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Having looked at the late 18th and the 19th centuries and seen the apostasy that swept into Christian churches in the same era that produced modern textual criticism, we will now show a timeline of 20th century apostasy to document what has happened within Christianity at large as the modern critical texts and modern English versions have become dominant. We will begin at the very end of the 19th century after the publication of the English Revised Version and the Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament and move through the 20th. We will see that the unbelief that had begun as a stream in the late 18th century and had become a river in the 19th century became “a veritable ocean of unbelief” in the 20th. Like ivy, the modernism that had slept in the late 18th century and crept in the 19th, leapt in the 20th.
1900 -- As a predecessor of the Pentecostal movement, John Alexander Dowie proclaimed that he was “Elijah the Restorer” who was to precede the Lord’s coming and that he was the first apostle of the renewed end time church. Dowie established Zion City north of Chicago, “where doctors, drugs, and devils were not allowed.” His own daughter died of serious burns when he refused medical assistance.
1901 -- The modern tongues movement was launched when on New Year’s day Agnes Ozman, a student at Charles Parham’s Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, allegedly began to speak in a language she had never learned.
1904 -- Sigmund Freud published his Psychopathology of Everyday Life, launching the movement of psychoanalysis that has brought such untold moral, spiritual, and psychological injury to modern society and that has permeated Christianity since the latter half of the century.
1906 -- The strange and unscriptural “Azusa Street Revival,” with its gibberish “tongues,” false promise of healing, and women preachers, began in Los Angeles, inaugurating the Pentecostal movement.
--------- Albert Schweitzer published The Quest for the Historical Jesus, claiming that Jesus was not the supernatural Messiah, the eternal Son of God, but a mere man who, thinking that the destruction of the world was imminent, attempted to usher it in by his death.
1907 -- Walter Rauschenbusch published Christianity and the Social Crisis, popularizing the unscriptural Social Gospel. Other influential names in the Social Gospel movement were Washington Gladden and Charles Sheldon, author of In His Footsteps.
1908 -- The Federal Council of Churches in America was founded to promote ecumenical unity and liberal social and political causes.
1910 -- Adolf Harnack’s What Is Christianity appeared in an English translation, preaching the Fatherhood of God. The lectures were first delivered in German at the University of Berlin during the winter-term 1899-1900.
1913 -- Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics was published posthumously, marking the birth of modern linguistics, denying God and the absolute nature of language. According to Saussure, the meaning of language is not something to be recovered in an absolute sense but something each person creates for himself. Fifty years later, in his book Toward a Science of Translating, Eugene Nida acknowledged Saussure’s influence on his own theories of dynamic equivalency.
1915 -- The newly formed Assemblies of God, the largest Pentecostal denomination, was rent asunder during its first two years of existence (1914-1916) by a Unitarian controversy. The “Oneness” Pentecostals separated and formed various Unitarian groups that have remained a prominent and influential part of Pentecostalism. One of these is the United Pentecostal Church. Oneness theology alleges that there are not three Persons of the Godhead, only three manifestations of one Person, Jesus. Thus, it is also called “Jesus Only.”
1917 -- Francis Pieper, a conservative German Lutheran theologian, wrote: “During one period of the Arian controversy it was said that the world had become Arian. Today it can be said that the so-called Protestant world has become Unitarian” (Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, I, p. 421, translated from the German of 1917). This is an interesting statement in light of the Unitarian influence within modern textual criticism and the wholesale modification of Trinitarian passages such as 1 Timothy 3:16 and 1 John 5:7 in modern texts and versions.
1918 -- Harry Emerson Fosdick (1868-1969), pastor of the influential Riverside Church in New York City, published The Manhood of the Master, denying that Jesus Christ is God.
1919 -- Walter Rauschenbusch published A Theology for the Social Gospel, which exchanged the Great Commission of world evangelism for the goal of transforming society and thus building the kingdom of God on earth.
--------- Karl Barth (1886-1968) published the first part of his commentary on Romans. Barth, Emil Brunner (1889-1965), and Reinhold Niebuhr (1893-1971) were the fathers of neo-orthodoxy, which hides its unbelief under orthodox theological terms that are given a heretical meaning through obscure language (e.g., speaking of the “bodily resurrection” of Christ or the “second coming” or “the inspiration of Scripture” but not believing these doctrines in a traditional sense). According to neo-orthodoxy, the Bible is not itself the objective and infallible Word of God but merely becomes the word of God as it is experienced existentially.
1921 -- Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976) published The History of the Synoptic Tradition, a first step toward his attempt to “demythologize” the New Testament. In another book, Jesus and the Word, Bultmann claimed, “We can now know almost nothing about the life and personality of Jesus.”
--------- Carl Jung (1875-1961) published Psychological Types: or the Psychology of Individuation. Jung delved deeply into Eastern religions, Gnosticism, mythology, astrology, and occultism and prepared the way for the New Age movement. He attended séances and acquired a spirit guide named Philemon. He had a vast influence on Christianity, philosophy, and the arts. “The moral relativism that released upon us the sexual revolution is rooted in an outlook of which [Jung] is the most brilliant contemporary expositor” (Merill Berger). “Jung’s direct and indirect impact on mainstream Christianity--and thus on Western culture--has been incalculable. It is no exaggeration to say that the theological positions of most mainstream denominations in their approach to pastoral care, as well as in their doctrines and liturgy--have become more or less identical with Jung’s psychological/symbolic theology” (Jeffrey Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, p. 240.
1924 -- The Methodist Episcopal Church approved the ordination of female pastors.
1925 -- The Scopes “Monkey” Trial was held in Dayton, Tennessee, and Bible-believing Christians were made a laughing stock by the mainstream news media.
--------- Alfred Whitehead (1861-1947) published Science and the Modern World; Whitehead was the prominent voice of “process theology,” which taught that God is not the omnipotent God of the Bible but is himself subject to the process of change “carried out by the agents of free will; God cannot force anything to happen, but rather only influence the exercise of this universal free will by offering possibilities; because God contains a changing universe, God is changeable (that is to say, God is affected by the actions that take place in the universe) over the course of time.” Other proponents of process theology are Charles Hartshorne (1897-2000), John B. Cobb, and David Ray Griffin.
1926 -- After a debate lasting almost five hours, the Northern Baptist Convention voted by a margin of about three to one not to evict Riverside Church of New York City from its membership for the rank modernism of Pastor Harry Emerson Fosdick.
1927 -- In The Christlike God, Methodist Bishop Francis McConnell of New York, denied the deity of Jesus Christ. McConnell said, “Is not this tendency to deify Jesus more heathen than Christian?”
1928 -- In Christ and the Roundtable, Methodist missionary E. Stanley Jones wrote, “If verbal infallibility is insisted upon, then the certainty is very precarious” (p. 257).
1929 -- Princeton Theological Seminary, which had become permeated with theological modernism, witnessed an exodus of conservative Presbyterians who formed Westminster Theological Seminary.
1930 -- The Presbyterian Church in America approved the ordination of women as elders.
1931 -- Henry Sloane Coffin, President-Emeritus of Union Seminary and former moderator of the Presbyterian Church, wrote: “Certain ... hymns still perpetuate the theory that God pardons sinners because Christ purchased that pardon by His obedience and suffering. ... There is no cleansing blood which can wipe out the record of what has been. ... The Cross of Christ is not a means of procuring forgiveness” (Coffin, The Meaning of the Cross, pp. 118-121).
1932 -- The Northern Baptist Convention was so infiltrated with theological modernism that a small group of men departed and formed the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC).
1934 -- William Temple, who would become Archbishop of Canterbury, said, “... an atheist who lives by love is saved by his faith in the God whose existence (under that name) he denies” (Nature, Man and God, p. 416).
1935 -- George A. Buttrick, Presbyterian pastor who would become president of the Federal Council in 1940, wrote: “Literal infallibility of Scripture is a fortress impossible to defend. ... Probably few people who claim to ‘believe every word of the Bible’ really mean it. That avowal held to its last logic would risk a trip to the insane asylum” (Christian Fact and Modern Doubt, p. 162).
--------- Emil Brunner published Unser Glaube (Our Faith), in which he likened the voice of God in the Bible to the voice of a speaker in a wax recording. As the speaker’s voice can be recognized even though the recording is scratchy and otherwise imperfect, God’s voice can be recognized though the Bible is (allegedly) filled with error and myth.
1936 -- The Presbyterian Church in America was so permeated with theological modernism that a small group of conservatives departed and founded the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
1937 -- The New York Times for March 19 featured Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) as the Jesuit priest who believed that man descended from monkeys. Teilhard did that and more. He attempted to integrate religion with science and applied evolution to human history, envisioning humanity heading toward an “Omega point” of peace and unity. He believed that humanity would evolve the “noosphere” or planetary communication network.
1943 -- Pius XII, in his Divino Afflante Spiritu, became the first Pope to endorse the use of the “scientific criticism” of Scripture.
1944 -- Youth for Christ evangelist Billy Graham met the famous Roman Catholic leader Fulton Sheen on a train, and Graham recalled later: “We talked about our ministries and our common commitment to evangelism, and I told him how grateful I was for his ministry and his focus on Christ. … We talked further and we prayed; and by the time he left, I felt as if I had known him all my life” (Graham, Just As I Am, p. 692). Sheen’s hope for Heaven was in Mary, by his own testimony.
--------- Pentecostal evangelist Smith Wigglesworth paved the way for the Word-Faith movement when he stated: “What you say will come to pass. Speak the word and the bound shall be free, the sick shall be healed” (Wigglesworth, “Power from on High,” Pentecostal Evangel, May 27, 1944).
--------- G. Bromley Oxnam, Methodist bishop and one of the first presidents of the World Council of Churches, endorsed calling the God of the Old Testament a “Dirty Bully” in his 1944 book Preaching in a Revolutionary Age. Oxnam wrote: “Hugh Walpole, in Wintersmoore, tells of a father and son at Church. The aged rector read from the Old Testament, and the boy learned of the terrible God who sent plagues upon the people and created fiery serpents to assault them. That night, when the father passed the boy’s bedroom, the boy called him, put his arms around his father's neck, and, drawing him close, said, ‘Father, you hate Jehovah. So do I. I loathe Him, dirty bully!’ We have long since rejected a conception of reconciliation associated historically with an ideal of Deity that is loathsome. God, for us, cannot be thought of an angry, awful, avenging Being who because of Adam’s sin must have his Shylockian pound of flesh. No wonder the honest boy in justifiable repugnance could say, ‘Dirty Bully’” (p. 79).
1945 -- Harry Emerson Fosdick, in a letter written in January 1945 to an inquiring individual from Peru, Indiana, said, “Of course I do not believe in the virgin birth or in that old-fashioned substitutionary doctrine of the atonement, and I know of no intelligent person who does” (The Christian Beacon, January 3, 1957). Fosdick would become the featured radio speaker for the Federal Council of Churches in America (the forerunner to the National Council of Churches) after its formation in 1950.
1946 -- The Northern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting at Fountain Street Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The host pastor, Duncan Littlefair, had made the following statements in his published sermons: “God may be identified as a piece of this world’s stuff ... God is a part of a great whole and as such is constantly being broken and destroyed and frustrated. ... I must say that God is not eternal. ... There is no reason whatever from the nature of God to assume that God is the strongest or the biggest in the universe or that he can exercise his ‘will’ at will. ... On the basis of our study and approach we must say that God is not omniscient and cannot ‘know’ in any normal sense of the term for he is not a person. ... Jesus is not and cannot be God.”
1948 -- The newly established World Council of Churches adopted a confession of faith weak enough to provide practically any heresy a comfortable home and was soon preaching universalism and participating in syncretistic worship activities with pagan religions.
--------- Harold Ockenga coined the term “Neo-evangelicalism” and announced that his generation had “repudiated separatism” and intended to put a more positive, intellectual face on Christianity. Looking back on this 38 years later, Ockenga said, “The ringing call for a repudiation of separatism and the summons to social involvement received a hearty response from many evangelicals” (Ockenga’s foreword to Harold Lindsell’s The Battle for the Bible, 1986).
--------- In his book Mahatma Gandhi: An Interpretation, Methodist missionary E. Stanley Jones testified that he went to India to convert the heathen, but in the end the heathen conquered him; he became an idolizer of Gandhi and a promoter of pacifism.
1949 -- Oral Roberts’ magazine Healing Waters described the visit of William Branham to a Roberts’ healing crusade in Tampa, Florida, noting: “Both felt the healing power in their hands. Brother Branham in his left through vibrations, Brother Roberts in his right with power to detect the presence, names and numbers of demons.”
--------- The Cursillo movement, which began this year in Spain, would become instrumental in bringing Roman Catholics and other sacramentalists (such as Anglicans) into the charismatic movement. Cursillo consists of religious retreats that seek to “deepen the faith” of those who have been baptized as infants, but there is no renunciation of baptismal regeneration and other heretical doctrines and practices and no scriptural preaching of the new birth. The movement spread to Latin America in the 1950s and from there to the United States.
1950 -- The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) was formed and Harold Ockenga would become one of the directors. That same year Roman Catholic Cardinal Cushing promoted Graham with the words “BRAVO BILLY” splashed on the cover of his magazine, making news all across the country, and leading the evangelist to say: “That was my first real coming to grips with the whole Protestant/Catholic situation. I began to realize that there were Christians everywhere. They might be called modernists, Catholics, or whatever, but they were Christians” (Bookstore Journal, Nov. 1991).
--------- The theologically liberal, Communist-infiltrated Federal Council of Churches in America (later renamed the National Council of Churches) was formed.
--------- On October 7 the Vatican approved Mother Teresa’s Order of the Missionaries of Charity, and two years later she opened Nirmal Hriday, her now-famous home for dying destitutes in Calcutta. In spite of her commitment to Rome’s false sacramental gospel, her firm belief that the wafer of the Mass is the very Christ Himself, and her universalism, Mother Teresa became an icon of the ecumenical movement and was praised by practically every influential evangelical leader.
1951 -- Paul Tillich (1886-1965) began the publication of his Systematic Theology, teaching through obscure and difficult language a philosophical Christianity, that theology is never dogmatic but always in process, that God, the “Ground of Being,” can be known only through myths. “At best Tillich was a pantheist, but his thought borders on atheism.”
--------- Influential theologian Nels Ferre wrote: “As a matter of fact, the reference in John to the claim by the Jews to the effect that they were not born in adultery, could give external credence to a Nazi claim that Jesus was German. Mary, we remember, was found pregnant before her engagement to mild Joseph. Nazareth was hard by a Roman garrison where the soldiers were German mercenaries. Jesus is also reported throughout a continuous part of the history of art, it is claimed, to have been blond. This is supposedly unnatural for the Mediterranean countries where this same tradition started and was continued. Hence Jesus must have been the child of a German soldier!” (Ferre, The Christian Understanding of God, p. 191).
--------- The Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International was founded by Demos Shakarian. It would become a major catalyst to the charismatic-ecumenical movement by de-emphasizing doctrine and stressing shared religious experiences. Eventually a high percentage of its members would be Roman Catholic.
1952 -- Billy Graham told reporter William McElwain of the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph (Sept. 6, 1952), “Many of the people who have reached a decision for Christ at our meetings have joined the Catholic church and we have received commendations from Catholic publications for the revived interest in their church following one of our campaigns. After all, one of our prime purposes is to help the churches in a community.”
1953 -- Billy Graham “locked himself into a room in New York City for an entire day” with theological modernists Jesse Bader and John Sutherland Bonnell, that he might ask them questions and receive their counsel. In an article in Look magazine the next year (March 23, 1954), Bonnell testified that he and most other Presbyterian ministers did not believe in the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Christ, the inspiration of Scripture, a literal Heaven and Hell, and other doctrines.
1954 -- The rock & roll era was born when Sun Records in Memphis recorded Elvis Presley’s single “That’s All Right, Mama.” From its inception, rock music has promoted rebellion against the morality of the Bible. Fifties rock literally changed the character of Western society and laid the groundwork for the dramatic spiritual and moral revolution that has followed. It also paved the way for “rock & roll Christianity” at the end of the 20th century.
1955 -- Bishop James Pike of the Episcopal Church in America said, “I have abandoned ship on the doctrine of the Trinity. I have jettisoned the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ” (Christian Beacon, March 17, 1955).
1956 -- Christianity Today magazine was formed by Billy Graham, with Carl Henry as its first editor-in-chief. This would be the premier voice of positive-emphasis, non-judgmental, non-separatist, intellectually respectable, New Evangelical Christianity.
1957 -- Billy Graham’s evangelistic crusade in New York City was sponsored by the liberal Protestant Council and featured prominent theological modernists. Here Graham began his life-long practice of praising rank modernists, when he spent about 10 minutes eulogizing Jesse Baird, a well-known liberal and apostate, calling him a great servant of Christ. This crusade was the catalyst for Graham’s break with fundamentalists such as Bob Jones, Sr. and John R. Rice of the Sword of the Lord.
--------- Methodist Leslie Weatherhead, who denied the blood atonement of Christ, said, “Graham is helping to fill our churches. We can teach people theology when we have got someone to teach” (Leslie Weatherhead: A Personal Portrait, 1975, p. 199).
--------- At his San Francisco Crusade, Billy Graham honored modernist Bishop James Pike by having him sit on the platform and lead in prayer and by speaking at Pike’s Grace Cathedral. Graham honored Pike again at his 1960 Detroit Crusade.
1958 -- An official follow-up of Graham’s San Francisco Crusade reported that of the roughly 1,300 Catholics who came forward, “practically all remained Catholic, continued to pray to Mary, go to mass, and confess to a priest” (Oakland Tribune, Wed., Dec. 17, 1958). The chairøman of this crusade was Methodist Bishop Gerald Kennedy, who denied practically every doctrine of the Christian faith and who had endorsed Nels Ferre’s blasphemous 1953 book The Sun and the Umbrella.
--------- When the United Church of Christ was formed in America by a merger of Congregationalists with the Evangelical and Reformed Church, it adopted a Unitarian statement of faith.
1959--On the centenary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, Julian Huxley, grandson of Thomas Huxley, said, “Darwinism removed the whole idea of God as the Creator of organisms from the sphere of rational discussion” (S. Tax and C. Callender, Evolution after Darwin, vol. 3, p. 45). Sri Gavin de Beer, director of the British Museum of Natural History, said that to impugn Darwinism could only come from “ignorance or effrontery,” while Garrett Hardin of the California Institute of Technology warned that anyone who fails to honor Darwin “inevitably attracts the psychiatric eye to himself” (Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine, p. 204).
1961 -- Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, said, “Heaven is not a place for Christians only ... I expect to see some present-day atheists there” (The Daily Mail, Oct. 2, 1961).
--------- The Unitarians in America merged with the Universalists to become the Unitarian Universalism Association, uniting in one conglomerate of unbelief and atheism, rejecting the Bible and the God of the Bible while accepting practically any religious philosophy or deity apart from the Bible.
1962 -- In October the Vatican II Council, opened by Pope John XXIII, began its three-year process, which would bring sweeping changes into the Roman Catholic Church and launch it into the forefront of the ecumenical movement.
--------- David du Plessis was the only Pentecostal invited to attend the Vatican II Council as an official observer; du Plessis, who spoke personally with the Pope, would become the prime mover and shaker to break down walls between Roman Catholicism and Pentecostalism. Dubbed “Mr. Pentecost,” he believed that the way to unity was in shared experiences rather than shared doctrine.
--------- Kenneth Taylor published The Living Bible, which has the prophet Elijah saying to the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:27, “Perhaps he is talking to someone or else is out sitting on the toilet.” The Living Bible was launched into popularity when it was promoted by Billy Graham.
--------- “In or about 1962 it became apparent that there were some at Fuller Theological Seminary who no longer believed in the inerrancy of the Bible, among both the faculty and the board members” (Harold Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible, p. 106). David Hubbard, who became president of the seminary in 1963, mockingly referred to the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture as “the gas-balloon theory of theology; one leak and the whole Bible comes down.”
1963 -- Anglican Bishop John A. T. Robinson wrote in his popular book Honest to God that “the whole schema of a supernatural being coming down from Heaven to ‘save’ mankind from sin ... is frankly incredible to man ‘come of age’” (p. 78). Robinson expressed an atheistic point of view, saying, “Perhaps after all the Freudians are right, that such a God--the God of traditional popular theology--is a projection, and perhaps we are being called to live without that projection in any form” (pp. 17, 18). Upon publication of this book, Hugh Montefiore, Bishop of Birmingham, said to Robert Runcie, who would become Archbishop of Canterbury in 1980, “John Robinson’s written a book which is going to cause mayhem--he’s going to tell the world the sort of things we really believe” (Humphrey Carpenter, Robert Runcie: The Reluctant Archbishop, p. 159). Of course the mayhem never resulted, for the simple reason that the average Anglican no longer cared anything about doctrine.
--------- Upon the death of Pope John XXIII Billy Graham said: “I admire Pope John tremendously. I felt he brought a new era to the world. It is my hope that the Cardinals elect a new Pope who will follow the same line as John. It would be a great tragedy if they chose a man who reacted against John, who reerected the walls” (Michigan City News-Dispatch, June 2, 1963).
1964 -- A religious survey extrapolated that perhaps 60,000 church members in three mainline denominations in America (United Church of Christ, United Methodist, and Episcopal) were atheists or agnostics (Christianity Today, Nov. 20, 1964). The same survey found that 43% of Protestants did not believe in the Virgin Birth.
--------- When asked, “Do Congregational Christians believe in the Virgin Birth?” a spokesman for the United Church of Christ (a merger of Congregationalists with the Evangelical and Reformed Church) answered, “Probably the majority do not” (Douglas Horton, “What Is A Congregationalist?” St. Louis Globe Democrat, Aug. 5, 1964).
1965 -- Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I formally lifted the excommunications of 1054 that had separated the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox churches.
--------- Harvey Cox, an American Baptist professor at Harvard Divinity School, published Secular City, “celebrating the advent of secular urban civilization and the retreat of traditional Christianity.” Cox jumped on the “God is Dead” bandwagon, saying, “It is too early to say for sure, but it may well be that our English word God will have to die, corroborating in the same measure Nietzsche’s apocalyptic judgment that ‘God is Dead.’”
1966 -- Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, visited the Pope and left wearing his “episcopal ring with its emeralds and diamonds.” Ramsey said the Pope “has a primacy among all the bishops of Christendom; so that without communion with him, there is no prospect of a reunited Christendom” (Ramsey, The Gospel and the Catholic Church, p. 228) and testified he was willing to “recognize the Pope as chief of a united Church” (Owen Chadwick, Michael Ramsey: A Life, p. 325).
--------- Langdom Gilkey of the University of Chicago Divinity School reported, “The younger men don’t even raise the issue of the Virgin Birth or Original Sin. They’re discussing the existence of God. And if there’s no God, you don’t have to argue about any of the other doctrines” (“Theology,” Time magazine, Nov. 11, 1966, p. 57).
1967 -- For the first time, Roman Catholics began speaking in “tongues” in the United States and joined the charismatic movement. In March, some Catholics associated with Notre Dame University approached Ray Bullard, president of a local chapter of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International and a member of an Assemblies of God congregation, desiring that he and his Pentecostal friends lay hands on them. Though they did not renounce their false doctrines and practices, including the heresy of baptismal regeneration, they had “Pentecostal-type” experiences. Two of them, Steve Clark and Ralph Martin, were staff members in the national Cursillo movement, and others had attended Cursillo retreats. The charismatic movement grew rapidly within the Roman Catholic Church, and by 1974 the “renewal’s” annual conference at Notre Dame attracted 30,000 participants.
--------- The National Evangelical Anglican Congress of England invited rank modernist and ultra-ecumenist Michael Ramsey to deliver the opening address. Referring to past separatist practices by evangelicals John R.W. Stott said, “We need to repent and change.”
--------- In response to Bishop James Pike’s public denial of the Trinity and other cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, the Episcopal Church U.S.A. adopted a resolution declaring that all heresy is an anachronism. Pike had “abandoned ship on the doctrine of the Trinity” and called the virgin birth “a primitive myth.”
1968 -- A religious survey by Jeffrey Hadden showed that about 60% of the Methodist clergy in America did not believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and at least 50% did not believe in Christ’s bodily resurrection.
--------- In his book Identification, E.W. Kenyon helped paved the way for the Pentecostal Word-Faith and “Manifest Sons of God” movements when he stated: “When these truths really gain the ascendancy in us, they will make us spiritual supermen, masters of demons and disease. … It will be the end of weakness and failure. … We go out and live as supermen indwelt by God” (Kenyon, Identification, Seattle: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1968, p. 68).
--------- Troy Perry founded the Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles, which became the mother church of the first predominantly homosexual Christian denomination. By 1988 it claimed 38,000 members in 200 congregations worldwide.
--------- The World Council of Churches’ Uppsala Report sanctioned violence as a necessary part of the pursuit of social justice. “Radical change in power structures as the bearer of social justice and not violence, is the essence of the revolution. Yet violence is always potentially present and where established order dictates the decision regarding strategy, violence may appear the only way.”
--------- In his spiritual autobiography, Song of Accounts, Methodist missionary E. Stanley Jones said, “We do not believe that the New Testament is the revelation of God--that would be the Word become printer’s ink” (p. 377).
1969 -- James H. Cone published Black Theology and Black Power, preaching a liberation theology for Blacks that focuses more on freedom from oppression than salvation from sin.
--------- Before putting his weight behind the Anglican-Methodist reunion plan, Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, held secret talks with the Vatican “to ensure that the form of the reunion plan was not contrary to ‘apostolic succession’ and would not therefore prevent a future reunion with the Papacy” (Iain Murray, Evangelicalism Divided, p. 92).
1971 -- Fleming H. Revell published A Prejudiced Protestant Takes a New Look at the Catholic Church by James Hefley, a Southern Baptist pastor who described how his “prejudice” against the Roman Catholic Church had dissolved since Vatican II.
--------- Seven thousand people jammed into New York City’s Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine for a Hair Mass, a service commemorating the third anniversary of the Broadway opening of the hippy musical. The event featured braless women, hot pants, a rock band, and balloons (“Troubadours for God,” Time, May 24, 1971).
--------- At New York City’s Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church a minister baptized a baby “in the name of the Father, the Holy Ghost, and Jesus Christ Superstar,” a reference to the blasphemous musical that depicted the Lord Jesus as a common sinner (“The New Rebel Cry: Jesus Is Coming!” Time, June 21, 1971).
1972 -- Cecil Williams, pastor of the Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco, said, “I don’t want to go to no heaven ... I don’t believe in that stuff. I think it’s a lot of - - - -.” (We have deleted his expletive.)
--------- William Johnson of the Northern California Golden Gate Association of the United Church of Christ became the first openly homosexual person to be ordained by a mainline denomination. When asked if he could be a good minister without a wife, Johnson replied, “I don’t really feel I need a wife. I hope some day to share a deep love relationship with another man” (New York Times, May 2, 1972).
--------- Fuller Theological Seminary formally changed its doctrinal statement to reflect the heresy that had been taught there since the early 1960s. The original statement said that the Bible is “plenarily inspired and free from all error in the whole and in the part.” The new statement eliminated “free from all error in the whole and in the part,” leaving room for the heretical view held by Fuller President David Hubbard and many Fuller professors that the Bible contains errors.
--------- At St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan in 1972, “an environmental theater baptism service featured photos of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King Jr., a man shaving in an open bathroom singing ‘We Shall Overcome,’ three nude young people playing kazoos and splashing in a plastic wading pool, an actor performing a bathtub scene from a play, and incense” (Thomas Reeves, The Empty Church: The Suicide of Liberal Christianity, 1996, p. 154).
--------- At its 1972 Quadrennial Conference, the United Methodist Church formally approved a policy of doctrinal pluralism founded upon the four-fold authority of Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason.
--------- Charles Dullea, Superior of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, explained why Romanists and Modernists accept Billy Graham: “Because he is preaching basic Christianity, he does not enter into matters which today divide Christians. He does not touch on Sacraments or Church in any detail. ... The Catholic will hear no slighting of his Church’s teaching authority, nor of Papal or Episcopal Prerogatives, no word against the mass or sacraments or Catholic practices. Graham HAS NO TIME FOR THAT; he is preaching only Christ and a personal commitment to Him. The Catholic, in my opinion will hear little, if anything, he cannot agree with” (Dullea, “A Catholic Looks at Billy Graham,” Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Jan. 1972).
1973 -- Gustavo Gutierrez published A Theology of Liberation, becoming a prominent voice for Liberation Theology, which sees salvation in terms of the liberation of society from social and economic injustice. It is a Marxist approach to Christianity.
--------- In Milwaukee on October 21, Billy Graham said, “This past week I preached in a great Catholic Cathedral a funeral sermon for a close friend of mine who was a Catholic [publisher James Strohn Copley], and they had several bishops and archbishops to participate, and as I sat there going through THE FUNERAL MASS THAT WAS A VERY BEAUTIFUL THING AND CERTAINLY STRAIGHT AND CLEAR IN THE GOSPEL, I believe...” (Billy Graham, Church League of America, p. 84).
--------- J. Kincaid Smith testified that when he graduated this year from Hamma School of Theology, a Lutheran Church in America seminary, the following conditions prevailed: “To the best of my knowledge, none of my classmates, nor I, believed in any of the miraculous elements in the Bible, in anything supernatural, no six day creation, that Adam and Eve were real historical people, that God really spoke to people, the flood with Noah and the Ark, the Red Sea parting. We believed that no Old Testament Scriptures foretold of Jesus of Nazareth, that Jesus was not anticipated in the Old Testament. No virgin birth. One of my New Testament profs. was moved to write a poem for the occasion of his receiving tenure. It was read at the service at Wittenberg University Chapel. In it he speculated that Jesus’ father was an itinerant Roman soldier. He flatly denied the real deity of Christ” (reported in Christian News, April 29, 1985).
1974 -- The March issue of Eternity magazine contained an article by Bernard Ramm entitled “Welcome, Green-Grass Evangelicals.” After listing five characteristics (they are not interested in doctrinal questions or the controversy over evolution or the details of Bible prophecy or in debates over biblical infallibility and they put more premium on psychological wholeness than doctrinal correctness), Ramm said he welcomed these “evangelicals.”
1975 -- In May, 10,000 Catholic charismatics gathered in St. Peter’s in Rome for the feast of Pentecost and received the blessing of Pope Paul VI.
1976 -- Harold Lindsell testified: “It is not unfair to allege that among denominations like Episcopal, United Methodist, United Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, the Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. there is not a single theological seminary that takes a stand in favor of biblical infallibility. And there is not a single seminary where there are not faculty members who disavow one or more of the major teachings of the Christian faith” (Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible).
--------- Carl Henry warned, “A growing vanguard of young graduates of evangelical colleges who hold doctorates from non-evangelical divinity centers now question or disown inerrancy” (“Conflict Over Biblical Inerrancy,” Christianity Today, May 7, 1976).
--------- Cardinal Manning of Los Angeles said, “Anyone who has become a genuine Charismatic, to my knowledge, has become a better Catholic” (Charismatic Renewal for Catholics, 1976, p. 48).
--------- Bishop James Thomas, of the United Methodist Church, told the UMC Quadrennial General Conference, “We do not believe ... in rigid doctrinal concepts to hold us steady in a wavering world” (F.E.A. News & Views, May-June 1976).
1977 -- Anne Holmes of the United Church of Christ became the first openly lesbian woman ordained by a mainline Protestant denomination. Later in the year, Ellen Barrett became the first openly homosexual priest to be ordained in the Episcopal Church. She said that her relationship with her lesbian lover “is what feeds the strength and compassion I bring to the ministry” (“The Lesbian Priest,” Time magazine, January 24, 1977).
--------- John Wimber began pastoring a church in Anaheim, California, that would grew to 6,000 members and become the mother church of the Vineyard Association, comprised today of more than 700 churches worldwide and prominent in the contemporary worship movement.
--------- A massive ecumenical conference was held in Kansas City in July, with the 50,000 participants (45% Roman Catholic) gathering under the banner of “Unity in the Lordship of Jesus.” Catholic Kevin Ranaghan declared that the streams of Christianity are coming together, “God has dug some canals between the streams. Tonight they are coming together and will flow forth from this stadium and this conference and will burst upon the nation as we go forth a newly-united people.” Jamie Buckingham said, “We cannot have unity based on doctrine. Doctrine will always separate the body of Christ.”
--------- The second National Evangelical Anglican Congress, meeting in Nottingham, England, stated: “Seeing ourselves and Roman Catholics as fellow-Christians, we repent of attitudes that have seemed to deny it ... We believe that the visible unity of all professing Christians should be our goal.”
1978 -- In his book The Worldly Evangelicals, Richard Quebedeaux stated: “... it is a well-known fact that a large number, if not most, of the colleges and seminaries in question now have faculty who no longer believe in total inerrancy, even in situations where their employers still require them to sign the traditional declaration that the Bible is ‘verbally inspired,’ ‘inerrant,’ or ‘infallible in the whole and in the part,’ or to affirm in other clearly defined words the doctrine of inerrancy...”
--------- In October, Billy Graham held a crusade in Catholic Poland. Upon being met at the airport by Bishop Wladyslaw Miziolek, chairman of the Committee on Ecumenism of the Polish Catholic Church, Graham said that this adventure represented a new spirit of cooperation that was a constructive example for Christians in other nations (John Pollock, Billy Graham, p. 308). Four of the rallies were held in Catholic churches, with priests participating on the platform with Graham. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla had offered the 700-year-old St. Anne’s Church in Cracow to Graham, but just before the evangelist’s arrival in Poland, Wojtyla was unexpectedly called away to the conclave in Rome to meet with the College of Cardinals and a few days later he was elected Pope John Paul II. While in Poland, Graham visited the Marian shrine of Jasna Gora (featuring an icon of the Black Madonna) in Czestochowa. A picture in Decision magazine for February 1979 showed Graham welcoming pilgrims to the shrine. In the minds of his Catholic observers, this ill-advised visit doubtless put Graham’s stamp of approval upon the idolatrous Mary veneration that is featured at this influential shrine. In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II testified that his personal devotion to Mary was developed at Marian sites such as “at Jasna Gora” (p. 220).
--------- In August, Michael Ramsey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke of his hope for reunion with Rome: “Only a few more divine miracles will bring us to that day of unity in truth and holiness, total unity in the Mass given to us by Jesus” (quoted by Adrian Hastings, English Christianity, p. 629).
1979 -- Two books appeared this year to promote ecumenical unity between Protestants, Charismatics, and the Roman Catholic Church. The Three Sisters (Tyndale House Publishers) by Michael Harper proclaimed that Roma, Charisma, and Evangeline were merely sisters in the same family. In That They May Be One (Logos Press) Thomas Twitchell expressed his hope that Charismatic-Roman Catholic unity would soon be realized.
--------- The National Capitol Union Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted by a margin of 165-59 to ordain Mansfield Kaseman as a pastor even though he openly denied the deity, virgin birth, sinlessness, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. When asked, “Is Jesus God,” Kaseman replied, “No, God is God.” Upon appeal, the denomination’s highest court vindicated Kaseman.
--------- When Cardinal Fulton Sheen died on December 9, Billy Graham praised him for breaking down the walls between Catholics and Protestants and said: “I count it a privilege to have known him as a friend for over 35 years. I mourn his death and look forward to our reunion in Heaven” (Religious News Service, Dec. 11, 1979). Yet Sheen’s hope for Heaven was Mary. He devoted an entire chapter of his autobiography to Mary, “The Woman I Love,” saying: “When I was ordained, I took a resolution to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist every Saturday to the Blessed Mother ... All this makes me very certain that when I go before the Judgment Seat of Christ, He will say to me in His Mercy: ‘I heard My Mother speak of you’” (Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure in Clay, p. 317).
1980 -- The ordination of Robert Runcie as Archbishop of Canterbury was another step toward unification with Rome. Prior to Runcie’s selection, Cardinal Basil Hume, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England, was consulted as to the Vatican’s will in the matter. This paved the way for the appointment of the pro-Romanist Runcie. At the ordination, several Catholic cardinals were given prominent seats near Runcie, a hymn was sung in praise to Mary, and Cardinal Hume read a Scripture lesson. Billy Graham was a guest and gave a warm greeting to the new archbishop.
--------- The Assemblies of God reinstated the ministerial credentials that it had revoked from David du Plessis 18 years earlier for his ecumenical relationships with the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches. Du Plessis had advised Catholics to remain in the Catholic Church after they had experienced “Spirit baptism.”
1981 -- Robert Bratcher, translator of the Today’s English Version, said, “Only willful ignorance or intellectual dishonesty can account for the claim that the Bible is inerrant and infallible. ... No truth-loving, God-respecting, Christ-honoring believer should be guilty of such heresy. To invest the Bible with the qualities of inerrancy and infallibility is to idolatrize it, to transform it into a false god” (The Baptist Courier, Greenville, SC, April 2, 1981). Bratcher was speaking at a national seminar sponsored by the Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, Texas.
--------- Popular Christian author Malcolm Muggeridge wrote, “The story of Jesus as recounted in the Gospels is true to the degree that it can be, and is believed; its truth must be looked for in the hearts of believers rather than in history” (Muggeridge, Jesus: The Man Who Lives).
1982 -- Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, when asked at Easter by a newspaper reporter about the meaning of the cross, replied, “As to that, I am an agnostic” (Sunday Times Weekly Review, April 11, 1982). Six years later Runcie said, “The Church must give a firm lead against rigid thinking.”
--------- For the first time in history a Catholic Pope visited England and held a joint service with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
--------- Robert Schuller published Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, redefining Christianity in terms of his self-esteem theology, stating, for example, that sin is the lack of self-esteem and “to be born again means that we must be changed from a negative to a positive self-image” (Schuller, Self-Esteem, p. 68).
--------- By this year, only about 15 percent of the student body at Fuller Theological Seminary held to the conviction of the seminary’s founders that the Scripture is inerrant (George Marsden, Reforming Fundamentalism, p. 268).
--------- A Gallup survey in 1982 revealed that 34% of Methodists believed that community service is more important than proclaiming the gospel.
1983 -- The World Council of Churches’ General Assembly featured a pagan dance by a Hindu woman from South India. It was a “classical Bharathanatyam dance” that is performed for the Hindu “earth mother goddess.”
--------- The new National Council of Churches’ lectionary featured prayers to God as “Father and Mother.” The strongly pro-feminist lectionary committee, headed by a Lutheran, complained that the old Bible language about God the Father “has been used to support the excessive authority of earthly fathers” (Richard Ostling, “O God Our Mother and Father,” Time magazine, October 24, 1983).
1984 -- The editors of Christianity Today examined Robert Schuller’s theology and concluded that he is not a heretic.
--------- The United Methodist Church approved a report which called upon all its churches to refer to God and Jesus Christ only in terms of inclusive language--in other words, not to address God as “He” or as “Father.”
--------- Charles Keysor testified that a pastor who supports the United Methodist Church system “can be anything from quietly conservative to universalist, agnostic, or even farther Left” and that “the United Methodist climate is alien and inhospitable to forthright evangelical faith” (Christianity Today, Nov. 9, 1984).
--------- Just before his death, well-known evangelical leader Francis Schaeffer published The Great Evangelical Disaster, warning, “Within evangelicalism there are a growing number who are modifying their views on the inerrancy of the Bible so that the full authority of Scripture is completely undercut.”
--------- The World Council of Churches published No Longer Strangers, which instructed women to pray to God by the following names: Lady of peace, Lady of wisdom, Lady of love, Lady of birth, Lord of stars, Lord of planets, Mother, Bakerwoman, Presence, Power, Essence, Simplicity.
--------- Former fundamentalist Jack Van Impe made a 180-degree turn from fundamentalism to ecumenism with the publication of Heart Disease in the Body of Christ, in which he called for the unity of all professing Christians. Soon thereafter he mis-defined biblical love in a typically ecumenical fashion by saying: “Let’s forget our labels and come together in love, and the pope has called for that. ... Till I die I will proclaim nothing but love for all my brothers and sisters in Christ, my Catholic brothers and sisters, Protestant brothers and sisters, Christian Reformed, Lutherans, I don’t care what label you are.”
--------- Sister Ann, with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity (Asia), was asked what the nuns do to prepare Hindus to die. She replied that they taught them to pray to their gods. When asked, “Do you believe if they die believing in the [Hindu gods] Shiva or in Ram they will go to Heaven?” she replied, “... if they have believed in their god very strongly, if they have faith, surely they will be saved.”
--------- David Cline, vice-chairman of the Billy Graham Crusade in Vancouver, British Columbia, said, “If Catholics step forward there will be no attempt to convert them and their names will be given to the Catholic church nearest their homes” (Vancouver Sun, Oct. 5, 1984).
--------- The Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City displayed a four-foot bronze statue of the crucifixion featuring a naked female Christ (“Vexing Christa,” Time magazine, May 7, 1984).
--------- David Jenkins, consecrated Bishop of Durham in July, described the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ as a “conjuring trick with bones” (on BBC’s religious affairs radio program “Poles Apart”). Jenkins said Christ’s body might have been stolen by the disciples or it might still be in the tomb. In typical liberal doublespeak, he claimed that though biblical miracles such as the resurrection are not literal events, they are “real.” Speaking before the Church of England’s General Synod on July 6, 1986, Jenkins received a standing ovation when he warned “against associating miracles with God and asserted that no church can settle decisively exactly what God is and what he wants” (Associated Press, St. Louis Post Dispatch, July 7, 1986).
--------- Lutheran theologian Dorothee Soelle wrote: “In my own theological reflection, my affirmation of God as female seems appropriate, especially when I want to emphatically differentiate my language from that of patriarchal God-talk. ... It makes no sense to postulate God’s absoluteness ... who needs such a God?” (To Work and to Love: A Theology of Creation, Fortress Press, pp. 6, 14).
--------- M. Scott Peck established the Foundation for Community Encouragement to “forge a new planetary culture.” Peck claims to be a Christian and his books are popular both in Christian and New Age bookstores. In his 1978 book The Road Less Traveled, he said, “God wants us to become Himself (or Herself or Itself). We are growing toward godhood. God is the goal of evolution.” A New York Times book reviewer said, “The book’s main audience is in the vast Bible Belt.”
1985 -- St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Minneapolis ran an advertising campaign with the slogan, “The Episcopal Church welcomes you, regardless of race, creed, color or the number of times you’ve been born.”
--------- Thomas Howard, a professor at Gordon College and a member of an influential evangelical family (his father Philip was editor of the Sunday School Times; his brother David was head of the World Evangelical Fellowship; and his sister Elizabeth was married to missionary Jim Elliott, who was martyred by Auca Indians), converted to the Roman Catholic Church. Thomas’ friend and co-author J.I. Packer observed: “I don’t think becoming a Catholic is anything like the tragedy of a person becoming a liberal ... Catholics are among the most loyal and virile brothers evangelicals can find these days” (Christianity Today, May 17, 1985). Elizabeth Elliott agreed, saying, “We can have unity in diversity; my brother is a Catholic and a Christian” (spoken Sept. 6, 1997, at the Wisconsin Expo Center during a conference sponsored by WVCY of Milwaukee, Wisconsin).
--------- Some 200,000 people attended the first 21 Healing Explosion meetings conducted by Charles and Francis Hunter. The Hunters claim that “every Spirit-filled Christian can and should heal the sick on a daily basis.” At least twice Mrs. Hunter has returned home sick from healing crusades.
--------- Nick Cavnar, editor of New Covenant magazine, said, “Catholic Charismatics are rediscovering the meaning of traditional catholic beliefs and practices, including the sacraments, the Rosary, the Virgin Mary and the saints” (“Why Are Catholic Charismatics Getting So Catholic?” Charisma, April 1985).
--------- Herman Hanko, professor at Protestant Reformed Seminary in Grandville, Michigan, observed: “It is almost impossible to find an evangelical professor in the theological schools of our land and abroad who still holds uncompromisingly to the doctrine of the infallible inspiration of the Scriptures. The insidious danger is that higher criticism is promoted by those who claim to believe in infallible inspiration” (Hanko, The Battle for the Bible, pp. 2, 3).
--------- On May 13, a televised interfaith service in the Church of England’s Newcastle Cathedral featured Hindus chanting, dancing, and offering flowers to an idol, Muslims reading the Koran, and a Sikh guru honoring his deity. The Hindu god Rama was proclaimed as lord and king. The service featured only one specific reference to Jesus Christ, being a Trinitarian line in the final hymn (“Conservative Evangelicals claim there are serious errors in the Church of England,” The Christian News, April 15, 1985).
--------- Twenty Episcopalian churches in Memphis, Tennessee, ran an advertisement stating: “In an atmosphere of absolute right and wrong, here’s a little room to breathe. ... the Episcopal Church is totally committed to the preservation of open dialogue and undogmatic faith. We exist to tell the world about a God who loves us regardless of what we’ve done or what we believe. Even if we do not believe in Him, He believes in us. We do not suffocate with absolutes” (Christian News, Oct. 14, 1985).
--------- William Schultz, national president of the Unitarian Universalism Association, said: “Unitarian Universalists are open to religious truths from all the great religious traditions, as well as from science and from human experience. God is too great to be limited by one dogma. We believe that the focus of religion ought to be on this life, rather than on preparation for or a perspective of life after death” (St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 16, 1985, Religious Section, pp. 6, 7).
--------- The Jesus Seminar began its meetings. Throughout the 1980s, its participants cast ballots on the authenticity of Christ’s sayings in the four Gospels using pegs or balls. After discussing a passage, the modernistic “scholars” would cast their votes. Red indicated a strong probability of authenticity; pink, a good probability; gray, a weak possibility; and black, little or no possibility. They concluded that Jesus spoke only 18% of the words attributed to him in the Bible.
1986 -- The opening service of the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Vancouver, British Columbia, featured North American pagan Indians who built an altar and a “sacred flame,” into which they tossed offerings of fish and tobacco to appease their nature gods, and around which they danced. Three Hindus, four Buddhists, two Jews, four Muslims, and a Sikh were official guests of the Assembly, and there were readings from Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim scriptures. In the General Secretary’s report to the Assembly, Philip Potter said that it is God’s will “to unite all nations in their diversity into one house.”
--------- By 1986, there were 20,730 women ordained to full-time ministry in U.S. denominations, representing 7.9% of all U.S. “clergy” (National & International Religion Report, March 13, 1989).
--------- The Day of Prayer for World Peace was held in Assisi, Italy, in October, led by Pope John Paul II. Joining the Pope were representatives of 32 Christian denominations and organizations (including YWCA, Quaker, Mennonite, Reformed, Baptist World Alliance, Disciples of Christ, Lutheran World Federation, Anglican, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic) and several non-Christian religions (Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Judaism, Islam, African and North American animists, Shinto, Zoroastrian, Baha’i). Of the combined prayers of this mixed multitude, the Pope said: “It is urgent that an invocation rise in chorus, and with insistence, from the earth toward Heaven, to ask the Omnipotent One, in whose hands lies the destiny of the world, for the great gift of peace” (The Tidings, April 11, 1986). The event was repeated in 1993 and 2002.
--------- The House of Bishops in the Church of England published The Nature of Christian Belief, which said pertaining to Christ’s resurrection that a word such as “bodily” is “an inadequate or even misleading term, which does not do justice to Scripture.”
--------- Carl Henry lamented: “Many evangelicals now measure growth mainly in terms of numbers; distinctions of doctrine and practice are subordinated in a broad welcome for charismatic, Catholic, traditional and other varieties of evangelicals. ... Numerical bigness has become an infectious epidemic” (Confessions of a Theologian, p. 387).
--------- David Jenkins, Anglican Bishop of Durham, said God could be a woman. “Clearly God is not exclusively male. He (she?) must reflect all that is female. And he-she must go beyond all that” (Australian Beacon, October 1986).
--------- The Bible Society of Australia published a book featuring Jesus Christ as a cartoon “ACTION MAN.”
--------- Jesus Seminar scholar Ron Cameron stated, “The death of Jesus was like a car wreck; it’s an accident of history” (Christian News, April 7, 1986).
1987 -- The North American Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization brought together 40,000 attendees representing 40 denominations. Roughly one-half of the participants were Roman Catholic, and Catholic priest Tom Forrest brought the concluding message, urging unity for the sake of evangelism. He brought the mixed multitude to its feet in pandamonious clapping and shouting when he cried out, “We must reach the world, and we must do it the only way we can do it; we must do it TOGETHER!” One night roughly half of the crowd stood during an invitation indicating uncertainty about their personal salvation. In a press conference the next day, Pentecostal Vinson Synan, conference chairman, was asked by Dennis Costella of Foundation magazine why the conference leaders did not “speak definitively as to what the gospel message is so that there isn’t this confusion?” Synan replied that it takes decades to come to a proper understanding of the gospel and furthermore, “WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO DO THAT.” I was present at the press conference and heard this amazing statement myself.
--------- Michael Saward in England described the shallowness of evangelical Christianity in his day as “a generation brought up on guitars, choruses, and home group discussions; educated, as one of them put it to me, not to use words with precision because the image is dominant, not the word; equipped not to handle doctrine but rather to ‘share’ ... suspicious of definition and labels” (Evangelicals on the Move, p. 92).
1988 -- Congress ’88, held August 4-7 at O’Hare Expo Center in Chicago, Illinois, united Roman Catholics, liberal and evangelical Protestants, and Baptists in the cause of “evangelism” without agreeing even on the definition of the gospel.
--------- After worshiping in a Buddhist temple, Episcopal Bishop John Spong said: “As the smell of incense filled the air, I knelt before three images of the Buddha, feeling that the smoke could carry my prayers heavenward. ... My conviction is that the true God ... is within and beyond all of these ancient worship traditions. ... when I visit a Buddhist temple it is not for me a pagan place ... I will not make any further attempt to convert the Buddhist, the Jew, the Hindu or the Moslem. I am content to learn from them and to walk with them side by side toward the God who lives, I believe, beyond the images that bind and blind us all” (Spong, “A dialogue in a Buddhist temple,” The Voice, Jan. 1989; this is the official publication of the Diocese of Newark, New Jersey, of the Episcopal Church USA).
1989 -- An extensive survey of pastors and laity by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) found that only 5% of pastors believed the Bible should be taken literally, while 75% believed that those who have not heard of Christ will not be damned (National & International Religion Report, Mar. 13, 1989).
1990 -- Thomas Nelson published Evangelical Catholics: A Call for Christian Cooperation to Penetrate the Darkness with the Light of the Gospel by Keith Fournier, a Roman Catholic apologist; the foreword was written by Protestant Charles Colson.
--------- When questioned about his healing ministry in Australia in March 1990, John Wimber of the Association of Vineyard Churches testified that not all diseases are equally responsive to his healing ministry, that while he had a high success rate for headaches and backaches, of the 200 Down Syndrome children he had prayed over none had been healed (Phillip D. Jensen, “John Wimber Changes His Mind!” The Protestant Review, July 1990).
--------- The World Council of Churches Seventh Assembly in Canberra, Australia, opened with pagan worship by Aboriginal men, who “girded in loincloths and feathers, their bodies painted in tribal decoration, danced around an altar and beat drums in a traditional purification ceremony”(Christian News, Feb. 18, 1991, p. 1). In her speech before the Assembly, South Korean Presbyterian feminist theologian Chung Hyun-Kyung summoned the spirits of the dead and “the spirit of Earth, Air, and Water” and said, “I no longer believe in an omnipotent, macho, warrior God who rescues all good guys and punishes all bad guys.”
1991 -- In his book Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Bishop John Spong of the Episcopal Church in America said, “Of course these [Bible] narratives are not literally true. Stars do not wander, angels do not sing, virgins do not give birth, magi do not travel to a distant land to present gifts to a baby, and shepherds do not go in search of a newborn savior.”
1992 -- The February issue of the Bookstore Journal, the official publication of the Christian Booksellers Association in America, featured three articles on the theme “The Catholic Market: Dispelling Myths, Building Bridges.”
--------- In his book The Body, Chuck Colson called for closer ties between evangelicals and Catholics. Colson said, “... the body of Christ, in all its diversity, is created with Baptist feet, charismatic hands, and Catholic ears--all with their eyes on Jesus” (World, Nov. 14, 1992). The Body was endorsed by many well-known evangelicals such as Carl Henry, J.I. Packer, Pat Robertson, Bill Hybels, and Jerry Falwell.
--------- In his book The Battle for the Resurrection, Norman Geisler documented the denial of the bodily resurrection among prominent evangelicals, including George Ladd of Fuller Seminary, E. Glenn Hinson of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Murray Harris of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. According to these, Jesus’ body vanished at the resurrection and He immediately ascended to Heaven; His subsequent appearances were in a visible but non-material form by which He accommodated Himself to human understanding.
--------- Marcus Borg of the Jesus Seminar said, “I am one of those Christians who does not believe in the virgin birth, nor in the star of Bethlehem, nor in the journeys of the wisemen, nor in the shepherds coming to the manger, as facts of history” (Bible Review, December 1992).
1993 -- A Pentecostal “revival” broke out at Carpenter’s Home Church in Lakeland, Florida, during meetings conducted by Rodney Howard-Browne; people began to laugh hysterically, stagger like drunks, and fall on the floor, causing Howard-Browne to label himself “the Holy Ghost bartender.” People flocked to the meetings from across Florida and from other states. Assemblies of God Pastor Dale Brooks, who canceled his services in Tampa, 30 miles away, to attend the Howard-Browne meetings, advised his people, “Don’t fight it; enjoy it; don’t try to figure it out” (Charisma, August 1993).
--------- The Clergy Association of Salem, Massachusetts, welcomed a high priest from a witch’s coven into its membership.
--------- David Wells, professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, published No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology, which Time magazine described as “a stinging indictment of evangelicalism’s theological corruption.”
--------- At an ecumenical Re-imagining Conference in Minneapolis participants from mainline Protestant denominations worshipped God as a female Sophia and Chung Hyung Kyung of Korea told the crowd, “My bowel is Buddhist bowel, my heart is Buddhist heart, my right brain is Confucian brain, and my left brain is Christian brain.”
--------- Fundamentalist turned ecumenist Jack Van Impe published Startling Revelations: Pope John Paul II, a video presenting the Pope as a true prophet and defender of the faith. This video became the biggest selling item distributed by the Van Impe ministry.
--------- During an Easter season service, a female priest at the Episcopal cathedral in Chicago said that if Jesus were to return he would want everyone to be free to enjoy sex, in whatever form that might be (“Show and Tell,” The Living Church, June 20, 1993).
1994 -- The “Toronto Blessing” broke out in the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church on January 20 during a meeting led by Randy Clark of the Association of Vineyard Churches. People shook, jerked, fell down, rolled across the floor, laughed, danced, brayed like donkeys, and roared like lions. Some lay on the floor for hours. By the end of the year an estimated 200,000 people had visited the church from around the world.
--------- “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium” (ECT) was signed by prominent evangelical leaders such as Chuck Colson, Bill Bright, J.I. Packer, Mark Noll (Wheaton College), John White (former president of the NAE), Os Guiness, Pat Robertson, and Richard Land and Larry Lewis of the Southern Baptist Convention (who later withdraw their names because of pressure from Hispanic Baptists). The misguided document stated: “We together, evangelicals and Catholics, confess our sins against the unity that Christ intends for all his disciples.”
--------- Describing the theological shallowness of evangelicalism in the last half of the 20th century, David Wells said, “The sea that looked a mile wide turned out to be only an inch deep” (Wells, God in the Wasteland).
--------- The London Sunday Times for July 31, reporting on a conference for Christian atheists, said that at least 100 Church of England priests do not believe in an external, supernatural God.
--------- Thomas Oden warned that theological seminaries are “awash in antisupernatural assumptions” and that there are no absolutes. In fact, “The very thought of asking about heresy has itself become the new arch-heresy” (Oden, “Measured Critique or Ham-handed Trivia?” In Trust, Spring 1994, pp. 24-25).
--------- In October, Episcopal priest Matthew Fox performed his Planetary Mass at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. It incorporates loud rave music, gyrating dancers, an altar in the shape of a sun and crescent moon, tai chi exercises, and references to “Mother God” and the sacredness of the earth. Bishop William Swing said, “I was very carried away by it” (“It’s All the Rave,” The Living Church, November 27, 1994).
--------- At the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in America, the bishop of western North Carolina apologized for having offended women by calling God “Father” (“Revival or Decline?” The Evangelical Catholic, March-April 1995, p. 10).
1995 -- On June 18, the “Pensacola Outpouring” swept into the Brownsville Assembly of God near Pensacola, Florida, during a meeting led by Pentecostal evangelist Steve Hill. The church’s pastor, John Kilpatrick, fell to the floor and lay there for almost four hours. He testified, “When I hit that floor, it felt like I weighed 10,000 pounds. I knew something supernatural was happening” (Charisma, June 1996). By the end of 1997, more than 2 million people had experienced the “Pensacola Outpouring.”
--------- Referring to a theology conference sponsored jointly by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Wheaton College, Carl Henry warned that “not a single representative of historic evangelical orthodoxy committed to the unbroken authority of the Bible was featured” (Calvary Contender, July 1, 1995).
--------- The Mystery of Salvation, published by the Doctrine Commission of the Church of England, stated, “... for many Christians today the idea of God offering himself as a substitute for our sins is deeply repellent” (p. 122).
--------- Dave Tomlinson, a professing evangelical in the Church of England, wrote: “Doctrinal correctness matters little to God and labels matter less ... St. Peter will not be asking us at the pearly gates which church we belonged to, or whether we believed the virgin birth; the word ‘evangelical’ will not even enter the conversation” (Tomlinson, The Post-Evangelical, pp. 61-62).
--------- Referring to his students, Yale University Divinity School professor Christopher R. Seitz complained: “Most don’t know the names of half of the books of the Bible, whether Calvin lived before or after Augustine, what the wrath of God means or how to understand a final judgment of the quick and the dead” (“Pluralism and the Lost Art of Christian Apology,” In Trust, Summer 1995).
1996 -- On April 20, some 80 well-known evangelical theologians and church leaders signed the Cambridge Declaration, warning: “... the word ‘evangelical’ has become so inclusive as to have lost its meaning. … As Biblical authority has been abandoned in practice, as its truths have faded from Christian consciousness, and its doctrines have lost their saliency, the church has been increasingly emptied of its integrity, moral authority and direction.”
--------- In an interview with Christianity Today, Kenneth Kantzer, leading evangelical figure, said: “I do not for a moment deny the Christianity of any true Roman Catholic. Many Roman Catholics are certainly evangelical. We share the faith of the Apostles’ Creed and the seven ecumenical councils of the ancient church. We need each other in our battles against secularism and materialism” (Sept. 16, 1996).
--------- George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, lashed out at fundamentalists who place the Bible “above and beyond human inquiry” (Christian News, Dec. 9, 1996).
1997 -- In a May 30 interview, Billy Graham told David Frost: “I feel I belong to all the churches. I’m equally at home in an Anglican or Baptist or a Brethren assembly or a Roman Catholic church. ... Today we have almost 100 percent Catholic support in this country. That was not true twenty years ago. And the bishops and archbishops and the Pope are our friends” (David Frost, Billy Graham in Conversation, pp. 68, 143).
--------- In an interview with Robert Schuller, Graham said, “God’s calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in heaven” (broadcast on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power, May 31, 1997).
--------- In his autobiography Graham said: “My goal, I always made clear, was not to preach against Catholic beliefs or to proselytize people who were already committed to Christ within the Catholic Church. Rather, it was to proclaim the gospel to all those who had never truly committed their lives to Christ” (Just As I Am, p. 357).
--------- Oliver Barclay wrote, “No university in Britain would now boast that for them ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’” (Barclay, Evangelicalism in Britain: 1935-1995: A Personal Sketch, p. 129).
--------- A religious survey found that the vast majority of young professing Christians in Britain see nothing wrong with sex outside of marriage; 85 percent of Roman Catholics and 80 percent of Anglicans held this view (Religious News Service, June 18, 1997).
--------- In June Charisma magazine noted that most popular praise anthems sung in charismatic and evangelical churches today are composed by Oneness believers who deny the Trinity. These include Dottie Rambo; Joel Hemphill; Lanny Wolfe; Geron Davis; Phillips, Craig and Dean; and Mark Carouthers, who wrote the song “Mercy Seat” which became the standard for the strange “revival” at the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida.
--------- The homosexual-oriented Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches was admitted to the Southern California Ecumenical Council. The Fellowship routinely performs homosexual weddings.
1998 -- In the book New Apostolic Christianity, church growth guru C. Peter Wagner said, “I believe we are witnessing a reinventing of world Christianity.” He listed nine marks of a new apostolic type church, including “New Power Orientation,” which refers to the exercise of “healing, demonic deliverance, spiritual warfare, prophecy, falling in the Spirit, spiritual mapping, prophetic acts.” He also referred to “more emphasis on the heart than on the mind” (referring to doctrine).
--------- Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey said: “For many of us in the Church, liberalism is a creative and constructive element for exploring theology today. ... It would constitute the end of Anglicanism as a significant force in world-wide Christianity if we lost this vital ingredient” (Church of England Newspaper, April 9, 1998, p. 8).
--------- Carl Trueman of the University of Aberdeen wrote: “One need only look at many of the works emerging from contemporary evangelical scholars to find that the notion of scriptural authority as understood in any of its classical, orthodox ways has in general been replaced either by the concepts of neo-orthodoxy or simply by silence on the most prickly issues” (“The Impending Evangelical Crisis,” Evangelicals Now, Feb. 1998).
1999 -- Many popular contemporary Christian musicians joined in the festivities that preceded Pope John Paul II’s arrival in St. Louis on January 26 for the “Light of the World” Roman Catholic youth gathering. These included Audio Adrenaline, The Supertones, Rebecca St. James, and dc Talk.
--------- Catholic Cardinal Francis Arinze, at the Thanksgiving World Assembly (Dallas, Texas) in March, said a person could get to Heaven without accepting Jesus. Referring to a Vatican II document he said, “God’s grant of salvation includes not only Christians, but Jews, Muslims, Hindus and people of good will” (Dallas Morning News, March 20).
--------- Representatives of the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church met in Augsburg, Germany, on October 31 and signed the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.” The Declaration supports the Catholic position that good works and sacraments are necessary for salvation.
2000 -- In an article in The Bulletin, Peter Carnley, who was elected head of the Anglican Church in Australia in April, stated that the author of the book of Acts wrote in ignorance when he stated that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation (Acts 4:12).
--------- A report on the doctrine of Hell sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom states that many evangelicals reject the doctrine that Hell is a place of fiery torment and hold to the doctrine of annihilation.
2001 -- An article in the Independent Digital (United Kingdom) for May 1, 2001, was titled “Catholic church alarmed that priesthood is becoming a ‘gay profession.’”
--------- Three Unitarian congregations in the United States are performing Wiccan rituals and referring to a goddess in their services. The latest to do this is Pleasant Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Garland, Texas. They use candles representing “the elements of earth, air, fire, and water” and sermons focusing on earthly themes.
--------- An organization called Standing Together Ministries was established to promote dialogue between evangelical Christians and Mormons. Founder Greg Johnson co-authored a book with Mormon Steve Robinson titled “How Wide the Divide,” concluding that the divide between Mormons and Bible-believing Christians is not as wide as formerly thought.
--------- While addressing a Muslim mosque in Bahrain, Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, said, “Muhammad was clearly a great religious leader whose influence on millions has been for the good” and mocked Christians who preach an exclusive salvation and hold up signs saying, “Jesus is the only way.”
--------- The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly in July rejected a declaration that people can be saved only through faith in Jesus Christ. It passed, instead, a vaguely-worded statement that while Christ is “uniquely Savior” this does not necessarily mean that non-Christians cannot be saved through their own religions.
2002 -- The more than 1,185 attendees at the International United Methodist Clergywomen’s Consultation in San Diego joined together in support of homosexuality. Lesbians were signified by women wearing black-hooded robes and holding signs which read, “We were baptized too,” while the clergywomen surrounded them to depict “a ring of solidarity” with the homosexuals.
--------- A charismatic conference featured God singing the Beatles song “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” This occurred at the Heart of David Conference on Worship & Warfare, sponsored by Rick Joyner’s Morning Star ministries. The worship leaders were Leonard Jones, Kevin Prosch, and Suzy Wills. When Jones performed his version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which he sings as if it were a message from God, the band members said they felt a great heat on the stage and then a cloud appeared, followed by a sweet fragrance.
--------- In August, Rowan Williams (who was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury six months later), faced the dawn sun and, as prayers were chanted “to the ancient god and goddess of the land,” was inducted into the order of the White Druids. This was founded in 1792 by Edward Williams, and though some claim that it has no pagan associations, in fact it openly borrows from Hindu and ancient druid sources. Edward Williams “helped foster Unitarianism in Wales.”
2003 -- Feminist Patricia Ireland, former president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), was appointed as the new chief executive of the 145-year-old Y.W.C.A. (Young Women’s Christian Association). In the 1990s the pro-abortion, pro-lesbian Ireland lived with another woman in Washington, D.C.
--------- At the 55th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, members voted not to expel two members, Clark Pinnock and John Sanders, who espouse the heresy of open theism. This theology denies the foreknowledge and omniscience of God, claiming that He does not know the future perfectly. Open theist Gregory Boyd says, “God can’t foreknow the good or bad decisions of the people He creates until He creates these people and they in turn create their decisions.”
--------- An apex of the rock & roll Christianity philosophy was reached with the publication of Thomas Nelson’s Revolve: The Complete New Testament. It is set in a worldly teenage girl’s magazine format, complete with photos of pretty models and cool guys, beauty tips, suggestions on how to have fun on dates, an encouragement to feel comfortable wearing a bathing suit, a test to determine if you are introverted or extroverted, and lots of other vain things that distract from and even contradict the message of the Scriptures.
--------- On June 7 the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire elected the first openly homosexual bishop in the history of the Anglican Communion. The newly elected bishop, V. Gene Robinson, had broken his solemn marriage vows 13 years earlier when he left his wife and two young daughters and moved in with his male partner.
2004 -- The theme for a retreat at the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina was “Re-enchanting the Cosmos: The Imaginative Legacy of C.S. Lewis.” The retreat brought together Christians “of many traditions.” C.S. Lewis believed in prayers for the dead, purgatory, and theistic evolution; he denied the infallible inspiration of Scripture and substitutionary atonement of Christ and taught that hell is a state of mind.
--------- Speaking on January 31 to 700 delegates at his diocese’s annual meeting, Peter James Lee, Episcopal bishop of Virginia, said, “If you must make a choice between heresy and schism, always choose heresy.”
--------- The Feb. 27 edition of the Lariat, the school paper at Baylor University, a large Baptist institution, featured an editorial defending homosexual marriage.
--------- Protestants and Baptists joined Roman Catholics in support of the R-rated movie The Passion of the Christ. Southern Baptist and some independent Baptist preachers gave their unqualified recommendation and even rented movie theaters for showings. Ignored was the fact that the movie’s producer and star are Roman Catholics who pray to Mary and that the movie was based partly on the deluded “visions” of a Catholic mystic.
--------- In November, Standing Together Ministries co-sponsored an “Evening of Friendship” at the Salt Lake Tabernacle, featuring Ravi Zacharias (well-known evangelical speaker), Richard Mouw (president of Fuller Theological Seminary), Craig Hazen (a professor at Biola University), and Contemporary Christian musician Michael Card. Mouw apologized to the Mormons, saying, “Let me state it clearly. We evangelicals have sinned against you. ... We have demonized you.”
--------- In accepting the Prince of Peace Award in November, Billy Graham said: “I remember we were in Calcutta ... we went to see Mother Teresa ... she was so gracious and so spiritual that I felt like kneeling down in her presence. I was so overwhelmed” (“Billy Graham Is Honored with the Prince of Peace Prize,” Assist News Service, Nov. 18).
The previous information is only the “tip of the iceberg.” We have merely touched on a few of the high points of the apostasy of the past 200 years, and it is in the midst of and in the context of this end-time apostasy that the unscriptural theories of modern textual criticism were developed and have gained favor and the modern English versions have appeared to challenge the King James Bible.
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