Alcohol is Big Factor
Reuters, April 6, 1998
abuse is a factor in nearly 40 percent of violent crime in the
United States... four in 10 violent felonies, approximately three
million annually, were committed by someone who had been drinking.
Some were almost three times over the allowable blood-alcohol limits
and were described as heavy drinkers. The study tracked murders,
rapes, sex assaults, robberies and assaults. "Wine is a
mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not
wise." (Proverbs 20:1) Woe to those who rise early in the
morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till
they are inflamed with wine. (Isaiah 5:11)
Fascinated by Hollywood
Reuters, October 12, 1998
A French teenage couple fascinated by the Hollywood film "Natural-born
killers" were sentenced to long prison terms late on Friday on
charges of killing a classmate in especially perverse circumstances.
It was the second murder trial in Paris in recent weeks in which the
popular Oliver Stone film about a couple who go on a killing spree
was cited. Another young French couple who were also fascinated with
the film went on a killing spree after it was released murdering
three policemen and a taxi driver. Oliver Stone, producer of this
movie, denies that movies have any ability to influence. Our
multimedia presentation "Entertaining
Excess" deals with this overall issue of influence.
What Makes Us Happy.
Reuters, October 6, 1998
After spending 11 years analyzing thousands of questionnaires, Oxford
Professor Michael Argyle believes he has found what makes people
happy. Marriage was one of the most important guarantees of
happiness, especially for men, and the least happy in society were
those who are divorced or separated, his research found.
Extra-marital affairs brought unhappiness because of the damage they
did to the marriage. For Christians and non-Christians alike,
living in the way God has said to be right will bring blessing and
happiness. How much more for those that love God. Psalms 128:1-4
"Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways.
When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it
shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in
the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all
around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears
Pope Embraces Ancient Philosophy
T&T, (AP), October 17, 1998
Encyclical letters are the most authoritative form of papal teaching.
In the latest one (Pope John Paul's 13th, Fides et Ratio / Faith and
Reason), as usual, the 78-year-old pontiff shows he's keeping up on
religious and intellectual trends worldwide.
Fides et Ratio casts a skeptical eye on various contemporary
"isms." He is especially worried about what he sees as a
form of fideism labeled "biblicism," in which the study of
the Bible becomes "the sole criterion of truth." This
section is a thunderbolt for Christian ecumenism.
A synonym for biblicism is Protestantism, which follows Martin
Luther's dictum that "Scripture alone" is the final source
of God's revelation. The Pope doesn't mention that.
But the most militant and successful form of his "biblicism"
is the conservative evangelical movement, which competes keenly with
Catholicism, especially in Latin America.
In line with Catholic teaching, John Paul insists that divine truth
comes through three sources: the Bible, the sacred tradition of the
church, and the Magisterium, a term that refers to the Catholic
hierarchy's (i.e. the Pope's) authoritative interpretation of the
Bible and tradition. Regarding other faiths and religions... These
other paths may contain truth, he says, but it takes careful
philosophical work to find it.
I was stopped by a new Christian a few days ago, who just wanted
to talk (and our van makes it quite clear what we believe). He told
me that he had trusted in Jesus only a few months before -- and like
most new Christians was excited about his new faith, though still
struggling with many areas in his life. He brought up his background
in the Catholic church and stated that he was glad that God had
opened his eyes to this false religion. But he was also concerned for
his wife, who was not a Christian, and was caught up in Catholicism still.
He then said something that amazed me. Like many new believers, he
was looking to hear more of the gospel, and he had been listening to
a prominent Christian TV evangelist, who said that "the pope is
a born-again believer." This man, who by the power of God, had
his eyes opened to the truth of scriptures couldn't believe that this
When baby Christians, and even the secular press, can see that
Catholicism is opposed to biblical Christianity, isn't it about time
that the rest of the church woke up?! I spoke also with some Latin
American missionaries in the last month, they too will tell you that
paganism is not their greatest opposition, it is the polluted message
and spiritual bondage of the Roman Catholic church.
Regardless of what any well meaning, but uninformed, Christians,
denominations, or groups may say -- the Roman Catholic church can
never be reconciled to evangelical Christianity -- as long as the
Catholic church holds to it's belief that the Bible is not the final
authority on life and faith (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This is not
negotiable. Any belief, tradition, or custom of men, that is not
found in God's word needs to be exposed for what it is... a lie.
TV Vets Find TV Lacking.
Associated Press, October 12, 1998
is really happy with broadcast television these days? ... not such
TV veterans as entertainer-author Steve Allen, the original host of
NBC's "The Tonight Show," and producer Norman Lear of
"All in the Family" fame. Ask these two 76-year-olds,
separately, about the state of the medium and they are blunt about
what each sees as its short-changing of viewers. And they have
something to say about how to fix what is broken. A series of
newspaper ads (in about 50 newspapers now, 70 more later) is
running nationwide with his photo and this call to arms: "TV is
Leading Children Down a Moral Sewer. How you and I Can Stop It."
Allen condemns TV for "steamy unmarried sex situations, filthy
jokes, perversion, vulgarity and violence," and asks parents to
pressure advertisers to shun such programs." "Seven-year-old
children are watching this garbage. Nobody yet has told me that's
good news for our nation." As for Norman Lear, he was asked...
But if the viewers seem satisfied with empty fare that's heavy on
titillation, aren't they getting the shows they deserve? "I'm
the last one to believe they get what they deserve," Lear said.
Viewers with busy lives shouldn't be burdened with having to take the
lead, he says; that's the task of "Those in positions of
leadership." With even media industry voices decrying the
state of our television, isn't it about time for Christians to be
reevaluating what they're watching in the name of entertainment. We
can't leave it up to "those in positions of leadership" --
we're responsible for our own actions and thoughts and for the
upbringing of our children. "...we take captive every thought to
make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)"
Shooter is Satanist
Fayetteville Observer-Times, June 12, 1998
Luke Woodham testified Thursday that he opened fire on his Pearl High
School classmates after becoming involved in satanism, which he said
bestowed "power over many things."
When (he and his girlfriend) broke up about a year before the
shootings, Woodham said through tears, he was devastated. ... shortly
after that Grant Boyette, an older friend, confided that he
worshipped Satan and asked Woodham to join his group, saying that
Woodham had "the potential to do something great." (His
girlfriend was one of the people Woodham shot). With rock stars
like Marilyn Manson promoting Satanism, it is finding a new
popularity among many teens and young adults. A desire for power and
rebellion are the two primary reasons for joining.
Halloween retailers target adults
CNN, Oct. 30, 1997
out kids. Halloween is being taken over by your parents and their
friends. Halloween produces the second-largest holiday related sales,
behind only the Christmas season. Consumers are expected to spend
more than $2.5 billion this year on Halloween themed products, from
traditional candy and costumes to beer parties and Count Chocula
In recent years, retailers and food companies have been pitching the
holiday as a month-long excuse for a party for adults. Their strategy
is working: Halloween is now second only to New Year's Eve in the
number of (adult) parties thrown, according to industry experts.
The Halloween marketing charm also works for the pizza business.
Capitalizing on its scary sounding name to boost sales, Tombstone
Pizza (Kraft), saw it sales go up 32 percent in the last week of October.
For more on Halloween contact us for our popular booklet entitled Hell-o-ween
-- or see our multimedia presentation by the same name.