FAQ: about title changes...

If you've read Baylyblog for a while, you've learned that we make changes to posts after they go up. Some of those changes are to correct my failure to honor Jesus in my tone or arguments, some are because I catch typos, some are to correct factual errors, and some are to improve clarity. Well over ninety-five percent of those changes are made in the first hour following publication and are insignificant. Four of the remaining five percent are made in the first twenty-four hours and are usually insignificant. Less than one percent are made later than that and those late changes are almost always due to more significant mistakes, so when those changes are made, they're usually noted at the beginning of the post. Which is to say significant changes are always noted.

Blogs aren't hard print publications and one of the principal differences is that blogs aren't static. After a magazine is printed it's impossible to make a correction, but it's the work of a moment to correct a post. Some online publications are mirror images of hard print publications, so they follow hard print rules. Others have no hard print version and are able to make insignificant changes without facing the problem of a discrepancy between the article's hard copy and its online version.

Online publications should not be forced onto the Procrustean bed of hard copy rules. Hard copy and online publications are as different as night and day, so new wine should be given new wineskins.

I mention this because a web site has noted that I changed the title of a post published yesterday and they assumed my title change was due to readers e-mailing me with negative feedback...

This has never been the case when I've changed a title. Every title change is for one of two reasons (or some combination of both): either I think the title doesn't do a good job of telegraphing to readers the subject of the post, or I want to spruce the title up to get more people to read it.

Yesterday is a good example of title changes. Originally, the post went up under the title, "Hitler has killed his thousands, utopian intellectuals their ten thousands, SCOTUS and Teddy Kennedy their billion..." Later in the day I changed the title to "Nations must face the blood shed by their fathers..." Why the change?

The web site that noted the change assumed the change was due to my receiving objections from readers for misrepresenting the number of Jews killed by Hitler as merely "thousands." Being haters of God and His holiness, it's easy to understand why they would come to this conclusion. They despise the Bible and therefore missed my Biblical allusion to what the women of Israel sang comparing young David to King Saul: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands” (1Samuel 18:7b). My point wasn't to become a Holocaust-denier, but to demonstrate the inverse correlation between number of innocents murdered and cultural acknowledgments of bloodguilt. The number of Christians, handicapped, and Jews killed by Hitler is less than a tenth of those killed by utopian intellectuals pursuing their brand of social justice in the twentieth century, and therefore my Biblical allusion to Saul's thousands and David's ten thousands.

So why did my original title switch midstream from "thousands" and "ten thousands" to a "billion?"

Because I wanted to make it clear that the bloodguilt of abortion dwarfs the bloodguilt of the Third Reich. Specifically, the number of innocents slaughtered in the Christian/handicapped/Jewish Holocaust of the Third Reich is less than one half of one percent of a conservative estimate of those little babies slaughtered in their mothers' wombs just in the last twenty years alone. If you're keeping score as every Christian should be, a very conservative estimate of worldwide abortions is fifty million per year, and this doesn't include babies prevented from implanting on the wall of their mother's uterus by birth control pills or ECPs, nor babies killed by chemical abortifacients taken in the first or second trimester.

So do the numbers and after ten years you're at five-hundred million. After twenty you're up to one billion--and again, this does not include chemical abortifacients!

My first title was an attempt to telegraph this reality, but later in the day I realized (and I'd received no e-mails about the post or its title) that I was trying to do too much with the title, and it needed to be simplified. Thus the new title. It's easier to get a handle on. So no, there's no conspiracy behind title changes; no embarrassment or caving in to a mass (or even a microscopic) outcry. Just attempts to improve clarity or to get more people to read particular posts.

And speaking of particular posts, readers might like to know that the posts most consistently bypassed by Baylyblog readers are those that address abortion. They have the fewest readers and the fewest comments.

Comments

Dear Tim,
Should this read, "If you're keeping score as every Christian should be, a very conservative estimate of worldwide abortions is fifty million PER YEAR."

Also, it looks like "bloodguilt" has a Q in it at "dwarfs the bloodguilt of the Third Reich."

Thank you, Andrew; I'd already corrected the first and now will correct the second.

Love you,

'And speaking of particular posts, readers might like to know that the posts most consistently bypassed by Baylyblog readers are those that address abortion. They have the fewest readers and the fewest comments.'

Guilty as charged. I've fought this battle in the 80's and 90's with Operation Rescue. Then on my own and with local others. Twice in jail, the second time for 6 days. Sidewalk counselor for many Saturday mornings in front of an abortion mill, most times by myself or with my daughters. Harassed and cited by police, I've been pulled before a judge to explain and defend why I put up white crosses in the public ground surrounding the mills. The stench in God's nostrils from the screams of the innocent must be overwhelming. Yet I realize there are many others who can tell of similar and even greater sacrifice on behalf of the unborn. Have I (we) become anaesthetized to almost 39 years of legal abortion in this country? It's time for this semi-old dog to pick up the sword and reenter the fray. Thanks for the post.

I used to wonder how people could watch humans be torn limb-from-limb in the colosseum, even cheering and demanding more. Everything I read about abortion causes me to have to sit and THINK--and think hard--as to what this hidden reality actually is. 39 years? Really? Since I was in Kindergarten?? I know I have been anesthetized and I continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will help me know how to make the stuff wear off my soul. In the meantime, I can move forward by remembering the anesthesiologists words: "It only FEELS like you can't move."

The "thousands" reference was immediate and obvious. It was pretty clear you weren't denying that millions died in the holocaust. It just took some Biblical literacy.

"And speaking of particular posts, readers might like to know that the posts most consistently bypassed by Baylyblog readers are those that address abortion. They have the fewest readers and the fewest comments."

Can I guess what gets the most? Is it sodomy?

Your policy of not linking to--and not even naming--web sites you don't like is certainly your prerogative. However, when you pronounce the unidentified bloggers "haters of God and His holiness," I think you can appreciate the frustration of readers who might like more information in order to judge whether such a strong charge is founded.

So I ask, albeit not very hopefully: Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

>>Your policy of not linking to... web sites you don't like...

We have no such policy. Baylyblog has many hundreds of links to organizations and publications we don't like.

There are certain categories of sites and publications we are principled in not linking to. One of them is sites that are full of blasphemy and sacrilege and every form of wickedness, and this is the kind of site mentioned above in this post that you want us to provide a link for. It would be to betray my calling as an officer of Christ's church to link to pornography, right? So why do you think you're owed a link to haters of God and His holiness?

Well it's apparent that you don't believe this is true of the site, so you want to see it yourself in order that you may make your own judgment. But then I'd have to provide all Baylyblog's readers a clickable link to blasphemy and sacrilege just to satisfy one scoffer. Why would I do that?

Here's a compromise. You send me a private e-mail with your credentials as an officer of Christ's Church and I'll gladly provide the link. Shepherds are not in the danger sheep are, and in this matter I am willing to justify my actions to men called to guard God's flock.

But if you're a sheep, you're right not to be hopeful that I'll provide the link.

Finally, since it poses no danger to you and will demonstrate one slightly helpful aspect of my character, I'm happy to report that the site not linked to calls my brother and me "ass wipes."

Cheerfully,

Thanks for responding so quickly.

I don't know why it would be "apparent that [I] don't believe this is true of the site": I simply wanted to know more about the source.

Having tracked down that source through Google, I now think your original assessment was actually quite gracious (and yes, I did note what they called you).

Thanks for explaining your rationale.

>>I don't know why it would be "apparent that [I] don't believe this is true of the site..."

Because you told everyone that we didn't link to the site because of our "policy of not linking to... web sites (we) don't like." The web site was sacrilege and blasphemy, but you claimed it was simply distasteful to us--a matter of personal preference.

I don't like the way you fight. If you're going to accuse someone of something, do it directly and don't try to slip-slide away from it after it turns out you were wrong.

With love,

I didn't realize I was fighting. I will concede that I referred to a policy that was not in fact a policy. My apologies. As far as "slip-sliding away," I don't see what's wrong with admitting that I was wrong. What would have been a better way to procede, in your view?

Dear Mr. Martin-George,

I wasn't faulting you for admitting you were wrong.

Love,

>>And speaking of particular posts, readers might like to know that the posts most consistently bypassed by Baylyblog readers are those that address abortion. They have the fewest readers and the fewest comments.

To be honest I find myself feeling that abortion is one of God's judgements upon feminism, that their seed would be wiped out. That makes part of me unwilling to intervene. Would it be right to intervene when Joshua was killing the Canaanites, God's judgement upon them?

Plus, deep down I don't want feminists to propagate their seed, I would prefer that their number would die out as they are a scourge upon the earth. Is that bad? Didn't David pray some imprecatory psalms?

At the same time I realise we must reach out with mercy and love to sinners and their helpless children. So I guess that puts me in a bit of tension.

Yikes Henry, in war you never kill the children but not the parents. If a wiping out is right then our duty would not be simply to stand by and let the abortions continue, but to attack the wicked mothers and fathers too. Wiping out unbelievers is not our calling.

Daniel,

That is a very mangled reading of my comment. Your inference is false because a category exists where God is allowed to do things that we are not allowed to do (in this case, taking life). We are not under divine sanction like Joshua.

Hence it does not follow that we should sin by taking God's judgement into our own hands and murdering the wicked.

Better that they repent and turn from their wicked ways, but if they are unwilling, then I think the earth would be a better place without them (I repeat, that does not mean we should murder them). Do you disagree with that? In Rev 21:23-27 God debars the wicked from entering the heavenly city.

Henry, the problem is we've met the murderers and they are us!

It's God's Covenant people, those of us marked by the sign of the Covenant and communing at the Covenant table, who are murdering our unborn children. But we can never get this into our heads, can we? The entire Old Testament, every gospel and epistle, and two thousand years of church history to the contrary, we can't get our minds around it and call ourselves to repentance and faith. It's too much of a threat to our false trust in rituals and ceremonies. (And yes, there is a proper trust in rituals and ceremonies--as if I have to say that.)

Love,

>> Better that they repent and turn from their wicked ways, but if they are unwilling, then I think the earth would be a better place without them.

But we're not talking about the wicked, we're talking about their children, right?

It's not right to allow men to murder their children because they themselves are evil. That's not justice at all, that's wickedness. His children did not commit a crime worthy of death.

To illustrate: a father strikes a man and he and all his sons and daughters are jailed for a year. Outrageous! But if he kills them all before they are born it's ok, because he was evil anyway? No!

>> Outrageous!
Let me try again to be clearer:

Outrageous! Why are the sons and daughters jailed too? They committed no crime.

>>It's God's Covenant people, those of us marked by the sign of the Covenant and communing at the Covenant table, who are murdering our unborn children.

Agreed, I feel indignant at people within the church doing this, and it must be preached against and discipline brought to bear.

As for those who hate God and have rejected him, perhaps I am wrong but I do not feel stirred to preserve their seed - their seed who will follow them in their wicked ways and continue to ruin the fabric of society. In my mind it would be better if they would be blotted out.

Daniel,

>>But we're not talking about the wicked, we're talking about their children, right?

Again I think you present a false dichotomy. First, God has the right to take life whenever he desires, and so he cannot be faulted for taking the lives of infants as punishment on their parents. You see explicit examples of this in scripture, e.g. the death of David's first son by Bathsheba. God will do all he pleases and no man may darken his counsel.

In scripture you repeatedly see one of God's punishments on the wicked as being the wiping out of their name/seed. In Exodus 34 God says he will visit "the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."

How is it just to not only take the lives of the children but to punish those children?

If you believe in the sovereignty of God you will believe that God has power to grant a father children who are among the elect or children who are reprobate. The children of reprobation will grow up to commit the same sins as their fathers. Thus God can justly punish both the wicked father and his wicked children by granting the wicked father wicked children who will be deserving of punishment. God can even grant the wicked father an entire cursed line who will themselves by judged by God for their iniquity. Or he can wipe them all out as you see in other places in scripture. This stuff is written all over the Bible.

>>It's not right to allow men to murder their children because they themselves are evil.

It's also not right for these same men and women to be permitted a name and seed that live on in the earth. Have you no sense of justice? How utterly perverse that these God-haters should not only be permitted descendants but that these descendants will rise to positions of power in society and continue to act in the shameful ways of their parents.

I am beginning to wonder if this 'Demographic Winter' that is being talked about is actually something God has ordained to wipe out the name of those who despise Him by despising the fruit of the womb. Time will tell.

Henry,
Why don't you sign your first and last name? At this stage in the argument I don't think it is wise for me to open myself to being persuaded by a random Henry who doesn't identify himself.

Hi Daniel,

Full name or no name I would still be a random guy to you. I am not really trying to persuade you, just answering your objections. I have sent you an e-mail.

>> Full name or no name I would still be a random guy to you.

You're right, there's a limit to the help a last name alone can offer. But without even that... how can a man listen to the counsel of a man who won't stand behind his own words? Your public anonymity undercuts the help you can be to the brothers, dear brother.

Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul said what they said openly, and when they were indeed charged, they pointed to this and said, we did nothing in secret.

As for not casting our pearls before swine (random people searching the internet) -- if that's the principle in operation here, how does going ahead and casting the pearls but concealing our identity represent obedience to that command?

I think that the time will come when you will have to decide whether the internet is a forum where you can build up the brethren or not. Continuing to try to edify anonymously is a false choice that will not stand.

God bless you and your family, brother.

Henry,

I think you've missed an important distinction between the moral agency of God and the moral responsibility of man. Of course God "has the right to take life whenever He desires." But even if God is using abortion to destroy the seed of unbelievers, this does not mean that it's okay for man to do it. The broader principle here is that, even though God works through the actions of sinful men, it does not change the fact that sin is sin. Scripture is full of examples of this principle.

Isaiah 53:10 says that "the Lord was pleased to crush Him [Jesus]" and we know from the Gospels that God used the hands of sinful men to accomplish the deed. However, even though it was God's will that Jesus be put to death, Peter still condemns the Jews for their crime (Acts 2:36).

Judas also is guilty of betraying Christ, even though he is simply accomplishing the purpose of God in fulfilling prophecy (Mark 14:21).

Pharaoh is punished for his hardness of heart, even though he was raised up for that very purpose (Romans 9:17).

Could God be using abortion to destroy the seed of the wicked? I don't know the mind of God in this case, but it's possible. Does that justify the mass murder which runs rampant in our country? Certainly not; murder is murder and it is wrong. To refuse to preach against pagans committing abortion because we secretly desire them to be wiped out is like Jonah hearing the call of God to preach to Nineveh and then running in the opposite direction (a sin which, I must confess, I too am guilty of).

Love,

Hi Daniel,

You may be right, although I do not see it yet.

>>how can a man listen to the counsel of a man who won't stand behind his own words?

There is a difference between lying and withholding the truth for a purpose. Jesus and a number of other biblical characters withheld truth in certain situations.

Would you level the same accusation against John Knox? If not, why not?

Hi Elliot,

I agree with the distinction you make and didn't said it was right for people to murder their children. I also didn't say we should not preach against abortion outside of the church. In my initial comment I actually said "I realise we must reach out with mercy and love to sinners and their helpless children. "

But, on the other hand, what about the imprecatory psalms? And what about all the places in scripture where God forbids weeping for the wicked? Do these verses ever have a place in our Christian walks? Paul said in Titus 3:10-11: "As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned." So are there not times when we cease to labour with the wicked?

So there is some tension I feel.

The main point of my comment was to give a possible reason why many people are not too stirred up about abortion happening outside the walls of the church. Perhaps that is very wrong of me to think such thoughts, I don't know. But if there was ever a place for imprecatory psalms...

>> Would you level the same accusation against John Knox?

Publishing the Monstrous Regiment anonymously... I don't know how to defend him in that. I think he might have been Abraham having his she's-my-sister moment with Abimelech.

Henry,

My apologies. I was under the impression that you were arguing that Christians should refrain from preaching against abortion because it is God's judgment against the wicked. Thanks for clarifying.

The imprecatory psalms are written as a moral outcry against the ungodliness of the wicked and a call for God to judge them. It is good to pray for the judgment of abortionists, but to use the imprecatory psalms as a reason to not feel moral outrage at the wickedness of pagans murdering their children kind of defeats the purpose.

Sincerely,

Hi Daniel,

you may be right, but also we must account for the many times Jesus forbade people revealing who he was, for example Luke 9:20-21:

'Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God." And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected..." '

I think this establishes that there can at times be a justified purpose in withholding the truth. Although I agree it should not be done from cowardice. If it is God's will that we be persecuted for the truth then we must bear it. I think similar reasoning would be why the church in Saudi Arabia meets secretly. So it is also possible that John Knox was being as wise as a serpent, but innocent as a dove.

Also, I should apologise some of my words were too strong in comment 20 accusing you of having no sense of justice. I think that was not justified on my part and it also breaks the house rules since I am not at this time willing to post with my full name. So please accept my apologies.

So Henry, are you saying that "Your hour is not yet come"?

(Just pokin' at you)

If there's anything to forgive about comment 20 I forgive it, but in general it's those sharper times that are most helpful to me, when I can't wiggle out and have to face an issue.

>>accusing you of having no sense of justice. I think that was not justified on my part and it also breaks the house rules since I am not at this time willing to post with my full name.

Chuckling out loud, I is. Maybe that is a fair implication of our rule, but I wouldn't have thought it applied to such a low level of conflict. Anyhow, hope you're glad you gave me a good chuckle.

Love,

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