"Christians and the Internet" newsletter
CATI, Vol. 2, No. 13:  September 8, 2001.



Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2001 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.


The World Wide Web (WWW) has a lot to offer, but it may not
always be "family-friendly."  One option families have to
make the Web safer is what is often called parental control
software.  For related articles published in CATI, look up
"Family-Friendly Internet" or "Parental Control Software" in
the following partial index for CATI:

CATI: Published articles (arranged alphabetically by topic)

A recent article posted on PC Magazine's Web site surveys
a number of examples of software intended to help make the
Web a cleaner place.

PC Magazine: Clean It Up (September 2. 2001)

Although PC Magazine also surveys "content-filtering products"
for business use, I'll limit my remarks to those reviewed for
home use.  Here is where you can find PC Magazine's individual
reviews of home software:

AOL Parental Controls

Cyber Patrol 5.0

Cyber Snoop 4.0

Cybersitter 2001

McAfee Internet Guard Dog 3.0

Net Nanny 4.1

Norton Internet Security 2001 Family Edition

What do such products do and how do they work?  PC Magazine
tells us:

"Most products, whether for home or business, use similar
techniques to filter content. The tool makers compile sets
of words, phrases, and Web sites into categories...which are
usually updated daily or weekly as the lists are refined and
new sites launch and other sites are taken down. When FTP
(file downloads), HTTP (Web pages), or NNTP (newsgroup)
traffic is filtered, the content is either passed through
or blocked, depending on preset rules. People who request
sites on the restricted list may receive, instead of the
requested content, a message that says they've ventured
off-limits. Their activity may also be logged for later
analysis.  Administrators and parents can set different
filters for individuals and groups, such as when they can
use the Internet and what sites they can or cannot visit.
Reports show how the Internet is being used."

Here's how PC Magazine tested the products (note that first

"In a home environment, the best monitoring is an active
parent/child relationship. But for those parents who cannot
keep an ever-watchful eye on their Web-surfing children,
content filters for the home are the next-best solution....
We looked at the monitoring and blocking capabilities not
only against the Web but also against FTP, HTML e-mail, chat
(including AOL Instant Messenger and Microsoft Messenger),
newsgroups, and BBSs. We also took into account that many
young computer users are knowledgeable enough to try to
uninstall content-filtering software, and also to try using
command prompts and IP spoofing to fool the software, so we
evaluated each program's ability to prevent these tricks as
well. Finally, to keep tabs on our would-be violators, we
tested the reporting functions of each application."

Although Cyber Patrol also received high marks in the home
category, PC Magazine gave their Editor's Choice award to
Cybersitter (again note that first sentence!):

"When it comes to protecting your family online, there's no
substitute for being around and watching what goes on. Yet
even the most dedicated parent finds it hard to keep up with
kids on the Internet. Just as children need a baby-sitter when
you can't be there, we recommend getting them a Cybersitter if
you feel the need to watch them online. Solid Oak Software's
impressive application combines one of the most detailed sets
of filtering categories, solid activity logging and reporting,
and the ability to block chat, all powered by the best
URL-filtering lists in the home category."

If you paid attention to those two sentences, you saw again
that "parents make the best parents" and that even the best
software cannot be an adequate substitute for good parenting.
It may be a useful supplement, but it cannot be a replacement.

Now that I've said that, let's go on to take a look at what
PC Magazine has to say about Cybersitter 2001:

"Cybersitter attacks offensive Internet content with
pit-bull-like tenacity in newsgroups, chat, and e-mail.
The program does this through a combination of highly
tailored filtering capacity and recognition of a wide
variety of questionable content on individual sites. The
single-floppy-disk installation is a snap, and the simple
tabbed control panel...allows for quick setup.... Parents
can customize blocking on the Web, AOL Instant Messenger,
newsgroups, FTP, and IRC. Attempts to access blocked
content are logged, and daily reports can be e-mailed to
parents.... Cybersitter has 30 categories of filters to
choose from. Default blocking includes sex, illegal
activity/drugs, and hate/intolerance categories....
Cybersitter is one of the few filters besides AOL Parental
Controls that block AIM.... Cybersitter was effective at
stopping almost everything we threw at it...."

In general ratings, PC Magazine gave Cybersitter 2001 five
stars; Cyber Patrol 5.0 and Norton Internet Security 2001
Family Edition four stars; AOL Parental Controls, Cyber
Snoop 4.0, and McAfee Internet Guard Dog 3.0 three stars;
and Net Nanny 4.1 two stars.  (Well, actually they are
circles rather than stars, but they mean the same thing.)

See the PC Magazine "Clean It Up" Web pages online for more


The email message claims to be from someone who holds or held
some important position someplace in Africa, whether it be
the Congo, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, or Nigeria, but it
is a serious scam.  If you get such a letter, whether as a
church, as a pastor, or as an individual Christian, beware!

The details vary.  Since the earliest and most common version
of this scam mentioned Nigeria, it is sometimes known as "the
Nigeria scam," but, as I mentioned, another African location,
such as the Congo, may be mentioned instead.  Likewise the
name of the supposed author may vary.

Here's one sample version of the letter, as sent to me by a
CATI subscriber, who correctly suspected that it might be a
"Dear brother in Christ,


"Blessing to you and the Church in the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ. I know that this letter will come as a surprise to
you but I pray that you find in your heart the time and will
to help me pray and ask the Lord for forgiveness of my sins
for I have sinned. I have killed, raped, and done a lot of
unforgivable things that I cannot but bow my head in shame,
so please brother, help pray for my soul and me.

"My name is RICHARD D.WUTANGA alias 'Terror' special Military
assistant to the late president Laurent Kabila of the
democratic republic of Congo. I will be 35 years this year
and out of this years 16 years was spent in the bush fighting
as a Guerilla. All these years my total devotion was to the
late President. I stole, killed and committed all kind of
atrocities. When eventually we succeeded in over-running the
Late Mobutu Sese Sekos army, I was handsomely rewarded with
the position of special military assistance of the President.
Aside being his Chief Security officer, I was also charged
with the responsibility of ensuring steady purchase and
supply of arms from South Africa.

"A week before the death of the late President I was in South
Africa with a total sum of $12.5 million dollars cash which
was brought in through a diplomatic means. This money was to
effect the payment of shipment of long-range anti-tanker
launchers to my country before I learnt of the sudden death
of the president. My initial reaction was to deposit this
money with a security deposit Company here in South Africa,
which I did, and rush back to Congo. It was in the process of
my arrangement to travel back to Congo that something happened
to me. I met a cab driver that talked to me about the Lord
and wonders of his son Jesus Christ. Since that very day I
have never been the same, I keep hearing cries of little
Children every night I sleep and I keep seeing this big house
dripping of blood in my dreams.

"I feel my sins are catching up with me; my past is out to
hunt me. I have prayed to the Lord for forgiveness of my sins
and to the glory of the Lord I have not touched this money.
I cannot go back to Congo because the government have assumed
that I ran away with the money and besides, I do not want
them to receive the money again since they will use it to
persecute the war. Personally I do not want anything to do
with that money again. I feel the only way I can purge my
soul, redeem my conscience in the face of humanity is by
giving this money back to humanity through a living Church
that will use it to propagate the name of the Lord, may be
our father Jesus may consider my poor soul for forgiveness.
Can your Church manage this fund?

"I have been living very low here in South Africa, all this
while hiding away from the State Security operatives (SSS)
sent to bring me back to Congo. I am hiding in a monastery
and by the special mercies and grace of the Lord I hope to
dedicate my whole life to the worship of the Lord. I can only
be reached through my mail address: xxxxxxxx@yahoo.com but
while replying to this mail please enclose your telephone
number so that I can call you through a pay phone. Please
brother continue to pray for me as I anxiously await your
reply. May God bless you and your ministry.


If you respond to such an email, you will learn that to
obtain the money you will have to supply a lot of money
yourself.  Needless to say, you will never see your own
money (or your church's money) again, much less ever see
the millions mentioned in the email!

Incidentally, some variations of the Nigeria scam target (as
you might expect) American businesses rather than American
churches.  And in some variations of this scam an American is
asked to come to Africa to help move the money (something
which can be very dangerous and unwise to do).  Or there may
simply be a request to supply bank account numbers or charge
card numbers (information which should never be given out
if you do not have full trust in the person requesting such
information from you).

Here's where you can find on the Web a few more variations of
the "Christian" (i.e., church-oriented) version of this scam
email message:

Australian Christian Lobby - Scams

NetScalped.com Scam Log

These also happen to be oriented toward the Congo, but you
will note that the name of the alleged author of the email
varies.  At any rate, please be aware that such email scams
exist and exercise caution as appropriate!


Not long ago CATI published an article on Phil Keaggy and
contemporary Christian music:

CATI: The Legendary Phil Keaggy: "World's Greatest Guitarist"

For a sample of Phil Keaggy's music, I suggested downloading
a free program from the International Bible Society (who,
among other things, sponsored the New International Version
of the Bible):

"So where on the Web can you find examples of Phil Keaggy's
music?  There are a number of places.  For example, the
International Bible Society offers a free IBS screensaver
with background music by Phil Keaggy:

International Bible Society Screensaver

Dianne Miller followed up on that suggestion, and here's her

"I downloaded the screen saver with Phil Keaggy background
music, and all I can say is WOW! The Lord certainly did bless
him with a wonderful talent. Thanks for the info on him. I
will have to get some of his music on CD.



By the way, I do not mention CATI subscribers by name in
CATI without getting permission in advance from that person
to do so.  Dianne graciously gave me that permission.  The
same is true of David F. Haslam, who lives in the United
Kingdom and to whom I'll be referring shortly.

I ended my CATI article with these words:

"Caution: When checking out contemporary Christian music, use
your Christian discretion, since some artists are much more
Biblical than others.  I have appreciated Phil Keaggy (who is,
as I said, a legend in his own right), and I can endorse
enthusiastically the music of Michael Card.  On the other
hand, some contemporary Christian music I cannot commend
to you.  It is important that in this area you use Scripture
as your guide...."

And here's a response from David Haslam (who may represent
the views of other CATI subscribers as well):
">Caution: When checking out contemporary Christian music,
">use your Christian discretion, since some artists are much
">more Biblical than others.

"Hello Barry,

"That might be considered something of an understatement by
some!  The fact is that the CCM scene is littered with
anti-Christian and unbiblical sentiments and credos. In a
few words, worldliness, immorality, ungodliness and hedonism.

"I'd hardly heard of Phil Keaggy before, and it's most
unlikely that I'd wish to spend time looking up anything more
about him. Fairly soon after I was converted in 1966, I gave
up my erstwhile interest in pop & rock music, and haven't
regretted the decision in the least.

For my part, on this issue (though not on everything to be
sure), my views are more in line with those of that servant
of God, David Cloud, who publishes the Fundamental Baptist
Information Service, and who seems almost to be a lone voice
in America against the pervasiveness of CCM among the churches
in the USA.  http://wayoflife.org/~dcloud....

"Respectfully submitted,

"David F. Haslam, MA (Cantab), C.Eng., MIEE."

David Cloud is the author of a lengthy book critiquing
contemporary Christian music from a fundamentalist
"Author: David Cloud
"ISBN: 1-58318-057-5
"Pages: 450 (7X8, perfect bound)

"To our knowledge this is the most extensive examination of
Contemporary Christian Music in print. It features: The
spiteful anti-fundamentalist attitude which permeates CCM.
The intimate connection between end-time apostasy and CCM.
Southern gospel yesterday and today. The love affair between
CCM musicians and secular rock music. The ecumenicalism of
Contemporary Christian Music. The close association of CCM
with Roman Catholicism. The intimate connection between CCM
and the Charismatic Movement. An encyclopedia of 200 CCM
musicians, containing profiles of their lives and ministries,
church affiliations, philosophies, ecumenical associations,
music, etc. Documentation proving that CCM is owned largely
by secular corporations. Lyrics to CCM songs illustrating the
vagueness and heresy of their message. Twenty-three key CCM
arguments answered (we must use rock music to win young
people, music is neutral, people are getting saved, God
doesn't look on the outward appearance, Luther used tavern
music, God created all music, Christians are not to judge,
etc.). Careful documentation of every fact presented. How
to keep Contemporary Christian Music out of churches. Where
Christians should draw the line with music. The book
contains a list of Suggested Resources on Music, listing
sources for sound Christian music, hymnals, resources for
song leading, and materials for further reading on the topic
of Contemporary Christian Music. There is also an extensive
bibliography on the subject of Christian music. 450 pages,
7X8, perfect bound. $19.95"


Regrettably, I have not had opportunity to see this book
(although I would like very much to do so), and what I have
read by David Cloud on the topic of "CCM" I have found to
be disappointing.  I should also say that I do NOT commend
him as a safe or reliable guide on various issues (e.g.,
Biblical prophecy), and most CATI readers would probably
disagree with his position on many things (unless you
happen to be independent, fundamental Baptist).  But he
is raising questions that are important to consider,
whether or not we are led to the same conclusions, and
at least some of his concerns are valid.

For example, regardless of one's position on "exclusive
Psalmody" (the question of whether only Biblical psalms
ought to be sung in formal worship on the Lord's day), I
think most people would acknowledge that a great deal of
care went into the making of the Trinity Hymnal to ensure
that the content of the hymns was true to the teaching of
the Bible.  Unfortunately, the same care is all too often
not given to contemporary Christian music, whether that
music is used in a formal or informal setting.

Although I'm sure we have our share of differing opinions
(and sometimes that's a benefit, for "iron sharpens iron"),
I do agree with David Haslam that my earlier statement may
not have been strong enough.  It's not just that some
Christian contemporary music is "more Biblical than others":
it should be said that some "Christian" contemporary music
is not Christian at all, but contrary to the teaching of

I'm not just talking about, say, the anti-Trinitarian songs
that come from the "Jesus only" movement (a unitarian or
"Oneness" Pentecostalism, which claims on the basis of
supposed new revelation that the Father and the Holy Spirit
are not separate Persons of the Trinity, but rather simply
manifestations of "Jesus only").  I'm talking about songs
which neglect or contradict major themes of Scripture.  As
Christians, we are to "proclaim the whole counsel of God,"
but much of contemporary Christian music -- even when not
actually incorrect in its content -- presents a very small
subset of that magnificent range.

At any rate, I appreciate very much that Dianne Miller and
David Haslam took the time to write and share their thoughts
(and, furthermore, that they were willing to share their
thoughts with you as well).  This topic is an important one,
one I expect will continue to be discussed in the next issue
of CATI.  (If you have thoughts on the subject, please send
them to me at this address:  cati@traver.org.  I will NOT
mention your name in CATI unless you give me permission to
do so.)

Incidentally, one interesting and worthwhile book I have
seen on contemporary Christian music is Charlie Peacock's At
the Crossroads:  An Insider's Look at the Past, Present, and
Future of Contemporary Christian Music (Broadman and Holman,
1999).  Although an "insider," Charlie Peacock asks some
rather challenging questions of the CCM industry.


A Christian Web site where you'll find the gospel in different
languages (including English, French, Italian, Maltese, and
Spanish) is Dr. Joe Mizzi's "Just for Catholics":

Just for Catholics

And here's how the site welcomes visitors;
"'For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest
anyone should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus for good works' (Ephesians 2:8-10).

"Welcome! This evangelical site is dedicated to Roman
Catholics who are eager to know how to be saved. It is our
sincere desire to proclaim to you the Good News of Jesus
Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who

"We ask you to consider prayerfully the following vital topics
and to search this Scriptures to see for yourself that these
things are so. May the Lord be merciful and give you wisdom
and the free gift of eternal life."


Here are the seven topics:

Just for Catholics: How Can I Know?

Just for Catholics: One Sacrifice

Just for Catholics: One Mediator

Just for Catholics: Forgiveness

Just for Catholics: The Church

Just for Catholics: Born again

Just for Catholics: Right with God

Just for Catholics: My story

Just for Catholics: The Gospel

Those, of course, are the English versions of these articles.
Here's where you will find the other current versions;

Pour Vous Catholiques (French)

Solo per cattolici (Italian)

Lill-Kattolici (Maltese)

Sólo para Católicos (Spanish)

Joe Mizzi is looking for someone to translate the nine short
articles into Portugese.  If you speak Portugese and would
be able to do the translation, please contact him at the
following address:  mail joemizzi@shadow.net.mt.  (You do
now have to know anything about building a Web page or
uploading the articles to the Web site.  He will take care
of that.)

Dr. Mizzi was brought up in a Catholic home, and he now
describes himself as an Evangelical Christian.  He is
a member of Trinity Evangelical Church, Malta, and is
also Webmaster for that congregation's Web site:

Trinity Evangelical Church, Malta

Here's how their Web page welcomes visitors:
"Trinity Evangelical Church is a Reformed Baptist church,
upholding the 1689 Confession of Faith. We submit to the sole
authority of the Bible over our lives. Our purpose is to
learn and obey God's Word and to lead others to a saving
knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, that together we may give
all glory to God alone.

"We invite you to join us to worship the Lord in prayer,
singing, the breaking of bread and hearing God's Word read and
preached. The service is in Maltese but we provide an English


You may not know much about Malta.  For many people, their
only acquaintance with Malta is through The Maltese Falcon,
a classic mystery novel by Dashiell Hammett made into a film
classic in 1941 (directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey
Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet).
Well, Malta is mentioned in the Bible in Acts 28:1 (it may
appear as Melita in some translations).  It is a island in
the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, about 60 miles (90 km)
south of Sicily.  Here's where you can find some interesting
information about Malta (including a map and some history)
as well as some interesting pictures of the church and some
of its members.

Trinity Evangelical Church, Malta: Pictures

One of the pictures shows author and pastor Errol Hulse at
the ordination of Paul Mizzi as pastor of the congregation.
(Pastor Joseph Hewitt was also present.)  Errol Hulse
describes the occasion in a news article on the Banner of
Truth Web site:
"Erroll Hulse's Week on the Island of Malta in March 2001

"In early March we flew to Malta. The purpose of our visit was
to encourage Pastor Paul Mizzi and the Trinity Evangelical
Church which he leads....

"Referring to Acts 27 which describes the shipwreck and
Paul's three month stay in Malta, Pastor Joseph Hewitt
gave a ministerial charge to Paul Mizzi. I then preached,
exhorting the congregation from the theme of 1 Thess 5:18-24,
and especially the text, 'Hold them in the highest regard in
love because of their work.' I rarely use alliteration but my
outline fell into that pattern - Pray for your pastor, Provide
for him, give him Practical (diaconal) support, and Protect
him (see 1 Tim 5:19).

"Paul Mizzi has a weekly radio programme which has a wide
coverage and he has had the opportunity to debate issues with
a Catholic on TV. Paul's brother Joe Mizzi is a paediatrician.
Joe authors evangelistic booklets in Maltese and has, in
addition, written a book upholding salvation truth and
demonstrating how each of the principal doctrines of Roman
Catholicism deviates from Scripture. Joe Mizzi has a website
which specialises in counselling Catholics...."



Most Web sites by evangelical Protestants are directed toward
evangelical Protestant visitors.  Too rarely is there any real
attempt to reach beyond that audience.  (If you go through any
typical list of "Christian Web sites," I think you'll see what
I mean.)  I was glad to see that Joe Mizzi's Web site "Just
for Catholics" Web site is an excellent exception in this
respect.  Evangelical Christians (including those who are in
the Reformed tradition) need to learn how to reach out to
people of different backgrounds (and other languages).  The
"Just for Catholics" Web site is one good example of how this
can be done.

Enjoy!  (And, if you speak Portugese, don't forget to let Joe


A recent issue of CATI included a list of 200+ Christian Web
sites of possible interest to CATI readers:


Here's how I ended that article:
"Obviously, this list is not a complete list of Christian Web
sites, nor does inclusion of a particular Web site on the list
necessarily imply full endorsement of that site.  You should,
however, find some here that you will find profitable and/or
interesting.  Each has something special to offer (even if it
is a different point of view!).

"Please let me know if you have suggestions of important sites
to add to the list.  I apologize in advance for leaving out
sites that should have been included (but, with your help,
I may be able to include them in a future issue)."


Well, I've already discovered some omissions.  Here are more
than fifty additions to the list:

Atlantic Coast Communications: Christian Real Audio Resources

Access Research Network

Alistair Begg (Truth for Life)

Alpha and Omega Ministries (James White)

American Tract Society

Apologetics Index

Barnabas Financial Ministry (Larry Burkett)

Christian Research Institute (Hank Hanegraaff)

Christian University GlobalNet

"Christians And The Internet" (CATI)


Coram Deo (Dave Brown)

Dynamic Youth Ministries

E-Word Today

Evangelical Press Association

Evangelism Online: Guide and Bulletin


First Things (Richard John Neuhaus)

Founders Ministries

Fretboard Fellowship

GEMS Girls Clubs

Geneva (Reformed search engine)


The Highlands Study Center (R.C. Sproul, Jr.)

The Highway (Jeff Nesbitt)

Institute of Theological Studies

in:focuslinks: reformed links directory

John Newton: His Life, Conversion, & Theology

Key Life Network (Steve Brown)

Larry Crabb (Institute for Biblical Community)

Latin American Mission

Lockman Foundation (NASB)

The Master's Seminary (John MacArthur)

Mission Network News

MLJ Recording Trust (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

Music for the Church of God


The Omnilist of Christian Links Gold


Peggie's Place

Presbyterians For Renewal (PCUSA)

Project Wittenberg (Martin Luther)

Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

The Reformed Reader

The Reformed Theology Source


Rich's Home Page of Reformed Theology


The Threshold

Watchman Fellowship

Youth Unlimited

Again, you are expected to use your own Christian discretion
and common sense in using this list.  You should, as always,
test all things by the Scriptures.  I do believe, however,
that each of the sites has something useful or interesting
to offer, and you should find at least some of these links
to be valuable and rewarding.



This is the fifty-eighth issue of a free newsletter devoted
to Christians And The Internet ("CATI," pronounced "Katy,"
but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the

To subscribe, write to cati@traver.org, including the word
"Subscribe" in the Subject line and including in the body your
real name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent.

Past issues:  you'll find archives of past issues of CATI
available online at   http://traver.org/cati/.  ("It's not a
pretty site," but hopefully it may be a useful one.)

Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is
Copyright (C) 2001 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.  For
permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact
Barry Traver at cati@traver.org.  Permission is hereby granted,
however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1)
no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.