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Friday Church News Notes
Volume 18, Issue 15 - April 14, 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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Cary Schmidt's Christian Rock Concert
CARY SCHMIDT’S CHRISTIAN ROCK CONCERT (Friday Church News Notes, April 14, 2017, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - I received the following information from a friend: “Several months ago I wrote to you about my sorrow for the church I was a member of for many years. Emmanuel Baptist Church of Newington, Connecticut, was the first place I was introduced to your ministry. For many years it held public stands on separation, and music was at the forefront of that battle. I told you that Cary Schmidt, former music director to Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church in California, had taken over as the pastor. I have watched from a distance as he has systematically peeled back the dress standards. He has assaulted the gospel with his quick prayerism approach to evangelism. They just spent about $85k on a slick platform renovation with high tech lighting and audio/visual systems among other things (removed pews for chairs, new carpet, air conditioning units). All of that I guess is fine, but I know where it is headed. But what blew me away yesterday was to see that next Sunday (Resurrection Sunday) they will be having a concert in the evening led by Steve Green. Again, this is the fruit of Paul Chappell’s soft separatism.” CONCLUSION FROM BROTHER CLOUD: The heart of my longstanding warning about the use of CCM is that it builds bridges to the “broader church” or the “one world church,” which every CCM artist represents. Steve Green is no exception. He has sung at radical ecumenical forums such as the Religious Broadcasters Association’s annual convention, Billy Graham crusades, and Promise Keepers rallies. At the Promise Keepers Atlanta Clergy Conference in 1996, Green sang, “Let the Walls Come Down,” referring to Promise Keeper’s goal of breaking down walls between denominations. Several Catholic priests were present at that conference, and Ralph Colas, who attended the event, described it in these words: “The big beat, contemporary music brought the ministers to their feet. ... Steve Green belted out repeatedly ‘Let the Walls Come Down.’ The 40,000 clergy shouted, whistled, clapped, and cheered as they worked to a higher and higher pitch of emotion” (Calvary Contender, April 15, 1996). Green’s The Faithful album (1998) features two songs (“The River” and “The Great Revival”) that promote charismatic-ecumenical error. Green sings that the “river” sweeps people away and makes them “out of control,” which is precisely what happens to people who participate in Pentecostal “revivals.” In 2011, Green joined the Christian Classic Tour with Twila Paris and Michael Card. In 1996, Card produced an album (Brother to Brother) jointly with John Michael Talbot, a Roman Catholic who prays to Mary and practices yoga. In January 2015, Green was one of the headliners of the “We Will Stand” concert. The theme was unity: “CCM United: one message, many voices.” The concert featured “33 of the greatest CCM artists in history” (“We Are United,” thefishomaha.com). These included Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, the Newsboys, Don Moen, Mark Schultz, Sandi Patti, Travis Cottrell (Beth Moore’s worship leader), Steven Curtis Chapman, Steve Green, Dallas Holm, Russ Taff, The Imperials, Don Francisco, First Call, Michael Omartian, Francesca Battistelli, Kari Jobe, Jaci Velasquez, Laura Story, Petra, 4Him, Point of Grace, Carman, and Nicole Mullen. We Are United was the brainchild of Stan Moser, one of the fathers of CCM. This is Steve Green’s very dangerous crowd. Though he is more doctrinally conservative than many of the CCM artists, Green’s ecumenical philosophy and his associations are direct bridges to the treacherous waters of evangelicalism and beyond. (For more information see The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians, available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.)

AMERICANS AND THEIR BIBLES (Friday Church News Notes, April 14, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - According to the 2017 “State of the Bible” survey published by Barna Research and the American Bible Society, 87% of American households own a Bible, but only 20% claim to be “Bible Engaged.” This means they view the Bible as the inspired Word of God and they read, use, or listen to it four times a week or more. (Or course, that refers to any type of Bible and even the most casual of reading or listening habits.) Of those surveyed, another 38% describe themselves as Bible Friendly, meaning they view the Bible as the inspired Word of God but use it fewer than four times per week; 23% view themselves as Bible Neutral; 32% describe themselves as Bible Skeptics or Bible Hostile. Those are the statistics across all age groups. The percentage of younger Americans engaging with the Bible is lower. Among Millennials (born 1985-1999), 17% say they were Bible Engaged, whereas among Boomers (born 1947-1965), the percentage is 39%. The wise and blessed man is not merely “engaged” with or “friendly” toward God’s Word; he knows God personally in Jesus Christ and has a most intimate relationship with God’s holy Word. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).

SUPER-AGERS (Friday Church News Notes, April 14, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Many studies are being done on “super-agers,” people 80 or older who score as high on memory tests as those who are decades younger. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that “super-agers” lose less brain mass less quickly in the aging process compared to normal agers. The fact that some people age better than others is well known. What is new is the idea that “super-agers” might point the way to reverse aging, which is the frenzy of this foolish, unbelieving generation. Amanda Cook, the author of the recent study, said, “Super-agers suggest that age-related cognitive decline is not inevitable” (“Brains of ‘super-agers,’” Agence France-Presse, Apr. 5, 2017). Actually, they suggest no such thing, as aging and death are universal, and the most “super-duper” of the “super-agers” dies, regardless of how keen his or her memory is at that event. Some tech billionaires, including Google founder Larry Page and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, are funding research to end death. Ellison says, “Death makes me very angry,” so he created the Ellison Foundation to find a way to cheat death (“Larry Page Lists 5 Things That Google Will Conquer,” Business Insider, May 15, 2014). Having achieved remarkable things through technology and having exalted the human intellect to the place of God, these captains of the tech industry are deluded into thinking that they can cure man’s deepest moral and spiritual needs. I use and enjoy modern technology, but I don’t trust it for salvation. These men are willfully ignorant of the fact that death is the wages of sin (Romans 6:23). That awful wage includes the physical death and the “second death,” which is eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). As for super-agers, no matter how keen their memory remains into old age, they experience the painful edge of aging in other ways. They don’t see as well or hear as well or jump as high or run as fast or heal as quickly as they once did. The pains that once came and left, come and stay. The super-ager reminds me of the optimist who fell from the Empire State Building. As he passed the 50th floor, someone heard him say, “So far so good!” For the aged in Christ, God has unspeakably wonderful promises, such as my godly grandmother’s favorite: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).

ISRAELI SUPPORT OF WITHDRAWAL FROM BIBLICAL HEARTLAND PLUMMETS (Friday Church News Notes, April 14, 2017, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Number of Israelis,” BreakingIsraelNews, Apr. 7, 2017: “A new poll commissioned by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) shows a massive decline in the Israeli public’s support for a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria as part of any future peace deal. The survey, conducted by Israeli pollster Mina Tzemach, was undertaken to examine ‘the attitudes of the Jewish public in Israel on several issues regarding a peace agreement or other arrangements with the Palestinians.’ The results point to a significant decline in Israelis’ support for key conditions the Palestinians are demanding in connection with establishing a future Palestinian state. According to the survey, Israelis’ willingness to withdraw from the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria has dropped from 60 percent in 2005 to 36 percent in 2017. The vast majority of Israelis, 76 percent, stated a preference for Israel retaining full security control of Judea and Samaria, with 81 percent of respondents saying Israel should maintain full sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. The poll also shows that 79 percent of Israelis believe it’s important to maintain a unified Jerusalem under full Israeli sovereignty. Eighty-three percent said they are against transferring the Temple Mount to the Palestinians, and 71 percent said any peace agreement must be based upon Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.”

FISH-BACTERIA SYMBIOSIS (Friday Church News Notes, April 7, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) -The flashlight fish depends on colonies of luminescent bacteria that pack its light organs. The bacteria, of course, are complex microscopic creatures in their own right. “The fishes furnish the bacteria with food and a stable environment, and the bacteria obligingly serve as the fishes’ flashlights” (William Agosta, Bombardier Beetles and Fever Trees, p. 127). The fish’s two light organs are located beneath its eyes. Though the bacteria glow continuously, the fish controls the light by means of eyelid-like shutters. It uses the light to see its prey. Laboratory tests proved that the fish couldn’t locate its prey in a dark tank without its lights. It also uses its lights to communicate with other flashlight fish by means of signals. It also escapes harm by a “blink-and-run” swimming pattern. It swims with its light on establishing a swimming direction in the mind of an observer, then it blinks the light and at the same time abruptly changes direction, blinking the light again when it is in a different location, and repeating this behavior. It is confusing to a predator and makes the fish difficult to track.

Hannegraaff Joins Treek Orthodox Church
HANK HANNEGRAAFF JOINS THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH (Friday Church News Notes, April 21, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Hank Hannegraaff [pictured] , president of the Christian Research Institute and host of The Bible Answer Man radio broadcast, has left “evangelicalism” and joined the Greek Orthodox Church. On Palm Sunday, he was “chrismated” (anointed) at the Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church of Charlotte, North Carolina (Christian Post, Apr. 11, 2017). Greek Orthodoxy, a split from the Roman Catholic Church, is absolutely filled with heresy. Salvation is through the seven sacraments, beginning with baptism, which is called the new birth, followed by “holy charismation,” which is anointing by an Orthodox priest and “makes the baptized person the possessor of the Spirit.” Salvation is then fed by the “Holy Eucharist,” whereby Christ supposedly is sacrificed anew and the bread and wine becomes the actual body and blood of Christ. In Orthodoxy, Mary is “venerated” as the “ever virgin” Mother of God, “more honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious, beyond compare, than the Seraphim,” the “Panagia All-Holy,” who was “assumed body and soul into Heaven.” In Orthodoxy, tradition is equal in authority to Scripture, and prayers are spoken to the dead. All of this can be found at the website of Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church. The emphasis of Greek Orthodoxy is not faith but sight. “The church is an icon of Christ and the Body of Christ.” Christ is supposedly known and experienced through sacraments, liturgy, icons, incense, candles, bells, rituals, pilgrimages, veneration of relics, monasticism. I have visited Orthodox churches and monasteries in many countries and witnessed its gross idolatry. Converted Hindu friends, upon entering an Orthodox church, always comment that it “is just like Hinduism.” The waters of evangelicalism today are occupied by a bewildering variety of theological compromise, worldliness, and heresies. Those who use Contemporary Christian Music build bridges to these waters, and the result can be spiritual shipwreck. 

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., 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, fbns@wayoflife.org

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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