religion, christianity, articles
christian news, churches of christ, baptist churches, catholic church,
methodist churches, assembly of god, Episcopal Bishops, same sex marriages, promise keepers, homosexuality, queers, aids, pornography, armageddon, jehovah's witnesses, Watchtower,
Scripture Press, gospel advocate, Louis Farrakkan

Potpourri, August 1996


religion, articles, christianity

Report

Progress Anyone?

Supreme Court

Who Is at Risk?

Watch for It

Midwestern School of Preaching

More on Queers

Armageddon Postponed

News in the News

Religion?

School Days

Scripture Press

WVSOP

PK

Pornography

Fair Ah, Who?

Report

The Firm Foundation is vibrant and strong, and is growing every day. More and more people are daily recognizing the necessity for a voice crying out in the wilderness and pleading for loyalty to Prince Immanuel. We need to be reminded to stand fast in the old paths, and to take more earnest heed to the things that were spoken by Christ and the apostles and the prophets, "lest haply we drift away from them." False teachers abound among us even as there were false prophets among the people of a former dispensation (2 Pet. 2:1; 1 John 4:1; Heb. 2:1-4). Anyhow, the church is waking up to the challenge of change agents who pervert the gospel and teach heresy. Let us resolve never to be moved away from the gospel of Christ to another gospel, which is not another gospel.

Your help and support is deeply appreciated. We were recently informed that brother Garland Rose left a bequest in his will for the Firm Foundation. Looks like it may be somewhere around $10,000.00, give or take a little. The money will be used to print good, sound material - books, Bible school literature, tracts, and such like. His kind gift will cause his works to follow with him, and the good that will be done will wash one day upon an evergreen shore.

You might give some consideration to putting the Firm Foundation in your will. We will be glad to help you with codicils and living trusts, if needed and wanted.

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Watch for It

The 15th annual Denton Lectures will be presented Nov. 10-14. A variety of material will be covered by 35 speakers from all parts of the nation. The lectureship book will be a fitting companion to those of previous years. A daily discussion forum (Monday through Thursday) will feature controversial subjects. For more information you may call or write the Church of Christ, 312 Pearl St., Denton, TX 76201, (817) 387-3531 or Dub McClish, (817) 387-1429.

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News in the News

According to the Houston Chronicle, June 8, 1996, some Catholic priests have begun to baptize people by immersing them. The "immersion" involves having the candidate kneel in about six inches of water while the priest pours water from a pitcher over their heads. They say this is in imitation of the burial of Jesus.

According to the Chicago Tribune (May 31, 1996) 10 Episcopal Bishops say they will "take steps to create a fellowship of Episcopal parishes and dioceses which uphold scriptural authority" unless the church's General Convention bans the clergy from engaging in sexual relations outside marriage (Thanks to Earl Davis for the copy of the paper).

Also in the Chicago Tribune (June 3, 1996), Charles Krauthammer has an article dealing with same sex marriages. Krauthammer says that it is likely Hawaii will hand down a decision this summer legalizing gay marriages. He observes, "Once that happens in Hawaii, gay marriage becomes national: any gay couple in the country can fly to Hawaii to get married and their own state would have to recognize the union, just as every state has had to recognize quickie Nevada divorces." The Congress of the United States attempted to pass legislation exempting the various states from having to recognize Hawaii's action on gay marriages. The President of the United States branded the congressional proposal as "a diversion, a distraction from the real issues of the day." The Krauthammer column says that even if the Congress passes such legislation and the President signs it, the Supreme Court would declare it unconstitutional on the grounds that Congress should not be able to override the Full Faith and Credit clause of the constitution (more thanks to Earl Davis of Arlington Heights, IL, for a copy of the article).

So what's to be done? Douglas W. Kmiec says:

Morality's first team—the family, church, neighbors in the local community — need to be prodded off the sidelines.... James Madison and others of our founding generation knew that only a virtuous people could be free. Families and their church congregations cannot afford to be distracted from their duty of moral formation by the false hope that a new president or the next Supreme Court opinion ... can come to the rescue. When families and churches fail, virtues of prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice go undefined, untaught, unlearned and certainly, unapplied. Even as vital a concept as freedom is twisted into an ugly form of self- gratification — the freedom to do whatever one wants, rather than the freedom (and its implied obligation) to pursue the common good (Chicago Tribune).

Solomon wrote, "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people."

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WVSOP

The West Virginia School of Preaching graduated its first class of six men on June 29, 1996. Emanuel Daugherty, director of the school, estimates an additional dozen men will join the 5 men who are still students, making a total of 17 men preparing to preach the truth of the gospel.

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Progress Anyone?

In 1926, Mae West's shimmy dance in the Broadway play Sex earned her jail time for corrupting the morals of youth. In 1996 the shimmy wouldn't even get her a summons. That is about as much progress (improvement) as when professing preachers and blind teachers deny the law of God on the excuse that grace eliminates it. Reminds me of Yogi Berra's aphorism: "They said it couldn't be done, but that doesn't always work."

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Midwestern School of Preaching

Oran Rhodes, director of Midwestern School of Preaching, 10800 Kentucky, Sugar Creek, Missouri 64054, reports that the Cecil Shelton Library has been donated to the school.

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Religion?

Not everything that parades under the name "religion" is religious. Members of a religious sect called Aum Shinrikyo, headed by a mysterious figure named Shoko Asahara, released sarin nerve gas on a Tokyo subway. Twelve people died and thousands were injured.

Very sad! But how much more dangerous is a false teacher (professor) who corrupts the doctrine of God and leads countless youth to aberrant teaching and eternal loss. Who was it that said, "I'd rather be the Roman soldier that thrust the spear into the side of the Lord."

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PK

Max Patterson of Neosho, Mo., in discussing Promise Keepers, wrote: "So, what's wrong? The wrong is that the movement is firmly fixed in Calvinism. Rule 5 of the Promise Keepers Statement of Faith, says: 'We believe that man was created in the image of God, but because of sin, was alienated from God. That alienation can be removed only by accepting through faith alone God's gift of salvation."'

Promise Keepers begins to look like all bone and no fish, and to smell very fishy.

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Supreme Court

According to Human Events (June 7, 1996) the Supreme Court of the United States of America on May 20 upheld the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court to strike down Amendment 2, prohibiting the state from granting homosexuals special privileges. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent, which Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas agreed. Here are excerpts from Justice Scalia's dissent:

The court has mistaken a Kulturkampf for a fit of spite. The constitutional amendment before us here is not the manifestation of a 'bare ... desire to harm homosexuals' ... but is rather a modest attempt by seemingly tolerant Coloradans to preserve the traditional sexual mores against the efforts of a politically powerful minority to revise those mores through use of the laws.

The minority opinion went on:

It would prevent the state or any municipality from making death-benefits payments to the 'life partner' of a homosexual when it does not make such payments to the long-time roommate of a non- homosexual employee.

Finally, the Scalia opinion said:

The proposition that polygamy can be criminalized, and those engaging in that crime deprived of the vote remains good law. Has the court concluded that the perceived social harm of polygamy is a 'Legitimate concern of the government,' end the perceived social harm of homosexuality is not?

Ho humm!

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More on Queers

Human Events (May 17, 1996) reports on a homosexual orgy in the Federal Building in the nation's capitol.

It was supposed to be an "AIDS" benefit. Eyewitnesses observed many illegal activities, including nudity, sodomy, same-sex intercourse, drug dealing and use. Marc Morano videotaped portions of the event, observed an act of sodomy being performed just off the dance floor. The men's room stalls were being used for sexual encounters throughout the night. The orgy at the Mellon Auditorium was one of several functions held as part of a "Cherry Jubilee Weekend."

The next morning, another Cherry Jubilee event was held in the Rayburn House Office Building, courtesy of openly gay Republican Representative Steve Gunderson. Sponsors of the weekend included American Airlines, Snapple Beverages, Lite Beer, Starbucks Coffee, and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and the unsuspecting U.S. taxpayers.

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School Days

Mark McWhorter advises there will be an upcoming gathering of members of the church who home-school their children. The annual get-together will be held in October during the week that Columbus Day occurs. For more information contact Mark McWhorter, 420 Chula Vista Mtn. Rd., Pell City, AL 35125, 205/338-1843.

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Pornography

Details continued to emerge last week indicating further that Janet Napolitano—U.S. Attorney in Arizona—refused a federal agency's request for an investigation into a rampant child pornography ring because she said that it was aimed only at homosexual suspects. Napolitano refused to give a warrant to U.S. Postal Inspector Karyn Cassatt for an undercover child pornography sting operation. Cassatt, commenting on Napolitano's refusal to take up the case, said, "They didn't like the fact that all of the subjects were interested in sex with young boys.

They believed that we were targeting homosexual males" (Human Events, May 24, 1996).

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Who Is at Risk?

So far, AIDS has killed more than 300,000 Americans. Why are so many still dying? One reason, according to a Wall Street Journal report, is this: For 10 years, the government has been deliberately lying to us about who is at risk of AIDS. As early as 1987, Centers for Disease Control officials knew that AIDS was likely to remain a disease of gay men and inner-city drug users. Yet the same year, the nation's public health officials embarked on a deliberate public-relations campaign to mislead the American people into thinking that AIDS was spreading inexorably into the mainstream.

Remember those TV ads featuring the Baptist minister's son who said, "If I can get AIDS, anyone can?" Turns out he was gay. Remember the brochures featuring a blond, middle-aged woman with AIDS? She was an intravenous drug user.

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Armageddon Postponed

Jehovah's Witnesses have forsaken a key tenant — the notion that those alive in 1914 would live to see Armageddon and Christ's earthly return. Because fewer and fewer people are still alive who remember World War I, the Brooklyn-based movement has changed course. In November 1995, the religious group's magazines, Awake! and Watchtower have retreated from the 1914 timeline as the start of the end. Robert Johnson, media spokesperson for the sect, says the change is a result of a re-examination of Scripture. "It doesn't change our belief that we are living in the time of the end," he says.

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Scripture Press

Cook Communications, the nation's top Sunday - school curriculum publisher, has strengthened its market position with the December purchase of Scripture Press of Wheaton, IL Dan Brokke, Cook senior vice president, said there will be a reduction in Scripture Press personnel because the two firms publish similar material.

Gospel Advocate re-prints Scripture Press material and presents it under the title Heritage of Faith. A careful and fair check of the old Scripture Press student books and the Advocate's Heritage of Faith shows virtually no editing. The material is denominational from top to bottom and from center to circumference. Those who wish to use it ought to know the source of what they are buying. The student workbooks (and 90 percent of the teachers manuals) were not written by members of the church for members of the church.

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Fair Ah, Who?

Do you know who Elijah is? How about Jesus, do you know who he is? Jesus is Elijah and Louis Farrakkan is Elijah, so Farrakkan is Jesus, according to the leader of the Nation of Islam. If this sounds "a little bit queer and funny to your ear" it is because the claim is silly. No matter, it is the bodacious pronouncement of the leader of the Black Muslims.

Just to set you straight, here are some direct quotes from a Farrakkan speech (we have the tape):

I'm hanging on a cross right now. I'm on Calvary right now. And I'm ready to go all the way. Because I know that by my stripes everyone of you will be healed. You don't have to look anywhere for your Jesus. I represent him.

Seventy-five percent of what you read in the Bible referring to Jesus is referring to a future man; and twenty-five percent of what you read is referring to the man of 2,000 years ago who is considered a type. A type is like a sign of the real. But the real question is: 'Who is Jesus?' The historical Jesus was not the Messiah. The prophetic Jesus is the Messiah. He wasn't born in Bethlehem of Judea. He was born in Sandersville, Georgia.

Who is Jesus? Who is Elijah? Jesus and Elijah are one and the same. I am that Elijah that was to come and now is.

Those are direct quotes from a Farrakkan speech. You probably are thinking, "So what? He is a nut and we don't need to be bothered about what he thinks." Well, the fly in the ointment is: The United States government has given $20,000,000.00 of taxpayers money to Louis Farrakkan (Nation of Islam, that is). At this very moment there is a proposal to give him another million and a half dollars for his ridiculous and unfounded claim to have a cure for AIDS (Farrakkan says that white scientists created the HIV, which causes AIDS, to destroy the black man).

The majority of the blacks in America do not agree with the ridiculous claims of Louis Farrakkan, and no members of the church accept what he teaches. But Donna Shalala, secretary of Health and Human Services for the present administration takes him seriously and gives him money ... your money. Now, don't you feel better?

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Published August 1996