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religion, Bible, Christianity, church, Church of Christ, Baptist, Catholic debate, Non-denominational, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, inspiration, agnostism, divorce, Calvinism, premillennialism, evolution, creation, morals, feminism, Royce Money, Abilene Christian University, Christian Chronicle, Spiritual Sword, Gospel Advocate, The Peaceable Kingdom,
Center for Church Enrichment, Proctor & Gamble, gay and lesbian, homosexuals, extraterrestrials, polygamy, Partial Birth Abortion, AIDS

Potpourri, February 1996


religion, articles, christianity
Catholics Convert to Christ Good for Them A Bare Bear
Obituaries Entertaining Perverts Homosexuals for Polygamy
Dumbfounding The Law Is the law Partial Birth Abortion
Good Question Here and There and Everywhere The Red Badge of AIDS
Wall Street Journal Vatican and Priests Should There Be a Law?

Our many friends keep on plugging the paper and encouraging the writers. The number of subscribers goes up every month. Much obliged to all of you who have gone out of your way to assure increased readership and therefore increased influence for the Firm Foundation. Folks keep on saying things like: "It is a pleasure to write to you and let you know how much we enjoy reading the Firm Foundation;" and "I cannot find enough words to express to you how much I love and enjoy the Firm Foundation;" and "am sending a subscription for the following person;" and "I wish to compliment you on restoring the quality of the articles in the Firm Foundation." There's much, much more, but that gives you taste of the favorable comments that come in every month.

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Catholics Convert to Christ

Darrell Conley debated two Catholic men in San Antonio. The Catholic debaters affirmed the Catholic Church, of which they are members, is the one and only true church of Christ. Brother Conley proved from the Scriptures that the church of Christ, of which he is a member, is the one and only true church of Christ. The debate is on video tape. Conley's victory (really a victory for truth) is clear. He reports that recently two people, Benny ant Mary Esther Castillo, formerly members of the Catholic Church, obeyed the gospel. They heard the debate and then studied with brother Conley for a few weeks and then were baptized as an expression of their faith and to wash away their sins. Who says debates don't do any good?

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Obituaries

Hubert Lowry writes to let us know that his father and mother passed away this year. Eugene Lowry was a faithful gospel preacher for 58 years and his wife, Elma Mae, stood by him and helped to absorb the responsibility, disappointments and victories during all that time. Brother Lowry was a learned, self­taught man. He preached in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Washington. He raised five children. These two servants of the Lord are remembered for their teaching of the good doctrine, hospitality, and pleasant personalities.

We are also advised that Lillie Belle Merritt Crozier, one of eight children of Edwin and Kathy Moore of Bluff City, Ark., is now comforted in the bosom of Abraham. Her children and their spouses rise up to call her blessed. Her descendants serve as missionaries, preachers, elders, Bible school teachers, and faithful members of the Lord's body. After the death of her first husband, she maintained a home at 766 EN 15th Street in Abilene (adjacent to the campus of ACU). She rented rooms to ACU students and many will have a fond remembrance of her good influence.

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Dumbfounding

When Royce Money, president of ACU, announced the school would no longer feel responsible for the behavior of students in non­university directed activities, like drinking whiskey in bars and hanging out in dance halls, we were amazed.

The Firm Foundation expressed concern, but school officials explained that the university could not be accountable for activities off campus. Now, our amazement has turned into "bumfuzzelment."

We are confounded because, and please get this, the Abilene Reporter­News (Oct. 15, 1995) in a full page advertisement blazoned the headline "Diamonds in the Sky Denim on the Dance Floor." It is a special thanks to all those who made the Baron's Ball such a success. It shows a picture of a cowboy and blond in a dance­embrace. (We cannot tell from the picture if they are drunk, but they look like it.)

We will give you one-only one-guess as to who was one of the sponsors who made the dance hall ball such a success. Give up? Naw - you already guessed - it is Abilene Christian University. Another sponsor was Abilene Christian Schools. You may be interested to know that Hardin Simmons and McMurray Universities (Baptist and Methodist schools) were not included - guess they are too narrow minded. By the way, this was not an ACU directed event, nor was it "on campus," just ACU endorsed.

Still more mind­boggling is the result of a survey conducted by Abilene Christian University. It contains some information that is ... well ... it is incredible (which means, as you know, absurd, implausible, impossible, improbable, inconceivable). The school claims to have interviewed 631 ministers across the United States (they obviously mean preachers in the churches of Christ) and found that 421 read the Christian Chronicle; 252 read the Spiritual Sword; 210 read Image; 210 read Gospel Advocate - and - and - the survey does not report one person reading the Firm Foundation. No, not one. No, not one. Can you believe it?

Also, the survey shows - as you might expect - one in five attend the ACU lectureship; one in six attend the Tulsa Soul ­ Winning Workshop; one in six attend Freed­Hardeman Lectures; one in twelve attend the Pepperdine Lectures; and not one - no, not one - is reported to attend MSOP or the Denton Lectures. ACU wins!

Another also - they found "great agreement" on "certain doctrinal points." The preachers they interviewed believe that Adam & Eve were real historical persons, and the Bible is inerrant in all matters, and the virgin birth was a biological miracle. That is good! Now, what do professors in the Bible Department at ACU think on these same subjects. Does Andre Resner still think that the mother of Jesus was "a sexually questionable woman?" Does Carroll Osburn still think the Bible has errors in geography, history, and science? Or has he turned into a fundamentalist? Osburn says only fundamentalists believe the Bible is inerrant (The Peaceable Kingdom, p. 57).

All this valuable information came from Center for Church Enrichment, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX 79699.

Wonder who they interviewed? Wonder if they reported all the information that came to them? Wonder if they can tell the truth?

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Good Question

Cal Thomas (Los Angeles Times) asks:

Why has most of the press become a shill for the gay rights movement? Fear is one answer. Most liberals don't want to be labeled intolerant and shy away from any moral code that doesn't support their political comfort level. But perhaps the main reason is that the establishment media have developed a relationship with the political objectives of gay rights activism that has shamefully compromised their ability to report objectively and fairly on the issue.

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Wall Street Journal

Arthur Schlesinger Jr., in an article in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 22, 1995), says "More than a third of American adults claim that God speaks to them directly. Am I alone in finding this a scary statistic? What in the world do they mean?"

Schlesinger points out that the killer of Yitzhak Rabin and Joan of Arc both heard voices telling them to kill others. He points out that Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Blithedale Romance) said such people "have an idol to which they consecrate themselves high­priest, and deem it holy work to offer sacrifices of whatever is more precious; and never once seem to suspect-so cunning has the Devil been with them-that this is a false deity, in whose iron features, immitigable to all the rest of mankind, they see only benignity and love, is but a spectrum of the very priest himself, protected upon the surrounding of darkness." Hawthorne called it the Unpardonable Sin. Hawthorne said that such people "have no heart, no sympathy, no reason, no conscience."

There is an awful arrogance in claiming access to the divine purpose. Do you think God speaks to you directly? What does he say? How does he say it? Those who claim direct influence of the Holy Spirit, whether Promise Keepers or Holy Rollers, put us and them in a chancy position.

If God speaks to - directs, influences, guides apart from the Word of Truth - then let the person so directed, influenced, or guided show the proof of it by signs and miracles following.

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Good for Them

Proctor & Gamble, the nation's largest advertiser, is playing hard ball in the war against trashy TV talk shows. P&G announced that it has pulled ads from at least four shows, with possibly more to come. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Sally Jesse Raphael, Jerry Springer, Geraldo and Montel Williams" will no longer reap the financial rewards of doing business with the corporate giant.

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Entertaining Perverts

Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, according to Associated Press, "reached out to the homosexual community and entertained 150 of its political activists at a party in their home. "It's a wonderful thing to do what you're doing, and that's devoting your lives to others," Mr. Gore told the guests. "This dedication is an outgrowth of the way you live your entire lives." Mrs. Gore said, "We very deeply share your vision of a society that is fair and free of discrimination for gay and lesbian people, and we want you to know that."

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The Law Is the law

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a restraining order against West High School students in Salt Lake City. The ruling referenced the school's a capella choir and restrained it from singing two songs because they contained the words "Lord" and "God."

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Here and There and Everywhere

Lured by psychics, 1,500 Bulgarians gathered at an airfield to await the arrival of extraterrestrials. The aliens were supposed to, among other things, help the country pay its foreign debts. Alas, the ET's never arrived and police had to move in to protect the mediums from an angry crowd (Reason, Dec. 95).

Maine's highest court has upheld a $40,000 jury verdict against the Fort Kent Golf Club. The club was sued by a golfer whose own golf ball bounced off railroad tracks that cross the first fairway and hit her in the face.

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Vatican and Priests

The Vatican said that the Roman Catholic ban on the ordination of women as priests was a definitive, infallible and unquestionable part of the Church's discipline. The ruling by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would make it virtually impossible for a future Pope to reverse the church's policy on women priests, Vatican sources said (Reuters News Service).

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A Bare Bear

The Fish and Wildlife Service charged John Shuler with the "illegal taking of a grizzly bear and fined him $7,000.00. The judge said that self­defense cannot be claimed by a person (1) "who was blameworthy to some degree in bringing about the occasion for the need to use deadly force" or (2) "who provokes an encounter as a result of which he finds it necessary to use deadly force to defend himself." Shuler left his front porch and entered his sheep pen, and "purposefully placed himself in the zone of imminent danger of a bear attack."

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Homosexuals for Polygamy

Phil Burress, executive director of Citizens for Community Values, a pro­family group, said: "This country is based on a moral standard of Judeo­Christian principles. If this nation decides to permit same­sex marriages, they have to permit polygamy and bigamy as well." A recent issue of Genre, a homosexual magazine, praised "gay marriages" and "sexy three­way marriages." The homosexual March on Washington called for the "legalization of multiple partner unions" (Human Events, Nov. 10, 1995).

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Partial Birth Abortion

The infant is pulled feet first from his mother's womb while the head is kept just inside the mother's body; the abortionist then punctures the infant's skull and suctions the brain out. A registered nurse,

Brenda Shafer, who assisted at several such abortions said, "I still have nightmares about what I saw." The House of Representatives passed a bill to ban the procedure. Abortionists are enraged: in the words of one New York Times story, "Most of the doctors interviewed said they saw no difference between dismembering the fetus within the mother's body and partially delivering it, ... before killing it." National Review commented, "They are, of course, correct."

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The Red Badge of AIDS

National Review (Nov. 27, 1995), after pointing out that many homosexuals are heedless of the AIDS danger and continue to engage in the type sex that is known to transmit the HIV, comments: Which brings us to the second problem; call it the puzzle of the scarlet ribbon. What do healthy people who pin the shiny red commemoration of AIDS to their lapel mean to express by it? Solidarity with those who are gone? With those who are about to go? With those who will one day inevitably be going? With the disease itself? The issue is not a trivial one, for what does it mean to make a gesture of fellowhood with people who have deliberately made themselves hopeless, when one has not exposed oneself to such danger?

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Should There Be a Law?

The problem: The birth every year of one million babies to unwed mothers.

The consequence: One million children who, on reaching the age of 13, tend to run into difficulties. The statistics tell us that the child raised by a single parent is likelier, by a factor of 600 percent, to commit crimes, consume drugs, quit school, and sire children out of wedlock.

There are mothers and fathers who are unavoidably forced to care for minor children alone because of death, disease, or desertion. We honor, and take note of the fact, that many a noble man and woman have gone it alone when circumstances compelled it, and have provided their children food, shelter, and good teaching so that the kids grew up to be responsible adults, fully able to find their place in society.

We lament those single parents who do not take their task seriously, and who contribute in a very bad way to the horrible statistics given above.

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H. A. (Buster) Dobbs