Friday Church New Notes, Volume 15, Issue 36

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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PAPAL GREETING TO WALDENSIAN CHURCHES (Friday Church News Notes, September 12, 2014, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Pope Francis sent a message of fraternal greeting to the Methodist and Waldensian churches on the occasion of their annual synod, August 24-29, Torre Pellice, Italy. The message said the “Holy Father prays that the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, grant to all Christians progress on the path towards full communion, to witness to the Lord Jesus Christ and to offer the light and strength of His Gospel to the men and women of our time” (“Pope Francis Sends Message,” Zenit, Aug. 25, 2014). For the Waldenses to accept such a heretical message from the “holy father,” offered through the blasphemous doctrine of the intercession of Mary, is clear evidence of their spiritual downfall. The Union of Methodist and Waldensian Churches was formed in 1975 by the merger of the Waldensian Evangelical Church and the Italian Methodist Church. Prior to their modern apostasy, the Waldensian churches stood for the New Testament faith and against Rome and her heresies, suffering great persecution at her hands. For example, the Confession of Faith of the Waldenses (AD 1120 and AD 1150), held that salvation is by the grace of Jesus Christ alone and that the Bible alone is the Word of God and the sole standard for judgment, rejected Rome’s Mary, papal primacy, vows of celibacy, purgatory, masses for the dead, and veneration of saints, and held to the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper alone. In those ancient Waldensian confessions, the Roman Catholic Church was called “the whole of Babylon.” We have given many quotations from these and other ancient documents as well as recounted many of the Waldensian persecutions in A History of the Churches from a Baptist Perspective, one of the Advanced Bible Studies Series courses, and in Rome and the Bible: Tracing the History of the Roman Catholic and Its Persecutions of the Bible and of Bible Believers.

WALDENSIAN PERSECUTIONS (Friday Church News Notes, September 12, 2014, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - One of the strongholds of the ancient Bible-believing Waldenses was the northern Italian Alps. The term “Waldenses” refers to “people of the valleys,” and there are four major valleys in the Cottian Alps that formed the historic home of these Waldensians: Val Germanasca, Val Chisone, Val Angrogna, and Val Pellice. To the north is Switzerland and to the west, France. In 2003, we drove part way up two of these valleys. Even today there are not many roads. In particular, we visited the following towns and villages: Torre Pellice, Villar Pellice, Luserna, Gianavella, Bobbio Pellice, Rora, Lorenzo, Chanforan, and Serra. All of these valleys were scenes of terrible Roman Catholic persecutions during the 15th to 17th centuries. The papal cruelties perpetuated against the Bible-believing Christians were vicious. The following brief account of a just few..


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What Rights Will Others Lose When Homosexuals Gain Their Rights?


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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.

WHEN HOMOSEXUALS GAIN THEIR RIGHTS, YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO SAY ANYTHING THAT MIGHT APPEAR BIASED AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY.

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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Israel in Bible Prophecy

September 10, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org;)
The Bible’s amazing prophecies are evidence of its divine inspiration. They are clear and detailed and unfailing.

This is in contrast to extra-biblical prophecies, which are typically vague and inaccurate.

Consider the Sibyl prophetesses in the fourth century. When Maxentius consulted these before meeting Constantine in the battle on the banks of the Tiber, he was told, “On that day the enemy of Rome will perish.” This prophecy is so vague that it would apply to whoever won!

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The prophecies of Nostradamus were “cryptic” and “obscure.” Consider the following prophecy that is alleged to describe Hitler: “Beasts ferocious from hunger will swim across rivers: The greater part of the region will be against the Hister. The great one will cause it to be dragged in an iron cage, when the German child will observe nothing” (centuries #2, quatrain #24). This is so vague that it is meaningless.

Consider astrology. The forecasts are usually very vague, such as, “Some friends may have the feeling that you’ve been ignoring them.” And when the astrological forecasts are more precise, they are usually wrong. Two famous astrologers in Britain predicted that Hitler would not start World War II. Edward Lyndoe said, “The Nazis attacking Britain? Don’t make me laugh! Not a sign in my charts” (June 25, 1939).

Consider Jean Dixon. She prophesied that the Soviets would beat the U.S. to the moon, that World War III would begin in 1958, and that a cure would be found for cancer in 1967.

Consider Edgar Cayce. He prophesied that China would be converted to Christianity in 1968 and that Armageddon would occur in 1999.

In contrast, Bible prophecy is clear and detailed, and it has never failed. For example, the prophecies about Christ’s coming 2,000 years ago described such details as the exact time of His coming, the exact place of His birth, the piercing of His hands and feet on the cross, the words that He spoke from the cross, the soldiers gambling for His garments, and His burial in a rich man’s tomb.

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Temple Worship Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

September 9, 2014 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org;)

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Though some churches don’t believe in using music instruments, it is obvious that God loves sacred worship music. Today the church is the house of God and the following things in the Old Testament are an example for the churches (Rom. 15:4).

David organized the music worship program for the temple (1 Ch. 15:16-28; 16:4-6; 23:1-5; 25:1-31), and he did this by divine revelation (2 Ch. 29:25).

Notice some lessons from these passages.

(1) The instruments were harps, psalteries, cymbals, trumpets and cornets (1 Ch. 15:28). These are not the type of instruments used to create worldly dance music. Notice that there were no drums. These are instruments that provide good accompaniment to the human voice, because it is the human voice that enunciates the words of edification and praise.

(2) The singers and musicians were skillful (“excel,” 1 Ch. 15:21; “skilful,” 1 Ch. 15:22; “cunning,” 1 Ch. 25:7). One qualification for ministry is ability. When God calls an individual to a ministry, he gifts and equips him for that ministry. For example, the elder must be apt to teach and must be able to exhort and convince false teachers (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9). If a man cannot do this work, he is not called to be an elder.

(3) They excelled (1 Ch. 15:21). They wanted everything to be as perfect as possible; mediocrity was unacceptable.

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Friday Church New Notes, Volume 15, Issue 36

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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FORMER AP REPORTER UNVEILS COVER-UPS, BIAS IN ISRAEL COVERAGE (Friday Church News Notes, September 5, 2014, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - A seasoned reporter and editor with four years experience with the Associated Press’s Jerusalem bureau, who self-describes as a “liberal,” has had the courage to tell the truth about “mainstream” coverage of the Palestinian-Israel conflict. Matti Friedman’s “Insiders Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth,” published by The Tablet on August 26, is a fascinating glimpse, from a secular viewpoint, into current events prophesied in Scripture and explained only by Scripture. Friedman’s report documents the widespread pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel sentiment among reporters. He describes it as “a hostile obsession with Jews ... among those who populate the news industry.” The Bible describes it like this: “And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee” (Deut. 28:37). God warned Israel that if she rejected His law, He would reject her and evict her from the land and send her into the nations where she would experience bitter persecution. This was prophesied by Moses in Deuteronomy 28 in about 1450 BC before Israel had even entered the land under the leadership of Joshua.

Friedman’s report documents the fact that the “Israel story” takes up vastly more reporting resources than any other world story. Friedman says the news agencies “believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.” The Bible describes it like this: “Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her” (Ezek. 5:5). God chose Israel as the instrument of His self-revelation to mankind, and Israel will continued to be “the most important story on earth” for a very long time!

Friedman’s report documents the extreme, unconscionable bias of not reporting on the corruption and inbred hatred of the “Palestinians.” He says, “If you follow mainstream coverage, you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government. ... The Hamas charter, for example, calls not just for Israel’s destruction but for the murder of Jews and blames Jews for engineering the French and Russian revolutions and both world wars; the charter was never mentioned in print when I was at the AP, though Hamas won a Palestinian national election and had become one of the region’s most important players” (“Insiders Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth”). The Bible describes the reason for this amazing duplicity in mainstream news reporting as follows: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). The devil is in control of this present world. He hates Israel, and unbelievers are his instruments. He “worketh in them.”

Friedman’s report documents the fact that Israel is a fragile island in a vast ocean of hatred. He describes it as follows: “A knowledgeable observer of the Middle East cannot avoid the impression that the region is a volcano and that the lava is radical Islam, an ideology whose various incarnations are now shaping this part of the world. ISRAEL IS A TINY VILLAGE ON THE SLOPES OF THE VOLCANO” (“Insiders Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth”). The reason why Israel has not been destroyed after 2,000 years of wandering and the reason why the modern state of Israel has not been destroyed though outrageously outnumbered and outgunned is described by the Bible as follows: “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee” (Deut. 30:1-3). God promised to keep Israel in her 2,000-year-old dispersion and to bring her back to her land. This is beginning to be fulfilled, and though Israel must still go through a lot of trouble because of her unbelief, nothing can destroy her.

Friedman concludes his analysis of mainstream news coverage of Israel as follows: “Many of the people deciding what you will read and see from here view their role not as explanatory but as political.
Coverage is a weapon to be placed at the disposal of the side they like.”

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