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 22 - May 28, 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.
Anthony Blinken

Secretary Antony J. Blinken speaks on Release of the 2020 International Religious Freedom Report

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM (Friday Church News Notes, May 28, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “U.S. State Department,” CBN News, May 12, 2021: “International Religious Freedom took center stage at the State Department Wednesday as Secretary of State Anthony Blinken released his department’s 2020 report on the matter.  Blinken addressed reporters in the department’s press briefing room. ‘Religious freedom ... goes to the heart of what it means to be human--to think freely, to follow our conscience, to change our beliefs if our hearts and minds lead us to do so, to express those beliefs in public and in private,’ he said. ‘This freedom is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s also part of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Our country’s commitment to defending freedom of religion and belief goes back centuries. It continues today. Religious freedom, like every human right, is universal. All people, everywhere, are entitled to it no matter where they live, what they believe, or what they don't believe. Religious freedom is co-equal with other human rights because human rights are indivisible. Religious freedom is not more or less important than the freedom to speak and assemble, to participate in the political life of one’s country, to live free from torture or slavery, or any other human right. Indeed, they’re all interdependent,’ the secretary continued. ‘Religious freedom can’t be fully realized unless other human rights are respected, and when governments violate their people’s right to believe and worship freely, it jeopardizes all the others. And religious freedom is a key element of an open and stable society. Without it, people aren’t able to make their fullest contribution to their country’s success. And whenever human rights are denied, it ignites tension, it breeds division,’ Blinken said. The secretary also noted the Pew Research Center’s finding that 56 countries encompassing a significant majority of the world’s people have high or severe restrictions on religious freedom.”

U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT WARNS OF CHINA’S RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION AND OPPRESSION (Friday Church News Notes, May 28, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Crimes against humanity,” The Washington Times, May 12, 2021: “The State Department on Wednesday declared that the Chinese government continues to engage in genocide and crimes against humanity through the repression of predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other minorities in western China. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the assertion while introducing the department’s annual assessment of global religious freedom. ‘China broadly criminalizes religious expression and continues to commit crimes against humanity and genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minority groups,’ he said. The annual report outlined widespread abuses by the Chinese government against the estimated 200 million religious believers, including Christians, Muslims and Buddhists. ... The State Department has said crimes carried out in China’s western Xinjiang province include mass imprisonment, forced sterilizations, torture, forced labor and draconian restrictions on religious freedom and freedom of movement. The U.S. government estimates that Chinese authorities since April 2017 have detained more than 1 million Uyghurs, along with ethnic Kazakhs, Hui and members of other Muslim groups, and some Christians, in internment camps and converted detention facilities. The repression has been carried out by Chinese authorities under the guise of a national counterterrorism law and a regional counterextremism policy, according to Wednesday’s report.”

TWITTER SUSPENDS SPANISH POLITICIAN’S ACCOUNT FOR SAYING MEN CAN’T GET PREGNANT (Friday Church News Notes, May 28, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Twitter Suspends,” SkyNews.com.au, May 17, 2021: “Twitter has suspended a Spanish politician’s account after he tweeted a man cannot get pregnant. Deputy of Spain’s Vox Party Francisco José Contreras was locked out of his Twitter account for 12 hours, with the social media platform informing him he had violated its policies on ‘hate speech.’ His comments were shared with an article about a transgender male who announced they were a father after giving birth to a baby girl. The politician took to Facebook to explain to his followers why his account had suddenly disappeared on the platform. In a Facebook post on May 11 he said he had received a message from Twitter which said he had violated its policies on hate speech. ... He said, ‘You can see this is already fascist biology. Next time I’ll try 2 + 2 = 4.’ A spokesperson for Twitter has declined to comment on the suspension.”

CHRISTIAN ROCKER KEVIN MAX SAYS HE IS “EXVANGELICAL” (Friday Church News Notes, May 28, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Kevin Max, formerly of the popular Christian rock band DC Talk, illustrates the spiritual and doctrinal danger of the “broader church” to which contemporary Christian music is the bridge. He calls himself an “exvangelical.” The Liberty University graduate tweeted on May 15, “I’ve been deconstructing/Reconstructing/progressing/whatever you wish to call it for decades, I’ve been in the outsider/misfit/seeker club for a long time now.” He says he believes in a “universal Christ.” He says that he hasn’t given up “the faith,” but it is a faith filled with doubts, a faith in his own thinking rather than the infallible Scripture. Following are the lyrics to one of the songs for Max’s new band Sad Astronauts: “It’s OK to be estranged / from everything that you were taught /and it’s OK / to unpack all the hopeless baggage that you bought / I know the sun it never shines / in the same place twice / and I know that life is better / with a trusted vice / but you will change / when you cave / to the universal Christ.” On May 17, 2021, Max tweeted that he is “pro-LGBTQIA, pro-BLM, pro-open mindedness, anti-narrow mindedness...” In 2003, Max divorced his first wife, Alayna, and two years later married Amanda MacDonald. The emerging church is a magnet for rebels who want “Christ” and the world, too. It is a fulfillment of the prophecy of 2 Timothy 4:2-4, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (For more on this see What Is the Emerging Church? which is available at www.wayoflife.org.)

FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL SPEAKS OUT BOLDLY AGAINST MARXIST INDOCTRINATION IN PUBLIC EDUCATION (Friday Church News Notes, May 28, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Former AG Barr,” Association of Mature American Citizens, May 21, 2021: “Few speeches delivered by an American leader in the modern era have addressed the cultural crisis facing this country with such clarity, vision, and moral courage as former Attorney General Bill Barr’s remarks Friday to Alliance Defending Freedom. Accepting ADF’s Edwin Meese Award for ‘Originalism and Religious Liberty,’ Barr argued that ‘the greatest threat to religious liberty in America today’ is ‘the increasingly militant and extreme secular-progressive climate of our state-run educational system.’ ... The left-wing curriculum being taught in government-run schools, Barr argued, is so aggressively anti-Christian--and indeed anti-religious--that it represents a violation of the constitutional rights of Americans of faith. Barr began his remarks with a brief history of America’s approach to public schooling, dividing it into three distinct phases. During the first phase--which encompassed most of American history up until the 1970s--the instruction students received in the public school system was ‘committed to Judeo-Christian values in the general sense.’ During the second phase which ‘came in the latter part of the 20th century,’ Barr notes, ‘the left embarked on a relentless campaign of secularization intent on driving every vestige of religion from the public square.’ God was driven out of the curriculum based on the idea that public schools should be entirely neutral toward religion. But now, Barr said, we are witnessing a third phase. Instead of merely purging schools of religion, ‘[w]e’re now seeing an affirmative indoctrination with a secular belief system and worldview that is a substitute for religion and is antithetical to the beliefs and values of traditional God-centered religion.’ ... He cited two examples. The first was the transgender ideology that is permeating public schools across the country. ... The former Attorney General went on to describe Critical Race Theory ... It was President Trump who remarked last year that school choice is ‘the civil rights issue of our time.’ ... Barr argued that ‘confronting this issue, I think, is the most urgent task for people who are concerned about religious liberty.’ ‘Religious liberty,’ Barr said, ‘is not safe in the United States as long as we have the kind of public school system we have, the forced monopoly and the indoctrination of children into these radical secular progressive orthodoxies.’”

EVANGELICALISM’S NEGLECT OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE (Friday Church News Notes, May 28, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Neglect of discipline has spread throughout the entire realm of “evangelicalism.” In “Church Discipline: The Missing Mark,” R. Albert Mohler, Jr., observed: “The decline of church discipline is perhaps the most visible failure of the contemporary church. No longer concerned with maintaining purity of confession or lifestyle, the contemporary church sees itself as a voluntary association of autonomous members, with minimal moral accountability to God, must less to each other. ... THE PRESENT GENERATION OF BOTH MINISTERS AND CHURCH MEMBERS IS VIRTUALLY WITHOUT EXPERIENCE OF BIBLICAL DISCIPLINE. ... By the 1960s, only a minority of churches even pretended to practice regulative church discipline. ... Consumed with pragmatic methods of church growth and congregational engineering, most churches leave moral matters to the domain of the individual conscience” (from chapter 8 of The Compromised Church, edited by John H. Armstrong, Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1998).

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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