City of man/City of God

Visualize impeachment...

Last week an NPR pundit opined on the U.S. Supreme Court’s strategy to impose sodo-matrimony on the nation. Speaking of last summer’s decision to overturn only part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the pundit explained the High Court “didn’t want to get too far out in front of the people.” This sort of cant is supposed to lull us into believing that We the People and our Injustices are headed in the same direction toward the Promised Land of sexual liberation and tolerance. In other words, the Injustices are in the vanguard as they appeal to the better angels of our nature to acquiesce in homosexual marriage. With gentle nudges, they’re only accelerating the transition from our budding, enlightened inclinations toward actions we would eventually take anyway.

In reality, for the last fifty years the Supreme Court has exercised a debasing cultural and spiritual influence on our nation. Any moral capital the Court won in outlawing segregation in 1954 was years ago forfeited as it rampaged through state law after state law after state law erected to protect the weak and innocent. Abortionists, murderers and rapists on death row, and pornographers have been frequent recipients of the Supreme Court’s solicitude and succor. Then as if that weren’t enough, in the 2003 decision Lawrence v. Texas, homosexuals were enshrined in the constitutional Pantheon. The Court has an insatiable appetite for strong delusion.

A more honest pundit would have said that...


Planetary conviviality, human flourishing...

You may casually dismiss this stuff, but this is the future of Evangelical religion. It will be toned down, somewhat, when it's taken out there to the hinterlands, and localized, but this sort of pantheistic, radically subjective, mystical ad copy is not transparently evil to people acclimated to Christian religion by men like Tim Keller. They're good prep for emotive blather such as "planetary conviviality."

Again, from Union Theological Seminary's e-mail update:

FORREST CHURCH MEMORIAL LECTURE: Dr. Keller [not Tim] develops the relational potential of a theology of becoming. Her books reconfigure ancient symbols of divinity for the sake of a planetary conviviality—a life together, across vast webs of difference...


Making a mockery of the presidency and freedom...

The LORD of hosts has planned it, to defile the pride of all beauty, To despise all the honored of the earth. - Isaiah 23:9

Yesterday, President Obama couldn't find the time to accept the invitation to help commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address over in Gettysburg, a couple minutes flight from the White House.

Yet look at what he found time for today: awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Gloria Steinem (pics here).


Theological critique of Escondido Two Kingdoms Theology (VII): Civil magistrates are elders and they need a pastor, too...

(NOTE: This post is part of a series showing the errors of so-called Two-Kingdom Theology. We refer to it as "so-called" Two-Kingdom Theology because what the church historically has meant by "Two-Kingdoms" bears little resemblance to what Escondido Theology men mean when they write it today. Thus sometimes we write "Two-Kingdom Theology," but more often we write "Radical Two Kingdom," "Rigid Two Kingdom," or "R2K.")

So with many other exhortations (John the Baptist) 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... - Luke 3:18, 19

Engineers rock when it comes to bridges, elevators, and making sure the van is ready for the family vacation. But pastoral care and the application of God's Word to the messies of life? Not so much; the boy needs help. They can be so fixated on specifics that there's no broader picture. Once I served a church with a session of engineers. One of them wasn't just an engineer, but his company had him engineering halfway between quality control and customer service. We loved one another but sometimes he drove us crazy.

With engineers, the work is always definition, demarcation, and proper process towards the single goal of perfection. There's nothing in between right and wrong, risk is always to be avoided, and that's that. So a helpful way to understand the error of R2K is to think of it as an engineer's hat chart for Christian witness. There's this but absolutely not that for now (but not then) when A and B have both occurred within three days of C and Person Number One is wearing his tall hat. If it's a short squat hat, though, that changes everything.

So, for instance, here's how a Radical Two Kingdom church officer (pastor) tries to explain to the public why he went ahead and accepted an invitation to open the U.S. House of Representatives in prayer...


Shaaame, what you need you have to borrow...

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing shameless deeds and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (Romans 1:24-27)

Shame is a gift from God with a mission-critical function within His creation. For immoralities to increase in a culture, shame must be repudiated. Today there's precious little left.

Back in 1950, the pagan anthropologist, Margaret Mead, saw it all coming when the pagan zoologist, Alfred Kinsey, released his Kinsey Report. Mead condemned Kinsey's number-crunching approach to human intimacy, pointing out that all the talk about sexual perversion would lead to shamelessness:

In every society sex patterns depend on a careful and meticulous balance between ignorance and knowledge, sophistication and naïveté. (The Kinsey Report) has upset the balance …between the things we don’t mention, and the things we do. And it may be expected to have considerable effect in our society for that reason. Quite a good deal of our virtue has depended upon people not knowing what other people were doing (in their bedrooms).

In the past, it was said, “It is better to marry than to burn.” Now we translate, “It is better to have an outlet of some sort, because you’ve got to have an outlet of some sort.” …so it’s just a question of which outlet and (this) suggests no way of choosing between a woman and a sheep.

Sixty years on, the most basic distinctions God gave us in the Garden of Eden prior to the Fall we call "male" and "female" are being obliterated by postmoderns. This precious diversity is being destroyed before our eyes.

Meanwhile, environmentalists yawn...


Promoting Sexual by Design, Part II: The protestors organize...

(NOTE FROM JAKE MENTZEL: The following post was written by Jason Chen, with a few additions and changes made by me. It is also a continuation of his original post, here. Jason is a Clearnote Pastors College Student and just started his second year as an intern with Clearnote Campus Fellowship. He is in charge of outreach efforts on the campus of IU and was primarily responsible for the marketing and promotion of Sexual by Design.)

So our slow-build marketing plan didn't work out as we anticipated. We thought we'd be working hard to generate interest in the lectures, but as it turns out, from the first day we put chalk on the ground, the buzz around campus began to take on a life of its own.

Although some of our students were rattled by the opposition we were facing, we continued chalking. At this point we made our messages simpler and more direct. Once while we were out, a member of SAGE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Equality) told me and a CNCF student that they had just finished meeting to discuss how to respond to our advertising. We were told that they had decided to no longer erase our chalk. Very big of them! They had, however, set up a website to counter our efforts, www.bettermessage.org.

At the same time I went on campus to interview students to make a few promotional videos. We asked a series of simple questions related to the lectures—questions like, "What does it mean for you to be a man (or woman)?" Here's an example of what we ended up with...


Why Sexual by Design?

About this time last year, the women of our church invited Nancy Wilson to speak at their annual Spring Retreat. Like many godly couples in ministry, Doug and Nancy never travel separately, so that meant her husband was part of the deal. That worked out great for us, because we're friends with Doug and we had been hoping to invite him to Bloomington at some point, anyway. The ladies of our church just helped us pull the trigger.

Needless to say, having Doug in town was an opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. And having him speak on campus was an obvious decision. Initially, we wanted to have a debate of some kind—something similar to what Doug had already done with Christopher Hitchens and others. It would have been familiar territory for him, and we would’ve known what to expect. But we couldn’t find anyone willing or able to partner with us to pull it off. That put us in a bit of a spot and required a bit more creativity.

After corresponding with Doug, we decided to have him do a series of lectures entitled Sexual by Design. The idea was simple. Doug would come and address God’s design for our sexuality—why did God make us male and female? And what then?

The reason for this is simple. If we were going to have Doug Wilson speak on IU’s campus, we wanted it to matter. And if sexuality is a hot-button issue in our culture, it’s a panic-button issue in Bloomington...


Quoting the Westminster Standards on public television...

Last Tuesday, Bloomington's public television station, WTIU, broadcast a forum opposing Indiana's 1997 defense of marriage act (DOMA) passed by our legislature and signed into law by our Democratic Governor, Frank O'Bannon. Since then, the Indiana Legislature has gone on to pass another DOMA aimed at further solidifying our state's opposition to sodomite marriage by writing it into our Indiana State Constitution.

WFIU went far afield looking for someone to come on the show who would support the DOMA constitutional amendment. Everyone they asked (including one man in our church who had prior commitments) declined to serve as the loyal opposition to the producer, moderator and other two members of the panel who oppose DOMAs. The producer ended up asking if I'd be willing to do it, so after asking for advice from several, I complied and this is the result. There was much I didn't say and could have, but I was grateful for the work and hope it will be helpful to some of our good readers.

Here's the history of these DOMAs provided for us by an expert in Indiana law and politics...


What happens when you attack an idol?

You know, wherever the apostle Paul went, there was a revival or riot. Everywhere I go, they serve tea. - an Anglican cleric

What happens when you attack an idol?

On Friday, April 13th, the college ministry of Clearnote Church sponsored a lecture series on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University called Sexual by Design. Indiana University is a notorious party school in one of the most gay-friendly towns in America. It's also the home of Alfred Kinsey and the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.

So we invited Pastor Doug Wilson to Bloomington to address God's design for sexuality on campus. We wanted him to join us in our attack on the idols of our community and to aid us in the work of seeing souls saved from eternal destruction. As you can see from the sneak peeks above, chaos ensued.

Doug spoke to a hostile crowd of 350-400 people...


Jerry Sandusky is us...

We all should be grateful Joe Paterno's Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 charges yesterday. These convictions should not be taken for granted. The corruption and rape of little boys by older gay men is rife in our culture and the convictions in the past two days of both Sandusky and Msgr. William Lynn of the Philadelphia archdiocese of the Roman Catholic church are good news for those who work for justice and truth and love the little ones.

But every silver lining has a cloud and both convictions highlight the deep commitment our culture has to satiating our lust through child corruption, sexual violence, incest, torture, and murder. We're talking about little boys, here, and we find that their corruption by terribly wicked gay men is hidden and tolerated at the heart of the Roman Catholic church across our country (and really, across the world), just as it was at the heart of Papa Joe's Penn State football program. Watch the coming trials of Penn State administrators and note how much the protection of gay rapists by Roman Catholic hierarchy (read monsignors, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and popes) resembles the protection of gay rapists by public research university coaches, faculty, and administration.

In fact, it would be hard to think of three institutions more damnable for their promotion of child abuse, molestation, incest, and murder than the Academy, Hollywood, and the Roman Catholic church. The Academy and Hollywood are obvious. Rape and bloodshed and lust and murder permeate our campuses and movies. It's always been so.

But the Roman Catholic church?

Think of the impact on the conduct and moral development of the souls of your  church if your pastor was single, gay, and raping the young boys who helped him administer his mass...


Turns out children adopted by lesbian couples aren't OK after all...

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1)

Everyone who knows anything will tell you global warming is true; or at least likely enough to be true to justify a plate-tectonic shift in all the world's economies. Everyone agrees. Science doesn't lie.

Everyone who knows anything will tell you literalists are embarrassing to the young, restless, and Reformed entrepreneurial enterprise. It's time to climb on Jack Collins' and Tim Keller's bandwagon. It's time to join all the brilliant genomists and brilliant exegetes and embrace evolution. Everyone agrees. The high priests of the Human Genome Project and scientific exegetes don't lie.

Everyone who knows anything will tell you Scripture is stupid--an ancient collection of myths. Take, for instance, that very old myth that man was created first, then woman; and that the meaning of this fact is that woman is not to teach or exercise authority over man. Also, that same-sex intimacy is an abomination before God and that God abandons men and women to receive in their own bodies the fair or just penalty of their perversion. Everyone agrees this is not true. God's Word is a lie.

Everyone who knows anything will tell you gay parenthood is good for the children; or at least good enough to justify a plate-tectonic shift in artificial insemination, adoption, and family law. Everyone agrees. Science doesn't lie.

Then a social scientist does a study of the emotional and mental health of adult children of same-sex parents...


Go down to your local abortuary...

There are a number of reasons we love the Sprouls, most definitely including Vesta and RCJr. Here's another. Praise God for this faithful shepherd. (TB, w/thanks to Nate)


RUF signs Vandy nondiscrimination policy: "It has nothing to do with compromising the Gospel," says RUF Coordinator Rod Mays...

Here's some good and bad news.

The good is that "World" magazine reported it.

The bad is that the PCA's national coordinator of RUF, Rod Mays, says he agrees with the decision of Vandy's RUF chapter not to join all the other campus ministries who have united in refusing to sign Vanderbilt's new nondiscrimination policy. RUF will sign the new policy, justifying their signature by saying they don't have student leaders and they don't want to lose their institutional influence.

Under the new policy, Vandy has required one ministry to remove the words "personal commitment to Jesus Christ" from its requirements of its leaders. Another ministry got into trouble for disciplining a member for his sexual immorality...


Chuck Colson on the Resurrection...

(TB: Chuck Colson gave himself to many works lots of us praise God for. Beyond his prison work and efforts to reform sentencing laws, there's his writing. One year Mary Lee and I gave one of his books to the other staff members of our congregation as a Christmas gift. Also I've recommended or given away his book Born Again any number of times. It's that rare bio that bears some resemblance to Augustine's Confessions. What a wonderful testimony of God's grace to recommend to unbelievers. Here's another piece of his writing that's meant a lot to me. I've used it in Easter sermons and commend it to you.)

“Watergate” and the Resurrection of Christ” by Chuck Colson

One of those involved in “Watergate”

After I became a Christian, my lawyer’s mind demanded evidence regarding the Bible. Was it legend, or could it really be taken as God’s revelation?

I read some excellent books. But ultimately it was my experience in Watergate, strange as that will sound, that convinced me the Bible is the authoritative, inerrant revelation of God. Let me explain...


Your mission giving should be reformed to support work like this...

We're hoping later to make available to you a movie documenting Doug Wilson's Gospel witness a week ago on the campus of Indiana University. Meanwhile, watch the very short video above. This video provides a clue why campus ministries have become gnostic societies sharing secret knowledge for their trusted initiates only.

God's Word, His authority, His Moral Law, His Judgment, His Hell are met with hatred and mob fury on secular campuses today. They've been publicly abandoned by campus parachurch workers making a living off church support, because not to abandon them is to run the sort of gauntlet you see Doug and Clearnote Campus Fellowship running in this video clip.

Knowing a bad thing when they see one, parachurch ministries have run for their lives. Few of them have any grid to understand the Holy Spirit's use of conflict and martyrdom as Gospel-centered, missional tools, so any hint of conflict or rebellion teaches them what never to do again. Thus no teaching on God's authority. No proclamation of fathers' authority. No declaration of Church authority. No discipline of members. No teaching on the Created Order  and the nature of manhood and womanhood. No warning and condemnation of sodomy. No warning against baby-slaughter (abortion). No mention of submission or repentance.

Just "the pure Gospel," which means the Gospel eviscerated of repentance...


The death of the rule of God's law...

Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man. (Genesis 9:6)

Over in Europe Christendom is dead. How can we tell?

Baptisms will mislead you--don't look there. Rituals pose no threat to paganism, so Rome's priests still get to do their thing. Rabbis too. How else are Europeans to make it clear they're not Muslim immigrants?

The real mark of Christendom's death is Europeans' zeal in throwing out God's Moral Law. Old person slaughter. Fornication. Bribes. Lies. Adultery. Sodomy. Bastardization. Covetousness. Theft by the state, and otherwise. Sloth. Child slaughter.

But here's another vivid example of Europe's rapid descent. It's a short news item. Would you please read it before clicking through to the next page...


Pastor Doug Wilson to speak at Indiana University (part 4)...

(TB w/thanks to Michael F. and Jason C.) On April 13th Pastor Doug Wilson will give two lectures here at Indiana University on what it means that God made man in His Own Image, and that he made us both male and female. Wilson's two-part lecture titled Sexual by Design is hosted by ClearNote Bloomington's campus ministry, JesusatIU.

This is the fourth and final promo video created for the event:


Pastor Doug Wilson to speak at Indiana University (part 3)...

(TB w/thanks to Michael F. and Jason C.) On April 13th Pastor Doug Wilson will give two lectures here at Indiana University on what it means that God made man in His Own Image, and that he made us both male and female. Wilson's two-part lecture titled Sexual by Design is hosted by ClearNote Bloomington's campus ministry, JesusatIU.

This is the third of four promo videos created for the event:

 


Pastor Doug Wilson to speak at Indiana University (part 1)...

(TB w/thanks to Michael F. and Jason C.) On April 13th Pastor Doug Wilson will give two lectures here at Indiana University on what it means that God made man in His Own Image, and that he made us both male and female. Wilson's two-part lecture titled Sexual by Design is hosted by ClearNote Bloomington's campus ministry, JesusatIU.

This is the first of four promo videos created for the event:


Escondido Theology, NSA spies, and the persecution of Christians...

The brave members of the Escondido Theology R2K Sanhedrin out at Westminster Seminary (Escondido) wage war against pastors and elders who warn their flocks and neighbors about the growing bloodshed and totalitarianism of these United States. Old people are regularly murdered, little babies are subject to the wholesale slaughter protected by SCOTUS and all its law enforcement apparatus, these evils will only grow under Obamacare's nationalized healthcare...

Meanwhile the R2K Sanhedrin is desperate to silence all those Reformed voices speaking out against the Third Reichification of nursing homes and hospitals and Ethical Review Committees.

You have, of course, noticed all those Reformed pastors and elders speaking out against the Third Reichification of our hospitals and nursing homes, haven't you? Likely you yourself have a Reformed pastor or session in your own community that regularly pickets your county nursing home. Your hospital. A graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary who writes letters to your state's board of medical ethics...