Friday Church News Notes
Volume 18, Issue 9 - March 3, 2017
The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature. 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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SOUTHERN BAPTIST PASTOR PRAISES THE SHACK (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2017,,, 866-295-4143) - Last week we described the “back to the Southern Baptist Convention” movement among Independent Baptists in “Prominent BBFI Church Joins the Southern Baptist Convention,” Friday News, Feb. 17, 2017. Shortly after writing that piece, we were reminded of the heresies that are countenanced within the SBC. Wade Burleson, pastor of the Southern Baptist Emmanuel Baptist Church of Enid, Oklahoma, published a blog report a few days ago praising Paul Young and his heresy-filled book The Shack. Young has actually preached to this Southern Baptist congregation, though he doesn’t even claim to be a Christian. Young told Burleson that he is “a hopeful universalist.” Young “believes that our loving God sent His Son to die for every single sinner without exception. One day God will effectually reconcile every sinner to Himself. He uses the term ‘hopeful’ universalism because he understands that the Scriptures speak of judgment, but He is ‘hopeful’ that even in judgment, the love of God will eventually bring the sinner being judged to love for Jesus Christ. Paul Young is ‘hopeful’ that the fire of God’s love will eventually and effectually persuade every sinner of God’s love in Christ” (Burleson, “The Shack and Universal Reconciliation,” February 2017, Like Young, many others who hold the heresy of universal salvation like to couch the issue in terms of a possibility. They pretend that the Bible does not settle this issue, but that is nonsense. When the Bible has spoken clearly on an issue, as it has on eternal redemption and eternal judgment, there is zero possibility that anything else will happen. The fire of eternal hell is not the fire of God’s love; it is the fire of God’s holy wrath, and Young doesn’t believe in this God. Young’s “hopeful universalism” is a blind “hope” of his own vain imagination, because the Bible plainly refutes it. The Bible says that those who believe on Jesus Christ savingly have eternal life, and those who reject Him have eternal judgment. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (Joh. 3:36). Being unable to prove that Scripture itself teaches a “universal hope,” Pastor Burleson justified Young’s heresies by noting that evangelical hero C.S. Lewis held the same belief. But we would say to Pastor Burleson, “C.S. Lewis has zero authority. He was a rank heretic, and the fact that he is widely loved by Southern Baptist pastors is evidence of their apostasy, not of Lewis’s theological soundness.” Burleson concluded his report with these foolish words: “[G]o and enjoy The Shack. It is not heresy.” What true Bible believer would want to join hands in denominational fellowship with such heretics?

AMERICA’S LARGEST CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE CHAIN CLOSING (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2017,,, 866-295-4143) - Family Christian Stores, America’s largest Christian bookstore chain, is closing after 85 years (“Family Christian Stores,”, Feb. 23, 2017). The chain’s 240 stores in 36 states will close. Several factors contributed to the collapse, including an overload of debt which the chain’s owners could have avoided had they obeyed the precepts of the Bibles they sell. Chiefly, though, bookstores in general are being overtaken by the changing of the times. The explosion of the availability of eBooks and eVideos and the convenience of online shopping is hammering most traditional “brick and mortar” retailers. From a spiritual viewpoint, Family Christian Stores were as much a danger as a blessing. They were filled with corrupt Bible versions, worldly music, and the writings of a vast number of heretics (e.g., C.S. Lewis, Paul Young, Robert Schuller, Bruce Metzger, Dallas Willard, Norman Vincent Peale, Max Lucado, Brennan Manning, G.K. Chesterton, Larry Crabb, Robert Webber, Brian McLaren, Donald Miller, Erwin McManus, Chris Seay, Donald McCulough, Philip Yancey, Rob Bell, John Michael Talbot, Tony Campolo, and an assortment of Roman Catholic mystics). Forty-three years ago, the man who led me to Christ took me into a Christian bookstore to buy me a King James Bible and a Strong’s Concordance, and as we were walking through the store he commented, “There is a lot of spiritual danger in this store. Beware of false teachers.” He taught me to be wary of false teaching and to test everything by God’s Word. The word “beware” is found 16 times in the New Testament. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). (For more on this see “Dangers in Christian Bookstores” at, using the search engine.)

NASCAR CHRISTIANITY (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2017,,, 866-295-4143) - This year, the prayers at the Daytona QQQ 300 and Daytona 500 automobile races were given by Southern Baptist Ronnie Barton (First Baptist of South Daytona) and Seventh-day Adventist chaplain Art Bakewell. Opening the Daytona 500 race with a prayer for blessing and protection is a tradition that goes back to 1959. The prayer has been part of the televised program since 1979. From 1959 to 2005, the prayer was given by Hal Marchman of Central Baptist Church (Southern Baptist) in Daytona Beach (“Prayer at the Start,” Daytona Beach News-Journal, Feb. 24, 2017). Barton said he depends on his “heavenly thoughts” to guide his prayer. The Christianity of NASCAR is exceedingly shallow and worldly. The night before the race, hundreds of people party in the infield. In 1968, in my “bad old days,” I got so drunk during the infield party that I passed out and missed the race. It would be impossible to pray a legitimate prayer of blessing on this worldly mess. Many of the NASCAR drivers claim to be Christians, but at the same time they are the “lords” of this drunken, drugged up, half-naked debacle. Not only do the NASCAR drivers themselves routinely neglect the Lord’s assembly in disobedience to Hebrews 10:25, but they encourage their followers to do the same. The prayers aren’t even offered in Jesus name. Marchman ended his prayers with “Shalom and Amen.” “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ROLLS BACK FEDERAL TRANSGENDER BATHROOM RULE (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2017,,, 866-295-4143) - U.S. President Donald Trump has rescinded the guidelines instigated by Barack Obama to give transgender students the right to use whichever public restrooms they are most comfortable with (“Trump administration orders U.S. schools to ignore Obama transgender bathroom efforts,” UPI, Feb. 23, 2017). The Trump administration said, “This is an issue best solved at the state and local level.” As it turns out, Obama reached a little too far, too fast with his bathroom policy, but we would not be surprised if the “right” of transsexuals to use the bathroom of their choice will be discovered in the Constitution by the nation’s judges. However that turns out, the bathroom issue is actually a red herring. The more fundamental issue is that homosexuality and its related entities (lesbian, bisexual, transssexual) have become morally acceptable to a large and rapidly growing percentage of the nation’s citizens, and they are already legally protected from “discrimination” under some federal, state, and local laws. Betsy Devos, U.S. Education Secretary under Trump, immediately came out with a statement that her department’s Office for Civil Rights “remains committed to investigating all claims of discrimination, bullying, and harassment” against LGBT students. It is this reality that is bringing increasing persecution against Bible-believing Christians, as we have documented in “What Rights Others Lose When Homosexuals Gain their Rights,” and absolutely nothing has happened in the recent political upheaval to change this reality.

DENMARK ENFORCING MUSLIM SHARIA LAW (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2017,,, 866-295-4143) - In an act right out of the Muslim Sharia law playbook, a 42-year-old man in Denmark has been charged with “blasphemy” for burning the Quran. The defendant’s lawyer “said his client burned the Quran in self-defense, asserting that the Islamic holy book ‘contains passages on how Mohammed’s followers must kill the infidel, i.e. the Danes’” (“Danish man who set fire to Quran,” Breitbart, Feb. 24, 2017). At the same time, it is legal to burn a Bible in Denmark, where the state church is “Lutheran.” A man who burned a Bible on state television in 1997 was not charged. Islam has been a judgment on apostate Christianity since its inception.

LACEWING MAGIC (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2017,, 866-295-4143) - The following is from, Nov. 17, 2014: “The relationship between the beaded lacewing larvae and the California termite poses a real problem for those who believe there is no Creator. The lacewing larvae enter termite nests in order to finish their growth cycle. Later, they leave as adults. The problem is, termites are often still at home when the larvae enter the nest. The termites, 30 times the size of the larvae, pose a serious threat to the larvae. But if you watch the larvae enter the nest, they wave their abdomen to an approaching termite, and the targeted termite immediately falls over. Upon further study, scientists have learned that the tiny larva releases a chemical that totally paralyzes the termite. Studies have also shown that the chemical works only on this particular species of termite. The evolutionary explanation is that for millions of years lacewing larvae crawled up to every sort of insect, madly waving their abdomens at them--and were promptly eaten! One wonders how the larvae survived at all and why it was that their chemical protection just happened to work on those termites that made nice safe tunnels for them to grow in. To believe that the lacewing’s defense developed just by chance is nothing more than blind faith. It’s not science. And it is a very opposite kind of faith from those who believe in a Creator!”

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,

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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