VOL. XX NO. 12 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM December 2003
MAJOR INCREASE IN PROFANITY ON TVFoul language on television shows has increased dramatically on nearly every network and time slotincluding the so-called "Family Hour" from 8 to 9 p.m. (10/24 Sword of the Lord). Foul language, including curses or intensives, offensive epithets, scatological language, sexually suggestive or indecent language, and censored language increased by 94.8 percent during the Family Hour between 1998 and 2002.
IRELAND FIRED AS HEAD OF YWCASix months after being named new president of Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), feminist Patricia Ireland was fired. It reportedly proved to be the "wrong platform" for her advocacy of women's issues and social justice. But Bob Knight of the Culture and Family Institute thinks the former head of the liberal National Organization for Women (NOW) was let go because "the money spigot [to YWCA] was turned off... when its supporters found out what they had done." He said, "If you're truly interested in young women getting a Christian experience, why would you put a bisexual, leftist feminist in charge of them?" (10/27 AgapePress) Many critics of the YWCA claim it has a strongly liberal leadershipand that that is what led to the hiring of Ireland in the first place.
WORLD PANTHEISM MOVEMENTPantheism, the idea that "God is all and all is God," is at the crux of the New Age movement and some Eastern religions. The World Pantheism Movement, founded in 1998, now claims 2,000 members in 56 countries (11/10 C.News). Its Web site quotes pantheistic philosophies of such notables as Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan, Henry David Thoreau, and Mikhail Gorbachev.
HOMOSEXUAL GAINS IN 2000Last June the Supreme Court struck down Texas' anti-sodomy law, ruling 6-3 that homosexuals "are entitled to respect for their private lives." Then Canada's Ontario legalized same-sex unions (Charisma, 11/03 ), thus prompting efforts to legitimize gay unions across the nation. In August, the Episcopal Church USA elected an openly gay priest to serve as a bishop, and California Gov. Gray Davis passed a law fining businesses $150,000 if they refused to hire a cross-dresser [e.g., man wearing a dress]. In September the Harvey Milk School, the first publicly funded high school for gay students, opened in New York City.
MARRIAGE AMENDMENT IN CONGRESSA Federal Marriage Amendment was recently introduced in Congress, which states: "Marriage in the U.S. shall consist only of the union of a man and woman. Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state or federal law shall be construed to require that marriage status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."
METHODIST PASTOR A LESBIANKaren Dammann, interim pastor of a United Methodist Church in Ellensburg, WA, likely will face a church trial, and could be removed from her pulpit. She is a lesbian in an open relationship with another woman (11/8 World). The UMC Book of Discipline bars "self-avowed, practicing homosexuals" from being ordained or serving as pastors, but liberal bishops generally follow a "don't ask, don't tell" policy to circumvent the rule.
PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTIONThe procedure normally consists of the delivery of an intact baby feet-first until only the head is left in the birth canal. The doctor pierces the base of the infant's skull with surgical scissors, then inserts a catheter into the opening and suctions out the brain. The collapse of the skull provides for easier removal of the baby's head. This typically occurs during the fifth or sixth month of pregnancy. Congress (Oct.) approved a bill to ban this gruesome procedure. The Senate voted 64-34 for the bill, while the House approved it 281-142. (11/6/03 AgapePress)
MOTHER TERESA'S CATHOLICISM NOT ENOUGHPope John Paul II has given high priority to making Mother Teresa a saint, and blessed her Oct. 19 in a beatification and Mass attended by 300,000. But faith in Jesus Christ alone makes one a saint. If you're not a saint before death, you can't become one after death. Letters reveal Mother Teresa's inner struggle and feelings of abandonment by God. (11/3 Chr. News) She wrote: "I want God with all the power of my soul and yet between us there is terrible separation." And again: "Heaven from every side is closed." And her sad lament from the heart: "I feel just that terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing." Mother Teresa was a universalist who did not believe that Jesus Christ was the only way to heaven.
POPE TOLERATES FALSE TEACHERS, TEACHINGSChristian News has often noted that Pope John Paul II rejects the scriptural doctrine of justification by faith alone in the merits of Jesus Christ. He maintains that Jews, Muslims, and all non-Christians, including voodooists, can get to heaven without saving faith in Jesus Christ. He says the theory of evolution is not contrary to the Bible. He has taken no disciplinary action against the many Catholic theologians and bishops who deny basic doctrines of the Christian faith, including the virgin birth, deity and resurrection of Jesus Christ. During the years of this pope, CN has often documented the theological liberalism now tolerated within Rome. The Pope has done virtually nothing to remove the many homosexuals who are serving as priests (11/3 C. News). Yet some Protestant publications and leading evangelicals have highly praised him (e.g., 10/25 World, 10/4/97 World).
RICK WARREN'S 40-DAY PLAN FOR GOD'S PURPOSERick Warren's Saddleback Church (Calif.) is one of the nation's largest with 17,000 members. His latest book Purpose-Driven Life lays out a step-by-step 40-day plan to discover God's purpose for one's life. In another book he gives 10 essentials for a church to keep on growing: One of these: You should change the primary role of the pastor from minister to leader. He says you can grow a church to 300 with pastoral/ministry skills, but for it to grow beyond 300 will require leadership skills. Warren wanted his church built around unbelievers and thus uses worldly methods to build his church. But methods are important. I Cor. 3:10 warns: "But let every man take heed how he builds [on the foundation of Christ.]." Warren uses rock music, casual dress, etc., and Southern Baptists and other new evangelicals are climbing aboard his Purpose bandwagon in droves. So now it is seen as mainly an ecumenical outreach tool "bringing Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists together."
STANLEY 'CLARIFIES' STANCE ON FEMALE PASTORSPopular Bible teacher and former Southern Baptist president Dr. Charles Stanley ridicules the SBC's mandate that wives should submit to their husbands and he doesn't support its ban on female pastors (10/30 Ala. Bapt.). He said he was led to Christ by a quiet female evangelist, not by a fiery female pastor (see 7/15/00 CC), and added, "You just can't draw the line and say, "You can't do so-and-so." [Note: After a Texas paper reported that Stanley "disagrees" with the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message, he told Baptist Press (11/6 Ala. Baptist) that he is "absolutely" supportive of the BF&M and its stances on the role of women, but thinks a clarifying amendment was needed. He makes a distinction between "pastor" and "preacher," saying the latter can be a woman.]
ACCC RESOLUTION ON ROBERT SCHULLER & NAERobert Schuller, pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA, and the number one TV preacher watched on hundreds of stations in over 180 countries with an audience of over 20 million, will be a speaker at the 62nd annual meeting of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in Colorado Springs, in March of 2004. Mr. Schuller's involvement further demonstrates the harmfully inclusive policy of the NAE. Over the years the organization has reached out to many speakers for its programs, but this year is different. Robert Schuller is a false prophet, a wolf in sheep's clothing! His erroneous definition of sin as "anything that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem" has led him to deny and distort the Gospel of grace. Man's greatest need is not self-esteem, but regeneration. Our Lord said: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matt. 7:15). Schuller's Possibility Thinking is no different than Norman Vincent Peale's Positive Thinking both are error (II Pet. 2:1, I Jn. 4:1)! ... We believe salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone! We further reaffirm our commitment to Biblical separation from apostasy (Schuller) and from those who compromise with apostasy (NAE). We also remind Bible-believing Christians of the danger of the NAE, especially with this latest compromise of inviting a false prophet to come into its annual meeting as a speaker.
NCC PAYS OFF DEBTThe National Council of Churches is paying off all debts, doubling its net worth and tripling the amount of reserve funding, per NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar. The NCC is the leading ecumenical organization in the U.S. Its 36 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican member denominations comprise 50 million adherents in 140,000 local congregations nationwide. Along with interfaith relations, Council programs include education and leadership ministries, Bible translation, environmental justice, faith and order [Sad to say, So. Baptists and Catholics have long served together on this ecumenical commission!], church renewal, public policy research and advocacy and work to reduce poverty.
WHAT DOES 'SOUND IN THE FAITH' MEAN (Tit. 1:13)?It is sometimes said: "The vast majority of our people are still 'sound in the faith.'" What is meant by the expression, "sound in the faith"? Is one "sound in the faith" who simply does not deny the fundamental doctrines of God's Word? Can one be said to be "sound in the faith" who refuses to obey God's command to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3)? By no means! Such an one is spiritually sick. He is like a soldier who professes loyalty to his country and then refuses to fight the enemy. Such "soundness" and such "loyalty" are a sham and a shame!... [F.G. Huling, Sept.-Oct. Foundation] Concerning deceivers, etc., we are told by Titus 1:13 to "rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith." This, of course, is to be done in love and with a right spirit.
WORD OF LIFE BREAKS DOWN WALLSIt is sad to see how Word of Life is bringing together staunch New Evangelicals and professing Fundamentalists. But its "2003 schedule of speakers included the president of Dallas Theological Seminary, the senior pastor of Moody Church, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the chancellor emeritus of Moody Bible Institute. All of these are New Evangelicals who support Graham-style ecumenical evangelism and radically ecumenical organizations such as Promise Keepers." Joining them are Tennessee Temple University Pres. Dr. David Bouler, Dan Gelatt (assistant to the director of ABWE), etc. [O Timothy, Vol. 20, Issue 10]
THE MINISTRY OF MARRIAGE is the title of a new book by popular marriage seminar speaker Dr. Jim Binney who founded L.E.A.D. (Leadership Enrichment and Development. Dr. Frank Garlock wrote the Foreword. Dr. Binney says that couples who hope to test their compatibility by living together before tying the knot are 80 percent more likely to divorce than those who do not. You may order this 232-page book from BJU Press, Greenville, SC 29614-0060. Contact Mary Jordan by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
ACCC MEETINGAs ACCC Exec. Secretary Dr. Ralph Colas put it: "Dr. John McKnight and his wonderful church family were most gracious hosts. The music, by a Clearwater Christian College group, was Christ-honoring, messages were on target, and the fellowship was sweet." Some of the speakers: John McKnight (ACCC Pres.), John Ashbrook, Richard Harris, Clay Nuttall, Ed Panosian (BJU), Morris McDonald, Frank McClelland, and Ron Cooke (in place of George Youstra who had foot surgery). Mike Brown presented resolutions on topics below, e.g.: The growing acceptance of Homosexuality, Schuller & the NAE, Biblical Separation, Harold Camping, Commendation of Pres. Bush, Judicial Activism, and God of Sports. The theme of this 62nd Annual Conference (Dublin, MD), "The Trust Committed to Us."
NEW BAPTIST HISTORICAL SOCIETYLast July at Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, WI the Fundamental Baptist Historical Society was organized. Bob Dalton is its secretary and Dr. David Cummins, a pastor and evangelist for over 40 years, is its president. The latter co-authored the daily devotional This Day in Baptist History. The F.B.H.S. was born out of a concern to see the great Baptist heritage and distinctives given proper emphasis in a time of seeming de-emphasis and neglect among Baptists. It will publish "The Baptist Historian," a quarterly paper with articles on great Baptist heroes, issues, events, doctrinal distinctives and other areas of interest. "The Society will also have speakers available to share our Baptist heritage in our churches, Christian schools, and colleges." The Baptist Historian welcomes articles, apt quotes, and comments from readers. To receive this quarterly or to send articles or correspondence, write to The Baptist Historian, 8013 Fieldstone Road, Knoxville, TN 37938. Please attend the Fundamental Baptist History Symposium at Burge Terrace Baptist Church in Indianapolis, January 20-22, 2004.
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