Femininity & modesty

Men who won't bear responsibility but know how to cry...

If you're younger than forty, you'll think this post is the product of a neanderthal born before the time when feminists finally gave men the freedom to get in touch with their emotions and cry. Let me set you straight. The author is quite capable of crying when crying is not a betrayal of his manhood. When Lazarus is dead, for instance. And he is a Presbyterian pastor who is gentle and kind, especially to his wife—which is much more than I can say for a host of men under forty years of age. In other words, what he writes here is not the product of being unenlightened, repressed, out of touch with his feelings, or beastly; nor is he a sexist or misogynist.

So here's the e-mail from our correspondent...

Ordination in the PCA: the only distinction between men and women...

On Wednesday afternoon at the PCA’s 42nd General Assembly, the Cooperative Ministries Committee presented five critical issues that require study and subsequent recommendations. You might not be surprised to learn that the first has to do with the role of women...

The role of women in the PCA – particularly, giving women a greater voice and more visible roles, while maintaining the denomination’s position on male ordained leadership in governing.

The elders of the PCA approach the definition of their leadership like a defeated husband. He vaguely remembers there are verses in the Bible that talk about his wife’s submission, and femininity, and silence, and gentleness, and busy-ness at home, but he’s married a woman whose father trained her not to submit, not to be feminine, not to be silent, not to be gentle, and not to be busy at home. His heart’s desire is for his wife to be busy at home, but since she can’t have that he’ll figure out the required breadth of argument both to affirm her (and her father's) desires and hold on to some little authority. He’ll begin arguing like an egalitarian when it comes to giftedness: men and women alike have gifts of administration, and teaching, and leadership, and so on and so forth. He'll figure out ways for her to have “a greater voice and more visible roles,” all the while basically satisfied because he will retain one thing that is his own: ordination. She’s happy and he’s happy for a number of reasons: 1) she’s happy, and 2) her father’s happy, and 3) he’s retained some vestige of Biblical distinction by means of ordination. 

What happens if she asks for ordination? What will her poor husband do?

"A profound relative lack..."

Under the subheading "Books," Google News has this headline:

Literature Still Urgently Needs More Non-White, Non-Male Heroes 

And here's their leadoff text: "As Vanessa Veselka wrote in The American Reader, there is a profound relative lack of female road narratives in the Western literary tradition. This absence hurt her..."

Whatever happened to...

The invisible graduates...

This article was written by Kate (Yoder '07) Bedinghaus and Heather (Bayly '98) Ummel for the most recent edition of the Taylor University magazine.

Fill in the blank: More Taylor grads work as ________________ than in any other vocation.

  • Teachers
  • Missionaries
  • Youth Pastors
  • Business Professionals

​Answer: It's a trick question. We didn't do a statistical survey, but we're willing to bet the answer is mothers.

As young women at Taylor, our minds were consumed with endless tests, friendships, wing events, and cute boys. There were deeper spiritual questions to ponder. There were decisions about the future to be made. These thoughts left little room for the seemingly faraway possibility of motherhood. The idea of children was filed away under "Someday," after mission work, world travel, and a rewarding career...

Yes, Ms. Feminist; God does command older women to teach younger women to "be domestic"...

Today, a man sent an e-mail linking to a feminist heretic (you do know that's what they are, don't you?) dissing the Apostle Paul's command that older women of the church teach younger women this core curriculum:

  1. to love their husbands
  2. to love their children.
  3. to be sensible.
  4. to be pure (RSV "chaste").
  5. to be workers at home (RSV "domestic").
  6. to be kind.
  7. to be subject (RSV "submissive") to their husbands.

Ms. Heretic lampooned the words of Scripture, albeit in the mouths of self-styled "complementarians." (It wouldn't do to lampoon the Holy Spirit Who inspired the Apostle Paul.) It takes no imagination to come up with the scoffing and ridicule she trotted out in her post. To an old warhorse, this feminist making a living off Evangelical simpletons is immodest, indiscrete, vain, deceptive, dangerous, and thus very boring. And the great tragedy of it is that I have it on good authority that her father is godly. How his heart must break over his precious daughter's rebellion against the Father Almighty!

All this as introduction to two things below: first, my response to the brother who forwarded the feminist's attack upon Titus 2:1-5; and second, my sermon notes used to preach on this text. May God use both to keep us from the very seductive idols of our culture.

Please pray for me.

And now...

Sanctifying androgyny: "a woman can do anything a non-ordained man can do"...

Some may be unfamiliar with the saying, "a woman can do anything a non-ordained man can do." Trust me, this is a mantra in PCA and other Reformed leadership circles and it has received precious little critical scrutiny. Here then are several reasons why a woman can't do everything a non-ordained man can do.

First, a woman cannot impregnate her husband. A non-ordained man can impregnate his wife. There. I’ve written it. If this biological fact doesn't seem to have any application to the mantra, we can see how the androgyny of our world has seeped in and permeates the church's thinking.

An unordained man penetrates, but a woman receives. And this isn't simply biology...

Raising sons and daughters to love their sexual identity...

A man of our congregation e-mailed a link to a piece on another blog written by a pastor's wife lamenting her fears that her son would have to "prove" his manhood among the Christians in her community and church down in Mississippi. The man commented, "the point (in the post) I thought was most interesting (was her writing):

...and so I come back to my sensitive son, with his preference for imaginative games over competitive ones. I wonder if he will soon find himself a misfit in the Christian community, pressured to prove himself—not by his neighborhood friends, who won't care what he is—but by other Christians, who want him to stand up for a certain kind of disappearing manliness.

Responding to this quote from the post, the man responded: "I get that some boys will grow up to be poets, and writers. I was an English major. But, I can testify to the fact that I definitely needed wrestling, and football—not to prove anything, but to learn how to just be tough and a man."

So I went and read the post and left a comment, there...

The uglification of children's books...

From our Munich correspondent, this from Flickr. It's a comparison of the 1963 and 1991 editions of Scary's Best Word Book Ever. (Comparing 1963 and 2013 would be much worse, I'm guessing.)

This pic shows our intense commitment to the removal of the beauty of God's Creation Order of sexuality from our world. (And those of you who want to defend fathers at stoves, please don't bother; I grew up with one.)

Today, those with faith in Jesus Christ to teach the goodness of sexuality will find the field uncontested—particularly in the church and very particularly in Reformed churches...

A good resource on Christian headcovering in worship...

As everyone in Clearnote Church, Bloomington knows, in obedience to Scripture and in conformity with 99.9% of Christian women across two millennia, my wife Mary Lee wears a headcovering in worship, even when she's not praying or prophesying.

We began to consider the matter seriously when we were reading R. C. Sproul Sr.'s great book, Now, That's a Good Question!as part of our family devotions and learned there that Mrs. Sproul confesses her Christian sexuality by wearing a headcovering in worship.

Mary Lee and I began this practice and commend it to each of you who are married. It is a clear confession of the Christian faith to postmoderns who are so twisted by our culture that they find themselves most comfortable with femininity in men (doubting themselves, using hedge words and phrases, wearing jewelry, abdicating authority, shedding tears, being vain in their appearance) and masculinity in women (taking leadership and authority, working out, getting ripped, teaching men, playing soldier, playing cop, playing pastor, being brash).

Now, I'm guessing about 20% of Clearnote's women cover during some or all of our worship, although it's no requirement within our congregation.

One of our pastors just sent me a link to this web site titled The Headcovering Movement, and I thought some of our readers might find it helpful...

Living with your wife in a misunderstanding way, as with someone stronger...

Under the post titled "Men and Women as It Ought To Be," a couple men objected to the post. They commented that my commendation of Russian men helping women across streets indicated I was a chauvinist fool, and to prove their point they went on and on about how strong and bright and competent women really are. I put my response here because it's possible I will not get to writing another post today, and I hope this will be helpful to some of you living with your wife in a misunderstanding way as with someone stronger. Smile.

* * *

Dear (brother),

Thank you for your comment. Maybe you think a man who holds up honorable gentlemen for emulation, calling attention to the feminine vulnerability that prompted those men, logically leads to the conclusion that the man who holds up honorable gentlemen for emulation is a chauvinist, misogynist, fool? 

I would not have survived my mother, let alone my wife and three daughters, had I been a chauvinist. As a matter of fact, were I to choose a woman to escort me across the street when I was feeling a bit intimidated by the horns and wet pavement and semis, it would be my wife. For sure. Our family and church family well remember the evening she was so frustrated by the IU basketball traffic on IN 37...

Are women better off, now?

Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her long-sleeved garment which was on her; and she put her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went. - 2Samuel 13:19

The CDC just updated its stats on the prevalence of sexually transmitted disease in these United States. Those carrying Syphillis, Hepatitis B, Trichomonlasis, Chlamydia, Human Papillomavirus, Gonorrhea, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus now stand at 110,197,000.

New infections run around 20,000,000 each year with the latest year on record (2008) at 19,738,800. Young men and women 15-24 years of age represent over fifty percent of all new STD infections.

Of the 110 million infected, 50,627,400 are men and 59,569,500 women...

Calvin, Clement of Alexandria, and the Apostle Paul on "effeminacy"...

Under the two posts dealing with Wheaton College's announced change of policy concerning homosexuality (here and here) there's been discussion of the Greek word 'malakoi' God inspired in the text of 1Corinthians 6:9,10. It's been noted that the English Standard Version's editors refused to allow this word to be translated into their revision of the RSV. Predictably, the King James Version and New American Standard Bible stand resolute in their political incorrectness, rendering the Greek 'malakoi' "effeminate" in English.

We have all been trained by feminists and homosexualists to replace "sex" with "gender," and part of their politicization of sexual identity has been a very intense campaign to deny that sexual identity is good and to be affirmed in its physicality, beauty, and permanence. Biology is, in fact, destiny; God made us this way and it is good.

The feminists, though, hate it with a perfect hatred. Thus over my lifetime I've watched as the word 'effeminate' has been killed. The word was a constant in all previous generations of Reformed church fathers, but try to find one today who's willing to use it. Pfffft—it's gone. Not just from their language and writing, but from their ESV.

Why such a sea-change among Reformed men today?

Because whether knowingly or unknowingly, we have become the dupes of feminists and homosexualists intent on rendering all discussions of the hard-wired bifurcation at the core of our being put there by God and formerly spoken of as "sexuality" with that degradation that renders the glorious diversity of sexuality a mere social construct by speaking of it as "gender"...

Wheaton announces homosexuality is not sin...

The distinction between the condemnation of homosexual behavior versus homosexuality is what Jones said is the critical nuance about the Community Covenant.

- Stanton L. Jones is Provost of Wheaton College

Now comes Wheaton College announcing it has "evolved" in its views on sexuality and has come to see the distinction between "homosexual practice" and "homosexuality." You know, that ever-so-popular "critical nuance" distinction between getting it on and getting your flame on. Stanton Jones has been studying sexuality for "thirty years" and he's learned the Apostle Paul was wrong to condemn the effeminate and what's really needed is a cell group on campus where they can be affirmed in their effeminacy. Who cares what the Apostle Paul says?

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. - 1Corinthians 6:9, 10

What on earth was the Apostle Paul thinking to speak this way? Had he never heard of being gay? Was he so callous as to exacerbate the deep angst and alienation experienced by those different from himself?

Who knows.

Happy 96th birthday, Mom Taylor!

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praisein the gates. - Proverbs 31:30, 31

It has become a tradition each year for the Taylor children and spouses to gather in March to celebrate Mom Taylor's birthday with her. This year Mom turned 96. How beautiful she is, mind, body, and heart! Here are a couple pics to commemorate the occasion: first, a pic of Mom with nine of her ten children (son John wasn't able to be here); and second, a pic of all seven daughters.

(Back row left to right: Cindy, Mark, Marty, Janet, Becky, Peter, Mary Lee; front row: Alison, Mom, Gretchen)

He has denied the faith...

But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. - 1Timothy 5:8

In a nation where the majority of citizens claim to have "a personal relationship" with Jesus Christ, how is it that babies keep being murdered at a rate of 1.3 million per year? How is it that women continue to take on more positions in which, by design and intent, they exercise authority over men? How is it that the family meal has died? That what my Dad called "that huckster" now owns the center of our living room and dying room? That no one practices hospitality any more—except perhaps at restaurants or hotels? That husbands love internet sluts instead of the wife of their youth? That one fifth of our nation's women now arrive at their early forties never having given birth to a child?

Really, the older I get the more sense it makes to me that the New Testament Epistles place such constant and heavy emphasis on simple (or should I say foundational) household matters. Do we really think that killing babies, women sleeping with women and men with men, children defying their fathers, mothers abandoning their children and home for a public life, husbands loving prostitutes instead of the virtuous wife God gave them, wives refusing to submit to their husbands and taking over the leadership of the church and state, smutty plays and drama and poetry, and spoiled cats and dogs are things unknown in the world of the early Christians?

Rome's attire...

If God gon take me as I am I guess I already got on my Church clothes.

- Lecrae, "Church Clothes"

Seeing the exchange under David's post poking a stick at the effeminacy of the Cardinals and their histrionic robes, how about a sample of some of the more temperate condemnations of Roman Catholic finery and licentiousness by John Calvin. Please keep in mind that Calvin is trying to "spare modest ears" as he writes...

Mud's family...

Many loved ones and friends sent kind notes of sympathy and joy at the passing of our dear "Mud," Mrs. Joseph Tate (Mary Lou) Bayly, into eternity. It is our faith that, through her faith in the Son of God Who gave His Own Body and Blood for sinners, in this life she was justified and sanctified, and now in the life to come she has been glorified and by grace dwells in the presence of the Lord. This is our joy and it more than compensates for any loss we have at her absence.

After the funeral service at Christ the Word in Toledo, Ohio, we took pics of Mud's "family." In the picture: three of us are Mud's remaining blood children (l. to r. and sitting are David, Deborah, and Tim); three daughters-in-law by marriage; one "daughter" by affection; twelve grandchildren (ten by blood, two by legal adoption, two by affection, and two not in the pic who are by legal adoption); seven already or almost spouses of grandchildren (so far); thirteen great-grandchildren (eleven by blood and two by legal adoption—so far); and two others also "family" and loved by Mud and the rest of us.

To those of you who wrote and sent flowers reminding us of your love for Mud and her family, we will remember your kindness and praise God for the comfort we received from you.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates. - Proverbs 31:25-31

Eulogy for Mary Lou (DeWalt) Bayly...

Since "Mud" had lived with my brother, David, his wife Cheryl, and their family for the past seven years attending Christ the Word during that time, her funeral was held there last Friday night. Dr. Bob Forney, one of Christ the Word's elders, preached the sermon. His text was Proverbs 31 which was quite fitting for Mud—particularly his emphasis on the strength of Godly women. Mud was very strong. In her will, her words, her work, her body, and especially her faith. As Bob said, the feminist conceit that women who honor God's Order of Creation of Adam first, then Eve, are weak is laughable. Real strength today is demonstrated by submission; not rebellion.

Prior to the opening sentences of the funeral service, my son Joseph gave the eulogy. Many of you dear ones came up from Bloomington for the service. Thank you so much! This meant a great deal to all the Bayly family.

For those of you who weren't able to join us, here is the text of the eulogy...

"I think anyone needs to be aware that generalizations are never good." - MsMom

We keep our eye on links to Baylyblog. Recently, a gab-site called The Well-Trained Mind Community resurrected an old Baylyblog post and asked its members for their thoughts. It's worth pointing out the post was not written by David, me, or any other pastor. The post is the work of an elder of Clearnote Church who is a founding board member of a ministry of Clearnote Church, Bloomington, called Bloomington Christian Schoolhouse.

I don't know if I've ever done this before but I'm notifying readers of the discussion and linking

Three cheers for mothers in Israel and daughters of Sarah...

Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did. And it happened at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an upper room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, having heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him, “Do not delay in coming to us.” So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them. - Acts 9:36-39

Nine old men. Nine old men. Nine old men.

(chant of striking unionists in reaction to a 1935 Supreme Court decision declaring the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional)

My wife, Mrs. Hale (she’s cheerfully taken my pseudonym), recently sent me a link to an article in The Guardian on the travails of women professionals, especially lawyers. She said I just had to read it, suggesting a blog post might be in order.

The article quotes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s declaration that she won’t be satisfied until there are nine women on the U.S. Supreme Court. (Three currently serve.) The author of The Guardian piece, who used to work for a law firm, heartily agrees. She says, “It's not unreasonable to think that, at some point, nine of the finest legal minds in the country would belong to women.” 

To which my not-so-fine legal mind responds, “Well, duh.” Buried in this non-newsflash is the assumption that the crème de la crème of legal minds would even want to go to law school, or slog their way to a partnership in a swanky law firm, or maneuver their way into a position to be nominated for a seat on the SCOTUS bench.

Speaking for myself, I could come up with nine of the finest legal minds in America faster than you can say the words “It Takes a Village.”