Dr. Joseph Stowell, president of Moody Bible Institute, again led the Bible study hour on Tuesday. He spoke from John 17, "That they may be one." Stowell said, "Christ's prayer is up against all opposition. We have divisions among us. There are differences and regional preferences and class. God never intended that our differences would divide us. We belong to Christ so our mission and purpose are the same. If you belong to Christ you are lifted above the differences, and all else becomes secondary. Promise Keepers Clergy Conference in Atlanta showed the unity that is possible. We must be liberated so we have the capacity to work together."
He added, "We must repent of our attitudes as I did in Atlanta. I went to a man who held different doctrines than I held and apologized because I never cared about him. Our differences are not that big, and we must realize this is what will build trust. Revival happens when God's people network together. The world shall know we are one by our love."
Listening to Dr. Stowell speaking on the NAE platform with words of commendation for these New Evangelicals, and knowing he is serving on the NAE's Education Commission, there came to this reporter's mind something Dr. Stowell's father had written back in 1972. His father at that time issued a communication to the churches in the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC), which he then served as its national representative. Dr. Stowell Sr. wrote, "The historic stand of our Association has been (and is) to hold full-orbed separation as the Bible teaches. By this we mean not only separation from apostates and unbelievers, but separation from believers who walk disorderly (Ephesians 5:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 11-15). This is the basis for our stand against such compromises as ecumenical evangelism and those who practice it, even though they may be true believers."
Dr. Stowell Sr. added, "BE ON GUARD. At this very moment there is a strong thrust by a segment of Fundamentalism which is rejecting full-orbed Biblical separation and is pleading only separation from unbelievers. This plays right into the hand of the new evangelical camp and holds a position not far removed from the National Association of Evangelicals. I raise a warning flag to our churches and pastors. We came into being a completely separated entity and broke fellowship in service with those who would not break fellowship with unbelievers. This is a critical issue."
The warning forcefully given by Dr. Stowell Sr. has not been heeded by his son, who associates with, supports, and commends such men as Dr. Luis Palau, an ecumenical evangelist. Dr. Stowell Jr. is serving in a leadership capacity for Palau's Chicago Crusade in 1996 [which involved Catholic priests in the organization and follow-up].
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