Friday Church News Notes
Volume 20, Issue 15 - April 12, 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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U.S. UNIVERSITIES AWASH WITH CURRICULUM AIMED AT “QUEERING” STUDENTS (Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Queer and Trans Readings,” CBNNews, Feb. 19, 2019: “Many of America’s top colleges and universities are now offering courses designed to ‘advance a liberal agenda, malign conservatives and their values, and shut out ideological diversity,’ asserts a new report from Young America’s Foundation (YAF). YAF argues the curriculum at a wide range of American schools, from Harvard University to Columbia University to Swarthmore College, seems to target conservative and Christian values in some shocking ways. ‘Many of the courses and descriptions listed in this year’s report may seem comical at first glance, but the situation that continues to unfold on America’s campuses is hardly a laughing matter. Beyond the inane, identity- and intersectionality-obsessed topics, these classes advance a liberal agenda, malign conservatives and their values, and shut out ideological diversity,’ said YAF spokesman Spencer Brown, author of the 25th annual Comedy and Tragedy Report. The report examines the curriculum of approximately 50 top schools. … One of the most unsettling classes from a Christian perspective may be Swarthmore's religion class called ‘RELG 033—Queering the Bible.’ Here's the description: ‘This course surveys the queer and trans readings of biblical texts. It introduces students to the complexity of constructions of sex, gender, and identity in one of the most influential literary works produced in ancient times. By reading the Bible with the methods of queer and trans theoretical approaches, this class destabilizes the long held assumptions about the Bible—and religion—says about gender and sexuality.’ There’s a similar course at Pomona College called ‘RLST 184—Queer Theory and the Bible.’ Here's what it teaches: ‘This course will look at how the Bible can be read productively through queer theory. We will examine biblical passages that are central to prohibitions on homosexuality and the larger discourses of heteronormativity (constructed around gender, sexuality, class, national identity, state formations, kinship, children, etc.) in which homophobic readings of the Bible emerge. We will also look at the ways in which these discourses and the identities they shore up can be queered, as well as at biblical texts that can be read as queer friendly. This process of queering will allow and require us to approach the biblical text in new ways.’ According to Brown, the schools' goal in presenting such subject matter is clear—to indoctrinate the younger generation with left-wing ideology. ‘Peel back the shiny veneer colleges and universities place on themselves in the name of “higher” education to reveal a stark reality: campuses devoid of intellectual diversity populated with leftist professors, faculty, and administrators intent on indoctrinating the rising generation in the ways of the Left,’ he charged.”

WIDE SUPPORT AMONG “FAITH GROUPS” FOR LGBT PROTECTION LAWS (Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Survey: Faith groups maintain widespread support,” Religion News Service, Mar. 12, 2019: “A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute finds that strong majorities within all religious groups, including white evangelicals and Jehovah’s Witnesses, show sustained support for LGBT nondiscrimination policies. The newly released data from PRRI’s 2018 American Values Atlas, an annual survey of more than 40,000 Americans, showed that 69 percent of all Americans are in favor of enacting laws shielding LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing. The two faith groups least likely to support these policies, according to the survey, were white evangelical Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses, but even they were in favor of laws protecting LGBT people by small majorities, at 54 percent for white evangelicals and 53 percent for Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

SOUTH CAROLINA MOVING TOWARD BANNING ABORTION WHEN UNBORN BABY’S HEARTBEAT BEGINS (Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “South Carolina Panel Passes Bill,” LifeNews.com, Apr. 4, 2019: “South Carolina lawmakers moved forward with a bill late Tuesday to ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. Following the lead of Georgia and other states, the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee passed the heartbeat bill in a 15-7 vote Tuesday night, the AP reports. State House Bill 3020 would require abortionists to test for a fetal heartbeat before every abortion and prohibit abortions if a heartbeat is detected. Exceptions would be allowed for rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life. It also would require abortionists to offer the woman the chance to hear her baby’s heartbeat and see the ultrasound. An unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable by about six weeks of pregnancy, though new research suggests the heartbeat may begin as early as 18 days after conception. If the bill becomes law and withstands a legal challenge, it could ban almost all abortions in South Carolina. WSPA 7 News reports the committee heard a number of heartbreaking testimonies prior to the vote. One came from a local chaplain who said she deeply regrets aborting her unborn baby. … About 5,100 unborn babies were aborted in South Carolina in 2017, and most were later than six weeks of pregnancy, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. Pro-life Gov. Henry McMaster, who also is in a legal battle to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, said he would support the legislation.”

CATHOLIC CARDINAL SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS IN PRISON FOR MOLESTING CHOIRBOYS (Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Cardinal Pell sent to prison,” RNS, Mar. 13, 2019: “The most senior Catholic convicted of child sex abuse was sentenced Wednesday (March 13) to six years in prison for molesting two choirboys in an Australian cathedral in a crime the judge said showed ‘staggering arrogance.’ Cardinal George Pell must serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole, according to the judge’s order. The five convictions against Pell carried a maximum possible sentence of 10 years each. ‘In my view, your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance,’ Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd said in handing down the sentence. Pope Francis’ former finance minister was convicted by a unanimous jury verdict in December of raping a 13-year-old choirboy and indecently dealing with the boy and the boy’s 13-year-old friend in the late 1990s, months after Pell became archbishop of Melbourne. … the judge also said that Pell had abused his position of power and had shown no remorse for his crimes. Kidd described the assaults as egregious, degrading and humiliating to the victims.”

SPACEX LAUNCHES FIRST PRIVATE PASSENGER SPACECRAFT TO ISS (Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “SpaceX Launches,” Futurism.com, Mar. 1, 2019: “SpaceX successfully launched its Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:49 am EST this morning. Main engine cutoff and stage separation were confirmed by SpaceX at 2:52 am EST. First stage successfully landed on the drone ship platform Of Course I Still Love You at 3:00 am EST. The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station early Sunday morning. It will spend about five days docked to the station before returning to Earth and splashing down in the Atlantic. The launch marks the first time a private American rocket and spacecraft built for human passengers has ever been launched to travel to the space station. An upcoming crewed mission, Demonstration Mission 2, is scheduled for July.”

CYBER ARCHAEOLOGY (Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Cyber archaeology is a new field that recreates archaeological sites and artifacts using the latest technology. The first serious use of the technology was the recreation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings in ancient Thebes (modern Luxor). It is an exact replicate of the 3,245-year-old tomb. The five-year project, competed in 2014, began with making a high-resolution scan of the tomb using 3-D laser scanning systems that measured up to one hundred million points per square meter (“Tut’s Tomb: A Replica Fit for a King,” National Geographic, May 20 2014). This computer data was used to create an exact copy of the tomb by means of computerized routing machines with a resolution of less than a quarter of a millimeter, silicone molds, resin casts, flatbed digital printers. The digital images can also be used in a 3-D visualization theater. Thomas Levy, professor of anthropology and archaeology at the University of California, San Diego, says, “We’re able to walk away from an excavation with the whole archaeological site on a hard drive. With this amazing data I've collected, I can then take you into a 3-D visualization theater and we can enter the excavation. I can be in San Diego and I can get a cup of coffee and I can throw in my 3-D data set with geo-reference pics of the actual excavation, and I can walk around in it again.”

CAN GOD CREATE A ROCK THAT HE CANNOT LIFT? (Friday Church News Notes, April 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - “Can God make a rock so big that He cannot lift” is a classical skeptical challenge. It is based on the following line of thinking: “The Christian God is omnipotent, which means he can do anything. But God cannot create a rock so big that he cannot move it, therefore the Christian God is not real.” The challenge is based on ignorance of the Bible’s teaching about God. The simple answer is that God cannot make a rock so big that He can’t move it because He is all-powerful (Job 42:2; Je. 32:17; Mt. 19:26; Lu. 1:37), and God would not make a rock that He can’t move because He is all-wise (Ps. 147:5; Isa. 40:28; 1 Jo. 3:20). There are, though, things that God cannot do. He cannot lie or repent of His spoken Word. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Nu. 23:19). This means that the following Word of God will prove to be true in the life of every skeptic: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

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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