Baptist Refusal to Baptize Their Children & Postmodern Refusal to Assign Gender to Their Children

Baptists are forever insisting that only those who can articulate their confession of Christ are to be Baptized.  John MacArthur gives us one such example,

“The significance of Baptism is unmistakably clear. In our day, an open solemn confession of the crucified risen Lord is necessary. All who experience the reality of the power of the risen Savior should give this public testimony to His glory as an act of obedience. In biblical Baptism in the New Testament manner, believers not only give testimony to their union with Christ…listen to this…they give testimony to their thoughtful, careful, submissive obedience to the holy Scripture in which nothing could be treated as unimportant.”

Since infants can’t give what MacArthur’s requires therefore infants are not to be recipients of Baptism as a means of Grace. Indeed, the genuine Baptist doesn’t even like calling Baptism a “means of Grace” since to speak like that is putting the emphasis on what God is doing in Baptism as opposed to the Baptist emphasis that Baptism is about what we are doing by being Baptized.

This is Baptist thinking. Children of Christians are not to be Baptized until they can name for themselves their own religious identity as Christian.

This thinking of the sovereign child, who can only be Christian in the context of their own self understanding is now bleeding off into other areas that make perfect sense given the Baptist premise of, “a child cannot choose their religious identity until they are epistemoligcally self conscious about what identity they want to choose.”

Think about it.

What is the difference between Baptist parents insisting that their children have to be epistemoligcally self conscious about what religious identity they want to choose and Modern parents now who are insisting that their children have to be epistemologically self conscious about what sexual identity those children want to choose? What we are saying here is that there is a harmony found in Baptist parents refusing to baptize their children and many modern parents today refusing to “baptize” their children into a predetermined gender believing, just as the Baptists believe, that their children should be able to have a say in the matter of what gender they will have.

Modern parents insisting that children must choose their own sexual identity is just the logical extension of Baptist parents insisting that children must choose their own religious identity.

The point here isn’t that there is an exact one to one correspondence on this matter. The point here is that when you start with the sovereign individual who must be consulted before covenantal realities are determined apart from his or her approval the end result, naturally enough, is sovereign individuals who must be consulted before any number of realities are determined apart from zhis or zhers approval.

Consistent Baptist thinking lends itself to the atomized individual and once the individual is atomized then he or she is free to be self determinate in every area of life from religion to sexuality to who knows where else.

Some will protest that this isn’t a fair analogy since baptism signifies a supernatural event whereas sex is a natural given. But to protest such as this is to miss the point of the analogy. The point of the analogy is not supernatural vs. natural. The point of the analogy is the sovereign individual choosing all. When it is realized that this is the point of the analogy then all protestations of my creating a “straw man” here lose their power.

Let me also add here that both in God’s covenantal ordering and in sexuality both Baptism and gender are objective categories. When one is birthed to Christian parents one is, objectively speaking, a member of the covenant and so is Baptized just as one is, objectively speaking, either male or female. There is a givenness in both being a member of the covenant and in our gender that is objective. That givenness may be twisted but it can never be changed.

McAtee Contra Dr. Russell Moore… Christianity or State-olatry?

This was a question and answer exchange from the floor of the recent meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

How in the world can someone in the Southern Baptist Convention support the defending of the rights of Muslims to construct Mosques in the United States when these people threaten our very way of existence as Christians and Americans. They are murdering Christians, beheading Christians, imprisoning Christians all over the world. Do you actually believe that if Jesus Christ were here today that he would support this and he would stand up and say let us protect the rights of those Baal worshipers to erect temples to Baal?  Do you believe that Dr. Moore?

John Wofford
Pastor – Armorel Baptist church

Dr. Russell Moore, Chairman of the Southern Baptist “Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission”  responds to the question,

You know sometimes we have to deal with questions that are really complicated. We have to spend a lot of time thinking them through, and we’re not sure what exactly the final result is going to be. Sometimes we have really hard decisions to make. This isn’t one of those things (delegate applause). What it means to be a Baptist is to support soul freedom for everybody (delegate applause). And Brothers and sisters when you have a government that says “we can decide whether or not a house of worship can be constructed based upon the beliefs of that house of worship” then there are going to be Southern Baptists Churches in San Francisco and New York and throughout this country are not going to be able to build. The bigger issue though is not one of self interest. The bigger issue is that we have been called to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A government that has the power to outlaw people assembling together and saying what they believe that does not turn people into Christians. That turns people into pretend Christians and it sends them straight to hell. The answer to Islam is not Government power. The answer is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the new birth that comes from that (heavy delegate applause).

_______________

I wish I could say this was satire. You know, something from the Babylon Bee. Unfortunately Dr. Russell Moore was dead serious. Honestly, it is difficult to consider any “Christian” who actually sincerely believes this to be Christian. Can one be Christian and suggest that other Christians should support the ability of anti-Christian religions to flourish? If there is no God but God how can Christians support the proliferation of false gods? Before I get ahead of myself let’s take this in order.

I’m going to be exhaustive here so there will likely be overlapping in some of these observations.

1.) Note, first of all that Moore doesn’t directly answer the question asked of him. Moore’s indirect answer seems to be that if Baptist expect to build Churches in San Francisco and New York then they have to abide Muslims killing,  beheading, and imprisoning Christians throughout the world.

2.) Don’t miss that Moore’s answer is “yes” to the question as to whether or not Jesus would support the erecting of Baal Temples. According to Dr. Moore, Jesus would indeed support the building of Temples to Baal in a pluralist social order.

3.) Note Moore’s mocking of Rev. Wofford’s question. Moore offers that it’s really an easy question to answer. This is contemptuous arrogance on Moore’s part. This is difficult to swallow when it is Moore who is the one offering a simpleton and disastrous answer.

4.) Notice what Moore offers here as the first part of his answer is “soul freedom.”  “Soul Freedom is techno-speak for Baptists. “Soul Freedom” or “Soul Liberty,”  comes to Baptists from Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island Plantation. Williams absolutized the liberty of conscience in terms of choice in matters of faith. Williams wrote on this matter that,

“It is the will and command of God, that a permission of the most paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or anti-Christian consciences and worships, be granted to all men in all nations and countries; and they are only to be fought against with that sword which is only (in soul matters) able to conquer, to wit, the sword of God’s spirit, the Word of God.”

Now this sounds enlightened until one realizes that Williams (and now Moore) are advocating the Baptist religious principle  that the  sword supported statute  of the state be used to insure that no one religion be allowed to be the one unique religion of a people. The Baptist state, enforcing “Soul Freedom,” must use the statute supported sword of the state to make sure that all religions proliferate. Of course this has the effect of making the State the god of the competing gods making sure that each god only goes so far in the public square. Baptists “Soul Freedom” is institutionalized idolatry (State-olatry). Williams and Moore’s “Soul Freedom” coerces people to accept the Baptist version of religion for the public square. Baptist “Soul Freedom” is not Freedom at all but is bondage to idolatry. Baptist thinking on this matter is thus “anti-Christ.”

5.) When we consider “Soul Freedom” in this light we see that “Soul Freedom” is actually an absolutizing of unbiblical notions of freedom. Moore’s freedom is religious anarchy. Freedom is never absolute but always operates in the context of some ordered religious framework. Moore’s “ordered framework,” is the framework of religious pluralism, a synonym for the monotheism of State-olatry.

6.) Moore misses the fact that the State is God’s State and is responsible to the God of the Bible. As the 1958 revised Belgic Confession Article 36 teaches,

“…And being called in this manner to contribute to the advancement of a society that is pleasing to God, while completely refraining from every tendency towards exercising absolute authority, and while functioning in the sphere entrusted to them and with the means belonging to them to remove every obstacle to the preaching of the gospel and to every aspect of divine worship, in order that the Word of God may have free course, the kingdom of Jesus Christ may make progress, and every anti-Christian power may be resisted.”

Now of course a Baptist would disagree with this but even the Baptist London Confession of Faith does not support Moore speaking of the necessity of the Magistrate to be, “encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.”

7.) Moore seems to think that it is possible to have a a-religious neutral State. In point of fact all states are theocracies including this one and Moore is advocating for a pagan God (the State) to remain the the god enforcing “Soul Freedom” as its humanist religion. Moore’s religion is the ancient Roman religion which allowed any religion to prosper in Rome as long as all adherents of all religions pinch incense to Rome. When Moore insists that the State should remain un-attached to any God or god concept Moore, at that very moment is pinching incense to the God State.

8.) As we have noted, in advocating for “Soul Freedom,” where the State, by sword supported statute, protects all religions as equal and so supports the presence and proliferation of all religions, makes all the social order slaves of a State that is in control of the competing gods. It turns the social order into an Egyptian Mahat system where all are slaves to the State. Because of Baptist “Soul Freedom,” we live and move and have our being in the State.

9.) Note, that Moore suggests that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with whether or not idolatry is allowed to flourish. In order to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ  we must support the building of pagan temples. If that makes sense to anybody they are hopeless to reach.

10.) Is Moore really suggesting that any “house of worship” of any variety should be allowed to be built? Would Moore support a building that housed the Santeria cult?  By what standard would Moore cut off supporting building worship centers that housed the vilest of cults? I know for a fact that Moore would oppose supporting any worship center which had the Confederate flag as a religious symbol, and that even if that worship center was Christian.

11.) Honestly, if this is Moore’s understanding of Christianity I would praise God with all my being if Baptists churches were not built in San Francisco, New York, Bombay, India, or anywhere on the planet.

12.) Moore gives us a false dichotomy when he offers that Government is not the answer to Islam but rather the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to Islam.  Can not the Gospel of Jesus Christ convert Magistrates in Government so that they desire to protect Christianity from the inroads of pagan faiths?

13.) Moore is worried about pretend Christians going to hell  but he does not seem concerned about real Muslims going to hell. Indeed, Moore wants to help them go to hell by supporting their institutional infrastructures.

What Russell Moore is advocating is nothing but Cultural Marxism and anti-Christianity. While, I have no reason to doubt Moore’s good intentions it is simply the case that Moore is doing the Devil’s work by intellectually paving the highway to Hell.

For another good piece on this issue see Adi Schlebush’s work at Faith and Heritage. Adi brings out some points that I do not cover.

http://faithandheritage.com/2016/06/russell-moore-endorses-idolatry/

 

God’s Call For Virgin Skin … Baptism and Tattoos (#4)

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

I Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

In teaching the covenant children on Baptism I often times will us the illustration that Baptism is like God’s branding us with His mark of ownership. I will tell them just as a Rancher might brand his cattle, so God brands us with the mark of Baptism that is indelible to His eyes. When He looks at us He sees that we are marked with His mark and so treats us as His own.

In Baptism we are marked with God’s mark. It is the mark wherein we find our identity. It is the only mark that we need have placed upon us. Indeed, by marking ourselves with other permanent marks it could be easily argued that we are putting marks on ourselves that are in identity competition with God’s mark of Baptism.

In this vein it is interesting that historically tattoos have been used as an identifying mark that one belongs to this or that god. The gods were thought to have required that their people be marked with their mark. Of course, today no one in the modern West would, upon receiving a tattoo, think that they were doing so as a mark of belonging to some ancient tribal deity but perhaps worse yet what being tatted today demonstrates and signals is the god-like power one seizes over one’s own body.  If one views themselves as autonomous beings then they will mark themselves with their own marks. This is understandable but the Christian who has been marked with God’s mark of Baptism should not want to be marked with any other mark.

Not only should they not want to be marked with any other mark they are forbidden to be marked out with any other mark. The Priest class in the Old Testament was not allowed to be tattooed, like the pagans around them,

Leviticus 21:5 They (the Priests) shall not make bald patches on their heads, nor shave off the edges of their beards, nor make any cuts on their body.

This is relevant to those who profess Christ today who resolve to be tattooed because in the New Testament it is the Church and Christians who are identified as God’s Priest class.

I Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

All God’s people today are prophets, priests, and kings under sovereign God, and so all God’s people today, as God’s Priests, are proscribed by God from making any cuts on their body. And why should they want any other marks on their bodies since they’ve been marked by their God in Baptism?

Why this desire, by professing Christians, for a further marking besides God’s mark of Baptism? One wonders if the increase of tattooing isn’t due to God’s people not understanding their identity in Christ. In so many ways Westerners have been separated and stripped from, and of, their Christian history — and so their identity — that perhaps, at some level, the reason body modification is being pursued by Christians so intently is because they are trying to find a meaning that has eluded them. The modern Western man has been deracinated to the point that he no longer is even sure about gender, and is now treated as a interchangeable cog in a vast impersonal machine culture. Given that, it is not a wonder that the modern Western man, be he Christian or non Christian, is exploring all avenues, including tattooing, to imbue his life with some possible meaning.

Of course modern Western man does not speak to himself in such terms. He probably couldn’t and wouldn’t articulate his thinking (if he even thinks about it at all) in such a way. For modern man tattooing one’s self is just what people do. Modern man would insist that tattooing doesn’t mean anything except, “it’s cool and it’s pretty and my peers are doing it and I want to fit in.”

However, if Christians who are also Moderns, had explained to them what God’s mark of Baptism means then just possibly they would see that pursuing any other mark, besides the mark of Baptism, would be a pursuing of a counter claim by a different god.

A Look at Dr. David Wright’s and IWU’s Surrender to the LGBT Religion — Part II

I conclude my fisking of Indian Wesleyan University’s President’s Dr. David Wright’s Testimony in favor of taking away civil rights from many Christian business owners in exchange for IWU’s being allowed to be a marginally “Christian” University.

Dr. David Wright, President of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion Indiana,

They (the LGBT activists) are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness.   Our love for them means we cannot affirm a pathway that we sincerely believe is mistaken, but neither do we want them to be denied the basic human rights that are their due as fellow citizens.

Rev. McAtee responds,

1.) What does Dr. Wright mean when he says that “they (LGBT activists) are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?” This is such a circumlocution. This could be said of any criminal class.

a.)  Necrophiliacs are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness.

b.)  Pedophiliacs and Pederasts are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?

c.) Bestialics  are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?

d.) Kidnappers  are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?

e.) Rapists  are men and women just like us who are doing their best to find their pathway to well-being and happiness?

The fact that Dr. David Wright, President of Indiana Wesleyan University, can speak like this proves that he has accepted the LGBT lifestyle as normative for the public square. He would never utter the counter examples above as an attempt of rational speech and yet here he is trying to make his listeners have sympathy for those involved in the kind of behavior that the men of Christendom have made illegal as  being vile and criminal for thousands of years.

2.) Wright insists he does not desire the “basic human rights” of perverts, which are their due, to be denied. And yet Dr. David Wright has no problem denying the basic human rights of “Freedom of Association,” to Biblical Christians.  Biblical Christians must forgo the basic human right of expecting their daughters to go into public bathrooms that don’t have perverted men dressed as women in those same bathrooms.  IWU President David Wright’s testimony desires the Biblical Christian’s basic human right of being able to honor God in their business denied so that the LGBT can honor their God by forcing Christians to give legitimacy to the God of self that informs the LGBT movement.

Dr. David Wright, President of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion Indiana,

We believe all of us who live together as law-abiding citizens of this state must enjoy the basic protections of the law.  To deny one person the protections of law is ultimately to lay the groundwork for denying all persons the protection of law.

Rev. McAtee responds,

1.) Here Dr. Wright assumes what he has not, and cannot prove and that is that those involved in the LGBT lifestyle are “law abiding citizens.” For millennial LGBT behavior has been criminalized.  Back in 1977- 1982 when I attended Marion College, if it were found out that a student was a sodomite they would have been tossed out of school. So, what has happened between 1982 and 2016 that has changed wherein this behavior has gone from criminal to “law abiding?What has happened wherein we have gone from throwing students out of Marion college who were LGBT to now having a Indiana Wesleyan President now categorize them as “Law abiding citizens?”

2.) Wright, by favoring special rights in the public square for LGBT people has surrendered the basic protections of the law for those who favor “Freedom of Association,” and for those who desire to honor God in their public square business.  What David Wright is actually saying here is that “to deny one criminal LBGT person the protection of their criminal behavior is ultimately to lay the groundwork for denying all law abiding persons the protection of law.” Wright fails to realize that those who are criminals do not deserve the protection of the law. What Wright should have said, were he operating as a Biblical Christian, is, “To deny one Christian the protection of law is ultimately to lay the groundwork for denying all Christians the protection of law.” This is what Wright is doing. Via Wright’s testimony Wright is denying Biblical Christians the protection of the law in favor of providing the color of law’s protection to the LGBT community. Law here, can either protect the Biblical Christian’s Freedom of Association, or it can protect the LGBT in forcing Christians to affirm the LBGT lifestyle by doing business with them. Shame on Dr. David Wright.

Dr. David Wright, President of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion Indiana,

In summary, then, we believe that our laws must honor the fundamental rights of freedom of religion, of conscience, and of peaceful coexistence granted us in the constitutions of our state and our nation.  If we abandon or curtail the right to sincerely held religious convictions, peaceably pursued among fellow citizens, we will in time deny all other rights as well.

Rev. McAtee responds,

But David, you’re not honoring the fundamental rights of freedom of religion as it pertains to freedom of association. David, you’re not honoring the fundamental rights of freedom of conscience for those Biblical Christian’s in the public square whose consciences are being violated in being forced to do business with the LGBT community. President Wright, there can be no peaceful coexistence between the God of the Christian and the God of the LGBT movement. You are kidding yourself Dr. Wright and dishonoring Christ at the same time.

Dr. Wright, you seem to think that we can arrive at some kind of social order neutrality between Biblical Christians and pagans and their Gods. You seem to think that a peaceful co-existence can be attained whereby those who are lovers of Christ and those who are haters of Christ can both pursue their diametrically opposed religions in the public square.  What’s more you seem to think this while you yourself are testifying so as to curtail the civil rights of Biblical Christians in the public square. That you can not see that this is what you are doing is astounding.

By you testimony Dr. Wright you are giving cover for those who are saying that the desire of Biblical Christians to live out their faith in peace and liberty is radical. By you testimony Dr. Wright you are giving cover for those who are saying that it is Biblical Christians who are the problem in the public square and that they need to be reigned in.  By you testimony Dr. Wright you are countenancing men in public bathrooms that our daughters may be using.  By you testimony Dr. Wright you are giving cover for those who are pushing legislation that is, in essence, bigoted against Biblical Christian in the public square.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned Dr. Wright. What you have done is far worse. You have helped set the fire to Rome.

The Wheaton Imbroglio and “Worshiping the Same God.”

The Protestant way of discussing the issue of God and His nature and worship starts with the Bible as determinative in all matters.  Thus biblical theology always trumps philosophical analysis.  Said succinctly and simply put, God and Allah are not the same.  Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God.

Rev. Bassam Madnay 
Pioneer of Arabic radio missions over a period from 1958 to 1994

Developer of a Bible-based ministry, which emphasizes the centrality of the Word of God in missions to Muslims.

Author of several books in Arabic for the follow-up ministry that was used in his work for use among Arabic-speaking people.

Wheaton College continues to struggle with what to do with  professor Larycia Hawkins who said that  Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Of course this is all complicated by the racial dynamics as  professor Larycia Hawkins is one of only a few African American professors at Wheaton. Doubtless, were Wheaton to fire  professor Larycia Hawkins, there would be cries of racism and so it is easy to see how wanting to avoid those potential cries of “racism,” might become part of the decision making matrix in this case. To put it bluntly, Wheaton may well be tempted to not stand by its Christian confession so that it can avoid being seen as intolerant, bigoted, and racist by firing  professor Larycia Hawkins.

This debate is muddled up by imprecise thinking.

First, as there is only one God, religions which assert contradictory truths about that one God, as revealed in the OT and NT alone, are therefore not serving any God at all, but a fiction of their imagination. Muslims and Jews do not worship the same God since the “god” Muslims and Jews worship is a no god. The “god” of Jews and Muslims has no being or existence and so cannot be aligned with the the God who has being and existence.

Second, as the essence of Christianity is to affirm, with the Scriptures, that God is plurality in Monotheism,  we see contradiction to the false religions of Judaism and Islam, who worship a god without being or existence, who, nonetheless affirm that their no gods are unitary monotheistic gods who have no plurality.  How can it be the case that Christians, Jews, and Muslims, all worship the same God when the true God of Christianity and the false no gods of Judaism and Islam can’t even agree on the nature of God?

Third, the Christian faith affirms that there is no worship of God apart from the Son; The Lord Christ (John 14:6). In contrast Judaism denigrates Christ as can be seen by the Talmud’s affirmation that Christ is in hell boiling in hot semen. In contrast Islam, while esteeming Christ as a great prophet, still denigrates him by refusing to identify Christ as being very God of very God. The fact that Christianity affirms the centrality of Christ in order for worship of God to be possible as contrasted with Islam and Judaism which denigrate Christ proves again that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam do not and cannot worship the same God.

Fourth, this muddled headed thinking doesn’t understand that words find their meaning dependent upon the plausibility structure wherein they rest. The word “God,” then, like all words, is filled with meaning only as consistent with the paradigmatic contextual web wherein the word exists. It is true that Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all use the word “God,” but when that word and concept is conditioned by all the rest of their respective contradictory worldviews the end results is a shared word with meaning and referent that has nothing in common except the lexical form and auditory pronunciation.

As we explore this idea that “Christians and Muslims,” worship the same God we butt up against some other difficulties.

Ask yourself whether or not if Christians, Mohammedans, and Jews all worship the same God does that mean they all hate the same devil? It would seem to be the case that if the former holds the latter must hold as well. If we all worship the same God then how could we all not hate the same devil since God and the devil are polar opposites. A commitment to worshiping the same God would commit us to agreeing on hating the same devil.

 

Next we might inquire that if Christians, Mohammedans, and Jews all worship the same God and they all hate the same devil would that not mean that they all believe that the same God delivers men from the same devil via the same salvation? Here we get perilously close to what I believe the real project of this linguistic subterfuge is all about and that is the collapsing of these contradictory faith systems into one ecumenical miasma.

There are those who serve on the mission field who will insist that saying that Jews, Muslims and Christians all worship the same God makes evangelism easier as a place of commonality can be agreed upon so as to facilitate further conversation on the character of this God. However, if we begin in our discussions presupposing a shared God it is hard to envision that we will not end our conversations Islamifying our Christianity or Judaizing our Christianity to one degree or another when all is said and done.

Honestly, this attempt at insisting that Jews, Muslims, and Christians all worship the same God is just another example of the postmodernism worm eating away at all meta-narratives in favor of its own meta-narrative which teaches that all is social construct and is in favor of a kind of tortured monism.

In all this we must keep in mind that God is not a generic and abstracted philosophic construct that can be divorced from a concrete context. To suggest that Muslims, Christians, and Jews all serve the same God completely eviscerates the Christian religion as Scripturally revealed and as Historically practiced by those who have taken God’s revelation seriously through the centuries.

That Wheaton might ignore all this in order to align themselves with the demands of multiculturalism and political correctness in its demand to protect an errant minority professor is a sad testimony to where Christianity has descended. That this has even become a question that needs to be discussed and debated demonstrates the heights from which muscular Christianity has fallen.