Friday Church News, Volume 16, Issue 17

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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Dr. Oz
DOCTORS CALL FOR REMOVAL OF “DR. OZ” (Friday Church News Notes, April 24, 2015, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Ten top medical doctors have called upon Columbia University to remove Mehmet Oz (“Dr. Oz”) from its faculty. Oz is vice chairman and professor of surgery, but in spite of his impressive credentials, he is a promoter of quackery. The open letter, issued by a group of doctors led by Henry Miller of Stanford University, says that Oz has “misled and endangered” the public and has “manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain” (“Physicians Demand Removal of ‘Dr. Oz,’” Fox News, Apr. 17, 2015). Last year, a U.S. Senate panel accused Oz of endorsing products that are medically unsound and making claims that are not substantiated by fact. Mehmet Oz, together with Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman, have been highly promoted by Rick Warren in spite of their New Age principles. The three men created Warren’s Daniel Plan. Oz is not only a promoter of quack diets; he is a follower of Emanuel Swedenborg, who entertained spirit guides and was deeply involved with Eastern mysticism (“Special Report,” Lighthouse Trails, Jan. 11, 2011). Oz also promotes Reiki, an occultic practice that allegedly channels “universal healing energy.” Amen teaches Eastern meditation, promotes Reiki, and deals in pop psychology and self-help. Amen’s The Brain in Love and Making a Good Brain Great promote Hindu-style meditation through the vain repetition of the alleged primal sounds. Mark Hyman promotes meditation based on Buddhist principles. He claims that “diseases don’t exist; their symptoms are related to effects” (“Rick Warren’s Celebrity Health Plan Draws Thousands,” The Orange County Register, Jan. 16, 2011). To say that disease doesn’t exist apart from human causes is New Age nonsense. While it is true that diet and exercise can affect one’s health, all diseases are not the result of lifestyle. We are fallen sinners who live in a sin-cursed world, and disease and death are realities that affect every individual regardless of his lifestyle. In the book The Bible and Diet, we warn that the alternative health care field is permeated with New Age philosophy. A friend observed that health food stores are New Age chapels. Beware! Although we know that it is wise and godly to take care of one’s body, the Bible doesn’t have very much to say about it. What the Bible does have a lot to say about is spiritual health and separation from paganism! “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” (1 Corinthians 10:21).

MUSLIMS MURDERING CHRISTIANS ON LAND AND SEA (Friday Church News Notes, April 24, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - This week at least 28 professing Christians were murdered by Muslim jihadists. Muslim refugees traveling from Libya to Italy across the Mediterranean threw 12 Christians overboard and left them to drown (“Italian Police: Libyan Muslims Threw Christians Overboard,” Breitbart, Apr. 16, 2015). ISIS beheaded 15 Christians by the sea shore and shot another 15 in the desert (“You Will Not Have Safety Until You Accept Islam,” Christian News Network, Apr. 19, 2015). In Pakistan, a 14-year-old Christian boy was burned to death. He was asked by two masked men if he was a Christian, and when he replied that he was, they doused him with kerosene..

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Next Generation Rocking at Lancaster Baptist Church

April 23, 2015 (first published Oct. 31, 2014 in Friday Church News Notes) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

Lancaster Baptist Church of Lancaster, California, has been playing with Contemporary Christian Music for a long time, and the fruit is evident. (We document dozens of examples of Lancaster’s use of contemporary worship songs in the report “Analyzing Lancaster Baptist Church's Music,” and those are only a few examples.)

We have warned that nothing can change the transformational power of this sensual, “one-world church” music, and nothing can keep it from transforming every ministry that does not heed the warning to separate from it. 

In a recent article I said, “The transformation will be most evident in Paul Chappell’s children’s generation, but by the time the transformation becomes evident enough for the average independent Baptist preacher to recognize it, it will be far too late to do anything about it” (“Preacher Says the Brethren Are Galled at Brother Cloud,” FBIS, Oct. 28, 2014).

In my first warning about Lancaster’s music, I said:

“I strongly suspect that there are people in the music department that love CCM and listen to it regularly. This is why they frequently come up with toned-down CCM specials. They remove the heavy back beat (though the dance syncopation can still be present in the piano style); there is no drum kit, no bass guitar; but it is still CCM” (“Lancaster Baptist Shouting to the Lord,” Friday Church News Notes, Feb. 18, 2011).

Mark Rasmussen, Jr., and others are evidence that my warning was on target. Mark is the son of Mark Rasmussen, Sr., vice president of West Coast and the most conservative face at the institution.

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Soft Separatism and the Downfall of Many Independent Baptist Churches

April 22, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

The following is excerpted from Why Most Independent Baptists Will Be Emerging, which is available in print and as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.

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Another reason why I am convinced that the average fundamental Baptist church will be well down the emerging path within 20 years is the prevalence of “soft separatism.”

Soft separatism is a separatism that is ineffective to protect the Lord’s people from spiritual dangers. It is characterized by professing to believe in separation but doing things that make the separation ineffective, such as focusing on positive truth and avoiding “negativism and criticism”; avoiding dealing with “personalities”; refusing to distance oneself properly from those who are headed in a wrong direction in order to cut off the leaven of compromise from one’s personal life and family and church; and messing with dangerous things such as compromised authors.

Soft separatists are more concerned about the danger of “fragmentation” and are more desirous of “unity” and getting along with the brethren than about standing for the truth, if such a stand proves to be divisive.

“Soft separatist” Independent Baptist preachers such as the extremely influential Lee Roberson, of recent memory, pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and those today who are leading large segments of the Independent Baptist movement in the same soft direction, allow bridges to be built between IBaptists and the evangelical/Southern Baptist/contemporary Christian music world. This is because they have a “keep it positive” philosophy whereby they don’t typically reprove error plainly or name the names of compromisers. They might name the name of a Billy Graham or a Robert Schuller or even a Rick Warren, but not that of a compromising fundamental Baptist leader. They don’t effectively expose the conservative evangelical bridge builders such as Ed Stetzer and John Piper, and they don’t reprove and disassociate from Independent Baptist preachers who are affiliating with the Southern Baptist Convention and evangelicalism at large.

Even if they do disassociate to some extent, they do it “quietly” and no one knows what is happening and the leaven of compromise is not therefore stopped.

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Bible Commentaries and Twittering Swallows

Enlarged April 21, 2015 (first published June 16, 2004) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)


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THERE ARE TWO COMMON PROBLEMS IN USING COMMENTARIES:

1. Leaning on them too much.

The Bible student should first go to the Bible and dig it out for himself. For this, he must get a good understanding of how to interpret the Bible. The equivalent of a Bible Institute education is the starting point to be able to use commentaries effectually and test them properly so as not to be led astray by any error that might be present.

2. Despising them.

On several occasions I have heard people disdain commentaries, but I have learned to love good commentaries and I thank God for them often. I thank God that I read and understand English, because that is where most of the good commentaries are today.

When I was a young Christian, I determined to read and study the Bible alone and to forgo consulting any commentaries or study books. I did this religiously for a few weeks, and I the Lord made it plain to me that I need help from men and that He was not going to give me everything by direct enlightenment. It is not that the Bible is insufficient; it is that I am only one weak man and can’t possibly know and understand everything without help. When I rejected the use of commentaries, I was left with my own meager resources, and though I have some gifts in understanding and teaching the Bible, I am still only a very puny man with very limited ideas when left to my own.

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Friday Church News, Volume 16, Issue 16

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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ROMAN CATHOLIC AND BILL GAITHER CREATING THE SOUND TRACK FOR THE ONE-WORLD CHURCH (Friday Church News Notes, April 17, 2015, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Matt Maher, a Roman Catholic contemporary worship musician, describes himself as a “musical missionary.” His goal is to bridge Protestantism and Catholicism. Christianity Today, which has never seen an ecumenical bridge it didn’t appreciate, says “Maher is bringing his music--and a dream of unity into the Protestant church” (“Common Bonds,” CT, Oct. 27, 2009). Maher says that touring with people like Michael W. Smith is producing ecumenical unity because people come to the concerts and find themselves standing beside a priest or nun, and they learn that “we’re all in this family together.” Now Maher is widening his ecumenical circle to include the gullible world of Southern Gospel. A few months ago he explained on YouTube the story behind his 2014 song “Because He Lives.” He says that he wanted to write a new edition of Bill Gaither’s 1974 song by that title and collaborated with his friend Chris Tomlin, a popular contemporary worship musician. Deciding that they wanted to use some lines from Gaither’s song, they contacted him. Maher says, “We went to Mr. Gaither and asked him if it would be OK if we incorporated elements from his song and he agreed. So what we have is this song which is a collective result of a lot of people’s effort. And I think that’s always been a big part of my ministry, which is trying to unify the church and to bring all of these different voices from different streams together, so this song just continues that mission. I hope it blesses your congregation” (“Behind the Song ‘Because He Lives,’ Matt Maher, YouTube, Nov. 4, 2014). In 1990, the Gaithers performed at the Indianapolis ’90 ecumenical conference where half of the attendees were Roman Catholics, and a Roman Catholic mass was held every morning. Those who are adapting contemporary worship music are building bridges to the one-world church, and nothing could be more spiritually dangerous. (For more about Matt Maher, Bill Gaither, and Chris Tomlin see The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians, available in print and a free eBook edition, www.wayoflife.org.)

THE HOLLYWOOD CROWD WILL REGRET PLAYING AROUND WITH THE HOLY THINGS OF GOD (Friday Church News Notes, April 17, 2015, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Since Mel Gibson’s blockbuster The Passion of the Christ and the History Channel’s The Bible, Hollywood has seen the light that “faith based” themes can rake in serious bucks from America’s shallow and oh-so-gullible Christians. The latest effort is Warner Brothers’ Apostle Paul, starring Hugh Jackman, who will also produce..

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