December 2015

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The Paris slaughter...

Daughter Heather Ummel forwarded a link to this piece on the Paris slaughter by Fr. George Rutler, pastor of St. Michael's church in New York City. As always, today, Roman Catholics have a much better understanding of history and culture than Protestants, particularly Reformed Protestants. I say it to our shame. Thus someone like Fr. Rutler is able to put Paris in its proper historical context. He also points out the decadence of the end of Christendom which Muslims use to justify their present bloodlust—decadence to which R2K men and their willing helpers at LivingOut.org, the Gospel Coalition, and Covenant Theological Seminary have made significant contributions both past and present.

Culture doesn't lead the church. The church leads the culture, and each of these groups have led and still lead the church into compromise and silence concerning the wickedness of homosexualists. It's no accident, then, that Muslims see Christianity as morally repugnant. We've done what Covenant Theological Seminary's Professor David Jones said we should, making sodomy legal. It's time now to follow the footsteps of Gospel Coalition and their LivingOUT buddies in solidifying Professor Jones' revolution by commending the "gay Christian," "LivingOUT" Trojan horse. We'll also cave to the passage of pro-homosexualist laws by our civil magistrates because Two-Kingdom men want their shame at the Lord's commands to be affirmed and adopted by all churches to the end that no pastor or elder ever is so foolish as to preach publicly against any perversion, no matter how wicked.

So here we are, putting French flags up on FB and praying for the victims while pastors and preachers of the Gospel are silent about the destruction carried out by homosexualists and Islam.

Never forget that the atrocities committed by Islamic jihadists are only the present manifestation of the bloodlust that has characterized their Christian heresy from its inception. Muslims evangelize by the sword. Christians evangelize by the preaching of God's Word. Sadly, though, the victims of this particular Islamic bloodletting were not men and women who, with their deaths, entered Heaven to hear their blessed Master's words, "well done, my good and faithful servants."

The very opposite. There are only two masters of souls here on this earth, Almighty God and Satan. So says Jesus (Acts 26:16-18).

Satan was the master of those who died in the Bataclan concert hall...

Joy to the world...

Here's a taste of our Christmas Spectacular...

Lead on, O King eternal...

Gospel Coalition joins the gay celibate movement (2); the plausibility problem...

(This is the second in a series of posts (first) on the Gospel Coalition's post by Ed Shaw, author of a book promoting the "gay celibate Christian, "spiritual friendship," "Side B" movement. This movement is the sweet spot today among Evangelicals wanting to appear kinder and gentler in our post-Obergefell world. The Gospel Coalition's error is typical of the error of the church today with respect to this battle, and thus worthy of careful study and consideration. If you persevere through this series, we hope you will gain wisdom in knowing how to preach to, disciple, and love men and women caught in homosexual sin.)

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:43-45)

A couple days ago, the Gospel Coalition ran a piece written by Ed Shaw in his new book, Same-Sex Attraction and the Church: The Surprising Plausibility of the Celibate Life. Note the subtitle, particularly the word ‘plausibility.’ In his response to Doug Wilson's criticism of the Gospel Coalition's error (here and here), Denny Burk defended the Gospel Coalition and Shaw, agreeing that Christianity and the church have a plausibility problem among sodomites:

The point of the book is to explain why many same-sex attracted people find Christianity so implausible. The requirement of celibacy is so devastating to them that they simply cast aside the faith altogether. Shaw is trying to highlight “missteps” that churches often make that make Christianity seem implausible and that thus alienate same-sex attracted Christians. The British title expresses this better: The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction.

In other words, the purpose of Shaw’s book is better expressed by its title over in the UK where “plausibility” moves from the subtitle to the title. Same-sex attracted people often find Christianity “implausible” because of the requirement of celibacy, so they “cast off the faith.” Churches make mistakes that “make Christianity seem implausible" and “alienate same-sex attracted Christians.”

The problem Shaw’s book addresses is that both unbelievers and believers find Christianity “implausible.” Think about this.

It reminds me of a recent exchange I’ve had with the father of a young man who has molested several very young girls...

First Things...

Speaking of being accountable to no one, First Things comes to mind.

It used to be the journal of record among orthodox Christian believers Protestant and Roman Catholic, alike. Founded out of the Sturm and Drang between Richard John Neuhaus and his former publisher which left Neuhaus put out on the sidewalk, down below the Rockford Center's editorial office in Manhattan. While the Rockford Center continued the publication Neuhaus had edited, replacing Neuhaus with Joe (Harold O. J.) Brown—who did a serviceable job, Neuhaus didn't miss a beat and started First Things.

At the time, Neuhaus's ministerial credentials were lodged with the mainline Lutheran Church of America (now the ELCA). Later, he converted to Rome. Despite my disappointment, Neuhaus's explanatory statement resonated with me and I've often thought of it since as I watched my own longtime denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America. On the general assembly and presbytery level, too often it appeared that institutional advancement and the protection of its denominational trademark trumped its Biblical calling as the pillar and foundation of God's truth.

Neuhaus wrote...

The Gospel Coalition is accountable to no one...

A reader comments: "Tried to link to this article on TGC and the moderator deleted it. Hmm."

Gospel Coalition joins the gay celibate movement...

Screenshot of article on Gospel Coalition website(This is the first in a series of posts (second here) on the Gospel Coalition's post by Ed Shaw, author of a book promoting the "gay celibate Christian, "spiritual friendship," "Side B" movement which is the sweet spot today among Evangelicals wanting to appear kinder and gentler in our post-Obergefell world. The Gospel Coalition's error is typical of the error of the church today with respect to this battle, and thus worthy of careful study and consideration. If you persevere through this series, we hope you will gain wisdom in knowing how to preach to, disciple, and thus love men and women caught in homosexual sin.)

The Gospel Coalition's recent post, "Godliness Is Not Heterosexuality," is a denial of their founding documents, in which they claim to "seek the lordship of Christ over the whole of life with unabashed hope in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform individuals..." 

Put simply, the post denies the connection between godliness and heterosexuality—from its title to its conclusion. It criticizes parents who want their children to grow up and get married and have children of their own. Their post pushes us to admit that it really doesn't matter whether our children are gay or not.

This is a monumental rejection of the historic Christian understanding of sexuality as well as sanctification, so it is fitting that the Gospel Coalition began promoting sexual anarchy on the same day the Pentagon codified such anarchy by committing to have women in all jobs in the combat units defending the men and children of our nation...

The Armenian massacre by the Turks: evil is real...

(Note from TB: This post is by longtime contributor, Rev. David Wegener.)

Evil is real. It is in our hearts and families, our churches and synagogues, our city councils and state houses the world over. We’d like to pretend it doesn’t exist, but it still appears in all its horror from time to time, in ways we cannot ignore. Our attention is drawn to it when we read about …

  • Auschwitz, Dachau, and Treblinka, concentration camps where Jews were exterminated.
  • Josef Stalin or Idi Amin or Pol Pot and their murderous reigns of terror.
  • Genocide in Rwanda and Burundi and Bosnia in the 1990s.
  • American dumpsters filled with unborn babies, killed just prior to their due date.
  • The Chinese government’s one-child per family policy.
  • ISIS and the atrocities they commit against Christians in Iraq and Syria.

This year, I read a book about evil. Peter Balakian, an Armenian-American historian, has written about the genocide committed by the Turks against the Armenians prior to, during and after World War I in The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response. 24 April 2015 marked the 100th anniversary of the massacre. On that date in 1915, the Turks killed hundreds of Armenian leaders (poets and writers and priests and politicians and teachers).  

Sadly, talking about this massacre is difficult today since the Turkish government will still not admit that the massacres occurred...

From a different angle: a parable of shapes...

(Note from TB: Here's a parable written by former Clearnote member, Elliot Huck, who now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. I asked Elliot for permission to publish it and Elliot was kind enough to agree.)

Once upon a time, there was a country of triangles. There were big triangles and small triangles, young triangles and old triangles. There were Equilateral triangles and there were Isosceles triangles. There were even a few Irregular triangles, but the other triangles preferred not to talk about them.

Most of the triangles were Equilateral and, naturally, they were very proud of it. As everyone knows, an Equilateral triangle is a regular shape and, because they were regular, the Equilaterals started to believe they were perfect. While the Equilaterals got along fairly well with each other, they looked down on their Isosceles neighbors. To tell the truth, however, quite a few of the so-called Equilaterals were actually Isosceles themselves, but their sides were close enough that they could pass as Equilateral and no one would notice.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. The other Isosceles triangles noticed...

Arm yourself for the battle for the souls of sodomites...

From back in 2006:

It's taken a while to get around to it, but here are a few responses to one reader, James', comments on the two earlier posts, "Why 'sodomite' instead of 'gay' or 'homosexual'?" and "What exactly is 'unnecessary offense to the Gospel'?" I realize this discussion has been drawn out over quite a bit of time, but that's the nature of this wonderful time of year called "summer." Things take longer because other things interrupt. And I've been loving the interruptions.

So now, on with the responses.

James writes: In the comments section of the first post Mr. Bayly attempts to address comments made on another blog that he "did not take Sodom's explicitly stated sins very seriously." After reading the entirety of his post and what followed, it seemed very obvious that the person who made that comment was referring to Mr. Bayly's nearly complete ignoring of the Ezekiel text and almost total exaltation of the Jude text.

James, my purpose in what I've written has never been to give an historical analysis of all the sins of Sodom for which she was judged. Rather it has been to defend the church's historic use of the word 'sodomy' to designate same-sex carnal relations, and to establish that this was one of Sodom's central sins according to the text of Holy Scripture.

Homosexualists have spent decades promoting a revisionist interpretation of the Genesis account, seeking to remove sodomy from the list of sins God judged when He destroyed Sodom. And to that end, they emphasize all the sins of Sodom that have nothing to do with sexual immorality.

But again, my purpose is not to analyze Sodom and her sins, but to defend the church's historic usage of the terms 'sodomy,' 'sodomitic,' and 'sodomite' as being faithful to the text of Scripture. That's what's under attack.

No one here has ever denied the other sins of Sodom...

Comment system updated...

Thanks to everyone who has persevered through difficulties in posting comments. We've finally made the switch to a new system. Many of you are probably familiar with Disqus, which is used many places throughout the web. We hope you have a much better experience commenting now. 

Previous comments are still being migrated, and you can expect things to slowly settle into place. Thanks for your patience.

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