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ANGLICAN ARCHBISHOP SUPPORTS EMBRYO RESEARCH
(Friday Church News Notes W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service,
P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,
Peter Carnley, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Australia, has spoken out in favor of embryonic research. He claims that the embryo should not be regarded as a living soul until 14 days after fertilization. He bases this on alleged scientific research "which shows that fertilization is not the same as conception."
David said in Psalm 139, "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which IN CONTINUANCE WERE FASHIONED, WHEN AS YET THERE WAS NONE OF THEM."
The Bible does not say at what instance the soul is created, but it does tell us that the unborn child is God's creation even before its members are formed. Since God has not revealed all matters relating to the soul's beginning, it is thus vain to debate the issue. For all we know, the soul is created at fertilization. For our part, we would not dare to do research on or to destroy a human life once it has been conceived, whether it is 7 days old or 270. This is why birth control pills are wrong. They can destroy a conception, and that is not man's prerogative. Carnley said it is "wrong for Christians to adopt a fundamental attitude of suspicion and fear, let alone condemnation, to the application of human reason and research to reproduction."
It is typical for such men to take a swipe at fundamentalists, but he is wrong on this issue. When ungodly men think they are gods and do wicked things against God's creation, they should be condemned.
LAUGHING REVIVAL IN CHINA. (Friday Church News Notes W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org)
The "holy laughter" and "holy drunkenness," which have been prominent in many segments of the Charismatic movement in recent years, has moved to China. The New Wine House Church movement there claims that the laughter and drunkenness were a part of a 1988 revival they experienced. One of their leaders said: "All the experiences were just like what we read about in the second chapter of Acts. Some were laughing, some crying, some rolling on the floor, some were speaking in tongues, and people are thinking they are not normal--like they are drunk" (Charisma, March 2002).
What spiritual deception. This is not what happened on the day of Pentecost. Nowhere do we find the apostles laughing hysterically, rolling on the floor, and staggering about like drunks.
Randy Clark is a key figure in the Laughing Revival that broke out in the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church in 1994. On a recent trip to China to meet with New Wine House Church leaders, Clark found that many of the leaders are women. Further, children as young as 3 years old are allegedly doing miracles. One 3-year-old boy has a house-to-house healing ministry. An 8-year-old boy is a tongues-speaking evangelist. The Charismatic movement can be described as confusion, and the Bible plainly states that God is not the author of it.
THOUSANDS STARVING IN GUATEMALA: The Transformations Video tells of the large vegetables, increased production by 1000% over past 20 years. Researchers from all over the world are coming to study the produce.
However an Associated Press article by Rebekah (Source: AP ) Thursday, March 21, 2002 reads as follows:
Seeking to save
about "6,000 children at risk of dying," the World Food Program says it needs
$4.9 million for an emergency program meant to help feed 155,000 people.
An estimated 126 children already have died since the crisis began last July with an unusual dry spell that devastated harvests in much of Central America.
Dorte Ellehamer, who heads the program in Guatemala, said the operation was starting on Wednesday. It aims to distribute 9,400 tons of food to 88 municipalities over the next six months.
It is the latest in a series of emergency programs the U.N. agency has carried out because of the drought.
Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo said then that 80 percent of his country's citizens were suffering effects of the drought.
My Comment: What type of God do these Transformation Video people serve? Here we have God obediently responding to the spiritual warfare shenanigans of the Restored Apostles and Word of Faith enthusiasts by miraculously providing giant vegetables in Almolonga, Guatemala, only to be outsmarted and defeated by the principalities and powers who have wiped the vegetables out with a drought, only to bring shame and embarrassment upon His faithful warriors. It's hard to work out just who is bringing the biggest reproach upon who. Does this sound like the God of the Bible to you? Something doesn't quite add up, does it?
TRANSFORMATIONS: FROM HILL TOWN TO PRESIDENTIAL
SUITE (A letter from George Otis Jr.) Ever hear of Rumors
International? Truth, as they say, is sometimes stranger than fiction. Rumors
International is a popular nightclub located in the Australian hill town
of Toowoomba. As one of the largest venues in the area, the club was pressed
into service recently as the host facility for a conference on community
transformation attended by some 1,200 revival-hungry delegates. Many
participants were "Bushies" -- inhabitants of Australia's numerous small towns
and vast "Outback." Others came from big coastal towns like Sydney, Melbourne
and Brisbane. More than 90 percent had seen the Transformations video.
If you think that holding a transformations conference in a nightclub is strange, I can do you one better! Last November I was actually invited to a transformations cocktail! The event was held in the presidential suite of the largest athletic stadium in Cape Town, South Africa. Attendees included high-powered businessmen, national sports stars, political luminaries and the city's leading clergy.
As soon as I walked in the door I was approached by the event organizer, a highly successful construction magnate named Graham Power. Having been shown the Transformations video soon after his conversion two years ago, Mr. Power was stirred by the prospect of God visiting his own beloved Cape Town. Taking me by the arm, he led me out onto the suite's viewing balcony. Gesturing across the vast empty stadium he asked, "Can you see it? On March 21st we envision every seat filled with prayerful, worshipping Christians. We want to invite God into the city!"
For the next hour Ruth Ruibal, Harold Caballeros and I were asked to deliver a sweeping report of God at work in the nations, a report intended to inspire faith and to elucidate the steps necessary to attract the attention of a Holy God. It must have worked, for I will never forget the wide-eyed expressions gazing out from behind the martini glasses!
The latest news, received just yesterday, is that interest in this event is now so high that it threatens to overwhelm the stadium's 55,000-seat capacity! Announced attendees include the city mayor, the provincial governor and numerous federal dignitaries.
Even more remarkable is the fact that these scenes are being played out all over the world. I can't begin to unpack the stories that are flowing into our offices on a daily basis. I can only stand amazed at the impact of Transformations--on presidents, parliamentarians, business magnates, defense and national police officials, and literally hundreds of city mayors.
What is more, the phenomenon that inspired the video is continuing to spread. What began as a list of eight transformations case studies two-and-a-half years ago has now grown to nearly 50 such cases. During my recent trip to Australia I was presented with new leads in Mexico, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Who knows what we have yet to discover.
Thank you for your wonderful support!
George Otis, Jr
President, The Sentinel Group,
PO Box 6334, Lynnwood, WA 98036
My Comment: Obviously, someone has got it wrong. Either George Otis Jr., Ruth Ruibal (of Cali, Columbia) and Harold Caballeros (spiritual mapping enthusiast and close associate of C. Peter Wagner) who have been traversing land and sea spreading their "good new" of the Holy Spirit's transforming power (even to the uttermost parts of the earth at Toowoomba) have got it wrong, or else the poor old Pope has. Roman Catholic Archbishop Isaías Duarte Cancino of beautiful, peaceful Cali, the transformed jewel in the crown of George Otis's amazing ministry, was shot dead on Saturday, March 16, as he was leaving the Good Shepherd RC Church.
How could this possibly happen when the Transformation Video has convinced untold thousands of "Christians" that Cali is a place you would all want to take your wife and kids for your next holiday. Perhaps the Pope has imagined all of this? According to the Pope "Colombia has endured 38 years of civil war. Some 40,000 people have died over the past decade alone." The past decade??? But according to Otis, for the last decade Cali has been totally transformed by the power of God. According to the Transformations Video, there is no longer any of this type of thing happening in Cali, Colombia. However, read the latest FACTS below.
COLOMBIAN ARCHBISHOP'S MURDER CONDEMNED BY POPE: Vatican City, March 17, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II condemned the murder of Archbishop Isaías Duarte Cancino of Cali, Colombia, an outspoken critic of drug traffickers, guerrillas and paramilitary forces.
Archbishop Duarte Cancino was killed Saturday as he left Good Shepherd Church, in one of Cali's poorest neighborhoods. He had just presided over the celebration of some 100 marriages.
"Two men approached him and one fired point-blank at him," said General Heliodoro Alfonso Roa, commander of Cali's metropolitan police.
The archbishop, who was hit in the head and chest, was taken to Carlos Holmes Trujillo Clinic, where he died. Police initially attributed the murder to leftist guerrillas, but later said they had no evidence.
The Holy Father appealed to Colombians to reject "all kinds of violence, blackmail and the kidnapping of people," and to commit themselves to "authentic ways of peace."
Colombia has endured 38 years of civil war. Some 40,000 people have died over the past decade alone.
Archbishop Duarte Cancino, 63, had said that some of the campaigns in the recent legislative elections were tainted by drug money.
Archbishop Alberto Giraldo of Medellin, president of the Colombian episcopal conference, said: "The question that remains is: What is happening? What are the dark forces that wish to destabilize this country?"
"If we believe in the Lord, if we are certain of our faith in him, we cannot lose our peace," he added.
A number of priests have been killed in Colombia in recent years in actions attributed to the guerrilla movement. Archbishop Duarte Cancino's death is the most serious event that has taken place in Colombia since President Andrés Pastrana broke off peace talks with the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country's main rebel group. FARC has 17,000 combatants.
Twenty-eight FARC guerrillas died Saturday in battles with the army, while at sundown a large region of Colombia, including the cities of Bogota, Cali and Medellin, was left in the dark for unclear reasons, officials said.
In recent weeks, FARC has escalated its attacks and toppled dozens of electric power lines.
[The original article is filed under:
By Kelly Burke,
Religious Affairs Writer;
Sydney Morning Herald (page 8)
March 27 2002
He was one of Australia's most prominent and internationally lauded evangelists - a champion of Christian youth and a motivational speaker who convinced thousands that the pursuit of money and fame was a godly business.
Now Pat Mesiti is in disgrace and in hiding, sacked as national director of Australian Christian Churches and stripped of his licence to minister.
Gone is the "Pat Mesiti Ministries" signage that distinguished the entrance of his Castle Hill mansion. But the 4000-strong congregation of the Assemblies of God church Hillsong, where Mr Mesiti is based, remains in the dark.
According to Assemblies of God (AoG) documents obtained by the Herald Mr Mesiti was sacked after allegations of sexual misconduct. It is understood the allegations were not of a criminal nature.
"We are aware that the above information may be a surprise and shock to some of you and therefore we have deliberately chosen to restrict this letter to our ordained and probationary ministers," the confidential document said. "We cannot see any reason for this to be announced to your church or further afield." The national president of AoG, Brian Houston, who is also Hillsong's senior pastor, denied there was a cover-up.
"This whole area of sex abuse and predatory behaviour is devastating ... but I believe we have tried to deal with this issue with integrity and honesty," said Mr Houston, speaking from Los Angeles.
But the scandal may prove devastating on more than one front for the church, which has spent two years rebranding itself as Australian Christian Churches and persuading other less powerful pentecostal denominations to climb on board.
In 2000 Mr Houston was forced to sack his father, Frank, after he confessed to what the church's national executive has described as "serious moral failure" while he was an AoG minister in New Zealand.
Mr Houston senior was NSW's most senior AoG figure and the man credited with converting the champion jockey Darren Beadman, who later trained as an AoG pastor.
The AoG's national executive vice-president, John Lewis, conducted the Frank Houston investigation at the invitation of his son.
Mr Lewis said the offences were so serious that Mr Houston senior, now in his early 80s, was not even given the option of quietly retiring. The Herald has been contacted by one of Mr Houston's alleged victims, who is now considering legal action against the church.
Brian Houston said that of the AoG's 2000 Australian ministers, no more than five in any year were exposed and disciplined for sexual misconduct.
He went on to defend the former AoG New Zealand general superintendent Jim Williams, who serves as a pastor in Brisbane but whose licence in New Zealand was permanently revoked for sexual misconduct.
Mr Mesiti is undergoing what the church terms a three-year "restoration process".
"WE HAVE BECOME CHRIST" VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2000 (ZENIT.org).- John Paul II opened his general audience today with striking words about the Eucharist.
"We have become Christ," he said. "Indeed, if he is the head and we the members, he and we are the whole man."
Many of the 45,000 pilgrims gathered for the address in St. Peter's Square might not have recognized the words as those of St. Augustine, who first used them to explain the Eucharist.
The Pope was continuing the series of reflections he is giving on Wednesdays, during this final phase of the Jubilee, on the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine.
"These bold words of St. Augustine exalt the intimate communion that is created between God and man in the mystery of the Church, a communion that, in our historical itinerary, finds its highest sign in the Eucharist," the Holy Father explained.
He added: "The covenant that united Israel to the Lord in Sinai in a blood tie, foreshadowed the new covenant from which -- to use an expression of the Greek Fathers -- a certain consanguinity between Christ and the faithful derives."
This union is so intimate, that it transforms the Christian in Christ, the Pope stressed, quoting St. Cyril of Alexandria (376-444), one of the most eminent figures of Christian literature: "Christ forms us according to his image in such a way that the features of his divine nature shine in us through sanctification, justice and a good life conformed to virtue. The beauty of this image shines in us who are in Christ, when we show ourselves in our works to be good men."
"The way of sanctity, love, truth," the Pope added, "is therefore the revelation to the world of our divine intimacy, brought about in the banquet of the Eucharist."
My Comment: Sounds like Word of Faith doctrine, straight from the lips of the likes of Hagin, Copeland and Hinn, doesn't it? In fact, a near exact copy of the Pope's opening statement can be found by reading Hagin's book, "From the Cross to the Throne"! "We are Christ!" they say. They also say, "We are Gods!"
Most people (Catholics included) would not be aware that the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" contains a statement in The Profession of Faith section that says:
The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods." [Catechism of the Catholic Church - Pocket Edition, item 460, page 116]
So really, it shouldn't be surprising to us when the Pope makes the type of outlandish and un-Scriptural statement that he did.
"POPE AND QUEEN SAY THERE IS NO TURNING BACK IN ECUMENISM" ROME, OCT. 17, 2000 (ZENIT.org).- John Paul II and England's Queen Elizabeth II met in private audience this morning, and both indicated a desire to pursue ecumenical goals.
During the cordial, 24-minute meeting, the Pope and queen preferred to hand their speeches sealed in envelopes to each other, rather than reading them.
In the text of her letter, the queen underlined the coincidence of this visit with the Jubilee Year, and acknowledged the Vatican's support of the peace process in Northern Ireland.
The head of the Anglican Church also noted "the important progress that has been made in overcoming the historic differences between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, as exemplified in particular by the meeting of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in Canada this year. I trust that we shall continue to advance along the path that leads to Christian unity."
In his text to the queen, the Pope said that "there can be no turning back from the ecumenical goal we have set ourselves in obedience to the Lord's command."
The Pope stated that the "future, too, demands of us a sense of shared purpose. I am thinking first of Europe, which stands at a turning point in its history as it seeks a unity capable of excluding forever the kind of conflicts that have been so much a part of its past."
"This unity must have both structure and content," the Pope added. "Only by preserving and reinvigorating the highest ideals and achievements of its heritage -- in politics, in law, in art, in culture, in morality, and in spirituality -- will the Europe of the near future be a viable and worthwhile endeavor."
The Holy Father's address had a wide perspective. He focused on the urgent issue of globalization, pointing out "the promise of greater prosperity and cohesion" and lamenting the "ever growing gap between rich and poor, a gap which is in danger of becoming more fixed and intractable as some benefit from the advance of technology, while others are completely left out."
"This troubling phenomenon has many causes," he continued, "but the problem will certainly not be solved unless peoples and their leaders accept worldwide solidarity and cooperation as ethical imperatives that impel and mobilize the consciences of individuals and nations. I cannot but express my appreciation of Britain's recent undertaking to effect a total cancellation of the debt owed to it by the heavily indebted poor countries."
This was the third meeting between the British sovereign and the Bishop of Rome. The first occurred in the Vatican in 1980, and the second in Buckingham Palace in 1982, when the Pontiff visited the United Kingdom.
As tradition dictates, there was an exchange of gifts. Elizabeth gave the Pope 50 valuable copies of paintings of Venetian artist Canaletto, from her private library in Windsor Castle. John Paul II gave the British sovereign a reproduction of a 13th-century Bible ("Codex Vaticanum 39").
The 74-year-old queen and her consort, Philip, duke of Edinburgh, were received by Archbishop James Michael Harvey, prefect of the papal household, in the St. Damasus Patio in the Vatican, while the Vatican band played "God Save the Queen."
At the end of the papal audience, the queen met privately with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state.
Before leaving the Vatican, the royal couple made a brief visit to the Sistine Chapel, which had not been restored when they last visited Rome.
My Comment: Perhaps a quote from J.C. Ryle, Anglican minister from a century and a half ago, will suffice.
"I am no prophet. I know not where we are drifting. But at the rate we are going, I think it quite within the verge of possibility that in a few years the Church of England may be reunited to the Church of Rome....God grant that we may never come to this state of things! But at the rate we are going, it seems to me quite possible."
To all the Anglicans, I simply present 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
WITCH REVIVAL AUSTRALIA (The Cairns Post, 21/09/00) -- LONDON: Classic children's book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is to be re-released to cash in on the Harry Potter craze. The book, and others from CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series, will be relaunched with a £1 million marketing campaign by publishers CollinsChildren.
The worldwide promotion will see the release of special editions of the books, a range of soft toys and a touring roadshow, while the Royal Shakespear Company will perform an adaptation at Sadler's Wells Theatre this Christmas.
The publishers hope to capitalise on a new interest in children's fantasy tales sparked by the phenomenal success of JK Rowling's Harry Potter books, according to the Express.
My Comment: For a comprehensive report on the Harry Potter craze, from a biblical perspective, see the excellent research articles by Berit Kjos on her Crossroad Website. See the news item below - "Church to Lure Young With Harry Potter".
CHURCH TO LURE YOUNG WITH HARRY POTTER UK (The Times [http://www.the-times.co.uk/] 01/09/00 by Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent) -- A VICAR in the Church of England is to hold a special "Harry Potter" family service this weekend, complete with wizards, pointy hats, broomsticks and a game of quidditch.
The Hogwarts liturgy, posted on an Internet discussion site, was welcomed by other clergy who wish to adapt it for their churches as well. The service has aroused horror among evangelicals, who condemned it as "importing evil symbols into the Church".
A banner featuring a serpent, representing the House of Slytherin in the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling, will adorn the 1960s church of All Saints in Guildford, Surrey, this Sunday. Banners of the other three Hogwarts houses will also be displayed.
The church door will be re-ordered as the gateway to "platform 9*", the magical platform at King's Cross Station where children at the Hogwarts school of wizardry catch the Hogwarts Express.
The Rev Brian Coleman, Vicar of All Saints, will don wizard's robes and hat to play the Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore to lead the special "service of the word".
Mike Truman, a lay member of the parish who is about to qualify as a reader and who has drawn up the new Harry Potter liturgy, a variation on an authorised Church of England service in the new Common Worship service book, will play a teacher at Hogwarts. His 11-year-old son, Mark, will play Harry Potter. A "sorting hat" will be used to enact a drama in which four new teachers are sorted into houses. The service will feature "Muggle songs" (hymns), and will end with a game of quidditch, in which worshippers will compete to capture a "snitch", a yellow rubber ball.
This Sunday has been chosen because the New Testament reading in the liturgical calendar, James 1:17-27, is considered particularly appropriate to the themes of Harry Potter. A broomstick, an "invisibility cloak" and "ton-tongue toffees" will be used to illustrate verse 17, about generous gifts coming from God.
Mr Coleman conceded that the service might not receive universal approbation. "But if you look at the Narnia chronicles by C.S. Lewis, these are books that also use magic as the background to a story."
He insisted that the Harry Potter books were highly moral. "They are about loyalty, standing up for friends, standing up for good against evil. That is exactly what the passage in James is about. Young folk are all very much into Harry Potter. We are using this interest."
The service has dismayed the Evangelical Alliance, the umbrella group for evangelical Christians. The Rev Paul Harris, an Anglican clergyman who convenes the alliance's panel on cults and new spiritualities, said: "We do encourage clergy to connect with contemporary culture. But it is going too far to use images from Harry Potter. There is a risk that children are going to be very confused by the use of symbols associated with evil."
My Comment: For a comprehensive report on the Harry Potter craze, from a biblical perspective, see the excellent research articles by Berit Kjos on her Crossroad Website.
How the Rev Brian Coleman, Vicar of All Saints, and Mike Truman, a lay member of the parish, can see a parallel between Harry Potter and what is written in James 1:17-27, is totally beyond me. The Harry Potter books promote magic and witchcraft, as well as a whole host of other things that the Lord our God warns us not to be involved in. To actually encourage young people, like Mike Trueman's 11-year-old son, Mark, to be involved in activities that God clearly warns us not to be involved in, displays either exceptional courage or gross stupidity. Instead of attempting to read some hidden meaning into the Book of James for the purposes of supporting their "Church Growth" agenda, perhaps these gentlemen would be better off reading the clear English rendering of Deuteronomy 18:10-12, where we read: "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord."
My further comment would have to be that Christians who promote and propagate CS Lewis' literature should take serious note of just what the world and the church, associate his writings with. The thinking goes, "If CS Lewis can promote magic and occultic fantasy and have it accepted as Christian, then what could possibly be wrong with Harry Potter?" That's the problem with failing to discern between light and dark, bitter and sweet and putting a difference between the holy and the profane. Somewhere down the track, your chickens are going to come home to roost.
CHURCHES STUNNED BY POPE'S ATTACK ON 'DEFECTS' UK (The Times [http://www.the-times.co.uk/ ] 04/09/00 by Ruth Gledhill) -- THE Church of England and all other Protestant churches are not "proper" churches because they suffer from "defects", according to the Roman Catholic Church. In a declaration approved by the Pope, the Vatican will also state that followers of all non-Christian religions are "gravely deficient" and their rituals constitute "an obstacle to salvation". The statements are contained in Declaration Dominus Iesus, to be published in Rome tomorrow. Although not in the name of the Pope, it was approved by him and "reflects his thinking".
The declaration, which has been received with "stunned horror" by bishops and Roman Catholic theologians throughout the world, threatens to undo decades of inter-faith bridge-building. The Church of England called it disappointing and negotiations have taken place between Catholic officials and Lambeth Palace, the London headquarters of the Archbishop of Canterbury, in an attempt to limit damage. With the Pope and the Queen due to meet in Rome next month, the document will also threaten relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, of which the Queen is the Supreme Governor.
Although written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican body formerly known as the Inquisition, the declaration has the authority of Pope John Paul II. It was ratified and confirmed by him "with sure knowledge and by his apostolic authority".
The declaration is merciless in its cutting through of the diplomatic language of ecumenism and inter-faith relations of recent decades. It is also an attack on a number of priests and theologians, in particular in India and South-East Asia, as well as a warning to other Roman Catholics to stay in line. Churches such as the Church of England, where the apostolic succession of bishops from the time of St Peter is disputed by Rome, and Churches without bishops, are not considered "proper" Churches.
The declaration concedes that some Churches - this would include the Eastern Orthodox - are "true particular Churches" because they have preserved the "apostolic succession" of bishops from the time of the Apostles.
John Fitzsimmons, former Rector of the Scots College in Rome who currently chairs the faith and order commission of ACTS, the churches' ecumenical body in Scotland, said: "The tenor of this document gives me a sense of disappointment and dismay. It is a return to the idea that the Catholic Church is the embodiment of the truth and anything that falls short of the Catholic Church is not the fullness of the truth. It is terrible."
The Catholic Media Office in London said it was important to distinguish between the "theological" and "common" uses of terms such as "proper Church". A spokesman said: "In common usage, of course the Church of England is a proper Church. But if you ask me whether the Church of England is a Church in the specific, theological sense, then we have to say 'no', and that is nothing new. But we are not going to stop calling the Church of England the Church of England."
My Comment: This should be a timely warning to those who think that the Roman Catholic Church has changed from what history so clearly shows her to be. The Word of God tells us that the Lord is merciful and longsuffering, not wishing that any should perish. I believe God's hand to be in this as a merciful warning to those who have foolishly been deceived by the ecumenism that has been leading a multitude back to Rome. Those who have ears to hear need to urgently consider the true nature of Roman Catholicism. It will be interesting, however, to see how many Protestants will understand the seriousness of this blunder on behalf of the Roman Church and heed God's command to "come out from among them, and be ye separate" (2 Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4).
PRO-LIFE HERO BURNS OUT ON CHRISTIANITY USA (ReligionToday.Com, 29/08/00) -- An abortion clinic owner who reportedly became a Christian has left the faith. Eric Harrah, 32, was hailed as a "pro-life hero" in 1997 when he professed faith in Christ, left his clinic in State College, Penn., and moved in with Assemblies of God pastor Paul Grabill to be taught about Christianity. He now lives with his mother in Delaware and says he won't set foot in a church again.
Within weeks of his conversion and for the next two years Harrah spoke to churches and pro-life groups about the evils of the abortion industry and about his conversion to Christ, World magazine reported. But within three months of his conversion, "I didn't want to be involved in Christianity or the pro-life movement," Harrah said. "All the public things I said about how much love I felt and how people accepted me, that was all lies." He continued to speak publicly because he hoped Christianity would become real to him "if I held on as long as I could."
Meanwhile he dealt with guilt and shame and began taking drugs. "It was horrible, night after night, telling people every bad thing you have done, knowing full well they're totally against everything you were," he said. He displayed emotional outbursts and failed to fulfill several speaking engagements for which he was paid, World reported.
Audiences at churches, pro-life gatherings, and crisis pregnancy center fundraisers broke records in financial giving after his appeals, according to World. But some Christian groups raised alarms about Harrah when he failed to verify claims made during his talks. Harrah has since admitted that he embellished portions of his testimony, World reported.
Grabill and others pushed Harrah into the limelight too soon, critics charge. The pastor said he believed he could protect Harrah from criticism and speed up his Christian growth while seeing Harrah's testimony as a "means of giving glory to God for Eric's dramatic conversion." Harrah is an example of what can happen to a "hero-convert," Pro-Life Action Ministries Director Brian Gibson told World. "We in the pro-life community so desperately want to have things we can point to as victories" that converts have been held up as "trophies."
And on the same subject
HASTY CELEBRITY TRAP USA (Calvary Contender 15/09/00) - In 1997, abortion clinic operator and open homosexual Eric Harrah testified of conversion in an Assembly of God church and left his Pa. abortion mill (9/2 World). During 1998 and 1999 he was the anti-abortion hero, the trophy convert, the hottest new face in pro-life fundraising. Media divisions of Focus on the Family, Life Dynamics, Coral Ridge Ministries, Life Issues Institute, and The 700 Club all ran stories on him. But early this year, he was forced to abandon pro-life activism under a cloud of unstable behavior and suspected theft, lying, and drug abuse. Now, at 32, he has renounced Christianity and returned to homosexuality.
POWER TEAM FOUNDER DIVORCES TEXAS (Maranatha Christian Journal, 25/08/00) -- John Jacobs, founder of the world-renowned strongman evangelist ministry, The Power Team, has divorced his wife of 16 years, Ruthanne. The Jacobs have one son, Trey, age 3. In a short statement, Jacobs said that the divorce, finalized in May, was due to irreconcilable differences dating back to the beginning of the marriage.
BOY SCOUT SUPPORT DECREASING WASHINGTON, D.C. (Maranatha Christian Journal, 8/25/00) -- The Washington Times reports that some of the nation's biggest companies are withdrawing their financial support from the Boy Scouts of America because of the group's insistence on traditional values - particularly, its rejection of homosexuals as Scout leaders. An editorial in Friday's edition says tolerance is a virtue touted, but not practiced, by homosexual rights advocates who are campaigning against the Scouts.
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