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Friday Church News Notes
Volume 17, Issue 39 - September 23, 2016
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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Friday News
AGENDA-DRIVEN HARVARD PROFESSOR DUPED BY “JESUS’ WIFE” MANUSCRIPT FRAUD (Friday Church News Notes, September 23, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D., “Jesus’ Wife Claims Revealed as ‘Whopping Fraud,’” Breitbart, Sep. 14, 2016: “The Harvard Professor who confidently proclaimed to the world she possessed evidence that suggested Jesus may have had a wife has now been outed as a second-rate academic who allowed herself to be duped by a con man. Dr. Karen L. King, professor at Harvard Divinity School, earned her 15 minutes of fame by staking her reputation as a historian of early Christianity on the authenticity of an ancient papyrus stating: ‘Jesus said to them, My wife ... she is able to be my disciple.’ At a splashy roll-out a stone’s throw from the Vatican in 2012, King presented a paper to more than 300 scholars from 27 countries, where she announced the discovery of an ancient scrap of papyrus in which Jesus refers to his ‘wife,’ whom King said is probably Mary Magdalene. ... The Harvard Theological Review published an entire journal edition on the ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,’ and the Smithsonian Channel produced a major documentary on the topic. National Geographic confidently announced, ‘No Forgery Evidence Seen in Gospel of Jesus’s Wife Papyrus’ in its issue from April 11, 2014. The problem was, the document is a fake. Dr. King had actually received the papyrus from a pornographer named Walter Fritz, who invented a story of how he had come into possession of the fragment. ... King was so excited with the possibilities of the find, however, that she never bothered to check up on Fritz’s credentials or the numerous inconsistencies in his story. ... The journalist who uncovered the ‘whopping fraud’ was Ariel Sabar, who pursued the origins of the fragment, leading him to the home of Walter Fritz on Florida’s southern Gulf Coast. Despite Dr. King’s unwillingness to reveal the name of the person who had furnished her with the papyrus, after painstaking sleuthing, Sabar found him anyway. ... In his later piece, Sabar noted that King was particularly interested in Gnostic texts that assign Mary Magdalene a prominent role as Jesus’s confidante and disciple, since proof that some early Christians also saw Mary Magdalene as Jesus’s wife ‘would be a rebuke to Church patriarchs.’ Her ideological agenda, in other words, disposed her to believe Fritz’s account of the papyrus.”

ISRAEL BUILDING MASSIVE UNDERGROUND WALL ON ITS BORDER WITH GAZA (Friday Church News Notes, September 23, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Underground Gaza Wall against Tunnels,” BreakingIsraelNews, Sept. 12, 2016: “The IDF has begun construction on a massive, $600 million underground wall along the Israel-Gaza border intended to halt Hamas terror tunnels used to launch attacks and funnel weapons. The wall, which will run the length of Israel’s 60-kilometer border with the Gaza Strip, will reach to a depth of several dozen meters, said IDF officials. The concrete barrier will also stretch above-ground. ... Israel broke ground for the first portion of the new barrier along northern Gaza, near the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, which comprises a cluster of Israeli communities living under the constant threat of infiltration from terrorists burrowing underneath the nearby border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. High-tech detection systems and sensors incorporated into the thick concrete wall will represent an additional barrier to terrorists. ... The IDF first proposed the wall in 2014, following Operation Protective Edge, a conflict with Hamas which saw terrorists entering Israel using a network of underground tunnels reaching from Gaza into Israel. Over 30 tunnels were then discovered and destroyed. Since then, IDF forces have uncovered another two tunnels. Hamas has continued to dig new underground passages unabatedly. Earlier in the year, residents in southern Israeli towns bordering Gaza began complaining of hearing the sounds of tunnels being dug underneath their homes, prompting a renewed call for IDF action. In February, Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to construct a barrier in order to ‘defend ourselves against wild beasts.’”

COMPUTER CRYSTAL METH (Friday Church News Notes, September 23, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Computer Crystal Meth: How Screens Are Killing Kids’ Minds and Souls,” The New American, Sept. 13, 2016: “It’s a common and sad story of addiction. Thoroughly hooked, John began to ignore and disengage from other aspects of his life. His behavior deteriorated, and his personal relationships suffered. But John wasn’t in the grip of drugs or alcohol, and he wasn’t a middle-aged man. He was six years old--and his ‘bottle’ was an iPad. Although the names have been changed, John’s is a true story. His mother, Susan, bought him an iPad in first grade at the recommendation of a technology teacher. He eventually found the popular game Minecraft, which the educator claimed was just ‘electronic Lego.’ ... John was hooked. As he became ever more addicted, he began losing interest in reading and baseball, the latter which he’d loved; his behavior deteriorated, and he refused to do his chores. And some mornings he’d even remark that he saw the Minecraft cube shapes in his dreams. But life was moving toward nightmare. John would throw tantrums when Susan tried taking the game away and, reflecting permissive modern parenting, she rationalized away her concerns and deferred to his wishes. Then, however, came the fateful evening that would shatter her illusions. As licensed psychotherapist Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, who treated Susan and John, wrote August 27 in the New York Post: ‘Susan walked into his room to check on him. He was supposed to be sleeping. She found him sitting up in his bed staring wide-eyed, his bloodshot eyes looking into the distance as his glowing iPad lay next to him. He seemed to be in a trance. Beside herself with panic, Susan had to shake the boy repeatedly to snap him out of it. Distraught, she could not understand how her once-healthy and happy little boy had become so addicted to the game that he wound up in a catatonic stupor.’ Dr. Kardaras points out that it’s no coincidence that tech designers and engineers make the most tech-cautious parents. As he writes, ‘Silicon Valley tech executives and engineers enroll their kids in no-tech Waldorf Schools.’ ... This could remind one of cartel kingpins who push drugs to others while keeping their own homes pure. Yet computers do have legitimate uses.”

KNOWLEDGE SHALL INCREASE (Friday Church News Notes, September 23, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - About 2,500 years ago, during the Persian Empire, an angel told the prophet Daniel, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4). We are seeing a dramatic fulfillment of this in our day. Recent inventions include the following: Researchers are making progress toward using drones for building projects. At the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, drones are being trained to weave structures out of cable. “The drones are positioned and directed autonomously from the ground by a central computer fitted with a camera that watches them as they fly. For example, to loop cables around each other, the computer directs two drones to fly through certain points at an exact time. In this way, the fleet can tie complicated knots and form large, regularly repeating patterns strung between fixed structures” (“Spider-drones weave high-rise structures out of cables,” New Scientist, Nov. 8, 2013). The MIT Media Lab in Massachusetts is using robots with robotic clamps to build towers of magnetic blocks. A virtual reality headset will allow judges and juries to analyze a crime scene in 3D. This is possible with new technology that allows crime scene investigators to capture 3D information. The technology includes laser mapping of the scene and MRI and CT scanners to get a detailed picture of injuries (“Forensic holodeck to transport jury to the crime scene,” New Scientist, Jan. 9, 2015). The developers of the new technology are using gaming software, which has become sophisticated enough to create virtual worlds, and a gaming headset, Oculus Rift. It might be possible to view a murder scene from the point of view of the murderer, the victim, or a third person. Researchers are developing technology to create a 3D image of a room by beaming a laser through a keyhole. Scientists at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China have successfully identified the shape and position of cardboard letters spelling HIT through a 2 centimeter hole in a wall (“Map a room by shining a laser through the keyhole,” New Scientist, Jan. 5, 2015). For now the technology is in infancy, requiring special conditions. Scientists at the University of Texas have invented a way to reconstruct conversations by taking photos of the environment in which the words were spoken (“Six Incredible Spy Technologies,” Live Science, Jan. 2, 2015). “The sound spying system takes advantage of the fact that sound waves produce minute, invisible-to-the-naked-eye vibrations that can still be caught on camera. ... The new technique now means that, theoretically, anyone who can snap photos or video of a room could recreate conversations that occurred there” (“Six Incredible Spy Technologies,” Live Science, Jan. 2, 2015).

MYSTERY MOUNTAINS AREN’T A MYSTERY (Friday Church News Notes, September 23, 2016, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, May 27, 2016: “‘And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.’ There are three ways to make mountains. The movement of two crustal plates running into one another will push up mountains. Likewise, volcanic activity will produce mountains. Finally, massive erosion of soft strata from harder strata can also create mountains. In the 1950s, Soviet researchers discovered a mountain range, named the Gamburtsev Mountains, in Antarctica. Since the mountain range lies under almost two-and-a-half miles of ice, they were discovered by seismic survey. There is one problem. There shouldn't be any mountains there, according to conventional science. That's because Antarctica is a single crustal plate colliding with nothing. Nor is there any evidence of volcanic activity there. As one scientist put it, finding these mountains is like opening an ancient pyramid and finding a living astronaut in it. However, there is another answer that uniformitarian geologists would never consider. We know that there was massive erosion as the flood waters drained from the earth, as evidenced by the Grand Canyon and the American Badlands. This would also seem to be the most likely explanation for the mystery mountains of Antarctica. The Bible gives us the most accurate general history of the ancient Earth, actually filling in the gaps and contradictions that arise in modern long-age science approaches.”

CONCLUSION: 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, but this obviously does not imply an endorsement. We trust that our readers will not be discouraged. It is God’s will that we know the times (1 Ch. 12:32; Mat. 16:3) and that we be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The News Notes remind us that the hour is very late, and we need to be ready for the Lord’s coming. Are you sure that you are born again? Are you living for Christ? “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).
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Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc.’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.

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

The Way of Life preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. A mail stop is maintained in Port Huron, Michigan.

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