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Friday Church News Notes
Volume 18, Issue 37 - September 15, 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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EMERGING CHURCH PASTOR SAYS YOUNG PEOPLE NEED A CALLING, NOT RULES (Friday Church News Notes, September 15, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, says that what this generation needs is not more rules to live by, but a calling to live for (“Charlotte Pastor,” The Christian Post, Nov. 26, 2010). This is typical emerging church philosophy. In reality, what youth need is BOTH rules to live by and a call to real discipleship. In Scripture, discipleship involves keeping divine rules. The Lord Jesus instructed the churches to teach converts to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20), and those “all things” are found in the New Testament Scriptures. Consider the epistle of Ephesians. This epistle tells us that salvation is by God’s grace without works, but it also contains three chapters packed with rules for believers to live by, rules that cover every aspect of life, private, family, and work. Addicted to the pop culture, this generation has rejected rules for a “me first” lifestyle and philosophy, and the emerging church is tickling itching ears with a lusty Christianity (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Assuming an upbeat emerging stance, Furtick claims that this is “the most driven, most opportunistic, most positioned generation in history to take the gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world.” In fact, this is a generation that typically lacks the self-sacrifice, discipline, and long-term commitment to accomplish such a task, but when a young person rejects his “generation,” repenting of his love for the ungodly, vain pop culture, and becomes a true disciple of Christ, submitting himself to Christ’s rule as expressed in Scripture, he can indeed help take the gospel of Christ to this needy world. This is the objective that every church should have for its young people. What we do agree with is that young people in Bible-believing churches don’t need JUST rules, and they particularly don’t need a focus on a mere list of shallow external standards divorced from training in genuine heart-level discipleship. The essence and fundamental of the Christian life is not rules; it is Christ Himself.

FALSE CHRISTS TODAY (Friday Church News Notes, September 15, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The Bible warns of the coming of false christs. A recent report in The Telegraph (London, England) describes seven “modern-day messiahs.” These include Vissarion (Siberia) who has a following of 5-10,000 disciples in the Siberian forest; Jesus of Kitwe, a taxi driver in Zambia; Alvaro Theiss of Brazil, who calls himself Inri Christo, hears a voice in his head that he believes is God the Father, has mostly female disciples, and is transported around his compound on a really tacky rolling throne; Moses Hlongwane of South Africa; and David Shayler of England, a transvestite cross dresser. “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:4).For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24). “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John 2:18).

EFFECTS OF SMARTPHONE USE ON IGEN (Friday Church News Notes, September 15, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Dr. Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, has researched and written extensively on the selfie generation. She is the author of Generation Me and Living in the Age of Entitlement, and her most recent book, IGen, examines why today’s “super-connected kids” are “less happy and completely unprepared for adulthood.” iGen is the name of the first generation of kids to spend their entire adolescence with a smart phone. It is the generation that was born in 1995. Twenge says, “That has had ripple effects upon their behavior, their attitudes, and their mental health. Teens are spending a lot less time hanging out with their friends in person. ... That trend has been going on for awhile, but it really fell off a cliff around 2010-11, right when smart phones became very common. ... Teens who spend more time on phones are more likely to be unhappy, lonely, and have more risk factors for suicide” (“Smart phone era: Is it damaging teenagers?” BBC, Sep. 3, 2017). Twenge recommends limiting cell phone usage for young people to one hour a day or less. If the secular world can see the great danger smart phones present to young people, how much more should God’s people understand these things and take great care about protecting the youth? (For tips about smart phones and youth see The Mobile Phone and the Christian Home and Church, available from www.wayoflife.org.)

FAT STUDIES (Friday Church News Notes, September 15, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “The Fatuity of Fat Studies” by Bruce Bawer, National Review, Aug. 21, 2017: “I wrote about fat studies in my 2011 book The Victims’ Revolution, a critical survey of several academic ‘disciplines’ that fall under the general category of identity studies. Even then, fat studies was a pretty established field. To be sure, it’s nowhere near as widespread as, say, women’s studies or black studies or queer studies. But it already has its own key founding text, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight (2008) by Linda Bacon, and its own classroom anthology, The Fat Studies Reader (2009) ... Courses in fat studies have been offered by several colleges, and it’s been accepted with surprising rapidity as a legitimate area of study. Now, the basic premise of all these identity-based ‘studies’ is that the members of the groups in question are all oppressed victims. ... Fat people are victims of ‘sizeism,’ a.k.a. ‘fat oppression.’ If you’re fat, part of the oppression you experience is constantly being told that you should lose weight for the sake of your health. According to fat studies, when you suggest that a portly pal skip that second slice of cake, you’re not showing concern for his or her well-being; you’re committing a microaggression, expressing bigotry, causing emotional pain. Because--and this, believe it or not, is a central article of faith in fat studies--it’s possible to be healthy at any weight. ... but then, fat studies isn’t about facts. ... it’s about group therapy. ... Everything, in short, was someone’s else’s fault. Or capitalism’s. What it all came down to--and I’m not making this up--was a horrific phenomenon called healthism. You see, encouraging people to watch their health is ... ‘a coercive and potentially fascist act linked to capitalism, racism, and Nazi-style eugenics.’ ... In a talk given on August 3 at this year’s convention of the American Psychological Association, Joan Chrisler, who teaches psychology at Connecticut College, accused doctors of ‘fat shaming’ when they propose that their plump patients drop a few. Such conduct by physicians, charged Chrisler, is ‘mentally and physically harmful.’”

ARAB THIEVES DESTROY HONEY FARM (Friday Church News Notes, September 15, 2017, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from BreakingIsraelNews, Aug. 15, 2017: “One woman’s dream to bring to life Israel’s blessing as a land flowing with honey came crashing to the ground two weeks ago when local Arabs broke into her factory, stealing an entire season’s supply of honey. Her plight is only one example of an epidemic facing every branch of Israeli agriculture. Yael Farbstein began Dvash Kedumim, or Kedumim Honey, in Kedumim in Samaria six years ago. Her passion produced remarkable results in February when she won the prestigious annual Black Jar Honey Tasting Contest held by the Center for Honeybee Research in Asheville, North Carolina. Hundreds of honey producers from around the world competed, so Farbstein was thrilled when she won first place in the category of the International Multi-Floral Sourced Honeys. Two weeks ago Arabs broke into Farbstein’s factory. They stole precious equipment and caused damage, but worst of all, the thieves stole every last jar of honey, an entire season’s worth of labor. Nothing remained, not even the jar of prize-winning honey Farbstein had set aside as a keepsake. The loss was doubled last Sunday morning when Farbstein returned from her Sabbath rest to find that the thieves had struck again. In an act of pure destruction, they had plugged up the hives remaining in the fields, leaving the bees to die in the summer heat. ‘There is no possibility of retrieving anything,’ said Farbstein. ‘Those responsible are already sitting comfortably in areas where the Israeli authorities are not permitted to go.’ Farbstein explained that every Israeli who works in agriculture suffers from this plague. According to the Oslo Accords signed in 1995, the Israeli Police are not allowed to enter areas under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction. An Arab who steals from a Jew in Judea and Samaria is never more than a few minutes away from a politically sanctioned hideaway. ‘We worked during the day and frequently guarded at night, like the first pioneers who came to Israel, but it was still not enough,’ she said. ‘The average farmer cannot cope with this threat. Security is a huge expense.’ Not only is theft an issue, but vandalism is rampant. Farbstein related how a nearby farm recently had a barn full of hay burnt to the ground. She related that irrigation systems, miles of pipes that must remain in the field to be effective, are frequently destroyed for no reason.”

THE SQUID WITHOUT A SHADOW (Friday Church News Notes, September 15, 2017, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, September 12, 2017: “Many marine creatures reflect surrounding light. They can do so because of tiny light-reflecting platelets. Typically, these crystalline platelets are made of purine, one of the building blocks of DNA, but these particular crystals cannot change how much light they reflect. The Hawaiian bobtail squid, however, needs to be able to reflect different levels of light because of its unique lifestyle. This squid glides through moonlit waters, but without its special reflective tissue its shadow would be seen as it passes over the bottom. The bobtail squid has light generating tissue on its underside facing the bottom and this produces just sufficient light to make its shadow disappear. In other words, it can generate variable levels of light. What's more, the squid can move its light-generating platelets around so that they might be scattered among its cells or concentrated where needed. Rather than being composed of just one amino acid, this squid's platelets are made up of six amino acids. God is the source of all light, including spiritual light. According to evolution, the squid is closely related to some of the first animals that evolved in the sea. Yet, its technically sophisticated camouflage, which perfectly fits its environment and life-style is a testimony to God's wise design, not the early stages of mindless evolution. The spiritual light of God's truth makes that clear. Notes: Science News, 1/10: 2004, p. 20, A. Goho, ‘Moonlighting.’”

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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