By Connie W. Adams
K Mart, Pornography and Southern Baptists
K Mart, which owns Waldenbooks, is the largest producer of pornography in the country. Efforts have been made, to no avail, to get this retail giant out of the pornography business. The Pension Board of the United Methodist Church a few weeks ago voted to sell all of its stock in K Mart as a protest. Now the Southern Baptist Annuity Board has voted to sell all of their 221,000 shares of K Mart stock for the same reason. Well, shame on K Mart for aiding and abetting the sleaze business. Anything to make a buck! But I am curious as to why the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Church are investors in such a private business enterprise. According to the New Testament, the only authority for gathering funds with which to do the work of the church of the Lord, is by free-will contributions of members made on the first day of the week (2 Cor. 9:7; 1 Cor. 16:1-3). The only scriptural use for these funds is to preach the gospel (Phil. 4:15-16; 2 Cor. 11:8; 1 Tim. 3;15), and to relieve needy saints (1 Tim. 5:16; Acts 4:34-35). Churches which are engaged in business while being sheltered from taxes create unfair competition in the business world. The Southern Baptists are in a battle over biblical inerrant in what they teach about church finances. If so, why did they own 221,200 shares of K Mart?
Allan and Anita Turner To Kenya
Allan and Anita Turner of Louisville, Kentucky, moved to Kenya in east Africa the second week of July. Allan has made two preaching trips there, along with Paul Ayres. The last trip resulted in 45 obeying the gospel. There are now ten congregations meeting in Kenya. Eight of the 45 converted on this last trip were denominational preachers. The Turners plan to live in Nyeri (96 miles north of Nairobi). They will be supported by the Taylorsville Road church in Louisville, though there are some special needs beyond that. We salute them for their work of faith and pray God’s blessings upon them in this worthy effort.
Adding to the list of homosexuals in the government, HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala has announced the appointment of news reporter Victor F. Zonana, 39, of New York City, as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs/media for the Department of Health and Human Services. He will be the principle public affairs liaison with the White House Press Office and will work directly with the assistant secretary for public affairs in an agency with 250 programs and the federal government’s largest budget.
Oh yes, he is winner of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation media award, and a co-founder of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (Reported in HHS News, May 13, 1993). Well, I guess this one is definitely out of the closet. Here is another pervert with access to the White House. And we are paying continued on next page his salary! How long will God bless America?
Buddy E. Payne, Jr. to Romania
In September, Buddy and Marilyn Payne and their 13-year-old son, will be going to Bucharest, Romania to spend at least two years in preaching and teaching the gospel. He has preached for the Temple Terrace congregation in Temple Terrace, Florida for several years and has both taught and served as an administrator at Florida College. He currently serves as Dean of the college. It was my pleasure recently to speak in a lecture program with him and also with Jerry Fite, of Pasadena, Texas, at Vivion Road in Kansas City, Missouri. Brother Payne is a very talented man with vast knowledge and the skills to convey it convincingly to an audience. The work in Romania has shown much promise. Brother Payne has done some short-term work there and sees the need for a longer commitment. Our prayers go with him and his family.
Marlboro Man Dead at 51 – Cancer
After smoking a pack and a half a day for 25 years, the handsome cowboy who made commercials for Marlboro cigarettes is dead at 51 of cancer. Late in his life he tried to warn people of the dangers of smoking and even pleaded with the tobacco company to limit its advertising, appearing before stockholders to sound his warnings. One smoker said he had read so much about the dangers of smoking that he had decided to give up reading! How many lives have been cut short from this foul habit! We serve God in our bodies and we ought to take good care of them. Read Romans 6:12-13.
Views of Future Preachers
In the spring of 1992 a survey was taken by Steve Miller, a student at Ohio Valley College. The survey concerned beliefs of Bible majors at that school. Some of the answers were startling to say the least. Question 2 was: Do you believe that a person can become a Christian without becoming a member of the church of Christ? 50% said Yes, 40% said No and 10% said they did not know. Question 3 was: Do you believe that there are Christians scattered among the various denominations? 63% said Yes, 37% said No. Question 7 was: Do you believe that the use of instrumental music in worship is sinful and that one will be lost for using them? 40% said Yes, 40% said No and 20% said they did not know. Question 9 was: Do you believe it is permissible to participate in any kind of joint religious activity with denominations? 53% said Yes, 30% said No and 17% did not know.
Question 11 was: Do you believe a person who has been divorced (but not because of their mate’s fornication) can remain in a second marriage and meet God’s approval? 23% said Yeas and 13% said they did not know. Question 16 was: Do you believe that the New Testament teaches that Christians are to partake of the Lord’s supper every first day of the week and to do otherwise would be sinful? 10% said No and 13% said they did not know. Question 17 was: Do you believe that clapping in worship (with songs or after the sermon) is wrong? 53% said No and 10% said they and not know. Question 18 was: Do you believe that the New Testament alone is sufficient for our authority’? 27% said No and 7% said they did not know.
Folks, the difference between us and some of the institutional churches and preachers becomes more pronounced all the time. In fairness, the same set of questions was put to the students at the Memphis School of Preaching with a much more conservative response. At any rate, you can see what some of these young liberals are going to be preaching (or not preaching).
A Holy Wow
Rubel Shelly, who has become too liberal for some of the institutional folks, has co-authored a book with Randy Harris, described by Shelly as “a bright young theologian at David Lipscomb College.” It is entitled The Second Incarnation, a Theology for the 21st Century Church. It makes about the same appeal as Shelly’s new journal, Wineskins. The purpose of that journal and this new book is to restructure the church in our time. Two quotes will explain what they mean by “the second incarnation.” In the church Christ is “enfleshed again” (55). “He seeks to be incarnate perpetually through the church that dares to wear His name” (240).
One thing which these men think needs drastic change is worship. “Tired forms won’t work with an exuberant message.” With a distinction drawn between gospel and doctrine, Shelly argues that “The old wine is religious legalism and the old wine skins are religious traditions and doctrines” which we “must be willing to scrap to make the message relevant to a new age.” He is ready to fellowship any who holds to “core” beliefs while differing on various doctrinal matters. Where have we heard this before?
He said, “To believe that you hear the Truth, whereas they must change (rest of the religious world – CWA) is an arrogant attitude.” He belittles the idea of using Scripture to prove what you believe. He is down on any idea of a New Testament pattern. He decries “pattern theology” and says “the extreme right (antis) have been more consistent” than the rest of this. “But we regard them as eccentrics,” he said. The restraints of pattern theology are “pointless encumbrances.”
This book is big on spontaneous worship. They decry a “tired, uninspiring event called worship.” This is “boring and irrelevant” (114). They tell us that we must somehow rid ourselves of worship that is “dull and boring to ourselves and unattractive to non-Christians.” Instead we must have a “raucous celebration” with “spontaneity” (139). He says we need “unavoidable worship” with “shouts,” “dances” (119), “jubilation … with applause and cheering” (140), “a narcotic trip into another world” (125) They tell us that worship must “become an encounter experience, that you have had an encounter with God, a holy WOW.”
That is what charismatics have tried to make of worship all along. They have made it into a religious hurray. Emotion becomes everything. This all overlooks one fundamental of acceptable worship. Worship is intended to please God. The only way finite man can know what an infinite God will accept is from his word. He told us what he wants. Granted, he should put our whole hearts into it. Granted we ought not to coldly go through the motions. When we scripturally do that which God authorized in his word, it is anything but dull and boring. Dull and boring to whom? If it is dull and boring to offer up worship which God ordained, then the fault lies with us and not with what we are doing. “Whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17). The Father seeks men to worship him “in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24).
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 18, p. 3-5
September 16, 1993