Parachurch

Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) responds: the best defense is a good offense...

(This post is the follow-up to an earlier post which should be read first. The earlier post is titled "Christian Medical and Dental Association doesn't want abortion to divide Christians...".)

Last week, we heard from Christian Medical and Dental Association's CEO, Dr. David Stevens. He responded to our earlier post (detailing CMDA's punitive actions toward a dental student who taught a pro-life position in CMDA's Bible study) by laying out his subordinates' explanations of their actions. Thus, his communication with us was simply a number of bullet points, criticizing the dental student's teaching method and character.

There was no acknowledgement that CMDA was wrong in disciplining the student for his pro-life commitments. In our earlier work seeking a resolution to this matter, this is the response we had gotten from CMDA regional and national staff, so we weren't surprised Dr. Stevens continued this line of defense.

The same day we heard from Dr. Stevens, World Magazine contacted us asking for more information. We declined, explaining that we wanted first to work toward a private resolution.


Christian Medical and Dental Association doesn't want abortion to divide Christians...

Then they themselves also will answer, "Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?" (Matthew 25:44)

(NOTE: CMDA's president, vice-president, and midwest regional director have all responded to the content of this post by attacking the gifts and character of the young dental student whose teaching on abortion CMDA had disciplined—as outlined below. We have now published a follow-up post in which we document CMDA's defense, responding with a careful and detailed demonstration of their attack's errors of fact.)

Walmart has an unimpeachable return policy. Read about it on their national website. It is one of the most generous in the industry, but it's only as good as the implementation at your local Walmart when you try to get a refund. If every Walmart were free to reject returns, the official policy wouldn't be worth the paper it was printed on. This is true of every national organization with local branches. The acid test of a national policy is its local implementation.

This is seen all the time with parachurch ministries. For example, the national office of Inter-Varsity was unwilling to discipline a local chapter that promoted homosexuality. Similarly, although the PCA issued a fevered condemnation of Federal-Vision theology at the national level, she hasn't been able to find any local individual who holds to what she condemned. Men tried for Federal-Vision leanings are always exonerated.

The most recent example is the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA). Officially opposed to abortion since 1985, CMDA punished a man who taught their curriculum and position on abortion in one of their local Bible studies. When their official position against abortion becomes painfully local, they undermine it. They are prophets at a distance, but at home they desire peace.

Case in point: a godly, irenic dental student (let's call him John*) attending a CMDA Bible study was asked to take over teaching the study...


New version of The Gospel Blimp released today...

Speaking of books, if you haven't yet read Dad's Gospel Blimp, you really should. Written back in 1962 after two decades working in the parachurch world of Evangelicalism, Dad's parable remains quite funny and painful.

Good news! Today Clearnote Press released a new version of this classic. With an intro by Doug Wilson, the Gospel Blimp is bound with a full set of Dad's other stories/parables formerly published as I Saw Gooley Fly.

The title is The Gospel Blimp (and Other Parables); (Kindle), (Paperback), (Nook), and (eBook-Kobo). Later this week it will be available on iTunes.

It would be a great encouragement to the men of Clearnote who did the work of revision, proofing, and design if readers of Baylyblog were each to buy a copy. And, if you're willing, you could like, share, and/or comment on the announcement on the FB page of Clearnote Fellowship. Thanks.

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BTW, for the foreseeable future, no Bayly family member will receive any royalties on the sale of this book.


Warning against parachurch organizations Reformed or otherwise...

(NOTE: Some of the text of this post was sinful, so I've edited it and ask readers to forgive me.)

Fifteen years ago my brother David introduced me to the phrases "self-referential" and "self-appointed." Since then, these phrases have been foundational to my thinking about the church and the parachurch.

The phrases are helpful in understanding much church-planting today... 

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Inter-Varsity's loss at Tufts indicates future of campus ministry...

Inter-Varsity has lost its battle for recognition as a Tufts University campus ministry.

Regardless of the result of the election tomorrow, this sort of thing will only increase as time passes. We live in a nation given over to rebellion against the Only True God, and in such a state, Christians are intolerable. That higher education is ever anywhere allowed to claim to be an advocate for diversity or tolerance without being met by hoots, hollers, and catcalls simply demonstrates how foundational the principle of hypocrisy has become to postmodern culture.

Christians committed to campus ministry should steer Christian parents away from any private college or university where the Secularist god reigns (which is to say almost any private college or university, Christian or secular); we should fight intensely for the free exercise of religion on state taxpayer-funded university campuses; and all campus ministries should move on from parachurch to church-based support and church-based ministry.


Prof. Trueman's bad questions and worse answers...

Two weeks ago Prof. Carl Trueman wrote a short piece saying he doesn't like it that some parachurch organizations are dividing over father-rule. He asks why organizations divide over sexuality if they refuse to divide over the Sacraments? After all, he says, the Sacraments are “the very doctrinal differences which made Protestant confessions necessary in the first place.”

Well of course, the only reason the Sacraments are mentioned in Protestant confessions while sex distinctions and father-rule are not is that, back in past centuries when confessions were written, no one alive questioned father-rule. So when Dr. Trueman points out that the Reformers didn't feel the need to divide with egalitarian feminists, it might be helpful to point out to Dr. Trueman there were no egalitarian feminists pushing women onto Calvin's consistory or into Geneva's pulpits. 

In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit dealt with female rebellion so clearly and firmly that it took twenty centuries before it reared its head again. That's why the confessions of the Reformers written and adopted five centuries ago condemned Sacramental errors without condemning egalitarian feminism.

It's ironic that Dr. Trueman wrote this piece for his own parachurch organization which, itself, refuses to divide over the Sacraments.

Dr. Trueman has a dog in this fight. Why should he refuse to do parachurch with Christians who rebel against the plain teaching of Scripture that woman may not teach or exercise authority over man...


You cannot serve God and wealth...

No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. - Luke 16:13

Recently we've spent time on Guidestar downloading and reviewing IRS 990s filed by various Evangelical ministries including Ligonier, Grace to You, Grace to You/Masters College and SeminaryInsight for Living, and Desiring God.

Like accountants, our Internal Revenue Service holds to a high doctrine of original sin--much higher than today's Reformed pastors and congregants. Taking money and conflict of interest seriously, the IRS requires nonprofits to file Form 990 answering a whole host of questions the government believes should inform the giving of those inclined to support these ministries. Then the information collected through the 990 is made a matter of public record. Here are some of the questions...


PCA's RUF chapter now stands alone...

(Chancellor Richard McCartny explaining new non-discrimination policy to Vanderbilt University Town Hall Meeting)

MCCARTNEY: I’m Catholic. What if my faith beliefs guided all of the decisions I make from day to day? ...As a Catholic, if I held that life begins at conception, I’d have a very big problem with our hospital. Right? Would I not? . . . I would, but I don’t...

The Presbyterian Church in America's Reformed University Fellowship now stands alone in complying with Vanderbilt University's new non-discrimination policy...


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...


Vanderbilt University's totalitarianism: your tax dollars at work...

(TB: This post is submitted by a calm and reasonable man who is himself the product of a large public research institution's school of law.)

As if breathing the breath that comes from their Heavenly Father’s hand weren’t enough, as if the fruit of the Holy Spirit and centuries of Christian spiritual capital deposited into education weren’t enough, Vanderbilt University leadership takes money from Christians hand over fist and then gags the Christian conscience. The money I’m talking about isn’t tuition paid by Baptist or Episcopalian students. It’s the nearly half billion dollars of federal money that Vanderbilt has steam-shoveled into its coffers. In 2009 alone. Vanderbilt even brags that it broke the Top 25 varsity ranking in its haul of federal collegiate pork. You can find more details on the webpage maintained by Vanderbilt’s “Office of Federal Relations.” Some relations.

So why is federal largesse (i.e., tax receipts and U.S. sovereign debt) Christian money? The vast majority of Americans who pay federal income, capital gains, excise, and a motley assortment of other federal taxes identify themselves as Christians. Further, it’s likely that our descendants...


Vanderbilt University shows the future of campus parachurch ministry...

Vanderbilt University continues to foment rebellion against Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Christian Legal Society reports one student religious organization's bylaws contained the following paragraph stating these requirements...


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...


Vanderbilt University's enlightened intolerance, with a note on RUF's response...

(TB: This post is the collaborative work of an Indiana University graduate student and Vanderbilt undergrad, Elliot Huck.)

Sounding the alarm over eugenics, G. K. Chesterton warned about the “terrorism of third rate professors” whose evil lurks behind the “strengths of their splendid dupes.” Recent developments at Vanderbilt concerning religious and political societies remind us how little has changed since Chesterton’s time. Arguing that no registered college society should be allowed to limit membership and leadership based on religious and political belief, the university threatened any groups requiring such limitations with expulsion from university property. The administration dressed this splendid dupe in the garb of equality and nondiscrimination, with Chancellor Zeppos stressing how the university, more than anything, supports “open inquiry, equal opportunity, compassion, and excellence” (you can read his article here). 

The doublespeak would be laughable if it weren’t...


Wealth's deceitfulness is deceitful...

For the sake of putting it to rest, let us one last time work to clarify why we raised the subject of money in our opposition to John MacArthur's New International Version 2011 Study Bible.

A wise brother put it this way. All financial motives aren't those of Silas Marner and Scrooge McDuck. When men build their ministries, they may well not be a Scrooge McDuck and yet kingdom and money and legacy are interrelated and money helps keep score. We're not concerned that publishing his life's work of study notes on the Bible provides John MacArthur the means to buy fancy suits and fast cars. We're sure John wears old suits and drives slow cars. If anyone thought our point was so shallow, we apologize...


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...


Watch this video and stop using birth control pills...

One reader of this blog is a pharmacist in a western state who's struggling over whether to continue to dispense birth control pills from his pharmacy (he owns it). One of the methods birth controls pills work is by preventing the fertilized ovum from implanting himself on the wall of the uterus. Twenty-five years ago, a pharmacist showed me this truth matter-of-factly stated in his continuing education curriculum. So please pray for the pharmacist, that he will honor God and begin to refuse to take part in the murder of these unborn babies.

Another pharmacist I know, when faced with the growth in the use of ECPs (and if you don't know what those are, shame on you; they're the growth curve of the baby murdering business right now) changed his mind about when human life begins. Of course, like all life, human life begins at conception--the moment the egg is fertilized by the sperm. But to silence consciences, decades ago the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists changed their definition of conception, decreeing that from that point on human life would no longer begin at conception, but rather at the point in time when the fertilized ovum successfully implants himself on the uterine wall.

A pharmacist I used to consider a friend and brother saw ACOG one and raised them ten. A couple of years ago he changed his definition of the beginning of human life and now he has no problem fulfilling prescriptions for ECPs. But get this: he went further than ACOG. They say it's a human life at implantation, but he's decided it's not a human life until several weeks later. Maybe fourteen or twenty-one days--who knows?

Until then he thinks this living man bearing the Image of God isn't really living...


Andrew Marin is a wolf...

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. (Acts 20:28-31)

In response to my warning against the heresies promoted by InterVarsity and its publishing house, InterVarsity Press, a man commented that he'd been involved with InterVarsity and now has a sodomite son who has found a church where he can be at home as a gay man. He went on to comment that he's read IVP's Love Is an Orientation by Andrew Marin and found it a "balm to (his) soul," so he recommended it to our readers.

Marin's book is preciously wrong and one day Marin and his publisher will give an answer for seducing many away from repentance for their bondage to sexual perversion. I responded to this man...


Evangelicalism has betrayed the Word of God; let the dead bury the dead...

Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.”

But Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:21, 22)

Recently, a brother has been faulting me for writing that InterVarsity ought no longer to receive support from our missions giving--whether personal or congregational--and we ought to stop patronizing InterVarsity Press.

As he sees it, such recommendations display a number of spiritual defects in me including especially arrogance and overgeneralization. He points out that InterVarsity has many good chapters that have not yet evangelized for the sodomite perversion in the Name of Jesus and many staff workers who are still the old style of Evangelical Bible-believing Christian. As he sees it, I'm wrong to call for the end of InterVarsity and InterVarsity Press when there's still so much good being done by individuals on their payroll. So here's a short response that goes beyond the shorter responses I've made to him already.

InterVarsity has an illustrious past that includes both my father-in-law and my father holding key positions at the top of the organization. And even after leaving InterVarsity back in the early sixties, Dad sat on the board until around 1982. Then he resigned because he could no longer support the direction the organization was taking. That was thirty years ago and across those intervening years InterVarsity has gotten much worse. In what ways?

InterVarsity Press has been allowed to publish many heterodox and heretical books. Principally, InterVarsity Press has become a consistent advocate of the feminist heresy. It's not simply a matter of an occasional work here and there that pussyfoots around the boundaries on this issue, but rather a clear commitment to opposing God's Order of Creation. I've been party to several private e-mail exchanges between IVP's publisher and pastors and elders expressing concern over this rebellion deeply lodged in IVP's list for decades now, and the publisher has been dismissive of those concerns and the church officers expressing them.

This is no surprise since his parent organization, InterVarsity, has for decades been a proponent of the feminist heresy. IVP is simply a reflection of InterVarsity in this matter. Starting with my friend, Tom Dunkerton, back in the eighties, InterVarsity's presidents have been committed to rebellion against the Word of God's command that woman not teach and exercise authority over man...


Go for the men and the women will follow...

So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men (aner) of Athens...” - Acts 17:22a

Dad gave me a couple pithy exhortations my first year in the pastorate. They weren't original but they carried the weight of his authority and I've passed them on to other pastors. Here are four of them: "Don't use Pardeeville as a stepping stone." "A home-visiting pastor makes a church-going people." "Preach it down; then preach it back up, again." And, "Go for the men and the women will follow."

That last one was deleted from an article on men's ministry I did for Christianity Today's journal, Leadership, back in 1989. Shortly after buying the piece, Leadership's editor left for Focus on the Family. The new editor didn't like the article, so he cut more than half the text and ran it without sending it back to me for approval. Readers won't be surprised Dad's advice "go for the men" didn't make the cut.

Jesus calls twelve men as His Disciples and we're not supposed to notice? Poor Christianity Today. Poor readership. Poor leadership.

I think of Dad's advice all the time. Parachurch organizations and church planters each have their own marketing strategies. Here are a few...


Repenting of parachurch, Baptist childhoods; Home Sweet Romans...

Here's a revealing, Biblically inaccurate interview with another in a long line of Evangelical intellectuals who felt that repudiating--really, really repudiating--their Baptist roots required them to turn to the Roman Catholic heresy. Honestly, what's with these guys? Can I see the hand of a man--just one man--who repents of his parachurch, Baptist heritage without becoming a Sacramentalist (you know, ex opere operato and all that), and then a full-blown Roman Catholic?

This is why I've said to my F-V sympathizing friends that we have to find a way to innoculate our parachurch, Baptist brothers against feeling the need to take the most radical step possible to put the faith of their childhood behind them.

First they embrace infant baptism, and that's not enough; then it's the smells and bells of...