VIDEO GAMES AND ADDICTION (Friday Church News Notes, September 28, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - Online multiplayer video games have a great potential for addiction. It has been estimated that about 10% of gamers worldwide are addicts. At least 10 gamers have died of cardiopulmonary-related symptoms at Internet cafes after marathon sessions. One poisoned his parents for placing a curfew on his gaming (“Gaming Addiction a Serious Problem in Asia,” Mar. 7, 2014, www.thecabinchiangmai.com). A married couple left their three-month-old daughter to die while they played online games. Gamers have committed violent acts, even murder, as revenge for “the murder of a player’s online identity.” In some Asian countries, gaming addiction is considered a major public health problem. In South Korea, the average child between the ages of 10-18 spends more than 20 hours a week playing video games online. The government has implemented a curfew at cyber cafes for those under 18 and set up treatment programs. The China internet giant Tencent set daily limits on the time that users can play the game King of Glory. Some of the most addictive games in 2015 were Madden, Dota 2, Grand Theft Auto, Tetris, Candy Crush Saga (the company is valued at $7.5 billion), Minecraft, EverQuest (called “never rest” and “ever crack” because of its addictive power), The Sims (player has omnipotent control over people), World of Warcraft (called World of War Crack), Call of Duty (the last two are played by more than 100 million players), Halo 3 (called Halodiction), Total War, Pong, Civilization, Diablo 3, Super Meat Boy, Team Fortress 2, Dark Souls 2, Counter Strike, Starcraft 2, Persona 4 Golden, Monster Hunter 3, Elder Scrolls, Angry Birds, Faster Than Light, Peggle, League of Legends (LOL), Civilization V, and Pokemon. Beware, particularly, of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG or MMO for short). The Internet is filled with the sad and frightful testimonies of people who have ruined their lives with online role-playing games. Consider one example: “Well long story now ending shortly is I became lvl 50 pretty fast on the server. In fact I was the 5th over all and the first half elf. I was awesome. I had the sword that sparkled and all my cool gear. … I would roll up into town and newbs everywhere would just be in awe. I ruled the world, or this virtual one anyway. Meanwhile my real life had fallen apart. I had lost my job and was in debt with creditors calling ringing my phone off the wall not even to mention I was fat as could be weighing over 400lbs. I could not deal with my real life. I hated any time that took away from my Everquest time. I was ruler in that world. Then one day my power was shut off. … I was so depressed. Not only was my online world now shutoff but now I had to confront my life that I had neglected for the last 2 years. It looked pretty hopeless so I decided to move out of my apartment that was driving me more into debt and possibly go live with my parents” (shoemoney.com/2008). “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
HORSES THAT REMEMBER SMILES AND FROWNS AND CROWS THAT HOLD A GRUDGE (Friday Church News Notes, September 28, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Horses Remember,” New Scientist, Apr. 30, 2018: “Horses can remember the facial expressions they see on human faces and respond differently if you smiled or frowned when they last saw you. Leanne Proops, now at the University of Portsmouth, UK, and her colleagues at the University of Sussex showed in 2016 that horses respond differently to photographs of happy or angry human faces. Now they have studied whether horses can form lasting memories of people that depend on their facial expressions. First, they showed horses a photo of one of two human models, displaying either a happy or angry face. Several hours later, the model visited the horse in person, this time with a neutral expression. As a control, some horses saw a different model in the second part to the one they saw in the photograph. Crucially, the models didn’t know which photo the horse had seen earlier. … The team found that the horses remembered the models’ previous facial expressions. … Many other animals have shown an ability to remember human faces, including sheep and fish. Wild crows will hold a grudge for years against people who have treated them badly, and even teach other crows to mob their enemies. However, the horses seem to form an opinion about people based only on their expression in a photograph. ‘That’s something we haven’t really seen in animals before,’ says Proops.” CONCLUDING NOTE: The crow sounds like a lot of church members I have known! According to the Bible, God made the animals for man, who alone among earth’s creatures is made in God’s image (Genesis 1-2), so it is no surprise that they can relate to man. Adam, the first man, named the animals. The fall of man is the cause of the “wildness” and “red in tooth and claw” in the animal kingdom. This will be healed in Christ’s kingdom. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9).
INFIDELITY’S EMPTINESS (Friday Church News Notes, September 28, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The following is the testimony of B.H. Carroll who turned from the Christian faith of his youth to infidelity and found therein nothing but emptiness: “In the hour of my darkness I turned unreservedly to infidelity. This time I brought it a broken heart and a disappointed life, asking for light and peace and rest. It was now no curious speculation; no tentative intellectual examination. It was a stricken soul, tenderly and anxiously and earnestly seeking light. ... I brought a broken and bleeding, but honest heart to every reputed oracle of infidelity. I did not ask life or fame or pleasure. I merely asked light to shine on the path of right. Once more I viewed the anti-Christian philosophies, no longer to admire them in what they destroyed, but to inquire what they built up, what they offered to a hungry heart and a blasted life. There now came to me a revelation as awful as when Mokanna, in Moore’s ‘Lalla Rookh,’ lifted his veil for Zelica. Why had I never seen it before? How could I have been blind to it? These philosophies, one and all, were mere negations. They were destructive, but not constructive. They overturned and overturned and overturned; but, as my soul liveth, they built up nothing under the whole heaven in the place of what they destroyed. I say nothing; I mean nothing. To the unstricken, curious soul, they are as beautiful as the aurora borealis, shining on arctic icebergs. But to me they warmed nothing and melted nothing. No flowers bloomed and no fruit ripened under their cheerless beams. They looked down on my bleeding heart as the cold, distant, pitiless stars have ever looked down on all human suffering. Whoever, in his hour of real need, makes abstract philosophy his pillow, makes cold, hard granite his pillow. Whoever looks trustingly into any of its false faces, looks into the face of a Medusa, and is turned to stone. They are all wells without water, and clouds without rain. ... a cloud without rain is any form of infidelity to the soul in its hour of need. Who then can conjure by the name of Voltaire? Of what avail in that hour is Epicurus or Zeno, Huxley or Darwin?” (excerpted from B.H. Carroll, “My Infidelity and What Became of It,” Sermons and Life Sketch, 1893).
SEEING GOD IN CREATION (Friday Church News Notes, September 28, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - “The Christian sees in the glories of nature not merely the effect of God’s hand, but its presence; not only God’s work, but God working. He not only created that landscape of field, wood, and orchard which I see from my window, but he upholds it, he gives it its existence, he causes every change, at every moment--at every moment there is a coming forth of his attributes into action. And these innumerable acts are each of them a display of some perfection; each is divine. I behold God in his works, I do not merely see a mark that the Creator has been there, but a token that he is there. Just as when I hear the footstep of my dearest friend in his chamber, I know that he is there present” (J.W. Alexander, Thoughts on Preaching, 1864, p. 43).
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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