Friday Church News and Notes

March 11, 2022

The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature. 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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PRECIOUS LIBERTY OFFREEDOM OF THE PRESS  – Russian President Vladimir Putin is attacking freedom of the press, which has only existed there since the fall of the Soviet Union and has since been tentative at best. On March 4, Putin signed into law a measure that can jail journalists for up to 15 years for reporting that contradicts the government’s position. Two major independent news outlets–Ekho Moskvy radio and Dozhd TV–were forced off the air and off the internet for their reports on the Ukraine conflict. The chief editor of Dozhd fled the country with several others, fearing imprisonment. Freedom of press is a precious and rare commodity in this oppressive world. Only 13% of the world’s population has this freedom, according to a 2017 study by Freedom House. America was the first nation to give full freedom of the press. It was the promise of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1791 during George Washington’s first term. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” These freedoms had not existed in England. For example, in 1612, the year after the publication of the King James Bible, Baptist pastor Thomas Helwys published A Short Declaration of the Mystery of Iniquity, in which he made a simple plea for freedom of religion and supported his view with the Bible and good sense. Helwys sent a copy of the book to King James I with a handwritten note humbly and graciously asking the king to stop persecuting his subjects for their religious views. The king responded by putting the preacher in wretched Newgate prison, where he died two or three years later at about age 40. Helweys didn’t enjoy freedom of religion, freedom of press, or freedom of petition. In America, freedom of the press is under attack by social media giants. Whereas Putin is trying to control the narrative pertaining to the Ukraine, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., are trying to control the narrative pertaining to Trump, Covid, vaccine mandates, climate change, abortion, transsexuality, and whatever else they please. Censorship is spreading to “online banking, web hosting, and email delivery services.” The “mainstream” media who are complaining about Putin’s censorship but have not spoken out against social media censorship are like the early Protestants who wanted freedom for themselves from Rome but didn’t give freedom to others. (See “Protestant Persecution of the Baptists,”

HISTORY OF THE CONFEDERATE FLAG  – For all practical purposes, the Confederate flag was a Democrat flag. Every state that seceded from the Union in 1860-61 was a Democrat-ruled state. The Confederate officers were Democrats. Not to be confused with the first flag of the Confederate States which was called the “Stars and Bars,” the flag popularly known as the Confederate flag features a blue diagonal cross emblazoned with 13 white stars on a field of red. Called “the Southern Cross” and “the Stainless Banner,” it was the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. Savannah Morning News editor William T. Thompson, said, “As a national emblem, it is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race, and a higher civilization contending against ignorance, infidelity, and barbarism” (Savannah Morning News, May 4, 1863). The Confederate flag was promoted by the Democrat politicians who passed the Jim Crow segregation laws. In 1948, Democrat Strom Thurmond used the Confederate flag as a symbol of his presidential candidacy and of the Dixiecrats’ rejection of civil rights for blacks. In 1956, Democrat lawmakers of the state of Georgia incorporated the Confederate flag into its state flag “as a symbol of resistance to integration.” In 1963, Alabama Democrat Gov. George Wallace flew the Confederate flag over the statehouse to protest Black civil rights. At his inauguration that year, he said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” In 1987, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton signed Act 116 that described the state flag: “The blue star above the word ‘ARKANSAS’ is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.” When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992 and 1996 and Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2016, some of their campaign buttons and other paraphernalia featured Confederate flags.

ANSWERS TO PRAYER ON THE POLITICAL/JUDICIAL FRONT – America is in a mess, a fundamental reason being that the vast majority of churches have so blatantly turned from God’s Word. But America is not dead and God still answers prayer. He has commanded people to pray for “all that are in authority…” and some are definitely praying. Following are a few of the many things that just might be answers to prayer: On Jan. 13, the Supreme Court blocked the largest part of Biden’s vaccine mandate. On Jan. 15, Virginia’s new Republican governor, Glenn Yongkin lost no time “restoring trust in the government and power to the people.” On his first day in office he banned critical race theory (CRT) from public schools, rescinded the school mask mandate, promised to give parents more say in the education of their children, rescinded the vaccine mandate for state employees, withdrew from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and took steps to correct a liberalized, soft-on-crime Parole Board. Virginia’s new law-and-order Attorney General Jason Miyares is working in lock-step with the new governor. This new government is a major change in Virginia from its previous leftist regime. On February 15, Ontario Premier Doug Ford made a bold statement against further Covid mandates and for democracy and liberty, which will make it more difficult for Prime Minister Trudeau to continue his tirade against law-abiding citizens who simply want their constitutional liberties to be restored. On February 15, ultra leftist San Francisco voted to recall three of the city’s school board members, a move that was supported by Mayor London Breed. Critics of the board members called for a return to real education. “It’s not about changing the name on a school, it is about helping kids inside the school building read and learn math.” On March 1, the U.S. Senate voted to block a bill enshrining abortion as a federal law. One Democrat, Joe Manchin, joined the Republican senators in this victory. The murderous Biden-backed bill “would have guaranteed legalized abortion ‘without limitations’ and overturned hundreds of state-level pro-life laws.”

NAVY SEALS WIN SUIT AGAINST VACCINE MANDATE – The following is excerpted from “Appeals Court Rejects Navy’s Request,” Christian Headlines, Mar. 2, 2022: “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled in favor of service members objecting to the Navy’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate due to their religious beliefs. On Monday, a three-judge panel denied the Navy’s request to require about three dozen personnel to get vaccinated despite their objections on religious grounds. The SEALs, represented by First Liberty Institute, filed a lawsuit against the Navy since they were at risk of being fired for not complying with the mandate. … ‘Events around the world remind us daily that there are those who seek to harm America. Our military should be welcoming service members, not forcing them out because of their religious beliefs,’ Director of Military Affairs for First Liberty Institute Mike Berry said in a statement. ‘The purge of religious service members is not just devastating to morale, but it harms America’s national security,’ he continued.”

CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE OWNERS HAVE ONEROUS COVID FINES OVERTURNED – The following is excerpted from “Christian Couple,” Premier Christian News, Mar. 2, 2022: “A Christian couple that accrued more than £40,000 in fines after opening their store in the national lockdowns has had their sanctions revoked. After being hit with multiple fines, Lydia and Alasdair Walker-Cox appeared in court twice. They argue that their Worcestershire store–which sells Christian books and newspapers, as well as gifts, cards and baking ingredients–should have been deemed essential. … However, even after having the fine overturned, Lydia says the ramifications of the pandemic and multiple lockdowns continue to have a distinct effect on businesses. … ‘Independent retail, in general, was in difficulty anyway, but lockdowns, 32 weeks of shops being closed, 32 weeks of people being told you can only shop in the big shops, it pushed people online probably 15 years earlier than it would have happened naturally.’”

BACTERIA’S EYES AND EARS – The following is from, December 6, 2021: “Modern researchers are learning that bacteria are not a simple form of life. Rather, a bacterium is a tremendously complex creature that thinks. Scientists have discovered that bacteria actually have molecule-sized sensors. Some of these sensors act as eyes, while others act as ears. A dozen other proteins have been discovered that receive the information gathered by the bacteria’s ‘eyes’ and ‘ears.’ The collected information is then processed the same way your brain gathers and makes sense of information. Bacteria have specialized senses and a brain. In fact, bacteria are better at sensing some things than you and I are. A bacterium can, for example, sense the difference between two parts and one part in 10,000. This is the same as if you could tell the difference between one jar with 9,999 pennies and another jar with 10,000 pennies! The idea that bacteria are just ‘simple’ forms of life comes from evolution. Growing research is showing that even one-celled creatures are not simple at all. Think of it. Every single-celled bacterium must accomplish, within that one cell, all the tasks we accomplish using the trillions of cells in our bodies. Eating, digestion, metabolism, waste removal, reproduction–and even thinking–all take place within a single cell! There is no such thing as a simple form of life. Science certainly argues against the idea that life began by accident. What science is learning urges us to think about the wise and thoughtful Creator Who made us! Author: Paul A. Bartz. Ref: Pietsch, Paul,‘The mind of a microbe,’ Science Digest, Oct. 1983, p. 69.”

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. 12:32Mat. 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).