January 2011

ClearNote Church, Bloomington, Indiana...

(Tim) Yesterday, Church of the Good Shepherd voted to change her name to ClearNote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. The new name comes from this text:

For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? (1Corinthians 14:8)

It will take a while to make the change everywhere it's needed, but announcing it here may help to avoid confusion among our readers.

Differences between small and large families...

(Tim, w/thanks to Eric) Our Lord, the Apostle Paul, and economists are agreed that money matters quite a lot. For instance, check out the comments on this blog responding to the news that, in China, a law is being proposed that would make an adult child's failure to visit his parents actionable in court. If the law passes, parents could sue their child for failure to visit and the child could be fined and directed to submit to a visitation schedule. What wonderful visits that would produce! Beyond the question of banks, pensions, and Social Security, though, there's another set of numbers worth noting, here.

We have a fair number of international students who attend ClearNote Church, Bloomington (our new church name), and some are from China. Due to China's one-child policy, these students rarely have siblings or cousins. Picture it: one father and mother had one child--a son; another father and mother had one child--a daughter; that son and daughter married and had one son who married someone else's daughter--again, an only child. Now what do you have?

You have a married couple who themselves have one child who will grow up with two parents, four grandparents, and eight great-grandparents. It's entirely conceivable he'll have some of his great-grandparents live to the time of his marriage, at which time he'll take on through his wife another set of two parents, four grandparents, and eight great-grandparents. Let's assume only half of that couple's great grandparents survive to the time of their marriage; then that couple each has two parents, four grandparents, and four great-grandparents, which brings the total number of aging relatives on the shoulders of that young couple to twenty. And if all their great-grandparents are still alive, the total is twenty-eight.

Which is to say that, beyond the hundreds of millions of little babies slaughtered by the one-child policy and forced abortions of China in the past century, they now have a rapidly aging population. It's estimated one in four adults will be over the age of sixty-five by 2050.

Let's be practical about this. When my mother-in-law and mother want to move into someone's house...

"He started disciplining me like I was one of his sons..."

(Tim, w/thanks to Taylor) Read this wonderful story and ask yourself where the church turns boys--undisciplined angry ones, at that--into men? Youth groups? Home school co-ops? Christian school science labs? Crew? Membership classes? Men's retreats?

You say your church is not a parochial school filled with inner city kids and your own fathers are the ones training their own sons. I say, "Yeah, right."

Face it. Each of our churches has a bunch of young men every bit as much in need of the discipline of playing on Bob Hurley's basketball team as the kids at St. Anthony High in Jersey City. In the ministry today, we're surrounded by man-boys whose fathers have turned their backs on them. These young men crave discipline--which is to say they crave fatherly love...

Murder-mongerers' next line of attack...

(Tim: concerning the legislation being proposed in the Washington State Legislature, an attorney friend writes...) I took a quick look at the proposed legislation in Washington. It's much worse than (what's being proposed) in New York. For one, the liability extends to any violation of the bill. In New York, the private right of action was limited to violations of the confidentiality provisions. It appears that this form of legislation is the new weapon of the Enemy. The legislation is getting traction because it paints pro life pregnancy centers as manipulative and deceptive - manipulative because they supposedly coerce women to take action during a vulnerable time in their life and deceptive because the centers purportedly cast the appearance of being medical facilities. 

Of course, this is a classic case of a round peg solution for a square hole problem, if there is even a problem. First of all, what is wrong with a center attempting to persuade a woman not to have an abortion, particularly a woman that voluntarily entered the center? Should we then enact laws that prevent pastors from preaching against abortion because there may be parishioners in the congregation that are pregnant and vulnerable to manipulation?


(Tim) We're hoping to make a change to another platform in the coming months. Meanwhile, we've tweaked some things in order to save us some work. The site will be less useable for past posts, but present posts and discussion should remain just as useable as before. Thanks for your understanding.


That grisly Philly butcher...

(Tim) A number of our readers have sent links to the baby-murderer in Philly who murders mothers, too. Horrendous, but what do we think a murderer-for-hire does? Exercise great caution and care for human life?

He murders. The fact that he doesn't follow the government procedures for how to clean your abortuary and its medical equipment is quite tragic, but let's keep in mind that women who paid him to murder their unborn child were paying him to murder their unborn child when, in the process of that murder, they also died. Despite the great irony that feminists want us to believe otherwise when it comes to a mother's "Choice" to murder her child, women are moral agents...

God's goodness...

(David) There's much for which we are grateful here in the land between the Great Lakes. Let me list several of the ways:

IrwinPrairie First, there is this, the beauty of a cold midwestern winter seen from a boardwalk in the Irwin Prairie, a tiny remnant of the Great Black Swamp that once consumed the northwest corner of Ohio. It has been a beautiful winter here, filled with visible and invisible blessings from God. Visibly, it's been a spectacular winter so far and I've enjoyed walking and praying in the Irwin Prairie preserve two miles southeast of Christ the Word's new building.

NateAleaha Second, there is this, the beauty of God's gift of love in marriage. Cheryl and I were privileged to welcome new daughter-in-law Aleaha into our family on November 20, 2010. Aleaha met our eldest son, Nathan, at Bowling Green State University and they attend school together there now that they're married and Nate's back from his internship in Lausanne. The wedding was a wonderful day on which our church and human families mingled, sharing love and feasting on God's goodness to us. 

Bldg Finally, it has been exhilarating to watch Christ the Word's new building rise from the dirt since groundbreaking in September. First, the footers, then the walls, the steel, the roof, and now we're watching the ME&P work go on--at this point rather slowly due to the single digit temperatures of late.

For all this we praise you, God of our salvation.


Letters to Paul, IV: the blood Atonement was necessary...

(Tim: Building on his series on Jonathan Edwards and the Atonement, here's another series--numbers one, two, three, four, and five--by our American African correspondent, David Wegener. But first, a note from David on the purpose of this series.

Paul is a Zambian Christian leader, a graduate of the school where I teach. I’ve taken him as representative of one of my students so I can have a face to look at in my mind as I write these letters.

Often my students puzzle over what they hear coming from the church in the west. Much of their background has led them to accept without question what comes from western Christians. "After all, they brought us the gospel and keep coming back and helping us." My exhortation to Paul is the one given by his namesake: “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess 5:21).

Letters to Paul (IV): The Blood Atonement was Necessary

Dear Paul: The world we live in is violent. You know that from your background as a soldier. The violence in our world is a result of sin. My sin. Your sin. The sin of Ian Smith, the sin of Kenneth Kaunda, the sin of Joshua Nkomo, the sin of Robert Mugabe, the sin of the OAU, the sin of the leaders of England, the sin of Jimmy Carter, etc.

Jonathan Edwards tells us it all goes back to God’s command (“you shall not eat” from that one tree in the garden), the penalty (if you do, “you shall surely die”) and man’s specific disobedience (they “ate”). He is surely correct...

The good shepherd knows his sheep--by name...

CNPC:1 (Tim) Two weeks from now, we'll be holding the ClearNote Fellowship Pastors Conference. It will go from Thursday dinner to Friday afternoon, so it'll be no problem for you to be home for Lord's Day worship. If you're an elder or pastor, or aspire to those offices, we invite you to attend. (Since God has ordered these offices be held only by men, please understand registration is limited to men.)

Our subject is pastoral care. Thursday night, my brother, David, will preach on...

Rahm Emanuel's residency and President Obama's birth...

(Tim, w/thanks) Reading about the mess over whether or not Rahm Emanuel meets the residency requirements to run for mayor of Chicago reminds me of the continuing mess over President Obama's birth certificate. As I've said before, just produce it for us, already. It's constitutionally important!

But they don't produce it.

And "former Hawaii elections clerk Tim Adams has now signed an affidavit swearing he was told by his supervisors in Hawaii that no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Barack Obama Jr. in Hawaii and that neither Queens Medical Center nor Kapi'olani Medical Center in Honolulu had any record of Obama having been born in their medical facilities."

Then too, Hawaii's new governor, Neil Abercrombie, who ran on a platform including militant promises that, when he took office, he'd put the question of President Obama's birth certificate to rest once and for all, has taken office, done the research, and is publicly  admitting he can't produce the evidence.

"Making a famine where abundance lies..."


From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding:
   Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
   To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

                    -Sonnet I, Shakespeare

Abortionists attack the compassion of pregnancy resource centers...

WashingtonPRCs (Tim) In the State of Washington, a bill (HB 1366) is pending in the state legislatures that poses a severe threat to the godly ministry of love carried out by Washington's pregnancy resourse centers. Andrew Woodyard writes:

Apparently it's not enough for Washington State to be "pro-choice." It must become "abortion only."