TED TURNER IS A WORRIED MAN—A 5/26 Fortune magazine article lists some of the reasons for his worries. His media career is gone with the wind. His faith in the United Nations looks naïve. (He still owes $627 million on his $1 billion pledge to the UN.) He thinks humanity's on the verge of extinction, and he's down to his last billion. He lists some of the reasons for being "tired, miserable, and worried." (Note the prideful use of the letter "I" which is reminiscent of Lucifer in Isa. 14:12-15, and Nebuchadnezzar in Dan. 4:30.) Turner says: "I built a multi-billion-dollar company, and I won the America's Cup. I was the greatest sailor in the world. I ran through three wives and numerous girlfriends, and I wore them all out! I smoked through life…" He calls himself an agnostic and says: "If there is a God, he is not doing a good job of protecting the earth. He's kind of checked out."

YWCA HIRES LESBIAN FEMINIST AS LEADER—The Young Women's Christian Association has hired Patricia Ireland to become its chief executive officer. She is the former leader of the National Organization for Women (NOW), a radical feminist group that is pro-abortion and pro-homosexual. She is also an admitted bisexual who has had a husband living in Florida and a female homosexual "partner" in Washington, DC. (AFA, 5/13) The focus may now be homosexual indoctrination of young girls, given her long history of promoting a radical agenda. She is a poor role model for Christian girls.

CATHOLIC SEX SCANDAL: LAWSUITS INCREASE, DONATIONS DECREASE—From coast to coast, lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church are multiplying. About a thousand new claims were filed in the past year, and more are likely to come (6/16 USN&WR). A $60 million clergy sex abuse lawsuit is pending in Oregon. The Archdiocese of Louisville (Ky.) last month agreed to pay $25.7 million to 243 people who accused priests and employees of child sex abuse (6/1 HT). Meanwhile, polls show that confidence in the Catholic hierarchy has plummeted along with contributions. Nearly one quarter of Catholics have decreased their giving due to the sex scandal. In Boston, donations have dropped to nearly half. Some dioceses are shifting assets to local parishes beyond the reach of alleged sexual abuse victims.

HUGH ROSS OPENS DOOR FOR THEISTIC EVOLUTION—Hugh Ross argues for "progressive creationism" where creation days were long periods of time. He left Canada for Caltech and became evangelism pastor of a Congregational church which he describes as charismatic (6/03 Charisma). He has been featured/endorsed by prominent New Evangelical leaders (see 5/1/98 CC). His "day age theory" teaching is said by critics to be evolution in disguise, or a dangerous effort to make modern science acceptable at the expense of truth. One describes him as "heretical at best and neo-orthodox at worst."

HERE COMES CONTEMPORARY!—Below we excerpt in disjointed fashion from a good article in the May Straightway. Ministers of music are being taught that the contemporary is the only way to build a church in this generation. Although it has been part of the Neo-Evangelical and Charismatic scene since the late 1960s and early 1970s, recent years have revealed an increasingly aggressive move in the Fundamentalist camp toward the contemporary principle. Once it begins to creep within the house and begins to be tolerated, it is only a matter of time before the contemporary becomes the despot of the house. The music of Fundamentalism may not have a rock beat now, but it has entered the gray area.

SHOULD LEAVE LIBERAL OR CATHOLIC CHURCH—In the May-June Proclaiming the Gospel, Mike Gendron replies to a question: "In obedience to God's word, you must leave any church that preaches another gospel and cease from participating in her rituals. The Roman Catholic Church is accursed for preaching "a gospel contrary" to that which the apostles preached (Gal. 1:6-9). The Catholic Mass puts Jesus to shame every day by declaring He is physically present in a lifeless wafer and offering Him as a victim to appease God's wrath. Those who are born-again are called to be sanctified (set apart) by the truth of God's word (John 17:17).

CANADA COURT APPROVES 'GAY' MARRIAGE—In the same week that a Canadian court ruled in favor of legalizing homosexual marriages, a government report shows a major decline in traditional families in that country. The latest government census has found that just 44% of Canadian families are composed of a dad, a mom, and kids. That is down from 55% in 1981. Couples with no children at home accounted for 41% of families—up from 34% in same period.

ALPHA MEETS IN BARROOM AND 'JESUS WOULD APPROVE'—Madison Pub (Toronto) is hosting ALPHA for eight weeks (5/17 HT). The group's organizer said "if you're meeting at a bar, there won't be a bunch of rules." He said "We were worried about having alcohol at first, but people know why they're here. The venue rocks. And Jesus would approve." "We're not out to convert anyone, he said. "ALPHA just gives you the tools." A conversation topic at a meeting is "why other faiths have equal claims to the truth."

SEXPLOITATION OF TEENS—Young teens, girls especially, are living in an increasingly sexually charged atmosphere. The music industry has indoctrinated girls to become sensual and seductive in their thinking, dress, and behavior. (Light).

DESTROYING THE MIND—The psychologizing of faith is destroying the Christian mind. It is destroying Christian habits of thought because it is destroying the capacity to think about life in a Christian fashion. (David Wells, PsychoHeresy Awareness Ltr.)

CEDARVILLE'S LONG PATTERN OF COMPROMISE WITH SOUTHERN BAPTISTS—The following quotes are from the Spring 2003 Cedarville University Torch. "For 50 years Dr. James T. Jeremiah and Dr. Paul Dixon have had an emphasis at CU on working with a number of Baptist and conservative evangelical groups." A more prominent relationship was/is the GARBC. "Dixon, who began holding evangelistic meetings in Southern Baptist churches years before he became Cedarville's president, often says, 'God is not honored by a narrow view of the Kingdom.' He lived out that perspective as he sought to create and solidify relationships with conservative elements of many groups, including the SBC." Dixon said: "This relationship is something that Dr. Jeremiah and I discussed from the time I first became president." "Dr. Jeremiah instinctively knew that many Southern Baptists were as conservative in their theology as we were. He started reaching out to them almost as soon as he became president in 1953. And I've had the privilege of continuing to pursue those Southern Baptists who embrace our doctrinal positions." Indeed, the SBC has made great headway on cleaning out liberals from their six seminaries, but their over 50 colleges still have plenty of them, and the "great" resurgence is not complete. The SBC is a member of the apostate Baptist World Alliance and its largest supporter.

PRESBYTERIANS ELECT LIBERAL FEMALE PASTOR AS MODERATOR—A third-generation Presbyterian minister who has built her own church's membership despite declines nationwide and who supports the ordination of non-celibate gays and lesbians was elected in late May as moderator of the Presbyterian Church, USA. The Rev. Susan Andrews of Bethesda, Md., became the first female parish pastor to hold the highest elected position (5/25 Denver Post). She said it is her "fondest dream" that the church lifts its ban on ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians in her lifetime, but said she did not think this was the year to attempt it.

EPISCOPALIANS ELECT 'GAY' MAN AS NEXT BISHOP—A battle is brewing in the Episcopal Church as conservatives vow to overturn the election of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson in June in New Hampshire as the first openly gay bishop in the church. Under church rules, Robinson's election needs to be certified by delegates and bishops at their July General Convention. Conservatives have already laid the groundwork to oppose Robinson's election. Fellow bishops said the church could not condone homosexuality by accepting an openly gay bishop. "If Gene Robinson's election is confirmed by General Convention, it would bring through the back door a practice that the Episcopal Church has never agreed to bring through the front door," they stated. Robinson's election brings home the rising tensions over homosexuality in the global church. Prelates in fast-growing African and Asian churches accuse the Episcopal Church of ignoring biblical prohibitions against homosexuality. (6/10/03 Religion Today)

LARGEST DENOMINATIONS IN THE U.S.—The Roman Catholic Church with 62.5 million members is far and away America's largest religious body. Southern Baptist Convention has 16 million members. United Methodist Church has 8.3 million members. Church of God in Christ has 5.5 million members. Mormons have 5.3 million members. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has 5.1 million members.

DANGER LURKS IN ECUMENICAL SUMMIT—A Lilly Endowment-funded Pastoral Summit Indianapolis conference bringing together Catholics and Protestants from across the U.S. was set for June 17-19 and will tackle current crucial issues facing churches today. How to deal with brokenness after a sexual, financial or emotional crisis. How to respond to congregants facing war and a depleting economy. And a popular, but dangerous New-Age-type practice: "How ancient contemplative and mystical spirituality is inspiring modern lives." Rap mixes of praise and worship, hip-hop, etc., were featured. There were workshops led by a Catholic and a Protestant.

CAN ANGLICAN CLERGY BLESS 'GAY' UNIONS?—The Anglican Communion represents over 70 million people worldwide, including 2.3 million members of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. Half the world's Anglicans live in Africa. A divisive conflict over homosexuality is now brewing over whether bishops can allow clergy to bless same-sex unions. New Hampshire last month elected for the first time ever an openly homosexual man, Rev. V. Gene Robinson, as their next bishop. Conservatives say that if his election does not split the American church, it will certainly isolate it from the Anglican Communion. The new Archbishop of Canterbury (head of Anglicans) said he will uphold a conservative statement though it is at odds with his liberal personal views.

HAGGARD, CHARISMATIC NEW HEAD OF NAE—Ted Haggard (5/03 CC) says the NAE has no plans to admit NCC member denominations. Former NAE Pres. Kevin Mannoia got in trouble for advocating closer ties with the liberal NCC, financial losses, etc. Haggard hopes to mend fences with the NRB, which left the NAE partly because of the NCC flap (6/03 C. Today). NAE chairman Bill Hamel says: "Ted crosses denominational and theological lines very easily" (6/03 Charisma). Foundation says: "Haggard writes a monthly column for a Charismatic magazine and frequently unites for ministry and worship with men such as Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch and C. Peter Wagner. He participated in the Promise Keepers Pastors and Leadership Conference in February 2003."

TOLKIEN, C.S. LEWIS, CATHOLICISM—Jill Saunders, writing in the Mar.-Apr. Canadian Revivalist, says there is much evidence of J.R.R. Tolkien's devout Roman Catholicism. In a letter to his son Michael, he said: "Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament [the Mass]". Tolkien's wife had to convert to Catholicism on their marriage, and their son, John, became an ordained priest. Saunders adds: "It is interesting that C.S. Lewis converted to Christianity through Tolkien. [They] were close friends for most of their lives and belonged to a literary group called The Inklings, who met weekly at an Oxford pub to drink, smoke, and discuss each other's stories. While Lewis was an Anglican, he held some R.C. views including its doctrine of purgatory and the Mass; he also requested the 'Last Rites' of the R.C. Church on his deathbed." Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was basically a religious and Catholic work.

ARE SEPARATISTS DIVISIVE?—Dr. Ernie Schmidt (Faith Pulpit) gives an overview of Romans 16:17 which commands believers to "…mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." Schmidt says "Rom.16:17 introduces two aspects of error. The first deals with character. A divisive spirit is described by the phrase 'them which cause division and offenses.' The other aspect refers to content, identified by the phrase 'contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.' Hence, this article began with a yes/no answer. If separatists manifest a fleshly character (like that of the false teachers described in this verse), they will create division by driving people from the truth. However, if separatists separate or cause division to maintain doctrinal purity, they are not divisive. They are obedient. The one departing from the faith, in fact, causes the division [see 1 John 2:10]." Schmidt says Paul is calling for discernment and commending separation from doctrinal deviation. He adds: "When content or doctrine is at stake, believers must separate from the ones promoting 'divisions contrary to the doctrine which we have learned….'"

PENTECOSTALISM GROWTH—Pentecostalism's fastest growth in the U.S. is among independent churches and black neo-Pentecostals. It is predicted that by 2050, only one in five of the world's Christians will be white non-Latino. (Charisma)

A NOTE OF PRAISE—In answer to prayer, my blurred and double vision is 90 percent corrected by "prism" glasses!

Send comments to rbhall52@gmail.com

Calvary Contender Home Page