by David and Tim Bayly on September 27, 2006 - 8:19pm
It was a perfect storm of self-destruction when Secretary of State Alexander Haig stood in front of the White House press and claimed, "I'm in control here." Haig actually had reason for making the claim in the aftermath of the Reagan assassination attempt, but all most Americans later remembered were tight lips and a martial gleam in the eyes.
Authority insisted on is usually authority lost. This is especially true in the anarchic world of the internet filled with rebellious adolescents who, like Barney Fife with a bullet in his gun, grow by ten inches and a hundred pounds every time they log onto Blogger.
Is there extrinsic authority on the internet--authority derived from position outside the internet, not from Technorati ranking or number of daily visitors?
by David and Tim Bayly on January 23, 2007 - 9:53am
In her article cited in an earlier post, Anne Graham Lotz is pandering to some of the more ungodly prejudices of our culture by attacking the church for not being biblical on the meaning and purpose of sexuality. What she really means, though, is not that the Church isn't biblical, but that it's not enlightened or progressive--it's not, as they say, "evolved."
Before the watching world, Ms. Lotz argues that those who maintain distinctions between the sexes (other than those irrepressible biological and physiological ones) are bound for extinction as her new age of feminist gender equity finally dawns among the slowpoke people of God.
One looks in vain for any recognition on Ms. Lotz's part that she's thrown the entire history of the Christian Church's doctrine of sexuality in the dumpster. Likely she'd deny this, pointing to her strong stand against sodomy or divorce as proof that, where the rubber meets the road, she's rock solid on sexuality.
Yet the order of God's creation prior to the Fall is as clear concerning the sinfulness of women exercising authority over men as it is concerning the sinfulness of men having sex with men, or as it is concerning divorce. The authoritative primacy of man over woman, the heterosexual limits of physical intimacy, and the evil of divorce are each equally and undeniably established by our Creator in the Garden of Eden, and the rest of Scripture only reinforces God's Edenic order.
Asked whether divorce is right or wrong, Jesus responded by going back to Eden, prior to the Fall, making it clear that God's order from the beginning was heterosexual, monogamous, and lifelong:
(Jesus) answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (Matthew 19:4-6)
Asked whether it was proper for women to exercise authority over men, the Apostle Paul responded by going back to Eden, prior to the Fall, making it clear that God's order from the beginning was neither matriarchal nor egalitarian, but patriarchal:
But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. (1 Timothy 2:12, 13)
Do Ms. Lotz and other evangelical feminists really think they can pick and choose between the details of the sexual order God established in Eden which is reinforced repeatedly in the sacred words of Scripture?
"Let's see, I'll have some heterosexuality and monogamy, please. But no patriarchy today, thank you."
Well, any simpleton can see what's happened, and therefore what's coming.
What's happened? Well, for many years, now, evangelicals have lived in an increasingly egalitarian and feminist culture, and that culture has won us over--all that's left is the mop-up operation. Few of us would be willing to preach or listen to the sermons of past centuries our fathers in the faith preached concerning male authority or female deference and submission. And structurally, our practice bears no resemblance to the church's historical practice.
Denominationally, some of us are still forced to toe the line: we don't yet ordain women to the pastorate or eldership, but we've taken every other step we can. We have women leading our corporate worship, administering the Lord's Supper, preaching in our pulpits, teaching mixed-sex adult Sunday school classes, leading mixed-sex small groups, serving as commissioned deacons, serving on our national theological study committees, preaching at our conferences, serving as regional directors in our parachurch and mission organizations... Need I go on?
Yes, we have our Pharisaical righteousness in each place we're fiddling around the edge. Women preaching in our pulpits are the exception--not the rule--and they do so under the authority and review of the elders board. Our women deacons are not ordained--they're only commissioned. We've limited the Sunday school classes led by women to one quarter of our offerings each term. Women lead our call to worship and prayer of confession, but never our pastoral prayer. Women administer the Lord's Supper, but our senior pastor is a man and he's the one who hands the trays to the women before they go out into the congregation. The woman on the study committee has special expertise in the subject under review, and she's not a full voting member. Our conference isn't a church meeting, our speakers aren't really preaching, and we don't have any authority over those who attend. Our organization is parachurch--not church--so we have no need to submit to Scripture's prohibition of women exercising authority over men.
At this point, some readers are likely hung up on one or more of the particulars I've cited and are asking themselves, "Is it really wrong to have women deacons?" "Why shouldn't women lead in prayer during corporate worship?" "If women shouldn't be regional directors of mission agencies, should they be running for president?" Or, "If it's wrong for women to preach in morning worship, is it also wrong for them to serve as professors in Christian colleges and seminaries?"
Although these are important questions, such examples are only meant to be representative of the sea-change the evangelical church has embraced. We will differ over which of the above practices are within the proper boundaries of Scripture, but we must not differ in acknowledging that, taken as a whole, these practices are not a reformation returning us to the doctrine of Scripture, but rather a revolution leading us away from Scripture...
For a number of years, I've thought we need a book for preachers called The Feminization of Discourse. The book would show how the feminine priorities that have taken over the Western world have turned the preaching of God's Word from authority to mutual exploration and discovery. One friend lamented the preaching he'd sat under for a number of years saying, "Along with the indicative, can't we please have the imperative?" Read anything about the differences between male and female conversation and it's no mystery why the worship and preaching of our--yes, PCA--churches feel like a tea party. Having a reformed form of godliness, we deny the power thereof.
Our preaching is so graceful--more graceful than the preaching of Jesus or the Apostles. Anyone read the book of Acts, recently? Notice how often those listening to the sermon are confronted with the statement, "You killed Jesus!" No wonder repentance was the entry point to faith and baptism back then. But today? We're compassionate Christians, kinder and gentler elders, and sensitive graceful preachers who want to be liked. Above all. Yes, insofar as we can be liked and still be obedient, that's fine. But a choice between the two is no contest; being liked wins.
Now of course, right here the feminization of discourse kicks in and many are ready to condemn me for being dogmatic, making generalizations, or demonstrating a harsh and judgmental spirit, right?
Well, meet my friend Cesar Millan and see if we preachers have anything to learn from him about our exercise of the authority God has delegated to us, particularly in the pulpit...
…Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed… For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him. (Genesis 18:18,19)
(Tim) When the Lord entered into a covenant with Abraham, He was pleased for that covenant’s fulfillment to be dependent upon Abraham “command(ing) his children and his household… to keep the way of the Lord….” Still today, it pleases God to use means to accomplish his will, and he has declared the Church should be built up, instructed, and guarded by men—not angels. Where those men are missing or their work is soft and effeminate, the Church has suffered the removal of her vital manhood; she has been emasculated. (n. 1)
When we speak of the emasculation of the church, though, we are not saying she has been robbed of her Bridegroom nor that her adoptive Father has cast her out of his household. Christ is “faithful over God’s house as a son” (Hebrews 3:6 RSV), (n. 2) and we have his promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. So then, the Church can never be emasculated in any definitive sense, even though her officers may be characterized by a womanly softness and sentimentality.
Such, though, is the church of our time. About twenty years ago I heard Elisabeth Elliot Gren say, “The problem with the church today is that it’s filled with emasculated men who don’t know how to say ‘no’ to a woman.” At the time, I was floored by Elliot’s audacity, but now I realize she was guilty of understatement. Christian men today have a problem saying “no” to almost anyone—not just women. Preachers, elders, and Sunday school teachers place an overwhelming emphasis on the positive and have an almost insurmountable aversion to the negative.
In the mid-eighties, my father was asked to represent the pro-life side at a campus-wide dialogue on abortion held at the Stupe, Wheaton College’s student union. He began his presentation with the statement, “I am not here to represent the pro-life, but the anti-abortion side of this issue..."
by David and Tim Bayly on August 23, 2008 - 1:22pm
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11) (Tim) Last week, I received this e-mail from a former member of the church where it originated. I've kept the church's name hidden, but think the firm godly response of the pastors and elders to this situation is a model for all those who serve as officers in Christ's Church. Be encouraged, brothers. And pray for the brothers and sisters of this congregation--particularly those who have fallen into sin.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 27, 2008 - 12:33pm
(Tim) Few things have been responsible for more souls rejecting Church of the Good Shepherd than our fencing of the Lord's Table according to the requirement of the Presbyterian Church in America's Book of Church Order, that those who come to eat and drink must have placed themselves under the authority of the elders of our church or be a member of some other Bible-believing, evangelical church.
Typically, we surround those words with some explanation of the words' meaning and intent, focusing particularly on the fact that we cannot claim faith in Jesus Christ while rejecting the authority of Christ's Church and her officers which He Himself has commanded us to honor and obey. Whew, do the sparks fly!
Travelling around the country, I've been discouraged to observe how few PCA pastors submit to this Book of Church Order requirement. It's such a good and necessary rule, perfectly suited to drive a dagger into the heart of the cheap grace and hatred of authority at the heart of the reformed church today. So why aren't shepherds faithful to fence the Lord's Table in any other than a pro forma way?
Well, surely the rule has escaped the notice of some. Not every PCA pastor spends his life looking through the Book of Church Order for more rules to obey. Such a life takes a special kind of guy.
And yet, there are many of us who know about this rule and still don't obey it. Why not?
Well, as I said at the beginning, few things have been responsible for more souls rejecting Church of the Good Shepherd than our fencing of the Lord's Table according to this requirement. In other words, most of us don't do it because we don't want to discipline the flock to love and obey the Church and her officers. In a day when Rob Bell is hissing hatred of authority to everyone who will listen, it takes faith and faithfulness to teach, let alone require, submission to authority.
A few years ago, I was part of a lengthy e-mail discussion within our presbytery over whether or not this requirement was biblical. And as the discussion proceeded, the issue went beyond how the Lord's Table should be fenced, to the discussion of church membership itself--is it even biblical?
This afternoon, I was reading Calvin's sermon on 1Timothy 1:1,2 and came across a section that makes our duty clear in this regard. If pastors and elders read this and still allow men and women to come to our Lord's Table while rejecting the Church, her officers and authority...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 12, 2008 - 4:46pm
(Tim, w/thanks to Steve) From the transcript of religious celebrity Rick Warren being interviewed concerning Proposition 8 on Hannity & Colmes:
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Look, I want to ask you about a couple of other things. We've covered a lot of ground here. But I was reading — or some members of your congregation were very disappointed in particularly — particular gay member of your congregation that you had come out in favor of Proposition 8.
She said, you know, "What do I do? Do I go inside the congregation or I do stand outside the Saddleback Church and protest?" And she was conflicted about that. So I'm kind of curious because you normally have not taken strong political positions. What's your — you know, how do you deal with your congregation who may be disappointed here?
RICK WARREN: Alan — Alan, I absolutely believe in loving everybody, giving respect to everybody, and giving everybody the freedom of choice.
(Tim) This is a transcription of a sermon given March 19,
1999, to the Lancaster Conference of the Mennonite Church. At the time, in addition to my call as pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd here in Bloomington, Indiana, I also was serving as Executive Director of the Council on Biblical Manhood
and Womanhood (CBMW). The occasion was a debate held to consider
whether or not to begin to credential women for pastoral positions in
Lancaster Conference churches. The other side of the debate was
represented by the late Dr. David Scholer, Professor of New Testament at Fuller
This is posted today, the day before Mothers Day, as an encouragement to all the godly mothers among us, daughters of Sarah who have cultivated a gentle and quiet, a submissive, spirit.
We love you and give thanks to our Heavenly Father for your faith and obedience.
* * *
PATRIARCHY: THE CLEAR AND CONSISTENT TEACHING OF SCRIPTURE
Lancaster Mennonite Conference March 19, 1999 Rev. Tim Bayly
A Personal Note: It is good to be with you. Let me please begin with a personal note...
(Tim--Partly in an effort to take into account some of the comments, I've changed this post substantially this Saturday evening. If you'd read it before, you might want to read it again.)
For years it's been clear the egalitarian feminist attack upon reformed ecclesiastical communions has not been content to limit itself to the Christian Reformed and Evangelical Presbyterian Churches, but is increasingly focused on our own Presbyterian Church in America. This became obvious to me while serving on our General Assembly's Ad Interim Study Committee on Women in the Military. The arguments I heard then concerning the meaning and purpose of sexuality were absolutely abysmal--particularly those emanating from sophisticated teaching elders who saw themselves as God's gift to the PCA provided to aid their country bumpkin colleagues at rural, small town, and southern churches in learning how to contextualize the Gospel within this postmodern world.
As I listened to them carefully, it was evident the sound bites they employed in denying the truth or application of God's order of sexuality everywhere but inside the elders meeting and pulpit Sunday morning perfectly reflected arguments I'd heard in prior years at presbytery and general assembly levels in the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA). You know: slavery, cultural context, wife abuse, barefoot and pregnant, you can't turn back the clock, people will laugh at us--that sort of thing.
Then, of course the conservatives had their own reasons for not standing in the gap, opposing the feminist heresy. There was that old battle axe of Southern Presbyterianism, the spirituality of the Church, that conveniently kept many from feeling any responsibility to oppose our civil magistrate sending off our mothers and sisters and daughters to die for us on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. And there was also the federal vision to deal with--that issue alone took so much time and energy there was little zeal left for contending for God's order of sexuality.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 2, 2009 - 12:30pm
(Tim) Here's the manuscript for our final sermon on the Gospel of Matthew; and specifically, our final sermon on the Great Commission. Please forgive me for not cleaning it up prior to posting it, here. Lots of formatting and spelling mistakes will irritate you, I'm sure. And please keep in mind that sermon manuscripts are not sermons.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 9, 2009 - 8:43am
(Tim: This post contributed by Joshua Congrove) In our age
of cloying, effeminate discourse, it's a rare thing to find a man valiantly
defending a cause with the sword of rhetoric, let alone doing so for the sake
of a godly cause. It was not always so.
A while ago while reading through the letters of Augustine,
Bishop of Hippo, I found this little gem. It's not a long, theological
discourse with the depths of insight of his Confessions or City of God, nor have
scholars taken much note of it. Still, it's a sterling example of the kind of
pastoral faithfulness that marked the long episcopate of Augustine, as well as the
kind of manly defense of God's sheep so lacking, today...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 30, 2009 - 7:03am
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17)
(Tim)The results of Trinity College's 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) are in and they confirm that the souls of Americans are not being lost to false religions, but to the complete rejection of the Church. This confirms my own experience.
Far and away the largest number of souls who have rejected Church of the Good Shepherd's doctrine in the past decade, investigating us but leaving for somewhere else, left because we require a believer be a member in good standing of some evangelical, Bible-believing church to join with us at the Lord's Table.
We fence the Table quite inclusively, really. I use the liturgy of the old Scottish Book of Worship and it's a balm for weak souls trusting in Christ alone for our salvation. But then, at the end, I warn off those who reject Christ's authority, rejecting the authority of elders over their own soul. If they believe they can relate directly to God, bypassing the ministry and authority of His Church, this rebellion disqualifies them from communing with us, I tell them.
Of course, I go on to show them how easily they may correct the matter...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 9, 2010 - 9:47am
(Tim) We're now up to 85 or so comments under the post Because of the Angels, and those comments contain the only helpful discussion of headcoverings, and the visual cue they present within the corporate worship of the People of God of the submission of women, generally, to the authority of men, generally (Calvin's way of expressing it), that I've heard or read. So despite the length and (sometimes) heat of the discussion, I encourage everyone to go and read the comments.
Still, I must admit I've been wholly unsuccessful in getting anyone to read Calvin's doctrine of headcoverings, despite repeated attempts. So now, here is a compilation of Calvin's doctrine considerably shortened from what was put into the prior post. I do hope you'll all take the time to read this condensed version. There's really no substitude for Calvin's explanation of Scripture in any place, let alone one of the most controverted texts and themes in all of Scripture....
Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they
might trap Him in what He said. And they sent their disciples to Him, along
with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach
the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.
Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or
But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are
you testing Me, you hypocrites?” (Matthew 22:15-18)
(Tim: this is first in a series, with the second, here) A few years ago, I was speaking with a friend who taught
theology at a respected evangelical seminary. We were discussing the response
of some Christian leaders to being confronted over their abuse of Scripture. I
expressed my conviction that the leaders’ commitment to turn from their sin was
only pragmatic, and that in time they would proceed to do the very thing they
had just promised not to do.
My friend was astounded that I could think these men capable
of deception. He went on to tell me why he thought I was susceptible to such
uncharitable thoughts: “Your problem, Tim, is that you spent too many years in
the mainline denomination with other pastors who weren’t even Christians. But
now, you’re back in the evangelical world and these men we’re working with are
believers. You should never accuse another believer of lying.”
(Tim: this is second in a series, with the first, here) It's in vogue for preachers to cop a posture of humility, today, but it’s almost always a counterfeit humility. While claiming to be speaking for God, they deny the
very authority of God and His Word that forms the only foundation they can
stand on when they say, “Thus says the Lord.”
Jonathan Edwards, the best-known preacher of the Great Awakening in Colonial
America, points to the difference between true and false
A truly humble man is inflexible in nothing but in the cause
of his Lord and Master, which is the cause of truth and virtue. In this he is
inflexible, because God and conscience require it. But in things of lesser
moment, and which do not involve his principles as a follower of Christ, and in
things that only concern his own private interests, he is apt to yield to
There are various imitations of (humility) that fall short of
the reality. Some put on an affected humility. Others have a natural
low-spiritedness, and are wanting in manliness of character. …In others, there
is a counterfeit kind of humility, wrought by the delusions of Satan: and all
of these may be mistaken for true humility. 
They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. -Mark 1:21, 22
(Tim: this is third in an ongoing series, with the first here and the second here) Whether in classroom discussions, the dorm late at night, our accountant’s office, or coffee with a neighbor, the believer is hard pressed on all sides to give up truth. The radical relativism that permeates our world is absolutely antithetical to Scripture. Those seeking to preach Scripture faithfully will immediately face the world's dogmatic declaration that there is no truth--only stories, perspectives, and narratives; only my truth and your truth.
The intensity of the opposition we face is directly related to our faithfulness in preaching God’s Word with a form of delivery and content that is contextualized to the end that it appears radically authoritative to those acclimated to an effeminate relativism. Or, to put it another way, in our world one way to judge whether of not a preacher is a faithful servant of God is whether he is accused of arrogance. A faithful man will employ a method and content that bears witness to his faith that he is not communicating the words of men, but of God. With Calvin, he will declare that preaching is the Word of God. And the world has no way of understanding such declarations as anything but an arrogance that's sick and pathetic.
My wife and I were out for dinner one night. As we prepared to leave, we struck up a conversation with another couple at an adjoining table. In their mid-seventies, both were strikingly tall and dignified. During the preliminary small talk, we learned they had been married fifteen years, were from the Pacific Northwest, had several children from previous marriages, and he'd spent fifty years working as a computer programmer.
Our deeper conversation started with the woman exclaiming over the beauty of the ocean. She had learned I was a pastor and, trying to relate to us on a spiritual level, she told us how the sea gave her permission to commune with God as “she” rather than “he...”
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires... - 2 Timothy 4:3
(Tim: this is fourth in a series, with the first here, second here, and third here.) Today, no issue illustrates the abandonment of the content and method of Apostolic preaching as clearly as sexuality. Few pastors, liberal or conservative, are
witnesses to this Biblical doctrine, leaving the pulpit impotent in the face of our effeminate age's direct opposition to God the Father and all good fatherhood pointing to His Image.
Liberal pastors are more obvious about it. Take, for
instance, the Apostle Paul’s declaration concerning the connection
sexuality and authority:
But I do not allow a woman to teach
or exercise authority
over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created,
then Eve. (1Timothy 2:12,13)
Seems obvious enough, doesn’t it? The teaching of the
was that the order in which God created Adam and Eve, man and woman, was
honored in our lives by woman not teaching or exercising authority over
But in the past fifty years, a great rebellion has flowed through the church. More liberal pastors
honesty to say, with Fuller Seminary's Paul Jewett, that the Apostle Paul said it and he
wrong.  More conservative pastors claiming a high view of Scripture aren’t
as brash or honest in their rebellion.
Rather than saying the Apostle Paul was wrong, they
say they want to talk about what women can do--not what they can't do--and that the
Apostle Paul has been misunderstood...
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife... (Genesis 3:17).
(Tim) A thought likely obvious to the rest of you came to me on Mother's Day.
Every man who is a feminist is so because he desires to avoid the weight of glory God has placed on him.
A father doesn't want to do the hard work of vetting his daughter's choice of a husband, so he pays for her degrees and establishes her in a profession where she'll be impervious to any husband's future failures. A husband doesn't want to do the hard work of silencing his wife in the church, so he argues that women need a place at the table, too, and that good churches will enfranchise women's voices. Elders don't want to do the hard work of training their daughters how to dress modestly and conduct themselves in a feminine manner, so they condemn all efforts to teach and encourage modesty or feminine deference within the church as legalism, patronization of women, and masculine insecurity.
Any interface between godliness and femininity is the precise place where our man-feminist stands proclaiming his righteousness and others' sin. He is enlightened and others are antediluvian. He is tolerant and others are insecure. He is graceful and others legalistic. He is confident of his sexuality and others quivering in fear...
the center of her post were three questions she recommended to her
readers in connection with the decision whether or not to go to college:
What is the purpose? What is this education preparing me for?
What are my motives? Am I pursuing education for the sake of
education itself, a profession, money, status, the glory of God?
How much will it cost? Is it a wise investment of time, money, and
energy? If God leads me in a different direction two years down the
road, will the debt incurred prevent me from obeying God’s call?
Pretty calm, huh? It's hard to imagine these questions eliciting
screeches and howls--from women who claim the Name of Christ no less.
But elicit they did. May I say how much I admire the women of our
congregation? If you read the comments under Michal's post, you'll
better understand why. For one thing, what grace under fire!
So what about ye olde college education?
I've read all the screeches and howls, and this is by far my favorite...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 15, 2010 - 8:48am
(Tim, w/thanks to Kevin) Roman Catholic leader, Benedict XVI, recently responded to those critical of Roman Catholics for not having woman officers. He makes several simple statements you'd wait years to hear on the floor of most Reformed denominational meetings. When it comes to the foundational issue, though, he misses the ball.
The church doesn't have women officers, not because our Lord chose men as His Apostles, but because...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 24, 2010 - 6:28am
(Tim, w/thanks to Pastor Curell) The scientific method is coming in for some hard knocks, recently, as efforts to replicate a number of critical studies fail. Some would prefer to put it that "replication is proving difficult," but after reading some of the stats, "failure" seems the right description. In discipline after discipline, scientists doing experiments over again find themselves unable to replicate earlier findings that minted academic superstars and set the standard for medical practice, for instance.
Some of the inability to replicate is likely attributable to the very old problem we all fall into of looking for proof that we're right. The problem is too widespread, though, for that alone to be the answer. Thus the New Yorker subtitled its article reporting on this crisis under its Annals of Science: "The Truth Wears Off: Is There Something Wrong with the Scientific Method?"
After reviewing hundreds of papers and forty-four meta-analyses, Australian National University's Michael Jennions found "a consistent decline effect over time, as many of the theories seemed to fade into irrelevance. ...Jenions admits that his findings are troubling, but expresses a reluctance to talk about them publicly."
by David and Tim Bayly on February 23, 2011 - 9:50am
(Tim) Our President and his Attorney General have finally decided openly to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress. Congress says its constitutional but the President says it isn't. The New York Timesreports the President has determined that...
(Andrew Henry) The conflict over Joseph Maraachli throws into stark relief our modern age's attack on the authority of fathers and mothers.
The circumstances are simple and painful. Several years ago, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader lost their daughter, Zina, to a degenerative neurological condition. Her respiratory function deteriorated so severely that she was placed on a ventilator. Rather than allowing her to die in the hospital, her parents decided to take her home. A simple tracheotomy allowed her to breathe without the aid of a ventilator and she lived for six more months at home with her family before passing away.
Fast forward several years to the birth of Joseph. He was considered to be at high risk for the same genetic condition and was closely monitored as he grew. At four months old, he began having seizures and his parents worst fears were confirmed...
Sure I am, if it were well understood how much of the pastoral authority and work consisteth in church guidance, it would be also discerned, that to be against discipline, is near to being against the ministry; and to be against the ministry is near to being absolutely against the Church; and to be against the Church, is near to being absolutely against Christ. Blame not the harshness of the inference, till you can avoid it, and free yourselves from the charge of it before the Lord. - Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, (Banner of Truth, Carlisle PA: 1974) p. 111.
When a man rejects the exhortations and admonitions of his elders over a period of years, the time will come when he will turn his back on Christ's Church. If he refuses to repent and continues to give himself to sin, his sin will bear fruit and he will be separated from the Body of Christ. He may find another church that will allow him to hide in his sin; that church may marry and baptize and bury him and his family as churches have done across the centuries; but his repudiation of the discipline of Christ's Bride is his repudiation of Jesus Christ. The binding of earth and Heaven is no game of Angry Birds or Where's Waldo...
Now since this charge is expressly given to the apostles along with the preaching of the word, it follows that none can lawfully administer baptism but those who are also the ministers of doctrine. When private persons, and even women, are permitted to baptize, nothing can be more at variance with the ordinance of Christ, nor is it any thing else than a mere profanation. - Calvin on Matthew 28:16-20
Increasingly, the session of ClearNote Church of Bloomington has been receiving applicants for membership who have been baptized by Cru girlfriends, their parents, a parachurch aquaintance, or almost anyone other than a church officer administering the Sacraments as a fulfillment of his office.
We've worked through this carefully, finally coming to the conclusion that baptisms done privately by friends and relatives are not true baptisms. There are many issues, here, and the arguments are long and involved, but at the end of it there was no doubt in our minds that the Sacraments are given by our Lord to the Church--not to individuals and families--and that to be a fulfillment of our Lord's commands, they must be administered by the officers our Lord has called and set apart to lead His Church.
The substance of this post is the text of a recent e-mail discussion I was copied on between two friends of Baylyblog--one a prof and the other an attorney employed as a civil magistrate. Note particularly this statement in the first half of the discussion: "our biggest worry is of a corrupt government whose police violate our civil rights."
There's no doubt this should be the greatest concern of believers, today.
Christians consistently have failed to recognize that every accretion of power and authority to the civil magistrate comes at the expense of the authority and freedom of the mediating institutions of the Church and family, not simply the freedom of the individual. Typically, political conservatives worry only about individual liberty, but the freedom to obey Scripture and exercise authority in the Christian home and Church is under sustained attack, also, and is every bit as serious a usurpation of authority as our loss of individual freedom.
God has ordained authority in the households of the home and Church, and the denial of freedom to those institutions to govern themselves according to Scripture is growing year by year and is a central part of the decline of the West we have experienced. Yet sadly, there has been almost no warning given by our church and home fathers.
The State is our Savior-Protector/Provider and the more dependent the State renders her citizens, the more those citizens will place their faith in the god of the state rather than their own personal gods. And so we arrive at the place where America's most popular gods, whether Mormon, Roman Catholic, or Protestant, pose no particular threat to the state's bipartisan and unilateral commitment to destroy any person or institution blocking the path to her glorious dominion...
Well-known feminist Carolyn Custis James will be in Fort Collins preaching to the women and men of Campus Crusade for Christ International this coming week. The occasion is Cru's National Staff Conference and this is one more indication of the necessity of Christians doing the hard work of removing Cru from their church and individual mission giving.
Egalitarian feminism is another Gospel. Let Ms. magazine and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and nonChristians for Biblical Equality and the National Organization of Women support Custis James, her husband Frank, and Cru. It's wrong for believers to use the tithes and offerings of the People of God to support those who turn the Scripture on its head, making a big show of their respect for God and His Word while promoting rebellion against them. (TB)
Over on a conservative Reformed blog, a couple men have been arguing that the church today is being threatened by some who are taking father-rule (they call it "patriarchy") too, too far. No one really wanted to be specific, but when pressed by the esteemed brothers Craig French and RCJr., the following list of practices was submitted as proof of this grave threat.
We are told that the men who pose this threat within the Church are those "suggesting..."
by David and Tim Bayly on September 12, 2011 - 7:41am
Here's the manuscript for the sermon I preached the Lord's Day following 9/11 ten years ago, and then again yesterday on its tenth anniversary. I should add that the manuscript usually serves only as my loose outline for the preaching of God's Word.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 19, 2011 - 1:07pm
"To be wrong, and to be carefully wrong, that is the definition of decadence." - G. K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men
Here we have a wedding ceremony of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan.
Presiding over the service on the congregation's right wearing a suit is a male pastor (Scott Sauls) who formerly held his credentials in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church--a Reformed denomination that approves of female pastors and elders.
Presiding over the service on the congregation's left wearing a minister's robe is a female pastor.
Wedding ceremonies not being sacramental among us Protestants, one might argue it doesn't matter much if female pastors co-officiate with male pastors...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 24, 2012 - 1:42pm
Joseph Maracchli was the subject of an intense right-to-life battle in Canada last spring. Sadly, a couple months ago he died at his parents’ home in Windsor, Ontario. He was 20 months old. Andrew Henry wrote about Joseph on Baylyblog back in March. You may review the details here.
The number of similar cases will explode in coming months and years and there are important lesssons Christian fathers and mothers should learn. God has given parents the natural affection and compassion for their own children that no doctor can truly have no matter how highly trained or respected he may be.
This is not to say that parents are incapable of being neglectful of their children, but it's the exception rather than the rule. God’s good gift to children is parents who are loving and tender toward them.
The ever-increasing power and authority of government in our lives can only produce bad fruit, and the belief that a well-paid and benevolent bureaucracy can make better decisions than parents is wicked...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 6, 2012 - 5:59am
If you're a mother or father, read this article. And note the last couple of paragraphs carefully. Over and over again, I tell mothers and fathers of undisciplined children that their rebuke and discipline of their sons and daughters lacks conviction. Firmness. Acting as if they mean what they say rather than that they're mourning having to put up boundaries, as they say. Then I tell them to watch the Dog Whisperer and note how much of Cesar Milan's success is simply a function of his being completely integrated as he looks at the dog. He doesn't apologize for his authority, but exercises it.
If you're a mother or father, again I tell you: read this article. You have no authority because you have chosen to have no authority and your precious little one's got your number.
And while we're on the subject, the principles in the linked article are applicable to elders and the souls under their care, also. Pastors and elders who don't want authority aren't respected--just as they wish. And that may seem to be no big deal until you realize the authority we're trading away is not ours.
It is God's. Fathers and mothers of the home and church have been delegated authority and will be judged by their use of it in the training and protection of the souls God has entrusted to them. (TB, w/thanks to Lucas)
(TB: Under another post, a Christian sister we've come to respect has asked a series of questions I make a stab at answering below. For the context of her questions please look at comment number thirteen under the above post. First her comment in full, followed by my responses quoting part of each numbered item in what she wrote.)
I mean this as an honest comment/question, not a baiting or critical one.
First, I was taught to believe that a wife must submit to her husband and a husband must love his wife as Christ loves the Church. A wife is not a doormat, nor is a husband is a tyrant. Furthermore, a couple will work out a balance of this principle in their marriage that is Biblical and fits their personalities and won't look the same for every couple. I assume you would generally agree with that.
With the senior year men of Clearnote and Reformed Evangelical Pastors Colleges this morning, we were discussing Iain Murray's Evangelicalism Divided.
This is one of the most important books for any officer of Christ's Church to read today. In it Murray exhaustively documents the history of the herding instincts of men like John Stott and Jim Packer who chose to acknowledge as "Christians" and to make common cause with fellow British Anglican churchmen who denied the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Birth, and the substitutionary Atonement (for instance). Then Murray exhaustively documents the rotten fruit of their terrible compromises.
We discussed why Martyn Lloyd-Jones refused to go along with such betrayal of the Church, warning against it when men like Stott and Packer were such promoters? One student said he thought Stott and Packer wanted to protect their clout whereas Lloyd-Jones was willing to lose his.
Which took me back to the Wired piece on Klout I read last night. It's a web business that rates men on the basis of how many they influence or lead--hence the name "Klout." The author, Seth Stevenson, starts out by reporting that the perfect Klout score is 100. Justin Bieber's Klout is 100 and President Obama's 91. Influence and leadership, you know.
Officers of Christ's Church are constantly choosing whether to keep or lose their Klout...
Reading of the ESV translation committee's new concern that the word "slave" (translation of the Greek doulos) has "irredeemably negative associations and connotations," I wondered how my preferred translation, the New American Standard Bible, handled the same word (and the prefixed version, sundoulos, which generally they translate by adding "fellow," as in "fellow slave."). The NASB mostly renders it "slave," but at a number of places, it has "bond-servant,"—a fact which stood out to me when I began preaching through the book of James last year. James 1:1: "James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,...".
Here's the frequency of each of the NASB's various translations of doulos...
Again and again within the PCA, men sound the trumpet against the approaching enemy and immediately are shouted down by other men who say the blowing of the trumpet violated proper "process." Their claim is that sounding the alarm is not to trust the courts of the church where schismatics and heretics ought properly (and only) to be dealt with. They shush the buglers and their clear note.
This is to punish men for the very act of courageous obedience by which they serve our Lord and His Bride, and it's the same sort of punishment and condemnation Calvin, Luther, and Knox suffered. So buck up, men! You have a great patrimony! Calvin, Luther, and Knox blew their bugles, also, sounding the alarm house to house, city to city, day and night with tears.
Now to the details. When the Lord commanded Ezekiel to be faithful in his calling as a prophet, he called him a "watchman." Pastors today are watchmen, also, as indicated by...
This quote is from the Reformed World article I've posted here on Baylyblog which gives the history of the ordination of woman officers within Reformed denominations around the world.
The article's author is absolutely certain woman officers in the church is a good thing, but she realizes many still consider it a weakness that women don't have the natural weight of authority a man has. Her solution?
A Reformed congregation for whom the priesthood of all believers is an article of faith should not consider it a disqualification that a woman pastor is not and has no desire to be the traditional authoritarian stereotype, but rather as an opportunity held out to it.
To which an older Presbyterian pastor with many years of pastoral ministry behind him responded to me privately...
Yesterday I was reminded of just how rich Americans are. Our conception of money is like that of a Roman general returning to Rome after sacking and pillaging enemy countries. We throw it down on those less fortunate than us in an attempt to make them like us. Or maybe it's an attempt to make us like us.
By now you've probably already read about the 67 year-old bus monitor who was being harassed by Jr-high students while they video-taped their exploits. When you're in Jr-high it's easy to make fun of people who are old and fat. It's entertaining, too--and not just for 7th graders. Millions of people around the world have been entertained by the video. However, apparently it's one of those guilty pleasures, where you watch and laugh and then say, "Shame on you!" while you hide your smile.
Somebody came up with the bright idea of trying to raise $5000 dollars to send this poor bullied woman on a world-class vacation, and now, with the amount raised in excess of...
Can you provide Scripture that says authority and submission, 'conquering' and 'surrendering', are to be carried out in the bedroom? Because neither Song of Songs nor 1Corinthians 7, not even Ephesians 5 in its entirety suggests such a thing.
P.S: Failure to respond will be taken as a failure to provide appropriate scripture.
To which I respond:
Concerning physical marital intimacy, function follows form...
Is President Obama's nationalized health care a violation of our U.S. Constitution?
Of course. You have to have a law degree not to know that. The Tenth Amendment reads, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." And in United States vs. Darby, SCOTUS yawned:
The (Tenth) amendment states but a truism that all is retained which has not been surrendered. There is nothing in the history of its adoption to suggest that it was more than declaratory of the relationship between the national and state governments as it had been established by the Constitution before the amendment or that its purpose was other than to allay fears that the new national government might seek to exercise powers not granted, and that the states might not be able to exercise fully their reserved powers.....
So now Obamacare brings one-fifth of of our economy inside the Beltway. If such a monstrous grab of authority and power is no violation of the Tenth Amendment, nothing is or could be. To argue our national rulers can usurp authority over one-fifth of our economy because they have the authority to tax the people is the sort of lunacy...
He recently assured us of this, despite previously suggesting on his blog that disagreement over the Biblically-ordained roles of men and women is no basis for separation in ministry and despite holding the opinion that many complementarians embrace complementarianism "less because of the Bible and more because they apparently watched Conan the Barbarian a few too many times in their early teenage years."
Unfortunately, he's accurate in claiming to be complementarian. Professor Trueman is straight down the middle of that broad and squishy theological avenue.
The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. - 2 Corinthians 12:12
Well, we must grant one thing, the Vatican does know how to put on a spectacle! As a local radio host and friend who is Roman Catholic posted on Facebook upon the selection of Francis I as pontiff: "I just cracked open some Champagne. Let's see you Protestants top that!"
But now that the show is over and the crowds have gone home, we have an important two-fold question to ask ourselves, "Is the office of the papacy from God and is the Roman Catholic pope what Catholicism claims he is?" If you are uncertain of the claim of Roman Catholicism concerning the papacy, here it is in part: