VOL. XIII NO. 5 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM March 1, 1996
NO MORE NEA HOMO-EROTIC BLASPHEMOUS ART?--Don't hold your breath, but new guidelines at the National Endowment of the Arts will end direct grants to individual artists and groups. Grants will instead be given for "broad theme" projects (2/10 World). With a 40 percent budget cut, to 99 million, and its staff cut from 279 to 148, the NEA is trying to avoid funding the controversial art that most antagonized taxpayers.
JANE ROE SAYS SHE IS PRO-LIFE & NOT A LESBIAN--Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe") at her "conversion" last year sent conflicting signals, saying she still favored first-trimester abortions and was maintaining her lesbian relationship with her housemate (see 10/15 CC). But she is now a pro-life activist and says she opposes abortion on any terms (1/29 Chr. News). She says she no longer lives in a lesbian relationship.
JEWISH POPULATION PLUMMETING--Despite a growing Jewish population in Israel, Germany, Canada, and Panama, a new World Jewish Congress report says Jews worldwide are becoming an "endangered species," that they are "a people in a crisis of spirit and identity," losing their identity through intermarriage and cultural assimilation (2/5 CN). There are about 13 million Jews world-wide. Studies show that only about one-fourth of intermarried couples raise their children as Jews (2/3 HT). Over 50 percent of U.S. Jews married in the 1980s chose a non-Jewish partner.
SBC TO AVOID DISNEY?- The Florida Baptist Convention approved a resolution asking Baptists to "prayerfully reconsider their continued purchase and support of Disney products." It said Disney's moral leadership has been eroded by its giving spouse benefits to homosexual partners, and its practice of holding homosexual theme nights at its parks (2/96 BB). The resolution, which will be presented to the national SBC in June, also noted that Disney had promoted combination cruise-and-theme-park vacations that included drinking and gambling and has distributed offensive materials through its Miramax Films subsidiary. Disney promotes perversion--its "family friendly" image is gone.
'RECOVERED MEMORY THERAPY' PSYCHIATRIC QUACKERY--A St. Paul jury in Jan. awarded. $2.5 million to a Minn. woman and her family for "injuries suffered as a result of negligent psychotherapy to recover so-called repressed memories". A psychiatrist--using hypnosis, misinformation, coercion, threats and suggestions--was said to have implanted false memories of childhood sexual abuse (1/29 Chr. News). A world renowned memory expert testified that the theory of "repressed memories" is a myth that is unsupported by reliable scientific evidence. A Concordia Seminary professor has filed a lawsuit against Christian News for referring to his view of Recovered Memory, etc., as "voodoo psychology."
EX-2 LIVE CREW RAPPER TO PROMISE KEEPERS PULPIT--Mike DeVine left the obscene "savaging women" 2 Live Crew rap group in 1989, sick of the life-style. He's now a hip hop artist who thinks he is on the verge of breaking into the big time gospel market. The 1/26 Rocky Mtn. News said he is looking to Promise Keepers as a pulpit, and has met with PK founder Bill McCartney. He says McCartney is interested in him coming aboard to rap before stadiums full of men, and a PK official said: "We would certainly be interested in him since he can reach out to youth."
PROMISE KEEPERS at its beginning stressed discipleship. However, in its zeal to unify professing Christian men, PK decided that doctrine is a stumbling block to unity, rather than the biblical basis for it. That makes Christian discipleship an impossibility. (Tom McMahon)
CANADIAN THEOLOGIAN CAN'T WORSHIP 'MALE GOD'--Former Catholic nun Mary T. Malone, an associate professor at the University of St. Jerome's College, has renounced Christianity, declaring she can no longer accept the maleness of God in the Christian tradition (1/29 CN). She and other such "atheists" should love the new Inclusive Bible which prunes away masculine pronouns for Deity, and renders the opening of the Lord's Prayer: "Our Father-Mother in heaven..."
MEXICO: CATHOLICS VIOLENT AGAINST EVANGELICALS--Evangelical teaching has taken off in Chiapas, Mexico as in no other state. In 1970 there were 900 Presbyterians, today 400,000. Presbyterians & Pentecostals are the two largest evangelical groups and together they comprise over 60 percent of Chiapas' population, while the national average is over 80 percent Catholic(2/3 World). Some evangelicals who refuse to attend Catholic Church festivals have reported being arrested and harassed. Six were killed recently in an on-going pattern of violence against Protestants.
REIGHARD TO STANLEY CHURCH-- Charles Stanley's Atlanta church voted unanimously Jan. 14 to call Dwight "Ike" Reighard as senior associate pastor. Reighard will be the primary preacher at the N.E. Atlanta site and Stanley continues to preach at the old Midtown site which is for sale. He said last year he would resign if his divorce becomes final. Leaders hope to combine the two congregations after the sale (1/30 Ind. Bapt.). Reighard will fill the pulpit vacated by Stanley's son Andy, who resigned in the wake of divorce proceedings between his parents.
CORNERSTONE'S NEW EVANGELICAL SPEAKERS-- Cornerstone College/Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary is an approved entity of the GARBC. It has in recent years defended two professors who had problems accepting the literalness of certain aspects of heaven/hell. In the Feb. 1 CC, we listed some of the ecumenical speakers slated for its Feb. 19-23 Bible Conference. Included were: Warren Wiersbe, Joseph Stowell, Ed Dobson, and Knute Larson. Wiersbe speaks in conferences at Billy Graham's "The Cove" (in NC). Stowell is president of Moody Bible Institute, and speaks at SBC and Promise Keepers events. Dobson is a Senior Editor of Christianity Today whose founder and Board Chairman is Billy Graham. Larson is Senior Pastor of The Chapel, Akron, Ohio. He derided fundamentalists in a March 1994 address at the NAE. So, Cornerstone continues to cozy with mainline new-evangelical elites, and the GARBC seemingly condones all this and much more, by continuing year after year to grant approval status. You can't compromise this way and still be fundamentalists.
NAE '96 SPEAKERS-- An invitation letter from the National Association of Evangelicals for its 54th Annual Convention--"Reaching America: One Voice in Unity"--in Minneapolis March 3-5, termed this meeting: "three days of productive networking by decision makers from 350 evangelical groups." The NAE claims a service constituency of 27 million. Speakers include Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney, MBI president Joseph Stowell, Luis Palau, Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller, John Perkins, and Jill Briscoe (she is to address a public evening session). All are popular ecumenicals. Dr. Billy Graham is being specially honored by this year's convention. Assembly of God minister Dr. Don Argue became NAE president last year--the first Pentecostal to lead the NAE.
HANEGRAAFF SAYS REV. 17 NOT RELATED TO RC CHURCH--"Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff last year said Roman Catholicism does not fall within his definition of a cult (see 12/15 CC). In his 2/5 broadcast, a caller asked: "Is there any relation between [Rev. 17] and the Roman Catholic Church?" Hanegraaff said: "Absolutely none!... It's unfortunate today that there are people who are writing whole books trying to take Rev. 17 and trying to equate that to the Roman Catholic Church, which is sheerly ludicrous...".
EPISCOPAL EMBEZZLER BLAMES MENTAL ILLNESS--Former Episcopal Church treasurer Ellen Cooke admitted in federal court in late Jan. that she embezzled over $1.5 million while in office (2/3 World). But she said the theft was due to a mental illness, perhaps a "bipolar mood disorder." Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning, head of the church, for years waved away questions about her lavish lifestyle and her overbearing, harsh style of management. The church has seized her and her husband's (an Episcopal priest) two homes. She faces up to three years in jail.
ARMSTRONG'S CULT SHEDS CULTIC VIEWS--For decades Herbert W. Armstrong and his Worldwide. Church of God denied the Trinity and other key doctrines. Plain Truth magazine was replete with his heresies. But his successor, Joseph Tkach, Sr., who died last Sept., began a process of doctrinal revision toward orthodoxy. His successor son, Joseph Tkach, continued this, and now says (2/5 Chr.News): "Gone are our obsession with a legalistic interpretation of the Old Testament, our belief in British Israelism. We teach salvation by grace, based on faith alone, without resort to works of any kind. We are grateful for those fellow Christians--Hank Hanegraaff, Ruth Tucker, David Neffand friends at Fuller Seminary, Regent College and elsewhere--who have extended the hand of fellowship to us."
CT REVIEWER PRAISES BARTH-- The Dec. 11 Christianity Today had an effusive-with-praise review of a 1995 book about Karl Barth's theology. It said that "When chroniclers of twentieth-century theology look back one hundred years hence, there is little doubt that one name will overshadow all others as the giant of this century's theologians--Karl Barth." O Timothy editor David Cloud comments: "The reviewer admits that Barth was not orthodox, that he denied the biblical view of inspiration, yet he believes he was a great theologian.". Barth was a neo-orthodox theologian who also denied the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, and is hardly worthy of praise by evangelicals. But promoting modernists is nothing new for Chr. Today. Ed Dobson is a CT "Senior Editor;" Joseph Stowell and Warren Wiersbe are "Advisory Editors."
ANGLICANS SAY HELL IS NOT A PLACE OF FIRE-- In a report by its doctrinal commission, the Anglican Church says Hell is not a flaming pit populated by demons and devils. It said people who go to Hell aren't thrown into a fiery furnace or tortured forever; they're annihilated. (2/3 Dallas Morn.News). Sword editor Dr. Shelton Smith said: "In the Bible you'll find Hell is a real place, a place of torment, suffering, anguish, punishment and literal fire. But the Church of England (Anglican) disputes that. According to their official definition, Hell is reduced to a state of non-being or nothingness. They express concern about psychological needs but not a word about eternal needs."
DOBSON DOESN'T WARN OF CATHOLICISM DANGERS- Focus on the Family is weak on Roman Catholicism. Dr. James Dobson praises Catholic leaders (Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa). Cathy Burns (1/29 CN) says Mother Teresa is a New Ager and "does not believe in being born-again, and considers Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and other religions to be acceptable ways to God...". David Cloud says: "The issue is that Focus on the Family never warns its listeners of Rome's blasphemies and cursed sacramental gospel.". Ronald Cooke (12/95) says: "Rome has not changed. It may change its window dressing to attract the unwary but it is still the same Cult of Mary that it has been for centuries. It still preaches the same message of salvation through Mary, good works, Masses, Penance, and Purgatory. It still deplores and denies salvation by grace, justification by faith alone, and Christ as the ONLY Mediator between God and men."
TILTON RECONCILES WITH WIFE-- Just 16 days after filing for divorce, former TV evangelist Robert Tilton has reconciled with his second wife of 21 months (1/29 CN, 1/15 CC). They plan to continue preaching together at his church
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