Friday Church News, Volume 16, Issue 10

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, though this does not imply an endorsement.

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TENNESSEE TEMPLE TO CLOSE ITS DOORS (Friday Church News Notes, March 6, 2015,, 866-295-4143) - Tennessee Temple University of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has announced that it is closing after almost 70 years of operation and will merge with Piedmont International University of Winston-Salem, NC, thus reaching the end of the death spiral it has been on since the 1990s. My wife and I graduated from Temple the 1970s. In those days there were over 3,000 students in the Bible school, college and seminary (2,200 in the dorms), and the average Sunday School attendance at Highland Park Baptist Church was about 4,500. The founding vision to reach the world for Christ permeated everything. Half of the church’s income was given to church planting and world missions. The annual missions conferences featured 80-100 missionaries. Hundreds of Temple graduates dedicated their lives to world missions and preached the gospel in the far-flung corners of the earth. Great changes came in the 1990s, with the introduction of rock music and a “broader” evangelical philosophy. By April 2005, Highland Park and Tennessee Temple were rocking out, no holds barred, with a concert featuring the ecumenical Bebo Norman, Fernando Ortega, and Sara Groves, held in Highland Park’s main auditorium. In about 2006 emerging church leader Dallas Willard taught the Spring Lecture Series at Temple. Willard believes that “it is possible for someone who does not know Jesus to be saved” (“Apologetics in Action,” Cutting Edge magazine, Winter 2001). He rejects the infallible inspiration of Scripture, saying, “Jesus and his words have never belonged to the categories of dogma or law, and to read them as if they did is simply to miss the point” (The Divine Conspiracy, p. xiii) By 2008, Highland Park had joined the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2012, Highland Park Baptist Church became the Church of the Highlands to reflect a location change as well as its new generic contemporary philosophy. Jeremy Roberts, Highland Park’s 28-year-old Southern Baptist pastor, said, “It’ll be the funnest church around” (“Chattanooga’s Iconic Highland Park,” Chattanooga Times Free Press, Sept. 10, 2012). In the book The Old Highland Park Baptist Church, we have documented some of the reasons for the downfall of this institution as a warning to others. It is available in print or as a free eBook from Pastor Terry Coomer, who attended Temple in the 1970s, commented to me as follows: “It is a sad time for all those who have attended and received degrees. New Evangelicalism leads people to destruction a little bit at a time and they do not even realize it is happening. As you know, when people go down this path they are defiant. They will not listen to correction. How many warnings did they receive? They have defied themselves into destruction!”

LARRY KING DOESN’T BELIEVE IN GOD BUT WANTS TO “GRAB” AT LIFE AFTER DEATH (Friday Church News Notes, March 6, 2015,, 866-295-4143) - Television talk show host Larry King says he doesn’t believe in God or life after death, but he wants to make a “grab after” it anyway through the bogus science of cryonics. In an interview on the Breakfast Club radio program in New York City, Feb. 19, the 81-year-old said, “I’m not religious, so I believe when you die you die and that’s it. [But] I’m so curious, and I like living and so I want one little chance. If I’m frozen and then they find a cure for whatever I died of and they could cure me ... It’s the one way grab at eternity to live. I don’t want to not exist. I think it’s the biggest..

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What Rights Will Others Lose When Homosexuals Gain Their Rights?

If homosexual activists are given every right they demand, citizens in Western nations will be robbed of many liberties they have heretofore enjoyed. This is not a guess; it is a judgment based on current facts. The rights to free speech and to the free exercise of religion, in particular, will be effectively destroyed.


In 1997 Jo Ann Knight was fired by the Connecticut Department of Public Health after she counseled a homosexual couple from the Bible about salvation and about the necessity of repenting of sin. Knight’s job was to supervise the provision of medical services by Medicare agencies to home health care patients, and in that capacity she interviewed patients. The homosexuals filed a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights. A district court upheld Knight’s dismissal, claiming that her religious speech caused her clients distress and interfered with the performance of her duties.

In 2000 Evelyn Bodett was fired by CoxCom Cable for expressing her biblical views against homosexuality to a lesbian subordinate. They claimed that she was thereby “coercing and harassing” the lesbian contrary to company policy. The lesbian, Kelley Carson, had sought Bodett’s advice in regard to a recent breakup with her homosexual partner, and Bodett gave her biblical counsel that homosexuality is a sin. Carson complained about the matter to a supervisor. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Bodett’s religious discrimination suit.

In 2001 Richard Peterson was fired by Hewlett-Packard after he posted Bible verses condemning homosexuality. Peterson, who had worked for HP for nearly 21 years, posted the verses in response to the company’s diversity policy that requires acceptance of homosexuality. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2004 that Peterson was not discriminated against because of his religious beliefs. Commenting on the case, Stephen Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Association’s Center for Law & Policy, said: “The new rule in the workplace seems to be: The Bible is out; diversity is in” (“Using Caesar’s Sword,” AgapePress, March 19, 2004).

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What is Gossip?

Updated March 4, 2015, 2015 (first published June 5, 1999) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,;)

Gossip is a great evil, and because of the corruption of the fallen human heart, it is a great problem. The old Adamic nature delights in hearing and spreading gossip. Gossip is not something that is confined to “old women.” In fact, it is a great problem among independent Baptist preachers. I have often been amazed at the gossip that is spread by pastors and evangelists, and I must admit before the Lord that I have done some gossiping myself through the years.

Though the word “gossip” does not appear in the Bible, the concept does. Gossip is described by the biblical words “backbiting,” “busybody,” “evil speaking,” “slander,” “talebearer,” and “tattler.” God’s people must guard themselves vigilantly against these sins. Gossip is extremely damaging. In fact, gossip can destroy a preacher’s effectiveness and can ruin an entire church.


It is very important, though, not to confuse gossip with legitimate things, such as the following:


It is not wrong to share truthful things with those who have a right to such information.

For example, it was not gossip for the household of Chloe to tell Paul about the problems in the church at Corinth (1 Cor. 1:11). As the founder of that church, Paul had a right to know about those problems. It is not talebearing to talk to a pastor or Sunday School teacher or deacon about matters in church members’ lives that they should know about. It is not talebearing to talk to a father or mother about matters affecting their children.

It was not gossip or slander for Paul to remind Timothy that the Cretians had a poor national character which he described in such strong terms as “liars, evil beasts, slow bellies” (Titus 1:12). What Paul said about the Cretians (quoting one of their own poets) was true, and his motive was not to hurt them but to help them (“that they may be sound in the faith” verse 13) and to further the work of Jesus Christ in Crete.

It is not wrong for a Christian to warn another person about a serious problem in a church or organization, so long as the information is true and the motive is not to hurt but to help and warn. Often times I have warned people about serious problems in certain churches. I have done it privately and publicly. That is not gossip and it is not slander.

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The Vicissitudes of Victory

March 3, 2015 (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,

The following is by Buddy Smith, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Malanda, Queensland, Australia,

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:36-37).

In many pastors' hearts there resides a simple heresy, a consumer driven error of great magnitude. It is the error that forces many good men out of the ministry, and leads many churches into the pursuit of big business methods and then, into open disobedience to God, and finally into theological and financial bankruptcy. This heresy is not overt, but covert. It does not wear its robes and crown when it comes. In a disguise of helpfulness it creeps in, first into the pastor's heart, then into his study, then into his sermons, then into the deacons' meeting, then into the church's advertising, and finally into the hearts and pocketbooks of the people in the pews.

A Great Heresy of the Last Days

What heresy is this that comes as an angel of light, but is actually the ambassador of Hell?

It is the heresy of Successism.

It is a heresy with axioms to be memorised and engrafted and implemented by every pastor who desires to be "successful." If you listen very closely you will hear the axioms of Successism taught at all the Leadership conferences that are hosted by "successful" Independent Baptist Churches. So what are the axioms of Successism?

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Friday Church News, Volume 16, Issue 9

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, though this does not imply an endorsement.

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ROB BELL SAYS “THE CHURCH” IS ONLY MOMENTS AWAY FROM ACCEPTING “GAY MARRIAGE” (Friday Church News Notes, February 20, 2015,,, 866-295-4143) - Rob Bell, former pastor of the emerging Mars Hill Bible Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan, said recently about “gay marriage” that “we think it’s inevitable and we are moments away from the church accepting it” (“Former Megachurch Pastor Rob Bell,” Christian Post, Feb. 17, 2015). Bell made the comment when he and his wife Kristen appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday television program to discuss their new book The ZimZum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage. Having rejected the Bible as the infallible Word of God, the Bells have lurched from one heresy to another. Their final authority is their own thinking and the pop culture of which they have deeply partaken in their zeal to be “relevant.” Bell said, “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense...” We would say, first, that “the church” that Bell is talking about is a hodgepodge of professing Christians that is no church at all in a Scriptural sense. As for being irrelevant, the churches that stand on the testimony of Scripture are the most relevant institutions on earth. They alone are standing on the rock of God’s eternal Word rather than the shifting sand of human thinking and feeling. They alone are giving a prophetic voice into the darkness of this present world. Bell is right about one thing, though. He is right that many churches will accept “gay marriage” and that we are on the cusp of a great turning point in church history. Many “churches” have already accepted homosexual marriage, and others are caving on the issue daily. The apostle John had a different message from Bell’s: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. ... And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 2:15-17; 5:19).

JUDGE RULES AGAINST CHRISTIAN FLORIST FOR REFUSING TO DECORATE HOMOSEXUAL WEDDING (Friday Church News Notes, February 27, 2015,,, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Judge tells Christian florist she is entitled to her beliefs, but not to act on them,” OneNewsNow, Feb. 19, 2015: “A Christian florist in Washington State who refused to provide flowers to two homosexuals for their wedding violated state consumer protection and anti-discrimination law, a judge ruled Wednesday. Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom rejected arguments from the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland that her actions were protected by her freedoms of speech and religion. While religious beliefs are protected by the First Amendment, actions based on those beliefs aren't necessarily protected, he said. ‘For over 135 years, the Supreme Court has held that laws may prohibit religiously motivated action, as opposed to belief,’ Ekstrom wrote. ... Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, sold flowers for years to customer Robert Ingersoll. She knew he was..

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