Friday Church News Notes

Vol 15, Issue 9 - Feb 28, 2014

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.
POPE JOINS CHARISMATICS IN CALL FOR ONE-WORLD CHURCH (Friday Church News Notes, February 28, 2014,, 866-295-4143) - In an informal seven-minute video that has been posted to YouTube, Pope Francis calls for the unity of all Christians. The context is even more instructive. The video was recorded on a smartphone owned by Anglican Episcopal charismatic bishop Anthony Palmer when he visited the Vatican recently. Palmer has known the pope since the latter was an archbishop in Argentina. The pope’s video clip was recorded to be played at a Pentecostal pastors conference hosted by Kenneth Copeland, a man laden down with heresies who falls on the floor and laughs hysterically while “drunk in the spirit.” The pope said that all Christians are to blame for disunity, and that God has begun the miracle of Christian unity and will finish it.

In his remarks at the Copeland crusade before the pope’s video was played, Palmer showed that he is a passionate and effective one-world church builder. He has a personal testimony of conversion experience, says he believes in salvation by God’s grace
alone, and is well spoken and personable. But he could not be more deceived. Consider the following statements carefully that Palmer made as a prelude to the pope’s remarks: “I come tonight in the spirit of Elijah, which is the spirit of reconciliation. ... I’ve come to understand that diversity is divine; it’s division that is diabolic. ... It’s the glory that glues us together, not the doctrine. If you accept that the presence of God is in me and the presence of God is in you, that’s all we need. God will sort out all our doctrines when we get upstairs. ... Division destroys our credibility. ... I believe we will see more people go out into the churches in the spirit of Elijah. We need to throw as much resources and energy into the ministry of reconciliation as we do to the ministry of evangelization. I challenge you to find a bridge builder and back him.”

Nothing could be more dangerous and unscriptural than to replace Bible doctrine with experience as the basis of unity. This is the heart and soul of the charismatic delusion, and now we see it being proposed by the pope of Rome as the foundation for a one-world church. In his own call for unity, Palmer said nothing about the heresies of the papacy, the priesthood, sacramentalism, infant baptism, baptismal regeneration, the mass, mariolatry, purgatory, the saints, prayers to the dead, nunnery, monasticism, and a host of other heresies. He said nothing about Copeland’s Word-Faith heresies. With his philosophy of “Elijah reconciliation,” none of that matters as long as an individual loves “Jesus,” believes the “gospel,” and has the “spirit.” We aren’t allowed to examine WHAT Jesus, WHAT gospel, or WHAT spirit. That type of examination would spoil the unity and bring us right back to division, which, we are led to believe, is diabolic.

What spiritual deception! How late the hour is! No wonder Jesus warned that false teachers will become so subtle that “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Mat. 24:24). Be not deceived, the following verse singlehandedly destroys the call for end-time unity: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort
you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).

copeland praying in tongues for pope 02-2014
KENNETH COPELAND’S ENTHUSIASM OVER THE POPE’S CALL FOR UNITY (Friday Church News Notes, February 28, 2014,, 866-295-4143) - After the pope’s video call for unity was finished, Kenneth Copeland said, “Glory, glory, glory. ... Heaven is thrilled over this.” He said, “You know what is so thrilling to me? When we went into the ministry 47 years ago, this was impossible.” Copeland prayed for the pope in his nonsensical, fake, gibberish “tongues.” He recorded a video message for the pope in which he said, “All of these leaders [at the conference] represent literally tens of thousands of people that love you. ... Thank you, sir. We do bless you, and we receive your blessing. We thank God for you.” Then he led the crowd in shouting together to the pope by video, “We Bless You!!!!!” Copeland said that he is available to visit the Vatican.

copeland introducing tony palmer
ALL ECUMENICAL ROADS LEAD TO ROME (Friday Church News Notes, February 28, 2014,, 866-295-4143) - Anglican Episcopal bishop Tony Palmer, who video recorded Pope Frances’ call for Christian unity, made the following statement at the Kenneth Copeland meeting: “When my wife saw that she could be Catholic, and Charismatic, and Evangelical, and Pentecostal, and it was absolutely accepted in the Catholic Church, she said that she would like to reconnect her roots with the Catholic culture. So she did.” The Pentecostal crowd cheered, as Palmer continued, “Brothers and sisters, Luther's protest is over. Is yours?”

GLUE FOR THE ONE-WORLD “CHURCH” (Friday Church News Notes, February 28, 2014,, 866-295-4143) - The Kenneth Copeland conferene in which the pope’s video call for unity was shown is a petri dish for the examination of the end-time one-world “church.” All of the elements were there. There was the contemporary worship music. There was the charismatic focus on feeling and experience. There was the “unity in diversity.” There was the rejection of biblical separatism and the labeling of it as “diabolical.” And there was Rome, showing the most humble, innocent, spiritually-passionate, and harmless of her many faces.

HAS THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH CHANGED ITS DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION? (Friday Church News Notes, February 28, 2014,, 866-295-4143) - Anglican Episcopal Bishop Anthony Palmer, who has joined the pope in calling for Christian unity and condemning “division,” claims that the issue of justification has been settled and that Rome has agreed that justification is by grace alone. Therefore, there is no reason for further disunity. The protest is over, he says; there should be no more “protestants”; all Christians should be “catholics”; there should be one “church.” If the issue were not so serious with such terrible eternal ramifications, this position would be laughable. Palmer is referring to the 1999 Joint Declaration of Justification that was signed by the Vatican and some Lutheran denominations and has since been accepted by some Methodists. The declaration states, “Together we confess: by grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping us and calling us to good works.”

FIRST, PALMER IS WRONG ABOUT ROME’S DOCTRINE OF SALVATION. The Joint Declaration on Justification doesn’t mean that the Roman Catholic Church no longer preaches salvation through sacraments! Rome has a genius for giving theological words new meanings. She is a chameleon who has changed colors countless times. In the current debate, she has redefined “grace” and “alone” and “justification.” She is an ecclesiastical example of a naughty little boy telling a lie with his fingers’ crossed behind his back, and the apostate Protestants sitting at her table don’t know or care. In the Council of Trent and the Second Vatican Council and the New Catholic Catechism, Rome stated her doctrine of salvation in the clearest of terms: salvation is by faith in Christ PLUS sacraments. Salvation was purchased by Christ and given to the “church” to be distributed through the sacraments, and it begins with baptismal regeneration. Rome has expressed ZERO repentance for this false gospel. (For documentation see the report “How Rome Denies Salvation by Grace Alone” at the Way of Life web site.)

SECOND, PALMER IS WRONG ABOUT THE ESSENCE OF THE REFORMATION. Insofar as it went (and it fell terribly short of being Scriptural), the essence of the Reformation was about the authority of Scripture --
sola scriptura. And the Roman Catholic Church is not even pretending that Scripture is the sole authority for its faith and practice. For this essential fact to be ignored shows the duplicity of the unity movement.

THIRD, PALMER IS WRONG ABOUT THE BASIS FOR UNITY. Even if two professing Christians or churches agree on the doctrine of salvation, that is far from being a sufficient basis for unity in fellowship and ministry. We are commanded to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). What part of the faith? All of it! We are to mark and avoid those whose teaching is contrary to the doctrine which we have learned from Scripture (Rom. 16:17). Even if one accepts the philosophy of “essential” vs. “non-essential” doctrine, there are still dozens of “essential” doctrines that would form the basis for separation. We are to prove ALL things, not just some things (1 Thess. 5:21). Paul taught Timothy to allow “no other doctrine” into the churches (1 Tim. 1:3). This is not a complicated matter. The bottom line is that it is impossible to join any unity movement today while being faithful to God’s Word.

THE BREADTH OF THE POPE’S ECUMENISM (Friday Church News Notes, February 28, 2014,, 866-295-4143) - Pope Francis is fulfilling Bible prophecy with his broad ecumenical vision. According to Revelation 17, Roman Catholicism is at the heart of the one-world religion that will yoke together with the Antichrist. Only Rome could fit the bill as the city on seven hills, and only Catholicism is clothed in purple and scarlet, has a golden cup in her hand, and is drunken with the blood of the martyrs. But the vision of Revelation 17 extends beyond Rome. The Harlot is a mother who has daughters and her reach is global (Rev. 17:15). Ecumenism has been “in the air” since the great world missionary conferences of the turn of the 20th century and the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s. Francis is standing on the shoulders of popes such as John XXIII (who headed up Vatican II) and John Paul II (the personable jet-setting pope who was beloved of a long line of evangelicals led by Billy Graham). Francis is calling for unity among all Christians. And he is calling for unity with Jews. This month, when he received a delegation of the American Jewish Committee, he said that Catholics and Jews must work together “for a more just and fraternal world” (“Pope: Jews and Catholics,”, Feb. 13, 2014). Francis is even calling for unity with atheists. Last year he said, “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. ... Even the atheists. Everyone! ... And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace” (“Pope at Mass,” Vatican Radio, May 22, 2013). For his part, John Paul II included all of the world religions in the ecumenical vision, yoking multiple times with Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Sikhs, Bahai’s, Animists, etc. in prayer for world peace in Assisi, Italy.

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).
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.

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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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