VOL. XIX  NO. 9      NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM      June 2002

PRES. BUSH ‘UNSIGNS’ DANGEROUS ICC—According to AgapePress, the Bush Administration announced last month it is formally renouncing Bill Clinton’s agreement to give U.S. backing to a world court. The International Criminal Court treaty would open U.S. soldiers, military leaders, and even the president to prosecution by anyone in the world who deemed Americans had done something wrong on the battlefield. This world court already has the endorsement of over 60 other nations and is due to begin operations next year in The Hague. Clinton signed the treaty on his last day in office, but it never made it to the Senate for ratification. [We are disappointed with Pres. Bush’s favors to homosexuals, having disgraceful rock star Ozzy Osbourne at the White House last month, but we applaud his unsigning of the ICC treaty. We’re in perilous times. Pray for our leaders.] 

PRAGMATIC CHARISMATICS—The May Charisma had this quote from Stephen Strang, its founder: We charismatics seem to gravitate to the latest thing that brings results. A few years ago it was discipleship, then ‘name it and claim it.’ After that it was spiritual warfare. Now it’s apostolic authority. Elsewhere, the May Charisma quoted a Nigerian pastor’s lament that preachers there have used a cheap version of the prosperity gospel to enrich themselves and made it a sham. He said: I know of churches where they will not pray for you at the altar unless you give money first. They teach that you must give a seed first in order to receive any kind of blessing. Another Nigerian pastor said that in a trip to Tulsa in the 1980s he heard God say to him: Make my people rich. It is not the God of the Bible speaking this nonsense.

SAD STATISTICS—According to the 5/02 Charisma: Over 70 million Christians over the world have been martyred in the last 20 centuries. *** There are 500 million orphans in the world and 70 million abandoned children and infants. *** Worldwide, 200 million children are exploited for labor. *** Even in the year 2002, 35 million people are still slaves. *** Pedophile racketeers victimize some 5.8 million children.*** There are 24 million prostitutes. *** Each year, about $47 billion of cocaine is sold in the world. *** Trusted church workers steal some $16 billion annually from church funds.

JOURNALISTS DISPLAY ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY?—Many journalists have displayed the one politically correct bigotry still allowed and esteemed—anti-Christian bigotry. America is becoming a country where religious belief is welcome only if it abandons claims to exclusive truth (e.g., Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven.). Many secular liberals consider all Bible-believing Christians fundamentalists. Mean-spirited ones even call us Christian Taliban, and say anti-abortionists are no different than Osama bin Laden (see 4/27 World). Pro-life fundamentalists are not to be tolerated! 

SPONG SAYS GOD IS DYING AND PROBABLY NOT REVIVABLE—Heretical retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong recently urged over 600 Methodists not to believe everything they read in the Bible (4/15 Chr. News). He has made a name for himself by attacking fundamentalist views of homosexuality, conversion and theism. The 4/27 World quotes Spong’s explanation for Why Christianity Must Change or Die: Theism, as a way of conceiving God, has become demonstrably inadequate, and the God of theism not only is dying but is probably not revivable. If the religion of the future depends on keeping alive the definitions of theism, then the human phenomenon that we call religion will have come to an end. If Christianity depends on a theistic definition of God, then we...are watching this noble religious system enter the rigor mortis of its own death throes. Spong questions Christ’s virgin birth and physical resurrection. 

PREDATORY HOMOSEXUALS—A pertinent fact is being overlooked in the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church: The perpetrators of these heinous crimes are not pedophile priests, but rather predatory homosexuals disguised as priests (5/6 New Amer.). There is some truth to the claim that the Catholic priesthood, since Vatican II, has become something of a Gay Profession. (4/22 Chr. News) Per Time (via 5/6 CN): [T]he highest officials of the largest Christian [?] denomination on earth have lower standards [regarding protecting minors] than secular criminal law does.

COMPUTER ID CHIPS INSIDE HUMANS?—The Verichip will soon be available for implantation inside a person’s skin. Programmable and about the size of a grain of rice, it emits a radio signal when a special scanning device is passed over it. (5/6 New Am.) Applied Digital Solutions is working on another implant device that would link to satellites to track a person’s every movement (e.g., criminal, lost child). Now voluntary for its medical benefits, it could become mandatory. A privacy attorney warns of potential abuse: It’s what we call function creep. At first a device is used for applications we all agree are good but then it slowly is used for more than it was intended.

PEACE ACCORDING TO ISLAM—For Muslims, the world is divided into land controlled by non-Muslims (territory of war), and the land where Islamic law prevails. This is a permanent state of war, though there may be temporary truces. In Islam, then, a peace is not a peace, and a truce should not last longer than 10 years, for infidels should never be allowed to rest on their laurels. Any land infidels possess is held illegitimately. So, to Muslims, jihad is not aggression but retrieving what is their legitimate possession. Holy war (jihad) is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and the obligation to convert everyone to Islam either by persuasion or by force (4/27 World).

MISSOURI DISSIDENTS BREAK AWAY FROM SBC—Dissident Baptists in Missouri are the latest to break away from the Southern Baptist Convention. About 350 Missouri Baptists are forming the Baptist General Convention of Missouri. Moderate [and liberal] Baptists in several states have formed alternative fellowships as a reaction to the SBC's conservative theology. Despite the rifts, the SBC says it grew even bigger last year. The nation's largest Protestant denomination says it now has more than 16 million members (5/2 Agape Press) A Southwest Baptist University [Mo.] Bible professor who led weekend Bible studies last month for the new BGC of Missouri said some Old Testament stories (including Jonah) cannot be taken literally (4/29 Chr. News). 

BENNY HINN, A MASTER MANIPULATOR—Benny Hinn is a charismatic showman who manipulates his audiences. Looking into viewers’ homes recently, he spied a bald, overweight man with a heart problem, wearing a yellow shirt. Hinn said he could see the man walking away from his TV, resisting appeals to donate during a TBN Praise-a-thon. Hinn begged the man: If you will make that pledge, God will heal your heart tonight. Mostly, he brushes off scrutiny and criticism, but not always gracefully. He once wished aloud for a Holy Ghost machine gun to blow off the heads of his critics; who object to such things as his unverifiable healing claims. His global crusades draw thousands who hope he will zap them with power absorbed from the graves of dead faith healers (4/14 Houston Chron.). His handlers audition quickly those who approach the stage and lets those with the best stories get on. Hank Hanegraaff calls Hinn a false prophet. Hinn has claimed that the world would end in 1999 and Cuba’s Fidel Castro would die in the 1990s.

MBI PROF. PRAISES GRAHAM—Moody assistant professor of Bible Andrew Schmutzer, a doctoral candidate at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, had glowing praise of Dr. Billy Graham in the May-June Moody. He lauded Graham’s commitment to both purity and a consistent stewardship of his gifts that helps explain his effective ministry. He has wed competence with character that has become a testimony itself. He added: We need to learn from our present-day models and ‘consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.’ Incredible! MBI students should be warned against the ecumenical disobedience and compromise of Graham instead of presenting him as a role model. 

JIM WALLIS: SOCIAL ACTIVIST COALITION BUILDER—Jim Wallis, editor of the liberal Sojourners magazine, has been described as Jane Fonda’s male clone. He was pro-Viet Cong (communist) during the Vietnam War (7/1/97 CC), but the 6/16/97 Chr. Today said he has been transformed from an antiwar and social justice activist to a coalition builder among diverse groups. He recently compared the divisions among Christians to those among gangs (4/13 H. Times). He said If Crips and Bloods can get together, why can’t the evangelicals and the liberals…? Only by setting aside the doctrine of separation could such extreme ecumenism occur. 

FBF CONFERENCE—The 82nd Annual National Meeting of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship is set for Bethel Baptist Church, Schaumburg, Ill., June 11-13. General session speakers include: Dr. Rod Bell, Matt Recker, George Youstra, Mike Yarborough, Gordon Dickson, Michael Lambert, David Barba, and Ed Nelson. Dr. Bob Jones will speak at a Leadership Banquet. Workshop sessions will be led by Drs. John Vaughn, Matt Olsen, Beneth Jones, etc. Dr. Brad Smith is host pastor. For more info call (847)885-3230. 

NOTE FROM EDITOR—I plan to have a brief update on my health (Parkinson’s, etc.) in the July CC. Meanwhile, we are cutting back to a monthly, at least most of the time. Even at that, I am inundated with e-mails requesting info about some article or issue. I’m glad to do this but please be patient.

IBFNA CONFERENCE—The 12th Annual Independent Baptist Fellowship of N. America Family Conference is set for the Clarion Hotel, Cleveland, OH, June 25-27. Speakers include: Drs. John Stormer, Fred Moritz, Tom Nieman, Mike Windsor, Al Harris, John Williams, and IBFNA Moderator Dr. Clay Nuttall. Workshop leaders include: Ken Brown, Al Richards, Dave Kilgore, Mark Foster, Donna Benedict, Zelda Brown, and Myrtle Weer. Prayer sessions will be led by, Art Sinski and Dan Brown. For more info, contact Conference Coordinator Jeff Bailey, 508/222-6283 (ofc.), 222-3095 (home). 

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER - HOW CAN THE CAUSE BECOME THE SOLUTION?—The National Day of Prayer is an annual event, established by the U.S. Congress in 1952. Since 1988, it has been designated for the first Thursday of May, which fell on May 2 this year. What should be an occasion for congregations to meet together separately and earnestly pray for their nation has instead become a vast ecumenical media event. There is little praying in the midst of a lot of hoopla. There is shallow "repentance" of relatively meaningless things, of some of the symptoms of America's illness, instead of a genuine addressing of America's moral and spiritual debauchery. This year it will be conducted from Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. and will feature Bill Bright, Luis Palau, James Dobson, Greg Laurie, Lloyd Ogilvie, Josh McDowell, and Bill Bennett. [These are big] names in the movement to bring all churches together in spite of their doctrinal heresies, in direct and open disobedience to the Word of God. Bill Bright speaks highly of the pope and wants unity between Catholics and non-Catholics. That is part of the cause of America's problem. Can we not see in the newspapers every day what Rome has contributed to America's moral decline? James Dobson promoted Mother Teresa, in spite of her false gospel, and never warns his many Catholic listeners of Rome's blasphemous dogmas, filling their ears, instead, with his self-esteem principle. That is part of the cause of America's problem. America doesn't need more self esteem. It needs to fall on its idolatrous, lascivious knees and submit to Almighty God. Bill Bennett is a nice and knowledgeable man who cares for his country, but he is part of the problem, being himself deluded by Rome's false doctrines. He sees only the symptoms and is blind to the true causes of America's decline, the chief of which is religious apostasy. Luis Palau joins hands with Catholics and Church of Christ and other false groups in his evangelistic meetings, thus completely disobeying God's command of separation from false gospels….[He reportedly sends converts right back to the churches they come from.] It is part of the cause of America's problem. For the last five years, the National Day of Prayer was aired from Pentecostal Jack Hayford's Church on the Way in California, among others….Hayford believes in such nonsense as "baby tongues speaking… that a believer must begin with "baby tongues" and progress from there. He joined hands with thousands of Roman Catholics and had not one word to say about their error -- or about the silly nonsense of spirit slaying and spirit drunkenness and other such things that were prominent at the meeting. In addition, the National Day of Prayer will feature Christian rock music and charismatic praise groups, which ignore God's command to separate from the things of the world and to make a difference between the holy and the profane. The root cause of America's ills is the apostasy and carnality and compromise of her churches (including her independent Baptist churches, large numbers of which are as lukewarm as Laodicea, and which, like Sardis, have a name that they live but are dead), and the National Day of Prayer will only contribute to that cause. My friends, we DESPERATELY need to pray. Churches need to be praying instead of partying. But the ecumenical-charismatic-christian rock crowd are among the chief causes of America's spiritual problems, and it is impossible for the cause to become the solution. (5/2/02, David Cloud, Fund. Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

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