Friday Church News Notes
Volume 19, Issue 30 - July 27, 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.

Southern Baptist Convention President
J.D. Greear

NEW SOUTHERN BAPTIST PRESIDENT SHOWS THE DANGER OF EVANGELICALISM TODAY (Friday Church News Notes, July 27, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In the book What Is the Emerging Church? (2008) we warned that the emerging church is weak on the issue of homosexuality. Brian McLaren, for example, says, “Frankly, many of us don’t know what we should think about homosexuality” (“Brian McLaren on the Homosexual Question,” Jan. 23, 2006, blog.christianitytoday.com). Chris Seay says, “Approach homosexuals without condemnation but with God’s love and the gospel” (ChurchRelevance.com, June 19, 2007). This confused thinking is now front and center in the Southern Baptist Convention by the election on June 12 of J.D. Greear as President. In 2014, in a message before the ERLC [Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission] National Conference on “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage,” Greear said, “We have to love our gay neighbor more than we love our position on sexual morality … I am not saying that we would ever compromise our position or fail to state it, just that even when they disagree with it, we do not cut them off, we draw them close. We say yes, this issue is important. I cannot compromise, but I love you more than I love being right. In the cross of Jesus Christ, he shows us the right way to relate to the gay and the lesbian community—clarity about God's righteousness, compassion that would give up its own life to draw them close.” Greear’s position is incredibly misguided and unbiblical, though it is presented in a semblance of truth. It is certain that Jesus Christ loved sinners and died for sinners with a desire that sinners draw close to Him; but Jesus calls sinners to repentance and there is no “drawing close” to God without repentance. Twice in the same sermon Christ said, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Christ directly and plainly exposed the sin of the woman at the well, and she repented and drew close to God in salvation (John 4). On the other hand, Jesus exposed the sin of the rich young ruler, and he did not repent and as a result did not draw close to God (Mark 10:17-23). Greear says, “We have to love our gay neighbor more than we love our position on sexual morality,” and, “I love you more than I love being right.” But the Bible says we should love God’s Word and hate every false way (Psalm 119:128). The Bible says we should have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). Jesus was a friend of sinners, but He preached repentance to sinners and warned them of eternal hellfire (e.g., Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5). Christ never modified or softened or shortened His message in any way whatsoever in order to “draw them close.” The fundamental problem in the Southern Baptist Convention is that it is composed of churches that do not have a zeal to obey God’s Word and are thus spiritually powerless. Having grown up in Southern Baptist Churches and having wide experience of them over the past 68 years, I can say that the average SBC congregation is a mixed multitude of saved and lost and is spiritually lukewarm at the very best. The pastor is a hireling, not a prophet, and his greatest fear is offending some lukewarm member of his congregation. Serious intercessory prayer and fasting are nearly unknown. Separation from the world is considered legalism. Life-changing conversions are as rare as hen’s teeth. Consider the statistics for 2013: A full 60% of SBC churches baptized zero youth between ages of 12-17 and 80% baptized zero or just one young adult ages 18-29. But there was an explosion in the baptisms of “five and under” (Annual Church Profile, 2013). That is Baptist infant baptism, and it is the sign of a dead denomination! And most Independent Baptists today are no different in spiritual character than Southern Baptists. I am so thankful that I personally know of many churches that are different in spiritual character than what I have described and that do know and experience the resurrection power of God in regenerating power and life-changing holiness and biblical separation.

HOW LGBT THEOLOGY IS INVADING THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION (Friday Church News Notes, July 27, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Trusted SBC and PCA Seminaries Producing Sexual Minority Activists,” by Thomas Littleton, thirtypiecesofsilver.org, May 12, 2018: “As early as 2010 the ‘conversation’ and the language on sexuality of the remaining biblically conservative churches began to show signs of impending derailment. The introduction of new phrases like ‘Same Sex Attracted (SSA)’ and ‘Gay Celibate Christian’ in reality betrayed a larger undercurrent intent on migrating the Christian churches toward affirmation of gay marriage and creation of a homosexual Christianity. … We must now … face some hard facts, namely, that major institutions in the Southern Baptist Convention and Presbyterian Church of America are actually training LGBTQ activists and advocates for inclusion of sexual minorities in the churches—in ministry positions and even as ‘theologians’ of LGBTQ and Queer Theory. … In 2013, certain Southern Baptist and PCA organizations began to promote the acceptance of ‘Same-Sex Attracted’ but ‘Celibate Christians.’ This category is based on the assertion that same sex desire is not sinful in itself, but that only acting upon the desire is sin. This mindset reveals a glaring ignorance of the nature of sin and defilement as explained by Jesus, in Matthew 15:1-20, when asked why his disciples did not observe ritual washing before eating. Jesus clarified that it is ‘what is in and comes out of the heart of man that defiles us.’ Paul called homosexual lusts ‘vile affections’ in Romans 1:26. James further warns us that ‘when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death’ (Jas. 1:15). So, desire is the seed in the heart that if harbored gives birth to sin. We are told, however, in this ‘new conversation’ that SSA or homosexual desire is not temptation to lust as other heterosexual desires are but that the issue is one of ‘Orientation,’ which implies that God made a gay person to be gay and for the church to expect them to be changed by the Gospel is to reject God’s creation. Albert Mohler, whose Southern Seminary plays a major role in the ‘new conversation’ of all things LGBT+ [the plus sign is inclusive of other groups, such as “asexual, intersex, queer”], has openly apologized to homosexuals, asserting that Baptists have had it wrong on orientation and that neither ‘Conversion Therapy’ nor saving faith in Jesus changes a homosexual into a heterosexual.  Imagine, this is coming from one of the leading voices in Biblical Conservative Evangelical circles today. … Nate Collins is a graduate of Albert Mohler’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with a Master of Divinity degree and completing his Ph.D. in 2017. His father is Chip Collins former assistant Dean at Boyce College which is now operated by Southern Seminary under Al Mohler’s directive. Nate and his dad Chip had an organization featuring their testimonies as father and son during Nate’s coming ‘out’ as a homosexual at 19. .. Nate self identifies as a homosexual Christian and is in a ‘mixed-orientation marriage’ with two children. … This young man and young ‘minister’—who was theologically prepared by Dr. Mohler’s Southern Seminary—sees life, the church, the faith, his calling, and the Word of God all through the lens of his own sexuality, which he identifies as homosexuality. This is the single biggest flaw in the approach to having those with unresolved sexual conflicts to be the spokespersons and counselors to and for the church in the political and activist driven culture existing today. The Church needs clarity on God’s design and personal testimonies of deliverance from the bondage of perversion. We need to see human proof like the demoniac of Gadara who was clothed and in his right mind after encountering Jesus, and then sent forth to evangelize the cities of the Decapolis. There are many wonderful testimonies of both lay Christians and ministers who have been transformed and converted by the power of the Gospel and Repentance and Faith in Christ. Instead, Dr. Albert Mohler and Tim Keller are giving us Sexual Minorities who want to help us appease and accommodate them, so they as ‘LGBT+ Christians can Flourish within historic Christian traditions.’”

ISRAEL PASSES JEWISH STATE LAW (Friday Church News Notes, July 27, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from The Times of Israel, Jul. 19, 2018: “The Knesset overnight Wednesday-Thursday passed into law the contentious nation-state bill that for the first time enshrines Israel as ‘the national home of the Jewish people’ in its quasi-constitutional Basic Laws. Lawmakers approved the bill in its second and third readings overnight, with 62 voting in favor, 55 opposed and two abstaining, after hours of heated debate in the Knesset chamber. … Similar to a constitution, the Basic Laws underpin Israel’s legal system and are more difficult to repeal than regular laws. The nation-state bill, proponents say, puts Jewish values and democratic values on equal footing. … Upon its passage, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the new law as ‘a pivotal moment in the annals of Zionism and the State of Israel.’ He said: ‘We enshrined in law the basic principle of our existence. Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, that respects the individual rights of all its citizens. This is our state—the Jewish state. In recent years there have been some who have attempted to put this in doubt, to undercut the core of our being. Today we made it law: This is our nation, language and flag.’ The most furious protests during the debate came from Arab lawmakers.”

POOR PLUTO (Friday Church News Notes, July 27, 2018, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from CreationMoments.com, Dec. 26, 2017: “Do you feel sorry for Pluto? It isn’t a planet anymore. Of course, you might want to point out to me that this is old news. Pluto was reclassified in 2006, being downgraded to the new category of dwarf planet. Thus, the Solar System went back to being a collection of eight planets, just as it had been before the discovery of Pluto in 1930. Many people my age were brought up being taught that there were nine planets. Those of us who enjoyed astronomy as children sometimes feel that the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has taken away a good chunk of our childhood. Because of the discovery of other large Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNO), the IAU devised a new set of criteria to determine whether or not a body was a planet. Pluto (and, indeed, that other well-known TNO, Eris) fulfill all the criteria for planethood except one. It is this: It must have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit. When did Pluto fail, and Neptune succeed, in clearing their orbits of debris? Surely this process has not been observed. If the IAU’s criteria suggested merely that the body’s orbit had to be clear of debris to be described as a planet is one thing. To be able to show that the planet has actually done this is a bigger problem which requires one to know what has actually happened in the past. But no one has seen this process occur. It is a supposition, based on an old-earth framework. To be a planet or a dwarf planet requires knowledge of an evolutionary process that never actually happened. Ref: Encyclopedia Britannica, ‘Pluto dwarf-planet.’”

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.

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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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