EARLY FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE EMPLOYEES FORM COALITION TO FIGHT WHAT THEY BUILT (Friday Church News Notes, February 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Early Facebook and Google,” New York Times, Feb. 4, 2018: “A group of Silicon Valley technologists who were early employees at Facebook and Google, alarmed over the ill effects of social networks and smartphones, are banding together to challenge the companies they helped build. The cohort is creating a union of concerned experts called the Center for Humane Technology. Along with the nonprofit media watchdog group Common Sense Media, it also plans an anti-tech addiction lobbying effort and an ad campaign at 55,000 public schools in the United States. The campaign, titled The Truth About Tech, will be funded with $7 million from Common Sense and capital raised by the Center for Humane Technology. Common Sense also has $50 million in donated media and airtime from partners including Comcast and DirecTV. It will be aimed at educating students, parents and teachers about the dangers of technology, including the depression that can come from heavy use of social media. ‘We were on the inside,’ said Tristan Harris, a former in-house ethicist at Google who is heading the new group. ‘We know what the companies measure. We know how they talk, and we know how the engineering works.’ The effect of technology, especially on younger minds, has become hotly debated in recent months. ... Pediatric and mental health experts called on Facebook last week to abandon a messaging service the company had introduced for children as young as 6. Parenting groups have also sounded the alarm about YouTube Kids, a product aimed at children that sometimes features disturbing content. ... The new Center for Humane Technology includes an unprecedented alliance of former employees of some of today’s biggest tech companies. Apart from Mr. Harris, the center includes Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook operations manager; Lynn Fox, a former Apple and Google communications executive; Dave Morin, a former Facebook executive; Justin Rosenstein, who created Facebook’s Like button ... Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, told The Guardian last month that he would not let his nephew on social media.” (For practical instruction on protecting young people from evil influences, see The Mobile Phone and the Christian Home and Church, available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.)
TWENTY-NINE AND EUTHANIZED: DARK NEWS FROM THE NETHERLANDS (Friday Church News Notes, February 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “29 and Euthanized,” National Review, Andrew Walker, Jan. 31, 2018: “Recent news from the Netherlands illustrates how its euthanasia regime is among the world’s most permissive. It shows no signs of slowing down. Aurelia Browers, a 29-year-old mentally ill woman, was granted her wish and euthanized last weekend, demonstrating the slippery slope confronting those countries in which euthanasia and assisted-suicide laws are becoming ever laxer. Evidence suggests that Dutch physicians do not consistently follow the protocols intended to regulate the practice. News of Browers’ death follows grisly reports that an elderly woman with dementia was involuntarily euthanized in the Netherlands. In neighboring Belgium, laws exist that allow for children to be euthanized. Cases in the Netherlands show the most troubling reality of euthanasia laws: their widening use based on subjective criteria; Euthanasia is advertised as ‘dignified death’ for those suffering from a terminal illness. But the euthanizing of a young woman on grounds that she suffered from a mental illness shows the false advertising of the ‘death with dignity’ movement. ... Where the practice is prohibited, advocates are quick to highlight stories of bone-jarringly sad situations of patients with perhaps a neurological cancer slowly crippling their cognitive and physical abilities. ... Euthanasia advocates are less forthcoming in admitting how euthanasia laws end up loosening over time and how once-strict controls with respect to the conditions and ages of patients eligible for euthanasia inevitably broaden.”
100% TRUST (Friday Church News Notes, February 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The Bible says that saving faith is to trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour “with all thine heart” (Acts 8:37). It is to be “sure” (John 6:69). It is a 100% faith. This was demonstrated in a dramatic way on August 17, 1859, at the world famous Niagara Falls. A three-inch thick rope was stretched 1,100 feet across the Niagara Gorge on the border of America and Canada, and tightrope walker Charles Blondin prepared to make the dangerous crossing, 160 feet above the swirling waters. He had done it several times before: blindfolded, pushing a wheelbarrow, somersaulting and backflipping, standing on stilts, at night, using locomotive headlights to illumine the rope. Once he carried a metal stove on his back, set it up over the middle of the river, cooked an omelet, then lowered it down to passengers on the deck of the Maid of the Mist. But this time, Harry Colcord was going to cling to the Blondin’s back. Before starting the venture, Blondin said, “Look up, Harry.… you are no longer Colcord, you are Blondin. Until I clear this place be a part of me, mind, body, and soul. If I sway, sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself” (“The Daredevil of Niagara Falls,” Smithsonian.com, Oct. 18, 2011). Colcord was confident in Blondin’s skill. He had solid evidence that the man could do what he promised. So he yielded himself 100% to Blondin and got a free ride across the river without contributing one iota of effort to the task. That’s saving faith. It is rejecting all self-reliance and relying 100% on Christ and His atoning work to make me right with God. “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:13).
MUSIC: A GIFT OF GOD (Friday Church News Notes, February 9, 2018, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Jonathan O’Brien, Creation Ministries, Feb. 6, 2018: “Scientists recently discovered that our brains are made for music--that a deep musical appreciation is a foundational aspect of being human (Music on the Brain, Australian Broadcasting Network’s Catalyst). Why do we have this special relationship with music, yet apes and other large-brained ‘higher’ animals don’t make, or even desire, music as we do? Like speaking and writing in grammatical language, music is a peculiar and distinctive trait of human beings only. Where did this mysterious habit and liking of ours come from? ... Interestingly, music appreciation appears to be embedded or wired into nearly all regions of the brain. The scientists found that music seems to be tied in closely with love and relationships--that there is a clear, powerful physiological effect of music on social bonding. They concluded that music is so important to our brain’s physical makeup that it is an indispensable part of what makes us human. ... Harmony and melody both involve unchanging scientific and mathematical laws, thus written into the very fabric of the universe--but it is only human beings that are capable of caring that this is so. ... Darwinism, being a materialist philosophy and not a science, is powerless to explain the meaning of music. Music is capable of overwhelming us with emotion because it is linked with our spiritual side, and is good evidence for the existence of the soul. ... Many people, of all backgrounds and beliefs, have spoken of music’s ‘soul.’ ... Vishal Mangalwadi noted, ‘Denying the reality of a spiritual core as the essence of every human being makes it hard to make sense of music, because music, like morality, is a matter of the soul.’ ... The human body is as if made for music. As bipedal, upright creatures, our hands are freed for skilful and creative work—a desire for which is driven by our minds and hearts. We play difficult instruments such as the violin, guitar and piano, compose complex music, and sing, because our brains and our personalities strive for expression in this spiritual format of music. Our hands are miracles of design, perfectly engineered for the finest movements and most sensitive of touches, and are marvels of ‘ingenuity, flexibility and mobility’ ... Our ear is also an expertly-designed precision instrument for receiving and transmitting musical sounds. ... We also have vocal cords that are capable of the best musical tones imaginable. ... It’s plain for all who care to see it that music is physically and spiritually part of God’s wonderful design for the creation.”
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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