Friday News and Notes

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.

Rick Warren
From left, Stacie Wood, Rick Warren, Andy Wood.
(Photo courtesy of A. Larry Ross)

RICK WARREN ANNOUNCES HIS SUCCESSOR  – Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church of Orange County, California, has announced that he will be succeeded by Andy and Stacie Wood, a husband-wife pastor team. The Woods are currently pastor and “teaching pastor” of Echo Church in San Jose. Saddleback, the second largest church in the Southern Baptist Convention, defies the Convention’s statement of faith (not to say the Bible’s clear teaching) that forbids female pastors. “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:12-14). A year ago, Saddleback ordained its first three women pastors, Liz Puffer, Cynthia Petty, and Katie Edwards. Now it will have a female senior pastor. Called by Christianity Today “America’s most influential pastor,” Warren’s influence is vast. His “Purpose Driven” philosophy, based on his best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life, reaches into every sphere of Christianity, from Catholicism to Mormonism to liberal Protestantism to evangelicalism to fundamentalist Bible and Baptist churches. A decade ago, over 12,000 churches from all 50 states in America and 19 countries had participated in Warren’s 40 Days of Purpose. Over 60,000 pastors subscribe to Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox. Many independent Baptist churches have been influenced by Warren’s teaching. He conducted a Purpose Driven Super-Conference in October 2003 at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University (Falwell was dually affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist Bible Fellowship). Simultaneously, Warren’s 40 Days of Purpose campaign was shown by telecast in more than 4,000 churches, including independent Baptist. Rick Warren has been called “America’s pastor,” and it is for good reason. He is so shallow in his teaching, so positive in his approach, so slighting of repentance, so neglecting of unpopular doctrines such as judgment and hell, so tolerant of heresies, so ecumenical, so enthusiastic of rock music, so soft-spoken on that nasty subject of worldliness, that apostate America can’t help but love him. All of these characteristics are reflected in his best-selling book. His gospel is so empty that it is unquestionably a false gospel. Here is how to be saved, according to Rick Warren: “Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity. ‘Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.’ Go ahead. If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!” (The Purpose Driven Life, pp. 58, 59). This is not the gospel that was preached in the book of Acts or the epistle of Romans or in 1 Corinthians. There is no clear dealing with the sin issue, nothing about God’s holiness and justice, no clear teaching on what Jesus did on the cross, nothing about the blood, or the resurrection. Just believe in Jesus. What Jesus? Believe what? Believe how? The apostle Paul warned fiercely and persistently of false gospels and plainly and extensively described the true gospel, but Rick Warren is cut from a different cloth. He is a cheerful, upbeat, likable heretic, and the fact that he is a member in high standing in the Southern Baptist Convention reveals that convention’s apostasy. (For extensive further documentation of this charge, see Purpose Driven or Scripture Driven, a free eBook available from

20th GAY PRIDE PARADE IN JERUSALEM – More than 7,000 participated in the 20th annual Jerusalem Pride Parade on June 2. The event was attended by Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen, and Public Security Minister Omer Barlev. Levy told the homosexual rights activists, “You are entitled to love who you want, you are entitled to marry who you love, you are entitled to raise a family like anyone else” (“A victory of light over darkness,” The Times of Israel, June 2, 2022). Barlev called the parade “a victory of light over darkness, a victory of sanity over extremism.” The government fielded more than 2,400 officers to protect the participants. At the 2015 parade, an ultra-Orthodox Jew stabbed a 16-year-old girl to death. The Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade, scheduled for June 10, is one of the world’s largest. The rapidly-growing global support for homosexual rights is a major sign of the times. Sodom is mentioned multiple times in the Gospels and the New Testament Epistles in connection with the end times. “But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:29-30). In the book of Revelation, Jerusalem is called “the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom” (Re. 11:8).

MENNONITE CHURCH USA PASSES RESOLUTIONS AFFIRMING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND COMMITTING TO LGBTQ INCLUSION – The following is excerpted from “Mennonite Church USA,” Religion News Service, June 2, 2022: “The governing body of the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States passed a resolution on Sunday (May 29) confessing to ‘committing violence against LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning] people’ and committing to LGBTQ inclusion. In a separate vote, Mennonite Church USA also repealed instructions to pastors not to officiate at marriages between people of the same sex. The denomination’s official confession, which views marriage as between a man and a woman, remains unchanged. Nearly 83% of the delegates meeting at a special assembly in Kansas City, Missouri, voted in favor of repealing the guidelines barring marriage for same-sex couples, while the resolution for LGBTQ inclusion passed by a narrower margin, with 55.7% in favor. ‘Excluding LGBTQIA people from the church is a rejection of God’s joyous delight in the diversity of creation and a denial of the Divine image and breath animating all humankind,’ the Resolution for Repentance and Transformation reads. The resolution commits the denomination to forming an LGBTQ constituency group, creating denominational resources on repentance and reconciliation for local congregations and honoring LGBTQ people in future theological statements.”

PIZZA HUT FEATURES “DRAG KIDS” BOOK FOR YOUNG CHILDREN  – The following is excerpted from “Pizza Hut Features,” Fox News, June 3, 2022: “Pizza Hut is featuring a book about ‘drag kids’ as one of the books promoted by its ‘Book It! reading incentive program aimed at children in pre-kindergarten through 6th grade. … ‘Big Wig’ is a picture book that ‘celebrates drag kids,’ according to a description on the Simon & Schuster website. ‘[T]his irrepressible picture book celebrates drag kids, individuality, and self-confidence from the perspective of a fabulous wig! … When a child dresses in drag to compete in a neighborhood costume competition, he becomes B. B. Bedazzle! A key part of B.B. Bedazzle’s ensemble is a wig called Wig. Together they are an unstoppable drag queen team! But Wig feels inadequate compared to the other, bigger wigs. When Wig flies off B. B.’s head, she goes from kid to kid instilling confidence and inspiring dreams in those who wear her.’ … The book was promoted as part of Pizza Hut’s ‘Camp Book It!’ program, which runs during the summer. Participants in Pre-K-6th grade can receive a personal pan pizza as a reward for meeting their reading goal, according to a screenshot of an email tweeted by LibsofTikTok.”

THE CONTINUAL DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS – The following is excerpted from “No ‘D’ or ‘F’ Grades,”, Dec. 6, 2021: “Some of California’s largest school districts are dropping D and F grades. Students who don’t learn the material, pass the final exam, or finish homework by the end of the semester would earn an ‘incomplete’ which, I assume, could be converted to at least a ‘C’ later on. Los Angeles Unified, Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified, San Diego Unified are among the districts that will make this move. According this article [‘Why some California school districts are changing how students earn grades,’, Dec. 3, 2021] which gushes over the decision, the goals are to cause students to ‘re-engage’ in school and to boost their chances of acceptance into the state’s public colleges. It is also designed to ‘especially’ help ‘Black, Latino and low-income students,’ according to the same source. Who would have guessed that? … But in what sense are Black and Latino students really helped by what George W. Bush called ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations’? … As a teacher at a Catholic school in Oakland says: ‘Ds and Fs play an important role in the classroom. They signal that a student did not learn the material and needs extra help. … Not reporting Ds and Fs is the equivalent of lying about a student’s progress.’ This is the only sensible passage in the article. … The real complaint about traditional grading is that it’s too objective. It gives teachers less room to manipulate grades to favor students and, importantly, students of favored races/ethnicities.”

THE SQUID WITHOUT A SHADOW  – The following is from, May 31, 2022: “Many marine creatures reflect surrounding light. They can do so because of tiny light-reflecting platelets. Typically, these crystalline platelets are made of purine, one of the building blocks of DNA, but these particular crystals cannot change how much light they reflect. The Hawaiian bobtail squid, however, needs to be able to reflect different levels of light because of its unique lifestyle. This squid glides through moonlit waters but without its special reflective tissue its shadow would be seen as it passes over the bottom. The bobtail squid has light generating tissue on its underside facing the bottom and this produces just sufficient light to make its shadow disappear. In other words, it can generate variable levels of light. What’s more, the squid can move its light-generating platelets around so that they might be scattered among its cells or concentrated where needed. Rather than being composed of just one amino acid, this squid’s platelets are made up of six amino acids. God is the source of all light, including spiritual light. According to evolution, the squid is closely related to some of the first animals that evolved in the sea. Yet, its technically sophisticated camouflage, which perfectly fits its environment and life-style is a testimony to God’s wise design, not the early stages of mindless evolution. The spiritual light of God’s truth makes that clear. Author:  Paul A. Bartz. Ref: Science News, Jan. 10, 2004, p. 20, A. Goho, ‘Moonlighting.’”

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).