FRIDAY CHURCH NEWS NOTES
January 28, 2011 Volume 12, Issue 04
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 does not imply an endorsement. For instructions on how to unsubscribe to this list or to change mailing addresses, please consult the information paragraph at the end.
POPE’S SWISS GUARD COMMEMORATES 505 YEARS OF HISTORY (Friday Church News Notes, January 28, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - On January 22, the Vatican’s Swiss Guard commemorated 505 years of service to the pope, thus becoming the oldest standing army in the world (EWTN News, Jan. 23, 2011). In 1506, the first 150 Swiss soldiers entered the Vatican by request of Pope Julius II to form the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Julius, who bribed his way to the papacy, was called the “Fearsome Pope” for instigating wars against Venice and France and leading troops in battle. He ordered the Dominicans in Germany to sell indulgences to pay for his military adventures and the building of St. Peter’s Basilica. The term “pope” means father, and Julius lived up to his name by fathering three illegitimate daughters. Currently there are 110 guards who are charged with ensuring the pope’s personal safety. Peter, the alleged first pope, didn’t have an army, a palace, a throne, a crown, a chapel painted by Michelangelo, or a bank, but he did have a wife.
EVANGELICALS SO WORLDLY THEY EMBRACE THE CHARGE OF ANTINOMIANISM (Friday Church News Notes, January 28, 2011, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - According to a report in Christianity Today online, a growing number of evangelicals embrace the charge of antinomianism, which is the doctrine that the believer does not have to obey external laws. The CT report states: “In certain quarters of the evangelical world, being accused of antinomianism is increasingly considered to be a symptom of a healthy ministry. ... One can hear variations on this theme in a variety of places, particularly among younger preachers who self-identify as Reformed. ... While the precise wording varies, the common denominator is that accusations of antinomianism are an important barometer useful for determining whether the atmosphere of one’s ministry is adequately pressurized by grace” (“Heresy Is Heresy, Not the Litmus Test of Gospel Preaching,” CT, Jan. 24, 2011). What this report is referring to is the emerging church and its “cultural liberalism” which boasts of the liberty to delve into the filthy pop culture. The position is epitomized by Mark Driscoll in Seattle, but it is not new. Evangelical leaders such as Charles Swindoll have taught this doctrine of “grace” for decades, and before that it was a prominent characteristic of the Jesus People movement. In the book The Grace Awakening Swindoll claimed that it is legalistic to make prohibitions against rock music, R-rated, movies, dancing, etc. He says that “dogmatic Bible-bashing” is a “grace killer.” Since we are saved by grace, we are supposedly at liberty to follow the indwelling Holy Spirit without the necessity of an external list of rules and regulations, but if this were true, the New Testament would not be filled with rules and regulations! For example, the epistle of Ephesians, which says we are saved by God’s grace without works, concludes with three chapters of strict rules. Take this one, for instance. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). This commandment, which is addressed to blood-washed, grace-saved saints, has far-reaching applications in this present evil world. It has application to music, to dress, to entertainment, to hobbies and habits, to everything, in fact. The child of God is instructed here to have a mindset of identifying everything associated with the works of darkness so that he can cut off fellowship from it. And not only that, he is to take an active role in reproving all such works. That’s the type of thing that got John the Baptist in deep trouble and it is the type of thing that will bring upon your head today the slanderous charge of Phariseeism, but it is a ministry that is enjoined upon every Christian. God has made it our business what other people do! Consider Titus 2:11-12, where biblical grace teaches us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts” and calls us to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). To live in such a manner requires constant judging and striving for holiness in every detail of one’s life. Such Scriptures motivated me as a young Christian to put away my once beloved rock & roll and its associated lifestyle. There can be no doubt that rock & roll is a work of darkness. It was invented by men of darkness empowered by the father of darkness for the purpose of promoting darkness in God’s world, and it has been very successful.
A FURTHER WARNING ABOUT RICK WARREN’S NEW AGE HEALTH ASSOCIATES (Friday Church News Notes, January 28, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The last issue of Friday News Notes featured a report entitled “Rick Warren Launches New Age Health Care Program.” The following additional warning is excerpted from “Emanuel Swedenborg’s Occultic Beliefs Influence Rick Warren’s Health Advisor” by John Lanagan, Lighthouse Trails, January 18, 2011. I would encourage you to read the entire report at http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog. The documentation for the quotes is available there. “With Dr. Mehmet Oz having been granted potential influence into the lives of thousands (potentially eventually millions) of Christians through Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan, it is important to consider Lisa Oz as well--because people who seek out Dr. Oz’s books will likely be exposed to his wife’s work also. The couple have worked together on projects and public appearances. ... In her book, Lisa Oz acknowledges, ‘After my parents, the most influential [teacher] by far was and is Emanuel Swedenborg, an eighteenth century scientist and theologian who saw the Bible as a divinely inspired metaphor. … His writings on the nature of God, humanity, and marriage not only shaped my views but ultimately shaped who I am. For this reason you will find his doctrine, widely and wildly interpreted, as the foundation for just about every chapter in this book.’ Lisa Oz is a Reiki master. This is an ancient system of occult energy, one that brings with it the risk of familiar spirits. [Lisa Oz states, ‘You can become a Reiki master in three weekends.’ Many people were exposed to Reiki for the first time when Dr. Oz featured it on his popular television show. In an interview, Mrs. Oz shared that she has used Reiki on her own children. ... In fact, consider this collective Reiki/meditative experience facilitated by Lisa Oz, which took place at a workshop she conducted along with her husband: ‘She followed with a couple of similar exercises, then finished with what for me was the day’s highlight: the hatsurei-ho meditation, this time for hundreds. The energy in that cavernous room at the Javits Convention Center shifted palpably as Mrs. Oz led the crowd through progressive relaxation, envisioning a golden light all around, drawing the light inside and then breathing it back out into the space around us, adding our own energy with each exhalation. There was no need to explain what Reiki was--EVERYONE FELT IT, EVEN WITHOUT TOUCH.” Lisa Oz then told the crowd, ‘Go in wellness, knowing you have brought light into the world.’ What is going on with Rick Warren? Does he believe he can bring in Oz, Hyman, and Amen, and simply share only their medical teachings? Stick to the brain, Daniel Amen. Just talk about the heart, Mehmet Oz. Is that what Pastor Warren intends? Because even if these doctors don’t say anything about meditation, or Reiki, their resources are still available to all who have seen and heard them at Saddleback. Exposure to these practices therefore seems certain, all from authors highly praised by Rick Warren.”
GROUND ZERO IMAM: APOSTATES AGAINST ISLAM MUST BE JAILED (Friday Church News Notes, January 28, 2011, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from WorldNetDaily, Jan. 23, 2011: “Those who leave Islam and preach against the Muslim religion must be jailed, declared the imam who has become the new face of the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero in New York City. ‘If someone leaves the din, leaves the path privately, they cannot be touched. If someone preaches about apostasy, or preaches their views, they're jailed,’ stated Imam Abdallah Adhami in a November lecture obtained and reviewed by WND. Adhami was discussing the Quranic view of apostasy, or Muslims who decide to leave the Islamic religion. According to Shariah, or Islamic law, the consensus view in Sunni Islam is that a male apostate must be put to death unless he suffers from a mental disorder or converted against his will. ... Adhami further claimed that currently there is no punishment for Muslims who leave Islam and preach against the religion. ‘What about now?’ he asked. ‘If you left Islam, nothing happens. The Muslims are 1.5 billion people; they are not going to be hurt by a few thousand leaving.’ There have been scores of recent, documented cases, however, some high profile, of Islamic leaders issuing death threats against those who leave Islam. It was announced last week Adhami, 44, will be taking on the role of senior adviser for the proposed $100-million Islamic cultural center and mosque to be built near Ground Zero.”
CHRISTIAN HOTELIER TO LOSE HOME OVER “BIAS” AGAINST HOMOSEXUALS (Friday Church News Notes, January 28, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from the Daily Mail, Jan. 24, 2011: “Christian hotel owner Hazelmary Bull has certainly had her faith tested to the limit this week. Yesterday, she was planning to make a four-hour round trip to visit her desperately ill husband Peter, 71, in hospital, where he is recovering from a triple heart bypass and valve replacement surgery. How, she fretted, was she going to tell him that they were teetering on the brink of financial ruin? That there was little hope now of hanging on to the Cornish guesthouse they’d owned for 25 years; the home they’d poured not only their life savings into, but also their heart and souls. In the end, 66-year-old Hazelmary just couldn’t bring herself to do it. On Tuesday, Peter was undergoing a nine-hour operation at the exact moment his wife of 47 years was sitting in Bristol County Court waiting to hear their fate. In a landmark ruling, which will have far-reaching implications for many Christians in Britain, Judge Rutherford ordered the Bulls to pay civil partners Martyn Hall, 46, and Steven Preddy, 38, £1,800 each in compensation for refusing to allow the couple to stay in a double room at their hotel. The gay couple, IT workers from Bristol, sued the Bulls for £5,000 in damages under the Equality Act (Sexuality Orientation) Regulations 2007, after they were turned away from seven-bedroom Chymorvah House, near Penzance, in September 2008. The Bulls argued that, as devout Christians, they let their double rooms only to heterosexual married couples and that their beliefs prevented them from allowing same-sex couples to share a double bed--although gay couples could stay in single or twin rooms. This week, however, the judge ruled that the Bulls’ actions amounted to direct discrimination, on the grounds of sexual orientation, as there was ‘no material difference between marriage and civil partnership.’ ... Hazelmary says: ‘We are not homophobic. Had Mr Hall and Mr Preddy booked into twin rooms or for a cream tea, we would have more than--welcomed them. For us, it’s a case of loving the sinner, but not the sin.’”
CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOLING FAMILY BROKEN APART BY NEW JERSEY AGENCY (Friday Church News Notes, January 28, 2011, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from WorldNetDaily, Jan. 20, 2011: “It's every parent's nightmare. Army Major John Jackson and his wife Carolyn, devout Christian homeschoolers with a history of serving as adoptive and foster parents, had their five children taken away in April 2010 by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services--and despite the collapse of the evidence against the Jacksons, DYFS hasn't returned the children to their parents. During the course of a nine-month legal battle to regain custody of their children, the Jacksons say they have encountered prejudice against their religion and homeschooling as they fight a state agency determined to see the children adopted by strangers no matter what the evidence says. According to the Jacksons, DYFS employees, contractors and foster parents alike have demonstrated anti-religious bias, including one case supervisor who refused to allow the Jacksons to pray with their children as they wished, for the reunification of the family. ‘You can pray about other things, you can pray that they’ll be happy in their placements,’ said a DYFS worker identified by Jackson as Denise Hollerbach. Jackson accuses DYFS of fraudulently misrepresenting statements by himself and his children to build a case against him, ‘brainwashing’ the children by telling them they have been abused and ‘isolating’ them by not allowing them to be assessed independently by U.S. Army investigators. The father of five claims DYFS suppressed a medical report concluding that injuries suffered by daughter Chaya Jackson could not be proven with ‘medical certainty’ to have resulted from child abuse. Dr. Mark S. Finkelstein of the Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children wrote, ‘It is equally possible that this injury may have occurred in or around the time of birth or in the later post-neonatal period’--before Chaya was adopted by the Jacksons. ‘DYFS kept this out of the court. We had to get it and provide it as evidence,’ said Jackson. ... ‘DYFS had the information to exonerate us before they removed our children, but they continued on to try to gather information to remove the kids,’ said Carolyn Jackson. ‘It's been difficult to work with them and try to walk in integrity and love when you know anything you say will be turned around and used against you.’”
CYBERSTALKERS USE DIGITAL PHOTOS POSTED ONLINE (Friday Church News Notes, January 28, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Digital Photos Hide Data,” FoxNews.com, Jan. 19, 2011: “Social networking and smartphones go hand in hand for the web savvy. But few people realize they may be giving away more than they plan to when they post even the most innocuous photos from their Blackberry phones or Apple iPhones. Most smartphones encode a GPS stamp called a geotag into digital photos they capture, a tag that reveals the exact location a photo was taken by embedding longitude and latitude coordinates. Share that picture on Twitter or Facebook and anyone can instantly discern where you are, warned Ben Jackson, a security analyst and co-founder of the website ICanStalkU.com. ... ICanStalkU.com aims to monitor social-network users on Twitter and let them know when they're giving away their exact locations, and it covers people all over the country and around the world. In just over three months ICanStalkU.com has managed to track 50,000 different photos using geotags. ... We decided to put Jackson’s tracking skills to the test. Heading to a random side street in New Bedford, Mass., I took a quick snapshot and posted the photo online, linking it to my Twitter page. Within 15 minutes Jackson was driving down the street to say hello. ... People with more nefarious intentions can use that and other data to swipe identities, stalk victims and scout locations.”
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). This material is sent only to those who personally subscribe to the Fundamental Baptist Information Service mailing list. To SUBSCRIBE, go to http://www.wayoflife.org/wayoflife/subscribe.html. TO UNSUBSCRIBE OR CHANGE ADDRESSES, go to the very bottom of any email received from us and click "Manage My Subscription." Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com.