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. For instructions on how to unsubscribe to this list or to change mailing addresses, please consult the information paragraph at the end.
HOLLYWOOD’S MORAL PERVERSION (Friday Church News Notes, February 27, 2009, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The Oscars were a blatant homosexual-fest, which is not surprising in light of Hollywood’s prominent role in the moral downfall of modern society. The pro-homosexual film “Milk,” which glorified Harvey Milk, the first openly homosexual to be elected to a major public office in America, was awarded for best original screenplay and for best actor.
Many of today’s evangelicals and fundamentalists have an astounding ignorance of Roman Catholicism. The average bookstore does not supply materials that expose the truth of Rome’s heresies, and the popular syndicated radio preachers and evangelical authors are nearly silent on these matters.
In this article we quote from the two most up-to-date official pronouncements of Catholic doctrine, the Vatican II Council and the New Catholic Catechism.
VATICAN II RE-STATES CATHOLIC HERESIES
The Vatican II Council was an official Catholic doctrinal convocation lasting three years (from October 1962 to December 1965) and attended by more than 2400 Roman Catholic bishops. It was led by two popes, John Paul XXIII and Paul VI. These are not just the pronouncements of a Catholic apologist or even of a pope. These are the most authoritative doctrinal pronouncements of modern Roman Catholicism.
The publication cited in the following quotes is Vatican Council II—the Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents. This volume is published by the Roman Catholic Church and contains the following Imprimatur [a Latin word meaning “let it be printed,” showing it has been approved for publication by the Catholic hierarchy]: Walter P. Kellenberg, D.D., Bishop of Rockville Centre, August 12, 1975.
The Mass a Re-sacrifice of Christ
“Hence the Mass, the Lord’s Supper, is at the same time and inseparably: a sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated; a memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, who said ‘do this in memory of me’ (Lk. 22:19) …
Those who defend Contemporary Christian Music often argue that the only thing that matters is whether or not the musicians are sincere. Note the following statement by Christian rocker Mylon LeFevre (left):
“Music is not good or evil because of the formation of the notes or the structure of the beat. Music is good because the heart of the person playing it is innocently and sincerely giving praise to our God” (LeFevre, interview by Pastor Rick Anderson, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rock Music--What’s the Real Message?, cited by Jeff Godwin, What’s Wrong with Christian Rock?, p. 122).
WE WOULD ANSWER THIS, FIRST OF ALL, BY REMINDING OUR READERS OF THE DECEPTIVE NATURE OF MAN’S HEART.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26).
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12).Continue reading this article……
The emerging church represented by Brian McLaren and the Emergent village is not as new as it appears to be. It was already raising its ugly head in the late 19th century, because Charles Spurgeon described it perfectly in his comments on James 5:19-20.
He called it “modern thought” and “deceitful infidelity.”
Spurgeon also described the tolerant attitude of modern evangelicalism that puts up with emerging heresies. He called this “latitudinarianism.”
SPURGEON’S COMMENTS ON JAMES 5:19-20
“Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).
It was not merely that he fell into a mistake upon some lesser matter which might be compared to the fringe of the gospel, but he erred in some vital doctrine--he departed from the faith in its fundamentals. There are some truths which must be believed, they are essential to salvation, and if not heartily accepted the soul will be ruined. This man had been professedly orthodox, but he turned aside from the truth on an essential point.
Our multi-media DVD presentation entitled “ROMAN CATHOLICISM PAST & PRESENT” features a rich assortment of photographs, video and audio clips.
Years of research has gone into this work. Over the past three decades we have built a large personal library on the Roman Catholic Church past and present, and on our last two trips to Rome we were accompanied by Brian Snider, who does our graphical work. We took hundreds of digital still pictures and many hours of video clips of the sights, including amazing interviews with priests.
Continue reading this article……
The emerging church says Christians should worship God in their own individual ways, through art, dance, whatever.
Rick Warren says, “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to worship and friendship with God” (The Purpose Driven Life, p. 103).
On pages 22-28 of his book Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God, Gary Thomas says that there are nine ways that people draw near to God: Naturalists are inspired to love God out-of-doors; sensates love God with their senses; traditionalists love God through rituals, liturgies, unchanging structures; ascetics love God in solitude and simplicity; activists love God through battling injustice; caregivers love God by meeting people’s needs; enthusiasts love God through celebrations; contemplatives love God through adoration; and intellectuals love God by studying.
This sounds like Cain, who was the first emerging worshipper. He wanted to approach God and delve into spiritual things, but he wanted to do it on his own terms rather than follow the precise instructions of God’s Word. He didn’t want to be “boxed in.”Continue reading this article……
In ecumenical circles the claim is made with increasing frequency that Rome now accepts the doctrine of justification by grace alone. The recently approved agreement between the Lutheran World Federation and the Vatican, the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,” makes this claim. Many supporters of the Promise Keepers movement have written to me making this claim. Those who promote the idea that there are “Evangelical Catholics” often make this claim.
That the Roman Catholic Church does NOT believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone by the finished atonement of Jesus Christ alone is evident in the following indisputable facts:
JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE ALONE DENIED BY TRENT
At the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the declarations of which are still in force, the Roman Catholic Church formally condemned the biblical doctrine of faith alone and grace alone. Consider the following declarations of Trent:
“If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA” (Sixth Session, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 12).
A videotaped version of this message (excerpt at left) is available in our three DVD set of Bible Conference messages. You can purchase it now here:
I grew up in Southern Baptist churches and many of my relatives are still a part of the Convention, but when I was converted in 1973 I joined an independent Baptist congregation. Though it would have been much easier to have gone back to the Convention, THOUGH I AM THANKFUL FOR THE SPIRITUAL BENEFIT I RECEIVED BY GROWING UP UNDER THE SOUND OF THE GOSPEL AND FOR THE SOUND SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE I WAS TAUGHT AS A BOY, AND THOUGH I AM THANKFUL FOR EVERY GOOD THING THAT GOD HAS DONE THROUGH THE CONVENTION, there are some compelling reasons why I have not done so.Continue reading this article……
The emerging church is a magnet for those who have rejected the “old-fashioned” New Testament faith and who despise traditional Bible-believing churches, dogmatic biblical preaching, and biblical “judgmentalism” in regard to lifestyle choices.
Many of the books I have read by emerging leaders make this admission.
For example, in Blue Like Jazz Donald Miller (left) tells how that he refused to be restricted by the teaching of traditional-type churches. He wanted to drink beer and watch raunchy movies and talk trashy and run around with atheists and other rebels. In discussing his involvement in church in his youth he says, “I wished I could have subscribed to aspects of Christianity but not the whole thing” (p. 30). He complains, “In order to believe Christianity, you either had to reduce enormous theological absurditiesContinue reading this article……
I must say I was quite taken back with some of the responses and questions that arose, and I’m strugglingContinue reading this article……
February 4, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org;) -
The following is from the new Advanced Bible Studies Series on the Epistle of James.
“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:13-18).
1. Miscellaneous introductory points
a. The Bible nowhere condemns doctors and medicine, but it does condemn trusting in man rather than God (2 Chron. 16:12)
b. This passage shows that the apostolic gift of healing would pass away. Here the elders of the church are called rather than someone with the gift of healing. The elders do not lay hands on the person or rebuke the sickness or cast out devils, but they simply anoint him with oil and pray for him. The gift of healing was associated with the apostolic age, and God gave the apostles sign gifts to authenticate their calling (2 Cor. 12:12). See Mark 3:14-15; Acts 2:43; 4:33; 5:12, 15; 19:12. The apostles laid the foundation for the church (Eph. 2:20), and when they died their sign gifts ceased. If the sign miracles were operative throughout the church age, they could not have been effective as apostolic sign gifts. Even in the early churches, all Christians could not do the sign miracles of the apostles. The only exceptions were a few men upon whom the apostles had laid hands. There was no general miracle-working experience among the first churches. If there had been, Paul could not have pointed to his miracle-working ability as a special sign. His would have been just another miracle-working Christian ministry if all could have performed such things; but all could not. If all could have performed miracles as a matter of course, the Christians would not have called for Peter to come and raise Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-42). Peter’s miracle that day was the “sign of an apostle.”
Excerpt from What is the Emerging Church? Ordering info at end of article:
Rob Bell (b. 1970), the author of Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith (2005), is pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan. In the January 2007 issue of The Church Report, Bell was named #10 in their list of “The 50 Most Influential Christians in America” as chosen by readers and online visitors. He also produces the popular series of short films called NOOMA.
The thesis of Velvet Elvis is that Christianity is a never-completed art project. Bell begins by describing a painting of Elvis Presley that he has in his basement, and says that since no portrait of Elvis can be thought of as the final word, likewise no doctrinal statement can be thought of as absolute. He says that Christianity is an endless process of rethinking the Bible and likens his non-dogmatic theological position to jumping on a trampoline. He says that doctrine should be elastic and flex and stretch like a trampoline (p. 22).
This dangerous book is very popular and influential and can be found at places like Family Christian Stores and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Lifeway Christian Bookstores.
HERETICAL VIEW OF THE BIBLE
The following statements document Bell’s heretical view of the Bible, which is his foundational error.
“They [the New Testament epistles] aren’t first and foremost timeless truths. ... The Bible is not pieces of information about God and Jesus and whatever else we take and apply to situations as we would a cookbook or an instruction manual. And while I’m at it, let’s make a group decision to drop once and for all the Bible-as-owner’s-manual metaphor. It’s terrible. It really is. ... We have to embrace the Bible as the wild, uncensored, passionate account it is of people experiencing the living God” (Velvet Elvis, pp. 62, 63).
The following is a reply we sent to a reader who asked us what to do if there is no good church to attend or if the church they are currently attending is deeply compromised and there is no better choice in the community. Many write about this, so we are publishing our answer:
I am replying to your question about the church situation. Obviously it is a difficult matter, and only the Lord can lead you. You described your church this way:
“I am attending a church of small size, with a pastor who says he is fundamental, but in actual practice, he is new-evangelical. He does not name the names of false teachers. He won’t correct any parishioners in error. He will sound no alarm about ecumenism, apostasy, etc.”
You said that in your estimation only two or three of the families in the church care anything about a fundamentalist position and about separation from the world and apostasy, and those “cannot speak freely the whole counsel of God” because the leaders won’t allow it. You said this is the best church within your area, that there are two churches 40 miles away that claim to be fundamentalist but promote Dobson-style psychology and other things that a true fundamentalist cannot countenance.
Obviously that is not a good situation. It would appear to me that you have four options.Continue reading this article……