But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. - Galatians 4:26
Until believers understand that Scripture teaches the Church is our mother; and that, as Cyprian and Calvin put it, the man who won't have the Church as his mother may not have God as his Father; until then, parachurch religious organizations like InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Navigators, and Campus Crusade for Christ International will continue to hold pride of position in college and university communities, devouring the lion's share of mission giving and prayer flowing to those communities from congregations around the country. And this is tragic...
Well-known feminist Carolyn Custis James will be in Fort Collins preaching to the women and men of Campus Crusade for Christ International this coming week. The occasion is Cru's National Staff Conference and this is one more indication of the necessity of Christians doing the hard work of removing Cru from their church and individual mission giving.
Egalitarian feminism is another Gospel. Let Ms. magazine and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and nonChristians for Biblical Equality and the National Organization of Women support Custis James, her husband Frank, and Cru. It's wrong for believers to use the tithes and offerings of the People of God to support those who turn the Scripture on its head, making a big show of their respect for God and His Word while promoting rebellion against them. (TB)
A blog calling itself "Thinking Christian" with a commendation by Josh McDowell featured prominently doesn't bode well for the state of critical thinking in the church today. Josh has done fine work but he's far from state of the art in the discipline Harry Blamires outlines in his little classic, The Christian Mind (which if you haven't read, you certainly should).
So my hopes weren't high when I started reading the post by blog-owner Tom Gilson titled "Is Campus Crusade Falling Away from Christ?" Gilson works as a "strategic planner" for Campus Crusade for Christ International, so this is an institutional voice speaking, here.
The piece demonstrates the depth of thought and BIblical discernment that, in my observation, has always characterized Cru. Their men seem incapable of receiving substantive criticism or instruction without responding superficially, always telling us their intentions are perfect and God is blessing them with trillions of souls "trusting Jesus."
The superficiality makes sense, though, if you consider that, over the course of years, a man comes to resemble his dog...
There's been an exchange concerning Cru/Campus Crusade for Christ International and parachurch organizations over at a blog hosted by First Things. Here's my latest comment. Really, someone should write a book...
Listen to the first minute or two and it's so clear what this video and at least two of these men are about. You'd have to be highly educated to miss it. Then the last minute or two, it surfaces again. As that patriarch of all things Evangelical, the late Vernon Grounds, said some years back, Evangelicals worship "the bitch goddess of success." Followers of Jesus Christ should have nothing to do with multi-site video venues.
And by the way, Mark Dever pulled in his horns after being whupped by the two alpha-males going two-on-one on him with fangs bared. Try to imagine the good doctor, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, agreeing to be part of this exchange. I apologize for posting it, but some things have to be seen if they're going to be properly condemned. (TB, w/thanks)
Atop Campus Crusade's Jesus Filmweb site are several paragraphs of boiler-plate Evangelical Jesus-marketing shtick:
Every eight seconds, somewhere in the world, another person indicates a decision to follow Christ after watching the "JESUS" film.
Every eight seconds... that's 10,800 people per day, 324,000 per month and more than 3.8 million per year! That’s like the population of the entire city of Pittsburgh, PA coming to Christ every 28 ¼ days. And yet, if you are like many people, you may have never even heard of it.
Called by some “one of the best-kept secrets in Christian missions,” a number of mission experts have acclaimed the film as one of the greatest evangelistic tools of all time. Since 1979 the “JESUS” film has been viewed by several billon people all across the globe, and has resulted in more than 200 million men, women and children indicating decisions to follow Jesus. In addition, through hundreds of partners an estimated 10+ million decisions have been made as the film "JESUS" is used extensively by the Body of Christ worldwide. (emphasis in the original)
A few points of arithmetic regarding these bodacious claims before reflecting on what such claims reveal....
It's important to remember that pride is made clear by both word and deed and not by words alone in assessing pride and humility.
Neglecting this truth leads to false accusations. In Numbers 16, Korah, Dathan and Abiram lead a rebellion against Moses and Aaron saying, "You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”
They accuse Moses of lording it over the people by speaking for God. Moses "angrily" defends himself before God by saying, "Do not regard their offering! I have not taken a single donkey from them, nor have I done harm to any of them." His defense lies in his deeds. He is not proud simply because he speaks for God. He has done them no harm, nor has he profited from them in any way.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 19, 2011 - 11:39am
Back when I was an undergrad at UW-Madison, I was strengthened in my faith by the open-air preachers on Library Mall.
Once I was privileged to protect one of the men when the student body vice-president, Leon Varjian (see pic above from the famous Lady Liberty prank) assaulted him. Varjian was pelting the preacher with eggs. Clearly it hurt, so between Varjian's trips back to his wagon to stock up (he had many dozens), I picked the eggs out of his stash and smashed them on the pavement.
Varjian got mad, but back then I was a longhair and I think he realized if he could batter a man with eggs, I could batter the sidewalk. So he stopped what he was doing and I stopped, too.
Another time a man was picking the preacher up from behind and humping him while the law enforcement officers watched and laughed...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 20, 2011 - 6:17am
To the left, readers will find a link where they can buy a DVD of The Gospel Blimp. The movie was directed by Shorty Yeaworth who also directed Steve McQueen in the cult classic, The Blob. Yeaworth did a perfect job on The Gospel Blimp. The acting is good and the style is retro to the max--cars with mega-fins, perfect crewcuts, and of course, the blimp.
I mention the movie now because, if they watch it, readers will understand why the bling of famous Christians holds no appeal to David or me. We grew up under a father who made Christian bling utterly repulsive to us. The rejection of personality cults and self-promotion was foundational to our upbringing.
Dad wrote The Gospel Blimp after years helping to found and leading the work of the parachurch campus ministry, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship. And since it was a satire on Evangelicalism's pride and self-promotion, no one was willing to publish it. So Dad did the manly faithful thing and...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 26, 2011 - 8:32pm
This is Dad's column from the June 1963 issue of Eternity magazine. Dad chose the title when the column was first published.
Men have long been claiming to hold to Gospel-centrality while running in terror from any declaration of God's holiness and authority. But now, instead of procaliming God's moral absolutes, Inter-Varsity staff workers here on the campus of Indiana University promote homosexual perversion. (TB)
* * *
This year, speaking to college students (as an Inter-Varsity staff member)—especially in dormitory and fraternity discussions—I’ve been asked once question again and again. It almost always takes this form: “Why is premarital intercourse wrong?”
Often there are explanatory or qualifying clauses: “—with the girl you’re going to marry some day;” “—when it seems to work out well in parts of Europe where it’s pretty commonly accepted;” “—if neither of you sees anything wrong with it;” “—since he may be shipped overseas any minute;” “—when it seems, like the psych professor says, to be merely a normal response to a human appetite.”
Those clauses reveal the more basic question, one that is foundational to the Christian religion: Are there such things as moral absolutes, or is everything relative, subject to the conditions of time and place and opinion? The latter view, probably held (consciously or unconsciously) by a majority on today’s academic scene, was expressed by the scientist Sir Julian Huxley in a recent issue of Nature...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 30, 2011 - 9:46am
Jesus said, "...whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. - Matthew 20:27, 28
One of Baylyblog's themes is the necessity of avoiding all the Evangelical and Reformed bling. There's gold in them thar hills and that's the point, dear brothers and sisters. Jim MacDonald and Mark Driscoll are out having Elephant Room conversations and want you to come pay them money to see how bright they are.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 20, 2011 - 8:18am
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...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 25, 2011 - 11:57am
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...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 2, 2011 - 10:48am
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...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 3, 2011 - 5:57pm
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...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 14, 2011 - 4:09pm
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...
by David and Tim Bayly on January 11, 2012 - 11:54am
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...
by David and Tim Bayly on March 12, 2012 - 10:35am
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...
(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...
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 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...
(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...
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...
(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...
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...
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...
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.
(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...