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Reply to a Pastor About a Family That Left His Church

August 21, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

"the greatest need of the hour is for godly, biblically-qualified, well-informed, courageous church leaders, and no one can make such a man but God"Several weeks ago I received the following communication from a pastor in Florida:

“A few weeks ago a family started coming to my church and told me the reason they left their former church was because of the music standards falling. I am not a proponent of one leaving their church but I do understand that standards are very important and many are falling by the wayside. I feel that I am very conservative in music, dress, preaching, preachers,  etc so I figured that maybe this family would find a place to settle down. After a few weeks of them coming and saying how much they enjoyed everything we had a 3 day meeting with an evangelist we have used for years.

“All of a sudden this family flew the coop! They won't answer the phone or return a call so I said oh well, easy come easy go! Today I received a letter explaining that they would not be back because the evangelist sang ‘he touched me’ which he says was written by Bill Gaither. I don't know and don't really care;  it's not a song that I will defend or detract. As far as Bill Gaither is concerned I've never knowingly listened to him or his group, and never will, I don't listen to long haired hippies sing. I have gone over the song in my head and cannot find anything blatantly wrong with it other than it's a little vague.

“My biggest issue is that he says in his letter that I need to come to you so that I can learn about music. Now while I am no academic I do study and pray and think about issues like this and I see that this family will almost certainly be going the ‘home church’ route due to their stringent following of what they have read and seen on your website.

“Please don't misunderstand me, I agree with most of what I've seen, but if it is driving families away from the local church something is wrong!

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A Holy Wedding

August 20, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

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We live in a day when many professing Bible-believing Christians follow the world rather than God’s Word. They profess to know and love Christ and they attend church (when it is convenient), but they live according to the dictates of society. They love the world’s fashions, cool attitude, music, movies, and video games. The worldliness is reflected on social media such as Facebook pages. And the worldliness is reflected in weddings.

Following are some simple biblical truths about weddings that are widely ignored today.

1. A believer’s wedding should be a holy occasion.

“Marriage
is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

A marriage is called holy matrimony because it is a divine ordinance. It was established by God at the dawn of man’s history. His plan is for one man and one woman to make a lifelong covenant together. When Jesus taught on marriage, He pointed back to the beginning:

“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made
them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).

We live in a brash society that thinks life is for self and that the individual has the right to determine his or her own way. But this is rebellion. No one has the right to change God’s laws, and every individual will ultimately be judged by God’s laws and God’s thinking.

The holiness of the wedding occasion should be reflected in the place. I know professing Christians who have been married at Las Vegas wedding chapels. That is far from a holy place. It doesn’t show respect for God and His holy laws. A believer in Jesus Christ should be married in a church in the midst of a holy congregation of saints.

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Silence vs. The Silence

Republished August 19, 2014 (first published September 15, 2011) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

There is a vast difference between biblical contemplation and the Roman Catholic contemplative prayer that is sweeping through evangelicalism. It is the difference between “silence” and “the silence.”

In biblical contemplation, silence refers simply to a quiet place in which the soul can effectively seek the Lord. In Scripture it is called seeking the Lord (Psalm 105:3; Isaiah 55:6), waiting on the Lord (Psalm 69:6), meditating on the Lord (Psalm 104:34), meditating on God’s Word (Psalm 1:2).

In these times, when most of us use computers and smart phones and our waking hours are filled to the brim with distracting busyness, it is important to have daily periods of silence for spiritual devotion. During these times we don’t sit with an empty mind and DO NOTHING; rather we open the Bible and read and meditate on its teaching, and we pray IN WORDS to God the Father through Jesus Christ by the wisdom and direction of the Holy Spirit.

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On the other hand, “THE silence” of contemplative prayer refers to pursuing God beyond the Bible, beyond thinking. It refers to putting aside thoughts through mechanisms such as mantras.

It has been popularized by contemplative gurus such as Richard Foster and Dallas Willard and is promoted by many evangelical leaders today, including Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Beth Moore, Mark Driscoll, Max Lucado, Ed Young, Sr., Gary Thomas, Philip Yancy, Lee Strobel, and Charles Stanley. (See “Evangelicals Turning to Roman Catholic Contemplative Spirituality” at the Way of Life web site.)

Harry Plantinga, director of Christian Classics Ethereal Library, describes contemplative prayer as follows: “As I was growing up, my church experience seemed somewhat heady to me--concerned more about correct belief than about actually loving God. Whether or not that was a correct perception, I wanted more. I wanted not just to know about God, I wanted to know God ... Christian mysticism addresses that longing of the heart. ... Webster defines mysticism as ‘the doctrine that it is possible to achieve communion with God through contemplation and love WITHOUT THE MEDIUM OF HUMAN REASON.’ That definition captures what I have in mind by the term” (
CCEL Times, April 1, 2008).

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Friday Church News Notes, Volume 15, Issue 33

The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
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GENDER CONFUSION IN CANADIAN SCHOOLS (Friday Church News Notes, August 15, 2014, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Canada Schools Propose Xe, Xem, and Xyr,” Christian Headlines, June 25, 2014: “Several schools in Vancouver have proposed that gender neutral pronouns should take the place of personal pronouns such as ‘he,’ ‘she,’ ‘his’ and ‘hers.’ The pronouns ‘xe,’ ‘xem,’ and ‘xyr’ were suggested as alternatives to encompass all students, including transgender students. According to the new policy, ‘xe’ should take the place of ‘he’ or ‘she,’ ‘xem’ will replace ‘him’ or ‘her,’ and ‘xyr’ will take over ‘his’ and ‘hers.’ According to the schools, students are not required to use the terminology, but are permitted to use the words if they choose to not identify as one specific gender. ‘We’re standing up for kids and making our schools safer and more inclusive,’ said board member Mike Lombardi. In addition, the Canadian schools have adopted new policies for a ‘gay-friendly’ curriculum, in which students ‘have the right to dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity or gender expression.’ During physical education, students may choose to participate with the gender of their choosing when activities are segregated between boys and girls. One more shift includes a required unisex bathroom available for students. The public greeted the changes with criticism and shouting at a school trustees meeting guarded by police.”

CREATIONIST SCIENTIST FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY FOR DISCRIMINATORY FIRING (Friday Church News Notes, August 15, 2014, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Scientist Sues,” The Christian Post, July 27, 2014: “A scientist has filed a lawsuit against the California State University, Northridge saying he was terminated from his job due to his religious views after he discovered soft tissue on a triceratops fossil which supported his creationist view. Mark Armitage, a former scientist at CSUN in Los Angeles, was terminated after he discovered supposedly the largest triceratops horn ever unearthed at the Hell Creek Formation excavation site in Montana, according to attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute, who’s filed the lawsuit. ‘Since some creationists, like [Armitage], believe that the triceratops bones are only 4,000 years old at most, [Armitage’s] work vindicated his view that these dinosaurs roamed the planet relatively recently,’ states the complaint filed against the CSUN board of trustees in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to CBS News. The scientist’s findings, which indicate that dinosaurs roamed the earth only thousands of years in the past rather than going extinct 60 million years ago, were published in July 2013 in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. ‘Terminating an employee because of their religious views is completely inappropriate and illegal,’ Dacus said in a statement. ‘But doing so in an attempt to silence scientific speech at a public university is even more alarming. This should be a wakeup call and warning to the entire world of academia.’ Armitage is a published scientist of over 30 years. Soon after the soft tissue discovery, a university official challenged the motives of Armitage, by shouting at him, ‘We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!’ according to court documents.”

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Psychology and End-Times Mysticism

April 30, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

The following is an excerpt from our book
The God of End-Times Mysticism, available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.

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Psychology has been permeated with mysticism since its inception in the 19th century.

Carl Jung

Carl Jung (1875-1961), the founder of analytical psychology, has been called “the psychologist of the 21st century” (Merill Berger,
The Wisdom of the Dreams, front cover.” Jung (pronounced Young) has been influential, not only in society at large, but also in the New Age movement and within almost all aspects of Christianity. Jung has influenced both modernists and evangelicals. His writings are influential within the contemplative movement. He has been promoted by Paul Tillich, Morton Kelsey, John Sanford, Thomas Moore, Joseph Campbell, John Spong, Richard Foster, Agnes Sanford, and Gary Thomas, to name a few. Jung’s psychological typing provides the underpinning for the Personality Profiling part of Rick Warren’s SHAPE program, which is used by countless churches and institutions.

Jeffrey Satinover says:

“Jung’s direct and indirect impact on mainstream Christianity--and thus on Western culture--has been incalculable. It is no exaggeration to say that the theological positions of most mainstream denominations in their approach to pastoral care, as well as in their doctrines and liturgy--have become more or less identical with Jung’s psychological/symbolic theology” (Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, p. 240, quoted from Ed Hird, “Carl Jung, Neo-Gnosticism,” March 18, 1998).

At the same time, Jung was deeply involved in pagan mysticism. He has been called the “Father of the New Age Movement” (Ed Hird).

Jung explored Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, I Ching, astrology, Spiritualism, Gnosticism, alchemy, dream interpretation, mandala symbolism, Theosophy, Greek Mythology, and more. Even as a boy, he was drawn to Hindu gods because he “had an obscure feeling of their affinity with my ‘original revelation’” (Jung,
Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Vintage Books, 1989, p. 17). He spent time in India studying Eastern religion and folk lore. He wrote the first introduction to Zen Buddhism. He amassed one of the largest collections of spiritualistic writings found on the European continent (Jeffrey Santinover, The Empty Self, p. 28).

In the pursuit of communion with spirits and a pantheistic “all pervading power,” Jung used a wide variety of mystical practices, including the divination methods of I Ching, idolatry, astrological horoscopic calculations, meditation, communion with spirits, clairvoyance, séances, dream interpretation, and channeling. Jung’s book
Septem Sermones (The Seven Sermons to the Dead) was dictated from spirits.

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