by David and Tim Bayly on January 31, 2008 - 5:36am
To be wrong, and to be carefully wrong, that is the definition of decadence. The disease called aphasia, in which people begin by saying tea when they mean coffee, commonly ends in their silence. Silence of this stiff sort is the chief mark of the powerful parts of modern society. They all seem straining to keep things in rather than to let things out…Even the newspaper editors and proprietors are more despotic and dangerous by what they do not utter than by what they do. We have all heard the expression "golden silence." The expression "brazen silence" is the only adequate phrase for our editors. If we wake out of this throttled, gaping, and wordless nightmare, we must awake with a yell. - G. K. Chesterton
(by Lucas Weeks, a ClearNote Pastors College student) Last October, 138 Muslim scholars issued this open letter to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You”. One month later, dozens of Christian leaders responded in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, the text of which can be found here.
The Muslim clerics who wrote the first document say that the common ground between the three Abrahamic faiths is the love of God and the love of neighbor. The Christian response to the Muslim call for “a common word” affirms, as I do, that love is at the very center of the Christian faith. The respondents write, “For Christians, humanity’s love of God and God’s love of humanity are intimately linked. As we read in the New Testament: 'We love because he [God] first loved us' (1 John 4:19). Our love of God springs from and is nourished by God’s love for us. It cannot be otherwise, since the Creator who has power over all things is infinitely good.”
These words are powerful and true. It is not what they say, however, but what they do not say that makes the Christian response to “A Common Word Between Us” so inexcusably bad...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 18, 2008 - 7:40am
Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. (Leviticus 25:35)
(Tim, w/thanks to Lucas) Yesterday's New York Times carried an article titled, "Stifled, Egypt's Young Turn to Religious Fervor," explaining the newfound religious commitment of Egypt's young men and women that's changing the political complexion of the nation, but also other nations across the Middle East. Promised upward mobility following the completion of their education, young men and women have found themselves at a dead end, lacking even the resources for marriage. So they sit through their twenties and into their thirties with no hope for marriage, a family, or the status they confer. So, in droves these young men and women are turning to the mosque, daily prayers, and the Koran:
They think maybe they get nothing in this world, but they will get something in the other life.
Thinking about young people like this around the world is what has kept me from being a hard-liner on immigration. What kind of concern should we have for the sojourner in our midst? Or should we simply try to keep him out of our midst?
Last night I met, and had a delightful fifteen-minute conversation
with, Maria and Eduardo from La Ciudad de Mexico. In Eduardo's arms was
a beautiful four-week-old son, Cesar. They came to study at Indiana
University, but couldn't afford it. So now, Maria works as a cashier at
a local restaurant and Eduardo cares for their son. I'm happy they're
here and I'll do what I can to welcome them. A father who carries his
four-week old son through the aisles of Kroger as his wife
shops--that's the kind of man I want here in these United States!
(Tim, w/thanks to David) The International Foundation (akaThe Family, The Fellowship, The Fellowship Foundation, and Jesus Plus Nothing), is the sponsor of the National Prayer Breakfast, long seen as ground zero of evangelical influence in Washington D.C. More recently, though, The International Foundation has become better known for promoting syncretism with its rabbis and imams at the podium. In keeping with its promotion of Muslim-Christian rapprochement, The International Foundation has become much-enamored with Mark Siljander and his approach to Islam.
Mr. Siljander, a former high-profile evangelical congressman from Michigan recently indicted for money laundering, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, just published a book opposing the historic Christian position on Islam (that it's simply another Christian heresy). Mr. Siljander is touring the country with his revisionist gospel of misunderstood Islam and its Quran, and in this he's typical of a host of former-evangelical (my label) missionaries who say 'God' and 'Allah' are both names for the True God, that there's no reason for Muslim converts to Christianity to stop going to the mosque for daily prayers, and that baptism of these converts and membership in a Christian church is unnecessary given the dire consequences of conversion in an Islamic nation...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 27, 2008 - 10:06am
"...we affirm our fundamental unity with all the saints
within the body of Christ, including those in the Roman Catholic and
Eastern Orthodox churches..." -Trinity Reformed Church
(Tim) It's hip today for a man to identify himself with the "ancient" Christian church and faith. The early ecumenical creeds and the writing of the early church fathers are all the rage. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I sense this movement often carries with it a dismissal of church history between the first centuries and today. It's as if all that happened in the intervening millenia and a half is brushed aside. The Reformation and Council of Trent were only bad dreams; it's time to wake up and smell the roses.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 10, 2008 - 11:45am
(Tim) Each week, our church has a pickup soccer game at an elementary school near an apartment complex where a number of Muslim law school students live. When we're playing, one or more of the men (and sometimes their wives and children) come over to watch, and occasionally to play. Always, we talk afterward inviting them over for dinner and to church Lord's Day morning. A week and a half ago, one of the men came to both Sunday school and church.
Most of the men are from Turkey, but one is Liberian. During a conversation, the subject of Senator Barack Obama's faith came up and the Liberian gentleman said, "Barack Obama's a Christian, isn't he?"
"No, he's not a Christian," I answered.
"But doesn't he go to a Christian church?" he asked in some confusion.
"Well yes, he holds membership in a church that claims to be Christian, but it's not...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 31, 2009 - 8:22am
(Tim) Here's a report from a missionary couple I've had the pleasure of getting to know recently. I was so encouraged by their report that I thought I'd pass it on to our readers. The names of the couple and their cities have been removed to protect them, their brothers and sisters in Christ, and their Gospel work.
* * *
Although we're learning Hebrew, (my husband and I) are able to minister in Russian here, too. There are an estimated one million Russian-speaking immigrants in Israel. They're coming to Christ in unprecedented numbers...
Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
(Tim) Ministering in a university community clarifies the real faith of Christians. If the altar we place our money and children on indicates anything, our help is in education, degrees, and the Academy--not the Name of the Lord.
The Holy Spirit says, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be, also."
Before she walks across the platform, we (along with taxpayers and rich donors) will have spent enough on our daughter's college degree to go a long way toward buying her a nice starter home. Unite two of our children in holy matrimony and the total spent on both of them for their undergrad and graduate degrees quite often exceeds $100,000. One couple from our church had a combined total of $450,000 in undergrad and graduate loans (admittedly, the highest I've come across), and another couple my wife and I were talking with this past week had $160,000 (quite normal).
Soon after entering the ministry, I was listening to one of those endless discussions concerning denominational identity we've all sat through, and I remember hearing a mainline PC(USA) leader adamantly state that the reason for the existence of Presbyterianism was...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 29, 2009 - 7:20am
(Tim) Three or four of you have now sent me notification that Emergent Church leader Brian McLaren is observing the Muslim holy days of Ramadan this year. Joining with them in their daily fast/feast cycle, McLaren makes this promise in behalf of himself and all those following him in his folly:
We will seek to avoid being disrespectful or unfaithful to our own
faith tradition in our desire to be respectful to the faith tradition
of our friends.
Good readers, when you and your pastor start to refer to our only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Only Begotten Son of the Father as "our own faith tradition," your soul is in peril and you need to get out of that church and find a true Christian church where your own soul, as well as that of your wife and children, will be guarded--not sold for fame and fortune. Do it quickly.
But back to His Pomposity: McLaren has a bunch of reasons for turning towards Mecca and he's spreading all of them across the known world. If you think of the Emergent Church leaders as publicity hounds...
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 September 8, 2010 - 7:15am
For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. (Galatians 6:13)
(Tim, w/thanks to David W.) Like Joseph Smithism, Mohammedanism is not all it's cracked up to be. The best way to understand it may be to think of an heretical polar opposite to dispensationalism. With Islam, it's not the Old, but the New Testament that's thrown out. And yet it's not the Old Testament left intact, but the Old Testament eviscerated of the Fatherhood of God, with only a terribly perverted law and justice remaining.
There's no mercy; there are no antitypes pointing to the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. There's no Suffering Servant, no promise of a Redeemer.
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 25, 2011 - 8:56am
(Lucas) Our readers will remember this story about an Afghan Christian who was imprisoned for his conversion to Christianity. We praise God for the news that Said Musa has now been released from prison! We're very grateful to God for his kindness.
Joseph and David Abu-Sara are leading a church plant in Indianapolis called ClearNote Church of Indianapolis. Listen to some of the sermons, here; I commend their ministry to you and your Indy friends and relatives.
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...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 20, 2012 - 7:55am
Joseph Bayly "liked" this and here's a bit to whet your appetite:
Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.
The portrayal of Muslims as victims or heroes is at best partially accurate. In recent years the violent oppression of Christian minorities has become the norm in Muslim-majority nations stretching from West Africa and the Middle East to South Asia and Oceania.
Troubling, not in what it says about Russia or the Orthodox Church, but in what it says by implication about the Church in America where nary a voice is raised in defense of our persecuted brothers and sisters across the middle-east even as our nation goes about promoting Islamic governments dedicated to the eradication of Christianity from the region of the world in which God inaugurated His Kingdom.
When was the last time you preferred the religious commitments of the Russian president to those of the president of the United States? If not before, that day is now here. The money quote from the article:
God's created order won't be violated forever. Traditions come and go, but, if patriarchy is woven through creation as Scripture indicates, the pendulum will one day turn. And when it does, it will destroy every feminist altar in its path, revealing father-rule to be every bit the law of creation that gravity is.
The question isn't whether the pendulum will turn, the real question is what the world will look like when it does. And that is a frightening thing to consider....
In a recent column, New York Times columnist David Brooks reflects the prevailing wisdom of Western society on manhood:
Forty years ago, men and women adhered to certain ideologies, what it meant to be a man or a woman. Young women today... are more like clean slates, having abandoned both feminist and prefeminist preconceptions. Men still adhere to the masculinity rules, which limits their vision and their movement.
This morning I read an article on CNN by Brian Mclaren calling Evangelicals to choose between allowing Islamophobia to spread further or seeking a "more charitable approach to our Muslim neighbors." In the article he said, "Many sincere and good-hearted evangelicals have never yet had a real Muslim friend, and now they probably never will because their minds have been so prejudiced by Islamophobic broadcasts on so-called Christian television and radio."
Let me start with a few facts:
I have had a "real Muslim friend." More than one, in fact. Hi **** and ****. How's your daughter ****? (Names withheld for their own safety.)
CNN doesn't claim to be Christian. Neither does BBC. Neither does The New York Times.
I've watched a number of news clips and read many articles in the last week that talk about Islam. In fact, I can't seem to get away from them. None of them have been from Christian news sources. Now maybe the news sources can't be trusted, but they are claiming that there has been a lot of violence and even an attack on a US Consulate that killed 4 US citizens. I must confess, Mr. Mclaren, I haven't checked their sources. It could all be a huge hoax. Maybe Christians and other non-Muslims are perfectly safe...
Yusuf Ibrahim has been arrested and is being held on charges of murder and desecration of bodies in connection with the murder and mutilation of two Coptic Christian men. The men lived in Buena Vista, New Jersey, and were recent immigrants from Egypt.
Reports indicate both men had their hands cut off and were beheaded with their heads and bodies separated and buried.
You hadn't heard about it? It didn't make Google's news page?
In the past couple of months I've had two conversations with two students recently arrived in the U.S. from China and Saudia Arabia.
I don't want to direct anyone to Darryl Hart's blog, but here's a short exchange Darrell Todd Maurina just had with Darryl Hart that is so typical of R2K men that I deposit it here for permanent reference. As always, they claim that any law that enforces any one of the Second Table of God's Moral Law requires the civil magistrate also to enforce the laws of the First Table of God's Moral Law. Thus they claim the man who wants the civil magistrate to prohibit the wholesale slaughter of the unborn (abortion) must also shutter every Islamic mosque, Roman Catholic cathedral, and Jewish synagogue...