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CHINESE GOVERNMENT DEMOLISHES LARGE CHURCH(Friday Church News Notes, October 25, 2019, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “China: Authorities forcibly demolish ‘illegal’ church,” Christian Post, Oct. 15, 2019: “Communist officials demolished a church in China's Henan province for engaging in ‘illegal fundraising’ after forcibly removing congregants, injuring two elderly people in the process. According to Chinese persecution watchdog Bitter Winter, True Jesus Church was razed to the ground completely. A new lawn with saplings was planted in place of the church, bearing no trace of its existence. ... After thoroughly searching the church, the police took away a piano and four air-conditioning units. Then, eight excavators began demolishing the church, worth about 10 million RMB (about $1,400,000). Authorities continued to persecute church members even after the church was demolished. ... In September, it was reported that Chinese government officials demanded that clergy affiliated with the state-sanctioned Protestant church base their sermons on a new book that blends biblical teachings with the teachings of Confucius, one of the most influential philosophers in Chinese history. ... In early 2018, the communist regime passed new regulations on religious affairs in China that banned ‘unauthorized’ religious teachings. ... Recently, it was alleged by the China Tribunal at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council that the Chinese government has murdered ‘hundreds of thousands’ of members of the Uighur Muslim minority and Falun Gong to harvest their organs. ... Open Doors USA ranks China as the 27th worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution on its 2019 World Watch List.”CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA IN RAPID DECLINE(Friday Church News Notes, October 25, 2019, www.wayoflife.org,email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace,” Pew Research Center, Oct. 17, 2019: “The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular,’ now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009. ... The data shows that the trend toward religious disaffiliation documented in the Center’s 2007 and 2014 Religious Landscape Studies, and before that in major national studies like the General Social Survey (GSS), has continued apace. ... The changes underway in the American religious landscape are broad-based. The Christian share of the population is down and religious “nones” have grown across multiple demographic groups: white people, black people and Hispanics; men and women; in all regions of the country; and among college graduates and those with lower levels of educational attainment. Religious ‘nones’ are growing faster among Democrats than Republicans, though their ranks are swelling in both partisan coalitions. And although the religiously unaffiliated are on the rise among younger people and most groups of older adults, their growth is most pronounced among young adults.”CONCLUDING COMMENT BY BRO. CLOUD: The root problem is not in society at large; the root problem is with lukewarm, worldly, spiritually dead, and apostate churches.ILLINOIS SCHOOLS BRAINWASHING PRESCHOOLERS WITH LGBT AGENDA(Friday Church News Notes, October 25, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Illinois Schools Promoting Transgenders to Preschoolers,” The Stream, Oct. 14, 2019: “All Illinois public schools must now teach LGBT history. They can only buy history textbooks that include it. And not just LGBT history. A very specific idea of that history. The ‘Inclusive Curriculum Law’ was signed in August. It goes into effect on July 1, 2020, to let teachers prepare the lessons for the 2020-21 school year. The law also covers women and minority group history. California, Colorado, New Jersey and Oregon have already passed similar laws. Why? The head of LGBT lobby group Equality Illinois explains. ‘As a former first grade teacher, I know how an inclusive education system can create change within a community.’ ... The law only enforces what many schools systems do already. Evanston/Skokie schools, for example. The school system posts its LGBT week curriculum online. Preschoolers and kindergarteners will ‘explore concepts of families, gendered toy and clothing stereotypes, colors and meaning, flags, allyship and identity.’ 1st graders will learn to use the pronoun ‘they’ for an individual. 4th and 5th graders will watch a PBS documentary about a girl who dreams of leading the boy-only Hula troop. ... The curriculum teaches these children to approve of families headed by same-sex parents. One way it does that is to compare them with mixed-race and adoptive families. A second way is simply to normalize them. In one video, a boy says he has two dads and two moms. Materials include pictures of same-sex couples with children, which prompt students to label them as families. ... The curriculum portrays transgenders as making a perfectly normal decision. But studies have shown that 20% of transgenders revert back to their birth sex. This frequently happens after a young person has taken hormones and had sex change surgery. They then deeply regret having made the physical changes. The curriculum does not warn children about this. They are not told that many transgenders realize they were wrong and revert back. Nor are children told that 41% of transgenders attempt suicide. Nor that mental illness affects 60-90% of transgendered people. And what of other points of view? Many parents disagree strongly with the ideas behind transgenderism. Christians, Jews, and Muslims hold different beliefs about what male and female are. The curriculum offers no alternatives to the LGBT idea. It doesn’t explain how some religions object to those lifestyles. It’s one-sided ‘education.’ It doesn’t teach children to think about the issue. No dissent is acceptable. Children are only allowed to express approval of the LGBT lifestyle, and they are pushed hard to do so.”BAPTIST CHURCHES NOT PREACHINGON THE SECOND COMING(Friday Church News Notes, October 25, 2019,www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The return of Jesus Christ is a major New Testament doctrine, and the preaching and teaching of it is essential for holy living. It was emphasized by Christ (Mt. 24:29-31; Mr. 13:24-27). It was a theme of apostolic preaching in the book of Acts (Ac. 1:11; 3:19-20). It is mentioned in nearly every Epistle (Ro. 11:26; 1 Co. 1:7-8; Php. 1:6, 10; 2:16; 1 Th. 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:15-17; 5:23; 2 Th. 1:7-9; 2:1, 8; 3:5; 1 Ti. 6:14; 2 Ti. 4:1, 8; Tit. 2:13; Jas. 5:7-9; Heb. 9:28; 10:37; 1 Pe. 1:7; 5:4; 2 Pe. 3:10-13; 1 Jo. 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14-15; Re. 1:7; 19:11-21; 22:7, 12, 20). The imminent return of Christ must, therefore, be a fundamental part of every believer’s worldview, a major theme of all biblical preaching, a constantly-emphasized doctrine of every church. But there are signs that preaching on Bible prophecy is being neglected even among “fundamentalist” churches. The following is from a reader: “About three years ago I was speaking with another fundamental Baptist pastor here in the area. I mentioned that I truly believed the Lord was coming soon. He said, ‘You know, everybody was preaching on this back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and thought surely Christ would come before 2000. I really don’t preach that much any more.’ I about fell on the floor and responded to him, ‘If Christ did not come by then, how much closer now?’ I said, ‘I preach His coming regularly trying to wake people up to holiness and living for Christ so that they won’t be ashamed at His coming.’ Speaking to a missionary friend who spoke at our church recently, I mentioned this story. His words were, ‘I have heard more from you today about the second coming then I have for months in other fundamental Baptist churches. This is from a man from a large missions ministry who preaches regularly across the country. Our people live in denial of this truth and unfortunately our preachers are also.” Another reader sent the following comment: “Fundamental Baptist preachers seem very reluctant to delve into prophecy. ... I don’t think I have ever heard a really solid message from an IFB preacher from the mountain of Old Testament prophecies with momentous future fulfillment.” Another reader commented, “I was talking to my wife recently about how that prophecy preaching has all but gone away.” This is a serious matter. Preachers who neglect the return of Christ are rebels against God’s Word and are not qualified for the ministry. The mindset of always looking for Christ’s return was modeled by the church at Thessalonica, which “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven...” (1 Th. 1:9-10).