religion, christianity, articles
Central Chesterfield Church of Christ, abortion pill,
nudists, Sex Clubs, Crossings Over, Greater Atlanta Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church,
Presbyterians, Pepperdine University, Lehigh University, Defense of Marriage Act, 
Community Church of Christ, Dan Dozier, Deborah Zimmerman, body piercing, Crucial Conflict,
Judge Roy Moore, ACLU, American Civil Liberities Union, Thomas Passmore, 
Mission Church of Abilene, Leonard Allen, George Butterfield

Potpourri, January 1997


religion, articles, christianity
Help Needed Inerrancy Holes in the Head
On the March Give Us This Day Weed and Ten
Murder Evolution? Church and State
Naked Marriage Anyone? No Medicare
Life­and­Death Atonement Right Hand
Sex Clubs Not Human Revelation
Crossings Over Spoil the third One More

Good friends continue to help the Firm Foundation in its effort to promote healthful teaching and contend earnestly for the once for all delivered faith. We appreciate you and must have your help if the paper is to continue. So, give us a leg up by actively recruiting new readers for the paper. Some elders, to help discharge their duty to feed the flock, send the paper directly into the homes of every member of the congregation. This assures an informed membership and helps to guard against the possibility of change agents moving in unawares and destroying the lambs. Advocates of unbiblical emotionalism who disdain the royal law and humble obedience to the Captain of our salvation are not comfortable where the Firm Foundation is respected and read. They soon move on and leave the church intact.

Strange to say, many religious leaders demote God, denigrate doctrine, diminish the gospel, demean God's law, and degrade the church. Most of these false teachers are in the denominations, but some of them are in the brotherhood.

Christianity is becoming experience­oriented and less doctrinal. Looking for a spiritual high, many turn to stories of human invention instead of preferring Bible teaching. People would rather listen to a recital of an event, either true or fictitious, than have the scriptures read. Such stories are intended to amuse the hearer and make time seem to pass faster.

Even Bible accounts are decorated with imaginary background information, which distracts from the power of the gospel. A synonym for man­made stories or anecdotes is lies. "They exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve the creature rather than the creator." "[T]heir senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

The Firm Foundation is trying to hold the line for truth and right and deserves your vigorous help. Inattention jeopardizes our offspring's spiritual heritage. Neglect will cause eternal loss for ourselves and our children. It is time to be up and doing.

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Help Needed

The Central Chesterfield church in Chester, Virginia needs a meetinghouse. The congregation numbers about 40 and has bought the land and laid the plans, but needs some help to complete the project. The group is strong in the faith, evangelistic in thrust, and balanced in judgment. The Firm Foundation recommends this as a worthy work deserving of financial support. If you can send a little money contact: Tom Marshall, 8319 Hopkins Rd. Richmond, VA 23237. Phone: 804 275 4705. Email: marshallt@firstsaga.com.

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On the March

The Southwest School of Bible Studies, directed by Joseph D. Meador, announces their enrollment is up to 18 full­time students. The school is doing a good job of training men to preach the whole counsel of God. They are turning out true evangelists. Prospective students should call 1­800­805­7792.

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Murder

MUNDELEIN ­ a Sept. 19 headline read: "FDA declares abortion pill safe." How can a pill that ends a human life be safe? Safe for whom? (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 14).

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Naked

Carroll P. Bennett of Camden, Ark. Sent a clipping announcing that at Ocean Isle Beach, (N.C.) "Christian" nudists are planning a weekend retreat of hot­tubbing, karaoke and reading Bible verses in the buff. Jerry Love, the sponsor of the event, says, "We're not going to allow any open sex, drugs or parties. We're a very conservative group" (Arkansas Democrat, Feb. 21).

By the way, brother Bennett reports in a letter to the editor that while on a recent visit to Ghana (Africa) he attended a "witnessing" service in the church. People stood and gave testimonies. Two women gave solo songs as their testimony. Modern human happenings become more important to those practicing such Pentecostalism than preaching the Word. Most testimonies turn out to be rank exaggeration calculated to play on emotions and muddle the mind. It is an execrable exercise in stupidity and unworthy of those claiming to respect and follow truth.

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Life­and­Death

Greenville (S.C.) News: In recent months, federal appellate courts have struck down laws against doctor­assisted suicide in New York and Washington state. The judges in those cases discovered within the 14th Amendment a constitutional right for individuals to choose a so­called humane death (our thanks to Earl Davis for sending the clipping).

Time was if one person killed another person it was called murder. Now it is sometimes called doctor­assisted suicide. It is weird that two people can get together and one say to the other, "I'm going to kill you, with your permission, so you can die with dignity." It is even more eerie that judges on the bench could sanction such conduct. If one person is going to kill another person, he ought at least to be required to get the court's express agreement in advance of doing the deed. The appeals process should take 10 to 15 years.

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Sex Clubs

San Francisco moved to license "group­sex­clubs." Tom Ammiano, a longtime homosexual activist, proposed that the city grant permits to businesses "that encourage patrons to engage in, or to watch other persons engage in, sexual activities." His idea is endorsed by the city's health department. More than 16,000 San Francisco residents have died with AIDS. Remember that this proposal is being made by a group that says its members are just ordinary citizens who want to be at peace and love one another and they are in nowise different from heterosexual married couples (Source: World, Nov. 2).

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Crossings Over

The Greater Atlanta Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted Oct. 22 to allow a transsexual minister to retain his/her ordination. The Rev. Erin (formerly Eric) Swenson, 48, said it's looking forward to getting on with it's life and counseling." Swenson is a marriage therapist (Newsweek, Nov. 4).

When Swenson was a man the Presbyterians ordained him, but would not have ordained him if he had been a woman, but now that he is a woman/man and no longer a man/woman the Presbyterians have decided to allow it to retain it's ordination. Sounds clear to me.

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Inerrancy

Edward Fudge, an elder at Bering Drive in Houston, sets the record even more crooked on inerrancy. Fudge wrote in an internet posting: "Eight years ago I heard author­theologian James I. Packer give a lecture at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Houston on biblical authority.... 'I do believe in the inerrancy of Scripture,' said Dr. Packer, 'if you will let me define the term. For me, to say that Scripture is Inerrant means that, when correctly understood, whatever the biblical authors intended to communicate is ultimately true."'

Fudge then commented, "I personally am quite comfortable using the word 'inerrancy,' if we may take Dr. Packer's definition of it." Hmmm!

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Give Us This Day

Daniel J. Tamayo of Pepperdine University wrote in an internet posting: "Please pray for the students that lost their homes to the fire in Malibu Canyon. They are off­campus students. Pepperdine itself only sustained damage to the stables and to four trucks. God answered our prayers today." I'm not kidding. That is really what he said.

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Evolution?

Michael J. Behe, an associate professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., has written a book titled Darwin's Black Box. Mr. Behe says, "[T]he long effort to get down to the basic building blocks of life ends with this discovery: Those basic building blocks are anything but simple." Mr. Behe calls them irreducibly complex. "Indeed, they are so complex that only one honest conclusion is possible-intelligent design is some are in the background."

Mr. Behe shows how the mobility of cells, the clotting of blood, the immune system, and basic cellular transportation systems within the body have all been systematically ignored by evolutionists ­ at least with reference to how such sophisticated systems ever got under way. Some of his scientific colleagues are accusing Mr. Behe of all kinds of treasonous things, like being disrespectful toward scientists. Mr. Behe says that intelligent design by no means requires the God of the Bible-or any God at all. It just requires intelligent design, but no designer, especially if his name is God.

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Marriage Anyone?

Newsweek (Sept. 16 and Nov. 4) is bending over backwards in an attempt to portray same­sex marriages as normal and wholesome. Pieces in the two referenced issues of the magazine allude to 3 or 4 situations in which "two Moms" or "two Dads" are attempting to raise children. The focus is to present the "families" as normal. It appears that the selected examples are atypical, or the full story is not told. The fundamental promiscuity of homosexual behavior is ignored. Filthy practices by virtually all homosexuals are not discussed and therefore the dangerous nature of the behavior is minimized. The far­above­average mortality rate of homosexuals is not mentioned. The possible long­term bad effect on the children in this unnatural and perverted relationship is unknown and that fact is not acknowledged. It appears that Newsweek is attempting to throw a mantle of respectability over a sinful and unacceptable lifestyle.

President Clinton signed "The Defense of Marriage Act" legislation designed to prevent gay marriages. The law, which passed Congress by overwhelming majorities in both houses, defines marriage in federal law as the union of a man and a woman and stipulates that, contrary to the Constitution's "full faith and credit" clause, if one state allows gay marriage, other states need not recognize the union.

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Atonement

The Community Church of Christ, where Dan Dozier is the preacher, offered on Sept. 21, 1996 an Atonement Service. The announcement says, "To prepare our hearts and minds for this celebration, we will have the Lamb's Book of Life for everyone to sign again. It will be taken into the Holy of Holies by two of our Shepherds on the night of the service.

Sounds like children at play. Whatever it is, it is not biblical. Makes one wonder whatever happened to commitment to the Bible and following its instructions.

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Not Human

Defense lawyer Sally Hoelzel, arguing her client, Deborah Zimmerman of Racine, Wis., is not guilty of attempted homicide, said, "The alleged victim was not a human being." Miss Zimmerman is accused of trying to kill her unborn daughter, Megan, by drinking alcohol heavily. The child, now six months old, survived, but is suffering problems characteristic of fetal alcohol syndrome. Miss Zimmerman had threatened to the staff at a local hospital that she would kill her baby by drinking. Lawyer Hoetzel in a CNN interview said, "Had she in fact killed her unborn child, she would be exempt from prosecution. Under our abortion law, a mother can't be prosecuted."

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Spoil the third

The European Court of Human Rights took a whack at parental rights Sept. 9, accepting a 12­year­old boy's challenge to a British corporal punishment law. The boy, caned by his stepfather for trying to stab another child with a kitchen knife, claims his parents violated the 1950 European Human Rights Convention. If the boy's lawyers win, Britain would be forced to change its child punishment law, which currently allows parents to administer "reasonable chastisement." Many European countries-Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden-have outlawed physical punishment by parents. It takes a village.

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Holes in the Head

Body piercing had its origin in the gay and sado­masochistic subculture, but it has seemingly entered the mainstream. People stick metal objects through eyebrow, navel, tongue, and more private parts. Turns out this is causing infection and can be fatal. At the very best it is dumb.

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Weed and Ten

The rap group Crucial Conflict wears their faith on their sleeve in their latest album, The Final Tic. For all of their profanity­filled numbers, they include a heartfelt anthem in which they thank Jesus Christ for his gift of Marijuana.

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Church and State

Judge Roy Moore, Gadsden (AL), was sued by the ACLU to force him to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom. Mr. Moore, with the backing of Alabama Governor Fob James and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is fighting the suit. The ACLU is also demanding that Mr. Moore and other Alabama judges stop opening their sessions with a prayer. By the way, the Congress of the United States opens each session with prayer and the ACLU has not sued the Federal Government-so far.

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No Medicare

For the first time, a federal judge has struck down Medicare and Medicaid payments to Christian Science healers as a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. Christian Science practitioners have received $8 million to $10 million a year. Officials of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, which teaches that prayer is the most effective treatment for illness, say the federal and state money pays for general non­medical care ­ such as bandages, bedpans and comfort (Chicago Tribune, Aug. 9 ­ thanks to Earl Davis).

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Right Hand

Thomas Passmore thought his right hand was possessed by the devil. Taking to heart the biblical command, "If they right hand offend thee, cut it off," the Norfolk, Virginia native removed his hand with a circular saw. When he was rushed to the hospital, he refused to give doctors consent to try to reattach the hand. Now Passmore doesn't know how that nutty idea got into his head. He says the hospital should have ignored his commands and reattached the hand anyway. Since they didn't, he's suing them for $3.35 million (Reason, Oct. 96).

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Revelation

The Mission Church of Abilene, where Leonard Allen is the Senior Minister (Allen is an ACU prof), according to an internet message by George Butterfield, is receiving inspired songs ­ new revelation. Butterfield wrote, "The church believes that God gives songs to them and that they should listen to God for those songs and then be faithful in using those gifts of God to God's glory. [N]ot all of those songs were given to trained and gifted musicians. The first song God gave to this church was given to a child, Nathaniel Brown (who looks to be about 8­years­old)."

Butterfield commented, "May the Lord richly bless us with songs that can be used to bring glory to his holy name and build up the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.... I highly recommend the receptivity to the Lord and his working which is behind this great music."

By the way, to honor God the Mission church, through a program called Caravan Ministries, is selling tapes and CDs of the songs-for a profit.

The Bible says that the one faith was once for all delivered in the first century (Jude 3). If the Mission Church and George Butterfield are right, the faith continues to be revealed in song, and the Bible is wrong. I choose the Bible.

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One More

Prostitutes' rights activist Margo St. James, a member of the new association of sex professionals in San Francisco, speaking of the call girl who gave tabloids the story of her alleged affair with presidential advisor Dick Morris, said: "Most hookers have a code of ethics-they wouldn't run to the Star. If she were in our guild, she would be censured. I'd suspend her for 10 days."

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H. A. (Buster) Dobbs