Vol. 2 Number 9, September 1996
Editor Andy Neckar

Inside This Newsletter

1. The Gospel of Man-Chapter 1
2. Ex-Christians? Take Leap of Faith to Judaism.
3. NEWS WATCH
4. CNV NOTES
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The Gospel of Man-Chapter 1
By Andy Neckar

Tarrant Baptists offer tanning bed, athletics, even a sauna
Portions of this narration excerpted from a 7/27/96 Fort Worth Star Telegram article, by Karen Auge, staff writer. Words in italic not in original manuscript

Man 1:1 WATAUGA-- Harvest Baptist Church has all the usual accouterments of a Christian house of worship: pews, a sanctuary, a choir bedecked in flowing robes.

Man 1:2 It also has a tanning bed.

Man 1:3 And a Foosball table, billiards, and a sauna. The air hockey table, however, is temporarily out of order.

Man 1:4 In Dallas, First Baptist Church used to have a bowling alley. It was closed several years ago, but the skating rink is thriving.

Man 1:5 To the secular world, playing basketball, gliding on skates and shooting pool are means to have fun, with a bit of bonding and a touch of exercise thrown in.

Man 1:6 But to many church leaders, especially among the Southern Baptist community, they offer much more.

[To the secular world and the secular church members in the Tarrant Southern Baptist Community this "sports ministry" is fun. This is a tool to unite the world to Christianity. Professing Christianity, that is. By public acknowledgment of this "recreation ministry" the Tarrant Southern Baptist community makes a very clear statement to the secular community( if there is a difference) They shout load and clear; the world has more to offer than our God. God can no longer draw by His Word alone. He needs the help of man. God possibly knew what man needed 2000 years ago, but this old fashioned God does not understand the time in which we now live and the real needs of man. (see verse 21)

Man 1:7 This is a tool to share Jesus, Debbie Aman, Harvest Baptist's special events coordinator, said this week as she led the way past the tanning bed and through the church's massive gymnasium and recreation area.

Man 1:8 Sports can be a great entree for people too intimidated by church to walk into a Sunday service, said Shelly Ashcraft, who oversees leisure activities as director of Harvest Baptist recreation ministry. If a church can attract non-members to a tanning bed on a Tuesday afternoon, coaxing them into Sunday morning services gets a whole lot easier.

[If people are too intimidated to assemble themselves together as God commanded, they are probably not God's people. They are, in all likelihood, lost souls. Now since when does God command lost sinners to come to "church" to hear the gospel. Aren't we commanded to go to them? On the other hand, a recreation ministry, I guess, would be more fun than a witnessing ministry. Especially to intimidated and lazy ministers.]

Man 1:9 Several great theological minds agree.

[The all great authorities have spoken. Does that settle it and make it right with God?]

Man 1:10 Practically every church in America has some social activity-a softball team, or the occasional potluck dinner. Only a privileged few have the sizable congregations or the budget to support recreation programs as comprehensive as those at the 3,000 member Harvest Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Dallas and First Baptist Church of Grapevine, where a topnotch gymnasium attracts hordes of lunch-time hoop shooters. But the idea of basketball evangelism-or softball, or volleyball or aerobics-is gaining momentum.

[Most likely folks like Michael Jordan, who have never attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to study recreation ministry, would have more impact than these "ministers of -who?"]

Man 1:11 "Here is another ministry tool that is very culturally relevant," said John Garner, director of church recreation programs for the Southern Baptist Convention.

Man 1:12 "When you do these things in the right way, not as a come-on, you can really reach out to the community," he said.

[If the mentioned Southern Baptist community does not do these things to offer fun, or as a come-on, then why? Sports figures obey the rules of a conference because they want to play that sport, not because they love the rules and desire to obey them. Do these non-members obey the rules of that church, so long as they enjoy the fun of that church?(see verse 15)

Man 1:13 It appears to be working at Harvest Baptist.

Man 1:14 Ashcraft, the envy of her co-workers because she gets to come to work in shorts and sneakers, said that among members of the church's singles group, "50 percent were brought in by the pool table, the tanning bed or the baseball league."

[100 percent of the crowd in secular singles clubs are brought in by a dance hall and alcohol bar. Will the Tarrant Southern Baptist community resort to this next?]

Man 1:15 Nobody quotes Bible verses to newcomers as they are running up and down the basketball court, Ashcraft said. But church policy promotes recreation evangelism. Church basketball league rules , for example, require two players on each team to be nonchurch members. And they must attend at least one of the four weekly services offered at Harvest Baptist each week for the duration of league play.

Man 1:16 Garner estimated that about 14,000 of the conventions 40,000 affiliated churches have gymnasiums or some sort of recreation center.

Man 1:17 Along with the more traditional specialties, such as youth ministry and music, students at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a growing number of other seminaries can opt to study recreation ministry.

[ Yeah!, Go to seminary to study sports. Learn how to coach and influence people. Trade the pulpit for BASKETBALL. Trade the Bible for a COLLEGE LETTER.]

Man 1:18 John Bernard, the 34 year old recreation minister at First Baptist trained to do his ministering from behind the pulpit. But the lifelong sports enthusiast finds that he can do the job just as effectively-maybe better-from the gym floor.

[Trade the church pew for a gym floor. Trade the church choir for cheerleaders. Sports enthusiasts, inter the ministry. Teach sports. Drinking enthusiasts, enter the ministry. Teach moderation in drinking.

Man 1:19 "There is a tremendous amount of pastoral care that goes on in a ministry like this," he said.

Man 1:20 At First Baptist, the program offers leagues for basketball and other sports. "Every day, we circle up at center court and take time for prayer requests and to pray for each other," Bernard said.

Man 1:21 It offers him a chance to get to know many of the 6000 people he said pass through the recreation center in a given month. "You build bridges to people and find out their real needs. They wouldn't go to the minister of this church."

[So-if people won't go to a minister of God-to hear the gospel-- substitute that minister for a sports figure-ah-recreation minister-to have fun.]

Man 1:22 Sweating together on a playing field gives members of a giant congregation more than a chance to meet.

Man 1:23 "I think it may have started out in most churches for the recreational aspect, but I think as time goes by, more people in the know realize this can be a big outreach program for adults as well as kids," said Eddie Clark, assistant director of Highland Park's recreation program.

Man 1:24 The church installed the bed because it offer members and guests a chance to bronze-they pay $20.00 a month for the privilege-in a Christian atmosphere where Christian music and inspirational messages can be piped in. Posters of Bible verses and inspirational messages have replaced the photos of scantily clad, tanned bodies that often grace the walls of secular tanning salons.

[One question! How does one tan on a tanning bed in full attire?]

Man 1:25 This summer, the recreation area at Harvest Baptist has been a beehive of activity as workers knock down walls, paint and rip out the church hot tub to make way for lockers for players in the six man football league that Ashcraft is launching in the fall. The adjoining sauna remains.

Man 1:26 Once football is up and running, Ashcraft plans to turn her attention to roller hockey.

[Let us pray that Ashcraft will turn her attention to God]

Man 1:27 "If it gets people to Christ, we'll try it." She said. "A lot of people get saved by basketball."

[Can basketball convict and convince? Does basketball pierce the soul and spirit? The Word of God does. Heb 4:12]

(end)
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Ex-Christians? Take Leap of Faith to Judaism.
Excerpted from a 7/27/1996 Fort Worth Star Telegram article by staff writer Hollace Weiner,

Mike Flanigan, an ordained Southern Baptist pastor resigned his pulpit in Palistine Texas three years ago and has taken a "leap of faith to Judaism."

Flanigan occupied the pulpit at Palestine's Hillcrest Baptist Church, which at it's height drew 200 worshipers on a Sunday, from 1986 to 1993, when he resigned his pastorate. Hillcrest church is no longer affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

"He is the spiritual inspiration for 20 East Texas families who have joined him on a journey toward Judaism. Six of the families were former members of Flanigan's Baptist congregation."

"We started out as Christians examining the Hebrew roots of out faith,' recalled Andrea Woodward, a former Southern Baptist. As a result, she decided 'the New Testament just does not line up with the Old Testament".

[Please see "How Far Will This Ecumenism Go" in my August 96 newsletter. The James Dobson supported, and board member of the "Center for Christian-Jewish Dialogue" can only lead to deception. Deception headed by Satan and his demons working through human instruments]

[Dialogue implies much more that talk.. Another word for dialogue is conversation. A synonym for conversation is communion. Synonyms for communion are, union, fellowship, and agreement. Folks, God is against this ecumenical movement].

"At a time when the Southern Baptist Convention has initiated a campaign to convert Jews to Christianity, these defectors from within the Bible Belt are venturing the other way, calling God by Hebrew names and referring to themselves as Righteous Gentiles."

[Thank God for the Southern Baptist Convention in making a "Biblically Correct" decision.]

"The few who stuck with Flanigan and joined him at study sessions compared the Bible's King James Version with Jewish translations and said they found new meaning."

"Virgin, is a mistranslation. It means young woman said David Jackson, 43, a mental health worker from Rusk…'This sort of stuff is dynamite with Christians".

[Does this mean what I think it means? They no longer believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ? By the way, there is no such thing as "ex-Christians". These were never one of us (Christians). They have committed the unpardonable sin of Blasphemy in denying Jesus Christ the Son of God.]

" We have been accused of being a cult,' said a middle aged mother who hosts an 'underground support group' for a handful of women like herself who keep their new beliefs secret because their husbands remain Christian."

[Sounds like Eve acting behind Adam's back again, doesn't it?]
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NEWS WATCH

New Living Translation:
The Living Bible has sold over 40 million copies, and was promoted by such "evangelicals" as Graham, Falwell, Swindoll, Colson, Bright, and Wyrtzen. This unreliable paraphrase has now been revised by 90 ecumenical ?scholars" and is called the New Living Translation (NLT). A reviewer (Terence D. McLean) in the 7/22 Christian News says that the NLT is "gender inclusive" and "doctrinally wrong." [8/15/96 Calvary Contender]
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Van Impe Successfully Deceived:
The 6/3/96 Christian News says Jack Van Impe airs weekly in 25,000 cities in North America and 160 other countries, but his first TV ministry went bankrupt. It says: "Now that Van Impe no longer takes the strong stand he did at one time against theological liberalism and Roman Catholicism, he has become a great success." Financially it does not pay to oppose liberalism and Catholicism-major donors/foundations avoid association with those who urge separation from apostasy, CN says. The 4/1/96 Detroit News quotes Van Impe: "My main message now is love." It says Van Impe "deeply regrets the days earlier in his career when he showed a lack of tolerance for other faiths." It says the Van Impes believe that Christ will return between the years 2001 and 2012. Van Impe is sadly lacking in spiritual discernment and has joined with those who praise the Pope and are racing towards Rome. [7/1/96 Calvary Contender]

[Editors Note] Does Van Impe also deeply regret witnessing to those of other (false, apostate) faiths? Does he deeply regret the witnessing of Jesus and His Apostles/Disciples to the Jews, who were, and still mainly are, of another faith? Does he deeply regret the witnessing of "True Christians" going on today to the practicing homosexuals, (some behind podiums) adulterers, sexual perverts, pornographers, ect.? Has Van Impe been deceived? The Bible says it is impossible to deceive the very elect. (Matt 24:24) We may be deceived for a short time, but will change and repent before we die. If Van Impe dies in his current preaching we will know he is a non believer. How can I sat that?

Matt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (KJV

Matt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Matt 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (KJV)

I believe this tells the reason that my statement could be true. Should we follow after a man's teachings in whom are doubts. We must not follow a man's teachings that does not conform to Scripture.
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FBF Resolution on Van Impe:
The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship continues to look with amazement at Jack Van Impes's exaltation of the pope, and calls upon fundamental pastors to alert their people on the dangers of his ministry. For many years Van Impe practiced a strong stance on biblical separation, but in recent years he has moved to a non-separatist and New Evangelical position rather than a scriptural position on separation. Van Impe's radical change reinforces the scriptural teaching that in the latter times men give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. (1 Tim. 1:4) [8/1/96 Calvary Contender]
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CN&V NOTES

I pray that God bless every one of you who hold to His Word. But I pray special for receiving letters like the one above. It is such a blessing to receive word that someone has received profit from my work for the Lord. We work here on earth for a crown in heaven, (2 Tim 4:8 and 1 Cor 9:24-27) but the Lord sometimes don't wait to reward His workers. He rewards me here and now.

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See you next month

We Must Earnestly Contend For The Faith.