Back to the Bible

Or "Back to Psychology"

-  The Bible teaches that we are to test all teachings (I John 4:1,6), expose those teachings that are false (Eph. 5:11), confront and rebuke the false teachers (Titus 1:9,13), and then separate from those who persist in false teaching (Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10), lest in the end, we are disqualified for service (II Timothy 2:20,21), or worse yet, we are identified with the false teachings and the false teachers themselves (2 John 10,11). Back to the Bible, on the other hand, has identified itself with a wide range of false teachings and false teachers.

-  Back to the Bible (BTTB), headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, was founded in 1939 by Theodore Epp, with a vision to teach the Bible through radio. It now broadcasts a daily 25-minute program on more than 600 stations worldwide in 17 languages and 13 countries. "In addition, literature, video, counseling, and missions outreaches are carried out through a network of the international headquarters in the United States and 10 international offices" (Source: 10/97 & 8/99, BTTB Internet web site). Back to the Bible Television also airs weekly on a few U.S. local stations and on the ecumenical/charismatic Sky Angel Satellite Network .(See BJU report for Sky Angel details.) Back to the Bible's purpose statement says:

"Back to the Bible is a worldwide service ministry whose purpose is to lead believers into spiritual maturity and active service for Christ and the world and to reach unbelievers with the Gospel of Christ by teaching the Bible through media."

But BTTB long ago abandoned its Biblical moorings, opting instead for the easy-sell of psychology and ecumenical affiliation. This rapid slide began in earnest under Warren Wiersbe, and has shown no slowdown under its current leader, Woodrow Kroll.

-  When Woodrow Kroll was appointed in 1990 to replace Dr. Warren Wiersbe as general director and Bible teacher for Back to the Bible Broadcast, Christian News (6/4/90) reported that Kroll had been an associate pastor at Jerry Falwell's church and a professor at Liberty University. Kroll has spoken at Moody, Word of Life, and at the Billy Graham Training Center ("The Cove") in North Carolina. Many erstwhile good ministries today deceive supporters by misleading and evasive tactics to downplay or cover their ecumenical ties -- BTTB is one of these. Jerry Falwell's National Liberty Journal (4/98) included Kroll on its "distinguished list of visiting professors" at Liberty Baptist Seminary (LBS). Yet when Jerry Huffman of the Calvary Contender reported this, Dr. Kroll, in an e-mail from his secretary, seemed to distance himself from LBS and made the Calvary Contender the issue. His secretary wrote: "He [Kroll] has no idea what the 'Calvary Contender' is nor knows what it is saying about an association with Jerry Falwell." (Reported in the 5/15/98, Calvary Contender.)

-  In 1993, BTTB opted to hire veteran broadcaster from Dallas, and former co-host of the Freudian Minirth & Meier program, Don Hawkins, as the new producer and co-host of the BTTB radio program (Hawkins started at BTTB on 9/6/93). According to Kroll, the program's "Bible" teacher, the presence of a co-host means the program will take a more "interactive approach." Hawkins also represents BTTB at public meetings. At the time of Hawkins move to BTTB, he was also the host and executive producer of the highly psychological live call-in program, Life Perspectives, which has been on the air since 1990 (affiliated with Rapha Hospital Treatment Centers). (Hawkins continues broadcasting the program from Lincoln.) (Original source: 7/19/93, Christian News.) [Kroll has also co-authored three books with Hawkins. BTTB recently hired a new associate Bible teacher who pastored a General Association of Regular Baptist Church (GARBC) (5/15/99, Calvary Contender.)]

-  Hawkins also co-hosts a live call-in radio program produced by Back to the Bible -- "Confident Living" -- which is designed to address:

"the concerns of individuals in the middle stage of life by providing a biblical perspective for the complex issues they are facing. The program strives to point those in their mid-life years toward a dynamic relationship with God so they can mentor others, reach beyond themselves to impact the world with God's Word and be involved personally and financially in God's work. For two hours every Saturday morning [on 60 stations], Don Hawkins and Eunice Arant challenge those in the mid-life years to be about the business of building the kingdom of God. Each weekday, the five-minute version of Confident Living addresses the same topics as the upcoming weekend program" (8/99, BTTB Internet web site).

From 1998 through August of 1999, guests on Confident Living included the following psychologically-oriented teachers: Crabb-trained Freudian/Adlerean psychologist Dan Allender; Linda Dillow; Warren Wiersbe; Freudian/Adlerean psychologist Gary Oliver; David Mains; Erwin Lutzer; Elisabeth Elliot; Kay Arthur; John Trent; the cowgirl charismatic Dale Evans Rogers; and birth-order guru Kevin Lehman (referred to as a "family authority").

-  On 5/1/90, Back to the Bible held its 51st anniversary celebration in Lincoln, Nebraska with the main speakers including Charles Swindoll (who is second only to James Dobson in the proclivity of self-love/self-esteem teachings) and a man by the name of Gary Oliver.

Oliver is a clinical psychologist heading up the Southwest Counseling Associates in Littleton, Colorado; is visiting Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy and Co-Director of the D.Min. program in Marriage and Family Counseling at Denver Seminary (neo-evangelical); and writes the "Encouraging Words" column in Back to the Bible's monthly magazine, Confident Living. [Among the many Freudian and miscellaneous humanistic psychological models used by Oliver, his favorite appears to be one based upon the teachings of Larry Crabb -- Crabb's model of counseling is primarily a psychological system of unconscious needs that supposedly motivates 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. See Oliver's book Real Men Have Feelings Too for a flavor of Oliver's Adlerean/Freudian approach.] In April of 1990, Oliver's office in Littleton stated that Oliver highly recommends the following materials to his counselees: [Since then, Oliver has added the guru of right-brain/left-brain pseudoscience, Gary Smalley, to his list of recommended counselors.]

(a) His Needs, Her Needs, by Willard F. Harley, Jr.;
(b) all of John Bradshaw's books on the family (a secular psychologist specializing in so-called "codependency" treatment);
(c) all of H. Norman Wright's books (a "Christian" psychologist emphasizing occult techniques for treating Christians with bad memories in the "unconscious"), especially the book Making Peace With Your Past;
(d) David Burns' book, Feeling Good;
(e) Ward's book, Self-Esteem: A Gift from God;
(f) Minirth & Meier's book, Happiness is a Choice (Freudian psychiatrists);
(g) all of James Dobson's tapes.

Oliver's office also stated that Oliver administers two personality tests to all counselees, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis tests. (See the Bobgan's book on this subject, Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing, pp. 131- 172, for an excellent analysis of the worthlessness of personality testing; e.g., the Myers-Briggs test has its roots in Jungian psychology.)

Also contacted in April of 1990 was Mr. Roger Morrow, an executive editor of Confident Living at Back to the Bible. Mr. Morrow had only the highest of praise for both Charles Swindoll and Gary Oliver.

-  BTTB is a member of the IFMA (Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association), along with TEAM, RMBU Int'l., Overseas Christian Servicemen's Centers, Jews for Jesus, Trans World Radio, Far East Broadcasting Co., and other highly neo-evangelical "ministries." IFMA is made up of 59 such agencies and 6,500 missionaries. IFMA accepts missionaries from liberal denominations or churches as long as they agree to the doctrinal position of the mission societies. Missionaries thus find themselves cooperating with these churches in order to represent their ministries. Obviously, separation from ecumenism is practically impossible in this situation. Some of its members even accept World Council of Churches' funds to aid their medical or educational ministries, thus finding themselves entangled in WCC commitments in spite of the fact they make pronouncements against the liberal WCC position.

Since some of the member agencies/societies have resigned over the years as IFMA has become more ecumenical and more neo-evangelical, we can only assume that BTTB's continued membership is an indication of agreement with IFMA policy. For example, does BTTB agree with this IFMA statement?:

"It is recognized that within liberal groups there are some individuals which are concerned that the Gospel go forth in its fundamental, evangelical form. IFMA missions provide a channel for missionary giving for many of these, and for independent nondenominational churches as well."

In recent years, the IFMA has begun to work closely with the EFMA (Evangelical Foreign Mission Association), the two associations being represented on eight joint committees. The EFMA has a number of tongues-speaking pentecostal groups as members.

-  BTTB over the years has also functioned as a Christian book publisher. One highly regarded book was titled What They Believe by Harold J. Berry -- a book that detailed the beliefs of 15 groups recognized as cults. In the 1992 edition, however, two of the cult groups included in every earlier edition were dropped -- Roman Catholicism and Seventh Day Adventism. Could BTTB have been pressured by its contributing Catholic listeners? And was any pressure exerted by the highly influential SDA headquarters in Lincoln? (BTTB unilaterally declassifying Roman Catholicism and Seventh Day Adventism as cults reminds us of the American Psychological Association's vote a few years ago, when the APA declared that homosexuality was, from that point forward, to be deemed normal behavior!)

-  Under Warren Wiersbe (who retired from BTTB in mid-1990 after five years as its director), BTTB was very much "anti-Lordship" and for "easy-believism." Wiersbe even wrote a glowing endorsement of Charles Ryrie's so-called "exegetical scholarship" in the forward to Ryrie's book So Great Salvation, in which Ryrie claims that the repentance God calls us to is a changing of our minds about Jesus, but not necessarily about sin (So Great Salvation, p. 94). (For an excellent review of the "Lordship controversy," and a comparative review of The Gospel According to Jesus versus So Great Salvation, see "Lordship Salvation: Two Views," Media Spotlight, Vol. 11-No. 1, 1990, pp. 10-12;16.)

-  In a May 1986 letter responding to David Cloud's (editor of O Timothy) questioning of Warren Wiersbe's (and BTTB's) neo-evangelical affiliations and associations, Wiersbe said:

"I am not sure what a 'new evangelical' really is. ... Quite frankly, my brother, I wish some of the brethren would take off their boxing gloves and pick up a towel. Perhaps if people began to wash one another's feet, there might be more love and unity."

Cloud comments: "This is typical of new evangelical duplicity. We are certain that Dr. Wiersbe does know what new evangelicalism is. He is a voracious reader, and we are confident that the man knows the history and principles of new evangelicalism. He has been closely associated in leadership positions with new evangelicalism's major publications and institutions. One of the key principles of new evangelicalism of course, is that of neutralism and toleration as contrasted with Bible separation and militancy against error. [While] Jesus Christ and the Apostles lifted their voices against heresy ... Dr. Wiersbe has warm fellowship with Catholics, liberals, and other apostates."

-  In Back to the Bible's Spring 1991 Catalog, offered was Elisabeth Elliot's tape, "Love Accepts." Mrs. Elliot, Back to the Bible's popular author and speaker (she hosts "Gateway to Joy" on BTTB), teaches a psychological version of unconditional love/unconditional acceptance (while the Bible teaches that love confronts, not unconditionally accepts). (See Paul Brownback, The Danger of Self-Love, pp. 109-116, and Martin & Deidre Bobgan, Prophets of PsychoHeresy II, pp. 91-96, for a proper, Biblical analysis of so-called unconditional love and acceptance.) Elliot's neo-evangelical/ecumenical stance has been well documented in the past (see the 10/1/89 Calvary Contender); in June of 1991, Mrs. Elliot spoke at the Creation '91 "Christian" festival, which featured Tony Campolo, Josh McDowell, the "Christian" hard rock band Petra, and a hodge-podge of other charismatics, neo-evangelicals, and rock/rap groups (She has also made frequent appearances on the "Christian" radio show of pop psychologist/religious humanist, James Dobson.)

-  In the March/April 1992 issue of The Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter, her speaking itinerary lists two Catholic organizations. She also requests that readers thank God with her that after all her years of praying for a helper, God sent her a husband. (Isn't it wonderful how God answers prayer? -- instead of her being some man's helpmate, she receives a man as a helpmate to her!)

Regardless of the many good things which could be said about Elisabeth Elliot, she is a committed ecumenist. She regularly joins hands with such recognized anti-separatists as Billy Graham, Luis Palau, John Stott, James Dobson, and Haddon Robinson (an editor of Christianity Today and Radio Bible Class speaker). All of these men are openly opposed to Fundamentalism and Biblical separation.

Mrs. Elliot spoke at the 1995 National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Convention, together with Luis Palau and Billy Graham. There is not a more religiously confused hodgepodge anywhere than the NRB (the broadcasting arm of the National Association of Evangelicals [NAE]). (In 1994, the NRB awarded its Milestone Award to The Voice of Prophecy, a Seventh-day Adventist television program!) In July 1989, Mrs. Elliot spoke at the Roman Catholic Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, a hotbed of Roman Catholic-Charismatic enthusiasm. Each year the Franciscan University holds a conference to exalt the blasphemous Catholic dogmas that Mary is the immaculately conceived Queen of Heaven and advocate of God's people. (Source: 9/15/97, FBIS.)

-  Also offered in BTTB's Spring 1991 Catalog was a book of articles, How to Raise Your Kids in a Non-Christian World , compiled by the neo-evangelical organization, Youth for Christ (ecumenical, easy-believism, psychological, etc.). The Back to the Bible promo for the book calls humanistic psychologist James Dobson a "family expert."

Authors currently promoted, along with their books sold on BTTB's web site, are Joseph Aldrich, Kay Arthur, Don Hawkins (12 books), Max Lucado (Church of Christ), Chuck Swindoll, John Trent, Gary Oliver, Billy Melvin, and Warren Wiersbe (16 books). In addition, BTTB's "Interacting With God" series is based on New Testament studies by Gene Getz and co-author Claude V. King, who himself co-authored with Henry Blackaby the mystical, psychoheretical book, Experiencing God.

- Current and former BTTB directors, Woodrow Kroll and Warren Wiersbe, respectively, were among listed speakers for 1993 at the Billy Graham training center at the Cove, Asheville,
North Carolina. In addition, Wiersbe, Kroll, and Elisabeth Elliot were speakers at the 1998 and 1999 Graham conferences. Obviously, neither Kroll, Wiersbe, or Elliot have any conviction against Billy Graham's Catholic or ecumenical connections.

-  In Back to the Bible's November 1991 issue of its monthly magazine, Confident Living, a very favorable article on the Salvation Army was run; among many of the favorable statements made was the following:

"Many people do not know that the Salvation Army is a growing church, operating in 90 countries with more than three million members. At the head of the Salvation Army, as its 13th General, is Eva Burrows, the most kindly warrior you could ever hope to meet."

Can Back to the Bible be ignorant of the fact that the Salvation Army claims to be a church, yet ignores God's ordinances (it has no Baptism and no Lord's Supper); and that it is eclectic throughout in its ways and methods, working upon feelings and producing in people an idea that they have been converted if they merely drop their pet sins? That the Salvation Army does "good" (in man's eyes) is not in question, but that never has been, nor never can be, the test for our affections. (Reported in 11/4/91 Christian News.)

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 8/99