OPRAH'S CHURCH-FREE RELIGION—Oprah
Winfrey since her 1986 debut has become one of the richest and most
influential people in the world. In 1998 when she began “Change Your
Life TV,” her main role has become that of spiritual leader. To her
“congregation” of over 22 million mostly female viewers, she has become
a postmodern priestess—an icon of church-free spirituality (4/1 C.
Today). Her message is partly New Age psychobabble, but it
goes much deeper. Oprah clearly believes part of her talk show host
to call her audience to a higher plane. The theological nature of that
plane and her methods for getting there alarms many Christian critics.
former pastor says of her: “She now has this sort of 'God is
everywhere, God is in me, I don't need to go to church, I don't need to
be a part of
a body of believers, I can meditate, I can do positive thinking'
spirituality….” Oprah has said, “One of the biggest mistakes humans
make is to believe there is only one way. Actually, there are many
diverse paths leading to what
you call God.” This contradicts John 14:6.
WE SHOULD EXCUSE THEOLOGY & IMMORALITY OF U2
CCM/ROCK GROUP? —Probably the world's biggest [rock] band
today is U2, an enormously popular Irish group whose leader, Bono, “for
all of his left-leaning political posture, is remarkably open about his
Christianity.” (3/23 World) “U2's theology may not
be as conservative as one would like [they shun the 'Christian'
label], but still, this is a long way from the Rolling Stone's
for the Devil.'” A 4/02 Charisma reviewer of a book
about U2 wrote:
“…[T]he book is effective in stating its case that artists with a
message shouldn't be dismissed because they occasionally question their
drink, smoke and even curse. The world needs Bono as a model….”
MARRIAGE IS 'FOR BETTER'—According to a report
14, married folks live longer and make more money (4/1 CT).
They also are less depressed, suicidal, violent, and prone to drug
abuse than their single and divorced cohorts.
FOOD AID NOT REACHING STARVING N. KOREANS—Communist
North Korea is the most repressive nation in the world. It receives
more food aid than any (3/9 World ). The U.S.
supplies 300,000 tons of food each year, but food aid is not reaching
the starving; it goes to the government where it is stockpiled and used
to feed soldiers and the ruling elite.
FEMALE FETICIDE IN INDIA—In India, a cultural
obsession for boys drives 5 million women to kill their unborn baby
girls each year, per the UN Children's Fund (4/1 CT).
High-tech ultrasound equipment has encouraged a boom in female
feticide. But that may be changing. Courts are confiscating assets of
prenatal sex-determination clinics.
ABWE & THE PERU INCIDENT—We are glad
to see that the government agencies involved have agreed to a request
by ABWE and the injured families, for a “reasonable settlement with an
apology and an offer for reparations to the families only.” ABWE
attorney Donald Davis said the families and
the missionary group had “asked the government for $35 million, but
for a smaller sum that he described as satisfactory.” This, and all the
other six or more reports we have seen, confirms the accuracy of our
CC brief neutral news report (without comment)
on this. We were told by
the Washington Post writer who broke the story that her source for the
million” figure was the missionaries' Washington, DC attorney. ABWE
early letter on this seemed a bit misleading and confusing.
ZIMBABWE'S WOES WORSEN—Forty percent of
Zimbabwe's adult population is HIV-positive. Over 1.5 million children
are orphaned as a result of losing parents to AIDS (3/25 H.Times).
Catholic Marxist Robert Mugabe was recently re-elected president in a
flawed election. An international ecumenical team from the World
Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of
Churches, sent to observe the fraudulent election last month, in a
statement said various aberrations “preclude us from confirming the
to be universal, transparent, fair or free.” (3/13/02 P. Jenks e-mail).
Ironically, Mugabe praised the WCC (at its 8th assembly, 1998), hosted
for having supported his armed [Marxist] revolution (10/15/99 CC).
SEX, MEN, AND MINDS—Men struggling with impure
thoughts sometimes wonder if there will ever be a time in their lives
when they will no longer be tempted with lust. Unfortunately, most men
never grow beyond it. Temptations are everywhere in our sex-charged
society, from TV commercials to checkout counter magazines. When
pornography is part of a man's history, he can find pictures coming
into focus years after the images have been burned into
his mind. Men with purity problems have the most trouble when they
themselves to indulge their eyes “just a little bit.” The battle
lust is a lifelong fight for most men, but Christ gives us the power to
reject evil thoughts before they take root….[Excerpts, Focus on the
via 4/02 CVN ] Job (31:1) said: “I have made a
covenant with mine
eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”
ISLAM'S ALLAH VS. CHRISTIANITY'S GOD—“Islam is
a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for him.
Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.”
[Cal Thomas claims this politically incorrect quote was by Attorney
General John Ashcroft. The latter has denied making the remark, but
Thomas stands by his story. (See 4/1 CT) It's
good, regardless of who said it first.]
JACK GRAHAM IS LIKELY NEXT SBC PRESIDENT—Texas
Graham “very likely” will be nominated for president of the Southern
Convention at its annual meeting June 11 in St. Louis, per Jerry Vines (
Bapt. Banner ). Graham's church, Prestonwood Baptist near
one of the first mega-churches (has over 20,000 members) to join the
more conservative Southern Baptists of Texas Convention while
nominal membership in the “moderate” Baptist General Convention of
'MODERATE' BAPTISTS PLEDGE $1 MILLION TO MISSIONARIES
WHO DECLINE TO AFFIRM DOCTRINAL STATEMENT —The
moderate/liberal Baptist General Convention of Texas has pledged $1
million to a fund to help missionaries who will lose or relinquish
their ministries rather than affirm in writing the 2000 Baptist Faith
& Message doctrinal accountability instrument required by the
SBC's Int'l Mission Board (3/7 Ala. Baptist). At
least 60 missionary families have said they could not sign the
statement, which opposes women pastors and
says wives should “submit graciously to the servant leadership of their
WAS JENKINS 'LEFT BEHIND'?—After the huge
success of the Left Behind apocalyptic novels, Tim
LaHaye will receive a reported
$45 million for four new novels. But co-writer Jerry Jenkins seems to
been “left behind” on the big deal, even though Christianity
Today for April 1 said he “actually wrote the series, basing
the thrillers on
conversations with and the nonfiction theological writings of LaHaye.”
NCC NAMES QUAKER, A CATHOLIC, TO HIGH POST—The
National Council of Churches has named a Quaker and former official of
the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Ann K. Riggs, to head up
theological work for ecumenical discussions (3/11 CN).
The appointment comes at a critical time for the NCC as it attempts to
reinvent itself to attract participation of Catholics, Evangelicals and
Pentecostals. A core group of leaders plans an April 4-6 meeting to
talk about the future with non-NCC member churches, including
Catholics, Salvation Army and the Church of God in Christ.
MARTY A LIBERAL CRITIC OF FUNDAMENTALISM—The
3/9 Huntsville Times stated: “Huntingdon College
[Montgomery, AL] will present internationally known theologian Dr.
Martin Marty Tues. for the annual Stallworth Lecture Series. His topic
will be 'Fundamentalism: Around the World, Down the Block, and Dividing
Our Minds.' He will address the tensions caused by religious
exclusivity….” The latter term refers to teaching that Jesus is the only
way, e.g., and is the opposite of religious pluralism. Christian
News has had many articles on Marty, showing that he for over
40 years has
repeatedly attacked the Bible and that he denies the physical
of Christ, supports abortion and homosexuality, and maintains that
is permissible in certain situations (3/18 CN). Yet
he, a liberal
ELCA minister, is also scheduled to lecture at the Lutheran Church –
Synod's Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
CATHOLIC CLERGY CRISIS WIDENS—The scandal over
sexually abusive priests continues to grow as more facts are uncovered.
John Leo (4/1 USN&WR ) writes: “The sad
truth is that church officials have treated sexual assaults as if they
were administrative problems of celibacy violations to be covered up by
offering hush money and shifting priests from parish to parish.” He
says confidence in Catholic clergy is gone. And this at a time when
church faces a dire shortage of priests. The number of priests
has dropped from 58,632 in 1965 to 45,191 last year, even as the
population in the U.S. grew from 45 million to 60 million nationally.
remains a problem. The apostle Paul warned that in the latter times
would depart from the faith, “Forbidding to marry….” (I Tim. 4:3), and
I Cor. 7:9, said “…it is better to marry than to burn” [with lust].
CARL McINTIRE DIES AT AGE 95—Dr. Carl
McIntire, fiery radio preacher (and many other titles) died March 19 in
N.J. He was a staunch battler against communism, religious liberalism,
and the FCC. Though some broke away from him, his “empire” at some time
included the following: Int'l Council of Christian Churches, American
Council of Christian Churches, Bible Presbyterian Church, 20th
Century Reformation Hour (at peak, in 1960s, was on over 600 radio
stations), Faith Seminary, Shelton College, ICR, and TAM. His Christian
Beacon paper was a big help to this CC
editor for over two decades. His “empire” today has eroded. Some
entities have dwindled to obscurity, or split away from Dr. McIntire's
control (BPC, e.g.), or no longer exist. The ACCC, a notable survivor,
founded in 1941, wrested control from McIntire in 1968 and is still
today under the leadership of Dr. Ralph Colas (Exec. Sec'y) and Dr.
McKnight (Pres.). Sadly, Dr. McIntire seemed to be his own worst enemy
times. As a fallible human being, he could be cantankerous. He had
run-ins with many fundamentalist leaders (e.g., Drs. Ketcham, Rice,
Paisley, and MacRae). Liberal Lutheran Dr. Martin Marty noted:
he decided was the truth he followed to the very end, no matter how few
or colleagues were left.”
IS 'CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN' A SEXIST NAME?—Radical feminists
“determined to destroy,” and others who desire to “broaden the
of the Church of the Brethren (member of NCC/WCC), are demanding a name
change (BRF Witness). The latter group says a new
name will “make
us more acceptable to seekers.” But defenders say the Brethren name is
and: “For the Church of the Brethren to part with the Brethren name,
be to effectively sever us from our own heritage as a denomination.”
REDEFINING EVANGELISM—Jim Henderson, a founder
of a Seattle-based network exploring new forms of sharing faith in a
postmodern world, wants to change the way we define and do evangelism.
The movement encourages Christians to see the unsaved as “missing”
rather than “lost” – the latter, he says, is often meant in a
derogatory way (4/02 Charisma). Would he then
also change Luke 19:10 to read: “For the Son of man is come to seek and
save that which was missing.”? *** In a recent Decision
magazine interview, Ravi Zacharias said that over 90% of the Muslim
converts to Christianity
he has spoken to did so as a result of a dream or vision. We must stick
with Scriptural terminology. Experiences are not sufficient to base our
salvation on. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of
WHY DOES CHINA NEED POPULATION FUNDS?—Why does
the United Nations Population Fund need $34 million from us (or anyone)
to promote family planning in China, a nation that slaughtered 85.5
million unborn babies and sterilized 45 million women in a mere 10
years? (3/2 World)
TWO BOOKS FROM PIEDMONT—One is by Clearwater
Christian College prof. Dr. Robert Delnay, Fire In Your Pulpit
(primarily for preachers/teachers). The other is by Piedmont's Dean of
Education and IBFNA moderator Dr. Clay Nuttall titled The
Weeping Church . It pertains to local church authority,
doctrine, practices, etc. Contact Piedmont Baptist College Press (Kenny
Long), Phone 336/725-8344, Ext. 2225, E-mail email@example.com for
prices, postage, etc.
NRB MEETING REPORT—ACCC Exec. Sec'y Dr. Ralph
Colas covered the recent action-packed (see 3/1 CC
) National Religious Broadcasters meeting in Nashville. Get report
from: ACCC, PO Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015, or: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
the name of a much-needed book by David Cloud. It has 450 large pages
a bibliography on Christian music. Get it from: Way of Life Literature,
P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061 or call 866/295-4143 to order.
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