ClearNote Conference 2010...

(Tim) This past weekend, many brothers and sisters and their children joined us for the ClearNote Fellowship Conference. The theme of our worship and preaching was, In the Godly, Fear and Love Embrace. The fellowship, preaching, and worship strengthened us all, greatly.

Then, following morning Lord's Day worship and a feast, we held the ordination service for my son, Joseph Bayly, to the work of planting ClearNote Church, Indianapolis. My brother, David, preached the sermon. Then we laid hands on Joseph and set him apart to the work of an Evangelist.

Soon, links to the sermons will be available and those of you who weren't able to join us will be able to listen to them. If you're wise, you won't miss them.

And speaking of being wise, I exhort you to...

make plans now to join us for the ClearNote Conference this coming year. It will be held (as always) the weekend following the Fourth of July. So mark your calendars now, setting aside July 8-9, 2011. We'll soon announce next year's theme and preachers.

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Mary Lee joins me in expressing our gratitude for the love and prayer we received from all of you this past weekend. And personally, I am very grateful for the ministry of the Word we received from Dr. Bob Forney who, at the last minute, kindly agreed to take my place in the conference, preaching on the subject, Fear and Love Embrace in the Home. It was a highlight of the conference.


I've completed a transcript of Stephen Baker's message from this conference. It is available at:

Pull quote:

American evangelicalism oozes this notion that fear and love never embrace, and it comes out all over the place. It comes out in how we’ve reduced the cross of Jesus Christ to a sentimental emblem of our own loveliness–that’s what American evangelicals have done with the cross, you understand, it’s a sentimental emblem of our own loveliness–rather than a gruesome, terrible reality of our sin and God’s judgment and holiness. It comes out in the way that we think about leadership in the church and in the home. It comes out in the way that we think about worship and how we worship, and how all of our worship is soft and sentimental and easy and has no place for fear and trembling. This idea that fear and love never embrace oozes out of us everywhere, and I don’t care what church you’re in or what books you read, if you’re alive in 21st century America you have caught this notion that fear and love are mutually exclusive–it’s in the air that you breathe.

In other words, what we have been doing in the American church the last 150, 200 years is that we have innoculated our converts against the fear of the Lord. We ourselves have been innoculated against the fear of the Lord. Because the evangelism of the modern evangelical church never starts with the law of God and the holiness of God and the demands of God and the wrath of God and the certain, inevitable, terrible judgment of God, never starts there, instead we start with the love of God and the mercy of God and the forgiveness of God. What does that lead to? What kind of a Christian does that kind of evangelism produce? What kind of church does that kind of evangelism produce?


"…today we deny God’s holiness, we have little understanding of justice, we deny the need for an atoning sacrifice, we deny our own sins, we deny the imminent judgment of God, we defy the absolute sovereignty of God, we deny our absolute inability, and we even deny the sinless Christ, saying that He wasn’t sinless. We’ve forgotten Who brings the rain. We’re rebellious. We’re rebellious. And we’re just like the people of that day. And so we don’t understand fear and we don’t understand love, and therefore we don’t understand the cross."

The above is a quote from the first sermon of the conference. Transcript available here:

Now then, given the general content and affect and feel, the landscape of evangelical worship today, we have to ask ourselves the question, in the face of overwhelming biblical evidence: Where is the fear? Where is it?
…Where is the God who has appointed a day for His Son, Jesus, the Lamb, our Savior, to judge the whole world in righteousness?
Where is the Jesus who, when He returns, will have a sword coming out of His mouth to destroy His enemies?
Where is the God who cannot and will not tolerate sin?
Where is the One who is true, though all men are liars?
Where is the God before Whom all unrighteousness shuts its mouth?

We have a false view of conversion, as evidenced by our worship, by our preaching. We cannot bear the thought of a holy God. We cannot tolerate a mention of His law when we sing in praise of Him. If your whole standing with God depends on how well you can keep God’s love in view and God’s anger against sin out of your mind then you have a false hope, and Christian radio makes complete sense for you. If you cannot abide any thought of God’s law, of His holiness, of His justice, of His judgment, of His wrath–if these things terrify you so that you can’t bear the thought of them, if your whole goal in life is to avoid any thought of those things, if you come into worship with the idea, the expectation that you just need to be encouraged, that’s what you need, then you have not yet known what it is to be reconciled to God–to have peace with God–and you’re still in your sins.

The final sermon of the conference, Jody Killingsworth's Fear and Love Embrace in Worship, has been posted with the other transcripts.

A transcript of Robert Forney's sermon, Fear and Love Embrace in the Home, is also there.

Why should you teach the commandment, statutes, judgments of the Lord to your children? So that they would obey the Lord. Obeying you is secondary. It’s important, but it’s not of primal importance. That’s–obeying the Lord is.

…so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God…

How do you teach your children to fear the Lord? Teach them the commandments, statues, and judgments of the Lord, expecting them to do them, so that they might fear Him. Ahhh, we have such biblical ignorance today. And these are great things!

We’re not done.

…might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life…

As Stephen Baker has just, has just expounded for us. The fear is for obedience.

…and that your days might be prolonged.

Hoh! That sounds like the commandment about parents: “‘Honor your mother and father, that your days would be prolonged.’ It’s the first commandment with a promise…” and here we have it in Deuteronomy 6. You want your children to live? Teach them the commandments, statutes, and judgments of the Lord.

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