June 17, 2011 Volume 12, Issue 23
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.
ECUMENICAL DANCE FAD (Friday Church News Notes, June 17, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143 ) -
Resurrection dancing is a new fad that is sweeping the world. It was spawned by UpToFaith, a ministry in Hungary that performed the first Resurrection Dance in Heroes Square in Budapest on Easter Sunday 2010. UpToFaith is described as “a group of artists whose goal it is to see and make seen the invisible in the visible, eternity in time, and the heart of man.” Everything is doctrinally vague, allowing for a wide ecumenism. The music has a “driving beat with techno and rap elements” and the lyrics are nearly meaningless. Consider the chorus to “Up to Faith Dance”: “When it’s up to faith, be the difference/ It’s not up to fate, go the distance/ Once upon a time, write the story/ People up to faith, hearts restoring/ What’s the word today, who will lead us/ Living Word today, only Jesus/ Coming back to home, tears to laughter/ Happy ending found here and after.” What’s that mean? It means whatever you want it to mean. The Roman Catholic, the Protestant, the Baptist, even the New Ager can find his own meaning here. UpToFaith distributes a training video to teach the dance choreography. The ecumenical dance has been repeated at many places this year, including Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. Second Baptist Church in Houston performed the dance routine on Discovery Green in the city’s downtown. It is scheduled to be performed in November in Richmond, Virginia, by the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Paige Peak, assistant executive director for the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, says, “Virginia Baptists will come together in unity and cooperation through a dance of celebration” (“In November, Baptists in Virginia Will Be Dancing,” Associated Baptist Press, May 31, 2011). The dances don’t proclaim a clear gospel message; they proclaim the message of end-times apostasy. It’s about my self-esteem and being free to follow my heart. It’s about building the one-world church. It’s about imitating the ways of the world in contrast to Romans 12:2. It’s 2 Timothy 4:3-4 set to rock music. “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.”
COOPERATIVE BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP AND MERCER SPONSOR NON-JUDGMENTAL CONFERENCE ON SEXUALITY (Friday Church News Notes, June 17, 2011, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143 ) -
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Mercer University are co-sponsors of a “Conference on Sexuality and Covenant” scheduled for April 2012. The three-day conference will be non-judgmental and non-directive. It’s all about dialogue and “engaging in a conversation.” Rick Bennett, director of Missional congregations for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, says it is important to “listen deeply to everyone and be ever mindful that none of us has all the truth” (“CBF, Mercer Collaborate,” Associated Baptist Press, May 31, 2011). David Gushee, professor of Christian ethics at Mercer, says, “We are not looking for grandstanding diatribes. ... We want to foster a deliberate, thoughtful conversation.” The liberal side of the emerging church loves dialogue because it has rejected the Bible as the infallible Word of God and the sole authority for faith and practice. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy to “preach the Word,” but the emerging church considers dogmatic Bible preaching a “diatribe.” The non-judgmental dialogue approach is considered the epitome of compassion and empathy, but it is not, because it encourages people in the vanity of their own minds rather than pointing them to eternal truth.
SBC CONSERVATIVE MEETING DRAWS PATHETICALLY SMALL CROWD (Friday Church News Notes, June 17, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143 ) -
A meeting of “SBC Conservatives” on June 13 drew “about 20 pastors and laymen who lamented the current direction of the Southern Baptist Convention.” This new organization, led by Kent Cochran, shares some of our own concerns, though within very narrow confines. The focus of the warning is on the affiliation of many SBC preachers and leaders (such as Ed Stetzer) with the Acts 29 church planting network. Cochran warned about the fact that Acts 29 supports social drinking and “requires its church planters to embrace Reformed, or Calvinist, theology” (“SBC Conservatives,” Baptist Press, June 14, 2011). The “SBC Conservatives” gathering was held during the annual Southern Baptist Convention national meeting in Phoenix. Acts 29 embraces the heresy of “cultural liberalism” (a term used by one of its founders, Mark Driscoll). Acts 29 churches love every type of rock & roll, review R-rated movies, host champaign dance parties, conduct beer making classes, gamble on men’s card playing nights, and routinely mock modest dress standards. The fact that only 20 people showed up to support the warning against Acts 29 tells us exactly where the Southern Baptist Convention is today. It is a mixed multitude that is addicted to the pop culture. It is filled with ancient heresies and end-times fables, as we have documented in the free eBook “The Path from Independent Baptist to The Shack, Rome, and Beyond.” See http://www.wayoflife.org/thepath/index.html
MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON EARTH (Friday Church News Notes, June 17, 2011, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143 ) -
The following is excerpted from “The Most Dangerous Place on Earth,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2011: “Syed Saleem Shahzad, a prominent Pakistani journalist and correspondent for the Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online news service, was found dead Tuesday, his body reportedly bearing signs of torture. ... His most recent article alleged that the military secretly negotiated with al Qaeda over the release of naval officials whom the government had arrested for possible links to the terrorist network. ... The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists counts 15 journalists murdered for their writings since our colleague Danny Pearl in 2002. Eight died last year, making the country the deadliest place in the world for this profession. In most cases, the government hasn't proceded with investigations or prosecutions. ... The government is failing to protect ordinary citizens too. Terrorists killed 2,542 people in 2010, and the sense of lawlessness is allowing common criminals freer rein. Rapes and kidnappings are up dramatically in recent years. The police appear helpless. Meanwhile, non-Muslims continue to be targeted under Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law, the product of legislators playing to the Islamist galleries. Two prominent Pakistani politicians who dared to speak up against the law were killed this year. ... Pakistan’s leaders are failing to maintain law and order, and anyone who dares to speak out risks being tortured and dumped in a ditch like Shahzad.”
BRITISH DOCTOR RAPPED FOR TALKING ABOUT GOD WITH PATIENT (Friday Church News Notes, June 17, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143 ) -
The following is excerpted from The Telegraph, May 21, 2011: “A family doctor, Dr Richard Scott, fears losing his job after he was reprimanded by the General Medical Council for talking to a patient about God. The committed Christian, was accused of ‘harassment’ and told by the medical regulator that he risked bringing the profession into disrepute by discussing his religious beliefs. The Cambridge-educated doctor has refused to accept a formal warning on his record, and is instead taking legal action to fight the censure. His case follows a series of high-profile disputes between Christians and their employers over their freedom to express their beliefs, including an electrician who displayed a cross in his van and a nurse who prayed for a patient. Dr Scott, 50, a married father of three, saw the patient who is at centre of the complaint in 2010. Following the consultation, the patient’s mother complained that the doctor had abused his position by ‘pushing religion’ on her son. He argues that he acted within official guidelines, having asked if he could talk about his Christian beliefs to the patient, who is of a different faith, and having ended the conversation as soon as he was asked to. ... After receiving the complaint, the GMC told Dr Scott that it was taking the matter seriously, and last month it sent a letter warning him over his conduct. The regulator told the doctor that the way he expressed his religious beliefs had ‘distressed’ the patient and did “not meet with the standards required of a doctor”. ... Dr Scott is so determined to clear his name that he is preparing to take the case to an appeal even though he has been warned this could result in him being struck off. ‘What’s happened to me is an injustice and I want to stand up for Christians who have been getting hammered in the workplace,’ he said.”
ATHEIST LOSES ANOTHER CASE (Friday Church News Notes, June 17, 2011, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143 ) -
The following is from “Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to ‘so help me God,’” Associated Press, May 21, 2011: “The Supreme Court has refused to consider an atheist’s challenge to adding ‘so help me God’ to the president’s inaugural oath. The justices refused to hear an appeal from Michael Newdow, who argued that government references to God are unconstitutional and infringe on his atheistic beliefs. The words ‘so help me God’ are not in the presidential oath required by the Constitution, but many presidents have added them. The Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that if the Chief Justice was barred from prompting the repetition of those words, a president-elect could find someone else to administer the oath. Newdow also has sued unsuccessfully to strike the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance and ‘In God We Trust’ from U.S. coins and currency.”
SPORTS ANCHOR FIRED AFTER BACKING TRUE MARRIAGE (Friday Church News Notes, June 17, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143 ) -
The following is excerpted from LifeSiteNews, May 12, 2011: “One of Canada’s leading TV sports broadcasters fired one of its anchors Wednesday after he voiced support for true marriage on Twitter. Damian Goddard, the now-former host of ‘Connected’ on Rogers Sportsnet, had tweeted his support of Burlington hockey agent Todd Reynolds, who created a stir this week when he criticized New York Rangers hockey star Sean Avery for shooting a TV ad backing gay ‘marriage.’ ‘I completely and wholeheartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage,’ wrote Goddard on May 10th. He also voiced support for U.S. Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar, who resigned as chef de mission for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team after homosexual activists created a controversy over his support for true marriage. Sportsnet had distanced themselves from the comments on their own Twitter account. They announced Wednesday that Goddard had been fired and did not specify the reasons. ... Goddard is standing by the comments. ‘In terms of what I said, I stand by it,’ he told the Toronto Star. ‘I’m a devout Roman Catholic. It’s not about hate at all.’”
ENGLAND’S LARGEST CHRISTIAN PRO-LIFE ORGANIZATION PROMOTES THE NON-JUDGMENTAL GOD (Friday Church News Notes, June 17, 2011, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143 ) -
CARE (Christian Action, Research and Education), England’s largest pro-life organization, proclaims a non-judgmental God, which is the idol of the ecumenical movement. Through its network of 162 crisis pregnancy counseling centers, its web site, and its literature, CARE has a large influence. It claims on one hand to “defend the dignity and sanctity of human life,” but its non-judgmental counseling approach undermines this objective. Having capitulated to the psychological counseling philosophy, CARE instructs women to consult their “feelings” about what is right or wrong. The organization’s pamphlet Making a Decision uses the words “feel” or “feelings” 23 times. The woman making a decision about whether or not to “terminate” a pregnancy is instructed to determine “your personal values” and to decide whether any certain decision is “right or wrong in your eyes.” CARE encourages “an informed choice” as to whether to keep the child, adopt, or abort, but it does not proclaim God’s Word that abortion is the sin of murder. CARE’s fundamental error is a false view of God. CARE says, “God’s love is compassionate, non-judgmental and does not condemn” (Called to Care). Dr. E.S. Williams rightly warns: “The effect of non-judgemental counselling is to create the impression in the mind of a woman that her act of abortion will not be judged, but this is appalling advice, for God hates the action which is contemplated. ... Based on this false view of God, the ‘compassionate’ counsellor can offer the woman both an abortion and ‘forgiveness’ at the same time” (What Is Going on in Christian Crisis Pregnancy Counselling? p. 61). The true and living God is compassionate beyond comprehension, having sent His own Son to suffer in the place of wicked sinners, but He is also a thrice holy lawgiver and judge of sin. He has provided full salvation from sin, but it is not automatic and cannot be presumed upon. He demands repentance. God’s grace teaches sinners to “go and sin no more.” “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). CARE’s god is the god of The Shack. This god’s “unconditional love” has no rules, does not make people feel guilty for their actions, and never sends anyone to eternal fiery hell. This is the idol of end-times apostasy and it is the god that is encountered through the ecumenical movement. This god’s anthems are sung to the pounding beat of Christian rock.
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 , firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAY OF LIFE LITERATURE SHARING POLICY: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our very expensive literature, video, and foreign church planting ministry. Way of Life’s content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, video presentations, O Timothy magazine, and FBIS articles. You are free to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles. All we ask is that you give proper credit. Things we do not want copied and distributed freely are items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print edition of our books, PDFs of the books, etc. These items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we need the income from the sale of these to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy.