New Age For Baptists

A Conservative Baptist couple is embarking on a new age of missionary work—literally. The Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society in Wheaton, Illinois, has appointed Bill and Terri Honsberger to work with the growing numbers of adherents to New Age philosophy who make the Boulder, Colorado, area their home.

The Honsbergers plan to start their work in September, possibly out of a storefront in Boulder, according to Religious News Service. Boulder is considered to be a highly active area for New Age thought.

“It is our desire to reach out to people who have been deceived by a false hope and a false gospel, and share the truth of Jesus that will set them free,” Bill Honsberger said.

Bishop Quits All-White Club

A recent uproar over the Episcopal bishop of Kentucky’s membership in an all-white country club quieted after he quit the club and urged other church members in similar clubs also to resign or work for change from within.

During addresses at two churches, Bishop David Reed announced in late January that he would leave the all-white Louisville Country Club. The move came after Reed commented in December in the Courier-Journal of Louisville that the club was not discriminatory. The statement sparked weeks of heavy pressure from local media and churches that ended in Reed’s decision to quit the club.

Upon resigning from the club, Reed told his congregation, “As long as there are areas of community life which are closed to certain people, as long as there are centers of power and influence in society dominated by one group, the full measure of God’s justice is being denied.”

Critics, however, note it took more than a month for Reed to resign. “He’s obviously reacting to public opinion, rather than moral conviction,” one woman told the Courier-Journal after the bishop’s announcement.

Rethinking Homosexuality?

A United Methodist study committee recently voted 17 to 4 to recommend the church’s 18-year-old statement, which says the practice of homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching,” be changed. It wants the statement to say the church is “unable to arrive at a common mind” on the subject. The report acknowledged some support within the church for the current policy, but said others believe homosexuality is acceptable “when practiced in a context of human caring and covenental faithfulness.”

A minority of the study committee maintains that the present statement against homosexuality is correct. According to United Methodist news reports, one committee member, James Holsinger, a lay leader of the Virginia Annual Conference, reportedly resigned his seat saying he could not support the majority decision.

The committee’s report will be considered at the 1992 general conference, the denomination’s highest policy-making body.

Briefly Noted

Appointed: F. Bernadette Turner, who, at 87, is possibly the oldest person ever to be ordained into the Episcopal priesthood. Turner, a retired psychologist, recently was ordained in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia to serve the retirement home where she lives and is a chaplain.

Praised: by a special committee of the U.S. Catholic Bishops and evangelical groups, the decision by national video chain Blockbuster Video not to carry NC-17 rated films. Two newspapers, the Sacramento Union and the Birmingham News, also have said they will not carry advertisements for NC-17 rated movies, according to Religious News Service.

Deceased: John Phillips “Jack” Odell, 75, who for 37 years was a writer, announcer, and director for the radio program “Unshackled.” Broadcast by Chicago’s Pacific Garden Mission, the show is heard on about 900 stations.

James L. Cleveland, 59, widely known as the “King of Gospel,” who taught a nine-year-old Aretha Franklin to sing gospel music. A native of Chicago’s South Side and a Baptist minister, Cleveland wrote more than 400 gospel songs. He founded the Gospel Music Workshop of America in Detroit in 1968.

Carl H. Lundquist, 74, president emeritus of Bethel College and Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and former president of the Christian College Consortium; of cancer.

Elected: Johnny Miller, 46, as the new president of Columbia Bible College and Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. Miller has been a New Testament professor at Columbia and before that pastored in Texas for 12 years. He succeeds Robertson McQuilkin, who resigned last June after 22 years to care for his ailing wife (CT, Oct. 8, 1990, p. 38).

Settled: Singer Amy Grant’s suit against Marvel Comics, in which she accused the company of using her likeness on the cover of a Dr. Strange comic book (CT, June 18, 1990, p. 68). Grant’s attorney declined to reveal details.

Merged: Last Days Ministries, founded by the late Christian musician Keith Green and his wife, Melody, with Youth with a Mission (YWAM), a charismatic youth missions group with about 7,000 staff in 100 countries worldwide. The 80-member Last Days staff will continue operating under the original name.

Sold: The empire of Werner Erhard, founder of Erhard Seminars Training (est) and the Forum. Erhard sold the multimillion-dollar empire to a group of 180 employees for an undisclosed sum. Erhard billed his techniques as a means to maximize human potential, but some Christian watchdog groups have warned against them.

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