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 48 - November 26, 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.
 
Friday Church News
SYNAGOGUES CLOSING (Friday Church News Notes, November 26, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The Jews are returning to their land, and many synagogues have closed. Since the first decade of the 21st century, there have been no functioning synagogues in Calcutta, a city that once hosted a thriving Jewish community and five synagogues. The first Jew, Shalom Aharon Obadiah Cohen, arrived from Allepo, Syria, in 1792. He led in the building of the first synagogue, Neveh Shalome, in 1831. Beth El synagogue followed in 1856; Magen David, 1884; Magen Aboth, 1897; Shaare Rasson, 1933. The Calcutta Jews were led by merchants trading in cotton, jute, spices, and opium. By the mid-20th century there were 6,000 Jews, but they are gone now. They began leaving after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. In 2019 there were only 30 Jews left in the city, all 70 or older. A report in the New York Times for Oct. 24, 2013, was entitled “The Last Jews of Calcutta.” Muslims are now caretakers of the defunct synagogues. In 2021, the last Jew left Afghanistan and the last synagogue closed. Jews had lived in Afghanistan since at least AD 500. At one time the Jewish population was thought to number 50,000. In 1948 the population was 5,000. By 1996, there were only 10 Jews in the one remaining synagogue in Kabul. The synagogue’s Torah was stolen by the Taliban. By 2001, there were thought to be only two Jews left, Zablon Simintov and Ishaq Levin. (Actually there was a third, Tova Moradi, as we reported in last week’s Friday Church News Notes.) “They were famous for being arch-rivals, and repeatedly turned each other into the Taliban. This feud was the plot-line for a New York City play entitled ‘The Last Two Jews of Kabul.’ In 2005, the feud ended when Levin died of natural causes, leaving Simintov as the only remaining Jew in all of Afghanistan” (“The Last Operating Synagogue,” atlasobscure.com). Simintov, who has long been estranged from his wife and two daughters in Israel, left Afghanistan in September 2001 after the American military departure. Where are the Jews going? Large numbers of them are going home in preparation for the final fulfillment of Bible prophecy. “Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:11-12).

KID ROCK: “DON’T TELL ME HOW TO LIVE” (Friday Church News Notes, November 26, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Kid Rock’s filthy new song “Don’t Tell Me How to Live” is a flashback to two 1965 hits, the Rolling Stones’, “I’m free to do what I want any old time,” and the Animals’ “It’s my life and I’ll do what I want.” This has been rock’s theme from its inception. Rock is not just music and innocent entertainment; it is a moral revolution. An advertisement for Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed, “Rock ‘n’ roll is more than just music--it is the energy center of a new culture and youth revolution.” Indeed, it changed the world. We live in a society created by rock & roll. You can see the effect everywhere: in attitude, in fashion, in the generation gap, in the obsession with sex, in the idolization of pop stars, in the love for fantasy, in the glorification of entertainment. Above all, you can see the effect in focus on self and in the “judge not” philosophy that has become a cultural law. Nothing is absolutely wrong; everything is relative. At the heart of rock music is sexual liberty, which is brazen rebellion against God’s holy law of marriage. John Oats of Hall & Oats said, “Rock ‘n’ roll is 99% SEX” (Circus, Jan. 31, 1976). Gene Simmons of KISS said, “That’s what rock is all about—SEX with a 100 megaton bomb, THE BEAT!” (Entertainment Tonight, ABC, Dec. 10, 1987). Tina Turner said, “Rock and roll is fun ... It’s NAUGHTY” (Rock Facts, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum). Debbie Harry of Blondie said, Rock ‘n’ roll is all sex. One hundred percent SEX” (The Age of Communication, p. 398). Adam Ant said, “Pop music revolves around SEXUALITY” (From Rock to Rock, p. 93). The Bible, which will be around long after the global pop culture has passed away, says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

CHRISTIAN FLORIST SETTLES HOMOSEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE (Friday Church News Notes, November 26, 2021, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - A 77-year-old great grandmother has settled an eight-year-old legal battle over supposed discrimination against homosexuals. Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers, Bellevue, Washington, was sued in 2013 after refusing to serve a same-sex couple’s wedding on the grounds of her religious convictions. They could have gone to practically any other florist, but they wanted to make the point that they are proud of their homosexuality and everyone should be required to celebrate their lifestyle. As a Baptist and a Bible-believer, Stutzman is opposed to same-sex marriage and refuses to participate in it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took the side of the couple and has been hounding Stutzman ever since, even going after her personal assets. Her appeals were twice rejected by the Washington Supreme Court, which obviously resonates to a different law than the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights. In the settlement, Stutzman will pay $5,000 to the homosexual men and sell the business to her employees. She told Fox News that Christ had “walked with me every step of the way.” She said, “I am willing to turn the legal struggle for freedom over to others. At age 77, it’s time to retire and give my business to someone else. I wish the culmination of all that I’ve been through could result in a new respect, culturally and legally, for freedom of conscience in our country. From the beginning, I have asked no more than the freedom to act in accordance with my religious beliefs and personal convictions. I have treated those who persecuted me with respect, and with the assurance that I want for them the same freedom that I ask for myself. ... We’re all in trouble--whether we’re religious or not--when we don’t have the freedom to live consistent with our faith and our beliefs, when I don’t have the freedom to run my business according to my beliefs, live my life according to my beliefs.” When asked what she would tell others facing similar lawsuits, she said, “God’s just asking us to be obedient and He’ll take care of the rest.” Her legal counsel is Alliance Defending Freedom, which has also defended two Christian businesses in Colorado that have been targeted by homosexuals.

BJU TO COMPETE IN BEACH VOLLEYBALL (Friday Church News Notes, November 26, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Bob Jones University has long been on a slide away from its founding principles, and this slide increased with the appointment in 2014 of Steve Pettit as president. In October 2021, Bob Jones announced the addition of beach volleyball to its intercollegiate sports lineup. The Bruins will play their inaugural season in the spring of 2022, competing against schools such as Erskine College, Truett-McConnell University, St. Andrews University, and Spartanburg Methodist College. These are extremely liberal, secularized Christian schools. Neil Ring, BJU’s director of athletics, says, “This addition allows us to be on the front edge of an emerging sport while staying aligned with our mission” (BJU Today, Oct. 21, 2021). Obviously this “mission” is not that of the school’s founding. The announcement was accompanied by a photo of five smiling BJU female athletes dressed in tights, thus conforming to the world’s corrupt sense of “modesty.” One reader commented, “How long before the tights conform to the same skimpy bikinis that some of their competitors will more than likely be wearing?” (For a history of Bob Jones University, see The History and Heritage of Fundamentalism and Fundamental Baptists, www.wayoflife.org.)

70% OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA DO NOT BELIEVE JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD (Friday Church News Notes, November 26, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - According to a new survey from Probe Ministries, nearly 70% of “evangelical Christians” disagree with the Bible’s teaching that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. After affirming the following two statements--“I made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ” and “I will go to Heaven because I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior”--these same people said they would not try to convert someone to their religion. The top three reasons are: “They can get to Heaven through their different religious beliefs”; “We shouldn’t impose our ideas on others”; “The Bible tells us not to judge others.” This is a reflection of the gross biblical ignorance that exists in the vast majority of churches in America. Instead of serious Bible study and effectual prayer and holy pilgrim Christian living, there is rock & roll, conformity to the pop culture, an emphasis on self-esteem, a wholesale rejection of biblical separatism. Even in James’ day, there were Christians who were friends of the world, and he gave the following recipe for revival: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:8-10). America’s most desperate need is for pastors of James’ spiritual caliber and courage.

THEN SHALL YE ALSO APPEAR WITH HIM IN GLORY (Friday Church News Notes, November 26, 2021, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from the Way of Life Commentary Series, The Prison Epistles: “Then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:4). This is resurrection glory. “Solomon in all his glory” (Lu. 12:27) was but a tiny foreview of the glory of Christ. It is the glory of thrones and palaces and paradise gardens. It is the glory of being delivered from mortality to immortality, of no more sickness, pain, aging, death. It is the glory of being released from the bondage of corruption to the liberty of the sons of God (Ro. 8:18-23). It is the glory of being delivered from “the old man.” It is the glory of shining (“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” Mt. 13:43). It is the glory of everlasting joy (Isa. 35:10). It is the glory of mighty angels and cherubims and seraphims (Mt. 16:27; Lu. 9:26). It is the glory of ruling with Christ (Mt. 19:26; Re. 3:21; 5:10). It is the glory of heaven and of Christ’s millennial kingdom and of the New Jerusalem. The doctrine of glory is a major theme of Bible prophecy, and God’s people are to be better and better educated in these things. This is in great contrast to the condition of so many churches that are largely ignorant of Bible prophecy and aren’t well informed of the glory that is just on the horizon of life. No wonder that the members of such churches have their affection set on things on the earth rather than things above!

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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