VOL. XXII NO. 4 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM April 2005
THE SHROUD IS A FAKE!—New tests show that the so-called “Shroud
of Turin” could be somewhere between 1,300 to 3,000 years of age (3/14
Chr. News). Radiocarbon tests of the shroud done in 1988 dated the
cloth at A.D. 1260 to 1390—seeming to rule it out as Jesus' burial
cloth and suggesting it is a medieval forgery (HT 3/25/05). We do not
need the Shroud or anything else to prove that Jesus died and rose
again. Eyewitnesses accounts in the Bible are sufficient.
ILLEGAL ALIENS PROBLEMS FORCE 84 CALIFORNIA HOSPITALS TO CLOSE—An Arizona-based physicians group has published a study showing the effects that illegal aliens are having on hospitals in states that border Mexico. In California alone, 84 hospitals are being forced to close their doors because they have been overwhelmed by illegal aliens who they must pay for without reimbursement (BaptistPress). Many of the patients treated free at hospitals in border states have dangerous communicable diseases were long ago eradicated in the United States.
MOST TEENS, ADULTS NOT BUYING EVOLUTION—American public schools may be teaching evolution but a large number of teens aren't buying it and an overwhelming majority of them believe that God in one way or another was involved in the creation of humanity, per a new Gallup poll (3/31 Ala. Baptist). In a recent poll of adults, 45 percent of them said they believed in creationism while 38 percent believed that God guided the process of evolution.
HIV AMONG BLACKS DOUBLES IN DECADE—Nearly a million people in the U.S. have contracted the AIDS virus since the outbreak began in the early 1980s. About 40,000 test positive each year, and more that 18,000 die. The HIV infection rate has doubled among U.S. blacks over a decade while holding steady among whites (2/10 H.Times). Availability of powerful HIV drugs is part of the “blame equation.”
PANTHEISM IN AMERICA—To understand our secular society, we need to understand some underlying basics. For example, Pantheism is the belief that god is all and all is god. This viewpoint makes no distinction between the creator God and creation itself. It is expressed in Rom. 1:25 where Paul says man “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” This pantheistic view is promoted by environmental animal rights wackos and other New Agers. (W.on the Word).
SCALPERS ASK $190 FOR JOEL OSTEEN TICKETS—Concert tickets for popular up and rising TV preacher Joel Osteen are reportedly selling for as much as $190 at popular Internet concert-ticket sites. The normal price for such tickets is $10, but Osteen's May 5-6 “Worship Tour” (near Chicago) tickets are selling on a scale rivaling that of a rock superstar—almost 20 times their face value. Osteen pastors Lakewood Church (Houston), a charismatic megachurch (30,000 ?) with a “power of positive believing” Word Faith message.
OPEN THEISM—Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. wrote in the 4/6/02 World: “In recent years, many teachers in evangelical institutions have promoted what they call “open theism,” claiming that God cannot know the future decisions of human beings because they have not yet been made and thus do not yet exist. According to this limited view of God's knowledge, God knows only the general direction of the future, and guarantees only His final victory. In the meantime, God is waiting to see how events unfold….” It is blasphemous to so limit God's foreknowledge, to question His omniscience.
BIBLICAL COUNSELING—“If churches were functioning biblically, there would be no need for the contemporary biblical counseling movement. Counseling is often a substitute for a church gone wrong. In a church gone right there is no need for biblical counseling as it is commonly practiced and as it poses a threat to the spiritual headship of men….” [2/5 P.A.L.]
NRB ALLOWS PROMOTION OF ANTI-TRINITARIAN CULT—National Religious Broadcasters president Dr. Frank Wright is being asked by James Kieferdorf and others to remove Armor of God from Christian stations. Kieferdorf writes: “I am very concerned that Mr. David Cerullo (NRB board member) is airing the program, Armor of God, on his television station, the Inspiration Network…” (3/7 Chr. News) Armor of God is produced by the Church of God, Int'l (or “Living Church of God”), founded by Garner Ted Armstrong. CGI denies the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, teaches that a man may become God, denies an eternal conscious hell, teaches annihilationism, etc. These and various other unbiblical teachings abound in Armstrong splinter groups and should not be promoted as Christian. It had a doctrinal shift toward biblical orthodoxy in the mid-90s, and became a member of the NAE in 1997. Some of the splinter groups have made progress in shedding many Armstrong cultist beliefs, but have not accomplished this as yet. One of these churchgoers, last month in a rampage near Milwaukee, opened fire killing 8 people including the pastor.
BIBLICAL UNITY—Biblical unity means having one mind, not “unity in diversity.” Compare Romans 15:5-6, 1Cor. 1:10. Biblical unity means total commitment to the one faith. The N.T. faith is not many separate doctrines but one unified body of truth into which all doctrines fit. There are no “secondary” doctrines that we can ignore for the sake of Christian unity. The choice is between a “limited fellowship or a limited message.” If one is faithful to the New Testament faith, it is impossible to have a wide fellowship, and if one is committed to a wide fellowship he must limit his message to something less than the whole counsel of God. (Excerpt from Dr. David Cloud's 3/5 O Timothy. The 3/5 edition also has a large helpful section on “How to Identify New Evangelicalism,” and a long list of categorized song titles.)
T.T. SHIELDS: FEARLESS CONTENDER FOR THE FAITH—The United Church and Anglican Church in Canada have gone through a time of flagrant immorality for which Ian Goligher (Jan.-Feb Canadian Revivalist) blames MODERNISM for the resultant moral landslide into gross sins. He says the judgment of God will “fall upon us,” and looks to the “famous” 45-year ministry of Dr. T.T. Shields (1873-1955) in Jarvis Street Baptist Church in Toronto. He says Shields was a controversialist and a fearless contender for the faith [Jude 3] against modernism in the Church, and was ready to deal with the question of fellowship with the compromising churches and their pastors. Brother Goligher rightly says: “The Bible believer cannot fellowship with error without placing himself in a compromising position and selling out the truth.”
FORMER MUSLIM BECOMES DEAN OF LIBERTY SEMINARY—Dr. Ergun Caner, a converted Sunni Muslim, is the new dean of Dr. Jerry Falwell's Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He replaces Dr. Danny Lovett, who is resigning to become president of Tennessee Temple University. The outgoing president of TTU, Dr. David Bouler, now becomes chancellor of TTU, and remains as pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church (Chattanooga).
RAWLINGS (JOHN) FOUNDATION & IBN—The Rawlings (John) Foundation is paying for most if not all of a series of banquets, travel and lodging to give birth to and nurture the International Baptist Network. Leaders of several big Baptist organizations (e.g., colleges, universities, seminaries, and mission boards) are seemingly taking the New-Evangelical “enticement” and yoking up with compromisers on a large scale. We see no evidence that an emphasis will be given that a doctrinal basis or warning against error will be maintained. This should burden the heart of any Fundamentalist who might be contemplating joining the IBN. Is there even an awareness of the danger that New Evangelicalism poses? Have fundamentalist stalwarts had it all wrong for these many years, or is it they (IBN leaders) who have it wrong? “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3. Unity is important but not at the expense of truth (doctrine). “It's better to be divided by truth than united in error.”
SOUTHERN BAPTIST LEADER CHOSEN TO HEAD IBN—Dr. Gene Mims, key v-p at SBC's publishing house (LifeWay) for 12 years, has agreed to head the International Baptist Network and oversee a new Atlanta office for it. John Rawlings introduced Mims to several BBF leaders (4/05 BBT). Mims outlined the five strategic intents of the IBN: to create a global network, to accelerate evangelism in our generation, to identify Baptists to the world, to have a moral and spiritual voice in our communities, and to identify Baptists in what he calls Great Commission Projects. Jim Baize, a San Diego BBF pastor and president of Baptist Bible College West, said, “…The IBN is all about helping each other realize our potential.” [!]
DR. COLAS' REPORT ON WCC SWITZERLAND TRIP—ACCC Executive Secretary Dr. Ralph Colas attended the recent World Council of Churches central committee meeting in Geneva and has a special report ready to mail out (help with expenses appreciated!). WCC Gen. Secretary Samuel Kobia said the only requirement for church groups seeking membership in the WCC is baptism. He said: “When you are baptized, then you are a Christian.” The WCC is a fellowship of churches, now 347, in over 120 countries on all continents. The Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the liberal WCC. Order from: ACCC, PO Box 5455, Bethlehem, PA 18015. Phone: 610/865-3009.
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