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Friday Church News Notes
Volume 18, Issue 19 - May 12, 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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"And it's been beautiful to see over the last few years how that Catholics around the world have lifted the songs of our (Hillsong) church..."HILLSONG BOLDLY PROMOTES UNITY WITH ROME (Friday Church News Notes, May 12, 2017, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Hillsong publishes the most influential contemporary Christian music today, and Hillsong is also at the forefront of building a “one world church” through ecumenical unity. Recently the senior pastor of Hillsong Phoenix made the following statement via video: “I’m Dr. Terry Crist, the senior pastor of City of Grace [Hillsong Phoenix], and the Chair for the [Arizona] Governor’s Council of Faith and Community Partnership. And I want to congratulate Dr. Gary Kinnaman, Joe Tuscany, [Catholic] Bishop [Thomas] Olmsted, and [Catholic] Bishop [Eduardo] Nevares for their extraordinary work in bringing together Catholics and evangelicals. Something powerful happens when we rally around the person of Jesus. Our church is a member of a global family of churches called Hillsong. Our primary church is located in Sydney, Australia ... And it’s been beautiful to see over the last few years how that Catholics around the world have lifted the songs of our church and have begun singing them universally. Songs like ‘Shout to the Lord,’ ‘Mighty to Save.’ ... So many times we focus on what divides us instead of the Man who unites us. Jesus is that God-man who calls us all to Himself, and when we respond to that something transcendent happens, something that unites us, so much deeper than just mere agreement. And out of that unity comes a shared mission” (https://videos.files.wordpress.com/gp1P36St/roman-catholic-hillsong_dvd.mp4). Only an apostate would say that Jesus is pleased with unity of a mixed multitude Christianity composed of those who hold different doctrines and even different gospels. The Scripture boldly warns about the danger of false gospels, false christs, and false spirits (2 Corinthians 11:1-15). This again affirms the warning that using contemporary worship music builds dangerous bridges to the “broader church” or the “one-world church.” This is plainly forbidden by Scripture (e.g., Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Timothy 3:5). It is so very sad that so many Baptist pastors are ill informed on this issue and even sadder that they are not willing to become properly educated. Instead they are busy justifying their compromise and denigrating and blacklisting the few remaining voices of warning. These are not wise and good shepherds of God’s flocks. Please join me in praying daily and fervently for pastors to be raised up who are called of God, qualified, passionate for Christ and truth, men of scriptural vision, prayer warriors, men who will lead the churches in serious discipleship rather than entertainment, who will lead churches to be strong in God’s Word, strong in prayer, wise and careful in evangelism, men who will seek to build strong homes that can effectually discipline the children and disciple the youth.

MARIJUANA GOES MAIN STREET (Friday Church News Notes, May 12, 2017, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - “Marijuana Goes Main Street,” a Time magazine special edition report first published in 2015 and updated for 2017, deals with the status of legal marijuana in America. Like the legalization of “same-sex marriage,” the legalization of marijuana is a reflection of a dramatic change in the moral and spiritual condition of the nation. The facts are amazing and (for a marijuana critic) shocking. Since 2012, ten states have legalized recreational marijuana and others have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. (Canada is expected to legalize marijuana in 2017.) The sale of marijuana in the U.S. reached nearly $7 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow to $20 billion within five years. Venture capitalists are funding new companies, and the industry is expected to create new billionaires. Not surprisingly, the Time magazine report is written from a strong pro-marijuana bias. Critics are belittled. Skipped over lightly are proven dangers such as addiction, psychosis, marijuana as a gate-way drug, long-term, even permanent, effects on learning, cognition, and personality, bronchitis and respiratory infections, and “amotivational syndrome” (lethargy and loss of interest in achievement). We are convinced that the legalization of recreational marijuana is a foolish experiment that will have serious repercussions. The fact that marijuana use in modern culture can be traced to the lascivious world of jazz, blues, and rock & roll is warning enough for those who have ears to hear. I know this all too well, having been a drug user before I was saved, beginning with my time in Vietnam in the Army in 1970-71. After I was discharged, I was immersed in the hippy drug culture, joining many of my generation on the Beatles’ very stupid Magical Mystery Tour. Alcohol is a powerful drug, but marijuana changed my thinking more than alcohol. It is a psychoactive drug with hallucinogenic properties. It is not an innocent play thing. It can mess with the depths of a man’s soul. Not everyone has bad experiences with the drug, but a lot do. It affects people differently, but depression, intense anxiety, and paranoia are common side effects, and acute psychosis is not infrequent. It was definitely a “gateway” drug for me and for a lot of my friends. In 2013, the American Medical Association recommended against legalization, warning that “cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern. ... Heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments in neuro-cognitive performance and IQ, and use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood, and psychotic-thought disorders” (cited from Ruth Marcus, “The perils of legalized pot,” The Washington Post, Jan. 2, 2014). The rush to legalize marijuana is driven by the lascivious pop culture, the entertainment industry, an educational system devoted to moral relativism, a society that celebrates unrestrained self-expression, and the gross lack of wisdom typically reflected in mainstream media reporting. God’s command that His people be “sober” is repeated 12 times in the New Testament Epistles. It means to be in control of one’s mind and spirit so that nothing but God is in charge. “Sober” is the opposite of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or anything else. One can be drunk on music, fashion, video games, professional sports, or anything that has captured the heart. “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6). “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7). “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The speed with which so many fundamental Baptist churches are spiraling toward a contemporary stance, I predict that it won’t be long before some accept the use of alcohol and marijuana.

NORTH KOREA THREATENS ISRAEL WITH “MERCILESS, THOUSAND-FOLD PUNISHMENT” (Friday Church News Notes, May 12, 2017, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - After Israel’s Defense Minister recently called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a madman, North Korea’s response proved him right. In an interview with the Hebrew news site Walla, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman not only called Kim a madman but also said that North Korea, Iran and Syria are an “insane and radical” gang. North Korea responded that Israel is a “disturber of peace in the Middle East, occupier of the Arab territories and culprit of crimes against humanity” and threatened Israel with “merciless, thousand-fold punishment” (“North Korea Threatens Israel,” The Jerusalem Post, Apr. 29, 2017). Since the 1970s, the North Koreans have been supplying arms to Israel-hating Muslim nations in the Middle East. It supplied MIG-21 pilots to Egypt during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It was North Korea who built the plutonium nuclear reactor in Syria that was destroyed by Israeli bombers in September 2007 in Operation Orchard. At least 10 North Korean workers were killed in the strike. North Korea is also supplying Iran with military technology, including miniature submarines and missiles. North Korea has supplied arms to the PLO and Hezbollah and supported a Palestinian state. We would advise Kim Jong-un not to mess with Abraham’s seed Israel because God has said, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

ISRAEL’S DAVIDKA MORTAR (Friday Church News Notes, May 12, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In May of 1948, the fledgling nation of Israel was overwhelmingly outnumbered and short of everything necessary to win a modern war. At the beginning of the conflict which followed the United Nations Partition announcement of February 1947, only one soldier in three had a rifle of any type. The Haganah. which was organized into the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and put under control of the new nation, had begun making weapons and bullets in secret facilities long before the start of the war. One of the homemade weapons used at the beginning of the war was a mortar called the Davidka (“little David”). Though notoriously inaccurate, it was extremely loud and thus served to terrify Israel’s enemies. It whistled and shrieked in flight and exploded with a truly thunderous noise. Designed at the Mikveh Israel agriculture school near Tel Aviv by David Leibovitch, about 15 of the weapons were manufactured. The Davidka was instrumental in liberating Safed in May 9-10, 1948, when the Arabs, superior to the Jewish forces in numbers and arms and fortified in strong defenses, abandoned the town, believing that they were being attacked by an atomic bomb. They knew that Jews had helped build America’s nuclear bomb, and a rumor spread through the Arab population that Israel had built a small edition of it. Davidka mortars are on exhibit at the Israel Defense Forces History Museum (Batei HaOsef), the Givati Division House Museum (Beit Hativat Givati), near the Town Hall at Safed, and at the Davidka Square (Kikar Haherut or Freedom Square) in Jerusalem.

AN ALGA THAT FLEXES ITS MUSCLES (Friday Church News Notes, May 12, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, March 31, 2017: “A strange alga that has muscle like tissue illustrates that there are no simple life forms. Protein muscle fibers, say evolutionists, are a later and more advanced development in living things. Yet, these scientists also claim that alga are among the first of the living things to have evolved. The Mougeotia alga contains a structure that performs photosynthesis. This structure is shaped like a flat disc. Researchers found that, depending on the brightness and direction of the light, this structure is turned to control the rate at which photosynthesis takes place. Further study indicates that the structure is actually turned by protein fibers that expand and contract just like our muscles to keep everything under control! Here we have two very different structures working together. The disc like structure that carries out photosynthesis could not function very well at all without the "muscle" fiber. If the muscle fiber were to evolve without the disc like structure to control, the fiber would be useless. The individual parts of all living things work together like the individual instruments in an orchestra. They’re useless without each other. This example shows that individual structures in living things could not have evolved gradually and individually over long periods of time. They were created to work together in close harmony!” (Notes: Wagner, C., W. Haupt, and A. Laux. 1972. ‘Reversible inhibition of chloroplast movement by cytocholasin B in the green alga mougeotia.’ Science, v. 176. p. 808.)

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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