"Folly, Fully Grown!"
If the threefold mantra of the '60s was "tune in, turn on, and drop out," that of the '90s is comprised of that earlier mantra's four silly children, four sentences that no thinking man ever permits himself to utter in the face of a moral challenge, sentences like:
"Everything is relative,"
"There is no right or wrong,"
"There are no absolutes," and,
"Who's to say?"
Those who loved the '60s own the '90s. The Left still hates America, and it still hates what made America possible: faith in God, individual responsibility, local and limited government, traditional morality and the sacredness and inviolability of life and of the family. The Leftists of the '90s are the enemies of heartland values. They want you to keep quiet. They want you to sit meekly in the corner of the room, hands folded and mouth shut. They want you to be nice. They want the friends of beauty, truth, and goodness to speak only when spoken to, and, when they do speak, to speak only those things that offend no one. That they have offended you seems not to matter. They want you to stick to the script. They want you to keep your views to yourself and to act as if your views were not true, indeed as if there were no truth. That's what political correctness — (or should I say political cleansing?) – is all about.
From the article, "The Chronicle Of An Undeception" by Michael Bauman, Culture Wars, December, 1995.
New John Commentary Born of Isolation
by Colyer Robison
When Gerry Borchert was in the sixth grade, he had a serious illness requiring that he be hospitalized in isolation. Not even his family was allowed to visit him. The only way he could correspond with them was through letters and notes.
There was no television at the time, and Borchert didn't have a radio in his room, so his brother gave him a New Testament. At the end of his rope for something to do, Borchert began reading the Gospel of John. Then he began to memorize it, deciding to memorize one verse for every card and letter he received. By the time he left the hospital, he had memorized almost all of John's Gospel. Thus began a serious study of John which continued through seminary.
The fruit of Borchert's study is now available through the recent release of Volume 1 of the New American Commentary on John, demonstrating that even in our darkest moments God has great designs in mind.
They're Out to Get You
Movies, music and TV bring society's worst into your home, whether you like it or not. A new book by David Chagall, Surviving the Media Jungle, thoroughly documents just how pervasive the influence is on our homes, and then it offers ways to "turn back the tidal wave of electronic deviltry that threatens to swamp us." For instance, Chagall reports: "One North American nation has already stepped in to remedy the problem (of violence in children programming). … The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled that the violence in Power Rangers was too great for children to bear. So the show's Canadian distributors — CanWest Global — agreed to cut all the kicking and hitting segments. The net result? There was no drop in viewing, and the show still ranks as the number one Canadian children's show without the graphic brutality."
'Going to Church is Good for Your Health,' Scientists Claim
Regular attendance at church is good for your health, according to a series of scientific studies quoted by the news magazine, Time. "People who regularly attend religious services have been found to have lower blood pressure, less heart disease, lower rates of depression and generally better health than those who don't attend," the magazine reported in a cover article about changing attitudes to health. Time quoted a series of US scientific studies to prove its claim. Jeffrey Leven, a gerontologist and epidemiologist at East Virginia Medical School, and David Larson, a research psychiatrist at the National Institute for Healthcare Research, examined 200 studies of the effect of religion on health.
They reported that:
• A survey of "30 years of research on blood pressure showed that churchgoers have lower blood pressure than non-churchgoers."
• In a study of "30 female patients recovering from hip fractures, those who regarded God as a source of strength and comfort and who attended religious services were able to walk farther upon discharge, and had lower rates of depression than those who had little faith."
• "Other studies have shown that men and women who attend church regularly have half the risk of dying from coronary-artery disease as those who rarely go to church."
SBC LIFE Associate Editor Joins BSSB's Home Life
Our own Jon Walker is the new editor of Home Life magazine. He is the fifth editor in the magazine's history, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in January. "I have a particular passion for this ministry because I have seen the power of God work within my own family," said Walker. "We live in a world that attacks the family structure on every front — divorce, abortion, adultery, teen pregnancy, child abuse — the list compounds every day. Now, more than ever before, Christian families need a resource such as Home Life to support them as they battle on the front lines."
Southwest Airlines Adds Bible to In-flight Reading List
Thanks to the Gideons, 470 Bibles are logging air miles on Southwest Airlines, according to a story by Keith L. Alexander in USA TODAY. The addition of the Bibles comes as Southwest defends itself in a lawsuit by former flight attendant Vanessa McCauley, who says she was fired for reading the Scriptures on the job. The case is scheduled for trial this month.
McCauley's lawyer claims putting two Bibles onto every one of Southwest's 235 planes is no coincidence, but the airline claims to be providing more reading material for its passengers. Among the other airlines, Delta, American, and United offer Bibles, Continental, Northwest, and US Air do not.
Restructure Should Save $34 to $41 Million
The restructuring of the SBC should produce a net saving, after all expenses, of some $34 to $41 million over five years, according to Robert E. Reccord, chairman of the Task Force implementing the reorganization. Reccord said the anticipated savings "are not an opportunity to build reserves or reduce giving, but an opportunity to redirect resources from duplicated administrative operations to frontline ministries."
Vance Havner: Revival Signs Promising
With all the interest across the SBC in revival and spiritual awakening, the SBC LIFE staff noticed these comments by that great Baptist original Vance Havner. We thought they were as needed today as when they were first proclaimed in January 1984.
Vance Havner, who's been preaching on spiritual awakening for much of his 70 years in the ministry, said, "Before revival can come, the church must first repent, and that's not popular. The main job of the devil is to get people to join the church without being saved … It's too easy to become a Baptist. You walk the aisle and they give you a box of envelopes."
Havner, 82, called on Christians to be salt for Christ. "He wants to put you in the salt shaker and rub you into the decaying carcass of civilization. If we don't have reformation pretty soon, this country is going to be the biggest buzzard roost you ever saw."
Concerning the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians, Havner said, "There's a lot of spiritual smog in the churches. Nothing will blow that out except the same wind that blew at Pentecost." He said fear of extremism has stifled the Holy Spirit among Baptists. "Some are so afraid to get out on a limb they never get up the tree."
When spiritual awakening comes, Havner said, "it won't necessarily follow our pattern. The great Welsh revival of the early 1900's was spontaneous. There were some great preachers, but they didn't preach. They just came to see what was going on."
Havner says more prophets are needed, not the kind who predict the end of the world, but "the kind who speak to the nation for the church and for God."
Orville Scott is a writer with Baptist Press.