. Thousands of pastors flock to his annual Purpose-Driven conferences. Last May's conference drew 3,800 pastors, and this remark from a Saddleback executive pastor: “We're not talking about doctrine. We're talking about how to do church in a way that meets people where their needs are.” (7/02 CC) Saddleback has close ties with the Southern Baptist Convention but keeps this affiliation virtually invisible. Warren has dropped much of Southern Baptist culture—altar calls, Broadman hymnal, Sunday school. Warren was a listed speaker at the recent SBC meeting, and for liberal Robert H. Schuller a few years back.
SBC LEADERS PRAISE DOBSON—Southern Baptist Convention president Jack Graham says Christian psychologist James Dobson is “highly respected among Southern Baptists.” Other SBC leaders echoed similar praise. He is a member of a Nazarene church. He takes a conservative stand on many moral issues, “dangerously mixes humanistic psychology with Christian theology and frequently unites with Roman Catholics and liberal and New Evangelical Protestants in an attempt to 'win the culture war.'” (Sep-Oct Foundation)
FACTS FROM FUNDAMENTALIST DIGEST—Fifty percent of students in U.S. seminaries are female *** 1400 pastors leave the pastorate every month in the USA. *** The SBC mission board has signed an agreement to work together with Campus Crusade In evangelism. Crusade is ecumenical, works alongside Roman Catholics, and even has Catholics on its staff. *** Muslims, Jews and Christians recently prayed, sang and worshiped together at Valparaiso University (Lutheran).
CARD, 'JARS,' & JAZZ AT CEDARVILLE—Michael Card was slated to perform Oct. 12 at Cedarville University. He is very ecumenical, and a few years ago produced a joint album with Roman Catholic musician John Michael Talbot (10/1/96 CC). CCM/rock group Jars of Clay were listed to perform at Cedarville Oct. 4. Some of their music is patterned after the Beatles and other secular rock groups. They recorded for an R-rated obscene film a few years ago (2/15/98 CC). More recently, Cedarville features jazz bands and singers (3/15 CC). Six jazz events are listed on its Oct.-Apr. calendar.
UNITED METHODISTS IN DECLINE—The 10 million-member United Methodist Church, steeped in apostasy and in steady decline in numbers, lost about 1 million members in the past decade (10/26 Huntsville Times). Bishop Sharon Brown Christopher, president of the UMC Council of Bishops, recently urged all United Methodists to oppose a preemptive military strike against Iraq. She said: “Jesus rejects the violent response to evil.” (11/9 H. Times) This is not always true.
CHARISMATIC CONFUSION—The Charismatic Movement has established itself within existing churches and denominations, including the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. It is the fastest growing religious movement of our day within the realm of those who profess Christianity. It is growing faster than Roman Catholicism, Greek Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Pentecostalism, Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism. At the same time, it is also producing more theological confusion than any other movement in the world. Benny Hinn is only one of many top Charismatic leaders who teach and promote current Charismatic errors. [Adapted, Marion Reynolds, Foundation]
MORE THAN ONE WAY?—This is an excerpt from one of seven resolutions passed by the American Council of Christian Churches meeting in Monett, MO, Oct. 22-24: “WHEREAS confusion abounds over the way of salvation among mainline Protestant churches, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists and others, and WHEREAS religious pluralism is widely accepted (the belief that 'all roads eventually lead to heaven,' and that the majority of people believe that we all worship the same God and must work our way to heaven), THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the ACCC…declares the exclusive message of Christianity found in the Bible (Acts 4:12, I Tim. 2:5, John 3:36 and 14:6). There are no alternatives; there is but One Way of Salvation according to the Bible. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone (Eph. 2:8-10). BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of the ACCC call upon all Bible-believing Christians to beware of distortions of the Gospel and to proclaim the one way of salvation through Jesus Christ.”
ANGLICAN UPROAR—A clergy revolt in the Church of England is underway against incoming Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Conservatives ask him to recant his liberal views on homosexuality or resign. He is sympathetic to sex between homosexuals in “committed relationships.” A survey of 500 Anglican clergy found 54 percent disapprove of the ordination of any practicing homosexual. One-third of Church of England clergy question Jesus' physical resurrection, and one-half doubt or disbelieve His Virgin Birth (9/9 CT).
HELL IS 'TOO NEGATIVE'—Mentions of hell are at an all-time low. There has been a shift in religion from focusing on what happens in the next life to asking, “What is the quality of this life we're leading now?” “[Hell] is just too negative.” “Churches are under enormous pressure to be consumer-oriented.” (10/02 Baptist Bulletin). People today are much like those in Isaiah's day who wanted a positive message (“smooth things,” “deceits”) instead of the truth (Isaiah 30:10).
N.A.E.'S ANDERSON COMMENTS ON HELL—Dr. Leith Anderson is senior pastor of Wooddale Church (Minn.) and is Interim President of the NAE (11/01 CC). In his 2001 Becoming Friends With God book, in a chapter on hell, he sounds much like C.S. Lewis. In fact he said: “It was the great English writer C.S. Lewis who observed that the door of hell is locked tightly, but if you look closely it's locked from the inside not from the outside.” Anderson's views on hell seem confusing, especially some relating to “choice” of those on the inside. Some of Lewis' views (e.g., on purgatory) were very Catholic.
BALANCE BETWEEN GRACE & TRUTH—A grand difficulty is to combine a spirit of intense separation with a spirit of grace, gentleness, and forbearance: “to maintain a narrow circle with a wide heart.” This is hard. As the strict and uncompromised maintenance of truth tends to narrow the circle around us, we shall require added grace to keep the heart wide and the affections warm. If we contend for truth otherwise than in grace, we shall only yield an imbalanced and unattractive testimony. On the other hand, if we try to exhibit grace at the expense of truth, it will at last prove to be only the manifestation of a popular liberality at God's expense—a worthless thing! [Adapted] In holding fast to our position, we must seek to maintain a Christ-honoring disposition.
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