McCARTNEY TO RESIGN PROMISE KEEPERS—Former U. of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney will resign as head of Promise Keepers. Per AP, he plans to step down, effective October 1, to spend more time with his family. He has been on board-approved leave since March caring for his wife who suffers from a severe respiratory illness. McCartney informed the PK board of his decision last week, telling members that during his leave he had sensed his leadership of the organization was coming to an end and that God had assigned him to the role of husband and grandfather. But McCartney said PK's ministry is needed now more than ever, and he is "confident that the Lord will direct and empower the ministry to move forward." The PK board has named a committee to select McCartney's successor. He is said to have enabled millions of men to find their identity in Christ and become better husbands, fathers, and church and community leaders. The ecumenical PK will continue to solicit its founder's "advice, counsel and expressions of love."

WCC LEADER CALLS FUNDAMENTALISM 'GREATEST ENEMY OF RELIGION'—Catholicos Aram I was moderator of the recent World Council of Churches' Central Committee meeting in Geneva. It is the WCC's main governing body. Aram is concerned that interreligious dialogue is not given a high enough priority in the WCC's ecumenical witness. He said the co-existence of religions is becoming shaky, and said fundamentalism is “the greatest enemy of religion and the most dangerous force of our times.” [8/26 PCUSA NEWS] He added: “Overcoming fundamentalism is an urgent and top priority for all religions.” As the ecumenical drive for unity intensifies, more pressure and persecution will come to nonconformist fundamentalists who stand for God's truth. It would perhaps be more accurate to say “religion (salvation by works) is the greatest enemy of fundamental Christianity.”

TILTON BACK TO HIS OLD SCAM—Remember TV preacher Robert Tilton who was discredited by scandal in 1991 by ABC-TV's “Prime Time Live” which accused him of discarding thousands of viewer prayer requests he was supposed to pray over? Well, since then a jury found him guilty of fraud. And now the thrice-married Tilton is back to babbling in tongues and badgering viewers for $1,000 vows just like the old days (8/17 Dallas Morn. News). Amid reports, by his second ex-wife, of drunken rages he has now paid $1.4 million for an ocean-front lot and is building a new home on it. On a Tilton video—where every day is the same and every show is identical—he is likely raking in millions with a prosperity gospel ministry of “blessings to givers.” He uses reruns from a 1999 video and an automated phone menu and visualizes viewers who need to give to receive….This would be funny, but for the sad deception.

EVOLUTION TAUGHT BY CATHOLICS, MAINLINERS—Professors in the mainline non-fundamentalist seminaries and university divinity schools today accept the “evolutionary view of reality” rather than the “creationist view.” (9/8 Chr. News). Pope John Paul II rejects the natural interpretation of the Genesis account of creation and allows for the notion that man and the universe gradually evolved from some primary organism. Evidence abounds for creation (Psa. 19:1, e.g.). These “scholars” are “willingly ignorant” (II Pet. 3:5).

PAGAN WORSHIP MORE ACCEPTABLE TO EPISCOPALIANS THAN HOMOSEXUALITY?—While Christians lament the election of an openly homosexual at the recent Episcopal General Convention, few realize that the Episcopal Church has condoned outright paganism for years. Its bishops have turned a blind eye to pagan intrusion of its majestic cathedrals. Occult rituals at New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine and San Francisco's Grace Cathedral have sent a message that the Biblical God is only one of a multitude of equal deities (Berit Kjos, 9/8 Christian News). California's Epis. Bishop William Swing in 1996 founded the United Religions Initiative, a globalist organization with the UN as its model to bring all religions together to dialogue.

PAX CHRISTI USA ANTI-WAR CATHOLICS—Gabano Zavala, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, was named in August to head Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic “peace” movement. The international movement has consultative status at the UN and has been linked with the Catholic “liberation theology” and “Christian Marxism” movement in Central America, etc. Pax Christi USA reaches over half a million Catholics in the U.S. and seems rather radical and left-wing (see 4/1/01 CC & 8/23/03 H. Times). Darlene Ehinger, wife of the Huntsville Times' Editorial Page Editor, is facilitator for Pax Christi Huntsville (Ala.).

ISLAMIC JESUS VS. CHRISTIAN JESUS—The Christian Jesus is the virgin-born Son of God, the eternal God, the Creator, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit. He died for our sins, rose physically from the dead, and is coming back physically and visibly one day. The Islamic Jesus is said to be one of God's prophets but inferior to Muhammad who brought Allah's final revelations to man. The Quran denies the Trinity and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and any Muslim who believes in the deity of Jesus has committed “the one unforgivable sin” and it will send that person to hell. Muslims do believe that Jesus is the Messiah, virgin-born and sinless (9/4 Ala. Baptist). [Islam is not the peaceful religion it claims to be. We don't hear modern-day Muslims condemn the atrocities and murders of Christians. By not condemning it, they condone it.]

GARBC POSTPONES DECISION ON CEDARVILLE—The GARBC's Council of Eighteen announced that because of Cedarville University's recent relationship with the Southern Baptist Convention, Cedarville would no longer be a partner with the GARBC. Ohio Southern Baptists, since their state meeting in November 2002, call Cedarville a partner and recommend it as a university for their students, and Cedarville can now advertise in SBC publications and at SBC conventions. Although there has been a remarkable resurgence in conservative theology in the SBC over the past 24 years, the Council noted there is still a liberal presence, most notably in the SBC colleges, which puts Cedarville in a relationship with an organization that permits the presence of liberals. [At its 2003 conference last June,] a messenger moved that the action be tabled until the 2004 conference to allow a thorough review of the partnering agreement. The motion was approved by the messengers. Therefore, Cedarville currently continues as a partner with the GARBC [Baptist Bulletin]. We think this is a sad scenario and a tragic example of where new-evangelical compromise often leads.

WCC UPDATE—The World Council of Churches was formed in 1948 in Amsterdam and now has 342 member churches. Until recently, it has had a somewhat near monopoly on the liberal ecumenical movement. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member but works cooperatively with the WCC. The WCC meets about every six years, the next meeting planned for Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2006. At a recent meeting of the WCC powerful Central Committee, Dr. Sam Kobia was elected as the new General Secretary. He will succeed Dr. Konrad Raiser, and takes office Jan. 2004. Habitat For Humanity is now an International Ecumenical Organization partnering with the WCC. One leader suggested that the WCC widen its circle so that Evangelicals and Pentecostals would be welcome at WCC's ecumenical table.

JOHN STOTT SPEAKS OUT ON PLURALISM—Anglican theolog Dr. John R.W. Stott said in a Chr. Today interview (9/03): “Pluralism is not just recognition that there is a plurality of faiths in the world today. That is an obvious fact. No, pluralism is itself an ideology. It affirms the independent validity of all faiths. It rejects as arrogant and unacceptable every attempt to convert anybody…to our opinions.” He said “We must be careful not to romanticize the churches of the developing world, for they have their blemishes, as we have ours….Nevertheless, we can affirm that their God is the living God….” ONLY if it is the LORD of the Bible! Stott has long pushed for social action, liturgical reform, and ecumenical relations with Catholics and the WCC. He pleads for unity in diversity on things like charismatic manifestations and “sacraments.” He says in biblical imagery fire's main function is to destroy, and while the fire of hell may be eternal and unquenchable, it would be very odd if what is thrown into it proves indestructible (3/1/00 CC). The biblical hell is a literal place of everlasting fiery torment.

'GOODBYE MOODY!'—Moody Bible Institute recently said its Moody magazine would soon cease publication (4/03 CC). The July-Aug. Foundation traced the good beginning and sad ending. An excerpt: “Clearly, Moody Bible Institute and each of its various outreach ministries publicly identified with the fundamentalist movement and separated from unbelievers as well as from those who sought to find common ground with ones who propagated or embraced false doctrine. As time went on, however, [MBI] and its ministries began to change. Rather than embracing the militantly fundamentalist position of those who had gone before, [MBI] began to soften its attitude toward, and eventually embraced, a New Evangelical theology and philosophy of ministry. Gradually, [it] hired faculty and administrators who were sympathetic to the goals of the New Evangelicalism and antagonistic toward militant fundamentalism….”

REGENT PROF. SAYS CATHOLICS, EVANGELICALS NOT FAR APART—Dr. Stephen Parker, an associate professor at Pat Robertson's Regent University, took part in a Pentecostal/Catholic Int'l Dialogue in Germany July 15-22. Parker said Catholics and evangelicals have more in common than many may imagine (8/28 AgapePress). He says Catholics affirm the same gospel as evangelicals. He glosses over a major difference apparently oblivious to its significance. He said: “…[W]hile evangelicals refer to salvation as a specific event that took place in their life, Catholics tend to talk about the Lord being at work in their life as an ongoing 'process'.”

IBFI WON'T JOIN MERGER—The proposed merger of four Baptist fellowships (see April CC) now will be between three at the most, per the Plains Baptist Challenger. The bold plan by John Rawlings was firmly rejected in a 5/21 IBFI resolution. BBFI President Bill Monroe backed it but IBFI leaders Charles Wetherbee and Raymond Barber said no.

UNIVERSALISM—A book, IF GRACE IS TRUE: Why God Will Save Every Person, is reviewed in the 9/03 Chr. Today. New Ager Madeleine L'Engle is quoted: “All will be redeemed in God's fullness of time, all, not just the small portion of the population who have been given the grace to know and accept Christ.” “There's a significant distinction between universalism—the view that all people will be saved, indeed, in some versions, that Satan himself will one day be redeemed—and the position often called 'inclusivism,' according to which people who have not knowingly accepted Christ may nevertheless be saved by his sacrifice on the cross, for God can read their hearts.” But Jesus spoke of souls condemned to “outer darkness.” In the authors' desire to emphasize the power of God's grace and His “infinite patience,” they end up trivializing human freedom.

DANGERS OF NEW EVANGELICALISM—ACCC Exec. Secretary Dr. Ralph Colas has been over the globe this year (Geneva, Switzerland, Brazil, Singapore, and major USA) attending with press credentials and reporting on significant New Evangelical and liberal events. Reports on the National Religious Broadcasters and the National Association of Evangelicals conferences are now ready for mailing. Leaders of these ecumenical organizations have long been at the forefront of the New Evangelical movement. Some excerpts from Dr. Colas' cover letter: New Evangelicalism attempts to make evangelical truth more “relevant” and acceptable to a larger segment of society. While many New Evangelicals will not warmly embrace liberalism, they desire more interaction and dialogue with liberal scholars and leaders. This report gives a classic example of this. The NAE has invited Dr. Robert Schuller, a blatant apostate and universalist, to speak at its 2004 convention. NAE's new president, Dr. Ted Haggard, said its next convention deals with the megachurch and Schuller's Crystal Cathedral is such a church. Evidently, New Evangelical leaders overlook the fact that the God of the Fundamentalist is one God while the God of the modernist is another. New Evangelicalism is dangerous because it seeks to neutralize and then compromise the true gospel with liberalism. The NRB and NAE have accepted into membership the Worldwide Church of God. Though it now claims to be an orthodox remnant of the old Armstrong cult, its doctrinal statement contradicts the claim. The NRB this year even permitted the Roman Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Church to lease display space to share their non-Biblical propaganda. New Evangelicalism is a subtle system and is expanding its influence. Its “scholarly” promoters claim to be loyal to Scriptures and Bible-believing separatists can agree with many doctrines they claim to believe, but there are vital differences! [Write for these and other reports from ACCC, Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015. E-mail is: accc@juno.com Gifts to help with mailing appreciated.]

Send comments to rbhall52@gmail.com

Calvary Contender Home Page