Friday Church News Notes
Volume 20, Issue 12 - March 22, 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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STUDENTS PROTEST LIBERTY UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT THAT HE WILL RAISE HIS GRANDDAUGHTER AS A GIRL (Friday Church News Notes, March 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Liberty University has long been on a slippery slide of compromise that began under founder Jerry Falwell’s leadership. His compromise started with small steps, as it always does, but the Word of God warns that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (1 Co. 5:6; Gal. 5:9). The latest evidence of the school’s spiritual decline came last week with the protest by some 30 students of the president’s announcement that he and his wife are raising their granddaughter “as a girl.” Speaking to a satellite Conservative Political Action Conference event that also featured Donald Trump, Jr., Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s wife, Becki, said, “She’s our granddaughter, and we’re raising her as a girl. We’re not letting her have a choice. God makes the choice of what the babies are going to be and God decided she would be a girl.” Jerry Falwell, Jr. voiced his agreement (“Liberty University students,” Washington Examiner, Mar. 13, 2019). This innocuous, common sense statement was ridiculously marked as “hate speech” by a clique of Liberty students who staged a day-long protest on campus. Signs included “Hate is a choice, being transgender is not.” Protester Elizabeth Axley, a sophomore, identified herself as “bisexual.” Caleb Fitzpatrick, a senior, said, “Hopefully we can create an environment where comments like Friday’s aren’t welcome and aren’t normal.” Obviously these people do not embrace freedom of speech and freedom of religion. When the late Jerry Falwell, founder of Liberty, started down the path of pragmatic compromise in the 1980s by renouncing biblical separatism, forming an ecumenical political action organization, and seeking the world’s accreditation, he would not have dreamed that the day would come when students at his Christian college would be so unbiblical in their thinking. His efforts to form a “moral majority” to save America did not save the nation, but it did destroy a church and college. It can also be said that his example contributed to the destruction of the biblical character of an entire group of churches, the Baptist Bible Fellowship International (BBFI). In the 1980s, BBFI president Victor Sears boldly warned, “Dr. Falwell is not basically a fundamental Baptist … [but] is a New Evangelical in the same compromising vein as Dr. Billy Graham. If we keep following the road paved by Falwellism, we will lose our identity completely as old-fashioned, Bible-believing separatists” (Calvary Contender, June 15, 1987). That has come to pass. See “Jerry Falwell: the Billy Graham of Independent Baptists,” www.wayoflife.org/database/falwell_graham.html, and, “Baptist Bible Fellowship International’s Road to Emerging,” www.wayoflife.org/reports/baptist-bible-fellowship-internationals-road-to-emerging.php

MORMON LEADERS HAVE FIRST-EVER PAPAL AUDIENCE (Friday Church News Notes, March 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Pope meets with Mormon leadership,” RNS, Mar. 11, 2019: “Pope Francis met Saturday (March 9) with the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the first such meeting of its kind, on the eve of the dedication of the church’s huge new temple in Rome. The Vatican offered no details of Francis’ audience with the church president, Russell Nelson, and other leaders. The Latter-day Saints said it was the first-ever meeting between a pope and head of their church and said the two men discussed religious liberty, family and youth, among other topics. ‘We have much in common,’ Nelson tweeted afterward. ‘The differences in doctrine are real, and they’re important, but they’re not nearly as important as the things we have in common.’”

DEPRESSION/SUICIDAL THOUGHTS DOUBLE IN AMERICAN YOUTH IN ONE DECADE (Friday Church News Notes, March 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The music-driven, entertainment-focused, me-first American pop culture is a devouring monster. A new study from the American Psychological Association has found that “the percentage of young Americans with mental health disorders has more than doubled over the past decade” (“Depression and suicidal thoughts have doubled,” Fox News, Mar. 16, 2019). That’s a huge increase. These “disorders” include major depression, suicidal thoughts, and attempted suicide. The study analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. I suggest that some of the causes are an over-abundance of leisure; lack of discipline; addiction to social media, pornography, and multi-player online video games; psychotic music; the legalization of marijuana; the rejection of a biblical worldview and the acceptance of nihilistic philosophies, the disappearance of wholesome, winsome heroes from the national spotlight; and the mainstream media’s perpetual harping against traditional America and everything that was held as good and right by the founders, for starters. Who wouldn’t be depressed! The only solution is to know the true God through Jesus Christ, who has “not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7), and to walk as pilgrims who refuse to be conformed to this world system and its foolish ways, and to use the power of the Word of God to purify the mind. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

TEL AVIV CITY GOVERNMENT HEEDS ORTHODOX JEWISH COMPLAINTS TO RESTRICT DISTRIBUTION OF “MESSIANIC LITERATURE” (Friday Church News Notes, March 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Anti-Messianic Jewish Update,” Israel Today, Feb. 19, 2019: “The City of Tel Aviv says that it will prevent the infiltration of Messianic Jewish literature in municipal ‘street libraries.’ Working behind the scenes to restrict Hebrew-language Messianic books in the open-air book stalls is Or L'Achim, an organization that seeks to prevent attempts to lead Jews away from their faith. Messianic Jews have been placing literature in the public libraries set up around the city to encourage reading.  Or L'Achim sent a formal complaint to Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai warning about ‘abuse of a municipal service for missionary conversion,’ according to reports. The Tel Aviv Municipality responded that, ‘Library management instructed workers to check whether flyers were placed having to do with publications of a cult and were ordered to remove them from the shelves.’ Organizations working to prevent Jews from hearing the Gospel like to paint Messianic Jews as belonging to a ‘cult.’ In recent years, several genuinely dangerous cults have sprouted up around Israel, and placing Messianic Judaism in this category stirs public fears and encourages anti-Messianic crusades.”

ISRAEL TRIAL EXONERATES CAIN AND CONDEMNS ELIJAH (Friday Church News Notes, March 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In a trial conducted in Israel last November, Elijah was found guilty of murder while Cain was exonerated. The trial was conducted at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem under the auspices of the Ministry of Education with the goal of applying modern Israeli legal standards and precedents to biblical passages. Elijah and Cain were defended by top lawyers: Elijah by Avigdor Feldman, and Cain by Zion Amir. Feldman argued that Elijah should be acquitted as he was acting in the name of God and Judaism, but Judge Aylon Infeld ruled that “the accused is found guilty of premeditated murder in accordance with paragraph 300 of the Israel Penal Code” (“Jerusalem 2018: Biblical Figures on Trial,” Israel Today, Feb. 2019, pp. 4-5). As for Cain, his lawyer argued that “the text gives no indication of premeditation to murder.” One of Amir’s students pointed out that Cain could not know what effect a murder would have on society, which “would be sufficient for an acquittal.” Other students reasoned that perhaps Abel was equally guilty, that he was mocking Cain because God didn’t accept his offering. After hearing these arguments, Judge Ilan Shilo ruled that Cain was not guilty. This is an example of how that modern Israel sits in judgment on God’s Word instead of putting itself under its authority, how that her laws are not based on biblical truth, and how that she follows human reasoning rather than holy Scripture.

INTERPRETING BIBLE DIFFICULTIES: DON’T ASK THE WRONG QUESTIONS (Friday Church News Notes, March 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) -Some difficulties are created by asking the wrong questions. If the Bible does not plainly answer a question, it is because God has not chosen to answer it. The Bible student must be satisfied with what the Bible says and not be occupied with what it doesn’t say. Some teachers and commentators spend a lot of time trying to answer questions that aren’t clearly answered. The wiser method is to focus like a laser on what the Bible actually says, because that is what God wants to reveal. Every hard passage contains clear teaching. By focusing on that which is clearly taught one finds edification and clarity and certainty as opposed to endless questionings, uncertainty, and doubt. For example, Revelation 2:20-23 speaks of Jezebel. We aren’t told such things as why she has this name, whether or not it was her given name at birth, how she came to be in the church, etc. In other words, there are many questions we can ask about her that aren’t answered. Instead of being occupied with such things, the Bible student should focus his attention on exactly what is said about Jezebel and her works and teachings. Revelation 2:17 speaks of a white stone that Christ will give to the overcomer. We aren’t told exactly what kind of stone it is, its clarity, refraction quality, setting, etc. That is not for us to know at this time. What the Bible student should do is to focus on exactly what is said about the white stone and be edified by that. Revelation 4-5 describes 24 elders before the throne of God. It is interesting to try to figure out exactly who they are, but the bottom line is that we aren’t given this information for sure, so our focus must be on exactly what that passage says. Another example is the attempt to harmonize the life of Christ in the four Gospels. God did not chose to give us a perfect timeline of Christ’s life, so it is not possible or necessary to harmonize every event with certainty.

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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