- Radio Bible Class (renamed RBC Ministries in 1994) was founded in 1938 (as "Detroit Bible Class") by former physician and pastor, strict separatist, fundamentalist, and critic of Catholicism, Dr. Martin R. De Haan (1891-1965). It is currently run out of Grand Rapids, Michigan by Dr. De Haan's grandson, Mart II. (Dr. De Haan's son Richard ran the ministry from 1965-1985, and nephew Dennis edited RBC's daily devotional booklet Our Daily Bread until 1996.) [RBC also operates International Ministry Offices in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, England, Ghana, Jamaica, Kenya, Republic of South Africa, Trinidad, Nigeria, India, and the Philippine Islands.]
From its modest beginnings, RBC Ministries has expanded into a massive literature, radio, and television "ministry." RBC publishes the daily devotional booklet Our Daily Bread (circa 1956), the daily devotional for high school and college-age students Campus Journal (circa 1989), and Discovery Series booklets (circa 1938) on more than 250 topics (of the latter, 7 million are freely distributed annually). RBC's monthly newsletter, Times of Discovery (circa 1940), has a circulation of 1.5 million.
On radio, RBC airs the 15-minute daily and 30-minute weekly "Discover the Word" (formerly "RBC Daily" -- "small-group Bible-study format"; 250 and 350 stations, respectively); the 30-minute weekly and weekend "Words To Live By" (formerly "Radio Bible Class" -- "built upon the personal stories of those for whom God's scriptural promises have produced real-life changes"); "Sounds of the Times" ("interviews and biblical commentary" for young people); "Sports Spectrum Radio" (circa 1990) ("real issues in sports and life -- live, call-in Saturday program featuring Christian testimonies from well-known sports personalities"); and three programs on "SPOT RADIO": the one-minute, "Thought of the Day" ("The truth of eternity in 60 seconds!"; 400 stations), "Our Daily Bread Radio" (circa 1960) ("daily one to five minute inspirational messages"), and "My Utmost for His Highest" ("daily readings from Oswald Chambers' classic devotional"). On television (0ver 100 stations), RBC airs the weekly half-hour "Day of Discovery" program (circa 1968).
RBC also owns Discovery House Publishers (circa 1987), through which it primarily publishes the works of non-RBC affiliated authors, and offers magazines (including Sports Spectrum magazine, begun in 1987 as Second Look), videotapes, audiotapes, Bible-study CDs, and music products. RBC employs more than 300, and has over two million on its combined mailing lists. RBC prints and distributes (through more than 100,000 distributors) more than nine million Our Daily Bread devotional booklets each quarter (in 35 countries and printed in more than 20 languages), and has a press run of more than 400,000 copies of the Campus Journal. RBC Ministries began its Internet web site in 1995, and now averages more than six million "hits" per month. (Source: 10/00, RBC Internet web site.)]
- RBC states that its vision is to provide (1) devotional material (Our Daily Bread, Campus Journal) to help people feed on the Word of God, (2) Bible study materials (Discovery Series) to teach right doctrine about God, ourselves, and our circumstances, and (3) evangelism resources (Reasons to Believe brochures) "to awaken interest in a new way of life by gently and lovingly helping others to see the reasonableness and possibilities of faith in Christ" (1/93, Times of Discovery newsletter). We believe that it can be demonstrated that RBC substantially fails in its mission, and since RBC's materials go to millions of people each month, it is imperative that the people of God be warned.
Typical of the watered-down, Arminian, psychologized, "God can't save without our worldly helps" thinking of RBC's leadership is the promo for its SPOT RADIO "Thought of the Day" radio program (10/00, RBC Internet web site):
"It's impossible to fit all the truths of Scripture in just 1 minute, so SPOT RADIO concentrates on just one thought. Through the use of multiple voices, drama, music, and sound effects, the message of the Bible is translated into the language of our times. SPOT RADIO doesn't preach. The decision to act on the message is left up to the listener. SPOT RADIO uses the themes of Scripture and the Our Daily Bread devotional guide to reach our culture for Christ. Its a compelling and straight-forward 60 seconds."
- Beginning in the mid-1980s, RBC took a decidedly psychological turn, incorporating the world's pop psychology into almost every area of its vast media empire. Most evident was the psychological self-love/self-esteem/self-worth teachings appearing in its daily devotional Our Daily Bread (ODB). ODB has even taught a "Christianized" form of occult visualization. (See the samples of some typical ODB devotional articles. The bracketed comments should be sufficient to indicate our problems with RBC's teachings.) In addition, ODB and other RBC publications regularly cite favorably and/or endorse such psychologists/psychiatrists/psychologizers as Alfred Adler, Abraham Maslow, Paul Tournier, Leo Buscaglia, Victor Frankl, Larry Crabb, Dan Allender, Kevin Huggins, Henry Cloud, John Townsend, David Wyrtzen, Bob George, John White, Josh McDowell, R.C. Sproul, Billy Graham, James Dobson, Chuck Swindoll, Irwin Lutzer, Karen Mains, Jill Briscoe, Joni Eareckson Tada, William Backus ("self-talk" therapy), Henri Nouwen (New Age Roman Catholic mystic and universalist), Max Lucado, Chuck Colson, David Yonggi Cho, the 12-Step programs of the Rapha and Minirth Meier New Life Clinics, and the ecumenical, psychological, charismatic Promise Keepers movement (even once calling God, the "Divine Promise Keeper"). [ODB has even quoted favorably from neo-orthodox theologians Soren Kierkegaard and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (Bonhoeffer was a rank apostate who denied or questioned nearly every major doctrine of the historic Christian faith! He was also one of the fathers of the "Death of God" theology.)]
- In personal correspondence with Dennis De Haan in November of 1989, De Haan (ODB's editor at the time) stated that he finds "helpful many insights from psychology." He also said he finds no inconsistency between "a healthy self-acceptance" and the Biblical teaching on sin, Christ's atoning death, and self-denial. Dennis De Haan was very clear in his thinking that while the Bible is sufficient to meet "man's deepest need for forgiveness and reconciliation to God," that it isn't quite sufficient to help those people for whom life is a "greater struggle"! Hence, in his view, there is a need for the teachings of the godless men who gave us psychology!
A 10/6/94 ODB devotional article by Dennis De Haan clearly indicates his, and RBC's, continued affection for pop psychological concepts. In the article titled, "Our Image Problem," De Haan contends that people who "understand clearly their own strengths and weaknesses are better able to accept themselves as they are and accomplish more in life." (Emphasis added.) The Apostle Paul is De Haan's Biblical character who supposedly exemplifies self-acceptance -- "His self-acceptance was based on God's acceptance of him in Christ [despite Paul's] "painful memory of persecuting the church." De Haan describes what he believes to be "a mature kind of self-acceptance" -- "'By the grace of God I am what I am.'" He concludes with a poem that claims "God accepts us as we are, and we must do the same." (See Paul Brownback: The Danger of Self-Love, pp. 109-116, and Martin & Deidre Bobgan: James Dobson's Gospel of Self-Esteem & Psychology, pp. 65-71, for a proper, Biblical analysis of so-called unconditional love and self-acceptance.) In a more recent ODB (9/23/95), M.R. De Haan II teaches that "Low self-esteem is a killer -- a killer of potential, of courage, of relationships. ... To feel good about yourself, think of who you are in Christ."
- A good example of just how far RBC has come in its acceptance of the psychological gospel would be an RBC Discovery Series booklet written by Tim Jackson, a licensed psychologist in Michigan -- "When Help Is Needed: A Biblical View of Counseling." (Jackson is also listed as the senior counselor for RBC's Biblical correspondence department.) The booklet covers such psychological euphemisms for sin as: "eating disorders or sexual addiction, uncontrollable outbursts of anger, alcohol or drug abuse, debilitating depression, anxiety that steals one's sleep, paralyzing fears, obsessive/compulsive activities, workaholism, [and] uncontrollable spending."
Jackson not only questions the ability of the local church pastor to handle such "problems" (not "sins," mind you), but he also questions the sufficiency of Christ. He states that, "Many disagree about the meaning of 'the sufficiency of Christ.' Do His provisions and mercies include medication, support groups, and an understanding of family history, temperaments, and deeply buried motives? ... The Bible warns against counsel that is contrary to the purpose of God. But the Scriptures are not against all that is natural, social, or secular. ... School counselors serve our communities well when they influence young people for good by encouraging ... a student to think through his own values, beliefs and motives [values clarification!] [pp. 4-6]. ... What is the pastor's role as a counselor? [p. 26]. ... Professional counseling is sometimes necessary to deal with complex issues that don't easily yield to our normal understanding of how we are to grow and deal with the struggles in our lives. This kind of intense counseling is like doing deep surgery on the soul [p. 28]. ... Going to a licensed counselor or therapist is like going to your medical doctor for a physical problem" (p. 29). (Emphasis added.)
Jackson's counseling focus is typical of those who rely on self instead of God, and on psychology instead of the Bible (cf. 2 Peter 1:3): "Many physical and emotional problems are rooted in unseen and often undetected spiritual issues. Eating disorders, alcohol and drug addiction, depression, chronic anxiety, sexual abuse, and multiple personality disorders are so painful in and of themselves, that they persistently mask the deeper issues that fuel them [p. 7]. ... Good counseling helps us to face our disappointment in a trouble-filled life. It helps us to face our disappointment in ourselves and realize that very often we cannot make life work for us or protect us from pain. Good counseling helps us to face our disappointment in a God who doesn't give us everything we ask for [p. 12]. ... Because we have been created in the likeness of this triune God, all of us have a deep need for relationships [this and following: Crabb/Adler/Maslow need theology -- see also Jackson's Discovery Series booklet: "When Anger Burns," for more Crabb theology]. We hunger to love and be loved by others. We want to know and be known, to accept and be accepted, to respect and be respected, to give and to receive, to care and to be cared for. For this we have been made. For this we rightly hunger [p. 16]. ... This mix of dignity and depravity is what makes so many problems extremely resistant to change. The desires that drive an alcoholic are not all bad. The urges that obsess the homosexual are not all wrong. Husbands or wives who ... feel more alive and fulfilled in an extramarital relationship are not totally evil in their longings. ... We end up feeling guilty for God-given desires and then rationalize and defend our illegitimate strategies for trying to deal with our pain. ... Good counsel will help us to see the difference between God-given desires and our own sinful strategies for satisfying those desires" (pp. 17-18). (Emphasis added.)
[Jackson co-authored another RBC Discovery Series booklet with M.R. De Haan II titled: "Designed for Desire: God's Design for Sexuality." In the recommended reading section at the back of the booklet, they recommend books by psychologists Harry W. Schaumburg ("... for anyone fighting the battle against compelling sexual desires") and Larry Crabb ("... focuses on why relationships get off track and how to refocus our attention in godly directions"). This Discovery Series booklet is full of Crabb-like statements, and even puts Jesus Christ into Crabb's "need-satisfaction" mold (e.g., they speak of Jesus as being "secure enough within Himself" and thereby "did not 'need' a physical, sexual relationship").]
- RBC began a serious teaching relationship with "Christian" psychologist Dr. Larry Crabb in 1988. [Crabb's model of counseling is primarily a psychological system of unconscious needs that supposedly motivate all behavior; this system has been derived from Freudian (the "unconscious") and humanistic (a "hierarchy of needs") psychology, with great emphasis on so-called emotional needs.] Favorable comments on Crabb and his teachings were later made in the 8/89, Radio Bible Class News. In 1990, M.R. De Haan II, fellow psychologizer Ron Chadwick, and Crabb, together made and heavily promoted a four-part video teaching series titled, "How Can I Feel Good About Myself?" (Discovery Interactive Bible Study Series). The video and accompanying Leader's Guide were "designed to help you teach your group the biblical basis of how you can feel good about yourself." In our opinion, this series is the most blatant of all the anti-Biblical productions we have seen on the subject of self-esteem. (This "study" was first published in a 1988 RBC Discovery Series booklet, "How Can I Feel Good About Myself -- MAN: Self-Esteem.")
- An article in the 4/96, Times of Discovery tells of RBC's operation of a telephone/mail psychologically-oriented counseling department: "Imagine spending your day helping people cope with struggles, answering Bible questions, and directing people to resources that can assist them. That's what goes on in RBC's Biblical Correspondence Department, often called our counseling department." A group of four men and three women do this counseling. The article lists seven most asked caller/writer relationship issue questions. The RBC counselors answer questions on "marital struggles," "sexual struggles," "abuse issues," "parenting," "addictive behaviors," "depression/anxiety," and "grief/loss/divorce." The counselors also send out psychologically-oriented booklets on "spouse abuse," "anger," "counseling," "sexual abuse," and "sexuality." Besides the fact that this "counseling" is heavily psychological, God's Word nowhere authorizes long-distance counseling outside of the local church. (See the Bobgan's book, Against Biblical Counseling: For the Bible for the correct view on counseling and the church.)
- As evidence that RBC still believes that the Bible is not enough, but that psychospiritual methods are necessary for the believer to experience the full Christian life, see an article by Mart De Haan II titled "Been Thinking About Counseling" from RBC's June 2000 Times of Discovery newsletter. De Haan's article is a good example of what is termed "psychoheresy" -- the integration of secular psychological counseling theories and therapies with the Bible and the intrusion of such theories into the preaching and practice of Christianity, especially when they contradict or compromise Biblical Christianity in terms of the nature of man, how he is to live, and how he changes. While De Haan does not use the terms "clinical psychology" or "psychotherapy" in his article, it is clear he supports both. De Haan aligns himself with professionally trained "people helpers" and strongly defends the use of extra-Biblical material for helping individuals experiencing problems of living. His article clearly promotes "support groups," "professional counselors," and "personality tests."
Of De Haan's many errors in his article, the most egregious ones relate to his perception of Scripture through the distorting lens of a high view of extra-Biblical ideas and theories regarding the mind, will, emotions, and behavior. His high view of this extra-Biblical material seems driven by his faith in professional counselors and their use of the extra-Biblical wisdom of men. (De Haan goes so far as to claim that Jesus and others in the Old and New Testaments spoke extra-Biblically.) De Haan considers himself part of the "not-the-Bible-only group," which believes that:
" the Bible itself encourages us to look beyond its pages in our efforts to help others. This group believes that while the cross of Christ is our only solution for sin, there is room within the mercy and compassion of Christ to use support groups, professional counselors, antidepressants, and personality tests as additional ways of caring for one another. we believe that secular tools, when used carefully, can help us obey God when He tells us to seek understanding, help one another, and relieve the oppressed. Does the Bible point to itself as the only solution for problems of the heart? No. The Bible teaches us how to look beyond its pages while remaining well within the counsel of God."
De Haan produces no research support for the use of "secular tools," no definition of what "when used carefully" means, and no evidence that any of what he proposes "can help us obey God" or is in any way connected to "can help us obey God when He tells us to seek understanding, help one another, and relieve the oppressed." De Haan has provided no reasonable Biblical evidence for "looking beyond its [the Bible's] pages." Aside from twisting the Scripture to fit his preconceived not-the-Bible-only, extra-Biblical position, De Haan gives no extra-Biblical examples from professional counselors that one could test. The extra-Biblical wisdom of men supported by De Haan and his not-the-Bible-only group is the very wisdom of men that God has warned us about (1 Cor. 2:5). This wisdom consists of a vast hodge-podge of theories and therapies that do not meet the requirements of being a science. It is this earthly wisdom that occurs in the psychotherapies used by the people helpers promoted by De Haan. [Source: "Mart De Haan (Radio Bible Class) and Psychoheresy," (Part 1 of 3), September-October 2000, PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter.]
- In recent years, RBC has also become increasingly neo-evangelical. The editors of the Our Daily Bread daily devotional booklet said in the 9/93 ODB: "We are pleased to introduce to you our newest writer, Dr. Vernon C. Grounds. His articles will be a regular feature ... He is a member of the Board of Directors of Radio Bible Class." [In a 5/11/94, ODB devotional, Grounds pays tribute to psychiatrists because they "can be helpful in dealing with certain phobias."] This is but another indication of the new-evangelical direction of RBC. In the early-1990s, Grounds headed the leftist Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA -- now headed by radical social activist Ron Sider), and is Chancellor of the neo-evangelical Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary. He has also paid tribute to notorious neo-orthodox theologians such as Soren Kierkegaard. (Reported in the 9/1/93, Calvary Contender.)
- Another addition (1993) to the RBC family is Dr. Haddon W. Robinson. Robinson, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Illinois, was president of Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary (neo-evangelical/ecumenical) from 1979-1991, and is currently the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. (Ockenga is the "father" of neo-evangelicalism.) Robinson is the discussion leader for the Discover the Word radio program, teaches occasionally on RBC's Day of Discovery television program, and writes some of the ODB devotionals. He has written numerous books including Decisions By the Book and The Christian Salt and Light Company. He attends a CBA church (Conservative Baptist Association of America), a highly neo-evangelical denomination. Robinson's affiliations are also neo-evangelical (e.g., he is a partner in Christianity Today's PREACHING today series with church growth guru Bill Hybels and ecumenical psychologizer Stuart Briscoe).
Dr. Robinson is also highly psychological in his approach to Christian living (e.g., in one of the devotional articles he wrote for ODB [10/24/93], Robinson concludes with a favorable reference to psychotherapist Alfred Adler). (See also the "Accepting Yourself" devotional for Robinson's quoted statement therein that God "loves us because we are precious.") Robinson also sounded like a typical "church growth" advocate (i.e., give 'em what they want to keep 'em comin') when he said, "The people who are coming back to church these days resent being yelled at. ... They think you're scolding them. People want to hear preachers who sound like the people they like on television. They want that warm, friendly television tone" (6/25/94, Scripps Howard News Service).
- Haddon Robinson has also been a speaker for Promise
Keepers, the ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's movement. PK is
the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical
Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's
contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its
unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic
messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and
unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating.
Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading
movements in the annals of Christian history.
In a 5/96 personal letter from RBC's Dan Vander Lugt, Promise Keepers is defended on the grounds that many RBC friends have attended PK meetings and "all of them -- without exception -- returned with a positive report regarding the spiritual impact of the meetings on their life. They report no attempt to promote unorthodox or uniquely charismatic doctrine." (Emphasis added.) He also claimed that he is not surprised to see PK come under attack, because he has "seen many fine organizations and individuals attacked in pamphlets that distort their views and present them out of context," but in the case of PK, there is "the obvious presence of the Holy Spirit within the movement ... Promise Keepers may be one of the most important forces for revival and spiritual renewal in the world today." With this total lack of discernment, is it any wonder that RBC seemingly buys into almost every aberrant doctrine that comes down the pike?
- Joining the RBC family in September of 1994 was England's Mrs. Joanie Yoder, whose articles are now appearing regularly in Our Daily Bread. (Discovery House has also published Mrs. Yoder's psychologically-oriented book, Finding the God-Dependent Life.) What is it about Mrs. Yoder that qualifies her to minister to the body of Christ? RBC says, "A series of miscarriages, a struggle with depression, and a battle with dependency on prescription drugs have uniquely prepared her to write about a deep sense of helplessness and finding hope in the Lord" (9/94, ODB). A 9/22/94 ODB devotional article by Mrs. Yoder gives us a glimpse of where she really finds her hope -- from her "morally pure and innocent inner-child"! Yoder says that "... at a time when I was recovering from a breakdown. I remember how my 'adult' self taunted the weak 'child' within me." This adult/inner child conflict is a psychological concept developed by Hugh Misseldine and Alice Miller, and popularized by John Bradshaw and by a host of psychologizers in the codependency/recovery movement within the professing church.
- The Journal of Biblical Equality is a journal published by the Front Range, Colorado Chapter of "Christians for Biblical Equality" (CBE). Its stated purposes include the providing of "training in leadership skills" which will "enable and encourage women to participate fully in the ministry of the local church," as well as the active "elimination of barriers" which prevent women from "full participation" in the ministry due to their "gender." The 1992 Journal includes two articles written by Alice Matthews, who is described as "the content producer for Radio Bible Class Daily broadcasts," and as one of the founders of the national CBE and the founder of the Front Range CBE chapter (p. 48). Therefore, the daily content of the RBC broadcasts is under leadership of woman whose views are in direct contradiction to the divinely inspired teachings of the Bible (1 Tim. 3:1-7). (Reported in the 1993, Nov/Dec issue of The Fundamentalist Digest.)
- In 1992, Radio Bible Class's Discovery House Publishers published a revised edition of Oswald Chambers 1935 daily devotional classic My Utmost for His Highest. This revised edition is billed as "an updated edition in today's language." It was revised/edited by James Reimann, who has been a part of psychologizer Charles Stanley's ministry "for over 20 years." Stanley says this about the revised edition in its Foreword:
"I am greatly encouraged to see these powerful daily devotions updated with more contemporary expressions. The purpose of this edition is to make it more readable and easily understood. Not a single truth has been altered even to the slightest degree. ..." (Emphasis added.)
One only need read the devotional for February 10th, "Is Your Ability To See God Blinded?" (in Chambers words, "Is Your Imagination of God Starved?"), to understand that truth has been altered by Mr. Reimann (and, thereby, RBC). In the text of the 2/10 devotional, in three instances where Chambers writes of "imagination," Reimann substitutes the word "visualize" or "visualization." Can Mr. Reimann possibly be unaware that in "today's language" visualization is an occult technique?! [In fact, visualization is the most powerful occult technique available -- visualizing an entity, even "God" or "Christ," puts one in touch with a masquerading demon (Beyond Seduction, 190-240). See the examples of RBC' devotionals for a more of RBC's thoughts on "visualization."]
- It has become fashionable in our day for neo-evangelicals to deny or question the doctrine of a literal fire in hell. John Stott, F.F. Bruce, Philip Hughes, Clark Pinnock, and Billy Graham are but a few that have fallen into this trap. In 1991, in a Discovery Series booklet written by RBC's Herb Vander Lugt (What Does the Bible Say About Hell?), we have another denial, i.e., the fire is only "symbolic" and "Unscriptural and repulsive overstatements about hell have turned some people away from the gospel." Some other tidbits of erroneous doctrine in this booklet:
"We must be careful that we do not go beyond the Scriptures and portray hell as a place where all the lost will scream in pain forever and forever" (p. 24); It is perhaps wise for us to avoid excessive speculation about the suffering of hell" (p. 25); "Some who never hear the gospel become conscious of their sinfulness, abandon all efforts to earn God's favor, and cry out for forgiveness" ('respected evangelical,' Sir Norman Anderson, p. 27 [Anderson equates them with the Jew of the Old Testament and argues both are saved without hearing of Christ.]); "So should we portray hell as a literal furnace of fire where all the lost will scream in pain throughout all eternity? The church Fathers, Luther, Calvin, all the classical theologians, and present day leaders like Francis Schaefer and J.I. Packer say an emphatic 'no'" (pp. 28,29).
RBC gives no exegesis of Scripture to support their views.
Some of the names they appeal to for support, like Packer, Schaefer, and C.S.
Lewis, have serious question marks over their lives regarding real
Christianity. We are not certain what Calvin's and Luther's views on this
subject were. However, it is certain that the Bible teaches a literal hell
unlike that which RBC is setting forth here. Over the past several years, the
tendency among the so-called "evangelical" crowd has been to play down
the awful reality of what the Bible says about hell. It
takes a strong view of sin to maintain belief in the Biblical truth about hell.
RBC, like our generation of easy-believism "Christians," takes a light
view of sin, so in their eyes, hell is not as serious. (Source: Summer 1999, The
- Morals for Mortals is a book published by RBC's Discovery House Publishers. Chapter I contains a treatise on abortion with some appalling statements written by RBC's Herbert Vander Lugt. The following quotation speaks for itself:
"Yes, sincere Christians do disagree on the matter of abortion. Perhaps one reason is that it is an intensely personal issue, closely tied in our emotions. Another is that the Bible doesn't give us any specific instructions on this subject. It doesn't tell us exactly when the embryo or fetus becomes a total human being. As believers, therefore, we must draw our conclusions about abortion from the general teaching of the Scriptures on the sacredness of human life ... A Christian must therefore give serious thought to the possibility that the fetus is already a human being who bears the image of God. But he should also be sensitive to the plight of people like the young girl and the older married woman and their families." (Source: 11/97, Perilous Times.)
- Sports Spectrum is a slick-looking, glossy, color magazine produced by Discovery House Publishers, a publishing house affiliated with the Radio Bible Class. It is published ten times yearly and has 50,000 paid subscribers. Its stated purpose is to "lead sports-minded [sports-crazed] people to faith in Christ by covering the real issues in sports and life. ... seeks to relate biblical principles through the popular medium of sports and athletes." While the magazine's format is extremely attractive from a marketing standpoint, and the contents interesting from a sports perspective, its supposed gospel content is lacking in vital scriptural truths! The magazine generally presents professional athletes as a wholesome class of individuals who have everything to make this earthly life successful -- except Christ. The athletes lives are compared, in effect, to a delicious pie with only one missing piece -- someone called Jesus. If the athletes would just "add" this missing ingredient to their lives, the pie would be complete. In other words, the supposed RBC gospel emphasis in this magazine is nearly devoid of any solid doctrinal content, virtually ignoring/neglecting the great salvation truths of heaven, hell, sin, divine righteousness, and blood atonement, and offering in its place an appeasing, materialistic, this-present-world-only emphasis, with a pleasant "You can be born again" approach (Nov/Dec 1993, Fundamentalist Digest).
After reviewing several issues, Sports Spectrum also appears to be an extremely worldly-centered/ecumenical magazine. The January-February 1992 issue not only manifests this earthly-worldly emphasis, but also contains shocking documentation about the cooperation of this magazine with Catholic churches and other blatantly ecumenical groups (p. 30). The magazine boldly states that "Sports Outreach Minnesota" (a Minnesota based religious ministry) teamed up with Sports Spectrum for a "Statewide Super Bowl effort," with "nearly 300 churches, denominations, organizations and ministries" including the "Assemblies of God churches," the "Billy Graham Evangelistic Association" ..."Campus Crusade for Christ"..."Catholic Churches"..."Episcopal Churches"..."Lutheran Churches"..."Presbyterian Churches"..."United Methodist Churches"..."Youth for Christ" and many more! [Sports Spectrum is also used by about 1,800 prison chaplains or volunteers linked to Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship (9/97, Times of Discovery, p. 3).] "The cooperation of this RBC-sponsored magazine with apostate, liberal, and charismatic organizations is both deplorable and tragic, and contrary to the practices and policies of its founder, the late Dr. M.R. De Haan, a committed separatist. The road to compromise leads to the door of Rome!" (Excerpted from the May/June 1992, Fundamentalist Digest.)
In late 1993, Sports Spectrum joined with more than 100 other "sports ministries" in the production of "Super Bowl Party Kits," which included 10 Sports Spectrum Super Bowl edition magazines, 24 NFL player testimony trading cards, a Path To Victory New Testament, a training manual to help people plan and promote their Super Bowl parties, an optional "Super Bowl Party Staff" T-shirt, and a video featuring "Christian" sports celebrities to be shown at half-time of Super Bowl parties. There were 4,200 of these "Christian" Super Bowl parties held in January, 1994 (12/94, Times of Discovery, p. 4). This "Super Bowl Party" silliness has gone on every year through the present. RBC claims more than 326,000 attended January, 2000 Super Bowl parties, with 9,800 making "decisions for Christ"; success was credited to the "Super Bowl outreach kit."
- Not content with the showpiece Sports Spectrum magazine
itself, in 1990 RBC went on the radio with a Saturday, 55-minute, live, call-in
talk/interview sports show ("Sports Spectrum Radio"), with Chuck
Swirsky as host (currently heard on more than 210 stations). Still not
satisfied, in 1993 the Sports Spectrum radio show was expanded to a
"three-times daily (Monday-Saturday) sports reports" program with the
same host (Sports Spectrum, Jan-Feb '93, p. 5). [The latter
"three-times daily" program has since been cancelled.]
And who is Chuck Swirsky? In the same issue cited above, Chuck Swirsky is described as the "sports director of WGN Radio in Chicago" and the "play-by-play voice of the DePaul University basketball team." [Swirsky now hosts the show from Detroit.] DePaul University is a Roman Catholic educational institution that has as the chairman of its "Biblical Studies" Department a Roman Catholic priest by the name of John Dominic Crossan (Capital Journal, Lansing, MI, 10/9/93, p. B-1). Crossan serves as co-chair of the blasphemous and apostate "Jesus Seminar" (Foundation, Mar-Apr 1994), a group that blatantly denies the deity and Virgin Birth of Christ, as well as repudiates from a historical viewpoint the overwhelming majority of the words and miracles of our Saviour-Redeemer. Crossan has also written several books in which he denies the cardinal doctrines concerning Christ, even wickedly suggesting that the body of Jesus was probably eaten by dogs in the grave after his burial.
- Discovery House Publishers has published and promoted three of Luis Palau's books: Healthy Habits for Spiritual Growth, Say Yes!, and The Peter Promise. Palau has honored Soviet atheistic churchmen, endorsed the unreliable Living Bible, spoken at Oral Roberts University and Moody Bible Institute, and his ecumenical evangelism campaigns have involved Roman Catholics, charismatics, liberals, and new evangelicals. (His messages are also heavily diluted with pop psychology and Arminian easy-believism.) The 1993 Palau Crusade in Jamaica featured this note in a 1/31 newspaper ad: "The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston gives wholehearted support in mobilizing its members to participate in the National Crusade 1993. This venture is seen by us as an important event in the spreading of the Gospel in an ecumenical manner." [Discovery House also published Kevin Huggins' book Guiding Your Teen to a Faith That Lasts -- Huggins is a psychologizer who speaks the same psychobabble as Adlerian-Maslowian psychologist Larry Crabb; and Carla Killough McClafferty's blasphemous book, Forgiving God (as if God could do anything wrong for which we should forgive Him!).]
- RBC's ecumenical fellowship with Catholicism is no secret. In a 1990 Discovery Series booklet titled, "Is Doctrine Keeping Us Apart?" RBC' editor Herbert Vander Lugt classifies Catholicism as a Christian denomination, and asks the question of all "Christian" denominations, "Would God want His people to part company over doctrinal differences?" In a 5/90 response to an Australian pastor who wrote protesting the classification of Catholics as "God's people," Vander Lugt conceded that "Roman Catholic teaching about Mary contains serious error," but Catholics "do not portray her as co-redeemer with Christ. ... I can't honestly accuse [Catholics] of making Mary equal to Jesus, a co-redeemer between God and man."
The following two quotes are from the book, Ten Series of Meditations on the Mystery of the Rosary, which was given the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur, an official statement by the Roman Catholic Church that the book "is free of doctrinal or moral error"; i.e., official Roman Catholic doctrine: (1) "She [Mary] is co-Redemptrix of the human race"; and (2) "The church and the saints greet her thus: 'You, O Mary, together with Jesus Christ, redeemed us.'" Obviously, Mr. Vander Lugt is either being deceptive or he is ignorant of the truth concerning Roman Catholic doctrine.
In a 9/91 letter to the same Australian pastor, Vander Lugt rationalizes RBC's refusal to expose the false teachings of Roman Catholicism: "We teach biblical truth. We also have the attention of hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholic people who read RBC literature and listen to RBC broadcasts. And we see no wisdom in taking an openly belligerent posture towards their church and thus alienating them before we have the opportunity to reach them." Thus, it appears that RBC officials are saying, "It's okay to do evil (not expose the false gospel of Roman Catholicism) so that we have the opportunity to do good (reach them with the truth)." [Or could it be, "We do evil so that we can continue to reap their financial support"?]
- The 45th consecutive observance of the highly ecumenical National Day of Prayer (NDP) was scheduled for 5/2/96, with ecumenical gatherings around the country. The chairwoman again for the event was Dr. James Dobson's wife, Shirley. Radio Bible Class was a participant in the event, urging its readers to "consider joining the many volunteers who will coordinate prayer services at churches, workplaces, and homes ... The observance crosses racial, political, and denominational boundaries to bring together all Americans" (3/96, Times of Discovery, p. 3). (Emphasis added.)
- One has to wonder if RBC is moving closer to the charismatics. In the lead article in the 6/97 Times of Discovery, Martin De Haan II writes:
"The Lord of history has not stopped giving gifts. He has not forgotten how to enable His people to speak in real languages they have not learned. ... I believe in a God who can enable His servants to walk on water, heal the sick, and raise the dead. ... I believe in a God who can use apostolic gifts in regions of the world where the gospel message needs authentication." (Bold added.)
The late John Wimber, "signs and wonders" guru and founder of the Vineyard, could not have said it better!
Note: In May of 1994, RBC informed BDM that our initial use of six sample Our Daily Bread "devotional" articles from 1988-1989 (i.e., our handwritten comments on copies of ODB originals) was a "copyright violation and 'is actionable.'" (I took this to mean RBC was going to sue me!) After an exchange of correspondence with RBC's ODB editor at the time, Dennis De Haan, BDM was granted permission to reproduce four of the six devotionals, but only without the handwritten notations/comments. Subsequently, other publishers advised BDM that the use of all six of the devotionals, including the handwritten comments/notations, would be considered "fair use," and thereby, not in violation of copyright law. Therefore, our analysis of the six ODB devotionals remains part of this report. However, in an effort to comply with RBC's wishes, we have now transcribed each of the six devotionals and, where appropriate, have placed our comments (now typewritten) in bold brackets.