March 2013

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Scripture's "critical nuance" of 'malakoi' and 'arsenakoitai' lost on Wheaton as identity politics prevail...

Under the post, "Wheaton announces 'homosexuality' is not sin...," one brother comments:

Tim, I may have missed something.... While, as a former "Wheatie," I would have preferred that Wheaton not enter into this spiritual minefield, let’s not read more into this than is there. As for Provost Jones, I believe that he is correct in saying that ...the mere attraction to members of the same sex, if not acted upon, is no more sin than the attraction a heterosexual feels to members of the opposite sex. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is not to the contrary. It’s clear that Paul is describing behaviors, not merely states of temptation, here, so there is no reason to believe that Paul in using the term "homosexual" is referring to anyone other than those who practice homosexuality. Indeed, the ESV, generally recognized as the most reformed-friendly English translation, translates the Greek as "men who practice homosexuality."

To which I respond:

Dear (Brother),

Yes, I think you have missed some things. We're dealing here with the politics of identity and the world is saying men have no control over being homosexual and so they should not be penalized for it. This is the entire basis of the sodomite marriage movement. Equal rights for homosexuals.

But if you apply this to any sin that our culture doesn't want to privilege, it's shown as the sham it is. Take bestiality, for instance: if Phil Ryken and Stan Jones were to issue a statement announcing a support group for those who identify as "rutters"—let's say that were the name they took for themselves; if they explained that many rutters feel very alienated and are in danger of committing suicide because of how different they feel among their peers, what would our reaction be?

We'd howl...

A psalm for Easter...

Let's celebrate Easter
with the rite
of laughter.
Christ died and rose
and lives.
Laugh like a woman
who holds her first baby.
Our enemy death
will soon be destroyed.
Laugh like a man
who finds he doesn't have cancer
or does but now there's a cure.
Christ opened wide the door of heaven.
Laugh like children
at Disneyland's gates.
This world is owned by God
and He'll return to rule.
Laugh like a man
who walks away uninjured
from a wreck
in which his car was totaled.
as if all the people in the whole world
were invited to a picnic
and then invite them.

-Joe Bayly

Wheaton announces homosexuality is not sin...

The distinction between the condemnation of homosexual behavior versus homosexuality is what Jones said is the critical nuance about the Community Covenant.

- Stanton L. Jones is Provost of Wheaton College

Now comes Wheaton College announcing it has "evolved" in its views on sexuality and has come to see the distinction between "homosexual practice" and "homosexuality." You know, that ever-so-popular "critical nuance" distinction between getting it on and getting your flame on. Stanton Jones has been studying sexuality for "thirty years" and he's learned the Apostle Paul was wrong to condemn the effeminate and what's really needed is a cell group on campus where they can be affirmed in their effeminacy. Who cares what the Apostle Paul says?

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. - 1Corinthians 6:9, 10

What on earth was the Apostle Paul thinking to speak this way? Had he never heard of being gay? Was he so callous as to exacerbate the deep angst and alienation experienced by those different from himself?

Who knows.

Two oped pieces worth reading...

Two opeds: first, a piece Bob Patterson did for the Philly Inquirer on the Republican Party's continued bondage to stale economic principles; and second, a piece by the Plain Dealer's deputy editorial page editor, Kevin O'Brien, concerning the coming ruling by SCOTUS on so-called sodomite marriage. Here's how O'Brien's piece ends...

Baby-slaughter and speaking the truth in love...

Nice, nice, very nice.

- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

Last week the director of a neighboring state's Right to Life Political Action Committee sent our church an e-mail saying that, while he was reading internet discussions between baby-slaughterers, he came across accusations that some of those sidewalk counselors witnessing against the slaughter here at the Bloomington abortuary had insulted the serial murderers' helpers by telling them their actions were "vile." Not using these words with the mothers, but the abortionists and their assistants.

He e-mailed our church because his google search turned up our church's name as the church home of some of those active in offering help to the mothers outside the abortuary. He said the abortionist's accomplices were claiming someone doing sidewalk counseling had told them they were "vile" and "wicked." He added that he hoped this was not people from our church because we seemed like "a strong Christian church committed to God's Word and sharing the Gospel." But if some member of our church had, in fact, said such offensive things, this is "not a productive way to show God's love."

To which I responded...

Five gay marriage myths...

Son Taylor recommends "Five Gay Marriage Myths" from Fellowship of St. James and Jim Kushiner's Salvo magazine. Fellowship of St. James publishes both Touchstone and Salvo.

Two ciders doth a summer make...



Copyright and Christian publishing, today...

If technology is behind many evils, although I wouldn't put it at the top of the list, the aggressive lobbying of publishers for expansion of their copyrights would be way up there. You know a recurrent theme here is the click we all are forced to perform before new software installations and updates: "Yes, I've read and agree with your 10,000 words of legalese here binding me to give notice to Apple if I ever put on a pair of socks again without explicit permission from Apple's in-house socks permissions department. And no, I will never, ever eat an apple again without paying you a user fee. Promise and cross my heart." You know the routines and the lies it's made pervasive.

But this is almost the least toxic part of the abuse of copyright, today. We have Christians threatening lawsuits against those who copy works in the public domain when those works are not and cannot be covered by copyright, so their threat is a lie. We have Bibles copyrighted when the Holy Spirit inspired every word, and Moses, Kings David and Solomon, and the Apostle Paul did the work and have been dead for many centuries. We have Mickey Mouse getting an extension of royalties for Disney simply because he has well-paid lawyers and lobbyists buying legislators who think making the Disney corporation filthy richer is fine because Disney is next to apple pie and motherhood.

It's a mess and we all need to remind ourselves that there's another way for believers...

Indiana Supreme Court upholds school choice...

Speaking of subsidiarity (I'm a fan), we are privileged to have a faithful public servant holding the office of Governor for the next four years. Just now Governor Pence issued this press release commending the just-issued unanimous decision of the Indiana Supreme Court upholding school choice:

Indianapolis - Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement regarding the Indiana Supreme Court's decision on school choice this morning.

"I welcome the Indiana Supreme Court's decision to uphold Indiana's school choice program. I have long believed that parents should be able to choose where their children go to school, regardless of their income. Now that the Indiana Supreme Court has unanimously upheld this important program, we must continue to find ways to expand educational opportunities for all Indiana families."

For more on the case...

Remember Lot's wife...

Herewith my very serious observations on the utterly revolting subject every man is having shoved in his face today: there's nothing at all interesting about Chief Justice Roberts or his motley crew of half-wits who will join him in declaring sodomy and its malignant sister, sodomite marriage, to be a civil right under protection of the Constitution of these United States.

It's shameful lawlessness. But hey, that's the nature of our Supreme Court for a couple generations, now. The Constitution and the merits of the case have died and in their place is political conniving. Try to imagine how awful it must be for men like Scalia and Thomas to have to sit with these cowards. No wonder Thomas doesn't utter a word...

New music, (just) in time for Easter...

This latest batch of psalm and hymn arrangements added to Clearnote Songbook includes a number you can use for Holy Week worship: "O Sacred Head," "Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted," and "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today," for instance. We had hoped to get these published online in time for you to use this Easter, but something called reality kept getting in our way. On the other hand, it's Monday so perhaps we're not too late?

Look for the sheet music to start uploading tomorrow, but we wanted to go ahead and announce the release of our third, self-recorded demo bundle. It's available for free streaming below, and for inexpensive download here.

Enjoy! And may you have a blessed celebration of our Lord's Resurrection!


Where our churches are headed...

Early in my ministry, I warned Evangelical pastors within the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA) that their failure to rebuke and discipline fornication, adultery, and unbiblical divorce within their own session and congregation rendered their campaigns against the normalization of sodomy at the presbytery and general assembly level impotent. After all, PC(USA) liberals were only asking for their immorality-of choice to be granted the immunity the immoralities of conservatives had already been granted.

Time and again, I saw and had reported to me the failure of tall-steeple Evangelical pastors to do anything about the sins of their elders, particularly unbiblical divorces and adulteries. But then these same rich and famous pastors would mount their white stallions and sally forth against homosexual ordination once a year at General Assembly, taking home the reputation of Biblical integrity and courage they deserved not one bit.

So twenty years ago, my church and I resigned from the PC(USA), transferring into a southern denomination called the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)...