Marriage

Nixon, GDP, and judicial fraud...

The Modern State employs an endless fund of techniques to manipulate its citizens. In the realm of propaganda, the practice of Modified Limited Hangout (a term coined during Watergate) helps the government blunt the impact of bad news by releasing some information but concealing really bad stuff. The goal is to relieve pressure for the release of the really bad stuff, or if that is not possible, soften up resistance and condition us to mutely accept what was only a short time ago unthinkable or outrageous...


Manhood is responsibility...

Dr. Harry Schaumburg is right. Internet pornography is false intimacy. It's sex with a phantom who has no moles, wrinkles, or bad breath; a woman who makes no emotional demands and bears no children. But God's law limits sex to those men willing to bear responsibility. God says you must vow lifelong fidelity to a woman and you must propagate a godly seed. Sex without intimacy is sex that repudiates responsibility. But, guess what? Sex without responsibility isn't sexy.

I remember waking up in bed with my wife the morning after our wedding day and thinking, "This is the rest of my life!" I was happy. I loved Mary Lee and love her even more today. Still, there was some bit of terror that morning as I realized the irrevocable step I had taken. There was no return. From this day on I was responsible for this dear woman and all the children she would present to me. Somewhere Chesterton says the two most romantic things in the world are getting married and mailing a letter because you can't take either back. You see, permanence and responsibility are romantic. Commitment is romantic. Vows are romantic.

We have young men and women getting married all the time in our congregation, and often they ask...


Rabbi Bernheim on homosexual marriage and adoption...

This piece on the destructiveness of sodomite marriage written by the Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, is must reading. First Things shrunk it down somewhat from the length of the original and it's still quite long, but do read it. There are some obvious failures due to Rabbi Bernheim's denial of the Trinitarian Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For instance, I noted in his explanation of  the theological significance of sexuality, Genesis 1:26 wasn't mentioned: "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..." Quite sad.

On the other hand, rarely have I read so much useable wisdom on the battle over sexuality in our world today—from the supposed "right of adoption," to the right of a child to a father and mother, to the destructiveness of our use of the word 'gender,' to the larger meaning and significance for society of these attacks upon the home. Here are some excerpts to whet your appetite...


Neither is their matrimony lawful...

Bloomington's Mayor Mark Kruzan broke the law of God and the law of the state of Indiana two days ago by officiating at the non-marriage of a number of homosexualists. Preening himself over his shame, Mayor Kruzan told the press: 

People ask us why we're doing this. It's about equality and opportunity. History simply will not smile kindly upon those who advocated against equality. It's time that marriage be recognized by all.

Yes yes, of course; that's what orthodox Christians are all about. We are advocates against equality of opportunity for sodomites and lesbians—unless, of course, the equality of opportunity is repentance.


It is better to marry than to burn...

This week, someone asked me to forward the manuscript from a sermon preached last summer here at Clearnote Church, Bloomington. Preparing it for him, I thought I'd post it here on Baylyblog because it deals with two failures quite common within our churches. Good churches have singles who purport to be singly spiritual and not in need of marriage while, privately, they're given over to impurities and immoralities. Similarly good churches have marriages in which either the husband or wife protests or actually refuses marital intimacy. He doesn't believe his marriage vow has ceded authority over his body to his spouse, nor does he submit to that authority.

So here's the manuscript. As always, what is preached is more extensive than the manuscript taken into the pulpit. And yet I hope these notes will be helpful...


Lolo Jones, church weddings, and white...

Dear sister Kamilla passed on this article by feminist Carolyn Custis James responding to Olympian Lolo Jones's public confession of sexual purity. Months ago Jones told her interviewer she was a virgin, and then she said:

It's just a gift I want to give my husband. But please understand this journey has been hard. There's virgins out there and I want to let them know that it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Harder than training for the Olympics. Harder than graduating from college has been to stay a virgin before marriage. I've been tempted, I've had plenty of opportunities.

It's no surprise that despicable publication that loves the blood of the unborn infants called the New York Times will try to smear Miss Jones. But Ms. Custis James claims to be a Bible- believing Christian. How does she oh-so-subtly diss Miss Jones's wonderful Christian testimony?

By talking about how women misled by our cultural values or raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo shouldn't be viewed as any less worthy of a husband than virgins like Lolo Jones. Which is to say public discussions of virginity might make women who are victims or sinners feel bad--it might hurt them.

Very true. That's why raping a woman or fornicating with a woman are evil. They rob the women God has called men to protect of the most precious gift a bride gives her bridegroom at her wedding. Isn't that what Miss Jones said?

Remember that it's the postmodern's morbid habit to sacrifice the normal on the altar of the abnormal. And if there's ever a case of normal, it's the bride being presented by her father to her beloved bridegroom as a virgin, dressed in virginal white. If our efforts are spent trying to make non-virgins think nothing of their sexual oppression or failure, what will we do with all the Biblical texts holding up the purity...


Taming the pastor...

Victimhood is the first refuge of the scoundrel. (Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford)

Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30:6)

Under another post, one commenter quotes Doug Wilson, "A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts." and asks, "Do you not see the issue with (Doug Wilson's) choice of words?"

To which I respond, yes, I see how it's possible to put the worst construction possible on Doug's words. It's understandable many would do so but we don't stop writing because of the danger...


What's really behind the health care crisis...

The Philly Inquirer is running an excellent oped piece by my friend, Bob Patterson. Titled "The Family Factor in Health Care," the piece demonstrates that all present plans to address the huge growth in health care costs fail to take into consideration the real culprit behind our crisis which is the rabid public policy attack upon marriage and family sustained by Democrats and Republicans alike for decades, now.

No pastor can serve his flock faithfully without understanding the wickedness in high places and the financial cost we bear because of it that Bob opens up in this short piece.


Authority and submission in the bedroom...

Under son Joseph's post, "Humble is as stupid does...," "Anne" asks the question:

Can you provide Scripture that says authority and submission, 'conquering' and 'surrendering', are to be carried out in the bedroom? Because neither Song of Songs nor 1Corinthians 7, not even Ephesians 5 in its entirety suggests such a thing.

P.S: Failure to respond will be taken as a failure to provide appropriate scripture.

To which I respond:

Dear Anne,

Concerning physical marital intimacy, function follows form...


The lost boys of America...

(TB: this is a guest post by David Wegener.) A lot of pastoral care these days concerns the problem identified in this article: young men who haven’t grown up, aren’t growing up and don’t have much of a shot at growing up. The related problem is dealing with middle-aged men who never did grow up and have turned pouting and temper tantrums into an art form...


I don't want to get married...

Back in the day, more than one young man had his heart broken by the three youngest Taylors (l. to r.) Alison, Mary Lee, and Gretchen. Proving the misanthropes who frequent this site to be right, here they are bringing the Queen Mom's ninety-fifth birthday celebration to an end with "Their Song." Gretchen's husband, Bob, is the "Boo." (TB)


A tribute to motherhood on the occasion of Mom Taylor's ninety-fifth birthday...

Mom95(TB: This pic taken of my mother-in-law, Mrs. Ken (Margaret) Taylor, yesterday on the front lawn of her house in Wheaton was on the occasion of our celebration of Mom's ninety-fifth birthday. The following post first ran here on Baylyblog back in 2004. It is a tribute to Mom Taylor and David's and my mother, Mrs. Joe (Mary Lou) Bayly. Both are mothers in Israel and we give God thanks for them.)

My mother-in-law studied for her degree in Home Economics during the late '30s and early '40s, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University. After marrying her childhood sweetheart, she gave birth to 10 children in 14 years. Her husband, engaged for most of the years when the family was young as editorial director of a religious publishing house, brought home low wages, so frugality was a necessity and the degree served this young mother and her family well.

Food preservation, hygiene, cooking, sewing, and home budgeting were part of the home ec curriculum and, along with the liberal arts training which came with every bachelor's degree at the time, these young women graduated with specialized training for their profession of choice--motherhood. Other women took similarly helpful majors in Elementary Education, Bible, Christian Education (my own mother's major), and Nursing.

Then came the frontal assault on housewifery and motherhood carried out largely by a new and powerful aristocracy...


It's springtime; caveat emptor...

Autrefois on rêvait de posséder le cœur de la femme dont on était amoureux; plus tard sentir qu’on possède le cœur d’une femme peut suffire à vous en rendre amoureux. Proust, Swan in Love. (TB)

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Midwives, denominations, abortions, and my present political philosophy...

I don't write much about Indiana politics and government but it's caused me no small sadness to contemplate the term-limit-departure of our fiscally excellent governor a little over a year from now. Gov. Mitch Daniels will have completed his second term and will have to leave office.

If I am comforted in our loss of Mitch's magnificent fiscal leadership, my comfort comes from this: that his likely successor is a man, Representaive Mike Pence, who promises to govern with the same fiscal commitments while adding a theological framework to those commitments that promises to extend far beyond fiscal discipline, on to principles concerning many other areas of governance including the battlefields on which the destroyers of our nation and its states are focussing their revolution: sexuality, the Image of God in man, the origin and nature of sexuality and marriage decreed by our Creator in His Order of Creation, and so forth.

As you read through Daniels' penultimate State of the State Address delivered yesterday evening, you will gain a hint of why I respect him. He has been unflinching in disciplining the educationists of our state by a host of private initiatives that have finally brought competition into public education. True, he brags about over half of our state budget going to edcuation, and he seems to see higher education as an unqualified good. I disagree with both things as I disagreed with President Bush on similar matters. Mitch Daniels is not a wild-eyed enthusiast. He's a realist who really changed our state. Definitively. And reading, you'll see what difference it makes to each citizen of the state.

But there's something else I want to say, here.

Some thirty years ago, I was at the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly to oppose their denominational abortion policy. My dear Mary Lee was pregnant and, since we were in the habit of having home births, I'd called the midwest representative of the PC(USA)'s self-funded independent medical insurance plan to ask if they'd cover the cost of our midwife? It was awkward. He hemmed and hawed and said he didn't know and would have to get back to me on it...


Feminism, homosexism, and veganism: The Grand Conspiracy

An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it? (Jeremiah 5:30, 31)

You may want to dismiss it as looniness, but this assault against God's Order of Creation is rebellion against the God Who made us. It's not naive or misguided. It's evil. Attacks on God's Creation Order are all around us and we must recognize that each of them is a part of Satan's conspiracy to grease the descent to Hell.

Feminism is a Satanic conspiracy against God's Creation Order. God made Adam first, then Eve. Thus those who conspire to place woman in positions where she teaches and exercises authority over man are rebels against Almighty God. They are false prophets calling souls to Hell.

Homosexism is a Satanic conspiracy against God's Creation Order. God made Eve--not Steve--for Adam. Thus those who conspire to legalize sodomy and promote sodomitic unions are rebels against Almighty God. They are false prophets calling souls to Hell.

Veganism is a Satanic conspiracy against God's Creation Order. God created adam alone--both Adam and Eve--in His Own Image. He did not create animals in His Image. Thus those whose morality has descended to Veganism and the claim of personhood and legal standing for animals are rebels against Almighty God. They are false prophets calling souls to Hell.

Satan has conspired to paint each of these revolutions a pretty face. Feminism is a long-overdue correction of patriarchal oppression. Homsexism is a long overdue correction of homophobic oppression. Veganism is a long-overdue correction of speciest oppression.

Satan has also conspired to silence the Church of Jesus Christ... 


Another (yawn) minced confession at the PCA's Redeemer Presbyterian Church...

RedeemerWedding"To be wrong, and to be carefully wrong, that is the definition of decadence." - G. K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men

Here we have a wedding ceremony of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan.

Presiding over the service on the congregation's right wearing a suit is a male pastor (Scott Sauls) who formerly held his credentials in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church--a Reformed denomination that approves of female pastors and elders.

Presiding over the service on the congregation's left wearing a minister's robe is a female pastor.

Wedding ceremonies not being sacramental among us Protestants, one might argue it doesn't matter much if female pastors co-officiate with male pastors...


The death of an eighteen-year-old brother...

The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently For the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he should bear The yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone and be silent Since He has laid it on him. Let him put his mouth in the dust, Perhaps there is hope. Let him give his cheek to the smiter, Let him be filled with reproach. For the Lord will not reject forever, For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. (Lamentations 3:25-32)

(NOTE: Since posting this a few hours ago, I've made a couple corrections and added some text at the end.) Back in 1964, my brother, Joe, went off to Swarthmore on a (rare) full ride National Merit Scholarship. He was a philosophy major, ran on the Cross Country team, and loved the Lord. He planned to go on for a Ph.D. and serve in foreign missions.

Meanwhile Dad...


Like a weaned child...

A Song of Ascents, of David. O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.

O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever. - Psalms 131

Last night in an elders meeting with a couple suffering a troubled marriage, we were reminding the couple that God's goodness calls us out of our romantic idolatry of our husband (or wife) by shoving our nose in the truth of his sin. And ours...

Seeing our husband's sin exposes our own sin, also, as the Holy Spirit leads us away from worshipping man to love and adore God Alone.

The discipline is difficult. And if we are tempted to reject it and continue to hold our idolatry precious, it is the love of our Heavenly Father to intensify it until we unstiffen our necks. In that context we told of the warning Thomas Watson gives in The Ten Commandments that God sometimes disiplines a father's idolatry of his child by taking that child's life. This is God's love.


"Suzy did not want a leader for a husband..."

(Tim, w/thanks to Michael F.) The men over at Pyromaniacs do excellent work. Read them regularly. Today, Dan Phillips posted "Are You Sure You Want a Husband Who...".  Don't miss it.


I'll call you a a Christian if you'll call me a scholar...

(Tim) Our American-African correspondent, David Wegener, just sent in this review of John D’Elia's A Place at the Table: George Eldon Ladd and the Rehabilitation of Evangelical Scholarship in America (Oxford University Press, 2008).

This biography is a parable of the dangers of seeking the approval of the world. Didn’t our Lord say, “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Mk 8:36). Yet this is what Ladd sought, and along the way he lost his soul. He was one of the most respected evangelical Bible teachers of the mid-twentieth century. Nobody from my generation can teach on the kingdom of God and not quote George Ladd. Yet he craved the acceptance of the world and, when he did not attain it, his life fell apart. Didn’t the Apostle write, “The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so” (Rom 8:7). The world will never accept us. It can’t.

Ladd became a Christian as a young man, sensed a call to the Christian ministry, trained at Gordon College and then entered the pastorate. Somewhere along the way, he changed direction and began to pursue further education so that he could do scholarly work on the Bible...