Credibility

Credibility. Its something we all like to have, whether it be as an individual or as part of some group or organization. Nobody wants to be associated with the "boy who cried wolf." Because of his previous false alarms, when that little boy really needed help, none came.

We as Christians need to guard our credibility. There are a number of reasons for this. The first one was stated above. Then there is the case where Christians need to direct their energy and resources toward worthwhile causes. While you are off chasing rabbits, there is something else that could actually benefit from your time.

We should also be concerned with waste within our government. Sometimes needless letters and phone calls to government agencies result in wasted money because of the processing involved.

As Christians, we oftimes tend to be very trusting. When a fellow Christian brings something to our attention we usually take it at face value. Praise the Lord for trust between friends. All I am saying, it that at times we just need to be careful, and check out the facts, the way you would when you normally hear something you're not sure of.

Even though we can make mistakes as Christians, it is unfortunate that there are also those who seek to tarnish the name of Christians by starting or perpetuating false information. Lets be careful that we are not a party to such folly. Its not a Bible verse, but Aesop once made the following worthwhile statement' "The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle's own plumes. We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction."

Oftimes it only takes some phone calls or a letter to get the facts about any particular rumor. I've said all this to make the following points. Through the years there have been a number of items in the Christian world which have proven to have been false. Here are three items which come to mind:

1. The case of the 'Vulture Tract.' Apparently this tract made the rounds a few years back. It talked about the excessive proliferation of some new breed of vulture in the Middle East. "What was the cause of this?" the writer of the tract states. Well, it was supposed to be a sign of the end times because extra vultures would be needed to purge the area of all the dead bodies during the destruction occurring during the tribulation and Armageddon. It makes for interesting reading, but it was untrue.

2. Then we have the case of Madeline Murray O'Hare supposedly trying to get all religious broadcasting off the air waves. That's interesting since she too has a show of her own, promoting the 'doctrine' of Atheism. Anyway, she has supposedly presented petition #2493 to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). Petitions have been circulating among Christian groups to get people to write to the FCC in protest of O'Hare's attempts.

What's the real story here? There was a petition #2493 presented to the FCC regarding religious broadcasting. (By the way, Madeline Murray O'Hare was not the one who had filed it.) The request was denied on August 1, 1975! Millions of Calls and letters continue to pour into the FCC regarding petition #2493, generating administrative costs which are paid for by your tax dollars. Besides, the FCC must remain neutral in such matters. A phone call to the FCC in Washington DC, would get you the information.

3. Finally we come to the case of Procter & Gamble's alleged involvement with the Church of Satan. You will see a flyer telling you that P&G's president recently appeared on Phil Donahue, Merv Griffin, or 60 minutes, and admitted that he was a member of the Church of Satan. You will therefore be asked to boycott P&G products so that your money does not support the Church of Satan.

Here are the facts regarding this situation. The flyers about P&G are continually updated by somebody. A more recent date of the supposed television appearance is added. (I wonder who?) Representatives from P&G have never appeared on Donahue Merv Griffin or 60 minutes.

And if you ever do see a P&G product with the allegedly evil moon and 13 stars on the label, don't worry. The 13 stars represent the original 13 colonies of the United States, and was used to promote a product P&G developed many years ago called 'Star' candles.

You can get this information by contacting ABC, CBS, the Donahue Show, 60 minutes, Merv Griffin Enterprises, or even Procter & Gamble. P&G will even send you a packet of information on the subject containing letters from the above mentioned sources. They will also send you copies of letters from various religious leaders asking Christians to stop this nonsense. These include: Jerry Falwell, Jerry Vines (Southern Baptist Convention), Victor Nelson (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), and various Catholic Bishops.

You will also find out that William Procter, (one of the founders of P&G), was a Christian who gave generously to Ohio churches. His grandson continues the tradition. P&G has also supported education.

So what's the bottom line on this Procter & Gamble issue? Well, Procter & Gamble filed suit against the couple who started this whole deal, James H. & Linda K. Newton. And in 1991, a U.S. District judge entered a $75,000 judgment against the Newtons, and prohibited them from spreading any more false statements about P&G, and not encourage people to avoid P&G products.

Now here's an interesting sideline. The Newtons are independent Amway distributors. I wonder if the Newtons offered an alternative set of products for people to use once they encouraged them to boycott Procter & Gamble???

Let me leave you with some parting thoughts: It may cost you a few toll calls, some stamps, or even a trip to the library in order to find out the facts about any issue you want to know more about. But it will still be cheaper than duplication thousands of petitions. As Christians, let us seek the truth, not bear false witness, keep priorities in order, be diligent, be studious, and bring honor to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Reference Items:

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Washington, DC 202-632-7000

Procter & Gamble Cincinnati, Ohio 513-983-1100 800-262-1637

Phil Donahue Show New York, NY 212-664-6501

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NOTE: Copies of O'Hare's supposed petition, and letters from Procter & Gamble not attached yet… will be scanned soon.

When hearing of stories like:
- Ollie North and Osama Bin Laden
- Harry Potter books author as a Satan worshipper
- People having their kidneys stolen
- NASA finding Joshua's missing solar day

You should check out web sites like:
www.urbanlegends.com
www.snopes.com
www.truthorfiction.com

Here is a comical look at this situation:
http://media.smilepop.com/smilepop/flash/12_2002/may02-smilepop-soapbox4.swf

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Bill Mazeika 2002