LUTHERAN CHURCH OF GERMANY WILL NOT TRY TO CONVERT JEWS (Friday Church News Notes, November 18, 2016, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - On November 9, the Evangelical Church in Germany approved a declaration rejecting any efforts to convert Jews. Synod president Irmgard Schwaetzer said it is “a further step on the path of contemplation and reorientation in our relationship with Jews” (“German Lutheran Church,” Associated Press, Nov. 9, 2016). The truth is that it has been a very long time since this liberal “church” has tried to convert anyone by the gospel of Jesus Christ. The German Lutheran church was the very mother of theological liberalism which destroyed the absolute authority of God’s Word, which, in turn, resulted in moral relativism. In 2010, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the German state of Bavaria adopted a ruling that “gay and lesbian ministers may live with their partners in parish parsonages if they have entered into a state-sanctioned civil union” (“German Church Allows Gay Pastors to Live with Partners,” Huffington Post, Nov. 17, 2010). It is obvious that the Evangelical Church in Germany does not believe the words of Jesus Christ when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Nor do they accept the authority of the apostle Paul who said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
DEATH OF BENJAMIN CREME (Friday Church News Notes, November 18, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - Benjamin Creme, who taught that Christ had returned to earth in the form of Maitreya, died on October 24 at age 93. Creme’s book The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom got major publicity in 1982 when Creme was interviewed on Merv Griffin’s television show. Creme claimed that Christ’s name is actually Maitreya, the leader of the Planetary Hierarchy, and that he has held the Christ office for 2,600 years. It is this Maitreya, allegedly, that came upon the man Jesus at his baptism and left at his crucifixion, which is the ancient heresy of adoptionism. According to Creme, Maitreya is the fulfillment of the fifth Buddhist, the Islamic Mahdi, the Hindu Krishna or Kalki, the Zoroastrian Shah-Bahram, and the Jewish Messiah. Maitreya supposedly reappeared on earth in 1977, descending from his ancient Himalayan retreat and bringing along a group of highly advanced disciples called Masters of Wisdom to help mankind realize its divinity and usher in an Aquarian Age wherein men live in oneness and harmony. Creme taught the practice of Transmission Meditation to channel the “energy from the Masters.” In reality, every type of transcendental meditation is communion with devils masquerading as angels of light (2 Cor. 11:14-15). In 1982, Creme said that Maitreya would reveal himself on June 21 of that year by worldwide television and communicate telepathically with “all mankind simultaneously” and perform “hundreds of thousands of miracle cures.” He made a similar bogus claim in 1997, but he continued to promote Maitreya until his death. Creme came into contact with deceiving demons in his teenage years when he dabbled with Tibetan Buddhism and the occult. Later he studied Alice Bailey’s Theosophy and claimed to have contact with UFOs and heavenly “masters.” “And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:21-22).
WARNING ABOUT THE CLARK FAMILY (Friday Church News Notes, November 18, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - We received the following timely warning from a reader: “A growing trend I’ve noticed is a group out of New Jersey. I heard them several years ago when the doctrinally unsound but ‘cute’ ‘He knows my name’ was sung by one of their younger boys. The pop/sliding style was immediately popular with the young people (I’m only 36), and the polished ‘clean’ look of their kids became a seller for Independent Fundamental Baptists who didn't have a guard up, or even if they did, they saw a clean-looking family that seemed to be fundamentalists so they must be OK, right? The flood gates were quietly and unwittingly opened, so now it would be hard for these pastors to close that gate. Their teens and youth already have a taste and think the Clark Family is OK. Their first few CDs included patriotic songs, old-time songs popular with IFBs, and a few ‘edgy’ songs. They promoted polished vocals so it was difficult for IFBs to warn their youngsters against it. (Actually, it shouldn’t have been difficult, but few have the courage or discernment anymore.) Fast forward to their latest CD. The kids have gotten older, and what I can only assume is their unrestrained lust for CCM, which was somewhat hidden in earlier CDs, has become full blown. ‘Blessed’ is the title of their new CD and includes tracks by Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, and the Newsboys, all-out CCM rockers. Bro. Cloud, please warn IFBs about the danger of allowing Charlie Clark and his family to influence their church music.”
GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AND GOD’S REPENTANCE (Friday Church News Notes, November 18, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - God’s eternality and omniscience, omnipotence, and sovereignty means that He knows all things, knows the end from the beginning, and works out His eternal plans in accordance with this knowledge, but there is also a sense in which God is in the present and reacts to man’s deeds in the present and gives men very real choices and He responds to those choices. The Second London Baptist Confession of 1677 (and 1688 and 1689, and repeated in the Philadelphia Confession of 1742, but itself largely based on the Westminster Confession of 1646) said, “God’s knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain.” This is partly true but not exactly. The authors of this confession were leaning more on Augustine and his disciple, John Calvin, than Scripture alone. While God’s knowledge is most certainly infinite and infallible, His decisions are not entirely independent of man but rather take into account and respond to man’s actions. We see this in God’s repentance (Gen. 6:5-6). In His omniscience and eternality, God knew most perfectly that man would come to the place of apostasy in Noah’s day, and God had determined to send the Flood as part of His eternal plan. Yet when man did sin, God reacted to this sin in a heartfelt way and repented that He had made man. How could that be if God’s decisions are “independent upon the creature”? There is obviously more to this than the old confessions would have us believe. Consider God’s dealings with Solomon. God knew what Solomon would say when asked what he wanted from God, yet the Bible says, “And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing” (1 Ki. 3:10). God also knew that Solomon would apostatize, but He exhorted him to remain faithful (1 Ki. 3:14). He even warned Solomon a second time (1 Ki. 9:1-9), and the Lord was angry when Solomon turned aside (1 Ki. 11:9-13). So there is a sense in which some things are “to him contingent,” because God made some things contingent upon man’s response, man’s actions. We see this, further, in the earthly life of the eternal Son of God. He “knew all men” (Jn. 2:24), yet He was amazed at men (Mat. 8:10) and disappointed with men (Mat. 8:26). Further, in His eternal perspective, God knew that Israel would apostatize and He planned to use this to create the church, but in the here and now, the Son of God wept over Israel (Mat. 23:37; Lk. 19:41-42). When Jesus said, “I would ... ye would not,” He refuted the Augustinian/Calvinist concept of God’s sovereignty. God is most certainly and most emphatically sovereign, but this must be defined by Scripture alone and not by human reasoning and theological wrangling.
65 MILLION-YEAR-OLD DNA (Friday Church News Notes, November 18, 2016, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, September 12, 2016: “Most listeners to these programs will at some time have visited a museum to see the dinosaurs. Of course, the tangible remains consist of fossil skeletons and, if one is allowed to touch the bones, they are as hard as rock. Sometimes they are actually cement or plaster since they are copies. However, we are told that over the millions of years, the original bone had been replaced by minerals. Except for the millions of years, this is often true but not always. Fence posts, for example, have been found mineralized at one end and plain wood at the other. In 1993, Science Research News reported graduate student Mary Schweitzer's reaction when examining a slice of 65-million year old T. rex bone from Montana using the electron microscope: ‘I got goose bumps ... it was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone ... How could blood cells survive that long?’ (Science Research News, Sept. 7, 1993, Vol. 261). To compound the problem, strands of DNA were later identified within the blood. What does this mean? Firstly, from the known rate at which the DNA structure breaks down under natural radioactivity, the cells were clearly less than 10,000 years old. Secondly, this is not an isolated case, and a major argument is now brewing behind the cloistered walls of academia. This is further mounting evidence against the popular but godless doctrine of evolution.”
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., publisher of Bible Study Materials and reports 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 (REPORTS AND FRIDAY NEWS) IS NOT DEVOTIONAL. IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com
The Way of Life Literature preaching and publishing ministry is based at 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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