A Workforce Without Men

From Lori Alexander at The Transformed Wife:

A day, no years, without women in the workforce wouldn’t change a thing. Women think they’re invincible in the workforce but they aren’t. Men can easily and often better replace every single job that a woman has in the workforce. Our military would be stronger without women. Our police force would be stronger. Women make these institutions weaker and now we have these “sexual” problems in the military. Duh! This happens when we mix males and females in close quarters for months on ends and far away from home.

She goes on to show that society cannot survive without men in the workforce, and without women in the homes. Alexander goes on to write:

God has given men clearly defined roles and He has given women clearly defined roles and when they stop doing what they are supposed to be doing cultures die a slow, agonizing death. Go home, women. Tend to your husband, children, and homes. Make them sanctuaries of peace, warmth, and affection for your families. This is the greatest work that you can do because it was given to you by the Creator of everything.

R.C. Sproul Jr. On the Real Battles We Face

I think this sums up the real difference we make as believers:

The real battles are these: Will I speak graciously to my children today? Will I have a grateful and cheerful heart about my neighbors, my fellow employees, those with whom I worship? Will I go to war against gossip, not by pointing out the gossip of others but by tending my own garden? Whether some evangelical superstar embraces some mystical prayer form is less important to the kingdom’s future than whether I will pray faithfully for that little girl with the brain tumor.

Read the rest of Sproul’s post, Someone Is Wrong on the Internet.

Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

R. Scott Clark has a 9-part series on Paedobaptism that is quite helpful. Here is the portion of the first installment:

Is Infant Baptism Protestant?

In short, yes. All the Protestant Reformers including Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli and John Calvin held to infant baptism. Though these three great Protestants disagreed on many things, they all agreed on the Protestant doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. They also agreed that infant baptism is a biblical practice and the best expression of the Protestant gospel.8 In fact, infant baptism has been the practice of the historic Christian church since the Apostolic period.9 Of course the historic practice of the church does not settle the question. Historic practice, however, suggests a certain presumption in favor of infant baptism. Nevertheless, tradition alone is not sufficient reason for any practice in the church. Therefore Reformed Christians practice covenant baptism because we are commanded to do so in both the Old and New Covenant Scriptures. 10

Comments Worthy of Noting

I wanted to share two comments made over the past week that I really enjoyed, even when they were opposed to my position. The first is from Stan, over at BirdsoftheAir. He was commenting on one of my posts on baptism, and stated his opposition to my position:

Raised a Baptist, I was introduced later in life to the concept of paedobaptism by someone I greatly admire — R.C. Sproul. So I spent a great deal of time examining the Scriptures on the subject, not wishing for emotion or precedent to determine what is true. I became so adept at it that I once spent time defending it on a Christian discussion forum. I can see where paedobaptists such as yourself come to your conclusions, and I respect them as not merely traditional, but biblical. That is, you derive your view from Scripture.

I also agree that baptism is the new circumcision (so to speak). Having said that, however, I find that this is where I end my convergence with paedobaptism. I believe that “repent and be baptized” is the correct formula (see also Matt 28:19-20). So if baptism is the sign of the new covenant, at what point did the children of Israel become part of the old covenant? At birth, of course. And at what point do we become part of the new? At spiritual birth. Thus, after comparing Scripture with Scripture, listening to godly men debating godly men (I was treated to a debate on the subject between R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur once), and recognizing many Reformed folks who are biblical, Reformed, and credobaptists (such as John Piper), I’ve concluded that I am convinced by Scripture and evident reason that the credobaptist position best reflects the biblical view.

But, as I said, I respect those who, by virtue of Scripture, conclude that I’m wrong on this. Not so much those who, by virtue of righteous indignation and wrath, decide credobaptists are rank heretics perhaps not even part of the faith.

I appreciate his comment because he fully recognizes my position as a paedobaptist, shows why he disagrees with the position without being insulting or demeaning, and still admits that my position is supported by scripture. Yet, even with that support, he is not convinced and remains a credobaptist. Excellent response.

Continue reading “Comments Worthy of Noting”

Baptism: God’s Sign To Us, Not Our Personal Testimony

From Paul Viggiano’s sermon Why In the World Would We Baptize an Infant?

Baptism is not primarily a personal testimony of having saving faith for oneself as much as it is (as we learned earlier) a testimony that God justifies, or saves sinners, by faith. To baptize someone is a rite that points to the truth that righteousness comes by faith. It points to the fact that salvation is based on God’s grace and that we can do nothing to merit it. Baptism points to that truth! It does not necessarily point to the salvation of the person baptized. Baptism is not primarily designed to be a personal testimony of personal saving faith. God commanded circumcision be applied to those whom He knew full well would not be children of faith (e.g., Ishmael, Genesis 17:23).

Does this mean the circumcision was wrongly applied to Ishmael or that it meant nothing? No! It was a sign of man’s only hope. It was a testimony to the saving work of God. Many people are baptized who aren’t saved (see Hebrews 6 and Acts 8). Simon Magus was baptized in Acts 8:13, then in verse 20 Peter says to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!”

            Baptism is not a testimony of an individual’s saving faith. It is a testimony that God saves by faith. It is not my personal expression to God. It is God’s expression to me. It is valid and its message is true regardless of the worthiness of the recipient. Baptism is not so much a sign my personal faith as it is a sign and a seal of a covenant promise that God has made to a people—to His people. It’s a beautiful sign when given to an infant because it portrays the spiritual impotence of man and the grace of God toward His powerless creatures. [Emphasis added]

            The whole idea that we would only baptize true believers is a flawed concept at best. B.B. Warfield stated the obvious when he asserted that it would be impossible to only baptize true believers because only God knows who the true believers are. He goes on to explain that if we are to baptize based upon our best guess, we should only baptize the children of believers because there is greater likelihood that the children of believers will continue to walk in faith than those who are seemingly converted as adults at crusades and such.

            We often hear Baptist (those who oppose infant baptism) parents, who wish to have their children baptized, offer explanations of their children’s salvation based on outward observations. Maybe they said a prayer or made a cohesive statement about the nature of salvation by grace. These are precious and probable causes for the parents to believe their children are following in their spiritual footsteps. The parents still, nonetheless, are making an assumption. If we are going to make assumptions, should they not be Biblical ones?

Continue reading “Baptism: God’s Sign To Us, Not Our Personal Testimony”

Currid On the Woman’s Desire

Concerning Genesis 3:16b

Your desire shall be for[a] your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.”

It is customary to understand the woman’s longing for her husband to be one of sexual desire, or at least, one of great affection. But that is probably incorrect. The proper signification comes from comparing this verse with Genesis 4:7, which uses both verbs, to ‘long’ (desire) and to ‘rule’, from 3:16. Also, the proximity of the two verses is weighty. In 4:7, God tells Cain that ‘Sin is crouching at your door; it longs to have you, but you must rule over it.’ The issue for Cain is what will dominate him and have control and mastery over him. The same applies to 3:16: the woman will have an excessive desire and determination to dominate her husband. The man, however, will dominate her. Thus this verse describes the ongoing condition of marriage relationships which will exist after the Fall.

The nature of the new order is quite appropriate. It was Eve who led the family in the garden episode, who ate the fruit first and led the man to do the same. Adam, for his part, let woman lead, and he refused to take his mandated leadership role. God now proclaims that such struggles and tensions will always appear in the marriage relationships.

From John D. Currid’s An EP Study Commentary:Genesis Vol. 1, p. 133.

C.S. Lewis on “The Lesser of Two Evils”

This came across Facebook at just the right time. I was in the midst of a debate with my brother about the fact that I’m not voting for either candidate in the upcoming election. We need this reminder that choosing the lessor of two evils, is… still choosing evil. That will never change.

CSLewis

UPDATE: From Jason A. Van Bemmel’s article: The Curse of Constantine and the Lie of the Lessor of Two Evils:

Here’s the bottom-line lesson of the curse of Constantine: When the church focuses on earthly political power, both the church and the world lose. Instead of on preaching the Gospel, showing the love of Jesus and speaking as a prophetic voice of truth to the culture, the church fights among itself, jockeys for political power, compromises, manipulates, back-stabs and presents an ugly, awful witness to the world.  The church loses her spiritual power, and the world loses a vital Gospel witness it so desperately needs.

I remember sharing the story of Chuck Colson’s conversion with a non-Christian friend in college. He listened politely and said, “So, he went from being a Republican political operative to being a Christian? Not much of a change, huh?” That’s the opinion of much of the world when it comes to Christianity. Sadly, we have too much in the media and on social media to reinforce that stereotype.

The Lie of the Lesser of Two Evils

As the church has sought to gain and keep political power, it has often compromised by giving into the lie that we must always choose the lesser of two evils. The church has been forced into situations of moral compromise by a worldly political power Jesus never called it to have. From the very beginning, the church had to decide how much it would compromise in order to gain and keep the favor of the emperor. They had to decide how far they would bend God’s word to win political favor.

Some refused to compromise, preferring to preach and teach the word of God without compromise. Sadly, they often paid with their lives, since the church powers now had the power of the sword. John Chrysostom was walked to death in the year 407 at the age of 58 because he refused to compromise. Jan Hus was burned at the stake.  John Knox was driven from Scotland and lived years in exile.

Read the rest of the article here.

Thoughts on the Founding Father’s Beliefs

Several years ago, I read a book about George Washington that was written to show that he was truly a Christian. I came away from that book believing for certain, that George Washington was at least a Deist. In other words, I didn’t agree with the author of the book. The quotes of Washington did not sound like they came from the heart of a born-again Christian. I was telling Heidi that the other day, and then came across this article by Robert Tracy McKenzie, the professor and chair of the Department of History at Wheaton College, entitled Were the Founding Fathers Christian?

Continue reading “Thoughts on the Founding Father’s Beliefs”