Friday Church News Notes
Volume 20, Issue 6 - February 8, 2019
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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BEWARE OF MOLINISM (Friday Church News Notes, February 8, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Molinism is a theology developed by 15th century Jesuit priest Luis de Molina as a half-way thing “between Calvinism and Arminianism.” It is defined as follows by Jake Rainwater: “Molinism is an attempt to reconcile God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility through the use of ‘middle knowledge.’ Between God’s ‘natural knowledge’ of everything that could be and God’s free knowledge of everything that is, there is God’s middle knowledge of everything that would be” (“Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach,” Oct. 3, 2017). If you don’t understand that, you are not alone! Molina himself didn’t understand it. “Middle knowledge” is a worthy addition to the many other inscrutable Calvinist terms, such as supralapsarianism, sublapsarianism, infralapsarianism, compatibalism, monergism, synergism, hypothetical atonement, libertarian free will, subjective grace, immediate imputation, desiderative will, and antecedent hypothetical will. A major proponent of Molinism today is Southern Baptist Kenneth Keathley, professor of theology at Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Keathley’s book Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach is listed on the “Reading for Leading” list of Paul Chappell, pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church of Lancaster, California. Keathley’s approach is described as follows: “Molina’s middle knowledge is key for Keathley’s soteriology. After introducing and laying the framework in the first two chapters, Keathley borrows Timothy George's ROSES framework (an alternate to TULIP - Radical depravity, Overcoming grace, Sovereign election, Eternal life, Singular redemption) to unpack his Molinist soteriology. Keathley is a clear writer, and has the ability to bring lofty concepts such as the workings of the Molinism and soteriology down to an accessible level.” Reformed Theology has spread widely throughout the Southern Baptist Convention in recent decades, having first captured its seminaries, and it is spreading rapidly among the more intellectual Independent Baptists, with Bob Jones University graduates at the forefront. In truth, Molinism is Jesuitical philosophical junk. Some men can’t simply and humbly accept what the Bible says; they must try to bind Bible teaching into a philosophical package (which they call systematic theology). And Molinism holds to the fundamental error of John Calvin and his mentor Augustine, which is “sovereign election” (or “unconditional election”). The Bible’s approach is foreknowledge election, not “sovereign election.” That’s what we see in two major passages on election, Romans 8:29-30 and 1 Peter 1:2. The Bible begins with God’s foreknowledge. And fore-knowledge is not fore-will; the Greek proginosko (verb) and prognosis (noun) in Ro. 8:29 and 1 Pe. 1:2 mean “to know beforehand, to foresee, forethought.” Foreknowledge election, which is the plain teaching of Scripture, allows for and encompasses all that the Bible says about human free will and choice and the fact that the gospel is for whosoever will. Election is as complicated as God Himself, but it is simple enough at a basic level as revealed in Scripture. The doctrine of the Trinity, too, has a basic simplicity that a child can understand, if we let the Bible speak for itself in its own words and don’t try to go beyond Scripture. “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world”! Foreknowledge election is something I can teach to highly literate and illiterate, which I do in our missionary work. I don’t have to try to explain dense, manmade terms. If you try to philosophize and enter into the mysteries of God’s eternal counsels beyond the Bible’s actual teaching in the Bible’s own precise words, you waste a lot of time and enter dangerous spiritual territory.

HILLSONG PHOENIX HOSTED ALPHA CONFERENCE, CATHOLIC PRIEST, AND CATHOLIC MASS (Friday Church News Notes, February 8, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Hillsong is a church in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, the largest church in that country (formerly Hills Christian Life Centre), long affiliated with the Assemblies of God. It is co-pastored by the Houstons, a husband-wife team: Brian (author of “You Need More Money”) and Bobbie (author of “Kingdom Women Love Sex”). Hillsong is also a growing family of churches around the world. There are Hillsong affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, London, Madrid, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris, Zurich, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv, and Moscow, among other places. Hillsong churches are among the most influential producers of contemporary worship music, music that is used by all denominations, even by some Independent Baptists after a lot of the rock & roll is squeezed out. Darlene Zschech of “Shout to the Lord” fame was worship leader at Hillsong Sydney for 25 years before becoming co-pastor with her husband of Hope Unlimited Church in 2010. Hillsong has long been radically ecumenical. In a 2004 interview with Christianity Today, Zschech expressed her philosophy: “I’ve been in the Catholic Church, in the United Church, the Anglican Church, and in many other churches, and when worship is offered in truth, this sound emerges-regardless of the style” (Michael Herman, “Zschech, Please,” christianitytoday.com, June 4, 2004). She doesn’t explain how worship can be “in truth” in the context of an ecumenical unity among denominations that teach doctrinal error. Zschech and Hillsong performed for the Roman Catholic World Youth Day in Sydney on July 18, 2008. Pope Benedict XVI conducted a papal mass on the last day of the extravaganza. On July 3-4, 2015, Zschech and Hillsong joined hands with the pope at the Convocation of the Renewal of the Holy Spirit at the Vatican. The Catholic mass was celebrated at the event led by Cardinal Angelo Comastri. According to blasphemous Catholic dogma, the priest has the power to turn the bread into the actual body and blood of Jesus, and it is then worshiped in the form of the consecrated host. We wonder if Hillsong addressed some of their enthusiastic worship to Rome’s Host-Jesus? Pope Francis praised the charismatic movement’s zeal for unity and said that Christian unity is “rooted in a common baptism” (“Pope Greets Members of the Renewal,” July 4, 2015, FullyCatholic.com). According to Roman Catholic dogma, baptism is the new birth and the entrance into the Christian life which is then nurtured by the sacraments. It is a cursed “grace plus works” gospel (Galatians 1:8-9) which the Catholic Church in recent times has cleverly rebranded as “grace only.” In Rome, Darlene Zschech and Hillsong sang “God Is Here,” but whatever God they were singing about, it is not the God revealed in Scripture, for He does not countenance heresy, false gospels, and rebellion to His Word. We wonder if the Hillsong folk took the time to visit Rome’s Santa Maria Maggoire (Saint Mary Major) basilica to pray to the Queen of Heaven and to meditate on the statue of Mary hanging on the cross with Jesus? Hillsong United participated in Together 2016 in Washington, D.C., joining hands in that forum with Pope Francis, who delivered a message by video. Most recently, January 31-February 1, 2019, Hillsong Phoenix hosted the annual Alpha Conference. Catholic priest Mike Schmitz, one of the speakers, conducted a Catholic mass. Fundamental Baptists and Bible-believing churches that use contemporary praise music are playing with fire. This music brings with it a philosophy that will change the character of any “fundamentalist” church. It builds bridges to the “broader church,” which is progressing toward the formation of a one-world apostasy.

WEIRD MADONNA AT WORLD YOUTH DAY 2019 (Friday Church News Notes, February 8, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - World Youth Day 2019 was held in Panama City in January, and Pope Francis conducted an open air papal mass for about half a million devotees on the last day. Behind the altar was a painting of the typical long-haired hippie Jesus and on the altar was a Madonna holding the monstrance. The Mary image features a halo, signifying Mary as the Queen of Heaven. Her position between Jesus and the people, and the fact that she is holding the monstrance, which is the container for the consecrated wafer or host, which is the very Jesus Himself according to official Catholic theology, depicts Mary’s position as Mediator. The Second Vatican Council proclaimed, “[T]he Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (Vatican Council II--The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” chap. 8, II, 62, pp. 382-383). But the Mary image at the papal mass is mostly empty from the breasts down where body should be and has extraordinarily long thin legs. We don’t know exactly what the thing is supposed to signify, but it is very strange and New Agey. Many popular Contemporary Christian Music groups have participated in papal masses or have performed at forums where masses were conducted, including Hillsong and Darlene Zschech, Lincoln Brewster, Tammy Borden, Switchfoot, Newsboys, Norma Jean, Steven Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns, Underoath, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Sanctus Real, the Gaithers, Matt Maher, Graham Kendrick, Jack Hayford, John Michael Talbot, Rich Mullins, Sandi Patty, Michael W. Smith, John Wimber of the Vineyard churches, Third Day, TobyMac, Kari Jobe, David Crowder, Kirk Franklin, Passion, and Jeremy Camp. At World Youth Day 2019, the Pope urged the young people to work for Christian unity, claiming that disunity is of the devil. “True love ... harmonizes [differences] in a superior unity. On the other hand, we know that the father of lies prefers people who are divided.” This is the ecumenical philosophy that is building the end-time one world “church,” and contemporary music is its most practical and effectual element.

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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