(Tim) Churches mired in the conceit of being urban and cosmopolitan speak frequently of being "in the city" and "for the city." Leaving aside "in the city," what does it mean to be "for the city?"
There's no one better to take that question to than our early church father, Augustine. As Rome fell, Augustine wrote his magisterial City of God. It was a voice from the City of God to the City of Man--which at that time was the City of Rome. To Augustine, being for the city didn't consist of taking in a play, hanging at the local pub, or hiring Indie musicians to lead worship. He'd been down that road quite a ways prior to his conversion and he was younger than that now.
Instead, Augustine wrote against these things--relentlessly and as an insider. He'd spent his entirely dissipated youth...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 7, 2010 - 10:08am
(Tim) From Augustine's City of God, let's sample a few notes rarely struck by pastors marketing their church as "in the city" and "for the city;" but really, rarely struck by almost any shepherd working in the pastorate today in North America.
Take, for instance, the matter of food: how would we compare our declaration of the Order of Creation and the meaning of the Sixth Commandment to the vegans and vegetarians in our own congregations--of which there are as many now as back in the time of Augustine and the Apostle Paul (1Timothy 4:1-4)--to Augustine's own declaration, here?
...some attempt to extend "Thou shalt not kill" even to beasts and cattle, as if it forbade us to take life from any creature. But if so, why not extend it also to the plants, and all that is rooted in and nourished by the earth? For though this class of creatures have no sensation, yet they also are said to live, and consequently they can die; and therefore, if violence be done them, can be killed. So, too, the apostle, when speaking of the seeds of such things as these, says, “That which thou sowest is not quickened except it die;” and in the Psalm it is said, “He killed their vines with hail.”
Must we therefore reckon it a breaking of this commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” to pull a flower? Are we thus insanely to countenance the foolish error of the Manichæans?
Putting aside, then, these ravings, ...when we say, "Thou shalt not kill," we do not understand this of the plants, since they have no sensation, nor of the irrational animals that fly, swim, walk, or creep, since they are dissociated from us by their want of reason, and are therefore by the just appointment of the Creator subjected to us to kill or keep alive for our own uses... (I:20)
Are we similar to Augustine in his work magnifying, making the most of the distinction between the city of God and the city of man? What a contrast he provides here to our effeminate attempts to blur all distinctions--particularly that essential distinction on which eternity hangs, drawing the line of God's election between the slaves of God and the slaves of Satan. In his comments, Pastor Beatty has illustrated typical attempts today to market the Church as not other or peculiar or God-fearing or holy, but "we're just like you, really; and you're just like us." Contrast this...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 16, 2010 - 7:15am
(Tim) One of the many things about our culture that seduces me to despair is the utter vacuity of political comment--of course in the Times and both Posts; but sadly often in World and Christianity Today, also. There's little light, and only salt replacement. None of the real thing for fear of high blood pressure.
If you'd like a quick glimpse at the sort of thing American political commentary used to be full of, but never says today, check out this post by Doug Wilson on the building of the mosque near Ground Zero. It has the sort of wisdom a pastor steeped in the Word of God and prayer should bring...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 17, 2010 - 8:33am
(Tim, with tongue planted) Nearly every one of my friends is sending me a link to this Wall Street Journal piece announcing the earthshaking news that evangelicals are in love with hip and cool and dude and are trying to make their churches hip and cool and dude, also.
I'm floored. Someone quick call PCA and MNA headquarters so they can get a jump on battening down the hatches.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 3, 2010 - 7:31am
(Tim: I've made significant changes to this post since it first went up.) It's been my observation Reformed men who justify silence in the public square under the rubric of "two-kingdom theology" and "the spirituality of the church" are usually unconcerned about the sexual anarchy, oppression, and bloodshed of innocents that has long been the foundation of our civil compact here in these United States. They simply don't give a rip.
It's self-evident on any terms a civilized man accepts for the foundation of common law that sending wives, sisters, and mothers off to fight our enemies is evil, but see if spirituality-of-the-church men address the civil magistrate condemning this evil? It's self-evident on any terms a civilized man accepts for the foundation of common law that ripping unborn babies apart in their mothers' wombs is an evil as great as the world has ever known, but check out whether the two-kingdom men you know write about it on their blogs, speak against it in the public square, preach against it in their pulpits, or show up at the killing place to lift a finger to stop it.
And that, dear brothers, is the error. Thus, proving one has not fallen into this error is the easiest of matters. It only requires a two-kingdom man to give a regular witness against injustice and bloodshed in his public ministry. But if an officer of Christ's Church today is not...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 21, 2010 - 6:18pm
(Tim) Responding to a couple Baylyblog posts on Rad2K, another Reformed blogger points to one Rad2K man who has written a book on "ethics" in which he dealt with abortion and euthanasia, listing it as proof-positive that our concerns are wrong. As he puts it: "Here's a link to (one rad2K man's) book on medical ethics where he condemns abortion and euthanasia (something 'radical' 2K people are supposedly not interested in doing)."
Of course it would be hard for any Reformed man to write a book on medical ethics in which he didn't condemn abortion and euthanasia. Every Evangelical has to pay lip service to being "pro-life." It's pro forma--kind of like being against pornography and for abstinence. People would be scandalized if he hadn't condemned abortion and euthanasia.
Consider: men of God can be opposed to a whole bunch of stuff without running the risk of becoming a stench in the eyes of Pharaoh or their next door neighbor. The problem is our living wihout public protest in the midst of a sea of blood, our refusing to serve as the pillar and foundation of God's truth, our refusing to carry light into darkness, to rescue those being led to slaughter, to live in compassion for widows and orphans, to call out mothers and fathers for sacrificing their children to Molech. In short, we're not salty.
But really, this error is just normal mainstream Evangelicalism...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 2, 2010 - 9:02pm
(Tim) This past week, I was in Chicago overnight and took a pic of this sign in front of Broadway United Methodist Church a couple blocks from Wrigley Field in the Lakeview neighborhood. Note the usual word 'Worship' accompanying Sunday times is missing; also the women pastors; and then the suitable author and quote.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 13, 2010 - 6:54am
(Tim) Pastor Sam Andreades, a longtime member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, now serves New York's Village Church affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America. Recently, Pastor Andreades did a five minute spot on WFMU's Seven Second Delay radio show concerning Village Church's willingness to help those "who are conflicted in their desires and their identity and would like to determine themselves differently." (Here's a pic from the occasion.)
Near the end, Pastor Andreades was asked if he wanted to lead in prayer? The interview begins around 18:30 and the concluding prayer at 23:30. Here's Pastor Andreades' prayer:
HOST: Sam, would you like to lead a prayer?
SAM ANDREADES: Uh, I'd be willing to pray if nobody laughs; if we can do it reverently.
HOST: Sure, let's give it a try and see what happens, OK? Ready?
by David and Tim Bayly on November 2, 2010 - 6:39am
(Tim: this post from our New York City correspondent, a Manhattan attorney from Redeemer Presbyterian Church.) Here are two New York Times articles (one and two) regarding recent developments on the abortion front in New York City that highlight (i) the pro abortion position of the NYTimes and (ii) new legislation proposed by the New York City Council that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs that basically say "make sure you visit Planned Parenthood too."
As described in one of the articles:
To compensate for ambiguities like unclear signage at the centers, the bill, set to be announced on Tuesday, would require, among other things, signs at the entrance and in the waiting rooms to inform women that the center does not provide abortions or contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and that it does not provide referrals for those options, either. Signage would also need to make it clear if no licensed medical professional is on the staff.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 17, 2010 - 6:32am
[John the Baptist was preaching:] “His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations he preached the gospel to the people.
But when Herod the tetrarch was reprimanded by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the wicked things which Herod had done, Herod also added this to them all: he locked John up in prison. (Luke 3:17-20)
(Tim, w/thanks to Kevin) Did you notice John the Baptist was "preaching the Gospel" when he rebuked Herod for "all the wicked things" done by his government? Too, did you notice why Reformed men today don't rebuke Herod?
"He locked John up in prison." Usually things are more simple than we make them--Reformed men, that is--and the avoidance of suffering and absence of faith is the key to understand our silence. Not doctrine. Never ever doctrine, but the absence of faith. Which reminds me...
About fifteen years ago, I drove an hour to take in a lecture given by the eminent historian, George Marsden, at a nearby liberal arts college. His presentation amounted to a very sophisticated wheedling and cajolling of fellow academics to give orthodox Christians a seat at the table, which plea had been the substance of a piece he'd recently published in First Things. We were coming off a bad decade or two during which political correctness had shut down rational discourse in public, private, and Christian higher educational institutions, alike, and Allan Bloom's jeremiad, The Closing of the American Mind, had accomplished little except to earn its author the scorn of the tenured and their administrative masters.
Following Marsden's lecture, one fellow asked him whether Buddhists should have a seat at the table, too?
"Yes--serious Buddhists that is," Marsden replied...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 3, 2010 - 7:49am
(Tim) Responding to this article from Family Research Council commenting on President Barack Obama's use of his office of Commander in Chief to promote sodomy, a friend of mine who is a longtime IVCF staff worker in a metro area of the Eastern Seaboard sent this e-mail:
Friends, I’d be interested in your take on the first article here. I’m as strongly against homosexual activity as anyone but I’m not sure I see the logic of banning them from the military. Prohibiting any and all sexual contact among servicemen, yes. But can we ban someone’s desires in a public way?
I’m not sure this is as clear-cut as many conservatives make it out to be. Your thoughts?
by David and Tim Bayly on December 16, 2010 - 6:57am
(Tim) In another forum, there was a discussion of a certain gentleman's latest book--this one addressing the subject of the Christian's pursuit of justice. There were fifty comments under the post and the author of the book himself had shown up to answer several questions.
What I found instructive was the absence of any discussion of abortion. The one billion slaughtered babies of the past couple of decades didn't make the grade in a discussion of the Christian's pursuit of justice among Reformed luminaries.
I posted a comment calling attention to that silence, and my comment received the following response. I post it here because I believe this brother's criticisms are representative of many who read this blog and are too polite to say the same, publicly. I appreciate this brother raising these matters.
So first the criticisms, followed by my own limited response. What I'm really after is to seed others taking up the keyboard to answer his questions and judgments. I don't have time to do more, but I know among our readers are many who can post temperate and cogent answers...
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 December 28, 2010 - 8:44am
(Tim, w/thanks to Mick)Excellent post by Doug Wilson. If you want to read him, don't bother; but if you don't want to read him, you simply must.
In passing, let me note here that, at the first meeting I attended of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood--the organization that gave us that mincing eight-syllable construction "complementarianism"--several of the more prominent council members shut down an attempt by a younger man to get CBMW to oppose women combatants in our armed forces.
It was clear the thought of CBMW making any statement about the application of God's Order of Creation outside the Christian home and church petrified them. Manhood and womanhood were private truths for the people of God, only.
It was much like the approach taken by Covenant Theological Seminary's resident ethicist David Jones who...
(Tim, w/thanks...; this post has twice been revised: first, after a commenter provided a link to a video clip of a woman preaching in the Christ Reformed Church (physical) pulpit; and second, after receiving a complaint from Christ Reformed Church's pastor.)
A reader directed my attention to this post by an R2K pastor in D.C. who's busy marketing his congregation, Christ Reformed Church, to the incoming class of legislators. Christ Reformed is a United Reformed Church plant by a Westminster Seminary California grad who hangs with the ACE and White Horse Inn guys. He's brought Michael Horton to his church. He's also brought Dr. Marva Dawn.
Here's a video clip of Dr. Dawn preaching on the subject "Preaching in the Capital." The clip is from Christ Reformed's "Sermon Podcast" page and here's an excerpt:
A lot of people who choose their pastor by whether or not she or he will preach the Gospel truly, or whether she or he will tickle ears. But we are called to be faithful to the Word, and not to allow people to turn away from the truth.
-Dr. Marva Dawn, Christ Reformed Church (URC), Washington D.C.
Help me, here: is it that as long as the one presiding over Lord's Day corporate worship is a man, nothing else matters? Realize that every Reformed Father from every prior generation would find this utterly repulsive.
But on to R2K: turns out R2K's revolutionary method of church-state relations is just the very old method practiced by other Evangelical intellectuals like Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis, but in Reformed drag...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 2, 2011 - 10:55am
(Tim: responding to Darryl Hart's efforts to shield his R2K novelties behind the Indiana Constitution, an Indiana attorney writes...) Reading Darryl Hart’s comments on this post, you might get the impression that the Indiana and U.S. Constitution grant freedom to blaspheme and commit idolatry. They don’t.
The two sections he cites from the Indiana Constitution say nothing about blasphemy or idolatry. Section 5 provides: “No religious test shall be required, as a qualification for any office of trust or profit.” That means no religious test shall be required to qualify for any office of trust or profit. Section 6 provides: “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution.” That means no money may be drawn from the state treasury to benefit any religious or theological institution.
If you search the debates on the revision of the Indiana Constitution (1850), you won’t find the word “blasphemy” anywhere in the 2,107-page record. (You will find the word “idolatry”—in a quote from Bentham decrying the technicality, obfuscation, and hyper-formalism of the law “that make a man doubt the reality of the object spread out before his eyes.”) Don’t take the word of a historian or lawyer for it. Go to Google Books and see for yourself. (Report of the Debates and Proceedings of the Convention for the Revision of the Constitution for the State of Indiana (Volumes I and II).) At Indiana’s 1850 constitutional convention, there were no debates over or hurrahs for liberating the blasphemer from the dark night of his oppression. Nor will you find in Indiana any subsequent judicial hocus pocus creating a right to blaspheme.
By the way, you will find the Framers’ habitual use of Scripture...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 3, 2011 - 1:07pm
(Tim) If Baylyblog readers have not been warned off the R2K novelty yet, check out this detailed critique of R2K by Pastor Nelson D. Kloosterman of Community United Reformed Church here in Schererville, Indiana. Also this R2K critique by Pastor Steven Wedgeworth. Finally this post and comments by Pastor Wedgeworth following up on his critique and answering some objections.
Way down in the comments, an exchange occurs between Doug Wilson and Darryl in which, several times, Doug raises the spectre of the wholesale slaughter of unborn children in these United States. Yet Darryl never seems able to look full in the face of the obscene bloodthirstiness of the modern secular state from which he takes such comfort and security.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 6, 2011 - 6:56am
(Tim) I've long believed that Christians are foolish to leave Scripture out of debates in the public square--most often from a misguided sense that quoting God's Word is offensive and carries little or no weight. But what could carry more weight than the Word of God written? Who could carry more weight than our Creator? The Apostle Paul wasn't squeamish about resting his argument on Genesis 1 when he spoke to the Areopagus.
This doesn't mean I think it unwise to make arguments from nature, but when at least half of the citizens of this representative constitutional democracy believe God's Word is God's words, keeping the Bible out of the public square is foolish.
Which brings us to the subject of this post. Here's an e-mail exchange between Scott Tibbs and the editor of our local paper's letters to the editor. If two transvestites take off their wigs in public protest of three bass getting shredded when a speedboat's propeller exceeded DNR regulations for size and speed...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 8, 2011 - 10:30am
(Tim, w/thanks to Matthew M.) Religious leaders in New York City came together this past week to speak out against the pervasive slaughter of unborn children in their city. Of every one hundred babies given by God to women of the city, forty-one of these precious little ones are murdered by abortionists. (The figure is 48% in the Bronx, 38% in Manhattan; here are the stats.) The Sunreported:
Some of New York City’s most prominent religious leaders are making a public demand for answers as to why decades of social welfare programs aimed at making abortions a rarity have not only failed, but failed so dramatically.
The leaders — spanning Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant clergy — issued their demand at a press conference today at Manhattan. They said they are galvanized by new data showing that some 87,000 abortions were performed in New York City in 2009, a figure that accounts for 41% of all pregnancies across the five boroughs that year. That 41% rate is nearly double the national average.
“The Statue of Liberty should be the symbol of this city, not the grim reaper,” declared the current archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, the Most Rev. Timothy Dolan.
Which religious leaders joined in the public lament? The New York Times...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 19, 2011 - 8:12pm
For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business to the craftsmen; these he gathered together with the workmen of similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that our prosperity depends upon this business. You see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a considerable number of people, saying that gods made with hands are no gods at all. Not only is there danger that this trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship will even be dethroned from her magnificence.” When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” (Acts 19:24-28).
(Tim) The newly inaugurated governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, said this inside a Christian church from that church's pulpit during a worship service: "Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."
A spokesman for the Anti Defamation League said the governor's comments were "stunning" and "distressing" and were tantamount to proselytizing.
"It is stunning to me that he'd make those remarks. It's distressing because of the suggestion that he feels that people who aren't Christian are not entitled to love and respect. On the day that he is sworn in as governor, he's sending a statement to the public saying if you're not Christian you can't be with me. From our point of view that is proselytizing for Christianity and coming very close to a violation of the First Amendment."
Let me keep reminding us that the much-ballyhooed separation of church and state that lulls a certain type of naive Christian man to sleep is a figment of our imagination and this becomes more clear each day. What was meant by freedom of religion by those who wrote and adopted our U.S. Constitution was freedom to acknowledge and worship the Only True God according to the leading of our own consciences. It was never meant to allow Islam or the fools of evolution who say there is no God the same protection as Christians. This is a simple historical fact and is avoided at all costs by those who live in a dream world and desperately want to believe secularism is a tolerant religion.
Exactly like the ancient Roman Empire, America's laws and civil magistrates and the schools they force us to fund are supremely religious and utterly intolerant. The religion is secularism and it's committed to outlawing true Christian faith. Those Christians who think they will be allowed to practice Biblical faith under secular civil magistrates are blind to the reality of their own lives as well as the lives being prepared for their children and grandchildren...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 14, 2011 - 1:01pm
(Tim) Whether in the U.S. or Western Europe, Reformed hipsters have fallen in love with art. For communicating the Gospel, preaching is out and art is in--it's the great white hope. Draw the Gospel. Sculpt the Gospel. Paint the Gospel. Use words only if you must.
David Baker is a student here at ClearNote Pastors College who, with his wife Marta and their children, were raising support under the Presbyterian Church in America's Mission to the World when God led them to move to Bloomington and begin training for pastoral ministry. David's a painter and he'd been headed to Dublin, Ireland, where he planned to be a part of an MTW team there, and to focus on the arts community. Recently, David corresponded with another MTW missionary in a Western European country about the arts movement within MTW and the PCA.
* * *
Dear (John Doe),
I should give you a brief background and update on what we are doing. As you may know we were on the path to work in arts ministry in Dublin, Ireland with MTW. We took a 5-year leave-of-absence from MTW for education and because of some other issues that made it clear that the yoking with the Irish church was not a good one. I'm now a pastor in training at ClearNote Pastor's College in Bloomington, Indiana. I continue to make art and I participate in a local gallery. I love using God's gift of artistic talent to His glory. He gives us these gifts.
When we were working on support raising we spent time with various churches around the country and we got to hear and see a lot of what was going on in the the arts ministry movement.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 18, 2011 - 6:50am
(Tim, w/thanks to many) Joel Northrup wrestles for Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa. Wrestling's big in Iowa--something like football in Massilon, Ohio--and Joel had done very well, making it to state. But lightning struck.
Joel drew Cassy Herkelman as an opponent and decided to forfeit. He released this statement explaining his decision:
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan (Black, the tournament’s other female entrant) and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most of the high school sports in Iowa.
Is anyone surprised a young man who's retained some modicum of sexual modesty today is a homeschooler? Is anyone surprised the secularists consider this...
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...
"Across my lifetime I've been voting for men who claimed to be anti-abortion but after taking office did nothing to oppose the slaughter. I'm tired of it. I don't want to be lied to any more. Daniels isn't lying to me."
(Tim) Readers will remember my basic rule about voting: I won't vote for a county dog-catcher who isn't pro-life.
That said, if I were to make an exception, it might be for our Governor Mitch Daniels. A few months ago I got a call from an Iowa man long involved in Iowa politics asking my thoughts on Daniels for president? A couple friends work in the Daniels administration and since that conversation I've been thinking about a potential Daniels candidacy quite a lot. Here's a piece from the Wall Street Journal that has it about right...
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels believes he faces a taller challenge as he ponders a White House run: Could voters warm to his message that the country is doomed unless it slashes its debt and radically revamps the popular Social Security and Medicare programs?
In any other year, a campaign platform that gloomy would render a politician toxic. Today, with concerns over the nation's fiscal health on the rise, the Indiana Republican's wonkish bravado is making some think he is a good fit for the moment.
If the time is indeed right for Mr. Daniels's get-tough message, the angry budget standoffs in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio and New Jersey are also shining a new light on his credentials as a messenger. Mr. Daniels rescinded collective-bargaining rights for state employees six years ago—long before Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker caused a firestorm by putting the same issue on the table.
Mr. Daniels also cut spending, trimmed the state work force to its smallest in decades, and turned a yawning deficit into a surplus, with only scattered outbursts of popular anger along the way.
He has emerged from all this with high marks from voters, and a profile that sets him apart from the other Republicans mulling a possible 2012 run. An array of conservatives, including former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, would like to see him enter the 2012 race.
He's the only potential candidate "who sees the stark perils and will offer real detailed proposals," Mr. Bush said last week in praising Mr. Daniels before a Florida business group. Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey on Thursday heaped almost identical praise on his Indiana counterpart.
So would I vote for Governor Daniels if he ran?
Daniels' commitments concerning what he calls "the social issues" are clear and firm...
(Tim, w/thanks to Mick) The Gray Lady reports on the controversy surrounding Rob Bell's forthcoming book attacking the Bible's teaching on Hell:
Judging from an advance copy, (Bell's) 200-page book is unlikely to assuage Mr. Bell’s critics. In an elliptical style, he throws out probing questions about traditional biblical interpretations, mixing real-life stories with scripture. Much of the book is a sometimes obscure discussion of the meaning of heaven and hell that tears away at the standard ideas.
Then we have this expert witness aiding and abetting the enemy:
(Tim) It's central to our chronological conceit to reassure ourselves the Middle Ages were the Dark Ages crammed full of religious bloodshed, religious oppression of scientific progress, and the Plague. So we've all learned the lesson to keep church and state separate to the end that we won't have as many wars or as many people die in those wars.
Doing well are we? Paganism is the state religion almost everywhere and more people were sacrificed on the altars of paganism's idols (Communism, Zionism, Feminism, etc.) this past century than ever died from all the religious wars of the Medieval world combined.
But what of science? Our modern morality play smugly assures us the Enlightenment busted truth loose from the religious ignoramuses who had oppressed the great minds across many centuries. Finally we know it's not wrong to take the Pill, unborn babies aren't persons and can't feel the knives, the iPhone is cool, washing hands saves lives, you can make babies in the lab, you can end the war by blowing up the women and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Earth isn't the center of the Universe.
"Poor Galileo! If only he'd lived today when every man finally knows religion has nothing to say to the state or the high priests of Science. The Bible's true when it talks about spiritual things--not political or sexual or scientific things. It's no history book or textbook on cosmology. It tells you how to feel--not what to think. Poor Galileo! He had it right and the church tried to shut him up. Stupid ignorant church. Stupid Dark Ages...
(Tim: this is first in a series of posts [one, two, three, four, five, six, seven] responding to to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's promotion of sodomy at a Indiana University campus forum they sponsored the evening of Monday, March 28, 2011.)
Back when David's and my father and mother, Joe and Mary Lou Bayly, were living on Mass. Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they were InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's (IV) first staff workers in New England, it would have sickened them to know their children would live to see the day when IV was advocating sodomy in the Name of Jesus Christ and His Word. That's what happened this week here at Indiana University.
IV brought in a longtime IV staff worker (he recently left IV staff) to speak against homophobia at a special attention-getting series of public meetings and that man promoted sodomy in the Name of Jesus Christ, His Church, His Word; and certainly in the name of that parachurch organization known in this country as IV. They're the sponsor of Urbana and they own the book marketer that does the best job of promoting the feminist heresy within the Evangelical world, InterVarsity Press.
Weird, isn't it? I mean, that an organization and its publishing arm would use the Name of Jesus to obliterate the meaning of sexuality in society, the home, and the Church concerning the relationship between the sexes would then go on to work to obliterate the meaning of sexuality also in the matter of how body parts go together? Check out the caption under the pic: the Indiana Daily Studentgot this one right.
Honestly, I thought IV would try to keep these two parts of Gods' Creation Order separate so the scandal of giving in on the second would not undercut the massive progress they've made in destroying the first. Do you think people might be on guard now that it's obvious its full-out sexual anarchy IV's committed to? Or do you think IV will be able to finesse the matter, claiming it's a one-off and purely accidental that in this particular chapter and speaker, feminism and sodomy are both promoted?
Yes, yes, of course. I know IV's leadership will claim that this is an anomaly...
(Tim: this is fourth in a series of posts [one, two, three, four, five, six, seven] responding to to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's promotion of sodomy at a Indiana University campus forum they sponsored the evening of Monday, March 28, 2011.)
“The unique Divine inspiration, entire trustworthiness and authority of the Bible.” - InterVarsity’s Doctrinal Basis
Sola Scriptura is a cornerstone of Protestantism. From the beginning, Protestants have objected to the idea that we can know God and what He commands from any source other than His divinely revealed Word. As the Westminster Confession puts it: “The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture” I.10
Of the many things that were wrong with the event “Jesus and the end of Homophobia” hosted by Indiana University’s InterVarsity chapter, the most disturbing was the silencing of God’s Word. As a Protestant, Evangelical organization, InterVarsity is supposed to be committed to the Bible. It is supposed to be committed to the Bible because it is in the Bible that God speaks to us most clearly. If we have a question about Who God is and what He requires of us, the Bible is where Protestants turn for the answer.
But that is not what happened at last week’s event. Last week, InterVarsity sponsored an event where the Bible was not allowed into the discussion. God was not allowed to speak through His Word...
Can two walk together, except they be agreed? -Amos 3:3
In their recent outreach meeting featuring former staff worker William Campbell promoting sodomy, InterVarsity enlisted the campus organization Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Equality (SAGE) as a co-sponsor of the event.
This past week SAGE sponsored another event titled "GenderF**k." Billed as "a gender-inclusive drag show with no restrictions on gender presentation, sexual orientation or birth sex," the audience found it all quite delightful. Argenta Peron gushed, “It’s awesome because of the fact it’s not just a drag-show. It expresses a vision of what gender really is.”
We haven't heard if InterVarsity co-sponsored this event, also.
(TB: this is tenth in a series of posts [one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten] responding to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's promotion of sodomy at an Indiana University campus forum they sponsored the evening of Monday, March 28, 2011.)
by David and Tim Bayly on April 29, 2011 - 10:25am
Once again, we have that paragon among unreforming preachers asked about his take on sex--this time homosexual marriage.
Lauren Green of FoxNews did the interview March 28, 2011, as part of the Justice Event hosted by Redeemer's Hope for New York, Diaconate, and Grace & Race ministries. The place was packed, bases were loaded, bottom of the ninth, the pitch floated in waist high...
Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse. (Malachi 4:5, 6)
(NOTE: helpful obscenities ahead) Almost always, an absent father, father-hunger, and hatred define The New Yorker profiles of the purveyors of our Godless culture. Here we have a profile of the hip-hop group, Odd Future, and its best rapper, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile (alias Earl Sweatshirt) who at the time of the song's release was sixteen years old. From The New Yorker's profile, "Earl Sweatshirt begins one track by sneaking some autobiography into...
A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. - Psalms 68:5
If Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, what judgment of His wrath must He be preparing in the face of the wholesale slaughter of our little ones? And what does it say about our love for Him that we claim to be His adopted sons, yet are unconcerned for these little ones He loves? Has He not told us He is a Father to the fatherless?
These little ones' blood flows day by day in your own city--just down the block from your church office and almost kitty-corner to the Kroger where you do your grocery shopping. When you're driving your car filled with much-loved children on your way to home school co-op, little babies are being ripped apart inside the brick wall of that building on your left three buildings back from the stop light.
Remember? Your God is a Father to the fatherless.
India's child murders are sex-specific. So many of her little girls have been killed that for every 1,000 boys under age six, there are only 916 girls. Most of them are cut apart while in their mother's womb. Some make it to birth, though, and are starved to death. Little baby girls with toothpicks for arms and everyone knows why...
Father Bill Mouser submitted this excellent comment under the post, WORLD's schtick.... Reading the original post may be necessary to understand this comment. (TB)
Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. (Leviticus 18:24, 25)
Imagine for a moment Joshua facing Israel as it's perched on the east side of the Jordan river, addressing that nation this way:
"For the longest time I’ve struggled to put my finger on just what I believe about homosexuality. Or, for that matter, about incest. Or, for crying out loud, Moloch worship. Forty years ago, after all that sturm und drang at the foot of Sinai, I think I would have come down pretty solid on the line of “absolutely not.”
"But, I’m not sure I can say that anymore. Wait a minute: It isn’t that I think homosexuality, or incest, or Moloch worship, or anything else Moses wrote in Leviticus 18, is OK and is something YHWH overlooks or agrees with. But it is that I’m understanding a little better that what is commanded of us Jews is simply not the same as what we should expect from those who inhabit the land YHWH has given to us...
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...
“Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name..." - Genesis 11:4
...if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment... - 2 Peter 2:6-9
We make it a habit to say less than we know when we oppose ministries and their leaders here on Baylyblog. We don't want to overreach. This has been true of our criticisms of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and her pastor, especially.
Back in the early nineties we first started recommending Redeemer to souls moving to New York City, and by now we have close to two decades of listening to those men and women who have become a part of Redeemer's congregations.
Our second thoughts about Redeemer started seventeen years ago...
The Wisconisn Evangelical Lutheran Synod sees the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and raises them one. Or maybe ten.
In my former home of Pardeeville, Wisconsin, the WELS congregation was the dominant religious presence in town. When they called a new pastor, Mary Lee and I decided to invite him with his wife and children over for dinner. After a cordial introduction, we sat down at the table and I turned to him and said, "I've heard lots of things through the years, but let me ask you directly: do you pray, do I pray, or do we not pray at all?"
He answered, "You go ahead and pray and we'll sit by," and immediately his good wife turned to their children and said, "We're going to pray; fold your hands and close your eyes." God bless her.
We had a pleasant evening. During the conversation the WELS pastor told us his grandmothers was a godly Baptist and that he didn't pray with her, either...
And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” - Revelation 14:8
Son-in-law Lucas forwarded this interview on the future of the internet with Dr. Hamadoun Touré, General Secretary of the International Telecommunications Union. The ITU is an agency of the United Nations with a mandate to make sure the internet "runs smoothly, and that governments don't get in the way of their citizens' unfettered access to communications."
Dr. Touré recommends that countries avoid English if they wish...
The battle over money going on between President Obama and the House of Representatives is worth watching because, for years to come, it will be used as an example proving something. Just ask Newt Gingrich.
Exactly what it proves remains to be seen and is largely a function of the degree to which those of us who oppose government-gone-hog-wild make our voices heard in support of what the freshman class and Speaker Boehner are trying to do.
So, good citizens, speak up.
Last night in his plea for support of unlimited government, President Obama said:
Most Americans, regardless of political party, don't understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don't get.
In Exodus 20:23-25 God tells Moses to warn the people of Israel that they are not to fashion gods of silver or gold for themselves. He then immediately goes on to say that altars to Him should be made of earth, or if of stone, uncut stone because by wielding their tools on His altar they will profane it.
Can we miss the relevance of this passage for our church houses today--and for our methods of preaching the Word? The danger of mistaking human craft and opulence with the glory of God is no smaller today than in the days of Moses. And lest we forget, God commanded that the place of His worship be a tabernacle rather than a cathedral, a house rather than a palace.
Consider God's response in 1 Chronicles 17:1-15 after Nathan prematurely assured David that God was pleased with his desire to build Him a house:
This piece, "The Deafening Silence" by Nathan Ed Schumacher, demonstrates that the silence of Emergent and R2K men in the face of the wickedness and oppression in our public square is of the same fabric. Fear of man is a principle that knows no boundaries. (TB)
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. - Matthew 5:14
He that is not with me is against me. - Matthew 12:30
Qui non improbat, approbat [He who does not disapprove, approves]
Causae ecclesiae publicus causis aequiparantur [The cause of the church is a public cause]
-Maxims of Law
When Obama started his latest war in Libya, I wasn’t surprised – but I did start looking for some reaction from those in official senior positions of Christian leadership...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 12, 2011 - 9:19am
It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate (in which) they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth...
Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the church of our common Lord…
- Westminster Confession of Faith 23.2,3
But it often happens that the magistrate is negligent, nay, sometimes himself requires to be chastised; as was the case with the Emperor Theodosius. Moreover, the same thing may be said regarding the whole ministry of the word. Now, therefore, according to that view, let pastors cease to censure manifest iniquities, let them cease to chide, accuse, and rebuke. For there are Christian magistrates who ought to correct these things by the laws and the sword. But as the magistrate ought to purge the Church of offences by corporal punishment and coercion, so the minister ought, in his turn, to assist the magistrate in diminishing the number of offenders. Thus they ought to combine their efforts, the one being not an impediment but a help to the other.
- John Calvin, Institutes; 4:11:3
Observing radical two kingdom men in their atomistic machinations of this and that, only precisely there but absolutely not then or now, leads me to say that one of their gravest problems is that man is, by nature, given to worship. He was made for this.
If he will not bow to his Creator, he won't stop bowing; instead, he'll bow to idols. Scripture says "Blessed is the nation whose god is the Lord," and the understood alternative is not the enlightened nation that has adopted an official no-god-at-all called "separation of church and state." If a nation does not have God as their god, they are in thrall to demons. And their subjection is not only as individuals, but corporately as families, cities, states, and nation.
There is the nation whose god is the Lord and there is the nation whose god is an idol of demons--those are the only two possibilities. Man was made to worship. He can't help himself.
Thus while R2K men are scurrying around trying to shore up the separation of church and state that they hope will provide us a few more years of peace, our presidents--both Democrats and Republicans--never stop constructing the temples and altars of Molech. And this is only to cite one example, albeit the bloodiest and most pathetic one...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 16, 2011 - 8:50am
It's glorious how God leads intellectuals to shout their blindness. Things the simplest plowboy sees clearly are obscured by the intellectual's highly nuanced mists and vapors, so the plowboy is left to his centuries-old occupation of making fun of them. He's not anti-intellectual--he's anti-intellectuals.
Plowboys aren't envious of the intellectual's degrees or salary or light teaching load or clean soft hands and time alone with books. And it's certainly not that the plowboy is careless with reason, logic, history, and right and wrong. He's as careful with his tax forms as any making-of-books man, and much more sophisticated.
No, it's not that the plowboy is stupid and thinks stupid is good. Rather, it's that he's got his feet planted squarely on the ground while the intellectual is up in the mists and vapors forgetting that he's made of dust and to dust he will return. The intellectual speaks from on high while the plowboy speaks from soil and manure. The Christian sizing both up may be able to grasp that the plowboy's perspective makes all the difference for his grasp of truth and his growth in righteousness.
Applications of these fundamental truths are everywhere.
R2K intellectuals are a special interest group hounding the nation's citizenry about their pet policy issue. They're a PAC whose primary work is not on K Street and in the halls of congress, but out across the land. They publish and yell and chivy and curdle and yap at and hector and dog their fellow citizens with their political dogma, and they do it in the Name of God citing His Word and Church as their authorities...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 24, 2011 - 9:00am
National Geographic breathlessly announces: "Even after centuries of effort, some 86 percent of Earth's species have yet to be fully described, according to new study that predicts our planet is home to 8.7 million species. That means scientists have cataloged less than 15 percent of species now alive—and current extinction rates mean many unknown organisms will wink out of existence before they can be recorded."
by David and Tim Bayly on September 8, 2011 - 2:50pm
Good girls gone bad, the city's filled with them...
- Jay-Z, "Empire State of Mind"
Here's a list of the fifteen zip codes in New York City that have the highest rate of abortion. The graph was created by the Chiaroscuro Foundation and it tells us Manhattan's Chelsea - Clinton zip code has the highest rate of child-slaughter in all of New York City.
The Chelsea-Clinton zip code is the zip code of Redeemer Presbyterian Church...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 12, 2011 - 6:10am
They didn't know it at the time, but Todd Beamer and his fellow stalwarts on Flight 93 saved the life of one woman intent on taking theirs--Kamikaze style. Ten years later, the Washington Postbroke the story (in its "Lifestyle" section, of course):
Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.
The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.
Except her own plane. So that was the plan.
When they ordered her to scramble, did anyone know whether or not Penney was pregnant? And if she was, did they ask her little baby if he was willing to die on his mother's suicide mission?
by David and Tim Bayly on September 12, 2011 - 7:29am
For six years ending late December of 2006 when she went to be with the Lord, my Dad's sister, Elaine Bayly, lived with us here in Bloomington. She arrived just days before 9/11 and she brought a personal perspective on that day because she'd spent years of her life building the World Trade Center. Thus 9/11 and Aunt Elaine have always been bound together in our family's memory.
Aunt Elaine spent about seventy years in the same apartment on Parsons Blvd. in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens and for a number of those years she worked as a secretary for the project manager of the construction of the World Trade Center, the Tishman Company.
Elaine was personal secretary to Tishman's number one and number two men on the project and her dear friend Abe Levine (number two holding the position of Deputy Construction Manager) provides this account of Aunt Elaine's work there.
We had nine secretaries, but at the World Trade Center she was the personal secretary to the man at the top and the second in command. She took shorthand at a mile a minute. We turned out hundreds of letters a week.
We had documents that ran forty to fifty pages, and some of them had to be done over again, every single week—like the minutes of our official meetings. She did those and she did them to perfection—like a masterpiece. They were full of technical stuff (we were doing engineering) and they were always done to perfection.
The other girls all looked up to her. Everyone respected her. When she did a letter, it was a masterpiece. No one else was like that.
It was extremely hectic at the World Trade Center. One day we were having a meeting with the Port Authority—all the bigwigs...