June 2014

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Nixon, GDP, and judicial fraud...

The Modern State employs an endless fund of techniques to manipulate its citizens. In the realm of propaganda, the practice of Modified Limited Hangout (a term coined during Watergate) helps the government blunt the impact of bad news by releasing some information but concealing really bad stuff. The goal is to relieve pressure for the release of the really bad stuff, or if that is not possible, soften up resistance and condition us to mutely accept what was only a short time ago unthinkable or outrageous...

Aimee Semple McPherson: conflicted celebrity evangelist...

Itinerant evangelists have proclaimed the good news in crusades and tent revivals, in fields and stadiums, in tabernacles and classrooms. Over the last 150 years, Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899), Billy Sunday (1862-1935), Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944) and Billy Graham (1918-present) have been household names in their eras. Each used different methods and had vastly different personalities, and was able to tap into deep undercurrents of American piety. My intent in this post is not to compare these four, but to consider a recent (1993) and major biography (400+ pages), Aimee Semple McPherson: Everybody's Sister by Edith Blumhofer .

For much of the 1920s and 1930s, Aimee was front-page news. She was a relentless evangelist, a missionary to China, a megachurch pastor, the founder of a denomination, and a leader in helping to provide for the physical needs of those who fell on hard times during the Great Depression.

Yet her life was full of contradictions. Adored by thousands … 

Waiting in faith...

Thinking this exchange might be helpful to a number of Christian brothers and sisters God has blessed with singleness, I post it here. First, a comment left yesterday under a 2006 post titled, "Single Christian women: how shall we then wait...."

I would like to know what do advise for someone over fifty that has waited for a spouse and a career. I asked GOD when I was very young what he wanted for me and I am still waiting. It is hard to watch people saved and unsaved marry and have child when your GOD has left you hanging. How do you not lose faith? I am never asked if I am married by the way only why I don't have children.

Dear Diane,

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:27)

I'm very sorry to hear that our Heavenly Father has not chosen to give you a husband and children. This is a difficult life to live and it's clear you feel the disappointment keenly. May I give you a couple brief suggestions?

Homosexuality in the PCA: on the road to affirmation...

The second key area identified by the PCA's Cooperative Ministries Committee was "Homosexuality and related issues" (for commentary on the first issue—"the role of women"—visit my previous post)...

Homosexuality and related issues – particularly, how the PCA may best minister in a fallen world to homosexual persons, graciously sharing the Gospel and maintaining biblical standards of conduct and biblical marriage.

As we were reminded repeatedly throughout the PCA's 42nd General Assembly, committees do their work carefully, thoughtfully, and intentionally. So I take it that the particular wording of these five key areas is not just a mumble. To be fair, I did not hear the CMC's report and have not seen the document, so I am going out on a limb by trusting the writer of the byFaith article. If the byFaith staff is faithfully reporting the CMC statement, I've got a bone to pick.

Notice that the CMC stated they want to help the PCA to minister to "homosexual persons." They did not write "persons tempted by homosexuality;" or better, "persons tempted to commit homosexual sin" or "persons tempted by same-sex intimacy." Intentionally using the label "homosexual persons" shows their hand...

Ordination in the PCA: the only distinction between men and women...

On Wednesday afternoon at the PCA’s 42nd General Assembly, the Cooperative Ministries Committee presented five critical issues that require study and subsequent recommendations. You might not be surprised to learn that the first has to do with the role of women...

The role of women in the PCA – particularly, giving women a greater voice and more visible roles, while maintaining the denomination’s position on male ordained leadership in governing.

The elders of the PCA approach the definition of their leadership like a defeated husband. He vaguely remembers there are verses in the Bible that talk about his wife’s submission, and femininity, and silence, and gentleness, and busy-ness at home, but he’s married a woman whose father trained her not to submit, not to be feminine, not to be silent, not to be gentle, and not to be busy at home. His heart’s desire is for his wife to be busy at home, but since she can’t have that he’ll figure out the required breadth of argument both to affirm her (and her father's) desires and hold on to some little authority. He’ll begin arguing like an egalitarian when it comes to giftedness: men and women alike have gifts of administration, and teaching, and leadership, and so on and so forth. He'll figure out ways for her to have “a greater voice and more visible roles,” all the while basically satisfied because he will retain one thing that is his own: ordination. She’s happy and he’s happy for a number of reasons: 1) she’s happy, and 2) her father’s happy, and 3) he’s retained some vestige of Biblical distinction by means of ordination. 

What happens if she asks for ordination? What will her poor husband do?

Alpha mothers...

My daughter, Michal Crum, forwarded this post on bad boy five-year-olds and it's excellent. How many times I have to give this little talk'; to mothers, usually—but also fathers who aren't pointing this out to their wives. Auntie Leila's post is an excellent reminder to mothers beginning their summers with lots of free time for the children day by day. Summer should be a joy for mothers because the whole point of bearing and raising children is for...

R2K hipsters want the PCA to merge with the PC(USA)...

To those who wonder why I left the PCA, most of it had to do with our pastors college and church planting with Clearnote Fellowship, our local presbytery. Then too, it was so tiring living in the middle this sort of faithlessness in my General Assembly work and on the floor of GA and presbytery meetings. This article is taken from the byFaith blog. Thus I suppose they would claim copyright. But really, there's nothing creative here to warrant copyright. They pulled the faithless words out of the public meeting of the Overtures Committee. Then there's the fact that byFaith consistently gags good comments and has been doing so for years. So I figure there ought to be one place where people are really free to leave comments (while of course abiding by our commenting rules).

To the issue at hand: the PCA General Assembly is meeting and its Overtures Committee just shot down the following overture using the following reasoning. The battle is all around them and they fear confessing Christ will jeopardize their hipster church planting.

You know, not one of these guys who lectured the other commissioners on the committee and Savanna River Presbytery about the danger of this statement has ever counselled or admonished or rebuked or excommunicated or encouraged or hugged or kissed (with a holy kiss) one single homosexual. It's clear from their whining that they don't know a thing about evangelizing or ministering to men tempted by same-sex intimacy. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Then, you add the R2K spirituality of the church nonsense and we have a hipster/R2K perfect storm of cowardice...

Doug Wilson and Biblical Horizons/Trinity Institute Lutheranism...

In the post Accountability in the CREC..., I commend Pastor Doug Wilson, which leads a longtime, faithful commenter to this remonstrance:

Brother,

From the standpoint of biblical truth, reformed theology and the Confessionalism that flows from it, this post is disappointing.

Not only do you endorse a leading proponent of the errant 'federal vision' theology, but by unnecessarily putting down a biblical, reformed communion as a means of doing it.

Not only has this man repeatedly been warned and hardened himself...

If Paul had to deal with postmoderns...

Dear “Brother” Paul:

I’m finding it very difficult to write this letter to you since I know how you’ll respond. But I choose not to think about that. You’ve mentioned me in two of your allegedly “private letters” to brother Tim and I feel I must respond.

In the first you claim that I’ve rejected the faith and a good conscience. And, as if that was not bad enough, you accuse me of blasphemy. How would you feel if someone said those kinds of things about you? Have you ever thought of that? I thought you...

Happy Fathers Day...

When you read the Bible and see it condemning a particular sin, if the sin seems absent today, do you move on? Or do you presume every sin is common to man?

Take bloodshed, for instance: across the Old Testament God rebukes man for shedding innocent blood.1 In fact, the first mention of blood in Scripture is God's condemnation of Cain for shedding the blood of his brother, Abel: “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground."2

When you read this and the many other places where God's people are condemned for shedding innocent blood, do you stop to consider whose blood cries out to God from our soil? Do you find yourself wondering whether God cares about the hundreds of thousands of disabled and elderly who are starved, dehydrated, and drugged to death each year in our hospitals, nursing homes, and bedrooms? Do you wonder if God keeps track of the newborn who are denied...

All their oops belong to us...

(Thanks to Lucas) The Supreme Court of These United States (SCOTHUS) makes a habit of amending its opinions, sometimes years after the fact. It's been done since the court's beginning. In past years, it was difficult to track or announce those changes, but now it would be easy for SCOTHUS to provide an online record of changes. Still, the justices are resistant to doing so.

Here's an idea: they work for us. Which is to say we pay them and we should make them do it. Their decisions are in the public domain because those decisions were written on our dollar, and thus belong to us. So let's require these employees to maintain a public record of their changes...

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Affirming stuff, part one...

Christian faith has always unapologetically been affirming of “stuff” - physical stuff. So affirming of stuff, in fact, that the entire world is scandalized by it. Some might say that one problem with our godless generation is its denigration of stuff; like a child in formation within his mother’s womb. The reason such a child may be incautiously discarded (killed) is that it is said to be nothing more than a mess of tissue - you know, it’s “just” stuff.

The word 'gnostic' is so abused of late that it can refer to nearly anything—so nebulous, it defies concreteness. This is a sad irony. But the fact remains, Christians have always scandalized the world by our unapologetic affirmation of stuff—insofar as our spirituality is divorced from stuff, some form of dualistic juju is wreaking havoc on our very humanity. It is a violent form of dualism which rages against our identity—an identity created by God which is identifiable through our bodies... 

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