religion, christianity, articles
Golf Course Road Church of Christ, Marilyn Manson, homosexual,
Rubel Shelly, Landmark Church of Christ, Buddy Bell, Evolution, Gay Rights, Joel Belz,
gamma hydroxybutrate, Easy Lay, Promise Keepers, William H. Smith, liberalism, 
Baptists, Jews, Supreme Court, George Stubblefield, Joyce Deckler, Anglican, 
Holy Spirit, National Medical Enterprises, Teenage drug abuse, drugs

Potpourri, February 1997

religion, articles, christianity
Thanksgiving Gay Rights Opinion Baptists and Jews
Marilyn Manson Leadership A Good Point Supreme Court
Rubel, Rubel, I've Been Thinking Really? In the Garden? U.S. News and World Report (Sept. 9, 1996) Internet
Montgomery Deadly Drug T­Shirts Wacky Stuff
Evolution Promise Keepers When There Is No God Parent Alert

It feels good for friends to tell us how wonderful we are. Such statements as: "Thank you for all your efforts in standing firm for the truth which is the only foundation worth building upon in this world.... Along with my two year renewal, I would like to give subscriptions to the 3 listed.... We enjoy reading the Firm Foundation very much.... The sound teaching is needed.... We enjoy immensely the articles by sister Taylor.... more power to you and all the writers.... I read the paper and pass it on to a gentleman at church.... It's the only way we know what's going on. We certainly don't get it from the pulpit.... Appreciate your help." It goes on and on. Every expression of support and praise is an encouragement and a blessing.

The accolades are many and the approval is precious. Jerry Brewer, of Clinton, Oklahoma, announced, three months ago, that he would gift at least one subscription each month for the next year. He has kept his promise. If every reader of the Firm Foundation did that, at the end of one year our readership would be - oh, dare we even think about it ... it would harelip the governor.

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This fall the Golf Course Road Church of Christ in Midland, Texas, joined with the Abundant Life Church, Bethel United Methodist Church, Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, First Church of the Nazarene, Mid­Cities Community Church, Mount Rose Baptist Church, St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, St. Paul United Methodist Church and True Life Christian Fellowship to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Oh Humm!

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Marilyn Manson

She is a boy (transvestite) who routinely performs homosexual acts on stage. She (he, it) claims to be a "reverend" in the San Francisco­based church of Satan. She takes her eponymous name from Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. This sordid mess is sponsored by The Seagrams Family, which includes Tropicana, MCA and Universal. Edgar Bronfman, Chairman Seagram, 375 Park Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10152, (212) 572­7000.

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Rubel, Rubel, I've Been Thinking

Doctor Rubel Shelly said, "If God is not larger than the fellowship with which I commune on a given Lord's Day, he is too small to be worthy of worship" (Wineskins, Vol. 2, No. 11, p. 7). My dear brother Shelly, does that include Jews, Moslems, Hindus and pagans? Would it include Baalism? How about hedonism and atheism?

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When the Landmark Church of Christ in Montgomery, Alabama hired Buddy Bell to be their preacher, Ray Dutton reacted by talking to Buddy Bell. Here is what B. Bell thinks: Some Baptist are saved ... he failed to identify which "some." Bell said he is "confused about some of these things." Bell thinks "a lot of Baptist people who have been immersed for a good reason and who love the Lord that God's grace would cover that." Bell said he might not "object to a woman being appointed as a deaconess." Bell, it is said, "does not want the Landmark church in Montgomery to know what he believes and teaches" - still, he is their minister and evangelist. Ray Dutton wrote: "I love Buddy and I want to help him change his views on these matters, but his mouth must be stopped." Dutton felt compelled to leave the Landmark church in Montgomery.

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Dr. Michael Behe, associate professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, has written a book titled Darwin's Black Box. Behe concludes that "intelligent design is the only explanation for the irreducible complexity he observes." In other words, he thinks a supreme intelligence made the universe. Me too.

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Gay Rights

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted 10­to­0 to require that all companies granted city contracts follow the policy of giving the same benefits to the "same­sex domestic partners of its employees as to spouses." Wonder what that means?


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Tom Wolfe, Jonestown 1980, said:

It is very comforting to believe that leaders who do terrible things are, in fact, mad. That way, all we have to do is make sure we don't put psychotics in high places and we've got the problem solved.

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Really? In the Garden?

Satan said to Eve, "Has God really said?" He used this ploy to bring her downfall. Modern skeptics of God's truth use similar strategies for setting aside the applicability of revelation. Modern feminism dominates the evangelical community by calling the Bible "transcultural," which is a way of saying, "Yea, hath God said?" Joel Belz wrote, "And as modern feminism has come to dominate bigger and bigger areas of the evangelical community, it does so riding on the hermeneutic that grandly declares the Bible to be 'transcultural.' The immediate implication is that everything the Scriptures say about male and female roles is to be discounted because of the cultural settings of those who wrote. The larger unspoken lesson is that the Bible is culturally irrelevant" (World, Oct. 26.1996).

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Deadly Drug

A drug now in use on the streets is called gamma hydroxybutrate (GHB). It goes by the street name of Easy Lay. It is used to tranquilize girls and expose them to sexual attacks. The odorless, tasteless drug is usually placed in the victim's drink.

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Promise Keepers

Tickets to "Breaking Down the Walls," the 1996 tour of Promise Keepers at Texas Stadium, Irving, TX. Tickets are sold out.... 59,000 men are expected. Cost per ticket is $60. That is a total of $3,540,000.00.

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According to George Will (World, Aug. 31, 1996):

Today's bipartisan consensus is that Clinton is neither bad nor dangerous, just silly. Plainly put, almost no one thinks he believes a word he says. Or, more precisely, he believes everything he says at the moment he says it, and continues to believe it full throttle right up to the moment he repudiates it.

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A Good Point

William H. Smith, in World magazine (Aug. 31, 1996), made some astute comments. He said: "When she was eight years old, her family attended a conference where her father was one of the speakers. One evening there was a musical program during which the enthusiastic leader encouraged, 'Let's give God a hand.' At that she got up and began to walk toward the exit. Her surprised father reached her before she fulfilled her intentions.

'What are you doing,' he inquired.

'I'm leaving,' she firmly replied.

'But, he reasoned, wouldn't that be rude?'

'Well,' she clenched the argument, 'they've been rude to God.'"

William H. Smith commented, "People aren't just flippantly 'giving God a hand.' In many services they routinely give each other a hand, especially in response to music offerings."

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U.S. News and World Report (Sept. 9, 1996)

Frequent churchgoers are about 50 percent less likely to report psychological problems and 71 percent less likely to be alcoholics.

The divorce rate for regular churchgoers is 18 percent; for those who attend services less than once a year, 34 percent.

The two most reliable predictors of teenage drug avoidance: Optimism about the future and regular church attendance.

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Public­school officials in Delaware have banned T­Shirts with the legend, "God is good." Well, that is a bit strong. How about "God is pretty nice?" (National Review, Nov. 25, 1996).

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When There Is No God

Liberalism sneers at religion and scorns God. The Welfare State and the underclass follow accordingly.

In Queens, a heroin­addicted mother with AIDS murders her four­year­old daughter and throws the body from a bridge into the East River.

In Philadelphia, two commercially successful "gangsta rap" artists realize their fantasy by gunning down a female police officer.

In Chicago, police raid the apartment of five sisters on welfare. The apartment swarms with cockroaches. In four rooms are 19 children, the youngest 12 months old. Feces and garbage cover the floors; hungry children share food in a dog bowl with several dogs. One of the kids asks a policewoman, "Can you be my mommy?"

In Detroit, a five­year­old is thrown from a 14th story window of a public­housing complex because "he refused to steal."

When God and his Word are rejected and people worship the Welfare State the price we pay is deadly.

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Baptists and Jews

The Southern Baptist Convention has announced a new push to evangelize Jews. After expressing their spiritual debt to the Jewish people, the convention resolved to make them Christians. The resolution declared that there is no salvation except through Jesus.

In response, a number of Jewish groups uncorked a kosher whine - not Manischewivz.

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Supreme Court

"[T]that a State may not incorporate in its laws or public policy an adverse judgment on homosexuality, and it may not refuse to accord to homosexuality the same standing or legitimacy that attaches to that sexuality 'imprinted in our natures."'

Those words were spoken on May 15, 1996, and the United States Supreme Court on May 20 announced its decision in Romer v. Evans, involving the right of people in their private settings to honor their own moral or religious judgments on the matter of homosexuality. The decision cast a pall of constitutional suspicion over any statute or executive order that implied an adverse judgment on homosexuality. Romer v. Evans is a powerful, portentous weapon in advancing the agenda of "gay" rights and silencing its critics.

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On an internet posting (ACU's RM Bible) George Stubblefield wrote to Joyce Deckler as follows:

Joyce, I have known of churches that had dancing as part of the liturgy but I've never spoken to anyone who actually attended such a church.... David Watson in his excellent book, I Believe in the Church, mentioned an Anglican congregation in England built a new building which included an area for the whole congregation to dance.... How exactly does your congregation use it? Is it professional dancers? ... For all the church of Christ folks, I'm asking whether the dancing is solo, small group, congregational.... Also, how is the dancing positioned in the liturgy.... Any thoughts on your dancing would be appreciated.

We may be in for a lengthy discussion on dancing in the worship service. The Shakers featured in their worship a time when they danced. They thought it was the Holy Spirit in them that made them dance ... after the Holy Spirit got through shaking them, that is. He shook them and then made them dance. Of course they never could show (1) that this was the Holy Spirit in them and not some other force and (2) the first century church did such a thing.

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Wacky Stuff

John David Deaton was a normal 17­year­old when he walked into a National Medical Enterprises psychiatric hospital in Dallas. A physician had persuaded him to go there for help with depression after his girl friend jilted him. Deaton did not know that the physician was on the hospital's payroll, and that his pay depended on how well he did at filling the hospital's beds.

A doctor who did not see Deaton until months later ordered him admitted to the hospital. After four days, when Deaton sought to leave, he was tied down with leather restraints. He was diagnosed as having "borderline personality disorder," a catchall label psychiatrists pin on a lot of people who don't fit more specific diagnostic categories. And after Deaton thought out loud about killing himself or the nurse who had first tied him down, the shrinks added "homicidal and suicidal ideation" for good measure. In fact, however, the most abnormal thing about John Deaton was that his father's employer provided extraordinarily rich insurance coverage for mental illness.

Altogether, 22 psychiatrists signed Deaton's charts to keep him restrained, and he was held for more than a year, including 333 days tied to a wheelchair or spreadeagle a bed with leather restraints.

It was only when Deaton's insurance coverage ran out that he was allowed out of his restraints. His muscles had atrophied so badly he could not walk. So the hospital tied him to a gurney and moved him by ambulance to a state hospital. The doctors there released his restraints immediately, but it took ninety days to nurse him back to health before he could be freed. "I was held in bondage for insurance money," Deaton told a congressional hearing in 1994.

As Joe Sharkey observes in his book, Bedlam: Greed, Profiteering, and Fraud in a Mental Health System Gone Crazy:

The frenzy to find kids with insurance and put them in psychiatric hospitals had become so overheated that one California school official likened it to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. A 1990 federal review of 5000 psychiatric inpatient cases found two­thirds were unnecessary hospitalizations. There are few to no hospitalizations if liberal insurance coverage (or a rich and generous relative or friend) is not available.
Psychiatrists have attached diagnostic labels to problems that once, in a less mobile America, were handled by grandparents, aunts, uncles, or preachers. Under the rubric of "mental illness" the doctors have medicalized, monetized, and socialized the ordinary emotional bumps and bruises of life.
Some people do have severe mental disorders and need hospitalization and ratified treatment, but they are few. Many professionals in the mental health field have caused more problems than they have cured by passing our mind altering drugs with abandon.

The strange thing is that some churches have gotten into the act by putting on staff and subsidizing quacks who pass themselves off as experts. Most of the time they wind up baby­sitting a few neurotics, or giving advice that is either bad, or that bishops in the congregation could have given.

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Parent Alert

Teenage drug abuse has risen 78 percent from 1992, according to a study by the Department of Health and Human Services. The increase has been almost exclusively among 12­to­17­year­olds. According to Word magazine (Nov. 9, 1996) "Today's pop culture is cultivating a dark, depressed mood, the fruit of decades of spiritual rootlessness and family collapse. Young people, dressed in black, indulge themselves in bleak, moody introspection, and their music wallows in cynicism, anger, and despair. Their drug of choice, increasingly, is heroin."

The solution to drug abuse is spiritual change. Bondage to drugs, like other bondage to sin, is best dealt with by the gospel of Christ. Love of death is a symptom of the perversity and hopelessness of sin (Prov. 8:36). Such lostness is evident in the lyrics of some rap songs: "Living makes me sick, so sick I wish I'd die," goes the song "Jellybean." Only the gospel of Christ can fill this kind of vacuum and bring healing for this kind of spiritual disease.

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Feature Book: The Second Incarnation — A Pattern for Apostasy

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H. A. (Buster) Dobbs