VOL. XIV NO. 6 NEWS & VIEWS, NOTES & QUOTES, TO WARN & INFORM March 15, 1997
CARTER COMMENTS ON CONVERSION - Former president Jimmy Carter
in his newest book, Living Faith, says (1/11 Houston Chron.):
"Being born again is a new life, not of perfection but of striving, stretching
and searching—a life of intimacy with God. Being born again didn't happen
to me when I was 11. For me, it has been an evolutionary thing. Rather
than a flash of light or a sudden vision of God speaking, it involved a
series of steps that brought me steadily closer to Christ. My conversion
at 11 was just one of those steps." This is the kind of flawed theology
one might expect from someone whose four favorite theologians/thinkers
were notorious liberals Barth, Niebuhr, Tillich, and Kierkegaard (10/1/86
It also helps explain his liberal stance on social issues, and his 19-93
endorsement of the moderate/liberal wing of the SBC.
ABORTION IS JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE? - A new book praised by NOW president Patricia Ireland and feminist abortion crusader Eleanor Smeal says: "Even in a medically normal pregnancy, the fetus massively intrudes on a woman's body and expropriates her liberty. If the woman does not consent to this transformation and use of her body, the fetus's imposition constitutes injuries sufficient to justify the use of deadly force to stop it." (2/15 World). The book, Breaking Abortion Deadlock: From Choice to Consent, is by Eileen McDonough who concedes the humanity of the unborn child "just as a homeowner concedes the humanity of a thief in the night but shoots him dead." But when a woman consents to conception, the unborn baby is an invited guest, not a freedom-stealing burglar.
TBN DROPS PAT BOONE…UNTIL HE 'EXPLAINS' - Besieged with thousands of phone calls and letters from shocked contributors, the charismatic Trinity Broadcasting Network's president Paul Crouch and other TBN executives moved to strike Pat Boone from its schedule "at least until he 'explains' his actions" (2/20 H. Times, 12/15 CC). Boone's recent tattoos and bare-chested black leather costume were too much for some fans. The 2/2 Dallas Morn. News said: "There was a time when Boone…believed heavy metal music a demonic plot." His parents, wife and daughter Debby opposed his turn toward heavy metal.
BOESAK WOES - Marxist African National Congress for-mer provincial leader Allan Boesak was forced to resign as president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches after two highly publicized extra-marital affairs and divorce a few years ago (1/27 Christian News). For the last year or so he taught at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, but is now charged with nine counts of fraud and 21 counts of theft in misappropriating anti-apartheid donations and diverting them to his own personal wants.
RECENT EPISCOPAL SCANDALS - In January 1995, the head of the Episcopal Church's largest diocese killed himself after multiple adulterous affairs (4/3/95 CT). Then its embezzling treasurer resigned in disgrace. In 1996, heresy charges against Bishop Walter Righter for ordaining a noncelibate homosexual were dismissed (6/17/96 CT). Of course, notorious Bishop John Spong is an ongoing "scandal" himself with his liberalism, and defense of homosexuals, becoming more blatant with each book he writes. His Episcopal Diocese of Newark (NJ) voted overwhelmingly in late Jan. to ask its national church to write a liturgical blessing for same-sex marriages (1/26 Star-Ledger). A homosexual lay delegate at an Episcopal convention recently said 33 percent of Episcopal priests are homosexuals (2/24 C. News). In Jan. a NY Episcopal priest was arrested as he smoked a crack pipe while typing his sermon, and was charged with dealing drugs from his church.
CROWDS FLOCK TO 'PENSACOLA OUTPOURING' - Charismatics in droves are converging on Pensacola's Brownsville Assembly of God, site of a 21-month-long "revival." Some arrive as early as 4 A.M. for evening seats and leave after 3 A.M., following hours of prayer and spiritual manifestations such as jerking, moaning, weeping, and dancing (3/3 Chr. Today). This continues four nights a week and is compared to, but is less giddy than, the Toronto Blessing ("laughing revival"). "Worship" became so wild (barking, roaring, etc.) at the Toronto church that its mother denomination, John Wimber's Vineyard Fellowship, ousted it (see 1/15 & 4/15/96 CCs). Charismatic/occultist David Yonggi Cho, pastor of a huge church in South Korea,is credited with laying the ground- work for the Pensacola "revival." The CT article said: "God prompted him to look at a U.S. map. And he placed a finger on Pensacola." Hundreds of people lie prostrate, face down, wailing, "slain in the Spirit." Contemporary Christian music (CCM) is used to get the audience on its feet (3/2 Huntsville Times). Revival organizers say perhaps 100,000 souls have been saved, but in random interviews over a three-day period, none said they were born again.
HYBELS, SCHULLER, CAMPOLO 'HELP' CLINTON - Liberal Eastern College sociologist Tony Campolo preached false doctrine at Pres. Clinton's inaugural prayer service (2/3 CN). Billy Graham gave the inaugural ceremony prayer. Willow Creek Community Church pastor Bill Hybels gushed in his praise of Clinton's "increasing desire to know God and to live for him" and said he has seen him grow spiritually in the monthly private meetings they have held for four years (3/3 World). Self-esteem liberal Robert Schuller said Clinton is a "pastor to the nation, not a politician." With such "helpers," pray for our president!
FALWELL GEARING UP FOR GRAHAM-- Dr. Jerry Falwell's 3/97 National Liberty Journal said a 1000-voice "Crusade" Choir will join Dr. Billy Graham for Liberty University's 1997 commencement. It said the LU class of 1997 will "be honored to hear Dr. Billy Graham as their commencement speaker on May 3rd." Billy Graham's grandson (Will Graham) is one of the nearly 2,000 graduates, and Franklin Graham will offer the invocation.
SCHAEFFER'S INFLUENCE ON FALWELL - Francis Schaeffer was a strong defender of inerrancy, but weak on separation. Near the end of his life (1984) he became disillusioned with fellow evangelicals as noted in his last book, The Great Evangelical Disaster. The 3/3 Christianity Today has a long essay on Schaeffer, noting his vast influence on many new evangelicals of our day. It said: "Francis's writings helped convince Jerry Falwell to take a stand against abortion. He also tutored Falwell in the concept of cobelligerence (Schaeffer's belief that Christians ought to stand with non-Christians against social injustice) which led Falwell to try to bring Catholics, Jews, Mormons, and others into the Moral Majority in 1979." He made public appearances with Falwell and Pat Robertson. Falwell in his 3/97 National Liberty Journal lists Schaeffer as one of his three mentors and said: "The students at Liberty University revered Dr. Schaeffer. When he walked into a convocation or chapel, they stood instantly in deep reverence of this man of God…."
NRB, LAHAYE, MOON - In perusing a draft of ACCC exec sec Dr. Ralph Colas's NRB report, we note: Speakers included Franklin Graham, MBI pres. Joseph Stowell, Max Lucado (Church of Christ pastor), John MacArthur, Beverly LaHaye, and David Jeremiah. Plain Truth Ministries sponsored a breakfast at the NRB (Nat'l Religious Broadcasters), and is already an associate member of the NAE. The pace of evangelical acceptance of Herbert W. Armstrong's former cult seems imprudent. (See 10/1 CC). LaHaye, in private, shared her discomfort in being a keynote speaker at a recent conference sponsored by followers of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. She indicated she did not know it was a "Moonie" conference until a few days prior, and felt that by then it was too late to cancel. She was joined on that "Moonie" platform by Ralph Reed (Christian Coalition), Gary Bauer, and Robert Schuller. Jerry Falwell has spoken at Moonie conferences in recent years (11/15/94 CC).
FUNDAMENTALISM'S GREATEST DANGER - FBF v-p Dr. Frank Bumpus identifies it as "a spirit of tolerance." (Frontline). He says: "The tolerant conservative today is usually a product of our Fundamentalist institutions and moves with ease within our circles. As Dr. David Beale (In Pursuit of Purity) observes, his personality is congenial and winsome, but he disdains controversy and recoils from militancy. He is inclined to suspect and criticize the motives of those who fight error and often parrots the criticism of those outside Fundamentalism. His is the voice of moderation, and he prefers peace over purity. His philosophy leads to compromise …surrender and defeat." Dr. Bumpus quotes Dr. George Dollar, then says: "The legacy of the tolerant conservative is one of naivete, cowardice and betrayal to the cause of Christ." He adds: "…Evil and error must be exposed….It is vital for Fundamentalism to resist any tolerance of error and compromise and to maintain its militant spirit."
MARTY TO LECTURE AT CONCORDIA - Liberal ELCA clergyman Dr. Martin Marty is a main speaker at a Concordia Seminary (LCMS) symposium, St. Louis, May 6-7. He is Senior Editor of the ultra-liberal Christian Century (1/27 CN). He attacks inerrancy, denies the physical resurrection of Christ, and is pro-abortion.
WARE TO SPEAK WITH SO. BAPTISTS - Baptist Bible College (Indianapolis) president Dr. Charles Ware is listed in Dr. Jerry Falwell's 3/97 Nat'l Liberty Journal as a speaker for a Rick Gage GO TELL Camp at the GA Baptist Assembly at Toccoa, Ga. in July. Southern Baptists such as Rick Gage and Jerry Johnston are also listed speakers. Ware was a main speaker at the GARBC's 1996 annual conference, and is a member of ABWE's board (see 10/1 CC). It is sad that fundamental churches still support organizations such as ABWE and the GARBC that claim to be separatist, but practice compromise. (See Sad Signs GARBC Not Separatist article in 10/1 CC, and 4/15 & 5/1/96 CCs for ABWE info.)
CHARISMATIC GROWTH - According to a study by David Barrett of the Global Evangelization Movement, charismatic growth will continue to flourish in the next century (3/97 Charisma). He says in 1996, 11.8 percent of the world's "Christians"—or 479 million of 1.9 billion Christians—were charismatic. By 2000, 26 percent (554 million) of the world's 2.1 billion Christians will be charismatic. And by 2025, 37 percent (1.1 billion) of the world's 3 billion "Christians" will be charismatic.
MUSLIMS AND JEWS - "Reconciliation Walk" is a four-year international effort to build bridges between Christians and their historical "enemies"—Muslims and Jews (3/97 Charisma). Lynn Green, a top Youth With A Mission director, is RW's international coordinator. But by rejecting Christ as Savior, these two religions reject the divinely established "bridge." And to say that "Muslims and Jews deserve an apology from Christians" today for the brutal "holy war" Crusades against Muslims and Jews is to confuse. Don't blame Christians today for the Crusades, promoted and financed by Roman Catholic popes centuries ago! YWAM and others have no authority to reconcile and build bridges to Christ-rejecting religions. The Cross of Christ is God's only salvation bridge. For Muslims, Jews and others who refuse that, there can be no real reconciliation.
WIMBER, HYBELS SPEAK AT SCHULLER EVENT Listed faculty for The Robert Schuller Institute for Successful Church Leadership,Jan.27-30,at Crystal Cathedral campus included: Schuller, John Wimber (Vineyard "signs and wonders" guru), Bill Hybels, Charles Blake (Church of God),Walt Kallestad, John Maxwell, and Rick Warren. Ken Medema was at piano (9/16 CT). Hybels, Wimber, and David Cho were 1994 speakers. Tony Cam-polo and Jack Hayford were listed as 1995 speakers.
CHARISMATIC 'WOMEN OF FAITH' - The "Women of Faith" (Luci Swindoll, Sheila Walsh, Thelma Wells, Patsy Clairmont, Marilyn Meberg, & Barbara Johnson) are listed in the 3/97 Charisma to present their "The Joyful Journey" conference in John Hagee's charismatic church and in former SBC president Ed Young's church (Houston). This is billed as a "special time filled with infectious joy, laughter and inspiring spiritual truth."
POPE'S VISION FOR NEW MILLENNIUM - The 3/97 C.E.C. Journal had an ad from the 3/96 New Covenant by Franciscan University, Steubenville, OH (where Dr. James Dobson received an honorary doctorate). It read (emphasis theirs): "THE HOLY FATHER has a sweeping vision for the new millennium: a Church HEALED of division, BOUND together by love, and CELEBRATING a Eucharistic unity. See how Mary, the Mother of Mercy, is leading the Church into the third millennium."
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