(Tim) Yesterday, I received the latest in a barrage of evidence showing that the deception God has given our nation over to is deeply entrenched in the church, also. We've intentionally chosen churches and pastors whose specialty is feeding their sheep a milk-only diet and we're reaping the fruit of that choice in our inability to "discern good and evil." So, when it comes to hard choices between good and evil, we're little babies with our mouths open, ready to be deceived (Hebrews 5:13,14).
Nothing demonstrates our sinful immaturity more than the broad support Senator Barack Obama's presidential candidacy has within the church. Yesterday, I posted my criticism of this statement made by a senior InterVarsity staff member in an E-mail he sent across the country: "Evangelicals are now seeing that both parties do offer helpful perspectives and that those things that a Christian should have convictions about are more than just one or two issues. Amen and amen."
Then, last night, I received another E-mail from a friend who attends a cool dude urban PCA church, asking:
When speaking with many friends about the election, I have found out that many of them voted for Obama. They are Christians as well. I ask how they can vote for someone who believes in the murder of infants, and they come back with something approximate to this:
"Yes, abortion is awful, but that's not the only issue. The economy, the war, race relations, unemployment, health care (I'm giving many examples given to me) are just as important, and that's many issues vs one. I hate that people have become one issue voters. I hate the republican party, so I can't vote for them." Etc.
How am I to respond to that? I can only think to say that abortion is murder, and are we not to care about millions of innocents who get murdered each year?
So now a test. As a follower of Jesus Christ, why will you not vote for Senator Obama?
Note, the question isn't whether or not you'd vote for Senator McCain, nor is it which candidate you prefer. We're strictly limiting the question to Senator Obama: Why won't you vote for him?
And by all means, give us irony and sarcasm and satire, too. The fact that we're having to answer this question is such an indictment of the church that we must be careful not to legitimate it with too much serious, thoughtful response. Please send your contributions to tbbayly at gmail dot com. And may the best man (used generically, of course) win.
(Tim: This from Wayne Huck) The best example I can think of is slavery (and the comparison has been made frequently). Both issues have to do with defining who is fully human (blacks/unborn). It's very easy for us today to see how mistaken pro-slavers were, but we're living in a time in which the exact twisted logic is being applied to the unborn rather than African Americans.
If a candidate stepped forward advocating a return to slavery (or even the inferiority of the African race), every Obama supporter (pretty much every voter, really) in the country would immediately become a one issue voter regarding that candidate. It wouldn't matter if everyone agreed he had all the perfect answers to health care, the environment, the economy, terrorism, etc.
Abortion is that important an issue. At its root, it shows how our culture treats all of its weakest members, the ones whom God says he cares the most about.
The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. And men will say, "Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on earth!" (Psalm 58:10,11)
What is the promised vengeance of this Psalm? "O God, shatter their
teeth in their mouth...Let them be as ... the miscarriages of a woman
which never see the sun."
It is surely a fearful thing to consider that one day 48 million dismembered babies will rise up out of their trash-can graves and wash their feet in the blood of the doctors, mothers, boyfriends, judges, legislators and voters who did not consider their lives worth saving.
And the righteous will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So I will not vote for B.O.
Grace to you and peace from God who judges on earth.
(Tim: from Brian Bailey) Thank you for not letting these members of our evangelical vanguard elite get away with feeling all noble, righteous, race-sensitive, and iconoclastic for supporting Obama. They’re anything but. Any embarrassment and self-doubt you cause them is worth your time, trouble, and lovingkindness.
Ask them how they came to believe that the Fed’s highwire act of cutting interest rates just enough to spur economic growth but not too much for fear of stoking inflation is morally equivalent to stopping the bloody dismemberment and death of unborn children. What informs their belief? Does Scripture inform their belief?
Lovingly lead them out of the NPR-ivory tower and into Scripture and to bone fragments and bloody tissue. In terms of moral importance, how does God rank universal health care and “Pay as You Go” government funding with respect to ending infanticide? Are gas-guzzling SUV drivers, millionaire CEOs, deficit spenders, Iraq War Hawks, and abortionists really on the same moral plane?
The Centers for Disease Control stated in 2000 that...
(Tim: From David Wegener) Let's put it a little differently. Let's say Senator Obama believed parents should have the right to kill their fifth grade children. Fifth graders can be really annoying. They are so self-absorbed, so immature, so bothersome. Let's enact a law that allows parents to terminate the life of their fifth grader, if they so choose. No parent would be forced to kill their fifth grader, so that if you believe such killing to be wrong, then don't do it. But some moms and dads are at their wits end with regard to their fifth grader and they should be given this option.
For some people, unborn children are just like these fifth graders; they're just shorter and more helpless.
When choosing a political candidate to support for president, many issues have to be considered: the economy, the war, race relations, unemployment, etc. But candidates who hold certain positions, by the very fact that they hold those positions, disqualify themselves from being considered by the Christian. What is such a position that would disqualify a candidate? Willingness to allow parents to kill their fifth grader or their shorter sibling. The Christian does not have an option to support such. He or she is morally repugnant to him.
(Tim) This from Joe Sobran 25 years ago. Due to failing health, Sobran's pen has been stilled in recent months, but this article is even more helpful today than it was a quarter century ago. Reading these old words, it's clear we've come a long way.
Note the absence of any mention of sodomy under his warning that "the state could redefine family relations...at its whim." Also, after his description of the murder victims' pain and tears, note his apology for "the unpleasantness" of the words. In our shameless, merciless day, it appears so quaint.
Really, it's obvious the hip reformed dudes who voted for Barack Obama and condemn single-issue voters haven't a clue about the smallest part of what Sobran says. Claiming to be wise, they have become fools and are in need of the most basic remedial education by--well, I hate to say it again--but by Roman Catholics who believe in the Fall, depravity, sin, and true wisdom which begins with the fear of God.
On to Sobran...
* * *
I have always marveled at the charge that the anti-abortion movement is engaged in "single-issue politics." To meet the charge head-on, why not? What single issue lies nearer the heart of civilization? What could be more barbarous than the killing of an unborn child, by the choice of its mother, through the agency of a doctor, and with the blessing of the state? What could be more hypocritical than to speak of "terminating a pregnancy," when the child is squirming in agony and perhaps, on being removed from the womb before death, crying?
This (and I apologize for the unpleasantness) is at the core of the anti- abortion movement...
(From Joshua Congrove) Barack Obama is a figure of carefully crafted modesty. Whether in his nuanced, nebulous "positions," or in his studied, opaque demeanor, Obama's power has been his ability to promise radical change in a cloak of moderation and modesty. And despite the fact that his positions on abortion are actually worse (God forbid) than Clinton's, he has managed to convince Christians (I know many) of his moderation, or at least his overall acceptability. I mean, even if one disagrees with him on abortion, it's not the only issue, right? What about poverty, illiteracy, spiritual insensitivity, education, disenfranchisement, immigration?
Ah, yes, yes. How often I remember Scripture's warnings about the dangers of illegal immigration! How keenly I recall the prophets thundering against illiteracy! How vociferously do the apostles denounce habitat destruction!
(Tim, w/thanks to a friend) Once again, we have the man who claims to speak for evangelicals as an
"insider" making statements to the national press on our behalf. Along with about twenty-nine other religionists, Rich Cizik, Vice President for Governmental
Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, met yesterday with
Senator Barack Obama to, according to Senator Obama's invitation, share
"anything that's on your mind that is of concern to you."
"Anything...of concern to" them? Things like dead babies? Babies ripped apart, piece by piece, under
Senator Obama's late-term abortion advocacy? Babies whose skulls are
crushed in order to make it easier for them to be pulled from the body
without the mother hearing their born child's death scream?
Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion presidential candidate ever. He
is so pro-abortion that he refused as an Illinois state senator to
support legislation to protect babies who survived late-term abortions
because he did not want to concede--as he explained in a cold-blooded
speech on the Illinois Senate floor--that these babies, fully outside
their mothers' wombs, with their hearts beating and lungs heaving, were
in fact "persons."
(Tim, w/thanks to Jeff) Today, Dr. James Dobson aired a fifteen minute exposure of Senator Barack Obama's attempt to cloak his radical politics as if it were on version of a faithful Christian conscience. In the program, Dr. Dobson said Senator Obama is trying to govern by the
"lowest common denominator of morality." Dr. Dobson labelled Senator Obama's support for the killing of the unborn as "a fruitcake
interpretation of the Constitution," going on to ask, "Am I required in a democracy to conform my efforts in the political
arena to his bloody notion of what is right with regard to the lives of
tiny babies? What (Senator Obama is) trying to say here is unless
everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe."
(Tim) Those Christian hipsters still mesmerized by Senator Obama, thinking him to be a gentleman, need to watch this video. And anyone wondering how believers could vote for such a man need only listen to a podcast of the sermons these hispters sit under, week after weak. Vacuous and sentimental, but so very chic.
(Tim) Last night, Michele Peatie left a kind comment here in which she mentioned her blog, Unborn Word of the Day. My curiosity piqued, I went and read some of her posts including this on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of orthodox Roman Catholic French composer, Olivier Messiaen. If you're not familiar with Messiaen's music, try this.
Further down the page was this gem of a post, "Living Pro-Life - 3 Politicians." Here Mrs. Peatie tells the stories of two female politicians' response to their Down Syndrome children, as well as the adoption by Senator John McCain and his wife, Cindy, of a special needs child from Mother Teresa's orphanage in Bangladesh.
A teenager now, the McCain's daughter, Bridget, would not have survived without surgery and years of rehabilitation. Cindy brought her home and, with her husband, provided her surgery, care, and love. Actually, Mrs. McCain brought back two babies: The other is also a teenager, now, and was adopted by one of McCain's aids, Wes Gullett, and his wife. Her name is Nicki. She too needed much medical care and Mr. Gullett says he "never saw a hospital bill" for her care, implying the McCain's paid for it all.
Turning to another politician who shows love for the poorest among us, this woman is a member of Feminists for Life and the Governor of Alaska...
(Tim) Back in 1987, I found this comment about Ronald Reagan's 1984 presidential campaign interesting enough that I filed it for future reference. If this is what they had to say about Ronald Reagan, imagine what they could do with Barack Obama's "Time for Change" were they so inclined. But of course, they aren't.
The 1984 Reagan campaign ad from TV with the line "It’s morning in America again," …conjures up pure atmosphere rather than any specific political aim or accomplishment. It refers to feeling good rather than to doing anything good--not to mention being good. (In our culture, the swift decline in recent years of the idea of "guilt," as an unwelcome leftover from our Puritan legacy, seems to have been followed in short order by a less noticed decline in the idea of accomplishment.)
Unfortunately, a notable characteristic of feeling good (or of feeling bad, for that matter) is its very loose connection with anything outside the one doing the feeling. (“Notes and Comment”, The New Yorker, January 19, 1987)
(Tim) Since the decline of his health about a year ago, requiring him to move in with his daughter, leaving Washington D.C. behind, my favorite columnist on American culture and politics, Joe Sobran, has been on hiatus. His articles are few and far between, about every three months, now, and I've missed him quite a bit. So it was a happy day, today, when a new column arrived--this one on our recurrent theme of why Senator Obama rocks, as hip, chic, submergent types see it.
For my money, the keys needed to unlock the submergent church scene are chronological snobbery--after all, they are chrysalises emerging from the slime of our patriarchal, authoritarian, institutional roots--and they hate authority. Thus their support for Senator Obama. He's new, he's about change; what's not to like?
But of course, neither Arcbishop McLaren nor Cardinal Obama are about change, not to even the slightest degree. They're carbon copies of one another. They're both relentlessly superficial, adroit, and non-Christian, in lockstep with our superficial, adroit, and non-Christian information class. Why bother faulting them with wanting to be on the winning side? It's positively democratic, isn't it?
But I do fault them with claiming originality in their consummately predictable, boring opinions. Sobran says it so much better...
(Tim, w/thanks to someone) If I've been unfair to Senator Obama in saying he's bloodthirsty, this interview will make the case as well as it can be made in a once-over-lightly-and-no-follow-up-questions interview. By all accounts, he's the most liberal senator serving in the United States Senate today, and he advocates abortion--for his own daughters, no less. Read this over at Human Events for the history Senator Obama calls a "lie."
So no, I don't think Senator Obama's responses here tell much of the story. No one thinks the Senator is stupid. So when he was interviewed, here, by Cameron Strang, publisher of--can you dig that title?--Relevant magazine, we can be sure he knew his audience. Still, in the interest of full disclosure...
By the way: Christianity Today and Relevant? What a pair. So up-to-date.
(Tim, w/thanks to Jeff)This from The Washington Post--not the The Washington Times--written by pro-abortion, anti-death penalty, anti-intelligent design, pro-stem cell use, Washington insider pundit, Charles Krauthammer:
Nor am I disappointed in the least by his other calculated and
cynical repositionings. I have never had any illusions about Obama. I
merely note with amazement that his media swooners seem to accept his
every policy reversal with an equanimity unseen since the Daily Worker
would change the party line overnight -- switching sides in World War
II, for example -- whenever the wind from Moscow changed direction.
The truth about Obama is uncomplicated. He is just a politician
(though of unusual skill and ambition). The man who dared say it
plainly is the man who knows Obama all too well. "He does what
politicians do," explained Jeremiah Wright.
When it's time to throw campaign finance reform, telecom
accountability, NAFTA renegotiation or Jeremiah Wright overboard, Obama
is not sentimental. He does not hesitate. He tosses lustily.
Why, the man even tossed his own grandmother overboard back in
Philadelphia -- only to haul her back on deck now that her services are
needed. Yesterday, granny was the moral equivalent of the raving
Reverend Wright. Today, she is a featured prop in Obama's fuzzy-wuzzy
get-to-know-me national TV ad.
Not a flinch. Not a flicker. Not a hint of shame. By the time he's finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.
You shall not give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord. (Leviticus 18:21) (Tim, w/thanks to Kevin) Because it's so very caustic, I never look at The American Spectator. Last week, though, a friend on staff with Inter-Varsity forwarded me one of their articles written by David N. Bass titled, "The Obama Snooker." True to Spectator form, it's still very much worth reading as we watch the Submergent Church crowd hop on Senator Obama's bloody hearse while claiming it's the Good Humor Ice Cream truck. Noting Senator Obama's marketing efforts aimed at Christians, Bass comments:
The rub is that some
evangelicals will buy the line, and Obama is a master at delivering it.
Take his speech at a Planned Parenthood event
last year. Appearing before an adoring crowd that could barely contain
its uproarious applause at several points, Obama talked about his
commitment to "choice," but he blunted his remarks by saying many
pro-lifers are people of "good will."
Senator Obama is right to acknowledge that many anti-abortionists are people of "good will." Problem is, he then goes on to attack them for the very thing that proves their integrity: Namely, their hatred for the bloody slaughter of 1,300,000 unborn babies in abortuaries of the Molechaust each year in our own nation, alone...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 16, 2008 - 3:02pm
(Tim) A friend just left me a voice message about the presidential forum being held tonight by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church. My friend was angered by Fox News reporting this afternoon that the forum will steer clear of divisive issues such as sodomite marriage and the slaughter of unborn children. Instead, Pastor Warren will focus on "human rights."
This is news? I'm not the brightest bulb in the room, but I knew this many months ago--long before the Iowa caucus or the New Hampshire primary. That Pastor Warren would do anything else is inconceivable.
No, I'm not watching Rick Warren build his name and fame tonight. Wracking my brain for something better to do, I think I'll see if I can find Bill Hybels interviewing Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 23, 2008 - 1:04pm
(Tim, w/thanks to Scott and James) If you think this cartoon unfair, read this excellent column by Pat Buchanan, just one more in the long line of faithful Roman Catholics who stand out in our national discourse for their unflinching defense of widows and orphans.
by David and Tim Bayly on August 23, 2008 - 2:25pm
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. (Luke 10:21) (Tim) A few years ago, a family moved from Bloomington, Indiana to a distant city. We miss them, father and mother, and children. Occasionally there are Christian parents who understand the weakness of pastors and teach their children to express affection for their work and ministry. The children of this family darted across the church to jump into my arms and hug me after Lord's Day worship. What kindness that was! It strengthened me immensely each week. And when they moved away, with many others I felt the loss keenly.
Other children of Church of the Good Shepherd are similarly affectionate toward their pastors, but for various reasons this loss was especially difficult. Earlier this morning, I received an e-mail from the mother of these children. Here's what she wrote by way of introduction to her son's godly rebuke of Senator Barack Obama...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 29, 2008 - 10:38am
On the day she gave birth to her newborn son who has Down syndrome, Governor Palin sent an e-mail to family members and close friends. Written as if it came from God, Gov. Palin signed the e-mail, "Trig's Creator, Your Heavenly Father." In her e-mail, Palin wrote: "Many people will express sympathy, but you don't want or need that,
because Trig will be a joy. You have to trust me on this. Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this
mixed-up world you live in down there on Earth. Trig is no different,
except he has one extra chromosome."
(Tim) So Senator McCain's picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. David and I slightly disagree on this. Roughly speaking, here's David's thought...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 6, 2008 - 7:55pm
(Tim) Despite his false statement about yours truly (his daughter does live in our house, after all, so the man knows which side of his bread is buttered), I do think the comment just made by our Zambian Mission to the World correspondent, David Wegener, summarizing his conclusions to our lengthy discussion of Governor Palin's Vice-Presidential candidacy is about right. For those of you who've given up on the Palin comments, here's what David has to say:
* * *
As best I could, I’ve tried to follow the debate that has gone on here over Sarah Palin and how we should then vote. I haven’t done very well, nor of following the thread over on Pastor Wilson’s blog, but here are my two cents.
Sarah Palin is a very conflicted woman and I feel very conflicted about her. She is a Christian, a member of Feminists For Life, a wife and a mother who is running for Vice President. You can’t be a feminist and pro-life. Islam is built on five pillars...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 10, 2008 - 10:10am
(Tim, w/thanks to David) Other than the obvious, there's little to disagree with in this splendid essay, "Fresh Blood for the Vampire," by feminists' bete noire, Camille Paglia. Here are a few teasers to whet your appetite:
* * * We need a new generation of leadership with fresh ideas and an
expansive, cosmopolitan vision -- which is why I support Barack Obama
and have contributed to his campaign. My baby-boom generation --
typified by the narcissistic Clintons -- peaked in the 1960s and is
seriously past it. But McCain, born before Pearl Harbor, is even older
than we are! Why would anyone believe that he holds the key to the
future? And why would anyone swallow that preening passel of high-flown
rhetoric about "country above all" coming from a seething, short-fused
character whose rampant egotism, zigzagging principles, and currying of
the gullible press were the distinguishing marks of his senatorial
Having said that, I must admit that McCain is currently eating
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 September 12, 2008 - 11:12am
(Tim) Donald Miller, author of Blue something or other, gave a benediction in Jesus' Name at the national meeting of the kill-millions-of-little-babies-and-bless-sodomy Democratic Party. Being cool and oh-so-non-authoritative, he's gone over well with Christians who hate discernment, so he's gotten rich and famous. After the Democratic party in Denver where he committed Balaam-like blasphemy, he started a new blog on which his first post was the complete e-mail exchange he and Senator Obama had the past couple of months.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 16, 2008 - 11:46am
(Tim, w/thanks to Dave) Last week, a friend in Florida wrote to call my attention to an article detailing the results of a political survey of the faculty at Covenant College, the school affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America. (Students were polled, also.)
Conducted by the school's Director of Institutional Research, Kevin Eames, the survey received responses from 47 faculty members. Here's what Covenant's administration wants prospective students and their parents to know about these faculty members:
Eighty-eight percent of Covenant's faculty have doctorates or
terminal degrees, earned from such institutions as Oxford, Stanford,
Yale, and the University of Chicago. Our professors regularly involve
students in their research activities. In fact, many students actually
help edit books that their professors are writing.
The administration goes on to describe faculty members as "passionate about teaching and sharing their Reformed faith in a
setting that sharpens the intellect and encourages increased awe of our
sovereign God." Then, by way of reassurance, Oxford and passion are anchored by the declaration that "all faculty members subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith."
So, what might doctorates from Yale and Stanford, combined with a passion for the reformed faith and the Westminster Standards, lead these men and women to profess to our children about Christ's dominion in these United States and our own confession of that faith in this election year?
Asked, "Do you believe John McCain is a Christian," 33 of the 47 faculty members responding said either "No" or "Not sure." This seems safe since I read just last night that Senator McCain has never received Christian baptism. Likely not one of those faculty members questioning Senator McCain's Christian faith knew that, though.
Still, my concern is certainly not to prove Senator McCain's Christian faith, to get others to agree that he's sincere in his Christian profession, or leastwise to write this post to the end that even one reader will decide to vote for him or the Republican party. Such concerns have not entered my mind.
But on to Senator Obama. Different candidate, same question: "Do you believe Barack Obama is a Christian?" Twenty-one faculty members are definite in their response with five answering "No" and sixteen "Yes."
What ocular disease has led sixteen of our best and brightest to say for the record among students they are paid to lead into a greater knowledge of Christ's Lordship over all the earth that a man who unabashedly promotes baby-slaughter and sodomite marriage is certainly a Christian? If Senator Obama is a Christian, Robert Mugabe is born again and Jean Paul Sartre was a strict subscriptionist Presbyterian pastor.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 22, 2008 - 8:05am
(Tim) Really, what more is there to say about "If my father were still alive, he'd have converted to Eastern Orthodoxy" Franky Schaeffer?
His trajectory was set twenty-five years ago with little but dishonor
and shame since. Here's the latest in that line, taken from a piece he wrote for the Huffington Post
(ephasis in the original). Yes, I know Franky's larger argument is to
move the Democratic Party toward electability by getting them to
distance themselves from the albatross of late term abortion, but the context of this piece is immaterial to me as I remember
Francis Schaeffer while reading these words...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 4, 2008 - 11:19am
(Tim) Our readers will be interested in posts at Nugent's Law that examine the current state of abortion law in these United States. The latest post provides documentation of Senator Obama's votes against the protection of newborn infants.
by David and Tim Bayly on October 4, 2008 - 4:21pm
(Tim, w/thanks to a whole bunch of people) Lots of you have forwarded different movie clips of the testimony of abortion survivor, Gianna Jessen. We must keep in mind this young woman is the only face we'll ever see representing those Senator Obama has turned over to the mass murderers.
Unlike Hitler's Third Reich, the victims of this Holocaust will never become visible. Their pictures will never appear in magazines, history books, or horror museums.
How do you take pictures of tiny bones scattered throughout the sanitary landfill? Flushed through the sewage treatment plant? No one's bothered to hide these mass graves. You want thousands of baby's bones? Down at the town dump they're free for the taking. Help yourself--there's more than enough to go around.
But then, out of the tens of millions of victims, one little one survives. And as she grows to womanhood, she speaks...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 6, 2008 - 3:23pm
(Tim) Readers may be interested in the response of Covenant College faculty and students to the news that a large group of professors there support Senator Obama for president and believe he is a Christian.
It's hard to report on that response, though--but not because I don't know what it was. I'd like to know less than I do.
What I do know hasn't come from any free exchange of ideas or public debate. The heated discussion and criticism of my post took place on a campus forum well-guarded behind firewalls that protect those writing from being answered by anyone outside of the Covenant College community. It's a convenient byproduct of this policy that much of the mess happens away from prying eyes of donors who, seeing the fruit of the professors' professions, could decide not to fulfill their capital campaign pledges.
In this context, note that the same culture that fences off campus discussions from its constituent community also allows Covenant College professors to go on public record with their conviction that Senator Obama is a Christian and that they support his presidential bid while individually remaining anonymous. What happened to the good old days when men signed their theses...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 6, 2008 - 3:45pm
(Tim, w/thanks to David) Last week, Senator Biden went public with his position concerning the slaughter of little children. The New York Timesreported it this way:
(Senator Biden declared) that as a Catholic, he believes life begins at conception. But the Delaware senator added that he would not impose his personal views on others...
* * * In the interview Sunday, Mr. Biden tried to walk the line between the staunch abortion-rights advocates in his party and his own religious beliefs. While he said he did not often talk about his faith, he said of those who disagree with him: âThey believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life â Iâm prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception.â
With slight reworking, am I right in wondering whether this summary of Senator Biden's position might not bear some resemblance to the position held by many enlightened evangelicals such as the Covenant College profs who believe Senator Obama is a Christian and support his presidential candidacy?
by David and Tim Bayly on October 8, 2008 - 9:57am
(Tim, w/thanks to the usual suspect) Growing up in Wheaton among evangelicalism's elite, it became apparent to me more than twenty years ago that my Christian sanity depended upon never looking at, let alone subscribing to, Christianity Today or her many sister publications. Alas, it's never been that easy.
Some years back, a young couple attended Church of the Good Shepherd while doing graduate work at Indiana University. Too, too late, I discovered they were related to CTi's CEO (since retired). Had I known it from the beginning, I would have nipped our relationship in the bud. By the time I found out, alas and alack, we loved them and they us. Ever since, we've made do as best we could. For their part, they became reformed and he stepped into the eldership of a PCA church in the D.C. area. For our part, we assured them regularly that some of our best friends work on Gunderson Drive.
My father-in-law looked at my aversion to CT as quixotic and several times gave me a gift subscription, urging me to read it. It took a while, but finally I was able to convince him I was seriously opposed to that thing entering my home. With a temperament as sweet as honey, finally he gave in.
Just now, though, I let down my guard and it all came back to me when I ran across this at Touchstone's "Mere Comments." It's a post responding to a recent news piece CT ran on Tony Campolo's membership on the Democratic Party's Platform Committee. Yes, you read it right: That patriarch of Christian liberal arts colleges and chapel service prophet worked with other members of the Democratic Party and produced these planks on child-slaughter...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 8, 2008 - 7:45pm
(Tim) Readers will remember this post containing a copy of a letter to Senator Obama written by the son of a family that moved from Bloomington several years ago. Today, Focus on the Family interviewed this young man and today (Tuesday, October 14th) they'll be running the interview with Isaiah Taylor, son of Chris and Leslie Taylor, on their radio program, Family News in Focus. If you miss the radio broadcast, you should be able to listen to Isaiah's interview online here by this evening.
We're grateful to the Lord for your witness for the little ones, Isaiah...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 14, 2008 - 8:32pm
(Tim, w/thanks to Kevin) In my dreams, it would have been a faculty member at a Christian college who had the discernment to understand these things, the courage to publish them, and the faith to accept his certain fate, perishing at his colleagues' hands for being so certain, so hortatory, so convinced, so direct, so judgmental, so lacking in Christian humility and compassion, so prescriptive, so cocksure of his own personal opinions... You get the thrust.
Alas and alack, it had to be one of the esteemed Peter Singer's colleagues at Princeton University who put his mind and pen to outing...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 18, 2008 - 11:05am
(Tim, w/thanks to Jake) Would you understand me if I said Baptists seem to have courage Presbyterians lack? Maybe it's a byproduct of being despised by Presbyterians, but whatever its origins, it's a wonderful gift from God to them and all of us.
Speaking of manly preaching, I give you Russell Moore. if you don't make a habit of listening to what he has to say or readingwhat he writes, you're missing out big-time. A few years back, Russ and I met at a conference. His work's been a great encouragement to me since then.
Here's a message he gave this past week at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary titled, "Joseph of Nazareth Is a Single-Issue Evangelical: The Father of Jesus, the Cries of the Helpless, and Change You Can Believe In." One of our ClearNote Pastors College students, Jake Mentzel, summarizes the message...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 25, 2008 - 1:33pm
(Tim) Here's what I want to ask all the Christian profs fawning over the Christian faith of Senator Barack Obama as well as the Submergent types in lockstep with them: What possible criteria could you use to justify your claim that Senator Obama is a Christian that wouldn't also force you to affirm that Zimbabwe's thug leader, Robert Mugabe, is also a true Christian? Mugabe has killed his thousands, but Obama his millions.
If Obama wins the presidency, the slaughter he will preside over and promote is incomprehensibly larger than even the worst estimates of Mugabe's murderous regime--unless, of course, you are unconcerned about the murder of the newborn, feeble, and unborn children.
But if you are concerned, Mugabe has the innocence of a child playing in a sandbox compared to the obsccenely wicked slaughter at the center of Senator Obama's campaign platform.
I'm betting most profs who assert that Senator Obama is a true Christian would deny Mugabe's Christian faith. So why the double standard? Why the universal condemnation of Mugabe by the same people given over to the adulation of Barack Obama? Isn't it amazing how Christians regain our moral compass and discernment as soon as the evil being evaluated and condemned is committed by people far away? Particularly Africans.
Last night, I read a profile of Robert Mugabe, the brutal dictator who's plunged his nation of Zimbabwe into death and destruction. He'd be up there near the top of heads of state around the world viewed as pariahs by other nation's leaders. Maybe the very top.
The New Yorker's profile written by Jon Lee Anderson is titled: "Letter from Zimbabwe, The Destroyer: A founding father lays waste to his country." Near the beginning, Anderson informs us Zim's inflation rate is now two hundred and thirty million percent, the unemployment rate is eighty percent, two million Zimbabweans are entirely dependent on aid from NGOs for their daily bread, another two million have fled Zim for refuge in South Africa, twenty percent of the population is infected with H.I.V./AIDS, life expectancy for men and women is about 44 years, starvation is rampant, leaders of political opposition groups are routinely imprisoned, beaten, and murdered, and the list goes on.
Meanwhile, wreathed in jewelry and forty years younger than her husband, Mugabe's second wife, Grace, says because of her narrow feet she can "only wear Ferragamo" shoes...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 27, 2008 - 10:45am
(Tim) The grandmother of presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama, is reported as testifying she was present for
Obama's birth at the Coast Provincial Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya. If true, Obama would be barred from holding the office of president by Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution:
No person except a natural born Citizen ...shall be eligible to the
Office of President...
Despite growing controversy, Obama has refused to release his birth certificate. Our public servants are stonewalling the matter, also...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 27, 2008 - 3:36pm
(Tim) Chris Taylor is the father of Isaiah Taylor, the young man who wrote Barack Obama calling him to repent of his advocacy of baby-murder. We ran a copy of Isaiah's letter on this blog a few weeks ago. Earlier today, Focus on the Family put a pic of Isaiah on their home page. Chris Taylor writes: "For those of you who haven’t heard yet, here’s the scoop: Leslie was driving down the road a few months ago and passed a group protesting the killing of babies with large photos. It caused a lot of questions by our three older children (11, 9, 7). When they got home, Isaiah (9) was so disturbed that he decided to write a letter to Senator Obama to let him know that he hoped things would change in the future.
"Anyway, this little letter has made it’s way all over the states via newsletters, blogs, radio broadcasts, pulpits, and websites. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece even sought to hand a copy personally to Senator Obama during the DNC up in Denver. Though, that never happened, Isaiah is still hoping for a response...
"Isaiah is getting a kick out of the fact that I am now being referred to as “Isaiah’s dad” at work."
by David and Tim Bayly on October 30, 2008 - 7:40pm
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void. For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside." (1 Corinthians 1:17-19)
(Tim) Here are some thoughts about the state of our civil compact as we approach Election Day. And, following the political stuff, I make a stab at some applications to those who identify themselves as the prophetic voices of the Emergent Church. If your patience wears thin with the political part, buck up and finish it because it forms the perfect backdrop to grow in our understanding of the goals and strategy of church leaders today who have woman deacons, talk a lot about the city and contextualization, and have a staff member titled "Associate Pastor for Art, Weird Glasses, and Chai." First, then, let's look at the political scene...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 3, 2008 - 12:02pm
(Tim) If you ask Senator Obama's supporters where he stands on an issue, their responses are all over the board. No one actually knows where he stands on anything, so his supporters are free to state his position any way they like, without fear of contradiction.
His position on the Mideast?
"Senator Obama will get our troops out of Iraq, immediately." Or, "Senator Obama will not get our troops out of Iraq at the cost of destabilization in the Mideast." Or, "Senator Obama will do what is necessary to clean up Afganistan's border with Pakistan." Or, "Senator Obama is Irael's firm champion and he will see to it that Iran does not enter the nuclear fraternity."
Who can tell what Senator Obama will do about Iraq, Iran, Afganistan, Pakistan, or Israel? All the electorate really knows is that he speaks reassuring words of peace whereas our current president and Senator McCain speak harsh words of firm resolve.
So really, what's there to think about? Obama is handsome. He's an intellectual. He has the audacity of hope. And he's really really committed to family values. That's Submergent pastor Brian McLaren's promise.
Turning aside from the snake oil and smiles, let's speak directly...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 3, 2008 - 3:43pm
(Tim) So, the day has come. And thinking about Election Day, it seems good to let Goodman Isaiah Taylor speak once more...
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. (Luke 10:21)
by David and Tim Bayly on November 3, 2008 - 4:21pm
(Tim) Those inclined to think the posts critical of Barack Obama here on this blog are due to partisanship on the owners' part should know that neither David nor I have ever placed the slightest hope in a Republican presidential candidate. About nine years ago, I told Marvin Olasky I was concerned about his support of George W. Bush's presidential candidacy. In the end, I voted for him twice, but never with anything other than grim resolve.
Whether grim resolve is enough to do the trick with me tomorrow has yet to be seen. This cycle I'm leaning toward flaming out in a better direction--maybe, say, giving myself to the audacity of hope and pushing the button for Chuck Baldwin...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 3, 2008 - 4:50pm
(Tim) One of my relatives posted a couple days ago arguing that the best way to oppose the slaughter of babies in America today is to keep abortion legal. To that end, she called us all to vote for Senator Barack Obama for president of these United States, making her case with a litany of facts that showed everything anyone had ever believed about abortion or Obama's position on abortion was woefully wrong. Start with her newly-discovered fact that Obama isn't pro-abortion at all, but pro-life.
It will help you understand my post below if you take a couple minutes to skim the original post she wrote. This dear sister is a graduate of Columbia International University and the Torchbearers, and she really likes Brian McLaren. So now, on to the facts.
* * *
Much of what Mrs. Fischer has written I'll leave alone. But some of the stuff is repeated so often by Submergent types that I thought it worth correcting publicly.
In her plea for votes for Senator Obama, Mrs. Fischer cited Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. CACG is a political action group working to get Roman Catholics to cast their votes for the Democratic Party, and thus for Senator Barack Obama. Real Roman Catholics are scandalized by such missionaries for Obama cloaking themselves in the name "Catholic." For instance, here's Archbishop Charles Chaput warning against CACG, recently:
...activism for Senator Barack Obama, and the work of Democratic-friendly groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 3, 2008 - 5:37pm
(Tim) Take a few minutes to read this open letter posted earlier today on Facebook by a doctoral student in Classics here at IU. A member of Church of the Good Shepherd, Josh has taken leadership in our church's anti-abortion work. Before her death last Christmas, Josh used to come over to our house to play the piano for Aunt Elaine. You'll read no better commentary on the election this year.
As I write this note, I do so with a measure of reluctance. I am often loathe to enter the realm of politics—where compromise is and has always been king—with a dogmatism that believes it can be redeemed or captured for the kingdom of righteousness if only we vote in a certain way. But in this election, where the issues are so clear, the mass of citizens (especially college students) so blind and in lockstep, and the eternal consequences to souls so great, I have concluded that to not speak forthrightly on this issue is ultimately to be unfaithful to Christ and His word. And so in writing these thoughts I'm not speaking to any one particular person; I know how some of you will vote; for others I don't have a clue. But my goal here is that our minds and hearts would be captive to the Word of God, and that we would make informed, intelligent choices that follow Christ rather than the prevailing wind of our culture.
Those of you who know me well know that I have no particular love for either political party. Republicans have a habit of claiming to speak for Christian values, eagerly garnering the votes of Christians, and then demonstrating that they care more for big business and the money it brings than they do for righteousness and justice, and for defending the poor who are rich in the kingdom of heaven. Democrats never cease of talking about values and of what the government can do for us, even while belonging to a party whose prevailing secularism undercuts their every position and prevents the government from carrying out its responsibility to dispense justice (Romans 13). As I see it, the best Christians can do is to make an informed, godly decision in an evil world, and obviously this is difficult at times.
(Thanks to James) On this Election Day, here's an artifact of history from the editors of Touchstone, a Christian magazine I subscribe to and recommend. Originally run in 2003, this editorial is more pertinent today than it was five years ago. If you read nothing else, be sure to read the last two paragraphs...
Practical atheism revisited
Last week I came upon an editorial I wrote during the 2003 political season which seems to me even more applicable now. Today I would add that whatever one thinks about Senator Obama's plans for using government power to take money from those who have more of it and give it to those who have less, the social control which must be gained to make such things come to pass has never boded well for Christians in the countries where it has happened. The Gentiles, even--or perhaps especially--the religious ones, have not changed their opinions about people who regard them as morally unclean, nor will they fail to punish them for it when they gain sufficient power. What concerns them, I believe, is not so much that the poor be enriched, but that the middle classes be brought as low as possible by confiscation of their ethically significant wealth...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 5, 2008 - 6:45am
(Tim)Writing as a pastor concerning his own nation's election of a new president several weeks ago, Brother Conrad Mbewe of Lusaka, Zambia, says precisely what ought to be said today to Christians in these United States as we look at God's choice of Barack Obama to lead us. I hope you'll read it.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 5, 2008 - 8:24am
(Tim, w/thanks to Mark) Well, turns out the Constitution Party wasn't on Indiana's ballot, so that made my decision easy. Meanwhile, did you notice we haven't promoted the Republican Party or John McCain?
Now that it's over, this article will explain the ambivalence/antipathy/antagonism many of us felt as we looked at the Republican Party's candidate this year. Elections are never simply won. They're also lost, and political strategists need to understand the only demographic groups still having children in these United States are biblical Christians and Hispanics. Guess what both groups hold precious?
Children, born and unborn.
So the man who swallows the shame of taking the little ones in his arms and protecting them is the one we will support.