I'm looking forward to the upcoming Clearnote Fellowship conference for church officers—elders, deacons, pastors, and those aspiring). I hope you are too! Register now—it's only a couple weeks away.
Three years ago we were sent to Indianapolis to plant Clearnote Church, Indianapolis. Since then I've been to many gatherings of pastors and church leaders, some small and others large. Some groups were only church-planters. Some were Reformed. Some weren't. My personal benefit from these meetings has been a decidedly mixed bag.
Yes it is good to see men working to spread the Reformed doctrine of Scripture among church leaders. Talking to others facing the same church-planting challenges can be helpful. Sharing prayer requests with other pastors and asking their counsel has strengthened me.
Still, it's been my experience that nobody at these gatherings truly benefits from being there unless a man brings God's word to bear on us. In other words, I've noticed without preaching it's just a bunch of talk. The air gets stuffy with technical truths. We swell with self-importance. The room glows with plious patitudes. It's a glorious sight.
But it's a waste of time. What we needed was preaching. Preaching pops our blimps and hot air balloons.
Many loved ones and friends sent kind notes of sympathy and joy at the passing of our dear "Mud," Mrs. Joseph Tate (Mary Lou) Bayly, into eternity. It is our faith that, through her faith in the Son of God Who gave His Own Body and Blood for sinners, in this life she was justified and sanctified, and now in the life to come she has been glorified and by grace dwells in the presence of the Lord. This is our joy and it more than compensates for any loss we have at her absence.
After the funeral service at Christ the Word in Toledo, Ohio, we took pics of Mud's "family." In the picture: three of us are Mud's remaining blood children (l. to r. and sitting are David, Deborah, and Tim); three daughters-in-law by marriage; one "daughter" by affection; twelve grandchildren (ten by blood, two by legal adoption, two by affection, and two not in the pic who are by legal adoption); seven already or almost spouses of grandchildren (so far); thirteen great-grandchildren (eleven by blood and two by legal adoption—so far); and two others also "family" and loved by Mud and the rest of us.
To those of you who wrote and sent flowers reminding us of your love for Mud and her family, we will remember your kindness and praise God for the comfort we received from you.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates. - Proverbs 31:25-31
All the time I remind people that I have nothing original to say or write. I'm a hack who reads and quotes others—especially my Dad. When I read his books, particularly the compilation of his monthly columns from Eternity titled Out of My Mind: The Best of Joe Bayly, I realize they are the footers and foundation and framing and drywall and flooring and windows and trim and shingles and paint of my thoughts—understanding, of course, that God's Word is our air and bread and water.
Whom/who do I copy? Mostly dead men. I've read little Lewis, but I've devoured Chesterton and do still. Also Luther and Calvin. Augustine. When talking with younger men and women, I try to get them to have a few great influences and be jealous for their sake. Don't go for breadth. Go for depth. Pick a couple church fathers everyone agrees on and devour them. Don't stop until you're in the grave. Give yourself to them completely so you know their errors, too. Then I always recommend they take Calvin as one of their men. You can't go wrong, particularly if you're a pastor and preaching and teaching is your calling. There's no one close to Calvin as an exegete and expositor, all in one. Buy everything of his in print, including his sermons. But hey, I've got to rein in this post.
All this as prelude to saying my friend E. Michael Jones has just reprinted several of his books and I encourage you to...
Says son-in-law, Ben Crum, "if you laugh, you might be racist." Too true. When African-Americans can make fun of whites and whites of African-Americans, there may be hope of our melting pot actually melting and potting.
(TB: On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I post this sermon preached yesterday, Sunday January 27, 2013, at Clearnote Church, Bloomington.)
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The Lord's Throne Is in Heaven
(For the choir director; a psalm of David.) In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain; for, behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain snares; fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face. (Psalm 11:1-7)
Forty years ago this past Tuesday, on January 22nd, 1973, the Supreme Court of these United States issued its infamous ruling, Roe v. Wade, in which the Court declared that a mother's intentional killing of her unborn child was a fundamental right guaranteed under our Constitution. Since that ruling, it has been a commonplace to observe that Roe v. Wade, the Court's repeal of the laws prohibiting abortion on the books of all fifty states, was simply the exercise of raw judicial power with a legal justification based upon a mist and a vapor--or as the Court itself might put it, emanations from penumbras.
Our Supreme Court: intentionally conniving at murder...
Since 1973, no one has made a name for himself defending Roe. v. Wadeâs history, biology, ethics, logic, or justice; and only a few have been foolish enough to claim this ruling will stand the test of time...
Translations are like women. Si elles sont belles, elles sont infidèles, mais si elles sont fidèles, elles ne sont pas belles.*
For several decades, now, Evangelical Bible scholars translating Scripture have proven themselves women lacking the male capacity to stand the heat of battle and fight. This is true of Zondervan's New International Version (2011), but too often it's also true of Crossway's English Standard Version.
Zondervan's New International Version 2011
The Committee on Bible Translation is paid to produce all translations bearing the name "New International Version," which translations are then licensed and sold by News Corps' publishing company, Zondervan. The Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) is made up of men like Craig Blomberg, Gordon Fee, Dick France, Doug Moo, Bill Mounce, Mark Strauss, and Bruce Waltke, all of whom have gotten the sort of degrees mothers dream of.
Being very educated, we may safely conclude it's not out of ignorance of Hebrew or English that their Bible product, the New International Version 2011, mistranslates the Hebrew 'ishshah' as "weaklings" in each of the texts...
Several friends have made their home within St. Ebbes (Anglican) Church while doing grad work or on sabbatical at the local university. St. Ebbes' pastor (rector), Vaughan Roberts, is a single man who has written a book on seven temptations Christians face. Not ashamed to confess his need for God's grace, Pastor Roberts acknowledges he faces each of the seven temptations himself. One of those temptations is same-sex attraction.
Given the endless drum-banging by homosexualists demanding the normalization of sodomy, Vaughan Roberts' description of the work of sanctification in this area of his life is a spring of clear water.
For years, now, ministers of the Word and Sacrament in Christian churches that identify themselves as Evangelical, Reformed, or Bible-believing have been adopting a posture that allows them to hold on to their jobs while avoiding this breach in the wall. With blood flowing, we're determined it won't be our blood, so we blather on about not hating the sin or the sinner; about the need to distinguish between those who identify as gay men or lesbians, and those who act out on their gay and lesbian desires; about the superiority of monogamy to promiscuity; we equivocate, trotting out the old canard that God loves everyone just the way they are—no exceptions; and then softly, to our closest friends, we allow that the church across the centuries really was quite unkind to gays, and a reappraisal of the ancient texts and the Church's approach to this particular part of the diverse human community is long overdue.
Other pastors don't bother with such talking points: in the face of the teaching of Balaam everywhere around us, we're simply silent. We're prophets of God with nothing to say about the very thing the entire world is in an orgy of conversation and litigation over. One former member of the pastoral staff of a well-known Reformed church in New York City recounted how the church's senior leadership lived in terror of the New York Times coming out against their congregation because of Scripture's condemnation of homosexuality. Reflecting that terror, any inter-staff communication related to the subject was stamped in red ink, "CONFIDENTIAL."
Speaking tongue in cheek, we all understand this is precisely what's needed for the Reformed church to get a foothold there in New York City, isn't it? The Apostle Paul had to go easy on the "ignorance" of the Athenians...
Reproduced below is the Majority Report of the Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly's Ad Interim Study Committee on Women in the Military. The 30th (2002) General Assembly received the report with thanks, adopted its recommendations, and the work of the committee (including this final report) may be accessed here in the PCA's archives.
On this day when our Commander in Chief has repudiated God's Order of Creation by declaring women will no longer be protected from combat in our Armed Forces, I commend this document to our readers. If biblical Christians today studied and embraced Scripture's doctrine of Creation Order sexuality, it would be a significant step toward the restoration of the unity of the Church and these United States might again have a bright light in their midst. (TB)
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MAN’S DUTY TO PROTECT WOMAN
We, the undersigned, endorse the Consensus Report, while realizing that Report lacks unity on the crucial matter of whether the recommendations it contains constitute the church’s wise counsel or a Christian’s scriptural duty. Believing that this is a matter of scriptural duty, we have joined together in writing this report to the end that we might set forth with confidence and clarity the full counsel—both New and Old Testaments—of the Word of God concerning this matter. Our report attempts to summarize three areas of evidence, as follows:
First, God the Father wages war in defense of Israel, His Bride; Christ our Savior fights to the Death defending His Bride, the Church; the Holy Spirit calls men as officers to guard and protect His Bride; the duty to protect the Garden of Eden and the warning not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was given by God to Adam; husbands protect their wives, not wives their husbands. Thus we are taught the binding nature of man’s duty to guard and protect his home and wife.
Second, woman is the weaker sex and part of her weakness is the vulnerability attendant to her greatest privilege—that God has made her the “Mother of all the living.” Men are to guard and protect her as she carries in her womb, gives birth to, and nurses her children.
Third, we are to renounce every thought and action which tends towards a diminishment of sexual differentiation since God made it and called it “good.” [E.g. Scripture’s injunctions concerning women exercising authority over men (1 Timothy 2), women or men wearing clothing of the opposite sex (Deuteronomy 22:5), sodomy (Leviticus 20:15-16), etc.] Rather than a stingy attitude which minimizes sexuality’s implications, we ought to rejoice in this, His blessing.
It is our conviction that these areas, taken together, provide a clear and compelling scriptural rationale for declaring our church’s principled opposition to women serving in military combat positions.
When a man loves a woman, he will lay down his life to defend her, just as Christ loved His Bride and gave Himself up for Her. Men have proudly fulfilled this duty from time immemorial...
A rising chorus of congressional Republicans are calling on President Obama to acknowledge that the pop singer Beyoncé lip-synched during his inaugural festivities on Monday and resign from office, effective immediately.
“By lip-synching the national anthem, Beyoncé has cast a dark cloud over the President’s second term,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). “The only way President Obama can remove that cloud is by resigning from office at once.”
Beyond President Obama's advocacy for the continued slaughter of almost a million and a half unborn babies in our United States each year, his administration has now declared the weaker and fairer sex will no longer be protected from bearing arms as warriors in defense of their brothers, sons, and fathers.
It's not enough that President Obama's mother shed her blood to bring him to birth in a hospital. He now wants to be known as the President who freed her to shed her blood to protect him on a battlefield.
This is the condition of black manhood in our White House, today.
How may any war be considered "just" now that innocent civilians will be carried into harm's way in combatants' wombs? To establish accurate body counts, will the military give pregnancy tests or perform autopsies on our mothers and sisters who die in the line of duty?
Need anyone ask what the First Lady's thoughts are on this wickedness? From all appearances the President and First Lady are equally yoked.