March 2011

Remove IV from your church's missions budget: Indiana University chapter of InterVarsity promotes sodomy (part I)...

IVCF'sSodomyAdvocacy (Tim: this is first in a series of posts [one, two, three, four, five, six, seven] responding to to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's promotion of sodomy at a Indiana University campus forum they sponsored the evening of Monday, March 28, 2011.)

Back when David's and my father and mother, Joe and Mary Lou Bayly, were living on Mass. Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they were InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's (IV) first staff workers in New England, it would have sickened them to know their children would live to see the day when IV was advocating sodomy in the Name of Jesus Christ and His Word. That's what happened this week here at Indiana University.

IV brought in a longtime IV staff worker (he recently left IV staff) to speak against homophobia at a special attention-getting series of public meetings and that man promoted sodomy in the Name of Jesus Christ, His Church, His Word; and certainly in the name of that parachurch organization known in this country as IV. They're the sponsor of Urbana and they own the book marketer that does the best job of promoting the feminist heresy within the Evangelical world, InterVarsity Press.

Weird, isn't it? I mean, that an organization and its publishing arm would use the Name of Jesus to obliterate the meaning of sexuality in society, the home, and the Church concerning the relationship between the sexes would then go on to work to obliterate the meaning of sexuality also in the matter of how body parts go together? Check out the caption under the pic: the Indiana Daily Student got this one right.

Honestly, I thought IV would try to keep these two parts of Gods' Creation Order separate so the scandal of giving in on the second would not undercut the massive progress they've made in destroying the first. Do you think people might be on guard now that it's obvious its full-out sexual anarchy IV's committed to? Or do you think IV will be able to finesse the matter, claiming it's a one-off and purely accidental that in this particular chapter and speaker, feminism and sodomy are both promoted?

Yes, yes, of course. I know IV's leadership will claim that this is an anomaly...

The hens are squawking and the goose is chasing David aross the barnyard...

(Tim) On the floor of Ohio Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of America, my brother, David, moved that the presbytery overture General Assembly to cut off the gravy train for the denomination's tiny circulation magazine, bYfAITH. The motion which easily passed calls for bYfAITH to be moved toward being self-supporting with all denominational funding to be cut off in 2012. bYfAITH responded this week with a piece leading one reader to comment: "The article is an excellent example of 'advocacy journalism,' albeit quite subtle, ecclesiastical-style."

Brother David made the motion because the denomination's administrators at the PCA's Atlanta headquarters have been pouring money into this failing venture year after year, all the while complaining that churches have not been faithful in funding their work. Turns out their shortfall each year has been about fifteen per cent of their budget, precisely the amount they have chosen to sink into a tepid, house organ that speaks only for the denomination's power brokers and the hip children they've spawned.

bYfAITH quoted David saying he didn't seek the end of support for bYfAITH because of dislike for bYfAITH. The motion had been written by others and was being taken before Central Indiana Presbtery. David was sent a copy of it, thought it had merit and when another church in Ohio Presbytery called for a study committee to address all AC publications and spending, David suggested the Indiana overture as a better alternative. It seemed like a good way to solve the chronic shortage of financial support the PCA's denominational apparatus suffers. Ohio Presbytery agreed and sent it on to General Assembly where the commissioners will watch as the Bills and Overtures Committee is lobbied by the good-old-boys and buries the overture.

So beyond its complete failure, financially, what's wrong with bYfAITH?

Count the hours you spend each week on sports, and be honest...

(Tim) "The sociologist Ahmet Talimciler, the author of a book on Turkish soccer fanaticism, recently asked fifteen hundred Turkish fans how important their team was to them. For sixty-two per cent of respondents, the team came 'only after family and nation'; for a full thirty per cent, it was 'more important than anything else' in life.'" ("Letter from Turkey: View from the Stands," The New Yorker, March 7, 2011; p. 60.)

Cleaning up Scripture's patriarchy, anti-Semitism, homophobia, speciesism...

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18, 19)

(Tim, w/thanks to several) Back fifteen or so years ago when I read the first proofs of the New Living Translation and saw they'd changed adelphoi to "Christian friends" in the Epistles, I said to my brother-in-law (who was over the NLT at Tyndale House), "If you're willing to change the words of Scripture to appease the feminists, there's no change you won't make. You'll be the slaves of every last advocacy group. It starts with feminism--who wants to say "no" to women? Then it'll be the Jews; you'll have to clean up the Gospel of John so the Bible isn't open to the charge of anti-Semitism. It'll go on to homosexuality; you'll do everything you can to avoid Scripture being accused of homophobia. And you'll end up taking out repentance, too. Because honestly, repentance is the most obnoxious part of the Bible. Get rid of it and the Bible won't offend anyone!"

Later I found they'd already changed the Gospel of John so it would be more acceptable to the Jews...

Hide it under a bushel, yes! I'm gonna blur the lines...

(Tim, w/thanks to Tenile: One blogger produced a very, very rough transcript of Martin Bashir interviewing Rob Bell and I asked Tenile Victorsen if she'd give us a good one. Here it is. If you find an error, please let us know and we'll correct it. Interspersed in the text are a few comments of my own in black text between brackets, italicized.)

Bashir: One mega church pastor has ignited a theological firestorm by suggesting that our response to the Christian message in this life will not necessarily determine our eternal destiny. In his book Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Rob Bell says that ultimately all people will be saved, even those who’ve rejected the claims of Christianity. He argues people will eventually be persuaded by God’s love, postmortem, in the life to come. [Note how straighforward Bashir is stating Bell's thesis. As we enter the murkiness of Bell's words, we must remind ourselves of this straighforward warning from God:  "...it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment..." (Hebrews 9:27)] Pastor Rob Bell joins us now. Good afternoon, sir. Before we come to talk about the book, just help us with this tragedy in Japan. Which of these is true? Either God is all-powerful but he doesn’t care about the people of Japan and, therefore, they’re suffering, or he does care about the people of Japan but he’s not all-powerful? Which one is it? [Do we really have to choose between these two, Mr. Bashir?]

Bell: I begin with the belief [Let the listener understand he means no offense to those with a different belief.] that God--when we shed a tear, God sheds a tear. [Hallmark card sentiment, but the scale of the senitment doesn't match the scale of the horror. Pastor Bell trivializes the massive death and destruction of the earthquakes and tsunamis, or the terrible suffering of the Japanese people. Just one tear? Whole cities destroyed and "a tear" for Pastor Bell and "a tear" for God?] So I begin with a divine being [Speaking to the Areopagus surrounded by the pantheon of gods, the Apostle Paul declares: “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth..." (Acts 17:24). Speaking to the world today in the midst of our pantheon of gods, Pastor Bell can't even bring himself to use the definite article to refer to his god. It's not "the God Who is there" but "a divine being."] who is profoundly [Adverbs weaken arguments but strengthen sentiment. Pastor Bell adores adverbs.] empathetic, compassionate and stands in solidarity with us. [Actually, God stands in solidarity only with those who, by faith, are "in Christ" and His Church. Concerning all others, the ax is at the root. Thus note how, by leaving "us" undefined, Pastor Bell denies the distinction between the Church and the world. This denial of distinctions is central to his false prophecies and is a defining prejudice of post-moderns--Pastor Bell's target audience.] Secondly, the dominant story [To speak of the work of redemption recorded in Scripture as a "story" reminds me of what everyone said when the planes took down the World Trade Center on 9/11: "It was just like the movies." The false images of movies helped our mind's eye to see...

Home schoolers split over Ken Ham and Peter Enns...

(Tim) When I was younger, I used to say the homeschooling movement was one of the most encouraging signs in America, today.

Government has no business engaging in religious instruction, yet public schools do almost nothing else. Through the training and certification of government school teachers, education's oligarchs rule public schools with an iron fist and they are determined to wrest the minds and hearts of children away from their fathers.

My parents graduated from Wheaton College back in the forties and one of their friends went to Columbia University to get his doctorate. He reported Columbia's faculty and grad students were committed to using government schools to foment rebellion in the home, telling of a party in celebration of John Dewey's ninetieth birthday at which faculty and grad students discussed the utility of government schools for undermining parents' efforts to pass their religious commitments on to their sons and daughters. Their plan was simple: they would train public school teachers to serve as front-line missionaries for the godless paganism sold to the parents of government schoolchildren as "separation of church and state."

This and other things led to my parents working with several couples to start a new Christian school outside Philadelphia called Delaware Country Christian School. Mary Lee and I followed in their footsteps, joining with a few couples here in Bloomington to start Lighhouse Christian Academy. Before we finish educating our children we'll have used Christian schools, a Christian college, a public university, a secular college, public schools, home school, and a home school co-op.

What education do we think is best?

From Dark Ages, Galileo speaks of literal interpretation of Scripture...

(Tim) It's central to our chronological conceit to reassure ourselves the Middle Ages were the Dark Ages crammed full of religious bloodshed, religious oppression of scientific progress, and the Plague. So we've all learned the lesson to keep church and state separate to the end that we won't have as many wars or as many people die in those wars.

Doing well are we? Paganism is the state religion almost everywhere and more people were sacrificed on the altars of paganism's idols (Communism, Zionism, Feminism, etc.) this past century than ever died from all the religious wars of the Medieval world combined.

But what of science? Our modern morality play smugly assures us the Enlightenment busted truth loose from the religious ignoramuses who had oppressed the great minds across many centuries. Finally we know it's not wrong to take the Pill, unborn babies aren't persons and can't feel the knives, the iPhone is cool, washing hands saves lives, you can make babies in the lab, you can end the war by blowing up the women and children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Earth isn't the center of the Universe.

"Poor Galileo! If only he'd lived today when every man finally knows religion has nothing to say to the state or the high priests of Science. The Bible's true when it talks about spiritual things--not political or sexual or scientific things. It's no history book or textbook on cosmology. It tells you how to feel--not what to think. Poor Galileo! He had it right and the church tried to shut him up. Stupid ignorant church. Stupid Dark Ages...

Three helps for fathers...

(Tim) Fathers, let us live by faith as we do the work of raising our sons and daughters. It's hard--very hard, particularly if you're going for the heart rather than external conformity. At times your dear wife will be an obstacle to your work. Let's be honest about that.

When I first put up this post, I considered it so boringly normal in its description of the father/mother/child disciplinary triad it didn't occur to me anyone might think the scenario was current in my home. But a dear friend wrote to warn me not to talk about my wife and son in public and I was grateful.

That said, this is not my current situation. Mary Lee is not leading a rebellion and our son Taylor is not sullen.

On the other hand, I'm always loathe to turn down the heat on instruction and exhortation by reassuring my congregation this or that wasn't meant to describe me or you or him or her. So let me reverse myself and say this post does apply to me, my wife, my son, you, your wife, and your daughter. In other words, no one is off the hook as we read this. Here are some of our sins and all of us need to take warning and encouragment from the Word of God. That said...

R2K says sermons on abortion are like Martin Luther King's "glorified leftist political screeds"...

(Tim) Following links to Baylyblog, I found this on a radical two-kingdom blog and place it here as another indication of the nature of this error and the motivations of those who hold it. The R2K blogger is addressing two questions asked by an R2K opponent. The second question ends like this: "...why are (R2K) folks so upset when people like the Bayly brothers preach sermons on highly politicized topics like abortion?"

Here's the R2K man's answer...

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...

"Important fantasies we can escape to..."

(Tim) With sincere apologies to all the wee ones and their mothers, I think Disneyworld is too similar to hip preachers with full-service video venues to take the children for a visit. Really, do you want Disney's moral and spiritual authority to accrue to our Evangelical/Emergent theme parks?

Taryn Simon is a photographer...

Baseball, the not-so-great American pastime...

(Tim) If you care about baseball, check out the lists in this good piece by Joe Posnanski...

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