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 21 - May 21, 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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Chicago violence: 2021 so far deadliest in 4 years. Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO MORE VIOLENT THAN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN COMBINED (Friday Church News Notes, May 21, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The city of Chicago is one of the most violent places on earth. According to the U.S. Department of Defense and the Chicago Police Department, over 7,000 Americans died in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2001 to 2020, while 10,000 were killed in Chicago. Nearly 4,000 people were shot in Chicago in 2020 alone, and more than 750 were killed. What has happened to this city? Following are five of the fundamental problems: First, there is the terrible corruption of the public school system which is a vast, godless propaganda machine, brainwashing generation after generation of America’s children in myths and lies, such as evolution, moral relativism, agnosticism, racism, neo-Marxism, while keeping them uneducated in things that matter. Second, there is the welfare state. It has played a large role in the destruction of black families in particular. Attorney Larry Elder comments, “In 1900, you look at census reports and a black kid, believe it or not, was slightly more likely to be born into a nuclear intact family than a white. ... What’s happened is we have launched this so-called war on poverty in the 60s, when literally Lyndon Johnson sent people knocking on doors apprising women of the availability of welfare, providing there was no man in the house. And we went from 25% of blacks being born out of wedlock in 1965 to 75% right now. And if we look at how much we have spent on welfare, the lines are parallel. ... What we have done, in my opinion, is economically incentivized women to marry the government and we have allowed men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility, and now we have this” (Interview with Dave Rubin, 2015). Third, there is a leftist city government that is gradually defunding the police and undermining law and order in a multitude of ways. (It is an elected government, so this is fundamentally a people problem, not a government problem.) Fourth, there is the filthy entertainment industry. It has more influence on the average youth than any other one thing. Consider the hip hop culture. It is a direct affront to God and His holy laws. It destroys morality and stirs up rage. Empowered by technology, the hip hop culture captivates youth at an ever younger age. The smart phone delivers this culture into the very soul like a mainlined drug. This is a more fundamental problem than the welfare state. Most of the heroes in the fields of entertainment and sports represent the values of this culture. A few exceptions aside, the hip hop culture glorifies sex outside of marriage, the objectification of women, the sexualization of everything, including children, grossly immodest dressing, filthy dancing, shacking up, transsexualism, drinking, drugging, abortion on demand, rebellion against authority, gratuitous violence, etc. Because of the vast influence of the hip hop culture, these things, which were not generally acceptable in black communities 50 years ago, have become normalized even among professing Christians. Finally we come to the greatest problem in the black community, and in every community, which is the lack of sound New Testament churches. America is still a land of churches. There are churches everywhere in Chicago, but the vast majority are powerless. The best are like Sardis which had a name that it lived but was dead. Few members are born again. Few even know the gospel. They are permeated with heresies. They stink to the high heavens with worldliness. And the root problem in the churches is unqualified pastors. Everything rises and falls on leadership. This is why there are two entire chapters of the Bible on God’s qualifications for pastors. Flying out of Chicago last week I had a long conversation with a black grandmother who was born in Florida in 1939. She said that when she was young the pastors were more sound and the church families more intact, but now the pastors are womanizers, covetous, flippant, shallow; they don’t teach the people God’s Word. She said she only knows of two pastors who don’t fit that bill. When she saw her own married pastor meeting a teenage girl on a dark road a few years ago she spoke out and caused a stir, but the pastor stayed on while the girl was sent away. The church alone is “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). If churches are unregenerate, spiritually-powerless, worldly, unholy, lukewarm, led by biblically unqualified pastors, rife with hypocrisy and heresies, neglecting discipline, failing to build up the homes in godliness, then truth falls to the ground. In our estimation, then, the greatest need of Chicago, by far, is God-called preachers building doctrinally-sound, holy New Testament churches as the pillar and ground of the truth. This is also the greatest need in every community the world over.

PURPLE DYE FROM KING DAVID’S TIME (Friday Church News Notes, May 21, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Archaeologists have discovered remnants of a fabric dyed with royal purple from King David’s time. The 3,000-year-old cloth, found in the Arava Desert near the Red Sea, is the first purple fabric found in Israel from that time. The remnant is still a brilliant purple after three millennia. Naama Sukenik of the Israel Antiquities Authority says, “In antiquity, purple attire was associated with the nobility, with priests, and of course with royalty. The gorgeous shade of the purple, the fact that it does not fade, and the difficulty in producing the dye, which is found in minute quantities in the body of mollusks, all made it the most highly valued of the dyes, which often cost more than gold. Until the current discovery, we had only encountered mollusk-shell waste and potsherds with patches of dye, which provided evidence of the purple industry in the Iron Age. Now, for the first time, we have direct evidence of the dyed fabrics themselves, preserved for some 3,000 years” (“Rare Purple Dye,” Israel21c.org, Jan. 31, 2021). The name Phoenicia, referring to the trading empire based on Tyre and Sidon, was coined by the Greeks and means purple. In the book of Maccabees, the dye is called “purple of the sea” because it was made from the murex sea snail by a well-guarded process. When the snail dies, it releases a substance that turns purple. It is said that 10-12,000 of the creatures were needed to produce one gram of dye. It was used to color fabrics for the wealthy and powerful. The children of the Roman emperor were said to be “born in the purple.” The kings of Midean wore “purple raiment” (Jud. 8:26). The rich man of Jesus’ parable was “clothed in purple” (Lu. 16:19). Lydia was “a seller of purple” (Acts 16:14). Ancient Tyre coins depicted the murex shell. Pits for purple dye production and heaps of crushed murex snails were discovered at the ancient Phoenician port of Dor on the coast of Israel. They date to the 4th century BC. Information about this can be seen in the Hamizgaga Museum at Dor. (For a pictorial study of ancient purple see Bible Times & Ancient Kingdoms, 2021 edition, PowerPoint # 12, “Phoenicia.”)

FLORIDA GOVERNOR SUSPENDS ALL COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS SO PEOPLE CAN “LIVE FREELY” (Friday Church News Notes, May 21, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Florida Governor,” Christian Headlines, May 14, 2021: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said this week he will issue pardons to anyone in his state who is facing criminal penalties for not following Covid-19 health restrictions. DeSantis made the comments Wednesday to Fox News host Laura Ingraham while addressing the high-profile case of Mike and Jillian Carnevale, gym owners who refused last year to enforce local mask mandates. They were arrested. DeSantis called the arrests ‘government overreach.’ ‘When our clemency board meets in the coming weeks, we’ll issue pardons not only for Mike and Jillian but for any Floridian that may have outstanding infractions for things like masks and social distancing,’ DeSantis said on Fox News. ‘... these things with health should be advisory. They should not be punitive. And so we’re happy to use our constitutional authority. I think they’ve been treated poorly. And fortunately, they’ve got a governor that cares.’ ... Last week, DeSantis suspended all local Covid-19 health restrictions, saying the state has a surplus of vaccines needed to stop the virus. He said he wants people to ‘live freely in the state of Florida’ and ‘enjoy themselves.’”

WHAT IS THE DIRECTION OF YOUR LIFE? (Friday Church News Notes, May 21, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4). The following is excerpted from John Philipps’ commentary on 1 Corinthians: “People who profess to be saved but who live as though they weren’t are self-deceived. It is not that a saved person cannot fall, and have a need to be restored to fellowship. It is a question, really, of the flow of a person’s life. For instance, the river Nile flows north from the great lakes of Central Africa to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Between the fifth cataract and the fourth cataract the great river turns west and then south. Between the fourth cataract and the third cataract it turns again and heads northwest. At Derr, the river changes direction yet another time and flows south and east. Then it turns north again and heads straight for the delta. If someone at a point just beyond Derr were to be asked, ‘Which way does this river flow?’ he would say ‘south,’ but he would be wrong. The river flows north. Its various twists and turns are not the normal and general direction of the flow but only temporary aberrations. The same thing is true of the genuine believer. The great question is, in what direction does his life flow? Is it toward holiness? We see David commit adultery, we see Jonah run away from God’s call, we hear Peter deny his Lord with oaths and curses, we see Elijah run away from Jezebel, and we hear Abraham deny Sarah in Egypt and again in Gerar. The stream seems to be bent. But look! There is David on his face weeping and writing his tear-drenched penitential psalms; there is Jonah heading for Nineveh after all; there is Peter preaching boldly to the multitudes; there goes Elijah confronting Ahab again; and there is Abraham heading for Mount Moriah. The real flow of life has simply reasserted itself. Things have straightened out. The life still flows toward holiness. The main direction of the life has again become clear. It is not that saved people cannot fall into the kinds of sins which characterized them in their unregenerate days. However, they do not continue in those sins. They bitterly repent of their fall and seek cleansing and a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. They continue on their way toward heaven. The unregenerate have no such current toward holiness in their lives. They habitually sin and excuse themselves for it” (John Phillips).

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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