articles from the Headline News and International columns of the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 6: Number 5, 1993.
The Editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron Rhodes.
Televangelist Robert Tilton's Television Show Goes Off the Air.
The September 30, 1993 San Jose Mercury News reports that TV evangelist Robert Tilton is going off the air, blaming damage done to his ministry by allegations that he took his followers' money and threw out their prayer requests. Tilton's lawyer, J. C. Joyce, said "the church's income is $1 million to $2 million per month, down from about $7 million before ABC leveled the allegations in a PrimeTime Live expose two years ago."
According to the article, "the ABC report alleged that Tilton never prayed personally over each letter, as promised, and that a processing company in Tulsa threw out prayer requests after contributions were deposited in the bank."
The October 13, 1993 Los Angeles Times reports that "after decades of feuding, the Internal Revenue Service has granted the Church of Scientology and more than 150 of its corporate entities tax-exempt status, ruling that they are charitable, religious organizations entitled to be free from federal income taxes."
The Times notes that the exemptions were granted as part of a larger agreement between the IRS and Scientology. "They are thought to be worth millions of dollars to Scientology, which requires fixed donations for its progression of courses aimed at unburdening parishioners of spiritually traumatic past experiences."
The exemptions come after some 40 years of bitter fighting between Scientology and the IRS. "The government has long recognized Scientology as a religion. But it has consistently denied tax-exempt status to the myriad corporate entities that comprise the church's sprawling empire, contending that those organizations were operating primarily as businesses and that their money was being used for the private benefit of top Scientology leaders, including Hubbard." David Miscavige, Scientology's top official, said that with these exemptions, "Our road to infinite expansion is now wide open."
The Times points out that followers of Scientology were once called "students," and Hubbard's teachings were known as "courses." Now, Scientology followers are known as "parishioners," and teachings are described as "sacred scriptures."
Hubbard is quoted as once telling his followers that religion is "basically a philosophic teaching designed to better the civilization into which it is taught....A Scientologist has a better right to call himself a priest, a minister, a missionary, a doctor of divinity, a faith healer, or a preacher than any other man who bears the insignia of religion in the Western World."
The Christian Science Church's Claim to $100 Million Is Tentatively Settled.
The Christian Science church has agreed to share a conditional bequest of $100 million with two rivals for the money. Eloise Knapp and her sister Bella Mabury, both of whom died over twenty years ago, left the money to the church on the condition that it publish a biography of its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, written by Mrs. Knapp's husband.
At first the church refused to publish the book -- The Destiny of the Mother Church -- on the grounds that it portrayed Mrs. Eddy as a divine figure who fulfilled biblical prophecy. This idea is considered heretical by many Christian Scientists.
Under the terms of the sisters' wills, if the church failed to publish the book and distribute it to the 2,500 Christian Science reading rooms around the country by 1993, the money would be divided between Stanford University and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The October 14, 1993 New York Times reports that under an agreement filed on October 12 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, "the church would receive 53 percent of the bequest, while the university and the museum would each receive 23.5 percent. The accord requires court approval, and a hearing is scheduled for December 14."
The article also reports that "the Christian Science Publishing Society published Mr. Knapp's book in 1991. But Stanford and the museum challenged the church's claim to the bequest, saying that it had not fulfilled all of the sisters' requirements, including giving the book its official seal of authorization. They also argued that there was no way the church could guarantee that the book would be available in all its reading rooms."
The settlement notes that the third printing of the book bears the church's "authorized literature" label. However, in a statement the church was more ambivalent, calling the biography a "subjective and personal literary form" that was not necessarily "an accurate primary source regarding the teachings of Christian Science."
CRI Serving Hispanic Believers with Spanish-Language Resources
With over 20 million Spanish speakers in the United States -- not to mention over two million Mormons, nearly one million Jehovah's Witnesses, and great numbers being seduced by the heretical Faith movement and a host of other sects in Latin America -- what are Christians to do?
To meet this growing need for sound Spanish-language materials on the cults, the occult, aberrant theology, and discernment, CRI International offers an increasing variety of resources for teaching and evangelism.
Hank Hanegraaff's devastating expose of the Faith movement, Christianity in Crisis, is now available in Spanish from CRI for just $11 each, plus shipping and handling (order item #B-139SP). CRI also offers Spanish-language books on Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the New Age movement by Walter Martin.
Tracts, fact sheets, videos, and a variety of articles translated from the Christian Research Journal and Christian Research Newsletter are also available. Topics include Roman Catholicism, Oneness Pentecostalism, the Faith movement, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mind Sciences, the New Age movement, apologetics, cult evangelism, atheism, and sound doctrine.
To receive an updated listing of CRI's resources in Spanish, just write and request item #DS-220 (in English) or DS-220SP (in Spanish).
As CRI explores new ways of broadening its Spanish-language outreach, we would value your prayers -- and input! Call us with your comments and suggestions for improving this dimension of our ministry at (714) 855-9926, ext. 690 (for Spanish speakers), or ext. 691 (for English speakers), 24 hours a day. We look forward to hearing from you!
"Kingdom of the Cults" in Russian Available
CRI International now has a limited supply of the difficult-to-obtain Russian-language edition of Walter Martin's The Kingdom of the Cults for mission groups going to the former Soviet Union. Copies are $10 each (order item #B-001RU).
Need Foreign Language Resources?
For a free, updated list of CRI's foreign language materials -- including items in Portuguese, French, and Russian -- write us and request item #DF-020.
-- Paul Carden
End of document, CRN0071A.TXT (original CRI file name), "What's New In The Headlines" and "CRI Serving Hispanic Believers with Spanish-Language Resources" release A, July 15, 1994 R. Poll, CRI
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