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Friday Church News Notes
Volume 18, Issue 20 - May 19, 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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sologamy
SOLOGAMY: SELF-MARRIAGE (Friday Church News Notes, May 19, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Sologamy or self-marriage, the most extreme example of self-love in an age of self-love, has been growing over the past few years. Sologamy began about 15 years ago in California and has spread across America and to other nations. The practice, which so far has no legal recognition, can be strictly private or it can feature a full-blown wedding ceremony. One of the major promoters of sologamy is Sasha Cagen, a self-esteem life coach and author of Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics (2004). The website IMarriedMe.com features self-wedding planning kits, including self-wedding rings that are worn “to remind you every day to love yourself.” A Canadian company, Marry Yourself Vancouver, offers consulting and photography. Sologamist Erika Anderson, who wore a white wedding gown when she married herself before family and friends, was interviewed recently by WUSA9 of Washington D.C. She said, “I would describe it as women saying yes to themselves. It means that we are enough, even if we are not partnered with someone else” (“People are marrying themselves,” WUSA9, May 12, 2017). Sologamy is not limited to feminists. In 2007, Liu Ye married himself in a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony in Guanzhou attended by 100 guests. His “bride” was a cutout photo of himself wearing a red bridal gown (“Chinese Man Marries Himself,” Digital Journal, Jan. 29, 2007). The media reported that “a psychologist described the groom/bride as abnormal.” Indeed. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves...” (2 Timothy 3:1-2).

TEACHER GETS JOB BACK AFTER BEING FIRED FOR GIVING AWAY A BIBLE (Friday Church News Notes, May 19, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Todd Starnes, “Teacher fired for giving student a Bible gets job back,” Fox News Opinion, May 12, 2017: “It was way back in 2014 when I first introduced you to Walt Tutka, of Phillipsburg, New Jersey and a member of Gideon's International. ... Mr. Tutka also happened to be a substitute teacher in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. But he was fired from that job after he gave a student a Bible.  The student happened to be the last person entering through a door. Mr. Tutka told the youngster, ‘The first shall be last, but the last shall be first.’ The student later inquired on several occasions about the origins of the quote. Tutka showed the student the verse in his Bible, which led to the student asking for a personal copy of the Bible. And being a good Gideon, Mr. Tutka gladly supplied the child with a copy. It did not seem to matter to the school district that the student had asked for a copy of the Good Book. First Liberty Institute took on Mr. Tutka’s case--and eventually scored a victory with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They agreed that the school district had discriminated against Mr. Tutka on the ‘basis of religion and retaliation.’ And on the eve of First Liberty’s deadline to file a federal lawsuit, the school district agreed to a settlement. That means Mr. Tutka can once again become a substitute teacher--effective today.”

CHINA’S NEW SILK ROAD (Friday Church News Notes, May 19, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Since 2013, China has been pushing a New Silk Road project that will increase its trade with the Middle East, Europe, and elsewhere. The plan spans 65 countries across four continents and features billions of dollars in layout for new infrastructure, including shipping ports and railroads. It is being called a new “golden age” of globalisation, but it is more like a ramping up of the global economy that has been building since the turn of the 20th century. Early this week, Chinese president Xi Jinping led a two-day “Belt and Road” summit attended by 29 heads of state, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Erdogan. Xi announced that China is pledging $125 billion for new infrastructure. He called for “openness” and friendly trade, but communist China has not been known for either trait, and this reality is not lost on many nations. Of the G7 (USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and Japan), only Italy attended Xi’s summit. “Privately, western diplomats voice concerns about China’s true intentions and how much involvement non-Chinese companies will be allowed to have in Belt and Road projects” (“China’s Xi lays out $900bn Silk Road vision amid claims of empire-building,” The Guardian, May 14, 2017). India, too, is strongly opposed to China’s plan, calling it a “colonial enterprise” that will infringe on other countries’ sovereignty. The modern global economy is a sign of the times, prophetically, helping set the stage for a one-world government, one-world culture, and one-world “church.” And it could be part of the preparation for the kings of the east to meet their Waterloo at the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:12).

ATTITUDES TOWARD JESUS CHANGING AMONG INFLUENTIAL JEWS (Friday Church News Notes, May 19, 2017, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The May 2017 issue of Israel Today features a report (“Influential Israelis Speak about Jesus”) describing a change in attitude about Jesus among influential Jews. The article begins with these words, “For nearly 2,000 years, Jews have unwaveringly rejected Jesus, often with deep loathing. But over the last 50 years, since the Six Day War in 1967 and the restoration of Jerusalem to the Jewish people, attitudes toward Jesus are changing dramatically.” Two examples are given. The first is Yochi Brades, the daughter of prominent Hassidic Rabbi Yitzhak Rabinovitz, a scholar in her own right trained in ultra-Orthodox schools, and the author of widely used courses on Jewish thought and bestselling novels. She admits that she was taught to call Jesus “Yeshu,” meaning, “May his name and memory be blotted out,” which reflects the historic position of rabbinic Judaism dating back to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. But now she says, “I love Yeshua. My study on the 1st century origins of Christianity led me to understand that he is not responsible for the persecutions and anti-Semitism Christians committed in his name against the Jews. Yeshua lived as a Jew and died a Jew. A good Jew. A faithful Jew. A righteous Jew who followed God’s laws.” The other testimony is from Amnon Rubinstein, former Dean of the Law Faculty of Tel Aviv University, founder of the Shinui political party, former Minister of Education, and 2006 recipient of the Israel Prize. Rubinstein says, “Yeshua said, ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law.’ The historical Yeshua did not take one thing away from Judaism; he only added to Judaism his vision concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. If he would be resurrected in our days, Yeshua would prefer to pray in a small synagogue and not in one of the magnificent cathedrals built in his name.” It is obvious that these individuals haven’t gotten their views of Jesus from the New Testament but from modernistic “Jesus scholars” who have slathered the New Testament as deeply with their own tradition as Jewish rabbis have slathered the Old Testament. It is correct to say that Jesus did not found the Christianity that has become a major world religion and that Jesus is not the author of anti-Semitism. In fact, he warned that false teachers would arise and teach lies in his name. He warned that multitudes of Christians who would profess his name would be false (Matthew 7:21-23). The church that Jesus founded, which is described in the pages of the New Testament, is a simple assembly of believers with no elaborate ritual or grand cathedrals, and unlike Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants, true churches of Christ have never persecuted anyone, including Jews. But Jesus was not merely a great and righteous Jew. He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, and He proved that claim by fulfilling Messianic prophecy and rising from the dead. Jesus was not crucified for being a good Jew and a lover of Mosaic law. He was crucified for claiming to be the Son of God. We would strongly advise Jewish people to study the New Testament for themselves. Read it carefully and prayerfully, seeking the truth from God. “When the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (John 10:31-33).

GOD THE FATHER (Friday Church News Notes, May 19, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The doctrine of God as Trinity is so simple at one level, that even a child can understand it, and so complicated at another, that the greatest saint remains in intellectual awe. The concept of God as Father and Son is not difficult to understand at a fundamental, practical level, and it is a beautiful thing. God as Father means that He loves and cares for His creation and desires to redeem it. God as Father planned and instigated redemption. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father” (Gal. 1:3-4). “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Eph. 2:4-5). “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. 1:12-13). “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1). “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14).

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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