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Headlines & Articles — Friday, November 17th, 2017
..;..Former Google Exec Says Artificial Intelligence is 'God,' Creates New Religion   -CBN News
Artificial intelligence is already disrupting employment, recreation, the economy--and now religion. A former Google executive is so inspired by artificial intelligence, that he's creating its first church. Anthony Levandowski says AI should be seen as a God because it's smarter than any human being.  "It's not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it," Levandowski told Wired.  According to paperwork filed with the IRS, this new church, called "Way of the Future," will focus on: "the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software." It goes on to say the church will try to "develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead, contribute to the betterment of society."
.;..Tennessee Grandfather Banned from Reading Bible on Public Sidewalk   -Christian Headllines
 A man in Tennessee who was stopped from reading his Bible on a public sidewalk due to a city ordinance is arguing that the ordinance violates his religious freedom rights. CBN News reports that Paul Johnson is being supported in his argument by First Liberty Institute and the Center for Religious Expression, who sent a letter to Sweetwater, Tennessee city officials on Johnson’s behalf.
..;.Opioid Abuse and our Neighbors: Three Characteristics Our Churches Need   -ERLC
We are in the midst of a crisis. Fifty-eight thousand Americans died during the Vietnam War. And 64,000 Americans died last year from opioid overdose....Opioids come in all shapes and sizes. Most overdoses happen because of taking heroin laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Increasingly, users are taking carfentanil, an extremely potent opioid used as an elephant tranquilizer. They come in less suspecting forms, too. You know those orange pill bottles filled with little tablets of OxyContin, Percocet, Lortab, or Vicodin  as the pain relievers that helped you get through recovery after your back surgery or wisdom teeth removal, but they are opioids, too. They are dangerous and being pedaled on the streets of our cities. 
.;..Chinese Christians Forced to Replace Posters of Jesus with President Xi    -Christian Headlines
Christians in a village in southeastern China have reportedly been asked to replace their posters of Jesus Christ with posters and photos of Chinese President Xi Jinping if they want relief from poverty and illness.  According to the South China Morning Post, Chinese government officials are encouraging the change. Xi has publicly said that he is working to end poverty by 2020. That work includes government visits to Christian families to encourage them to follow the Communist Party policies and solve their problems.
..;.Australians Vote 'Yes' on Legalizing Gay Marriage; Churches Say Free Speech Rights Must Be Preserved
A majority of Australians, 61.6 percent, voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, according to results from a national postal survey. Opponents and major churches are, meanwhile, calling on free speech and parental rights on education to be respected.
.;..Netanyahu Vows Israel Will Act Alone Against Iran If Given No Choice     -Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised…that Iran would not gain a foothold in Syria by which to attack Israel. The premier spoke…just hours after Russia clarified the it had no intention of pushing Tehran’s military forces out of the country. “Iran is scheming to entrench itself militarily in Syria. They want to create a permanent air, land and sea military presence, with the…intent of using Syria as a base from which to destroy Israel.
..;..FBI May Investigate Allegations Against Planned Parenthood     -Christian Headllines
 The FBI has asked the Senate to turn over documents about Planned Parenthood’s alleged sale of baby parts.  Pro-life supporters are hopeful this means the FBI is investigating Planned Parenthood and its sale of fetal tissue and body parts.
.;..Young Christian Girls Gang Raped, Boys Tortured in 'Ethnic Cleansing' in Nigeria: Report  -Christian Post
The ongoing killings and rape of Christian men, women and children in Nigeria at the hands of Fulani herdsmen deserve to be called "ethnic cleansing," two prominent persecution watchdog groups argue.
..;.Paganism Returning, Warns Rabbi After Egyptian, Hindu Gods Appear on Washington Mall
A three-day weekend event on the Mall in Washington DC featured a massive seven-headed dragon as an exaggerated symbol of Satan in what one prominent rabbi sees as part of the reappearing battle against paganism, an ancient sin that is creeping back into the world. The third annual Catharsis on the Mall, titled a Vigil for Healing, was held as a politically motivated incarnation of the desert Burning Man Festival from which it evolved.
.;..'Church of Artificial Intelligence' Seeks IRS Recognition   -Christian Post
A former executive at Google has filed papers with the IRS to set up a non-profit religious organization that can be seen as a church of artificial intelligence, where technology would be worshipped and a godhead would be created.
..;.US Scientists Made A Genetically Modified Human Embryo
This is the first confirmed case of the gene editing of human embryos in the US and it gets scientists one step closer to the ability to create genetically engineered humans. Researchers in Portland, Oregon have used a powerful gene editing tool called CRISPR to create genetically modified human embryos, MIT Technology Review reported in an exclusive.
.;..Perry Noble Admits He’s Disqualified from Ministry, then Says He’s Not Quitting  -Pulpit & Pen
....Perry Noble has been removed from ministry for alcoholism (which disqualifies a minister in 1 Timothy 3:8) and for marital indiscretions, which led to his divorce (which also disqualifies a minister in 1 Timothy 3:2 and 1 Timothy 3:5). The man is not a husband to his wife, and cannot be a daily father to his children. He refused to leave the pulpit of other churches, at which point his home church had to reiterate to the congregation that he remained unrepentant and therefore unqualified to preach. To rebuild his reputation, Noble has hired a Hollywood Public Relations “crisis manager....."
..;.Why Are Christians Sometimes Unkind To Atheists?  -Jack Wellman
Why do some believers treat unbelievers in such a horrible way? Are they responsible for their unbelief? If we respond without love to those who disbelieve, we are breaking a command of God because we’re told to “bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:28), and “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). If we understand the biblical doctrine on salvation, we’ll discover that, even though....
.;..Predestination  -George Stiekes
There have so many disputes, arguments, and even church splits over the issue of predestination. It is sad when brothers and sisters in Christ divide over the issue of free will or election because both are taught in the Bible. The most important thing to recognize is the fact that salvation begins with God and not man. If it is in any way on the part of man, then we have reason to boast and suddenly salvation becomes a matter of works. 
..;.Restoring the Discipling Church -David Cloud
Most churches have moved away from the New Testament pattern, beginning with hastiness in evangelism, carelessness in receiving members, and a weakness in maintaining spiritual standards and exercising discipline, and as a result they are falling prey to all sorts of errors and moving into an increasingly weaker and softer stance.  Following are some suggestions for moving a mixed multitude congregation to a discipling church position:
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