Weddings

Clearnote pastors' written prayers, set forms, and clothing...

In light of the discussions concerning "set," "fixed," or "written" prayers, worship forms, as well as the clothing worn by pastors, let me clarify a few things. First, here at Clearnote Church, Bloomington, we regularly (weekly) use...


Are the weddings and marriages of your church biblical...

Back in 1976 when Mary Lee and I married, it was hip for brides to marry but not take their husbands' names. Some combined their husbands' names with their own maiden name: for instance, Taylor and Réze Schreuder-Bayly. Some husbands held back and kept their own name while their wife added her maiden to his: for instance, Taylor Bayly and Réze Schreuder-Bayly. Others chose for the husband and wife each to keep his or her own name: for instance, Taylor Bayly and Réze Schreuder.

Which is right?

For centuries it's been the habit within Christendom (the Western world which honored Christ and His Word in word, if not in deed and thought and heart) for wives to signify their movement from the authority of their fathers to that of their husbands by dropping their fathers' last name and taking their husbands'. It was no dishonor to the bride's father because everyone heard the minister ask, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?," followed by the father's response "I do." At this point he took his daughter's hand and transferred it to his future son-in-law's, went, and sat down next to his wife.

No one ever asked (nor asks yet today) "Who gives this man to be married to this woman?" The closest we come is President Lyndon Johnson's (then) novel deferral to Lady Bird Johnson by...


Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Isaiah Bayly...

Saturday afternoon we celebrated the wedding of Taylor Bayly and Réze Schreuder. Here are the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Isaiah Bayly, sitting on their pickup truck outside the reception.

The reception was held...


Some pics for your enjoyment...

Lord willing, this Saturday our youngest son Taylor will wed Miss Réze (pronounced reesa) Schreuder, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Niek (Therese) Schreuder, and last night the Schreuders invited us over to meet their family members just arrived from South Africa and Namibia.

It was a wonderful and interesting evening with good conversation outside around a fire. (Niek did coffee and Rooibos tea over the fire.) Later in the evening we listened to Afrikaans music while oldest to youngest danced. There were lots of pics, some of the original family farm in the Namakwaland area of northwestern SA where Niek grew up and his mother still lives. Known for the georgous wildflowers that spring up in the desert during winter rains, here's just one pic Niek took when he and his family were home for a visit last year. I'm color blind and I was thunderstruck by the beauty of picture after picture of these flowers:

Other pics were from the siblings' homes. There were pics of...


Lolo Jones, church weddings, and white...

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

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

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

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

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

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


Authority and submission in the bedroom...

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

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

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

To which I respond:

Dear Anne,

Concerning physical marital intimacy, function follows form...


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

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

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

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

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

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


A wedding sermon for man and woman...

The Bible says it is better to marry than to burn with passion. But we say that it’s better to live with each other first to determine whether you are “compatible”. We say that it is better to burn with passion than to get married before you have established your career. We say that it is better to give ourselves to lust than to give up the prospect of two high-paying jobs. We even say that it is better to give ourselves to impurity before marriage than for people to think we are weird or to call us "legalists" or "prudes." - Joseph Bayly in a recent wedding sermon

Here's a wedding sermon that, across church history, would have been a yawn. But today it elicits anger and hatred--and from men and women claiming to be Reformed.

How have we gotten to the place that pastors leave out the word 'obey' in the woman's vow and preach sermons to brides that don't mention childbearing and submission?

Speaking in Toledo this past weekend at the Friday Night Bible Study at the home of Bob and Debbie Forney, I pointed out that the weddings I attend nowadays are entirely gender-neutral...


Tilting at windmills...

Over on a conservative Reformed blog, a couple men have been arguing that the church today is being threatened by some who are taking father-rule (they call it "patriarchy") too, too far. No one really wanted to be specific, but when pressed by the esteemed brothers Craig French and RCJr., the following list of practices was submitted as proof of this grave threat.

We are told that the men who pose this threat within the Church are those "suggesting..."


What is a Christian wedding ceremony...

Hannah just returned from a wedding of a friend and happily reported that it was a Christian wedding. Which might lead some to ask what is a Christian wedding?

Well, it's not what New York did this past Lord's Day. Despite what the civil magistrate says, those weren't even weddings, let alone Christian.

A Christian wedding is a public exchange of vows by one man and one woman in which the man vows love and faithfulness until death and the wife vows love and faithfulness and obedience until death.

Other things may be added, but without each element of those vows, it is no Christian wedding.

Evangelicals need to be divided and this may well be the method that will do it most surgically...


The wedding...

For those convinced that weddings mean something, did you notice today how the fairer sex signed their submission to Adam and his brothers with a veil or headcoverings?

(TB: thanks to Phil)


A brief on feminism, with a note on the deeper meaning of weddings...

If you think Luther and Calvin sinned in their rhetoric and you suspect parody does not edify, you may want to pass this one up. For the rest of us, here's an emetic for all the feminist toxins we're force-fed each day.

And if you're wondering, my dear wife Mary Lee liked it. But then this is a woman who pierced her own nose back in 1975 so let the reader undestand her opinion doesn't count for much.

(TB)


Contraception or birth control: a matter of life and death...

...for the foetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being, and it is almost a monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man’s house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a foetus in the womb before it has come to light. (John Calvin)

(Tim) Readers familiar with Baylyblog are aware my brother and I believe most use of contraception is contrary to the will of God Who commanded us to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:22, 28; 8:17; 9:1, 7; 35:11; Jeremiah 23:3) and to propogate for Him a godly seed (Malachi 2:15). This is the reaon the Westminster Confession (XXIV, 2) explicitly states fruitfulness is one of the three purposes God created marriage. Still today, this reason is recited in the wedding liturgy used by Biblical pastors presiding over wedding ceremonies. Listen for it.

We don't believe every married couple has a Biblical duty to have as many children as physically possible, yet it should be our joy to give ourselves to what God has commanded and to receive His blessings with glad hearts. We live in an evil day, though, when even among the People of God, couples are expected to justify their Biblical faithfulness in this area and if they give themselves to Biblical fruitfulness, they feel the weight of other Christians disapproving of their hard work and asking them to justify it.

Beyond faithlessness in childbearing, Christians today are also faithless in the methods of contraception they use. Which is to say that as convenience is the basic concern behind couples choosing not to have lots of children, so convenience is the basic concern behind which method of contraception they use.

Let me say this clearly...


Lord's Day weddings, classical composers and musicians, and worship...

Tses:2010 (Tim) Thirty-some years ago in one of his "Out of My Mind" columns, Dad proposed that, given the attack upon the marriage institution across our culture, Christians make a clear break with the world when we give and receive marriage vows; and that the first step in making such a break might be to place Christian marriages back on the Lord's Day as was the practice of the Puritans and early Reformers.

Following Dad's recommendation, both Christ the Word and Church of the Good Shepherd have witnessed couples taking their vows on the Lord's Day and it's a practice I commend. The first couple to do so at one of our churches...


Death and life are in His mighty hands...

BaylyThanksgiving (Tim) The past two weeks the Bloomington Baylys have had sorrow and joy. Sorrow in the death of my dear cousin, John DeWalt, who succumbed to a long illness connected with diabetes. He died two weeks ago this coming Monday and some of us were able to travel to Pittsburgh for the funeral. There we grieved, and yet celebrated his homegoing with his mother, Inis (Mrs. Curtis) DeWalt, his sister Beth DeWalt, and his brother Paul DeWalt (along with Paul's wife, Patti, and their three children--Zachary, Sarah, and Jacob).

A week ago today, we had the joy of joining brother David's family in the celebration of the marriage of David's eldest son, Nathan, and his lovely bride, Aleaha (pron. a leah). It was a joyful day.

Then the past three days we've had the joy of gathering here in Bloomington for our family Thanksgiving celebration and being joined by my mother-in-law, Margaret (Mrs. Ken) Taylor. That's the pic you see above. For the record, we now have ten grandchildren. (I apologize to my dear wife, Mary Lee, for the mysterious white-out on her forehead, but otherwise it's the best pic.)

Names? Well, let's do it by families...


The antepenultimate wedding...

(Tim, w/thanks to Mike) Refusing to wait for a man, Taiwan's Chen Wei-yih is marrying herself. Wedding costs for the pics, the dress, the wedding planner, and the reception hall are running over $5,000. "I haven't found a partner, so what can I do?" Chen said. "I was just hoping that more people would love themselves. If I had a steady boyfriend, I wouldn't do this--it would be offensive to him anyhow."

Reminds me of the feminist, Gloria Steinem, quipping during a college commencement address that feminists like her had "become the husbands we wanted to marry."

If this is the antepenultimate, what are the penultimate and ultimate, you ask?

Take a guess.


If the bride doesn't vow obedience, it's no Christian wedding...

Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel. She said to the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master.” Then she took her veil and covered herself. (Genesis 24:64, 65)

(Tim) The June wedding rush is over and December's secondary wave is still a few months off. So in the peace and quiet of August, here's a modest proposal.

When you officiate at a wedding, be Biblical and tell each bride and groom that you require the bride to submit to God, His Word, and His Creation Order by vowing to obey her husband--just as everyone requires the husband to vow to love his wife.

Explain to the couple that this has been the habit for a thousand years of Christian wedding liturgies; that it can be traced all the way back to Rebekah alighting from her mount and veiling herself when she approached Isaac, out in the fields; and that the modern repudiation of womanly submission is rebellion against God.

Inform each couple that your ordination vows prohibit complicity in rebellion against God's Word in any way, and therefore you must lead wedding ceremonies within the straight and narrow path God has ordained. So if you are to officiate at their giving and receiving of vows, those vows will include an explicit vow by the bride to obey her husband, and an explicit vow by the groom to love his wife.

And if you're not a pastor, what then?


Wedding liturgies: having sown the wind...

Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female... (Matthew 19:4)

(Tim) Saturday, Mary Lee and I attended a wedding that wasn't much different from the weddings readers of Baylyblog attend each week. Which is to say the wedding was unisex in everything but appearance. The woman wore a dress and the man, pants. The maid of honor and bridesmaids were women; the best man and groomsmen were men. But the doctrine?

Preached through the liturgy, it was scrupulously androgynous. The bride wasn't commanded to obey her husband and the husband wasn't commanded to love his wife. Every word was addressed to persons; never man or woman, husband or wife.

Until about thirty years ago, pastors presided over wedding ceremonies drowning in the beauty of sexual diversity...


Wedding vows, the Sacraments, and shacking up...

(Tim) If you'll overlook his mention of your scribbler, here is a foundational post by Doug Wilson that opens up the relationship between the Sacraments, marriage vows, and submission. Note the parallel between a man and a woman shacking up and professed believers who reject the Church's authority by neglecting vows of submission to any particular congregation. And of course, Doug's final point must be noted by those who accuse all F-V men of being sacramentalists. Here's one of them--and a rather large one at that--who is no such thing. No such thing at all.


Why pastors love weddings...

(Tim) Yes, yes; I know marriage is not a Sacrament, but this is funny, funny, funny. And true.
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