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Friday Church News Notes
Volume 18, Issue 24 - June 16, 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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ANOTHER CONTEMPORARY CHURCH STARTED BY A WEST COAST GRADUATE (Friday Church News Notes, June 16, 2017, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - We have learned of yet another contemporary church founded by a graduate of West Coast Baptist College (Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster, California). The cool name of this cool church is Grace Gatherings, and the pastor is Todd Weaver, whose father is on staff at West Coast. Everything is very emerging at Grace Gatherings. Instead of a statement of faith, they have “Our Theology Narrative.” Instead of the Bible being infallibly inspired by God, it is an “authoritative narrative.” For salvation, there is no mention of repentance or born again, just the “the Spirit of God affirms as children of God all those who trust Jesus.” They don’t do missionary work; they do “holistic” “missional” work. They say the church’s work is to “usher in the kingdom of God.” (In this connection, it’s interesting that Lancaster sings Pentecostal Jack Hayford’s song “Majesty” with its kingdom now theology.) The church, they say, “is a global and local expression of living out the way of Jesus through love, peace, sacrifice, and healing as we embody the resurrected Christ, who lives in and through us, to a broken and hurting world.” One will look in vain in the church’s “theology narrative” for a statement on God’s eternal judgment of the unsaved in the lake of fire. There appears to be a strong element of universalism. Their “community works” projects include the New Agey Alcoholics Anonymous with its emphasis on a “higher power” rather than the God of Scripture. It sounds like Weaver has been influenced by men such as Rob Bell, Robert Webber, and Brian McLaren. But Lancaster/West Coast’s “do not criticize” philosophy doesn’t allow for church members and students to be properly educated and warned of such men and their heresies. And many bridges are built from the church and student body to evangelicalism and beyond by such things as contemporary worship music. When has Pastor Paul Chappell publicly and emphatically renounced the many contemporary West Coast graduates, including his own son Matt of Rock Hill Church, that are leading people astray around the world? For more about the emerging church see the free 55-page eBook The Emerging Church Is Coming, and for a more thorough study, see the 440-page What Is the Emerging Church? Both are available at www.wayoflife.org.

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT PROMOTES HOMOSEXUAL RIGHTS WORLDWIDE (Friday Church News Notes, June 16, 2017, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement on June 7 promoting homosexual rights worldwide. “In recognition of LGBTI Month, the Department of State affirms its solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI persons to live with dignity and freedom.” LGBTI stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex. The very concept of LGBTI is brazen rebellion against the holy Creator, who made man male and female and forbade man to have sexual relationships outside of holy matrimony, which the Bible defines as a marriage of one man and one woman. The pushing of homosexual rights by the United States government has already resulted in oppression of Bible-believing Christians, and it will escalate as the power of government is brought to bear against those who refuse to bow to its immoral stance. President Donald Trump has done nothing to stop this trend. The only thing that will hinder this apostasy is effectual intercession by individuals and churches that are on “praying ground.” (For more on this see “What Rights Others Lose When Homosexuals Gain Their Rights,” www.wayoflife.org.) “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision” (Psalm 2:1-4).

ONTARIO LAW ALLOWS GOVERNMENT TO SEIZE CHILDREN FROM PARENTS WHO OPPOSE GENDER TRANSITION (Friday Church News Notes, June 16, 2017, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Ontario Passes Law,” Christian Post, Jun. 4, 2017: “Canada’s Ontario province has passed legislation that allows the government to seize children from families that refuse to accept their child’s chosen ‘gender identity’ or ‘gender expression.’ The so-called Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act of 2017, or Bill 89, was approved by a vote of 63 to 23, according to The Christian Times. It requires child protection, foster, adoption service providers, and judges to take into account and respect a child's ‘race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.’ ‘I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently,’ Minister of Child and Family Services Michael Coteau, who introduced the bill, was quoted as saying. ‘If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.’ The bill replaces the Child and Family Services Act, or Bill 28, which governs child protection, foster care and adoption services. Bill 28 stated that the parent of a child in care retains the right ‘to direct the child's education and religious upbringing.’ However, the new law amends it thus: ‘to direct the child or young person's education and upbringing, in accordance with the child’s or young person's creed, community identity and cultural identity.’ ... Jack Fonseca, senior political strategist for Campaign Life Coalition, is quoted as saying, ‘With the passage of Bill 89, we’ve entered an era of totalitarian power by the state, such as never witnessed before in Canada’s history. Make no mistake, Bill 89 is a grave threat to Christians and all people of faith who have children, or who hope to grow their family through adoption.’”

VAST MAJORITY OF ISRAELIS OPPOSE PALESTINIAN CONTROL OF JERUSALEM (Friday Church News Notes, June 16, 2017, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - According to a new poll, 84% of Israelis opposed any “two state” solution that gives the Palestinians sovereignty over Jerusalem. “The poll, commissioned by Israel Hayom and conducted by Maagar Mochot, found that 67 percent of Israelis would oppose a peace deal granting the Palestinians partial sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem. Opposition to a peace deal rose to 84 percent if it allows the Palestinians full sovereignty over the Old City” (“Most Israelis Prefer United, Sovereign Jerusalem over Peace,” BreakingIsraeNews.com, Jun. 4, 2017).

200,000 ATTEND TEL AVIV’S GAY PRIDE PARADE (Friday Church News Notes, June 16, 2017, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The 200,000 “revelers” who participated on June 9 for Tel Aviv’s annual Gay Pride parade included 30,000 visitors from abroad. The parade is the highlight of the city’s Pride Week. Tel Aviv is ranked as the world’s “most gay-friendly city.” A representative of the mayor’s office said, “Gay tourism is one of the pillars of our economy” (“Over 200,000 attend,” The Times of Israel, Jun. 9, 2017). The theme of this year’s filthy event celebrated “bisexuality.” Ezekiel 37:1-14 describes Israel’s return to the land from her worldwide diaspora in two stages. This important prophecy is the only one that describes Israel’s return to the land before her spiritual conversion and before the establishment of Christ’s kingdom. It is a return to the land in preparation for the coming of the Antichrist and the building of the third temple as described in Daniel’s 70 Week prophecy (Da. 9:24-27). Ezekiel sees Israel as a valley of dry bones. Verse 11 gives the interpretation: “these bones are the whole house of Israel.” This has been her condition for nearly 2,000 years. She was scattered to the ends of the earth, and it appeared that she was dead and finished. Ezekiel sees Israel brought to life and restored in two stages. First, she will be brought back to the land but in a spiritually dead condition. Verse 8 says the dead bones were raised but “there was no breath in them.” Then Israel will receive the divine breath of life, as described in verses 9-10, “and the breath came into them, and they lived.” Israel will live spiritually when she is converted during the Tribulation. This is described in Zechariah 12:9-14; 13:8-9.

ISRAEL PREPARES FOR A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE (Friday Church News Notes, June 16, 2017, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Israel is conducting a series of emergency drills called “Earthquake 2017” to prepare for a major earthquake. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “There are enough earthquakes around us in all senses of the word, but we live adjacent to the Syrian-African rift, and an earthquake can hit at any moment. They already have and they undoubtedly will” (“Israel Prepares for Major Earthquake,” Israel Today, Jun. 12, 2017). The Bible describes a major earthquake that will level a tenth part of Jerusalem at the onset of the Great Tribulation. “And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13).

PLANTS HAVE “MINI-BRAINS” (Friday Church News Notes, June 16, 2017, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Scientists are learning a lot about how plants “think,” and it is fascinating research. For example, researchers have found two groups of cells inside plant embryos that operate in a way similar to the human brain to decide when the plant should sprout. “[T]he layout is similar to a human brain, with hormones moving between the two sets of cells in the same way that they do when we’re deciding whether or not to move. The team from the University of Birmingham in the UK used a math model to show that communication between the two cell groups--one promoting dormancy and one promoting germination--controls the plant’s sensitivity to its environment. When the germination cell group finally wins, the seed sprouts. ... This decision-making centre was found in the root tip of the Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) seeds studied by the researchers” (“Plant Seeds Use ‘Mini Brains’ to Decide When to Sprout,” Science Alert, Jun. 10, 2017). Though we suspect that most of the scientists involved are evolutionists, this is not because their research supports evolution; it is because they have a prior commitment to evolution that cannot be shaken even by the facts they are uncovering. The mind-boggling complexity and intelligence of plants, which scientists are only beginning to understand, is clear evidence against 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).

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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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