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Potpourri, December 1995


religion, articles, christianity

The Firm Foundation continues to move forward at a good pace not too fast and not too slow, but just about right. Our greatest need is for more subscribers. We are gaining ground every month in this regard, but could use a lot of help in recruiting new readers and recapturing old ones who may have dropped out for a time. Your words of approval and encouragement are prized and hoarded. Thank you.

If you send in notices and announcements, please remember that we have a 60-day lag time in publication. We were at work on the December issue of the paper in September and loaded it down to the layout department by October 15. We must follow that schedule to get the paper into your hands early in the month of its dateline. Just thought you might like to know. The business manager and the editor each make about 30 trips every year. We go where we are needed to help advance the cause. We appear in gospel meetings, workshops, seminars, and lectureships. The work is arduous at times, but is made sweet by many friendships and the anticipation of a crown and a robe. Otherwise we would go fishing or play golf.

The Chinese Connection

Prejudice

How Many Genders?

Christian Psychology

Queers Solicit Children

Illegitimate

Music Hath Charm

Swishy, Swishy

Disney

Tightrope

Almost As Bad

Do Tell

Abortion

Aliens

Drug Market

Poverty?

Good Idea

Telephone Manners

The Chinese Connection

In Peking 30,000 women gathered the week of Sept. 24 to attend the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. United States taxpayers paid about 75 percent of the cost.

"It was once supposed that the Soviet Union and China were sanctuaries for women. In those nations women could dig ditches, sweep streets, and have abortions on demand and were many times given abortions against their will. Soviet and Chinese women were not happier and healthier than ladies who lived in the sexist countries of the West. There is no known correlation between government policies and female happiness."

Beverly LaHaye, founder and president of Concerned Women for America, reported from Peking: "Instead of discussing 'real life' problems like forced abortion in China, forced female circumcision (genital mutilation) in parts of Africa and in some Muslim countries, physical violence against women and girls, the conference deteriorated into a cesspool of advocacy for lesbianism, legalized prostitution, male-bashing, and anti-religious bigotry."

Syndicated columnist Suzanne Fields says these women "have a hidden agenda of eliminating the influence of traditional families, religion and morality. One of their catch-all terrors is the rise of conservatism in its various forms religious, nationalistic, racia/ethnic, and homophobia."

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How Many Genders?

Women at a preparatory committee meeting for the Fourth World Conference at Peking pressed "the notion that the world must come to understand an equality of five genders." The five include male and female heterosexuality, male and female homosexuality, and trans/bisexuals. In a paper entitled Why Male and Female Are Not Enough we meet with male and female, herms, merms, and ferms (hermaphrodites, male pseudo-hermaphrodites, and female pseudo-hermaphrodites). The combined count raises us to eight genders and we still don't know where to put Michael Jackson.

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Queers Solicit Children

Donna Minkowitz, a lesbian columnist, wrote in the Village Voice:

I'm much more comfortable with the notion of 'recruiting' than I am with the guesstimate that restricts same-sex passion to a fixed percentage of the population.... In a world without the heterosexual imperative, maybe kids would try on different forms of sexuality as they now try on musical styles, career choices, and haircuts. It must be this vista of infinite sexual possibilities beyond the exigencies of procreation that scares the family- values posse more than anything else (Kids R Us, February 1993).

By the way, the Firm Foundation is accused of "gay-bashing." The term is used by homosexual advocates to include verbal abuse, or just saying anything negative about homosexuals or homosexuality. When our kids are the stakes, we will not be silent no matter what you call us. Don't be fooled homosexuals are after the children.

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Music Hath Charm

David Briggs, AP, (Houston Chronicle, Sept. 16, 1995) tells us, "A new study published in the Journal of Religion in Disability & Rehabilitation finds that incense and music can enrich the worship experience of severely mentally retarded people." By "music" they mean drums, pianos, guitars, and such like. When some of our liberal brothers hear about this, they will want to add incense to their agenda.

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Disney

Carroll Bennett sent an article from the Arkansas Gazette June 1, 1995) reporting that Walt Disney World decided not to post signs in its ticket windows Saturday when tens of thousands of homosexuals visited the theme park in an annual celebration. Last year, Disney put up "discreet signs" advising visitors that the event was under way, said Disney spokesman Bill Warren. "While we didn't think those signs were in any way discriminating, we just thought we'd treat this like any normal day at the park."

Normal day? How can you have anything normal when you are dealing with abnormal people?

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Almost As Bad

Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts hosts the annual Thomas F. Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Lecture Series, Nov. 6-8. Rick

Atchley, minister of the Richland Hills Church of Christ in Fort Worth, will present three chapel lectures as well as a faculty breakfast lecture. Take note that Atchley is in the forefront of the liberal movement within churches of Christ.

When ACU and OCUSA talk about U.S. News & World Report recognizing them as "Best Value" in higher education, they are not talking about academic excellence. Both schools are usually listed in the bottom part of the fourth quadrant of recognized listings of universities. "Best Value," in this context, means that among private universities, these two are among the cheapest. Compared to a state school, of course, they are very expensive, but among the private ones, they cost less than most of the others.

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Abortion

Americans kill about 1.5 million babies every year. Abortions are about to become less visible and more accessible. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that two drugs, widely used in fighting cancer and ulcers methotrexate and misoprostol when administered during the first nine weeks of pregnancy, are as effective in aborting the baby as RU-486, the French abortion pill that is still banned in this country.

By the way, Title X of the Public Health Services Act had its funding restored by act of Congress. The program's language forbids any of its funds from being devoted to abortions. But Planned Parenthood, which runs clinics responsible for an estimated 134,000 abortions a year in the United States, gets roughly $30 million annually in Title X funding.

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Drug Market

U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency chief, Thomas Constantine, says amphetamines from Mexico are rapidly overtaking Columbian cocaine as the drug of choice in the U.S.

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Good Idea

Its manufacturer is promoting the Personal Protector. This tiny vial, which clips on to your underwear, contains a liquid that emits a repulsive and overpowering stench. "If a personal encounter gets out of hand, simply squeeze it." The $34.95 price includes an odor neutralizer.

Wonder if it will keep skunks away.

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Prejudice

As Christians, we often hear the charge that faith is hostile to science. But this "warfare" image is artificial. In The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth Century Philosophers, Becker shows that the first modern historians, such as Voltaire, were Enlightenment rationalists who sought to discredit Christianity by casting it as the enemy of science and progress. But today the historical facts are destroying the stereotype (Christianity Today, Aug. 14, 1995).

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Christian Psychology

In an interview reported in Christianity Today (Aug. 14, 1995), Larry Crabb, founder and director of the Institute of Biblical Counseling, and a professor at Colorado Christian University made some interesting points.

Crabb was asked: What has been the effect of professional counseling in the church?

He answered: "The church has bought into the idea that its spiritual role is a very limited one. If a woman struggles with depression or lack of sexual desire for her husband because of past sexual abuse, the immediate response is to send the woman to a professional counselor. The underlying assumption is that spiritual resources aren't sufficient to deal with what's going on that only people with massive levels of professional training can help. Ultimately, we're saying the Scriptures and Christianity don't meaningfully address the core concerns of our lives."

Question: Hasn't psychotherapy worked for many people?

Answer: Yes; but ask most people who have had two or three years with a good therapist what it was that helped them. Nine times in ten they say, "This guy really cared about me. He looked at me and said, 'I really want to see you feel better.'" The therapist's caring was much more important than his or her professional interpretations. Those therapists who are doing really good work are, in fact, doing what I call "eldering." And if eldering is being done within a professional setting, why can't it be done in the nonprofessional setting of the church? I think it can be, and I think that's where it ideally belongs.

If "every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work" well, then, it just is.

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Illegitimate

Children born out of wedlock are far more likely than luckier children to live in poverty, to have emotional and behavioral problems, to abuse drugs and become criminals. The high illegitimacy rates in many American communities make it impossible for them to function in any meaningful way. As a result, these neighborhoods have become a gamble to traverse and a nightmare to inhabit. The U.S. government's welfare policies have contributed to the national tragedy. Welfare makes it possible for a young mother to get by without a working husband; indeed, to marry would end her benefits. Many women have, thus, chosen to marry the government.

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Swishy, Swishy

Whether it's to keep the hair out of their eyes, or annoy Dad, boys across the country from middle school to college are wearing barrettes. "It's really cool," says a Berkeley, Calif., sixth grader. "I wear lots of different colors." Did we mention the kind with flowers and puppies on them?

Where are the parents?

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Tightrope

Tino Wallenda, according to The Tennessean (April 17, 1995), performed during Easter service at First Baptist Church in Franklin, Tenn. "Walking a tightrope is the same as following the Lord," Wallenda of Sarasota, Fla., said as he made his way across the wire. Wallenda noted that he had tried to work his way into heaven, to prove himself to God, until he realized that no matter how much he did he would always be unworthy of God. "I saw that I was not holy," he said while standing on a chair on the wire. "I saw that I was a sinner. I had missed the mark." Only Christ's love would save him, not his own works.

Wallenda is wrong because the New Testament says:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him (John 3:16-17).

Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself (James 2:17).

Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith (James 2:24).

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead (James 2:26).

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned (Mark 16:16).

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Do Tell

Bishop of Edinburgh Richard Holloway, blaming adultery on God's genetic planning, said of his fornication and that of others, "He [God] has given us promiscuous genes."

It ain't my fault! That woman you gave me ... It was the serpent.... The genes made me do it.

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Aliens

The 1994 CSICOP conference, held in Seattle, Wash., June 23 to 26, set- out to explore the various ways in which our minds operate, how our views are formed, and how our memories can he influenced,

altered, and even manufactured. The keynote address was given by Carl Sagan. A Harvard professor of psychiatry, John Mack, discussing alien abduction created the most controversy.

Mack said, "Many of my patients actually have been abducted by aliens." He maintained that he was once skeptical of such claims but now categorizes the UFO-abduction cases as "authentic mysteries."

All of the evidence for abduction by little men with big eyes and oversized heads is anecdotal, and sounds more like a nightmare than science. Come to think of it, it also sounds like much of the anecdotal exaggeration heard from some pulpits.

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Poverty?

Government surveys reveal that nearly 40 percent of all "poor" households own their own homes, 64 percent own a car, and 92 percent have color TV.

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Telephone Manners

John Budenholzer tried three times to give his name when calling a "feminist organization in New York," but was repeatedly interrupted with, "Don't call me Sir!" He later realized they were hearing, "My name is John Buttonhole, Sir."

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