Friday Church News Notes
Volume 19, Issue 23 - June 8, 2018
Graphical Edition
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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SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH CHRISTIAN BAKER (Friday Church News Notes, June 8, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Christian Headlines, Jun. 4, 2018: “The U.S. Supreme Court handed religious liberty advocates a major victory Monday when it sided with a Christian baker who refused to design a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage. In a 7-2 ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission demonstrated hostility toward religion and violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty when it ordered the baker, Jack Phillips, to design wedding cakes for same-sex couples. Phillips owns a Colorado bakery, Masterpiece Cakeshop. ‘The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection,’ Kennedy wrote. ‘… The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.’ Religious liberty groups applauded the ruling. ‘Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs,’ said Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Kristen Waggoner, who defended Phillips before the Supreme Court. ‘Creative professionals who serve all people should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment.’ Waggoner added, ‘Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a society like ours. This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage.’ In a conference call with media members, Waggoner disagreed with other legal experts who were calling the ruling ‘narrow.’ ‘This case will affect a number of cases for years to come,’ she said.”

MEGACHURCH PASTOR SAYS JESUS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO GOD (Friday Church News Notes, June 8, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Why Jesus Is No Longer the Only Way for Many American Christians,” Christian Post, May 19, 2018: “Just over two months ago, as winter landed its final blows of snow in New York City, Michael A. Walrond Jr., of Harlem’s 10,000-member First Corinthian Baptist Church landed an ideological blow of his own in traditional Christendom. Walrond, who was named ‘One of the Lord's Foot Soldiers’ by Newsweek magazine, told his congregants that the belief that anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus is going to hell is ‘insanity.’ ... People take many paths to God, he argued, noting that he personally celebrates the paths others take in finding Him--even if that path does not involve faith in Jesus. ‘And so the key is you believe in God. And whatever your path is to God I celebrate that. Personally, I celebrate that,’ Walrond said. The New York City preacher’s message drew criticism in traditional Christian circles. Bishop Robert E. Smith, Sr., founder of Total Outreach for Christ Ministries, said, ‘The preacher on this video is both right and wrong: he’s right in that all roads do lead to God; but this God is both love and a consuming fire. If you meet Him on the Christ road of His love, you live, but any other road, be it religion, philosophy, or a miscalculation of the Person of Christ, the lake of fire is waiting!’ While Walrond’s openness as a Christian to the idea that there are many paths to God beyond Christianity may have been shocking to some, new research shows a widespread departure among Christians from traditional Bible teaching such as Jesus being the only way to God.” “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

ENGLAND’S TOP FAMILY JUDGE APPLAUDS END OF THE TRADITIONAL FAMILY (Friday Church News Notes, June 8, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of England’s High Court of Justice, says society should “welcome and applaud” the collapse of the traditional family. At a lecture at the University of Liverpool, Munby said, “In contemporary Britain the family takes an almost infinite variety of forms. Many marry according to the rites of non-Christian faiths. People live together as couples, married or not, and with partners who may not always be of the other sex. Children live in households where their parents may be married or unmarried. They may be brought up by a single parent, by two parents or even by three parents. Their parents may or may not be their natural parents. They may be children of parents with very different religious, ethnic or national backgrounds, [and they] may be the children of polygamous marriages. ... This, I stress, is not merely the reality; it is, I believe, a reality which we should welcome and applaud” (“England’s Top Family Judge,” Breitbart.com, Jun. 3, 2018). This reminds us of what the prophet Isaiah said 2,700 years ago: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isa 5:20-21).

CALIFORNIA BANS TRAVEL TO NINE U.S. STATES (Friday Church News Notes, June 8, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The government of California, which has lost its mind in the pursuit of homosexual rights, has banned state-funded and state-sponsored travel to nine other U.S. states. The latest target is Oklahoma, because of its new legislation allowing private adoption agencies to deny same-sex couples from their adoption services “on the basis of religious or moral convictions or policies” (“California Bans,” USA Today, Jun. 4, 2018). A 2017 California law requires a travel ban to states that have legislation that “discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” California Attorney General Xavier Becarra, who is strictly enforcing the ban, said, “California taxpayers are taking a stand against bigotry and in support of those who would be harmed by this prejudiced policy.” He cares nothing, of course, for those whose rights are destroyed by the homosexual agenda. Other states targeted by the California travel ban are Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT PAINTS GRIM PICTURE OF RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN NORTH KOREA (Friday Church News Notes, June 8, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Report: ‘Praying, Singing Hymns, and Reading the Bible’ Can Lead to Prison Camp,” CNSNews.com, May 30, 2018: “Weeks before President Trump is expected to meet with Kim Jong Un, a State Department report issued Tuesday painted a grim picture of religious freedom abuses at the hands of the Stalinist regime--including ‘executions, torture, beatings, and arrests’ of people of faith. The report said that some of the up to 120,000 North Koreans being held in prison camps ‘under horrific conditions’ were incarcerated for religious reasons. It cited North Korean defectors and international non-governmental organizations as reporting that ‘any religious activities conducted outside of those that were state-sanctioned, including praying, singing hymns, and reading the Bible, could lead to severe punishment, including imprisonment in political prison camps.’ A South Korean NGO had recorded 1,304 cases of religious freedom violations carried out by North Korean authorities during the year in review, including 119 killings and 87 disappearances. Detentions accounted for another 770 of the incidents. ... ‘An estimated 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners, some imprisoned for religious reasons, were believed to be held in the political prison camp system in remote areas under horrific conditions.’ It cited a religious freedom advocacy group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, as saying the regime often applies a policy of ‘guilt by association,’ targeting not just Christians but detaining their relatives as well, irrespective of their own beliefs. The envisaged Trump-Kim summit in Singapore is focused on the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs and related security concerns. But rights campaigners are urging the president to put human rights on the agenda too. ... State Department ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom Sam Brownback said, ‘The president is right on point on North Korea. He’s very engaged on this, as you know. The Secretary [of State Mike Pompeo] is very engaged on this. And I think they’re raising all of these issues,’ he said. ... Brownback recalled that during his days in the Senate--he was a Republican senator from Kansas from 1996-2011 before serving as governor of Kansas--he raised concerns about North Korea, ‘but you couldn’t get anybody to act.’ ‘Well, this president is acting and he’s taking this issue on, even though it’s threatened us for years, if not decades.’”

DNA RESEARCH POKING HOLES IN DARWIN (Friday Church News Notes, June 8, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “When your DNA research pokes holes in Darwin,” OneNewsNow.com, May 31, 2018: “Researchers are announcing they have made a game-changing discovery in evolutionary biology and it could bring science one step closer to biblical truth. According to the researchers, an American and a Swiss scientist, their study of DNA suggests that 100,000 animals first appeared at roughly the same time--not gradually over millions of years. Likely realizing how that damages the evolutionary model, one of the scientists publicly stated they were hesitant to release their findings. ‘There's a great danger to the evolutionary model in this study in ways they don’t quite realize yet,’ comments Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, a research biologist for Answers in Genesis. Jeanson, who holds a PhD in cell development from Harvard, tells OneNewsNow that it’s true the researchers concluded that animals and humans arrived on earth at roughly the same time. The same study, he says, also found there is no cross-over species. A robin may evolve into a better robin, for example, but it didn’t become a lizard. The researchers aren’t admitting that Genesis 1:1 is true, of course, and the May 28 story headline describes ‘new facets of evolution’ in a study published in a journal entitled Human Evolution. But the story describes the ‘startling result’ that nine out of 10 species on earth today, including humans, ‘came into being’ 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. ... ‘The conclusion is very surprising,’ one of the researchers said, ‘and I fought against it as hard as I could.’”

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).

IRELAND VOTES TO OVERTURN BAN ON ABORTIONS (Friday Church News Notes, June 1, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In a referendum, voters in Ireland overwhelming supported repeal of a constitutional ban on abortions. Sixty-six percent favored the repeal. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said, “The people have spoken. The people have said that we want a modern constitution for a modern country, that we trust women and we respect them to make the right decision and the right choices about their health care” (“Big Win for Abortion Rights in Ireland,” Newsmax, May 26, 2018). In fact, abortion is not strictly a “health care” issue. In most cases, it is about the life of a baby rather than the health of a mother. This age of “people’s power” is prophesied in Scripture, when the nations will shake their fists at God and His Christ and call for the “cords” of His holy laws to be removed from their lives. God will have the last word when He puts Christ on the throne of this world. “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. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion ... Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:1-6, 10-12).

CHINA’S NEW SILK ROAD (Friday Church News Notes, June 1, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - China has experienced mind-boggling development in the past few decades and is spending more annually on infrastructure than the United States and Western Europe combined. For example, 10 years ago China had no high speed trains, but today it has the world’s largest and fastest high speed train system. In fact, it has more high speed trains (12,000 miles) than the rest of the world combined, and it is on target to have 24,000 miles by 2025. The electric trains, traveling up to 350 mph, feature stewardesses and many comfort services. These trains, and new multi-billion-dollar highway systems, are connecting China’s far-flung mega cities, many of which are springing up newly formed in a matter of a few brief years. China aims to connect its new national transportation systems to five international railway systems that will imitate the old Silk Road (called Belt and Road). Its new rail hub in Khorgos in western China near Kazakhstan, costing $2 billion, already connects with cities across western Europe as far as London. It is intended to become the world’s largest inland port. Another highway system is envisioned to connect with Europe by a southern route crossing India and the Middle East. And another is proposed to travel north through Russia and crossing the Bering Strait to Alaska by the world’s longest underwater tunnel and then connecting to Canada and the continental United States. China is also renovating its sea-faring trade routes, including massive investment in a 10.5 square mile deep-water port 19 miles off the Shanghai coast. Though only a few years old and largely reclaimed from the sea (with 460 billion cubit feet of mud dredged from the sea bed), Yangshan has become the world’s busiest container port and is being prepared to be operated autonomously by artificial intelligence. Biblically and prophetically, what does this mean? China’s government control combined with socially invasive technology and antagonism toward Christianity is a preparation for and a little foretaste of the Antichrist’s kingdom. Also, China’s new transportation system will doubtless facilitate the movement of armies in the Tribulation. China’s leaders have long-range plans to control world commerce, but time is short and, like Israel, they are unwittingly preparing for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the rise of the Man of Sin. “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12). (The facts in this report are gleaned from the documentary Future China 2049 - China on the Move.)

SEEKING GREAT THINGS FOR ONESELF (Friday Church News Notes, June 1, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - “And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not...” (Jeremiah 45:5). Jeremiah’s scribe Baruch was of a prominent family. His grandfather Maaseiah was governor of Jerusalem in Josiah’s day (2 Ch. 34:8). Baruch grew up among self-seekers, but it is never wise to seek great things for oneself. The purpose of life is to love God and glorify Him and do His perfect will. To be rich is not wrong, if the riches are from God and are used wisely in God’s will, but to seek to be rich is wrong. Compare 1 Ti. 6:9 with 6:17. If God gives a man a great name, as he did to Abraham and David, that is wonderful, but those men did not seek a great name; they sought the glory of God, not their own glory. When God promised David an eternal house and throne, David responded by glorifying the greatness of God (2 Sa. 7:18-22). Jeremiah did not seek great things for himself, and in his day his name was mocked and hated by his own nation, but God has given him an everlasting name and inheritance. It is wise to leave “greatness” in God’s hands!

GREEN BLOOD, BLUE BLOOD, CLEAR BLOOD, YELLOW BLOOD, PURPLE BLOOD (Friday Church News Notes, June 1, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The great Creator made a bewildering variety of creatures with all sorts of life systems to fit their divine purpose and environment. Most animals with bones have RED BLOOD cells composed of hemoglobin, a biomolecule containing iron that binds with oxygen and is responsible for the red color. The cells are like little sacks of hemoglobin. New ones are manufactured in the bone marrow at the rate of about 2.4 million per second! They circulate through the body about once per minute for 100-120 days, performing their amazing, life-giving work of transporting oxygen from the lungs, then their components are efficiently recycled. The red blood cell is perfectly designed by shape to squeeze through the body’s tiny capillaries. The horseshoe crab, some mollusks, octopuses and squid have BLUE BLOOD due to the fact that their blood uses a different protein, hemocyanin, to bind oxygen. It uses an atom of copper, rather than of iron, for the process, which turns blue when oxygenated. The Prasinohaema skink, a lizard in New Guinea, has GREEN BLOOD. The green color comes from a poison called biliverdin, which is a bi-product of the recycling of red blood cells. Biliverdin, therefore, exists in humans, but the liver filters it out. In case of liver failure, even trace amounts of biliverdin causes jaundice. The amount of biliverdin in the New Guinea lizards would be fatal to a human, but the little lizards thrive on their toxic green blood. The ocellated icefish has CLEAR BLOOD. This odd little fish, which has no scales, lives at a depth of one kilometer (.62 miles) in the cold sea off Antarctica. Scientists don’t know how the fish survives without hemoglobin, but they speculate that its “unusually large heart might help move oxygen through its body using blood plasma instead of hemoglobin” (“Why Does This Fish Have Gin-Clear Blood?” Live Science, Apr. 5, 2013). Many insects have YELLOW BLOOD. The blood carries nutrients and hormones to their cells, but it doesn’t transport oxygen and doesn’t need hemoglobin. The oxygen is transported by a system of tubes directly between the outside air and the cells. The yellow (or green) color of insect blood comes from the pigments of the plants it eats (“Why Is Insect Blood Green or Yellow?” May 30, 2013, IndianaPublicMedia.org). In the sea squirt and sea cucumber, the yellow blood is caused by the concentration of the chemical vanabin. Sea squirts and brachiopods and some types of marine worms have PURPLE BLOOD due to the protein hemerytherin, that transports oxygen instead of hemoglobin. Because of the translucent skin of the peanut worm, its purple blood can be seen without cutting them open. While the evolutionary scientist tries in vain to figure out how such things evolved, the Bible believer sees the handiwork of an Almighty God.

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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