BIG DADDY WEAVE AT TRINITY BAPTIST (Friday Church News Notes, February 23, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida (Senior Pastor Tom Messer), long associated with Southwide Baptist Fellowship, has been moving into the contemporary, emerging sphere since the turn of the 21st century. Trinity exemplifies what is happening to large numbers of careless Independent Baptist congregations led by men of weak spiritual discernment. By 2005, Southwide was using music by the likes of Brenton Brown of the Vineyard U.K. and Darlene Zschech of Hillsong, and within a few years Trinity had produced its own Christian rock album. It is important to understand that a move toward contemporary worship music is not merely a change in music; it is accompanied by a change in a church’s overall philosophy toward broadminded tolerance of error and worldliness, a “positive” focus, ecumenism, and rejection of “separatism.” As evidence, by 2012, Trinity hosted a Christian rock tour featuring Roman Catholic Audrey Assad. In 1996, Southwide Baptist Fellowship, meeting at Trinity Baptist, published a statement warning against Promise Keepers and its “unholy music,” but in less than a decade, Trinity was using that very music. Most recently, in February 2018, Trinity hosted a Big Daddy Weave concert. Big Daddy Weave is a Christian rock band that promotes the ecumenical, “non-judgmental” philosophy that permeates CCM. In an interview for their 2008 album What Life Would Be Like, Big Daddy’s Mike Weaver said: “We all grew up in church. That is awesome, and I’m thankful for it, but there is also some baggage that comes with that. We grew up hearing people talk about grace, but there seemed to be an unspoken law that said, ‘but you also have to do this, this, this, this, and this.’ Nobody ever said it out loud, but I saw how people who didn't do ‘this, this, this, this, and this’ were treated. Now truly, you will know a tree by its fruit, but that’s not grace. With What Life Would Be Like we are ripping up our old expectations to get to a place where we can receive the heart of God” (“Big Daddy Weave Bio,” 94fmthefish.com, n.d.). The “grace” that Big Daddy Weave and their friends in the contemporary Christian music scene promote is not the grace of Scripture. The “grace” preached by the vast percentage of CCM musicians is not true Christian liberty; it is antinomian license. It says, “Don’t tell me how to live, where I can go, how I can dress, how long my hair can be, what music I can listen to, what kind of church I can attend, how often I must attend, whether or not I can drink.” In contrast, consider the apostle Paul’s definition of Christian grace: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, DENYING UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13). Bible grace for Christian living is a grace that denies all ungodliness and worldly lusts. That is a far-reaching standard. It means that the grace-saved, grace-living believer is extremely careful about how he lives. He knows that He is saved by the free grace of Christ that was purchased on Calvary, but he also knows that he is saved “unto good works” (Ephesians 2:8-10). In order to please the holy Lord who saved him and now owns him, he continually analyzes his lifestyle to reject anything tainted with ungodliness and worldly lusts. He is careful to “love not the world” (1 John 2:15-17). He strives to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11). A friend sent the following information this week: “Sadly, I’ve already seen a direct effect by Trinity on another Independent Baptist church. Plantation Baptist Church under Pastor Tom Hunter, Jr., had Pastor Messer speak last year at a conference. This deeply saddens me as I report this because I see firsthand what CCM and the wrong music can do to a church. Here are just a few of the songs I ran across viewing their sermon archive online. I was extremely surprised to see music (‘One Thing Remains’) from Bethel Church being performed at Plantation Baptist Church. Bethel is part of the N.A.R. (New Apostolic Reformation).”
CALVINISM OR ARMINIANISM? (Friday Church News Notes, February 23, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - “Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel” (Amos 5:6). Even as God pronounces Israel’s destruction, He continues to call her to repentance. This is a most amazing thing. God sees Israel’s destruction. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows that Israel will not turn, yet He pleads with her to turn. It appears that God somehow both lives in eternity with an eternal view and also lives in the present with a present view. How else can He repeatedly and passionately call men to repentance when He knows they will not repent? Or how can He repent that He made man when He foreknew everything that man would do (Ge. 6:5-6)? Or how can He say that He will destroy Israel and then change His mind at the pleading of a saint (Nu. 14:11-20)? Man has tried to reconcile such things in systematic theologies, but none of them are sufficient for the task. The typical doctrine of “sovereign election,” as typically defined by Reformed Theology, misses God’s genuine offer to save every sinner. This is plainly taught in Scripture, and any theology that denies the true offer of salvation to every sinner is wrongheaded. When God saved me, He gave me a Bible, not a systematic theology, and He instructed me as follows: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). I see nothing here about the authority of a John Calvin or a James Arminius. I therefore have the right before God to be a simple “Biblicist,” and that is my fervent objective.
A MAN OF SORROWS (Friday Church News Notes, February 23, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3). The following is excerpted from Alexander MacLaren’s Expositions on the Holy Scripture: “We shall not rightly estimate the sorrowfulness of Christ’s sorrows, unless we bring to our meditations on them the other thought of His joys. How great these were we can judge, when we remember that He told the disciples that by His joy remaining in them their joy would be full. As much joy then as human nature was capable of from perfect purity, filial obedience, trust, and unbroken communion with God, so much was Jesus’ permanent experience. The golden cup of His pure nature was ever full to the brim with the richest wine of joy. And that constant experience of gladness in the Father and in Himself made more painful the sorrows which He encountered, like a biting wind shrieking round Him, whenever He passed out from fellowship with God in the stillness of His soul into the contemptuous and hostile world. His spirit carrying with it the still atmosphere of the Holy Place, would feel more keenly than any other would have done the jarring tumult of the crowds, and would know a sharper pain when met with greetings in which was no kindness. Jesus was sinless, His sympathy with all sorrow was thereby rendered abnormally keen, and He made others’ griefs His own with an identification born of a sympathy which the most compassionate cannot attain. The greater the love, the greater the sorrow of the loving heart when its love is spurned. The intenser the yearning for companionship, the sharper the pang when it is repulsed. The more one longs to bless, the more one suffers when his blessings are flung off. Jesus was the most sensitive, the most sympathetic, the most loving soul that ever dwelt in flesh. He saw, as none other has ever seen, man’s miseries. He experienced, as none else has ever experienced, man’s ingratitude, and, therefore, though God, even His God, ‘anointed Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows,’ He was ‘a Man of Sorrows,’ and grief was His companion during all His life’s course.”
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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