VOL. XVIII NO. 4 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM February 15, 2001
|CLINTON CASE FOUNDED ON LIES—Former Pres. Clinton was able to
ride out his impeachment because he and his partisans managed to convince
the nation that the issue was not truth but power. Most all his arguments
were founded upon lies. It was a lie that he did not perjure himself. It
was a lie that he did not conceal evidence. It was a lie that he did not
conspire to intimidate witnesses. It was a lie that all these things were
[mere] personal mistakes. It was a lie that the assemblage of raw FBI files
on 900 Republicans was not for the purposes of blackmail. It was a lie
that these files came to the White House by mistake….It was a lie that
the president did not receive millions of campaign dollars from China.
It was a lie that he did not purposely intervene to aid the transfer to
[Communist] China of military technology that China intends for potential
use against the U.S. It was a lie that these two actions were unconnected.
It was a lie that the grounds of impeachment were not mystifyingly narrow….There
were so many lies that they were like sand in a sandstorm… (Mark Helprin,
TRUTH VS. LYING—It is of great importance to set a resolution…never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual. He tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time deprives all its good dispositions. (Thomas Jefferson, 1785, 1/01 Bapt. Banner)
PRISON RAPE EPIDEMIC—Savage prison gang rapes turn many run-of-the-mill prisoners into felons-in-waiting. Some 600,000 men and boys, and 12,000 women and girls, are sexually assaulted every year in America's jails and prisons, with many raped multiple times (2/3 World). For the most part, the U.S. government ignores these victims. Prison rape is often a black-on-white phenomenon. AIDS is now five times more prevalent inside prison than out. In NY state, HIV has reached epidemic proportions with over 10 percent of inmates testing positive for the virus.
THEOPHOSTIC COUNSELING—Ed Smith claims his Theophostic counseling system is a divine revelation from God, but critics fault its approach to the demonic. Smith teaches that demons, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, may inhabit and influence even a Christian's mind (2/5 Chr. Today). Few fundamentalist theologians would agree that demons can inhabit a believer. Martin and Deidre Bobgan have a book (see 1/1/00 CC) critiquing Theophostic, revealing it to include elements from inner healing, "recovered memories," and Freudian systems.
BUSH'S 'FAITH-BASED' WELFARE PLAN—Pres. Bush has established a new Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives. We don't question the sincere intentions of this and other "compassionate conservatism" actions, but are concerned that "Washington runs what it funds." The new office is headed by a Democrat who "favors recasting the welfare state in accordance with a principle of Catholic social teaching." (George Will, 2/4 HT) Apart from the church-state question and our belief that this should be done at the local level, early indications are that these grants would be available mostly to Catholics, liberals, and some New Evangelicals. Already we have seen articles that disqualify "right-wingers" such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Bob Jones University, etc., so it would mainly be a windfall for the left. Catholic Charities USA already receives 65 percent of its $2.3 billion budget from government. Pro-abortion Planned Parenthood received in 1999 $176 million—27 percent of its revenues —in government grants. For Christian groups to qualify for such grants would subject them to incessant pressure to dilute their message and liberalize their policies.
CHILDREN'S SERIES ATTACKS CHRISTIANITY—A fantasy trilogy, His Dark Majesty, marketed chiefly to teens and said to be worse than Harry Potter, is a direct attack on Christianity, the church, and God Himself (1/27 World). Satan, with his principle of cosmic rebellion, is the hero. Philip Pullman is the author of the series, and The Amber Spyglass is the concluding volume.
RESTRICTIONS ON CHURCHES IN CHINA—Since the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and China Christian Council must approve pastors for registered churches, they can take over independent congregations at any time. Although the Chinese government has eased open religious activity since 1980, it is not ready to loosen all controls. Restrictions vary from province to province. In addition to registering with the government, only approved pastors and teachers can lead church activities. Evangelism outside the registered setting is forbidden. Registered churches are prohibited from evangelizing anyone under 18, and they must use state-approved texts (1/27 World). The government and its church hierarchy remain more interested in controlling the content of theology and evangelism than in protecting religious freedom.
TWO SAME-SEX COUPLES LEGALLY TIE KNOT—Last month, two same-sex couples legally tied the knot in a joint service before 1,000 people at Toronto's "gay-positive" Metropolitan Community Church (1/15 Toronto Sun). It was said to be the first time anywhere in the world that a legal same-sex "marriage" has been performed.
BONNKE'S CHARISMATIC CRUSADE IN NIGERIA—German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke's mass "healings" and evangelistic crusades are setting records in Nigeria. His Christ For All Nations ministry said total attendance for his recent six-day crusade reached nearly 6 million and drew a record-breaking crowd of 1.6 million in a single night. He shouted, "All of Nigeria is going to heaven!" and promised "all of Nigeria will be healed." He said the blind would see, and paralyzed would walk. (2/5 Chr. Today) He told the crowd to begin shouting "Alleluia!" until the Holy Spirit entered their bodies. "You are going to speak in new tongues—a language you have never learned." A theologian who works with the International Bible Society in Nigeria said of Bonnke's instructing a massive crowd to speak all at once without an interpreter, "How am I sure that what people are saying is actually coming from God and not another spirit?" "In our traditional religions, people [also] speak in tongues."
BILLY GRAHAM TRAINING CENTER SPEAKERS—The usual lineup of ecumenical and/or new-evangelical speakers is listed in a new brochure from the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove near Asheville, NC for this year. Included are: Henry Blackaby, Joseph Stowell, Bruce Wilkinson, Anne Graham Lotz, Elisabeth Elliot, Franklin Graham, Jay Kesler, Warren Wiersbe, John Piper, Howard Hendricks, Stephen Olford, Steve Brown, Woodrow Kroll, Tony Evans, Larry Crabb, Jill Briscoe, Walter Kaiser, David Wyrtzen, John Mathison (United Methodist senior minister), Gary Chapman, Jim Henry, and Richard Bewes (All Souls Church, London).
THE CBF & SBC—The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is the more liberal wing of the Southern Baptist Convention. The CBF's top executive Dan Vestal says the CBF is not a convention, but believes a "network model" is better suited for the 21st century. He says it's fair to say the CBF has broken away from the SBC, but more accurate to say "the CBF exists because churches have broken away from the SBC either partially or completely." (1/01 Baptist Banner) The CBF Coordinating Council has adopted a "welcoming but not affirming" of gays stance. Vestal and other CBF leaders were saying CBF is a "denomination-like" group, but in recent weeks there seems to be a growing alliance between CBF and the liberal American Baptist Churches. In noting that the ABC does not tend to show evangelistic fervor, Vestal also noted about the CBF, "We're not really passionate about the gospel changing people's lives. We're… more oriented to political correctness and relevancy."
CURRENT SBC MISSIONARIES NOT REQUIRED TO SIGN NEW FAITH STATEMENT—Nearly 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries won't be forced to sign the new Baptist Faith and Message doctrinal statement, but must commit to working "in accordance with and not contrary to" its teachings. Under the new policy new appointees and SBC staff employees, however, will be asked to sign.
WINGFIELD CRUSADE AT FALWELL SITE—Jerry Falwell announced to Thomas Road Baptist Church recently that Steve Wingfield's tent would be pitched on the site of the new Thomas Road Baptist church across from Liberty University next fall (2/01 Nat'l Lib. Jrnl.). Wingfield is a former Liberty University student. He is an ordained "Wesleyan Methodist minister who attends a Mennonite church." (see 11/1/91 CC) Regarding a 1991 crusade at Lansdale, PA, Wingfield said, in ecumenical fashion: "I'm committed to laying aside the things that divide us." Close to 75 churches from various denominations were involved in that evangelism crusade which featured a rap group and a religious rock group.
CLINTON AT HYBELS' CHURCH—Last August Pres. Bill Clinton was interviewed by Bill Hybels, pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago. Clinton supposedly "bared his soul" for almost 90 minutes at this leadership conference, though he offered "little mention of God and no mention of sin." He left with a standing ovation of 4,500 Christian leaders. A 1/22 Christian News article had this comment: "Even if one accepted the president's apology, it is fair to ask why Christian leaders would give a standing ovation to a president who at every opportunity has waged war on unborn children." Congress twice passed bills banning gruesome partial-birth abortion ("infanticide") and twice Clinton vetoed them.
HYBELS FEATURED AT SCHULLER MEETING—Mega-church guru Bill Hybels was again listed as a speaker, along with liberal Tony Campolo, at "possibility thinking" guru Robert Schuller's Institute for Successful Church Leadership, Jan 29-Feb 1. Schuller, a disciple of Norman Vincent Peale, recently had "atheist" Gorbachev at his Crystal Cathedral (see 11/15/00 CC). Crystal Cathedral is not a church. It is a tourist attraction and a religious institution (1/22 Chr. News). Schuller is a "heretic" and his theology is not that of the Bible.
SBC LEADERS UNAWARE EVENT SPONSORED BY MOON—Some evangelical leaders including Southern Baptists were unaware the inaugural Prayer Luncheon for Unity and Renewal Jan. 19 was sponsored by Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Washington Times and the Unification Church (1/29 Chr. News). A delegation of SBC leaders including SBC President James Merritt were there and "shocked" that the luncheon was sponsored by Moon's church and included an address and books by him.
FUNDAMENTALISM & NEO-EVANGELICALISM—The following was excerpted from two papers sent to us by Baptist World Mission missionary (on deputation) Rocco Piserchia: "Contemporary Fundamentalism is defined by the doctrine and practice of Biblical separation. To a large degree the difference between Conservative Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism is a matter of separation. Contemporary Fundamentalism maintains stricter views of moral and ecclesiastical (or doctrinal) separation than Evangelicalism. While many spiritual leaders in conservative evangelical circles would practice separation from apostates and Roman Catholics, virtually none would practice separation from fellow believers who persist in sinful doctrine or sinful practice. In many cases while certain conservative evangelical leaders would oppose false doctrine by actively teaching against it, few would actively separate from fellow believers who persist in false doctrine. History has vindicated the Fundamentalist view of separation; that is, no doctrinal position can be maintained over time apart from the practice of separation….Neo-Evangelicalism, which began around 1950, was a theological movement that attempted to combine the social conscience and social actions of Theological Liberalism with the conservative theology of Fundamentalism. Neo-Evangelicalism was critically flawed in that its intellectual architects failed to realize that the social actions of Liberalism were the direct result of its liberal theology. The phrase "the social gospel" revealed that this gospel was different from the Gospel of the New Testament. Neo-Evangelicalism strongly rejected separation from Protestant Apostates. Contemporary Evangelicals by and large reject the doctrine and practice of ecclesiastical separation because their movement was shaped by Neo-Evangelicalism. The rejection of Biblical separation, both for the first generation Neo-Evangelical as well as the contemporary Evangelical, is based on pragmatism, not Scripture. …"
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