VOL. XXI  NO. 12  NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM   December 2004

CCM INDUSTRY IS ABOUT MONEY, POPULARITY, & GLORIFYING THE ARTISTS—Dave Hunt writes (11/04 Berean Call): “…[I]t should be obvious to any thinking observer that today's 'worship music' is designed to please man, even the carnal and unsaved, and not God. In The Purpose Driven Church (p. 279), Rick Warren boldly declares, 'We use the style of music the majority of people in our church listen to on the radio…contemporary pop/rock.' This is the world's music, and it draws the worldly into the church. In plain words, the music in purpose-driven churches is not chosen because it pleases God, but man. Purpose-driven worship is less about worshiping God than about entertaining the 'worshipers.' That is its deliberate design. Thus, the music and the entire 'program' (like any secular performance) must appeal to the audience rather than to the One whom they are supposedly worshiping….” Seeker friendly mega-churches in an extreme zeal for growth are “purposely” designed to give “worshipers” what they want.

FALWELL STARTS THE FAITH & VALUES COALITION—Dr. Jerry Falwell launched in October what he describes as “a 21st Century resurrection of the Moral Majority.” He founded the latter in 1979, but disbanded it in 1989 to focus on expanding Liberty University. He appeals for immediate funds to launch it and to initiate a nationwide four-year voter registration campaign in 225,000 churches. TFVC's agenda is: (1) Confirmation of pro-life, strict constructionist U.S. Supreme Court justices and other federal judges; (2) passage of a constitutional Federal Marriage Amendment; and (3) the election of another “conservative” president and Congress in 2006 and 2008. Falwell, now 71, will serve as national chairman of the coalition for four years. Tim LaHaye is board chairman, Falwell's son Jonathan is executive director, and his son Matthew Staver is vice-chairman. If Moral Majority is the pattern, Roman Catholics and other false-gospel errantists will be involved ecumenically in ministry.

PUT ASIDE DOCTRINE, UNITE TO FIGHT SOCIAL EVIL—We've seen it happen over and over, especially in the twenty-five years since Moral Majority, uniting of evangelicals and Roman Catholics to fight abortion, etc. Dave Hunt writes: “For example, if a Christian is involved in a social issue that includes a Mormon on one side, a Catholic on another, a Moonie over there and maybe an atheist somewhere in the mix, all involved share certain moral values. But the Christian cannot share the gospel with the others because it would 'break up the coalition.' Therefore, he has to compromise….” (4/15/99 CC) As individuals, or as Christians united doctrinally, we may oppose moral evil, etc., together. Indeed, we as “salt of the earth” must stand against the floodtide of immorality in our day. But we are also to be the “light of the world” with a clear witness of the Gospel to those who grope in darkness. But how can we tell Catholics they need to be saved when we work and worship with their leaders? “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”

CAN MARRIAGE BE SAVED?—Marriage is in trouble in the U.S. assaulted by a fearful divorce rate, soaring cohabitation, sex and childbearing increasingly detached from wedlock, and now, thanks to “gay” activists, a redefining. In Scandinavia, marriage has become virtually a minority option. In African American society, children are more likely to be born outside of marriage than not. (11/04 Chr. Today) Consider: (1) Lifelong healthy marriage is good (2) Divorce is extremely bad for children, as is angry parental conflict (3) Hostile, “get-it-all-out” communication destroys marriages (4) Living together before marriage leads to increased divorce.

ANGLICAN PANEL DISAPPOINTING—An Anglican panel studying the consecration of an openly gay bishop in the U.S. Episcopal Church failed to satisfy conservative dissenters. The U.S. Episcopal Church has roots in the 77-million-member Church of England and wanted an apology.

J. I. PACKER SAID CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT IS OF GOD—J. I. Packer, while still a Regent College professor and a senior editor of Christianity Today, said the Charismatic Movement “must be adjudged a work of God.” (July 15, 1989 CC) He said it is in the mainstream of historic evangelical orthodoxy on key doctrines. He said, “If the charismatics err, they err only by expecting to receive from God, whose face they seek, more than he actually promised.” Packer said: “Sharing charismatic experience…is often declared…to unify Protestants and Roman Catholics at a deeper level than that at which their doctrine divides them. This, if so, gives charismaticism great ecumenical significance.” New Evangelical theologians such as Packer lend respectability to the Charismatic Movement, which then in turn, has become a catalyst for the ecumenical movement's world church of Antichrist. Some individual charismatics themselves may be “of God” but the movement itself has many heretical doctrines.

'THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL'—In a 1997 TBN telecast, Paul Crouch said: “If you have been healed or saved or blessed through TBN and have not contributed … you are robbing God and will lose your reward in heaven.” John Hagee says: “When you give, it qualifies you to receive of God's abundance,” and, Hagee adds, “If God gives to you before you give to Him, God Himself will become a liar. If you are not prospering, it's because you are not giving.” (Dr. Ralph Colas, IBFNA's The Review) Another popular charismatic, Benny Hinn, is quoted in the December 14 Alabama Baptist (and December 4 CC) as saying salvation and healing should never be separate.

FULLER SEMINARY PRES. APOLOGIZES TO MORMONS—The following is from Maine pastor Greg Linscott: “With evangelicals and Latter-day Saints sitting together in the Salt Lake Tabernacle for an 'Evening of Friendship,' internationally renowned Christian philosopher Ravi Zacharias told them Sunday night that Jesus Christ's unique claim upon humanity is that He embodied truth and sacrificed himself for a world that often does not recognize him. But what many Utahns may remember most distinctly is the sermon that came before it. Taking the pulpit to speak of the event's historic nature, Fuller Theological Seminary President Richard Mouw addressed a capacity crowd of several thousand, offering a stunningly candid apology to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and noting that 'friendship has not come easily between our communities.' He dubbed the evening 'historic' and apologized that Evangelicals 'have often misrepresented the faith and beliefs of the Latter-day Saints.' 'Let me state it clearly. We evangelicals have sinned against you, he said, adding that both camps have tended to marginalize and simplify the others' beliefs…Best-selling Christian [pro-Catholic] musician Michael Card provided music for the service….” Fuller was founded in 1947 as an evangelical school, but has long since been deeply steeped in apostasy. The Mormon god [s] is not the Triune God of the Bible.

DAVID CLOUD HAS A NEW DVD ON MUSIC, titled Distinguishing Between Sacred and Contemporary Styles of Christian Music. It gives some simple tools for discerning the difference between sensual and sacred music. It and several other videos are available from: 866-295-4143 (toll free).

SOUTHERN BAPTIST ETHICIST DIES—Henlee Barnette, a liberal ethical activist who taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, died at age 93 in October. His writings and teachings reflected his strong belief that actions must match belief. He said Jesus isn't going to ask you what you believe. He's going to ask you, “Do you love Me, and do you love your neighbor as yourself?” (11/04 AB) Other SB former professors, Jack Drakeford and Walter Shurden, died in October.

MORE LEFT BEHIND BOOKS BEING PRODUCED—Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are producing more books in the Left Behind series, which already has sold 65 million books and related items (10/16/04 World). The authors are considering writing another series, tentatively called The Jesus Chronicles. Sorry, we cannot endorse the Left Behind books. (See 3/03 CC)

AIDS IN AFRICA—AIDS kills about 6,000 people each day in Africa, more than wars, famines, and floods. Life expectancy in Botswana has dropped to 44. It has 70,000 orphans. Uganda became the first African country to beat back its AIDS epidemic, and AIDS there has declined dramatically through a U.S. funded abstinence/condoms/prevention program. (11/6 World).

KINSEY FILM DRAWS PROTEST—Concerned Women for America has tapped Dr. Judith Reisman, who wrote a 1991 book called "Kinsey, Sex and Fraud," as a prominent voice against Alfred Kinsey's legacy. Now, according to Kinsey, anything goes: promiscuity, pornography, prostitution, adultery, sodomy, group sex, sadomasochism, even incest. (11/14 New American) CWA, the nation's largest women's group, has encouraged members to hand out leaflets (at theaters) that discredit the new film and accuse Kinsey of committing child sexual abuse and scientific fraud. (BP)

ISLAM IS MOST VIOLENT—Alvin J. Schmidt, a U.S. sociologist and theologian, in a new book, describes Islam as “the most violent religion the world has ever known.” (9/20 C.News) It's not a religion of peace, as the trendy mantra goes.

QUOTES ON FUNDAMENTALISM—Missionary Rocco Piserchia said Andy Rooney attributed voters' reliance on religion in the recent election to ignorance. "I am an atheist," Rooney said. “I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think religion's all nonsense." He said Christian fundamentalism is a result of a lack of education. “They haven't been exposed to what the world has to offer." Prof. Gerd Ludemann describes liberal theology as "contemptible." "I don't think Christians know what they mean when they proclaim Jesus as Lord of the world. That is a massive claim. If you took that seriously, you would probably have to be a fundamentalist. If you can't be a fundamentalist, then you should give up Christianity for the sake of honesty.” (Al Mohler, 11/23/04 Crosswalk, adapted excerpts)

CORRECTION—Responding to a November CC article, the outgoing Southwide Baptist Fellowship Moderator wrote us (re the 9/28 SBF business meeting), said they did not “vote” to remain in the IBN—THAT choice is made individually. The CC's information was from a “friend-of-SBF” source. Two of Dr. Rice's sons-in-law were there but only one spoke from the floor.

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