BENEVOLENCE IN HOUSTON (Friday Church News Notes, September 8, 2017, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - American catastrophes typically bring out a deluge of humanitarian care, and this was evident following Hurricane Harvey. Even after the deleterious efforts of nearly a century of socialism, most Americans don’t sit back and wait for the government to act. They roll up their sleeves, open their purses, and pitch in to do whatever needs to be done. In Houston, neighbor helped neighbor, and strangers flocked from far and wide to help. There was the Cajun Navy, for example, consisting of more than 1,500 volunteers from neighboring Louisiana who brought roughly 800 private boats to assist in the rescue effort and transport desperately needed supplies. Thousands of other volunteers came from as far away as America’s east and west coasts, 1500 miles distant. A mobile phone drying company from Denver packed a truck with supplies and drove one thousand miles to offer free services. A man from south Florida packed a truck full of supplies donated by friends and drove all night to rush the aid to those who needed it. No one told them to go; no one paid them; they went at their own cost. Americans have already pledged billions of dollars to assist in the relief effort, including $1 million from President Trump. America’s benevolence is so great and so prominent that it has been called the “Benevolent Empire.” Who can deny that this is the influence of the Bible? The Bible teaches love for one’s neighbor. It teaches people to “do good” (Galatians 6:10), and America, taken as a whole, has been a great “do gooder” nation. America’s benevolence was evident from its inception. Its founders were not seeking great power and wealth for themselves. They were willing to sacrifice their wealth and their very lives for the establishment of America as a free nation, and some of them made that ultimate sacrifice. George Washington served for eight years as America’s Commander-in-Chief without pay, and as president he borrowed personally to pay the expenses of office that weren’t covered by his salary. America’s benevolence has been so broad and so large, reaching from the individual and local level to the state, regional, and national, that it can never be quantified. America has helped the needy and downtrodden and oppressed more than any other nation. Americans help one another. Historically, Americans helped one another clear land, build houses and barns, and gather in crops. Americans continue to rally in support of all sorts of community and charitable causes. They construct churches, build parks, clean neighborhoods, repair sidewalks, man fire departments (more than 70% of firemen in the U.S. are volunteers), collect food and clothing for the needy, operate shelters for the homeless. They run errands for shut-ins, donate blood, preserve historical landmarks, operate libraries, 4-H clubs, scout troops, youth sports teams. The spirit of volunteerism extends far beyond America’s shores. Americans have established international humanitarian organizations such as the YMCA, American Red Cross, United Way, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, and Lions Club. Generations of Americans have volunteered for missionary work, the Peace Corp, and countless other aid projects. In contrast, China, which has the world’s second largest economy, is one of the least generous nations. A recent report observed, “... conscious, voluntary action for the public good has not yet become an integral part of people’s lives. Unlike gambling, giving does not seem to be in Chinese genes” (“Why Has Philanthropy Failed to Take off in China?” Forbes, May 30, 2014). In a study in 2010, China ranked 147 out of 153 countries in charitable giving, and the Chinese were found to be “the least likely on the planet to volunteer” (“Charitable giving by country: who is the most generous,” The Guardian, Sep. 8, 2010). The previously cited Forbes article asks, “Why Has Philanthropy Failed to Take off in China?” The answer is that China is not built on the Bible. It is built on pagan religion and more recently, Maoism, combined today with the frenzy for pursuing wealth at any cost. These influences do not create a spirit of charity. Sadly, in recent times socialism, government welfare, and the encouragement of a victim mentality have constrained the spirit of volunteerism and charity in some American communities, particularly inner cities, and has taught the people to look to the government for everything, complain about everything, and blame others instead of taking care of themselves. As a result, these communities have deteriorated and the sense of civic pride and public contribution has weakened.
CHURCH FOUNDED BY LANCASTER MOVING INTO DANGEROUS WATERS (Friday Church News Notes, September 8, 2017, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The use of contemporary worship music is a bridge to the most dangerous waters of end-time apostasy, and we see the evidence of this on every hand. (See the free eBook The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians for extensive evidence, available from www.wayoflife.org.) A recent case to come to our attention is Los Angeles Baptist Church of Los Angeles, California. The church’s web site under “Our History” says it was founded at the direction of Paul Chappell, pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church and head of West Coast Baptist College. Los Angeles Baptist has followed Lancaster’s example of despising “warnings” and thus being ignorant of many important issues facing God’s people today. It has also followed Lancaster’s example of using “adapted” contemporary worship music. Last year, the pastor’s daughter, who graduated from West Coast with a BA in missions, raised nearly $18,000 to join World Race on an 11-month backpacking “missions trip” in multiple countries. The backpacking teams are called “squads.” The endeavor was promoted by her pastor father. She told the congregation that while working on a presentation for the church’s mission day, World Race caught her attention and she felt that God was calling her to this. It should be obvious, though, that the voice she heard is not God’s. World Race is extremely ecumenical. Its belief statement says, “We emphasize interdenominationalism and unity of the body of Christ, as such we are ministers of reconciliation. We seek to bring pastors and churches together in ministry.” Thus, World Race squads are seen as instruments for ecumenical unity. Christian rock music is at the heart of World Race. It is also committed to contemplative prayer. (See the free eBook Evangelicals and Contemplative Prayer, www.wayoflife.org.) The emphasis is more on “kingdom building” than preaching the gospel. In fact, the gospel is not mentioned in World Race’s belief statement. There is also no mention of repentance, the imminent return of Christ, biblical separation, end-time apostasy, defense of the faith, and other teachings of Scripture that are essential to the times in which we live. There are no warnings of such things as Roman Catholicism, theological liberalism, Pentecostalism, Charismaticism, and the deep compromise of evangelicalism. Because of its ecumenical, positivist, “judge not” philosophy, World Race is a bridge to anything and everything. It’s one thing for a pastor’s child to depart from what he or she has been taught; it is quite another thing for a pastor to support and promote a child that has gone in an unscriptural direction.
THE SMOKESCREEN OF CARBON POLLUTION (Friday Church News Notes, September 8, 2017, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, July 11, 2016: “To environmental alarmists, carbon dioxide is a pollutant and its existence in Earth’s atmosphere is one of the greatest threats facing our planet today. But if plants could talk, they’d tell you a totally different story. To plants, carbon dioxide is food, and right now they are begging for more! According to Mike Adams, editor of NaturalNews.com, ‘CO2 is desperately needed by food crops, and right now there is a severe shortage of CO2 on the planet compared to what would be optimum for plants.’ He also notes that ‘greenhouse operators are actually buying carbon dioxide and injecting it into their greenhouses in order to maximize plant growth.’ The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food supports this position when it says, ‘CO2 increases productivity through improved plant growth and vigour … earlier flowering, higher fruit yields … improved stem strength and flower size.’ To keep carbon dioxide from being viewed in a positive light, environmental alarmists often shorten ‘carbon dioxide’ to just ‘carbon.’ Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, founder of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, writes, ‘By calling carbon dioxide carbon, the alarmists fool people. They raise specters of black soot that’s truly dangerous to health. Then they speak of a carbon tax, or carbon footprint, or reducing carbon emissions or carbon pollution.’ If anything, our planet would be a whole lot greener if we put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And the plants would breathe easier, too!”
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.
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