Way of Life Literature

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Way of Life Literature

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Friday Church News Notes
Volume 24, Issue 09 - March 3, 2023
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.
 
Saddleback Church Photo
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS DISFELLOWSHIP SADDLEBACK (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2023, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Southern Baptists,” DailyWire, Feb. 22, 2023: “California megachurch Saddleback Church, founded by prominent Christian leader and best-selling author Rick Warren, was disfellowshipped from the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) on Tuesday over having a female pastor. Officials on the Executive Committee voted out one of the largest churches in the United States less than a year after Warren delivered his final sermon as Saddleback’s senior pastor and ushered in lead pastor Andy Wood and his wife, Stacie, who serves as a teaching pastor. Due to the church continuing to have a female functioning in the office of pastor, SBC Executive Committee Chairman Jared Wellman told The Daily Wire in a statement that the convention ousted the 43-year-old megachurch, as it is ‘not in friendly cooperation’ with the denomination. Wood told The Associated Press last year that the Bible ‘teaches that men and women were given spiritual gifts by God. The church should be a place where both men and women can exercise those spiritual gifts. My wife has the spiritual gift of teaching and she is really good. People often tell me she’s better than me when it comes to preaching, and I’m really glad to hear that.’ The move from the convention also comes after Warren ordained three women as pastors in May 2021, sparking the initial discussion to remove the church from the SBC, arguing it defied Biblical principles and Article VI in the Baptist Faith and Message. ‘While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of the pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture,’ the article reads. ... Warren tweeted, ‘We’ll respond to #SBC in OUR time & way thru direct channels: Our newsletters to 600,000 ch leaders ... 1 million PDC alumni pastors list, 11 million social media followers.’” CONCLUDING NOTE BY D. CLOUD: Warren’s arrogant response revealed his pragmatism which overrules Scripture. As for the Southern Baptist Convention, this is too little too late. Saddleback should have been disfellowshipped decades ago for its gross heresies and radical ecumenism. By its inaction and failure to speak out for truth, the SBC has allowed Warren’s heresies to spread far and wide. (See Purpose Driven or Scripture Driven, available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.)

AL GORE’S BROKEN RECORD OF HYPOCRISY (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2023, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Steve Hayward, PowerLine, Feb. 19, 2023: “Al Gore’s hypocrisy is well known: consuming ten times the average household’s electricity in his Tennessee mansion, buying a beachfront mansion in California while warning of sea level rise, flying in private jets while hectoring us about our carbon footprint, etc. Turns out, Gore’s investment fund, Generation Investment Management, dedicated to ‘sustainable’ investing (ESG before it was the cool term) is in on the con, too. Bloomberg reports: ‘Espousing a mantra of sustainable capitalism, Generation says it aims to invest in businesses that support an equitable, healthy and safe society and minimize their contribution to global warming. Over time, it became one of the largest such firms, managing a peak $39 billion in 2021 before assets dropped to $30 billion last year. ... Despite Generation’s focus on environmental, social and governance—or ESG—factors, companies that make up almost half the holdings of its largest, $26.4 billion fund have increased their planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Oops. Bloomberg sensibly observes: ‘... last year’s losses, along with the growing carbon footprint of some of Generation’s holdings, highlight just how messy sustainable investing can be--and raise an uncomfortable question: If Gore and his partners struggle to deliver on lofty environmental and financial goals, can anyone? A Bloomberg News analysis of emissions data for Generation’s investments paints a more complex picture. Its Global Equity fund held 42 companies at the end of last year. For each of them, Bloomberg examined the emissions those businesses reported annually from 2015 to 2021. Eighteen of the companies, accounting for 46% of the fund’s assets, showed increases from the first year of available data to the last. That was the highest of a dozen sustainable investment funds studied.’”

PERSONHOOD RIGHTS EXTEND TO UNBORN BABY: MASS. SUPREME COURT (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2023, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Personhood rights,” The Christian Post, Feb. 20, 2023: “The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that an unborn baby killed as a result of the homicide of a pregnant woman is entitled to personhood rights. Last Tuesday’s ruling comes amid increasing debate over the rights of the unborn in the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled there is no constitutional right to abortion. Peter Ronchi, who was convicted of two first-degree murder charges for killing his nine-month-pregnant girlfriend, Yuliya Galperina, and her full-term unborn baby in May 2009, asked the court to overturn the convictions. ... Ronchi’s defense team argued the baby wasn’t injured during the stabbing and that the unborn child’s death should not subject him to a first-degree murder conviction. However, the court ruled that Ronchi’s argument was weak. Although none of the 15 stab wounds were inflicted on the baby, Ronchi’s violent act towards a pregnant woman in her ninth month resulted in the cessation of the mother’s life-sustaining blood flow, ultimately leading to the death of the viable fetus, the ruling stressed.”

ChatGPT (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2023, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is by Hughie Seaborn in Australia: “In recent times, when I have had a bit of a struggle reading online articles, I have been using the ‘Microsoft Natasha Online’ voice for that purpose, and, even with my tech background, have been amazed at the quality of the voice. ... Brilliant text-to-speech voice.  Right click on the text of any online document, select ‘Read aloud’ from the pop-up window, and choose Natasha from the list of available voices.  Not perfect, but technology at its best--in my opinion--especially for someone with a bit of vision problems. ... In very recent times, however, things in the technology and AI world have developed exponentially, with the online chatter about an AI [artificial intelligence] program called ChatGPT, which is able to write legible articles on any subject, in response to written questions presented to it, and which has created obvious problems for schools and universities where students can have assignments written by the program. A short video about ChatGPT is at the following link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EDqNyefUmM&t=69s
... [T]here is potential for great evil here ... Anyone who has any audio recorded on the Internet is now at risk of having any text matched to their voice and presented to the public as them having said it. With the development of fake video technology, which is able to present someone as having said or done something, matched with AI voice cloning and Chat GPT, we live in perilous times indeed, and God’s people need to be discerning about the potential for deception.”

EU PARLIAMENT NAMED AMONG “WORLD’S MOST CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS” (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2023, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “EU Parliament,” The European Conservative, Feb. 15, 2023: “Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó has sharply criticized the European Parliament, saying, among other things, that the institution lacks any credibility in light of its recent corruption scandals. During a Sunday morning interview with Hungary’s Kossuth Rádió on February 13th, Szijjártó did not mince words when he said: ‘The credibility of the European Parliament is practically zero,’ and added that ‘the latest corruption issues have clearly shown that we are speaking about one of the world’s most corrupt organizations,’ the news portal Vadhajt─üsok reports. The foreign minister’s statements come as the Qatargate scandal continues to embroil the European Parliament. ... In December, the scandal broke when Greek Vice President of the European Parliament Eva Kaili, her partner Francesco Giorgi, the Italian former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, and a lobbyist were arrested by Belgian police for allegedly taking over €1.5 million in bribes--discovered during searches in Belgium and abroad. The largest amount, about €600,000 in cash, was found in the Brussels home of Panzeri. But the foreign minister’s choice words for the European Parliament did not end with his lambasting the EU Parliament’s corruption problem. After arguing that ‘very few of the decisions, statements, and resolutions of the European Parliament have in fact helped Europe,’ he went even further, saying that decisions taken by the EU legislature were ‘mostly harmful to Europe.’”

THE UNICORN (Friday Church News Notes, March 3, 2023, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?” (God querying Job in Job 39:9-12). “Unicorn” is from the Hebrew word rieym (reym, rem), which appears nine times (Nu. 23:22; 24:8; De. 33:17; Job 39:9, 10; Ps. 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; Isa. 34:7). There is vast speculation as to what the biblical unicorn refers to. The main thing emphasized in the Bible is the unicorn’s great strength and independent, untamable spirit (Job 39:9-12). Compare Nu. 23:22; 24:8. It had one large horn, as emphasized in Psalm 92:10: “But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn.” The biblical unicorn is probably an extinct type of rhinoceros, which was much larger than living rhinos. The Elasmotherium sibericum (Siberian unicorn), for example, had a 33-inch long skull. More than three times the size of the surviving rhinoceros, the Siberian unicorn was about 16 feet in length, 7-8 feet at the shoulder, and weighed 3.5-5 tons. The horn was three feet long or more. The 1828 edition of Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language defined “unicorn” as the rhinoceros. The Latin name of the Indian rhinoceros is Rhinoceros unicornis. The word rhinoceros is Greek and means nose horn (rhino - nose, keros - horn). From the living rhinoceros, we can see the basic untamable rhino character, which fits the biblical description perfectly. It is a fierce, unpredictable creature, and it has killed and maimed many people in Africa, India, and Nepal. In mythology, the unicorn is a magical, horse-like creature with a single horn, but this has absolutely nothing to do with the biblical unicorn.

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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