by David and Tim Bayly on November 29, 2008 - 12:13pm
(Tim) A few weeks ago, David and I attended the national assembly of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches. The CREC meets every three years so this was a special occasion. Among other things, the denomination multiplied from two to seven presbyteries this year. God is blessing the work and David and I both greatly enjoyed our fellowship with the men and women there.
What did we enjoy? Well, any list is somewhat arbitrary, but for starters, the directness of communication. There were no Emergent ear-tickler types, so declarative statements were very much in order and welcomed. When disagreements surfaced, they were dealt with forthrightly. Men spoke their minds without acrimony or petulance. Passive-aggressiveness didn't show its face.
Scripture was honored by being used to support particular positions. Church fathers, catechisms, and confessions were cited regularly, too, but in a way that demonstrated they were subordinate standards--subordinate to the Word of God, that is. The singing was robust--even loud. The "Amens" were almost shouted.
David and I had several conversations with Federal Vision men...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 29, 2008 - 5:53am
(Tim) Often when I write about the slaughter of the unborn, readers grow alarmed and wonder if I might be recommending armed revolution?
No, I've never recommended armed revolution, but any and everything short of it. Little ones made in the Image of our Mighty God are being heartlessly slaughtered in our cities and we eat turkey and stuffing, then gather Lord's Day to celebrate the beginning of Advent singing, "Away in a manger, no room for a bed; the little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head."
Few times in salvation history have the people of God cultivated such a highly sophisticated ability to worship the God of justice and truth while living in the midst of unjust, oppressive bloodshed. Typical of cities around our nation, here in Bloomington approximately one out of every five children conceived in their mother's womb is slaughtered. The horror of Nazi Germany doesn't begin to approach us in numbers or the relative innocence and helplessness of its victims. Molech in ancient Canaan didn't devour twenty percent of the children of the land, nor did the death toll reach one billion children...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 27, 2008 - 8:05am
(Tim) On Facebook, a friend and former CGSer has been discussing sodomy, marriage, divorce and the civil law with several friends who have said things like: "semantics is a cheap reason to deny a minority their civil rights. None
of the many gay folk I know agree with the "semantics justification"
for denial of marriage. Also, such a social mandate (YOU live by OUR
rules) has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ--and
everything to do with the teachings of the Pharisees."
Wanting to say a couple things, I pointed the conversationalists to this page and here's my own contribution to their dialog. Sorry I haven't linked things, but I wanted to get this up before all our guests arrive for Thanksgiving Dinner. If any of you want to add links, just post them in the comments.
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Sam, Scripture isn't just dogma; it's narrative. Descriptive isn't necessarily prescriptive. It can be, but with divorce, incest, polygamy, concubinage, etc. Scripture reveals both where it was that every culture got marriage and also the laws to which God bound all sexual intimacy.
So, for instance, when Jesus was asked a question similar to yours (but this one concerning divorce), He responded saying it wasn't that way from the beginning (Creation) and that God made male and female for each other for life with the two becoming one--not three, four, or a thousand (Matthew 19:3 ff.). So there's no inconsistency between the Old and New Testaments on this matter. The two, male and female, shall become one until, by God's decree, death parts us. (My dear wife and I are on our thirty-third year, now, and still chugging away in harmony and love, praise God!)
All Christians through all time have always spoken this truth...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 26, 2008 - 10:30am
(Tim) On Thanksgiving, my sorrow over the absence of our brother, Nathan, is most acute. Food and table fellowship were Nathan's specialty.
In his home, I envied his ability to host a meal. Whether lunch or dinner, his enjoyment of his wife, Sandy, their children, the food, the sunshine streaming through their dining room windows, music, and you, his guests, was contagious. He was a gentleman so he told merry jokes. Just before the meal, Nathan clucked over the table, finished off the iced tea, chose the music (usually baroque brass leading up to the meal and something quieter while we sat and talked), took taste tests, spiced up this or that dish, kissed Sandy--oh the Christian joy!
Thanksgivings, too, were the day each year that Nathan pulled out his soapstones and sharpened the knives of whatever home we'd gathered in. He'd work on them in the kitchen. Were they sharp enough, yet? The test was shaving hair off the forearm or a clean vertical cut down through a piece of paper, leaving no ragged edges. (Here's a great account of the growing custom knife business.)
Then it was off to manhandle the turkey. Men do it in our family, but not because we don't cook. Nathan and Dad were both superb cooks, but regardless of the sex of the chefs, carving the turkey was man's work. (Here's a short video on carving the turkey--thanks, Jake.)
Speaking of carving the turkey, back in time to our childhood home for a minute or two. Mud and Dad always had a ton of people for Thanksgiving...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 26, 2008 - 8:30am
(Tim, w/thanks to Fred) Planned Parenthood is the bloody slaughterhouse at the center of our city where our children suffer and die while, kittycorner, we shop at Krogers or sit at the drive-in window at Wendys. And in the spirit of Christmas, they're offering gift certificates for those looking for that special way of celebrating the birth of the Innocent that Herod tried his damnedest to kill.
Take a close look at the picture of Josef Mengele's Gypsy children. These little ones only hint at the carnage pouring body parts into your city's sewage treatment plant, and ours. The flesh and bones are Planned Parenthood's refuse and you and I provide them mass graves in our city dumps and sewage treatment plants.
by David and Tim Bayly on November 24, 2008 - 9:17am
(Tim, w/thanks to David L.) This can't be said often enough. Human life begins at conception.
This should not be debated but simply asserted. No high school diploma is needed to rebuke the Ph.D. who denies it. It's simply true and to state it is no act of faith but a simple observation. This truth is so obvious, so universally recognized, so non-controversial, so pure in its science that only the highly-educated are able to convince themselves otherwise.
The instant the sperm pierces the egg and the two become one, a new man made in the Image of God exists. And concerning that little man or woman, God Himself has decreed whoever sheds his blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the Image of God He created him (Genesis 9:6).
Death is the punishment commanded by God for those who murder the life in the womb. From the instant of conception.
Now if you feel overwhelmed by the bloodshed that surrounds us and want to escape this truth, I don't blame you. Life is much easier when we have a morality play a few decades removed from us to point to, proving we are defenders of life and will not tolerate those who destroy it...
by David and Tim Bayly on November 23, 2008 - 4:10pm
(David) Two famous Californians were recently asked their view of homosexuality in light of the passage of Proposition 8, the constitutional initiative defining marriage in California...
The first, interviewed on Fox's Hannity and Colmes show responded:
“I absolutely believe in loving everybody, giving respect to everybody, and giving everybody the freedom of choice. I just am opposed to redefining marriage. For 5,000 years that term, marriage, has represented a man and a woman…. I absolutely believe that people should show respect to everybody, regardless of their lifestyle, regardless of their beliefs, religious beliefs or any other kind of belief. I think we live in a pluralistic society where we have to get along with each other and show common grace to each other. But I just didn’t believe in redefining marriage.”
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 November 22, 2008 - 9:00am
(Tim w/thanks to Lucas) No, not that Hitchens, sillies; this one. Watching this trailer for a soon-to-be released documentary of the debate last year between Doug Wilson and purported atheist, Christopher Hitchens, I thought back to a conversation I had with longtime Village Voice columnist, ACLU board member, jazz expert, and one of the two or three best essayists against euthanasia, infanticide, and child-slaughter in our land, Nat Hentoff. He was in Madison for a speaking engagement and, being active in Presbyterians Pro-Life at the time, I asked Mr. Hentoff if he'd be open to an invitation to debate an abortion advocate at our Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly?
Quickly, he said "Yes," but then inquired, "Why would you want me?"
I responded that I thought he'd be perfect because he'd speak from the same presuppositional basis as our denominational leaders.
Another part of our conversation that sticks in my mind was Hentoff saying, "Every atheist should be pro-life because life's all we have."
by David and Tim Bayly on November 21, 2008 - 5:34pm
(Tim, w/thanks to David T.) Apparently the chattering classes never knew where turkey wishbones, legs, and breasts came from. Quite a firestorm has broken out over Governor Palin taking an interview at a turkey farm. As she was interviewed, turkeys were being killed in the background.
Aghast at the scene, as the clip was about to be aired, MSNBC newscaster David Shuster advised parents to get their kids "out of the room." After the clip, Shuster reported a "photographer asked Governor Palin if she wanted that as a backdrop and she replied, 'No worries.'" (Good responses here and here, and full length video here.)
Every Christian would do well to make sure his sons kills an animal now and then as a reminder that God has given critters to us for food and we should rejoice in His provision. To kill and eat animals is not to be cruel. It's an act of faith. Man alone bears the Image of God. Turkeys, dolphins, dogs, and crickets do not. (And with apologies to certain friends, certainly not cats.)
Earlier today, Mary Lee and I agreed that, like it or not, our youngest son, Taylor, will go deer hunting next week with Mike Boles and his son, Seth. Taylor isn't particularly interested, but he'll be going anyhow. It's a discipline fastidious boys shouldn't miss...