My friend, Steve Moxey, suggested that a column my dad wrote forty-two years ago might finally have been answered by Bill Cosby who, with Jesse Jackson at his side, has issued a jeremiad to the black community.
Dad's article was titled, "Lord, Raise Up a Negro Prophet," and it appeared in the November, 1962, issue of Eternity Magazine, a publication founded by Donald Grey Barnhouse who was for many years pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.
While not in any way discounting the sins of the past and the present (including continued white racism within my own denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America), there is a real black racism directed inward, and it's lethal. When blacks call each other 'nigger,' often they mean precisely what whites meant when they used the term decades ago, and it becomes clear to those living within the black community that a combination of well-meaning, disparate initiatives such as welfare payments to husbandless mothers, affirmative action, and calls to racial reconciliation at Promisekeeper rallies have all had the unintended consequence of diminishing, and even denying, the moral agency of the black male.
No one bears a more direct responsibility for this than pastors such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who have spent their lives making a name for themselves by purporting to speak for the black underclass while never finding it within themselves to be a prophet to that underclass--particularly its men.
Scripture teaches judgment must begin within God's Household, not among the unbelievers:
For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin first among God's own children. (1Peter 4:17a)
Surely Reverends Jackson and Sharpton understand this principle, so where in our nation are black pastors spending more time calling their own men to repentance than the white MAN?
Yes, I know there are exceptions to the rule--there always are--but speaking of our national scene, the reason Cosby is getting all the press is that he is the exception to the rule. He is an African American speaking first to his own community. May God grant him favor.
Now then, to my father's piece. And as you read, please keep in mind it was written forty-two years ago:
by David and Tim Bayly on October 21, 2004 - 9:14pm
In a post on my children's blog my son-in-law, Doug Ummel, reminds his Yankee friends and relatives that the War Between the States brought the typical spoils to the victors--the writing of the history books. And he makes the right case that Yankee history is a perversion of the truth. To which I respond:
It is one of history's great ironies that the authority and power assumed by Washington DC since the end of the War Between the States--a war defended as being entirely focused on ending the oppressive institution of slavery--has become the very authority and power Washington used in 1973 (and since) to silence the laws of almost every State of the Union forbidding the killing of unborn children.
My thirteen-year-old son, Taylor, is a midfielder on a traveling soccer team and we share a love for soccer. Anticipating the World Cup beginning this Friday, we watched an ESPN special on racism among European football fans.
In 2004, Spain's World Cup coach, Luis Aragons, was fined after making racial remarks about Arsenal superstar, Thierry Henry. Things started to come to a head last year when Messina's Ivory Coast defender, Marc Zoro, was reduced to tears by Inter Milan fans hurling racial epithets at him. Having been abused beyond his ability to endure, Zoro picked up the game ball to hand it to a referee, and tried to walk off the field. Some of Inter Milan's quite-sportsmanlike players did their best to silence the abuse. They put their arms around Zoro and convinced him to keep playing. Racial epithets and bananas are thrown at black players on the field, but they're expected to shrug it off and keep playing.
This past March, in the Brazilian league, defender Antonoi Carlos was suspended for 120 days plus four matches after he shouted at a black opponent, calling him "monkey." Then, on April 3, Spiegel Onlineran a story about FC Sachsen Leipzig's star Nigerian midfielder, Adebowale Ogungbure, being tormented after a game by fans who ran up and spit on him, calling him "Dirty N-gger," "Sh-t N-gger," and "Ape" as he walked off the pitch.
Racism threatens to tarnish the World Cup and there's a lot of talk about what FIFA officials are and aren't going to do about it. When the ESPN special was over, neither Taylor nor I had much to say to each other. This aspect of the beautiful game is ugly.
Then, this morning, I followed a link to our blog posted on another blog that is racist to the core, and also obscene, sacrilegious, and blasphemous. In the past, David and I have tried to get these wicked men not to link to us, but to no avail. They told us they'd link to anyone they wanted to and we couldn't stop them. They're right.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
Here's a comment that is Godly and will strengthen our faith. I've promoted it from beneath the very lengthy discussion of race that's developed under the post, "The World Cup, racism, and the reprobate." But first, a few words.
As in the time of the New Testament, race is one of the most difficult questions facing the Church today, both in the U.S. and around the world. The public policy debates of the past several months show its incendiary nature within our nation as we work through border control, immigration, and our balance of trade. And personally, my daughter, Michal, and I disagreed by E-mail in front of our family, recently, over whether or not our nation should have a single official language.
After fifty-six sermons, I'm finally coming to the sixth chapter of Galatians this Lord's Day, and although I'm not prepared to engage the entire New Perspective on Paul debate, it's inconceivable to me how any shepherd of God's flock could read of the Judaizing conflict in the New Testament church without recognizing the classic newbies vs. old-timers, people of God vs. goyim, citizens vs. wetbacks, imports vs. native-born, blacks vs. whites group conflicts that have divided us from the time we were expelled from the Garden of Eden. My mother-in-law jokingly hung a plaque in the bathroom recognizing her as a member of SNOB--the Society of Native Oregonian Born. And here we see within one state the same attitude toward outsiders being expressed against illegal aliens across our nation just now.
What is the Christian response to all the group-hatreds that entice us?
Always, the Christian starts with the personal and local. Jesus started with the story of the Good Samaritan, teaching us to ask ourselves, personally, "Who is my neighbor?" This is the question the Holy Spirit is asking us still today, and the answer each of us and our families give is one of the principal barometers of our heart faith. Do we pass on the other side of the road or do we stop and help?
For instance, every form of education chosen by Christian parents for their children has its own strengths and weaknesses...
This past week I deleted a comment because its author misrepresented what my father had said in a piece titled, "Lord, Raise Up a Negro Prophet," that was published in Eternity magazine back in October 1961. The writer of the comment found my father's article here on our blog in our archives by subject under the entry, "Race."
From the comment I deleted, here's what my father was said to have written:
Tim's own father said back in 1965 that the gross immorality and incredible levels of violence among Negroes (his own word) were the main reasons most white people didn't like them.
And here's what my father actually wrote:
I know that social change is accomplished one step at a time. I know, too, that God delivered His people from Egypt before He gave the Divine Law. But today we are not in the darkness of pre-Revelation. We have the Light of our Lord Jesus Christ. And Christian morality has never, to my knowledge, waited for social betterment. Those slaves (white) on the Island of Crete, about whom St. Paul wrote to Titus, were expected to influence their masters by their personal morality (Titus 2:9,10)-not by their demands for equality. And I sense that a significant decrease in the number of Negro births out of wedlock, in the number of unwed Negro mothers on the relief rolls, in the number of Negro youths embroiled in delinquency, a significant improvement in Negro morality would do more to change the climate of white opinion toward Negroes than all the pressure groups can ever achieve.
So my father said that a "significant improvement in Negro morality would do more to change the climate of white opinion toward Negroes than all the pressure groups can ever achieve," but the author of the comment reported my father as saying about Negroes that their "gross immorality and incredible levels of violence were the main reasons most white people didn't like them."
To suggest a likely remedy for a problem is not to explain the problem's origin, nor is it to justify the problem's existence in the first place. But reading the summary of my father's statement, an uninformed reader would think my father had claimed that "most white people didn't like Negroes," and that white people were justified in not liking Negroes because it was Negro gross immorality and incredible levels of violence that had led whites not to like Negroes...
I join Tim in finding those who try to turn our father's writing into a defense of their indefensible racism repugnant.
But the offense of their words and claims against our father is nothing compared to the offense of their words and claims against our Father, who will one day judge their racist bile as the murderous hatred of the heart it is.
David said to God after his sin with Bathsheba, "Against Thee and Thee alone have I sinned." This is equally true today. The words and attitudes of men such as those who write in defense of "kinism" are ultimately not an attack upon men, but upon God. And they will one day answer to Him for such sin. In the meantime, the calumnies of the wicked revert back on their own heads and we leave them to their self-flagellation.
On this blog the past week or so we've seen played out exactly what can be expected in any discussion of race in these United States today, whether outside or inside the Church. And it's discouraging.
Bring race up and about five percent of those listening at one end of the spectrum will be white racists, closely paralleled by another five percent at the opposite end who are black racists. (Here, though, we've only had the white racists present, yet they've done an effective job shutting down this discussion all by themselves, haven't they?)
Both groups shout their hatred and the ninety percent who really want truth and healing can only run for cover, more convinced than ever that, aside from the power of God, the issue is hopeless.
White racists are devious, race-baiters every bit as pernicious and deceptive in their tactics as Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. There's no reasoning with them because they're more interested in winning than talking. And black racists are their mirror opposites, using their racial identity and the sympathy naturally accruing to the oppressed to issue edicts and demands. And the majority of us, black and white, sit in the middle plugging our ears.
So no, there can be no civil, let alone truthful or vigorous discussion of our nation's past, of the institution of slavery across the centuries, or of the exclusively white or black culture that pervades almost every last church in our country and is a perfect contradiction of Galatians 3:28...
Earlier today, I noticed a rather obscure post that I wrote and posted six months ago was getting a ton of hits. So I checked it out and here's what I found.
The racist site run by men who claim to be reformed Christians has posted this text under the headline, "I Saw Gooley Fly," the title of my Dad's collection of short stories:
I Saw Gooley Fly
If you're wondering why Tim Bayly is so filled with hatred for normal White people, wonder no more. The wicked always lash
out at the righteous to justify their perversion.
And under this short post, the racist site has had only one comment posted by a woman named "Joy":
I just get sick, everytime I see White folks with black kids. WTF????? And the stoopid idiots who are so blind. They earnestly believe that it is Christian to have mulatto children, and to adopt every child of every other race except a White child.They really do hate their kind.*&%%$##!!!I do not even wish God's mercy on them.
I've warned against these men on this blog, and now I do so again. If you've ever been inclined to read them, don't! Don't search for their site; don't read their vile bile; and don't be fooled by the kindler and gentler face they put on when they come on over and try to engage us in argument. Their pollution can (and will) harm you.
If there's anyone reading who's wondering whether this attack has caused me to have second thoughts about my son-in-law, Doug, and his wife, Heather's, adoption of Josiah, the answer is no--not in a million years. Rather, it's strengthened my resolve to call pastors and elders in the PCA to discipline these men.
To put a face and soul to the post directly below, here's a picture of Josiah Henock Ummel with his mother, Heather. Josiah had his first birthday this past week. He's being raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, a covenant child.
by David and Tim Bayly on September 25, 2006 - 12:45pm
Last night, I wasn't surprised to find someone had posted a comment saying my review of the preview of James in the Africa Bible Commentary "crosses over into racism."
There is such a thing as racism and I'm no stranger to being accused of it myself, nor to accusing others. But when made against a Christian, the charge is serious. A Christian racist has committed a significant part of the error of the Judaizers that the Apostle Paul fought throughout his ministry.
In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Peter didn't just aid and abet the continuation of circumcision when he suddenly stopped eating with the Gentiles in the presence of the Jews (Galatians 2:12). He also chose racial segregation. This is why the Apostle Paul's great egalitarian (in the right sense of the word) declaration appears in his letter to the Galatians:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
Racism has always been with us and it won't die until Christ's return. Yet this is no excuse for fatalism or a lack of self-scrutiny. It's a godly and necessary work to expose it within the Body of Christ because it denies the inclusive love of God Who says His Only Begotten Son was given for "the world" and that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile.
Sadly, though, the relentlessness of the charge works against repentance because it's hard to take such charges seriously anymore. Too many cries of "Wolf! Wolf!" It's become a ploy to silence critics rather than a call to make our hearts right before our Christian brothers and Heavenly Father.
So, substantive debate and mutual criticism across America's black/white racial divide languish. Fearing almost nothing as much as the terrible specter of being called a racist, Christian men today talk across the chasm with great circumspection and there's almost no humor or loving communication between us. Everything is about power and the only safe words from whites to blacks are words of self-abnegation and apology:
I apologize for my ancestors who participated in the slave trade.
I apologize for my grandfather who fought in the Confederate Army during the War between the States.
So is this the only blog in the world that hasn’t commented on the Don Imus thing? Well, here’s our comment: Don Imus is disgusting. But he’s been disgusting for a long, long time. That’s why CBS hired him and paid him so well.
So the whole Rutgers thing is just a modern-day counterpart to the medieval morality plays. Today, public personas are supposed to know which disgusting is fine and which isn’t. Imus blew it and lost his job. No tears from us.
For our part, we apologize to the ladies of the Rutgers basketball team for the despicable behavior of this white man as well as the cultural climate that allows such a man to get rich spewing his filth on our air waves.
But this cloud, too, has a silver lining. America may finally have had enough of the race-baiting triplets, Imus, Jackson, and Sharpton, together with all their bottom-dwelling, scum-sucking friends. You want proof? Check out this editorial by Joe Hicks, a man I’d like to have as a friend.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 25, 2007 - 4:25pm
(Tim) Several years ago, I was talking with Doug Wilson about race relations and Doug said he feared racism was about to return, with a vengeance. At the time, I wasn't as inclined to pessimism as he was, but now I'm not so sure.
A recent New Yorker article on black French comedian, Dieudonné ("Letter from Paris: Laugh Riots" 11/19/07), recounts what Dieudonné referred to during several 2002 interviews as his "conversion." Since then, Dieudonné’s routines have had a virulent anti-Semitism at their center. Now Dieudonné considers Judaism to be "a scam. It's one of the worst because it's the first."
Some speculate that Dieudonné’s strategy is to ride the crest of a wave of racism taking western Europe, particularly France. According to the article's author, Tom Reiss...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 20, 2007 - 11:02am
(Tim) Months ago I read a profile of Barack Obama that included quite a bit of information about his pastor and church. Change a few words in Trinity United's mission statement and it could well serve as the mission statement for most southern presbyterian congregations. (Thanks, Dan.)
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly White and Unapologetically Christian...
(Tim) Speaking to the National Press Club this past Monday, April 28, 2008, Senator Barack Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, forthrightly identified himself as a preacher of what he calls the Christian "gospel" of liberation. Or more specifically, the gospel of black liberation theology advocated by men such as Dr. James Cone which replaces salvation with liberation.
Here's a transcript of Dr. Wright's words. It's kind of rough slogging, since it hasn't been broken down into paragraphs, but it's fascinating, nevertheless. As a political ideology, it's not half bad. But as a statement of the Christian Gospel, Dr. Wright gets it right when he says,
...what we both mean when we say, I am a Christian, is not the same thing.
It would be possible to read Dr. Wright as saying only that the white man on the deck of the slaver and the black man below deck don't mean the same thing. Yet despite this being the immediate context of his statement above, the rest of his words indicate that his us vs. them extends far beyond slave owners and slaves, to the core of the Christian faith. Specifically...
It's long been dangerous for followers of Jesus Christ to speak publicly of Scripture's teaching on fornication, child-murder, divorce, adultery, father-rule, sodomy, and a whole host of other subjects our culture opposes God in. And although we don't like bad news, here's a case we should all be following and exerting our influence in.
Editor in Chief of the Toledo Free Press, Michael Miller, wrote an editorial advocating sodomy and smearing those who oppose sodomy as resembling racists. This prompted University of Toledo Associate Vice President for Human Resources Crystal Dixon to submit an op-ed opposing Miller's editorial. Dixon wrote: "As a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of
Toledo's Graduate School, an employee and business owner, I take great
umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are 'civil rights victims.' Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not
be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and
very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of
homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle...
(Tim) Senator Clinton's been hoping and searching for a smoking gun that will force Senator Obama's withdrawal from the presidential race. After this debacle, she may have her heart's desire. Check out this video of Senator Obama's offense and apology. It's all over now.
Hi Peggy. This is Barack Obama. I'm calling to apologize on two
fronts. One was you didn't get your question answered and I apologize.
I thought that we had set up interviews with all the local stations. I
guess we got it with your station but you weren't the reporter that got
the interview. And so, I broke my word. I apologize for that and I will
make up for it.
Second apology is for using the word 'sweetie.'
That's a bad habit of mine. I do it sometimes with all kinds of people.
I mean no disrespect and so I am duly chastened on that front. Feel
free to call me back. I expect that my press team will be happy to try
to make it up to you whenever we are in Detroit next.
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 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...
(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 6, 2008 - 9:07am
(Tim) The emoting over Obama's blackness is cloying hypocrisy. If an African American ascending our Imperial Throne means anything, its meaning is bound up with the end of the oppression of a group of persons formerly declared not full persons under our Constitution due to the color of their skin.
Instead of learning the lesson of his skin color and descent, though, Obama glides into office on the blood of an entire generation of souls, red and yellow, black and white, who aren't enslaved, but slaughtered...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 7, 2008 - 8:53am
(Tim) At the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King preached a sermon calling our nation to repentance. That sweltering afternoon before a quarter million souls, King cast a vision of what America would be like when white racism finally bled itself to its long-deserved ugly death:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a
nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of
Many are declaring the election of Barack Obama as the fulfillment of Martin Luther King's dream. In truth, it's the very opposite.
As Martin Luther King defined racism, what we've done has been racist to the core...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 22, 2008 - 9:35am
(Tim, w/thanks to James) Of the stuff I've come across, this is about the best summary of the significance of our recent coronation of President-elect Barack Hussein Obama. Giving grace for it coming from a Brit who's not got perfect pitch about our country, it's something pretty close. For instance, here's what he says about Jessie Jackson's tears in Grant Park: "No wonder that awful old hack Jesse Jackson sobbed as he watched. How
he must wish he, too, could get away with this sort of stuff."
by David and Tim Bayly on January 5, 2009 - 10:15am
(Tim) Last week, Nat Hentoff was laid off at the (Greenwich) Village Voice. This brings an abrupt end to Hentoff's fifty year run there, appropriately and affectionately titled "Fifty Years of Pissing People Off" by fellow Voice columnist Allen Barra in his recent tribute to Hentoff.
Hentoff started as a staff writer for the Voice back in 1958. His dismissal fifty years later coincides, almost to the day, with Louis Menand's short history of the Voice that ran in the current New Yorker. Beyond the Voice, Hentoff has also published in the New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, JazzTimes (his best-known work may be as a jazz critic and historian), and Atlantic Monthly.
I note the dismissal of Hentoff, as well as the profile of the Voice in the current New Yorker, because this past week I've been enjoying a Christmas gift received from a friend in New York City who knows me well. A former member of Church of the Good Shepherd while studying at IU's School of Music, Regina Scow sent me an autographed copy of The Nat Hentoff Reader which I've been relishing this past week.
So far, I've read a short piece on jazz clarinetist, George Lewis; a longish one on my longtime favorite, Merle Haggard; some superb essays on racism in America including a good profile of Ken Clark titled, "The Integrationist;" and a rare glimpse of the racial suffering of Louis Armstrong in "Louis Armstrong and Reconstruction." The book also reprints Hentoff's classic essay exposing the practice of infanticide in America today titled, "The Awful Privacy of Baby Doe." I'll never forget reading it when it first appeared back in 1985. When I finished the piece, I remember feeling deep gratitude for Hentoff's leadership and courage.
I've been a fan of Hentoff for years now, largely (but not exclusively) because of his heroic defense of the First Amendment, the newborn, and the unborn. Interesting trio, aren't they? Imagine someone who tenaciously defends the First Amendment against the depredations of p.c. nannies also tenaciously defending the unborn and newborn against oppression and murder. He'd have to be a Christian, wouldn't he?
by David and Tim Bayly on January 20, 2009 - 5:19am
(Tim; this from and by Rev. David Wegener of Ndola, Zambia)
* * * This is an open letter from an American Reformed Christian living in Africa to my African Christian friends on the occasion of the Inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the U.S.A.
20 January 2009
Dear African Christian Brother:
I would ask you to pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ in the church in America, particularly for those who believe in the complete truthfulness of Scripture.
I’ve just begun a new term at the college and one of the courses I teach is a survey of church history. Last week we learned about Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna, who was asked to curse Christ or die. The old man replied, “for 86 years I have served Him and He has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” Minutes after making this good confession he was burned alive... We also read about Blandina, a slave girl who endured indescribable tortures before being killed for her faith. In a few weeks we’ll study Athanasius, who was exiled from his pastorate five times because of his faith in our triune God and his willingness to stand alone against the world for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 20, 2009 - 11:12am
(Tim) Here’s the truth. Obama is the oppressor of children, born and unborn. But since his skin color is black, we can’t believe he’d oppress anyone. So we come out with all this blather about other social justice issues equally commanding our attention as Christians. Our goal, of course, is to obscure the fact that abortion absolutely dwarfs the death toll of all other forms of oppression around the world combined. That’s combined, brothers and sisters!
Why, just in these United States alone, since the bloody decision, Roe v. Wade, was issued, our nation has torn limb from limb, leg from torso, body from mother’s womb, over fifty million—50,000,0000—of our little children.
This number is so large that it makes Africans' Rwanda, Asians' Pol Pot, and Europeans' Hitler look tame by comparison. The only bloody oppressors who are even close to slaughtering the numbers we have slaughtered by our own national, systemic, bloody, oppressive, enslaving child-murders are Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.
But, get this: If instead of talking about the death toll in our nation alone, we consider the international death toll from child slaughter through the murders we call “abortions,” then we’re talking about one Joseph Stalin every year. That’s well over 50,000,000 children slaughtered EVERY SINGLE YEAR!
It’s disgusting for otherwise educated and thoughtful men to seek to legitimize their conniving at this great bloody oppression that defines our nation by sniveling about systemic poverty and education and secondhand smoke and carbon emissions and AIDS.
If men who claim to know the Triune God want to vote Democratic; if men who claim to know the Triune God and have faith in Jesus Christ have black skin and want to vote for another man with black skin; we’d all be better off if they’d have the courage of their prejudices and admit them... You know, something like, “I’m afraid of not appearing progressive enough.” Or “I’m afraid my congregation would have my hide if I didn’t speak up for the brother.”
(Tim, w/thanks to Mick) A post over at the web site of the New York Times gives a blow by blow of President Obama's reception of an honorary doctorate and commencement address at Notre Dame this past weekened. Here's the text of the post, with comments interspersed:
Father Ted | 4:00 p.m. Near
the end of his speech, President Obama spoke about the Civil Rights
Commission, whose resolutions were the foundation of the 1964 Civil
President Obama lays a garland on the tombs of dead and dying prophets.
One of the six members (one black and five whites) was the
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, then president of Notre Dame. Mr. Obama
acknowledged how “Father Ted” brought the members of the commission to
a retreat in Land O’Lakes, Wis., to break an impasse. Rev. Hesburgh
found common ground when the men all spoke about being fishermen and
took them on a twilight fishing trip.
"Father Ted" who on this day is giving no thought to the helpless little babies...
by David and Tim Bayly on September 29, 2009 - 6:25am
(Tim, w/thanks to Mark) Lest there be any doubt in the
matter, I'm absolutely opposed to any expansion of the authority and
power of our national government in the lives of citizens of our united
states. And this is particularly true with regard to what is being
referred to as national healthcare. The national healthcare we need is
CPR for the Tenth Amendment--not President Barack Obama forcing
believers in Jesus Christ to send our taxes to him so he can pay for
someone else's daughter to slaughter her unborn child or intimidate someone else's
son into pulling the plug on his aging mother.
If you want to read the
definitive work on national healthcare and where it will lead us...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 13, 2009 - 6:56am
(Tim) This is written by a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy. Thinking readers might have some responses, I post it here. I've received it second or third hand, so I don't know the writer or context.
While recognizing that some people have a calling from God to speak out specifically on these sins, I find that the focus among many Evangelicals on the abortion and same-sex marriage issues to the exclusion of all others reflects the extreme individualism of Protestant theology and ethics, both "conservative" and "liberal". Evangelicals care rightly about the killing that goes on within a woman's womb, and about the improper and irreverent use of our God-given sexual organs in our own bodies or in the bodies of others. But there is not always a corresponding concern about the killing and grave threats to human life that are present outside of the womb, and about the improper and irreverent use of the natural world and material possessions given to us by God.
I don't think it's an accident that the same individualistic faith traditions that emphasize and sanctify "my personal choice" (to accept Jesus as "personal Savior" in the case of conservative Protestants, to have an abortion as a "personal matter" in the case of the liberals) but downplay the physical unity and continuity of the Body of Christ across space and time would also be quite uncertain regarding the social obligations that Christians have to their political and military enemies, to the poor and sick among us, and to the rest of God's creation. A faith tradition that fails to connect our moral obligations inside our bodies with our moral obligations outside of our bodies is deficient in both its anthropology and its ecology.
To get things started, it seems to me evangelicals are now close to the heart of the movement for the social justice of cutting carbon emissions, calling for the government to increase funds for AIDS research, and shaming people who litter. Rick Warren, anyone? Brian McLaren? Rob Bell up there in Grand Rapids? Inter-Varsity? Zondervan? Navigators? Willow Creek? Tim Keller and his flock?
And of course, every last prof at Covenant and Taylor and Gordon and Westmont and Wheaton.
Maybe our critic is only speaking of historic evangelicalism--not the classic liberalism that's taken over these past few decades.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 18, 2010 - 10:45am
(Tim, w/thanks to Philip M.) Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has issued this call to honor Dr. King's birthday:
* * *
Happy Birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr./Life in the “Beloved Community” of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Beloved, let us love one another!
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and
every one that loves (Agape) is born of God, and knows God. He that
loves not knows not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the
love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into
the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that
we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the
propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought
also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we
love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us" (1John 7-12).
In remembering my uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his
birthday, I remember that he spoke of a Beloved Community where all are
treated with respect and dignity. The unborn are as much a part of the Beloved Community as are
newborns, infants, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. Too many of us
speak of tolerance and inclusion, yet refuse to tolerate or include the
weakest and most innocent among us in the human family...
Excellent comments, Ken, although I'd like to tweak your statement slightly: "Christianity is a threat to the existing religious (or cultic) order because it’s a call to turn from the our worship of the cult of the state to worship the One True Living God. Mind you: He has appointed a day when He will judge all men..."
In other words, let's acknowledge not only that the US Constitution does not establish separation of church and state, but also that there's never been a politas in history that's had separation of church and state. And those who reassure themselves they live in such a politas today here in these United States are deluded.
Among a host of things proving their error is the river of Molech’s blood we swim in each day. Millions of slaughtered children—a billion worldwide, now—proving precisely which god our state worships. His name is Molech, and we remain at ease in Wheaton and Escondido and St. Louis and Manhattan.
by David and Tim Bayly on February 20, 2010 - 6:38am
(Tim) About forty years ago, Dad published this article in his "Out of My Mind" column in Eternity. It's helpful to the godly trying to make sense of the 2-kingdom men in our midst. Where and how ought we to stand as we watch the oppression, not of negro slaves but unborn babies, today.
No generation of so-called Christians has ever lacked for careful theological distinctions that allow us to feel self-righteous in our cold silence towards the widow and orphan God commands us to love; to feel perfectly justified in looking the other way when we drive past the baby slaughterhouse on South College Avenue; to condemn others who engage in what we love to refer to as "the culture war" while we sleep well at night after leaving the drunk on the sidewalk outside our front door.
Titles and subtitles are precisely Dad's when the article first ran back in May of 1971, the month I graduated from high school...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 28, 2010 - 2:33am
(Tim) The oped piece by Nicholas Kristoff in today's Timesargues that liberals should cut evangelicals some slack on the compassion scale, recognizing they do a lot of what even secularists would recognize as good deeds. It takes him by surprise, but really it shouldn't. The Western world is living off the capital of godly men and women who, from the love of Jesus Christ, have loved their neighbor and done what is necessary to help him. AIDS patients and orphans, slaves, Jews under the Third Reich, disenfranchised black Americans, prisoners, the sick, small children working and dying as chimney sweeps, the hungry ad thirsty, the unborn...
But of course, not the unborn. Never ever the unborn.
This is the reason David and I bring these little ones up so often. Yes, there are many who pay lip service to the unborn, claiming to be opposed to abortion, personally, but to think it's a states rights issue. Or a religious issue: "While I'm personally opposed to abortion and think the fewer of them we have, the better; still, every child should be a wanted child and our Supreme Court has declared it's a woman's right to choose."
The unborn never quite make the cut as legitimate victims needing the protection of the civil magistrate. Lots of professed concern, but nothing approximating Righteous Job's snatching them from the jaws of the wicked...
by David and Tim Bayly on February 28, 2010 - 9:15am
Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27).
(Tim) Comment #16 under Mr. Kristoff's blog follow-up to the oped piece he ran in the Times, today:
No church in the country has had a higher visibility in evangelical
leadership during the twentieth century than Boston's Park Street Church
where, for decades, Harold John Ockenga formed the consciences of
coming generations of evangelical leaders. Go back to the eighteenth
century and it's Park Street on Boston Common where William Lloyd
Garrison spoke, repenting of his colonization compromise on the slave
question, announcing his new commitment: "No union with slaveholders."
Before that, Park Street was central to the Sunday school
movement--another national work of the Christian social conscience.
to say that the sort of evangelicals tracing our theological heritage
back to men like Jonathan Edwards (who suffered in his second pastorate
for his unflinching defense of the native Americans in his small
village) have always been the bleeding edge of liberal when liberal
means loving and generous and, like good Job, snatching the innocents
from the jaws of the wicked.
To those who know historic--not
mass-market blowhard evangelicalism, the suggestion that President Bush
was a sea-change in our concern for the poor and disenfranchised is
humorous. Jim Wallis has never spoken for us...
In the deep South, Reformed people were adamantly opposed to any interference with the practice of black slavery and emphasized aspects of the tradition that favored confining the activities of the church to strictly "spiritual" issues. -George Marsden
(Tim) Where did R2-K Normative Withdrawalists come from? They like to claim the Apostolic Age, but the Apostles were persecuted and died at the hands of the civil magistrate, and it wasn't for their ministry of the Word and Sacrament during Lord's Day worship services. Certainly they can't trace their lineage back to Calvin's Geneva or Knox's Scotland. And they themselves deny a Puritan blood line and much of any affinity for Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards.
Some try to trace it back negatively, claiming it's the necessary lesson to be learned from certain errors of those who have given themselves to Christ's command to clothe the naked and feed the hungry. Men feeding the hungry and clothing the naked in the past were Quakers or suffragettes or Arminians, so there you have it: doctrinal heterodoxy proves the danger of Christians joining together to feed the hungry and clothe the naked.
Or it's bad when the church does it. Or bad when the pastor of the church does it. Or bad when the church and the pastor and the church officers do it. Or bad when someone preaches the necessity of doing it on a blog. Or bad when someone says its still normative today--the feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, that is--in such a way as to call into question justification by grace alone...
(Tim) Since Christless Christianity has come in for some knocks, here, I want to post this excerpt forwarded by Pastor Andrew Dionne having to do with the Christian approach to slavery. Still, the approach commended by Dr. Horton in the second paragraph is not what developed here in these United States as the spirituality-of-the-church, nor the R2-K Normative Withdrawal the Spirituality-of-the-Church has morphed into.
* * *
Surely the abolition of the slave trade was a noble work, yet it is interesting that in Britain it was not the church as an institution that abolished it but Christians who had been shaped by the church’s ministry and held public office in the state. When William Wilberforce came to John Newton for advice on whether he should enter the ministry, Newton encouraged his friend to pursue politics instead. It was as a member of Parliament that Wilberforce loved and served his neighbor, benefiting from the ordinary means of grace that Newton ministered to him. The church preached God’s transcendent law and gospel, and her children pursued their cultural mandate in their secular vocations. Thank God that Newton was a pastor and Wilberforce was not!
I often wonder how American history might have turned out differently if the churches in the South had disciplined members who held slaves...
“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way" (Luke 6:26)
"Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name" (Matthew 24:9).
Taking the measure of how Wheaton's Department of Education will implement their Teacher Education Program Conceptual Framework and what kind of Christian witness it would allow Wheaton students to have and still be certified requires seeing the increasingly narrow constraints applied through these three "goals/outcomes related to social justice" spelled out on page four.
The first outcome required of the students is that they "work effectively with all children and their families regardless of race, creed, religion, national origin, sexual preference, disabling condition, or capabilities." As Professor Rasmusen said under an earlier post, as long as "work effectively" is fairly defined and doesn't exclude the diversity of orthodox Christian thought and speech related, for instance, to sodomy and sodomites, we have no problem.
But anyone half alive in these United States today knows how "work effectively" is likely to be defined. As I said to George Marsden years ago when he was busy arguing that Christians should also have a place at the table (of the modern university), if they give us our place and we open our mouths about the slaughter of the unborn children all around us; or if we utter a single word about Adam being created first, and then Eve; we'll be removed. In a heartbeat, our place will vanish. Poof! It's gone.
So we move on to the second "goal/outcome related to social justice" required of students. They are "to ensure that diversity is respected and that candidates have the opportunity to work in diverse environments and with diverse colleagues and teachers." Now we begin to see how "work effectively" is defined by Wheaton's profs as they evaluate their students. The above diversities must be "respected." Of course we respect different races and national origins and disabling conditions and capabilities. No problem.
But would a student be "respecting" the diversity of sodomy or Islam if he presented a loving and graceful and merciful and cogent and truthful witness against it? If he taught the true history of expansion by Jihad...
China alone stands to have as many unmarried young
men—“bare branches”, as they are known—as the entire population of young
men in America. -"The War on Baby Girls," in The Economist, March 4, 2010.
(Tim, w/thanks to Ross C.) The two big social justice causes Emergelical hipsters are concerned about just now are sex trafficking and earth-keeping--female circumcision had a short half-life. Like articles in refereed journals, clothing, and liturgy, the choice of social justice issues is merely a giggling excitement over fashion.
There are more trees in the Eastern third of these United States than there were when this continent was first settled by Europeans; landfills are filled with the chattering class's newspapers--not fast food packaging and diapers; and people who claim to be Green don't recycle any more than the uneducated slobs who make no claim at all. Which is not to say recycling or using cloth diapers or laying pine flooring from Log's End aren't good things.
But religious things? Biblical things? Christian things? No, sorry...
(In September of 2008, preaching in the midst of a raging controversy
over racism that was dividing his own congregation) Pastor Bulkeley condemned the
neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, saying its leader taught
that Nazism was the "racial order" of God and that Jews should be
eliminated. "This teaching was evil," Bulkeley told his congregation.
"It is heretical. It is from the pit of hell and it's a direct offense
against the gospel. There should be no mistake about that. It is
completely contrary to everything the Bible teaches."
(Tim, w/thanks to Joel B.) Here's an article and sidebar from the Summer 2010 issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report telling the story of good church discipline carried out in Friendship Presbyterian Church outside Asheville, North Carolina. The discipline ended up also being adjudicated by the congregation's appellate court, Western Carolina Presbytery (PCA). (And if you don't understand why I'd refer to a PCA presbytery as an appellate court, read Brother David's superb commentary on the state of the PCA post-General Assembly union, here.)
Racism was the sin, and thus the Southern Poverty Law Center this one time stood on the side of the angels. Both the article and the sidebar attempt to provide some of the historic context for the battle against racism throughout the history of the PCA--very much a southern denomination with its roots deeply embedded in "The Recent Unpleasantness."
These articles have both the weaknesses and strengths of their origin outside the PCA. I hope you'll take the time to read them.
First, though, one prefatory remark. Dealing with abortion or racism or feminism is a bloody work...
by David and Tim Bayly on August 18, 2010 - 6:30am
(Tim) Personally, I could never figure out why anyone other than sadists would listen to Laura Schlessinger, and anyone other than masochists would call her. But what she said about the double standard and absence of a sense of proportion in relations between whites and blacks is true.
As long as the chattering classes are free to use race-baiting to attack conservative whites, and blacks play along with this national morality play, it will continue to be black vs. white across our nation. But make no mistake: no one respects divers or refs who pretend not to notice. We call them Italians.
Despite having a partially black president, racism is alive and well across America. You can tell by...
by David and Tim Bayly on October 1, 2010 - 8:34pm
(Tim) As a subscriber to Joe Sobran's e-text syndicator, last night I was sent word Joe had departed this life. Then friends sent me links to notices of Joe's death at other places including National Review and First Things. Both lamented his passing while going on to regret how Joe's great learning had made him mad. Not angry-mad but anti-Semitic-mad.
He'd criticized Israel's foreign policy, then gone on to point out how toxic Jewish influence on the affairs of men had been visible in the twentieth century in Marxism and the wholesale slaughter of unborn babies--a Holocaust that in simple gallons of blood drowns the evil of the Third Reich. Too, Joe had the chutzpah to point out how Europeans were gagging men who publicly questioned aspects of our received history concerning the Christian/Jewish/homosexual/handicapped German holocaust.
"He's a Holocaust-denier!" they huffed and puffed. But of course, anyone who actually read Joe through the years knew he wasn't denying the Holocaust, but that he had a much larger point--namely, the hypocrisy of public intellectuals...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 13, 2010 - 6:38am
(Tim, w/thanks to Andrew) Working for its employer, Biblica, the Committee on Bible Translation has just announced a new line of merchandise labelled the New International Version 2010. Aimed at postmoderns who are quite sensitive to the charges of sexism and anti-Semitism made against Scripture, News Corp's Zondervan has purchased exclusive rights to what is likely to be a highly profitable product line. (The latest year for which stats are available, Zondervan paid Biblica $6,000,000 in royalties.)
David and I have long opposed changing Scripture to make it less offensive. Where does it end? If we're going to avoid offending feminists, what about post-Holocaust Jews? And if we're going to avoid offending feminists and Jews, what about the slaves? And if we're going to avoid offending feminists and Jews and the slaves, what about the gay community? What about all of us who hate repentance--can't they tweak things so repentance isnt' so prominent?
Where does it end?
But really, if we're going to sell Scripture short, let's skip all the secondary offenses and go straight to...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 18, 2010 - 6:39pm
(Tim, w/thanks to Chris) Several have done yeoman's work putting together lists of the thousands of places Zondervan/Biblica's employees have changed the original Hebrew and Greek inspired by the Holy Spirit in order to produce their new line of Bible products (NIV 2010). Note the examples below showing how they've silenced the Word of God in order to keep postmoderns from accusing Scripture of being sexist, antisemitic, and homophobic. Gagging God is alive and well.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 24, 2010 - 8:09am
(Tim) In the preface to his book, Alias Shakespeare, the late Joe Sobran wrote: "I would much rather be in the tradition of great American cranks like Thoreau, Ambrose Bierce, Lysander Spooner, and H. L. Mencken, than belong to the mass of scholars who, ever mindful of tenure, promotion, grants, and that last infirmity of ignoble minds, respectability, never deviate from scholarly consensus."
Everyone wants to have led a scientific revolution, but where's the man willing to lead one?
This Thanksgiving, I thank God for the nobility and fear of God that led Joe Sobran and Joe Bayly to deviate from the consensus and to oppose the regnant racism and sexism that deny the moral agency of blacks, women, and Jews...
by David and Tim Bayly on December 27, 2010 - 9:06am
(Tim) At our recent Christmas Sing-A-Long, Church of the Good Shepherd's Mike Lockett rapped a Redemptive-Historical sermon he'd written that had me meditating on the basic doctrinal truths of God's Word. Ask some of your own young men to write a rap that preaches the Fall, the Incarnation, and the Atonement, then send a recording to us for posting here on Baylyblog. Thanks, Mike and Taylor, for busting me out of my ghetto.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 10, 2011 - 11:42am
(Tim) The Midtown Pregnancy Support Center (MPSC) in Manhattan just sent out this announcment:
URGENT MEETING TONIGHT!
Dear (John Doe),
Though it is last minute, MPSC wanted to alert you to an important gathering of pastors and community leaders, led by Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to discuss the targeting of minority communities by the abortion industry, happening this evening at 7 pm.
A new study released last week shows that 79% of New York City's nearly 90,000 abortions per year were from the Black and Hispanic communities. Dr. King will be addressing this issue as well as the pending legislation in the New York City Council that is aimed at crippling Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
The meeting will be this evening, Monday, January 10 (7 pm) at the Manhattan Bible Church, located at 401 West 205th Street.
Their reference to "the pending legislation in the New York City Council that is aimed at crippling Crisis Pregnancy Centers" has to do with the same matter raised here on Baylyblog two months ago.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 15, 2011 - 5:13pm
(Tim, w/thanks to Lucas and several others) After everyone's been discussing the article for quite a while and the Bayly children have finished their argument over which of them grew up during the American and which the Chinese years of our family administration, I thought I should clue the rest of you in on the fun of reading this article on Chinese childrearing (actually motherhood). Then, when youv'e finished that piece, read this one responding to the first. The animation was also inspired by Chua's article.
by David and Tim Bayly on January 18, 2011 - 9:57am
(Tim) My daughter Heather Ummel refers us to this follow-up article about the Chinese mother who wrote the original Chinese mother piece for the Wall Street Journal titled "Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior." Heather writes, "Here's the link to 'The Tiger Mother Talks Back.' It brings a much clearer picture of the original Chinese mother, Amy Chua. Less sensational and more balanced."
by David and Tim Bayly on January 21, 2011 - 11:46am
(Tim) If you want to gain a deeper understanding of race in the northern urban context of these United States, I'd recommend Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities. Originally serialized in Rolling Stone, don't let that put you off. It's excellent, although you'll want to skip some parts you'll find unhelpful to your sanctification.
Speaking of The Bonfire of the Vanities, did you know it's not proper to write "Rev. Bayly?" On the other hand...
(Tim) If you need your eyes opened to what the NCAA actually does, read this article. But please don't think I'm linking to it because of bitterness at Butler's loss. My own opinion is that Butler was being protected from the wickedness of pride. I'm convinced their loss was God's blessing.
And if you're wondering, I don't think the columnist is out of line bringing race into it.