Friday Church News Notes
Volume 20, Issue 21 - May 24, 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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LABOUR PARTY LOSES IN “SURPRISE” RESULT IN AUSTRALIA ELECTION (Friday Church News Notes, May 24, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - In an upset victory that surprised pollsters, Scott Morrison, Australia’s conservative prime minister, won the national election on May 18. The Labour Party, which was expected to win, has vowed to instigate a radical homosexual rights agenda and ban religious exemptions for those who oppose it. A friend in Australia wrote, “Final results are still to come to see if the Coalition (Liberals/Nationals) will be a majority Government, but at least Labour is not going to be running the show--not for a while anyway. When Labour does get back in, which they will eventually, they will be gunning for people like us. People they see as xenophobic Christian extremists, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, etc., etc., etc. And worse still, some of us religious fanatics actually think Trump is a good bloke. The difference between Bill Shorten and his gang, and Scott Morrison and his gang, is that Bill Shorten will try to outlaw Christianity, whereas Scott Morrison is willing for everyone to have their own religion (and morals), providing they don’t try to impose their beliefs and standards on others.” In a mailing on May 9, we asked for prayer for this election. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

“EQUALITY ACT” PASSES THE U.S. HOUSE (Friday Church News Notes, May 24, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - After many years of persistent labor, the supporters of the so-called Equality Act saw the bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, May 17. The margin was 236-173. If ever passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President and approved by the Supreme Court, the Equality Act will singlehandedly overthrow the Constitution’s guarantee of liberty of religion and speech. Every Democrat approved the bill, proving themselves to be the party of homosexual rights vs. religious rights, but they were joined by eight Republicans, including one from Texas. More than 160 major businesses, with 8.5 million employees and a total revenue of $3.7 trillion, backed the measure, including Airbnb, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, Bank of America, Capitol One, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Corning, Cox, CVS, Dow, DuPont, eBay, Expedia, Facebook, Food Lion, General Electric, General Mills, General Motors, Google, Hershey, Hewlett Packard, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Kellogg, Levi Strauss, Marriott, MasterCard, Merck, MGM Resorts, Microsoft, Monsanto, Nike, Northrop Grumman, Office Depot, Pinterest, Procter & Gamble, Symantec, T-Mobile, Target, Twitter, Uber, Unilever, Visa, Wells Fargo, Whirlpool, Xerox, and Yelp. At present, the Equality Act does not have a chance of approval by the Republican-controlled Senate or the Trump administration, but that could change with one election cycle. This is a spiritual issue, and the battle must be fought with spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-18). Since Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority in the 1970s, Bible-believing churches have been trying to fight spiritual battles with carnal weapons, and they have been losing ground to the enemy every decade. It is long past time for those who have access to the throne of grace to rise up and approach boldly through Christ and find grace to help in our nation’s time of need (Hebrews 4:16). The One who sits on that throne is the One who has said, “Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south” (Psalm 75:5-6). Jesus said, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Mt. 19:26). God has specifically and pointedly commanded His people to pray “for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” That entails praying against the Equality Act, which would destroy the peace we have so long enjoyed in the world’s premier Bastion of Liberty. It is holiness and prayer in God’s house that can make a real difference in Washington D.C.

WHAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE EQUALITY ACT (Friday Church News Notes, May 24, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “4 Things Christians Should Know about the Equality Act,” ChristianHeadlines.com, May 17, 2019: “The ill-named Equality Act is making its way back through Congress this year. The act, which is being painted as a pro-LGBT law, is coming across to many people of faith as an anti-religious freedom law. As Christian Headlines previously reported, the act is seeking to make ‘gender identity’ a covered category under the Civil Rights Act, thereby overriding the protections based on biological sex. ... Here are 4 things Christians should know about the Equality Act: 1. It Endangers the Church. If the Equality Act passes, Churches will no longer be able to hire someone based on their beliefs. What this means is that a church could not deny hiring someone because they are an Atheist or because they live a life contradictory to the church’s beliefs. This also means that churches, like all other institutions, will not be allowed to segregate restrooms or locker rooms based on sex. According to Greg Baylor of Alliance Defending Freedom, the Equality Act is also set to repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 ... This means that people will no longer be able to use religious free exercise as a defense for their actions. For example, if a church declines to allow a gay couple from holding their wedding in their church because it goes against your religious beliefs, the church could be subjected to legal action. 2. It Encourages the Suppression of Religious Freedom. According to The Hill, the Equality Act moves to elevate the protection of LGBT people over people of faith. If enacted, the Equality Act will prevent religious people from denying a service, employment, housing or public accommodations among other things, to LGBT persons, despite the fact that homosexuality contradicts their religious beliefs. ... Alliance Defending Freedom’s Sarah Kramer summed up the effects of the act on religious people, ‘Essentially, the Equality Act gives people of faith an ultimatum: Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment.’ 3. It Will Obliterate Women’s Rights. ... The Equality Act is seeking to make ‘gender identity’ a covered category under the Civil Rights Act. By doing this, the protected category of ‘sex’ is being eliminated. ... In an interview with Fox News, Doreen Denny, the Senior Director of Government Relations at the conservative group Concerned Women for America, said ... ‘In a bathroom, or locker room or a dressing room, any biological man at any time that wants to come in and say, I’m now a woman could just have access to that.’ ... The Equality Act will outrightly let any person who feels like a woman, compete [in sports] as a woman even if they are a biological man. 4. It Will Affect Your Kids. ... The Heritage Foundation reports that the Equality Act will force doctors to ignore parents’ wishes and give kids--no matter the age--transgender operations and puberty blockers if the child asks for it.”

DENVER VOTES TO BECOME FIRST CITY TO DECRIMINALIZE “MAGIC MUSHROOMS” (Friday Church News Notes, May 24, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Denver is on a fast track to be the stupidest city in America, and that is saying a lot. It was the first city to vote to decriminalize marijuana possession in 2004, and now it is the first city to decriminalize the possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms, a potent hallucinogenic. On May 7, voters approved the ballot measure by a slim margin. This is not legalization, and the mushrooms won’t be on sale in Denver’s marijuana shops, but it is probably a step toward legalization. Eight years after Denver voted to decriminalize marijuana, it was legalized statewide. As with the legalization of marijuana, promoters are claiming great medical benefits for psilocybin, though none have been scientifically proven. The acceptance of a drug for medical use breaks down barriers and prepares the way for its legalization in recreational use. I know firsthand that psilocybin is a dangerous, mind-altering drug. I used it in 1972 when I was working at a psychiatric hospital in south Florida. We picked the mushrooms ourselves and boiled them to make a nasty-tasting brew. It was the most foolish and devastating thing I ever did to myself, more psychologically devastating then LSD. Of course, we had no idea of the exact potency of the brew; we were on a fool’s errand, carried along by the indulgent, libertarian philosophy of the rock & roll pop culture. The sorcery/witchcraft that is condemned in Scripture is the Greek pharmakeia, which is the use of drugs in magical arts. Psilocybin was used by the Aztecs in their demonic, idolatrous rituals, which should be warning enough for a Bible believer. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

HORNBILLS THAT UNDERSTAND MONKEY (Friday Church News Notes, May 31, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from Creation Moments, Apr. 23, 2019: “With the exception of basic messages such as aggression, communication between two entirely different species has seldom been observed among animals in the wild. We know that many animals among the same species give each other specific warnings about an impending danger. However, scientists have never noted one species recognizing the specific warning given by a second species. Diana monkeys on the Ivory Coast of Africa face two primary threats: leopards and crowned eagles. When one of these threats appears, the spotter gives a very specific bark-like call depending on the type of threat. Of course, the monkeys need to respond differently to each threat, whether it comes from the leopard below or the eagle above. So it helps them to know what they are facing. On the other hand, a bird named the yellow hornbill is threatened only by the crowned eagles. Researchers noted that these birds ignored the monkeys’ warning about the leopards. But when the monkeys signaled danger from the eagle, the yellow hornbill took defensive measures. Researchers confirmed their observations using tape-recorded monkey calls. The researchers were amazed that these birds understood the monkey warnings in an intelligent manner. Such intelligence comes from the Creator, Who has given the gift of such intelligence to His creatures in a way that provides for their survival. This shows His loving care for His creation. Ref: ‘Hornbills know which monkey calls to heed,’ Science News, 3/20/2004, p. 188.”

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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