Friday Church News Notes, Volume 16, Issue 4

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.

CONTEMPORARY MUSICIANS AND SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION STANDS UNITED WITH NEW AGE ROMAN CATHOLIC (Friday Church News Notes, January 23, 2015,,, 866-295-4143) - This week, the Southern Baptist Convention and some of the most popular and influential contemporary Christian musicians joined hands with a New Age Roman Catholic in a unity performance. The January 21 “We Will Stand” concert, sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources, Voice of the Martyrs, and Compassion International, among others, featured “33 of the greatest CCM artists in history” (“We Are United,” These included Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Newsboys, Don Moen, Mark Schultz, Sandi Patti, Travis Cottrell (Beth Moore’s worship leader), Steven Curtis Chapman, Steve Green, Dallas Holm, Russ Taff, The Imperials, Don Francisco, First Call, Michael Omartian, Francesca Battistelli, Kari Jobe, Jaci Velasquez, Laura Story, Petra, 4Him, Point of Grace, Carman, and Nicole Mullen. The theme is unity: “CCM United: one message, many voices.” The concert title is from Russ Taff’s song “We Will Stand,” which says, “You’re my brother/ You’re my sister/ So take me by the hand/ together we will work until He comes.” We Are United is the brainchild of Stan Moser, one of the fathers of CCM. Board members of the Gospel Music Trust Fund, one of the major beneficiaries of the concert, include Bill Gaither and National Quartet Convention President Les Beasley. They are all peas in one pod, and Amos 3:3 tells us that they agree together in the terrible compromise. Billed as “the greatest night in the history of contemporary Christian music,” it demonstrates unequivocally the one-world church character of this movement. It’s not a biblical unity in truth and righteousness, but an abominable unity in diversity. Roma Downey played a prominent role in the concert. As we have reported in past issues of Friday Church News Notes, Downey is the Roman Catholic co-creator (with her husband) of the History Channel’s popular “The Bible” miniseries and The Son of God movie. She calls Pope Francis “a new pope of hope” (“Roma Downey,” Christian Post, April 4, 2013). She says, “I have prayed to Mary and loved her my whole life” (“The Bible: An Epic Mini-Series,”, Feb. 28, 2013). She promotes the use of the rosary as a meditation practice by which she prays to Mary as the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God. The Catholic Mary is sinless and can hear and answer the prayers of every petitioner, thus having the divine attributes of mediatorship, omnipresence, and omnipotence. But Roma Downey’s heresies exceed Rome’s papacy, sacramental gospel, and communion with a demon masquerading as Mary. Roma graduated from the University of Santa Monica with a graduate degree in Spiritual Psychology, which is described at the school’s web site as “the study and practice of the art and science of human evolution in consciousness.” The benefits of Spiritual Psychology include “experiencing enhanced spiritual awareness through knowing yourself as a Divine Being” and “learning to relate to yourself with greater compassion and awareness of yourself as a Divine Being having a human experience.” Roma Downey’s false gospel, false christ, and false spirit are welcome within the broad tent of CCM, and Bible-believing churches that play around with contemporary worship music are building bridges to this most dangerous world.

THE HYPOCRISY OF JOINING HANDS WITH CATHOLICS BUT NOT MORMONS (Friday Church News Notes, January 23, 2015,,, 866-295-4143) - The hypocrisy and inconsistency of the ecumenical movement was on display recently in the Cairns Christian Ministers Network (Cairns, Queensland, Australia). (Cairns is pronounced “cans.”) On January 13, the CCMN sent out a statement that they are not supporting the local World Day of Prayer service in March because it is being held in the Mormon church. The announcement stated that “CCMN (corporately and individually) emphatically does not support the beliefs of the Mormon church in any way.” Two days later, the CCMN sent out an announcement promoting the ..

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The Dead Sea Scrolls

January 22, 2015 (first published June 8, 2010) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,

Quman Caves
I have been reading about the Dead Sea Scrolls for years, but my interest was piqued to a higher degree recently after visiting two sites associated with them: the caves and the museum at Qumran, and the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem where the first seven scrolls are housed.

The scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in 11 caves near the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, 13 miles southeast of Jerusalem. The first cave contained two Isaiah scrolls, including the nearly intact Great Isaiah Scroll.

The scrolls contain the remains of about 900 different writings, mostly written between 200 B.C. and 68 A.D. The vast majority of the scrolls are in fragments. The Dead Sea Scrolls have been called “the world’s greatest jigsaw puzzle.” Most of the scrolls were written on parchment (sheep or goat skins), while a minority were written on papyrus and clay, and two were written on copper (Geza Vermes,
The Story of the Scrolls, 2010).

Advanced dating tests in the early 1990s confirmed that the biblical scrolls date to the two centuries before Christ (George Bonani, “Carbon-14 Tests Substantiate Scroll Dates,”
Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 1991, p. 72).

The scrolls were preserved by the exceedingly dry climate, of the caves, which are 1,300 feet below sea level.

Four-fifths of the scrolls are written in Hebrew, and 25% of them are books of the Bible. There are parts of every O.T. book except Esther, thus confirming the traditional canon of Scripture. There are 15 copies of Genesis, 17 of Exodus, 13 of Leviticus, eight of Numbers, 29 of Deuteronomy, two of Joshua, three of Judges, 21 of Isaiah, six of Jeremiah, six of Ezekiel, 36 of Psalms, two of Proverbs, and four of Ruth.

There were no portions of New Testaments books among the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Jesus is nowhere mentioned in them.

The Great Isaiah Scroll

The most important and complete O.T. book among the Dead Sea Scrolls is the Great Isaiah Scroll, which contains all 66 books of Isaiah. It was found in the first cave and was written on 17 pieces of sheepskin sewn together to form a scroll measuring about 24 feet in length. It resides at the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and a realistic facsimile is on display in the main room. It has been dated at least four times by the carbon-14 method and the results have ranged from 335 to 107 B.C. Other techniques (e.g., writing material and style, associated coins and other artifacts) have dated it to 150-100 B.C. Thus it was written at least a century before Christ.

The Essenes Cult

The non-biblical books of the Dead Sea Scrolls represent a wide range of books, many of which are the heretical teachings of a Jewish cult called the Essenes, which probably operated a monastic community nearby at Qumran. They considered themselves the true Israel and believed that God had called them to restore the Law of Moses and establish the kingdom of God on earth. Their leader was called “the Teacher of Righteousness.”

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The Cuckoo

January 21, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, )

The cuckoo is the the common name for a family of birds (scientific name Cuculidae) that has about 60 members.

There is a large variety. While most are dove-sized, but they can range in size from 6.5 to 36 inches; and while the most common are blue gray and brown, some are iridescent blue and emerald green. All have long tails, usually with the individual feathers tipped with white.

The most common is the
Cuculus canorus, known simply as the “cuckoo,” the “European cuckoo,” and the “common cuckoo.” The male’s wings, back, and tail are dark gray or bluish gray; its neck, breast, and head are light gray; its eyes are red, and its feet are orange. Its belly is white with dark stripes or bars. The female comes in two varieties. One looks like the male, except its belly is buff colored rather than white. The other is reddish brown and often covered with dark bars.

The bird’s name derives from the “cuck-oo” sound it makes. Some can drive their human neighbors near crazy with their endless cuckooing.

Cuckoos love hairy caterpillars, but before eating them they shake the toxins out of the creature.

Brood Parasitism

The most famous or infamous characteristic of the cuckoo is called brood parasitism, which means they lay their eggs in the nests of other types of birds.

This amazing process involves many things.

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Angry Birds - The Real Issue

January 20, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,

I received the following gracious communication from a pastor in regard to the report “Paul Chappell’s Angry Birds” by Bob Kirkland, which we published from Pastor Kirkland’s web site on December 18, 2014. This pastor said:

“Bro Cloud,
“As I always begin my emails to you, let me say that I have received your material for years (printed and electronic), and also make use of it in my own church. I believe you are a Godly man with a well balanced way of looking at most things. You and I would probably get along well, were we ever to meet and have opportunity to talk.
“I am in agreement with you about the CCM issue. I also believe churches are treading on dangerous ground to mess with it. It no doubt will be the spiritual demise of many good churches.

“I will have to say though, that this Angry Birds business is just plain silly and childish. Yes, I realize (according to the article) that Bro Chappell ‘started it.’ But Bro Kirkland answered, and then you reprinted his answer. This brother even went so far as to quote from the ‘Angry Bird app's description’ of itself, as though it were some type of Bible reference or something.

“I agree with the gist of the article, about being clear in reproof -- but for goodness' sake, is this REALLY what King James believing Baptist preachers are reduced to? Comparing one another to video games??? I bet the Devil's crowd would laugh themselves to death over this thing.

“I have never met any of you personally (although I did hear Bro Chappell preach once, and I have listened to and watched you on dvd, etc.). I have no doubt that you, Bro Kirkland and Bro Chappell are all good men. I also want to believe  that you all are wise and mature enough to not fall into the trap of ‘foolish talking’ of Ephesians 5. ...

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Friday Church News Notes, Volumne 16, Issue 3

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.

HILLSONG STILL SCRATCHING ITCHING EARS (Friday Church News Notes, January 16, 2015,, 866-295-4143) - Some years back, Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Church in Sydney, was asked by a reporter from the city newspaper why his church is so prosperous in a country like Australia, which is decidedly not the Bible belt. He replied, “We are scratching people where they are itching” (“The Lord’s Profits,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 30 2003). It was refreshing to hear his honesty in admitting that he is fulfilling prophecy. “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” (2 Timothy 4:3). The apostate generation described in this prophecy has ears that itch for new things and fables, and there are “heaps” of teachers clamoring to satisfy that itch. A major way that Hillsong scratches the apostate itch is through music, which is admitted in the following review of Hillsong Young & Free’s “This Is Living” album: “As oxymoronic as it may sound, JESUS CERTAINLY SOUNDS GOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR. While Hillsong Worship and Hillsong UNITED thrive on a decidedly more anthemic pop-rock stadium filling sound, Hillsong Young and Free (Y&F) exists more for those who wish to take Jesus into electronic dance music (EDM). With swirling beats and disco dazzling daze, Y&F has given worship music an updated sound that makes it stand toe to toe with the music of Meghan Trainor and Bruno Mars ... With more and more members of UNITED getting past their youthful prime, Y&F has been pioneered to lead younger folks to Jesus WITH MUSIC THAT TICKLES THEIR EARS and gets them JIVING FOR THE GOSPEL” (“Hillsong Young and Free,”, Jan. 6, 2015). There is no doubt that Hillsong is one of the biggest itching-ear-ticklers on the planet. This generation is “hooked on a feeling,” and CCM scratches that itch in a big way.

DEATHS AND INJURIES AMONG THOSE TRYING TO TOUCH JESUS STATUE (Friday Church News Notes, January 16, 2015,,, 866-295-4143) - Two died and a thousand sought medical attention in the commotion surrounding the worship of a Roman Catholic statue of Jesus in the Philippines. Five million barefoot people performing penance flooded the streets as the statue was paraded through Manila preceding the visit of Pope Francis. The frenzied crowds want to touch the statue and rub cloths on it, in the pagan belief that they can experience the transfer of blessings and miracles from a dead idol. The popular 17th-century statue, which depicts a dark-complexioned, long-haired, haloed Jesus carrying a cross, was approved for veneration in 1650 by Pope Innocent X. In 1880, Pope Pius VII gave the statue a papal blessing and granted plenary indulgence for those who pray before it. It is brought out for public veneration three times a year: New Year’s Day, January 9, which is the statue’s Feast procession, and Good Friday. It is exactly the type of thing that Hindus do, hoping for blessing and good luck from their idols. Last year, a new routine was begun for the Black Nazarene. The Jesus statue stopped at the Basilica Minore de San Sebastián where a Mary statue (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) was brought..

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