Way of Life Literature

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Way of Life Literature

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Friday Church News Notes
Volume 22, Issue 20 - May 14, 2021
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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SADDLEBACK CHURCH ORDAINS THREE FEMALE PASTORS (Friday Church News Notes, May 14, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - “Saddleback Church, pastored by Rick Warren, announced on Instagram that it has ordained three female pastors. “Yesterday was a historic night for Saddleback Church in many ways! We ordained our first three women pastors, Liz Puffer, Cynthia Petty, and Katie Edwards” (May 7, 2021). Saddleback Church is the second largest in the Southern Baptist Convention. Called by Christianity Today “America’s most influential pastor,” Rick Warren’s influence is vast. It reaches into every sphere of Christianity, from Catholicism to Mormonism to liberal Protestantism to evangelicalism to fundamental Baptist. Bruce Ryskamp, president of Zondervan, said, “The Purpose Driven Life is more than a bestseller; it’s become a movement.” Warren has been called “America’s pastor,” and it is for good reason. He is so shallow in his teaching, so positive in his approach, so slighting of repentance, so neglecting of unpopular doctrines such as hell and judgment and separation, so tolerant of heresies, so enthusiastic of rock music, so soft-spoken on the subject of worldliness, that apostate America can’t help but love him.

CHINA’S LEADER ADOPTS MAO’S TITLE “HELMSMAN” (Friday Church News Notes, May 14, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Xi claims ultimate authority,” The Washington Times, May 3, 2021: “Chinese President and Communist Party General-Secretary Xi Jinping continues to consolidate power and has reached new status, adopting the title ‘helmsman,’ a descriptor not used since Mao Zedong and denoting ultimate authority, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Army Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said Mr. Xi’s increased power will fuel the Chinese military’s drive to create forces more powerful than those of the United States in the coming years. ‘I think Xi is firmly in control of the party, of the military and every aspect of Chinese society,’ Gen. Berrier told the Senate Armed Services Committee in testimony late last week. ... The most famous sobriquet of Mao, founder of the Chinese Communist Party and hero of the Chinese Revolution, was ‘Great Helmsman.’ Mr. Xi’s use of the term highlights what analysts say is his plan to consolidate his rule under an extreme Chinese version of communism.”

PESTILENCE (Friday Church News Notes, May 14, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Pestilence is mentioned 49 times in Scripture, always in the context of God’s judgment. The first mention pertains to the judgment of Egypt (Ex. 5:3; 9:15). It is a general term for deadly plagues on man and beast (Ps. 78:50; Jer. 21:6) and crops (2 Ch. 6:28). Pestilence is often used to describe one of the three major ways that men die in wars (sword, famine, pestilence, Eze. 12:16). The pestilence of David’s day killed 70,000 (1 Ch. 21:14). At the beginning of the day of the Lord there will be “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes” (Mt. 24:7). In the companion prophecy in Luke 21:11, these earthquakes, famines, and signs are accompanied by “fearful sights and great signs from heaven.” This will occur during the first part of the day of the Lord as described in Revelation 6. Christ called them “the beginning of sorrows” (Mt. 24:8). Covid-19 is a pestilence, but it is not the pestilence described in this prophecy. We are not in the day of the Lord. It is still the day of the Great Commission as described in Matthew 28:18-20. The day of the Lord will begin with the Rapture of church saints, which is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The day of the Lord is described immediately thereafter in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9. Here we see that the believers in the church at Thessalonica were told that they were not appointed to wrath. The day of the Lord is for “them,” referring to the world of the unsaved. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Th. 5:2-9).

MORE ABOUT HYMNALS (Friday Church News Notes, May 14, 2021, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Following are some suggestions in regard to hymnals: LIVING HYMNS was first published by Al Smith in 1972; the latest edition is published by Paul Chappell’s Striving Together Ministries. It has 887 songs and hymns. There is no author index, but I tried to look at the author of every song. There are two by the Gaithers but none by any of the other contemporary worship artists, as far as I could see. It has hymns that are rarely seen, such as Charles Weigle’s lovely “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus.” There are little-known hymns by old-time fundamentalists such as R.A. Torrey, James Gray, and Lewis Sperry Chafer. MAJESTY HYMNS has a wide selection of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, many of which were written in the last 30 years. There are some entries that we would not use. (We don’t recommend Majesty Music’s latest hymnal Rejoice Hymns, as it contains many contemporary worship songs by Getty/Townend and others. It is very sad to see Majesty Music moving in this direction.) SONGS AND HYMNS OF REVIVAL has a large selection. Some of the Gaither songs are included, which we don’t recommend. (We don’t recommend the Southern Gospel music published by Golden State Baptist College.) North Valley Publications, Santa Clara, CA, www.nvpublications.net. PSALMS AND HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS is a good resource for expanding a church’s repertoire. It has nearly 1,000 songs, more than 7,000 Scripture references, and 450 historical sketches about hymns and their writers and other interesting and educational comments. There are a great many rare old hymns, including ones by Baptist pastors of old, such as Benjamin Keach (9), John Leland (5), John Rippon (6), John Ryland (6), and Samuel Stennett (9). The hymnal restores lyrics that have been dropped in other hymnals, such as the full seven stanzas of “How Firm a Foundation,” the 18 stanzas of “O for a thousand Tongues to Sing,” the seven stanzas of “Amazing Grace,” the seven of “Grace! Tis a Charming Sound,” and the three stanzas that Baptist pastor John Rippon added to “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” The tune name and meter are given for each selection, thus allowing the songs to be sung by different tunes. TRINITY HYMNAL (Baptist Edition) has 774 songs and hymns. The following description is by Thomas Ross: “The hymns almost all have the same sort of richness and content as the psalms God has given us both to sing and to model uninspired hymns after. There is very little that is vapid and trivial. Furthermore, they actually have hymns on things like believer’s immersion. If a hymn has a doctrinal problem they will fix it so we don’t sing lies to the Lord. (They are not perfect in this but caring and trying is very good.) It is much better than Living Hymns, in my view, and significantly better than Great Hymns of the Faith, although that hymnal is decent. I would love it if more churches would sing God’s glorious praise from a hymnal like that one.” We also recommend singing the Psalms with psalteries such as Isaac Watts. N.A. Woychuk’s SINGING PSALMS WITH ISAAC WATTS is a good study of and presentation of Watts’ Psaltery. It includes the meter or tunes.

ZEPPELIN’S BROBDINGNAGIAN BABY (Friday Church News Notes, May 14, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is a description of Count Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin’s first flight of his epoch-making airship on July 2, 1900. This is from the excellent history of that era, Empires of the Sky by Alexander Rose: “The count led them in a short prayer before signaling for the great doors of the hangar to be opened to reveal the marvel hidden within. The vast hangar emptied its womb. Gasps of astonishment greeted the birth of the first Zeppelin airship as it hesitantly emerged from the darkness. At 420 feet, nothing larger had ever been built in the history of aviation. Cylindrical with bullet-shaped ends, the Brobdingnagian baby had skin that was pale, smooth, and taut, made of Pegamoid, a specially impregnated waterproof cotton designed to reduce air resistance more efficiently than (expensive) silk. At the front, for turning, were two vertical rudders made of stretched cotton; at the stern, two of the same. ... There were twin twenty-foot-long, boatlike aluminum gondolas connected to the airframe undercarriage by tubular struts and wires. Each gondola was located 105 feet from either end and nine feet below the hull. Cleverly, they could float on water in case of emergency, and in each there was one of Daimler’s newest products—a four-cylinder, 850-pound water-cooled engine developing 14.7 horsepower. Personally installed by Wilhelm Maybach, the engines transmitted power to two propellers four feet in diameter turning at 1,200 rpm. ... What the crowds couldn’t see, or appreciate, was the skeleton within. Alone weighing 4.5 tons—the outer skin added another two—it contained nearly six and a half miles of Carl Berg’s finest aluminum, in addition to several more of wire. Its rib cage consisted of sixteen transverse (cross-sectional) rings, each a twenty-four-sided polygon braced with a weavework of cord and radial wires. ... Within this rib cage were the organs: seventeen drum-shaped gasbags containing a total of 399,000 cubic feet of hydrogen. ... At 8:03 P.M., Zeppelin barked, ‘Cast off!’ ... ‘thousands of hoorays sounded from the shore,’ recalled Wolf, and ‘all eyes followed the flight of the balloon.’ ... The flight itself lasted nearly eighteen minutes, with Zeppelin and the crew trying to learn on the job how to keep an airship stable. Finally, Zeppelin decided to settle on the water some distance away to let the towboats bring it back to the hangar. He hoisted a large blue flag to warn the sightseeing boats to steer clear. ‘The air ship sank slowly and rested on the water as smoothly as a sea-gull, with no bump, no crash, no rise, no jumping, no sensation whatever,’ recalled Wolf.”

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; Mt. 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” (Ro. 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.

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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