Friday, July 01, 2011

Hither and thither 7/1/11

Work-load and other activities didn't leave the usual time to work as fully as usual on HT, and may not next week nor the following. That's the bad news.

The great news is that Valerie continues to improve! Her miserable 10-day plus headache, which even more than the incision itself was slowing her recovery, has eased off, and she's been getting good sleep. Thank you all for your prayers.

Now here's what I've got for you:
  • To start with a sobering thought: yep, this would pretty much ruin my entire day.

  • TSA, in which the A stands for Absolutely Disgraceful: perhaps you heard that a 95-year-old woman was forced to take her adult diapers off for the TSA. Infuriating. But to know more is to be still angrier. The woman is in the last stages of leukemia, making her last flight to her native Michigan. She was subjected to a 45-minute ordeal, and made her flight by about 2 minutes. And no majority of Representatives or Senators have the spine to do something about this? (Links: Joel Griffith, Phil Johnson)

  • And again:

  • Now, to a subject with another parental caution: in response to questions about homosexuality asked by our own reader/commenter "College Jay," there is a first and second response at the Bayly Bros' blog. The posts are long, pastoral, direct, and thought-provoking.
  • Justin Taylor has a post on that very subject with a broader focus, including both thoughtful excerpts and good resources.
  • On the same subject, but well into the murk: give years ago I sadly and reluctantly bailed on WORLD magazine. Never regretted doing it, though I regretted having to do it. Now I see they have a writer who shares this: "For the longest time I’ve struggled to put my finger on just what I believe about homosexuality and whether or not same-sex marriages should be allowed." Presumably she's been a professing Christian during this struggle. I wonder whether she's struggled similarly to put her finger on just what she believes about rape, murder, Arianism, Roman Catholicism, lying, theft and other sins. Like when she mentions a "celibate homosexual Christian" friend — does she have child-molestor-Christian friends, atheist-Christian friends, murdering-Christian friends, Sabellian-Christian friends?
  • Sad: richly-talented, troubled, professed Christian performer Glen Campbell has announced that he has Alzheimer's, and that he is doing a "farewell tour." He also plans to stay in the public eye as the effects of the disease worsen.
  • M'man prof. Jim Hamilton goes after "dynamic equivalence" hammer-n-tongs.
  • And finally: Americans, enjoy your dearly-bought liberty while you can this weekend, because someone has an eye on each and every one of you:

  • Finally:


Susan said...

You know, about that poor 95-year-old who was shamefully treated by TSA....I had a discussion with a co-worker about this the other day, and she brought up an interesting point: Why don't they check people who are crossing the U.S. borders instead? Aren't they, in a sense, more dangerous??

Susan said...

(And my coworker was referring both northern and southern borders.)

DJP said...

Oh, Susan, there you go with that common-sense thingie!

Robert said...

I don't understand why so many people in the GOP like Romney so much. He doens't really carry much of the core least the ones I think of.

Dynamic equivalence and the NET don't sound too good to me. Although I worry that many people take the attitude of the last commenter (when I checked) to that post from Dr. Hamilton.

The post about homosexuality was really good. I certainly hope that it was taken well. The pastor takes a strong stand in the defense of the truth while trying to be a loving pastor...very encouraging.

The TSA stuff is maddening and quite a bit embarassing. It is hard to imagine that things in the US have come to this, but I can say that I see a great manifestation of pride in all of these stories that I keep reading about the TSA and the people working there. I wonder if they could use a good reading of Acts 12:19-23 and see how God feels about people trying to act like they are God.

Robert said...

I forgot to add that I am glad to hear that the headaches have decreased in severity and that Valerie is able to rest more soundly. We'll still be praying for her rest and recovery.

wv: pemill - is this a new eschatology I haven't heard of before?

trogdor said...

Arizona is way too slow to execute justice, but even they can't make a total mockery of it quite like my current home of Illinois. Sure, we just formally abolished the death penalty (after years of just not pursuing it). But murderers will truly tremble in fear over this!

timb said...

If San Francisco makes it illegal to buy/sell pets, I'm guessing the ban will hold until they make it legal to marry a pet.

FX Turk said...

Obligatory fauning and self-referential comment! Exclamation point!


DJP said...


Herding Grasshoppers said...

Glad Valerie is doing better :D

That video clip of Obama-watching-you is downright creepy. As creepy as what comes out of his mouth. Ewww.

Wow. 95-year-old woman has to remove her diaper. I feel so much safer now. /sarcasm Yikes.

Chris H said...

Isn't it possible to be a Bible-affirming celibate and chaste person who struggles with homosexual desires? I went for many years as a celibate and chaste person who struggled with heterosexual desires.

Seems to me that the sin is the action/thought, not the temptation. I'll admit that I might have misunderstood your comment, but I read it a few times, and it seems like you're suggesting that the temptation is the sin itself.

Unrelated: Happy Canada Day! My word verification is "inales" which is sadly where I suspect many of my fellow Canadians will be today....

DJP said...

You asking me, or Bayly, Chris?

Only tie-in I can see between your comment and mine would provoke this response: given your struggles, then, would you call yourself a rapist Christian, or an adulterous Christian?

Robert said...


I'd say that we sometimes have a hard time defining the line between temptation and sin. Jesus was tempted but did not sin. That means He didn't even think of doing anything sinful because His heart was pure and holy. We can't say the same. I didn't have sex until I married my wife when I was 34 years old. However, every sexually impure thought I had about any person I saw before then was sinful. And any sexually impure thought I have/will ever have about any person I am not married to is/will be sinful. The temptation is just the fact that there are people on the street, on tv/computer, or even in my mind that I can think of in that fashion. The moment I do so, it is sin...and the desire itself is sinful. One of the many reasons I can not wait to be in the presence of God and totally free from the presence of sin.

DJP said...

Yes, but my comment has nothing to do with whether or not temptation is sin. It has to do with the embrace of and identification with temptation. Paul does not say "and such are you all, but you're not practicing it right now." He says "and such were some of you."

I believe I see too often this assigning of a special status to homosexual temptation, and far, far too much effort poured into shielding and clinging and cherishing and ennobling homosexual temptation, as if people with that particular lust were in a category far removed from all other temptations.

I'm not called to identify my redeemed, new-creature self with my old-man temptations. I'm called to repent of them and put them to DEATH.

No category of sexual perversion is, to say the least, exempt from this blanket rule.

Paula Bolyard said...

I absolutely agree with what you're saying here,DJP, but for the record, when I read that statement, to me it read: Christianity and homosexual temptation are incompatible. I'm not of the tone police ilk, so I think it's more a matter of clarity.

Likely it's because you created a parallel between the celibate homosexual Christian, that is, one who is not practicing the sin of homosexuality and the atheist Christian, the rapist Christian,et al, with no caveat that they are refraining from their sin, thus lumping the together.

CR said...

I'm glad Valerie is continuing to improve.

Robert said...

Sorry, Dan...thanks for clearing up the bit of a mess I made with my comment as I was aiming more for what you said. If we are clinging to our temptations instead of fighting them, then that is what I see as the problem. I probably should have added that if I try to justify my sinful desires and temptations so that I can cling onto them, then I am not following Christ. Instead I should be trying to mortify them.

DJP said...

I like you, Paula, and I like you, Chris H, but I don't have a clue as to how you get what you're getting. Here's from the post:

Like when she mentions a "celibate homosexual Christian" friend — does she have child-molestor-Christian friends, atheist-Christian friends, murdering-Christian friends, Sabellian-Christian friends?

Should I have said non-child-molesting-at-the-moment-child-molestor Christian, theistic-atheist-Christian, and Trinitarian-Sabellian Christian?

My point is why identify yourself as an I-embrace-this-sin-Christian, if you're mortifying it and all other sinful passions?

When you say "Christian," aren't you by that very fact saying that you are a redeemed sinner who is saved from sin but still struggles (Rom. 7:14-25)?

One category of Christians seems to want to exempt one of its temptations from all other sins. Do Christians who feel perverted temptations also feel temptations to lie, steal, or disbelieve? So why not call themselves lying-stealing-murdering-unbelieving-homosexual Christians, unless it's to get one of their sins special treatment?

I have this idea. It's big. Sit down, here it comes.

If you're a Christian, say, "I'm a Christian."

We don't need the additional news that you breathe, eat, eliminate, and (sadly) experience particular categories of temptation.

Paula Bolyard said...

" Like when she mentions a "celibate homosexual Christian" friend — does she have child-molestor-Christian friends, atheist-Christian friends, murdering-Christian friends, Sabellian-Christian friends?

I'm in complete agreement with you about not labeling someone a LGBTLMNOP-Christian, a Gossiping-Christian or an Idol-worshipping Christian. Complete agreement.

I'm merely saying that the way you wrote that sentence, it gives the impression that you believe having homosexual temptations and being a Christian are incompatible. I know you're not saying that, I'm just saying it kinda reads that way because of the adjective "celibate" before homosexual and the absence of a similar adjective before any of the other sins.

If I were your editor (I'm just a homeschool mom with a red pen!), I'd just advise you to clean up the ambiguity a bit : )

DJP said...

I know I can be dense, but I still don't see it. "Celibate homosexual Christian" could mean nothing more than that he isn't acting on his beloved, cherished, indulged, perfectly-OK desires. Celibate rapist, celibate adulterer.

Plug in everything I just said. I'm already repeating myself.

Oh, also, read what Bayly says, when you have time and desire. I don't know that I agree with every punctuation-mark, but the brother's given it a lot of thought.

Chris H said...

I see what you're saying, and I'm happy to agree with you. Thank you for clarifying your comment.

Mike Riccardi said...

I'm not called to identify my redeemed, new-creature self with my old-man temptations. I'm called to repent of them and put them to DEATH.

Worth the price of admission.

Aaron said...

I read Bayly's posts. Pretty good. The first could have ended about 1,000 words earlier as the end seemed to ramble on.

But I think he's exactly right. Jesus says very clearly that merely keeping the external requirements of the law isn't enough. Sanctification requires that we reshape our minds and hearts as well as our actions. This is true whether our natural tendencies are fornication or something else. And if we identify ourselves as a non-practicing fill in the blank, then that suggests we are doing the latter but not the former.

Dennis Prager, whom I sometimes podcast, has said that women would be shocked if they knew what goes on in the minds of men (regarding our sexual nature). I would take it a step further and say that we as men are often afraid to share our failures with others and try to go through trials and temptations on our own strength.

Jay said...

I'm going to jump in here, and I'll probably go over some things that have already been said. For that, I apologize. I know Wesley Hill (the friend mentioned in the article.) These days, I disagree with him strongly about his word choice, but I know he mortifies his sin.

I think a lot of the confusion about this issue has to do with the Left's victories in the realm of language. This is something the Baylys, I believe, comment on regularly, refusing to us terms such as "gay" or even "homosexual" in favor of "sodomite," which is admittedly controversial. I see their logic in it, though.

Many people these days operate under the assumption that if you experience same-sex attractions (SSA) -- no matter whether you hate them or cherish them, abstain from them or indulge them, view them as vile temptations or a proud part of your essential being -- you're a homosexual. The Left especially views things this way, and unfortunately they've done a good job of turning "homosexual" into an onotological statement.

Therefore, according to this worldview, if someone experiences SSA, they are homosexual, no matter whether they hate those attractions or not, no matter whether they are promiscuous or completely chaste, no matter whether they marry and have children and only battle with homosexual temptation on occasion (this is how they discredit ex-homosexuals, by the way; if someone admits they still struggle with temptation, the Left shouts, "A-ha! You haven't really changed! You're still gay, and you're just repressed!")

The implicit motto is, "If you like the same sex, you're gay. End of story."

I think Wesley, and even myself until recently, bought into that extremely flawed method of identification even though we both understand the evil of homosexual desires and have worked hard to put them off, both in mind and in body. We've just both grown up in a generation where the Left has warped the concept of identity and language so that people have been identified by their sexualities -- a phenomenon that is actually very recent in history. And for us, it makes it difficult to figure out what words to use. What will be clear? What will make sense? When everyone else expects you to identify as "gay" or "straight," it's difficult to say "neither." It's not in vogue to reject identifying your essence by your sexual appetites.

You know me; I used to say "gay celibate Christian" when we first met. These days, I just say "Christian," but if I'm in a forum like this where the issue is being discussed, I'll say, "Christian who battles same-sex attractions," or something to that effect.

I think the Left has been long waging a war on language, and using the word "homosexual" (or even "heterosexual") as a primary label for a human being is one of their victories, so that even Bible-believing Christians have unfortunately been using it more and more when it really shouldn't be used.

Exodus International has done a pretty decent job of using "struggles with same-sex attraction" in the place of the term "homosexual" for those who resist their desires. I wish Hill had done the same in his book. I know that he is a Christian who struggles against his same-sex desires.

But I also realized that it's hard to struggle against something if your terminology makes it sound like an inherent part of yourself. Even if you yourself don't view it that way, the words society thrusts upon you puts you in a gridlock until you make the choice to reject them.

I think Wesley made the mistake of trying to reach out to the world, but unfortunately did it using their terms, something that ultimately won't be fruitful, this entire conversation being just one example why.

DJP said...

Wow. that's a lot of words, and most of them beside the point of the post, which was the WORLD writer's wobbly whateverness.

I'm glad to hear of the growth and movement; I hope I've grown and moved in the same time-frame. God knows I pray and strive for it.

Also this whole Myth of the Homosexual Christian, maybe I'll write a post devoted to it or something.

Then again, if I did, wouldn't I be feeding the very thing I've grown to loathe?

Jay said...

Sorry for being off-topic. I was just interested in how the comments had progressed in this thread and wanted to throw my ever-present hat into that ring. Also, I'm disappointed that my break-dancing dude + cat gif didn't make it to H&T, but glad that the BaylyBlog discussion did. Have a great holiday weekend. :)

Bike Bubba said...

Thanks; I am going to keep an eye on World more closely. I've disliked their movie and musuc reviews for a while because it just seems that when you get to "Rated R for sexual situations and nudity," you don't really need to watch the movie and review it, for example.

Now I see I've got to watch a lot more there. Thank you, and sigh.

Keith G said...

Saying that someone is a celibate homosexual doesn't seem to be very different than someone saying "I'm a recovering alcoholic" or, more commonly, "I'm a sinner saved by grace." I, personally, am a very lazy, covetous, selfish, hateful Christian. I practice those things as little as possible, of course, but they are definitely part of my natural orientation. Thank God for Jesus.

GrimMoody said...

I have friends who live celibate, holy lives and who have struggled with homosexual temptations.

I get your point,that the rest of us don't label our temptations with our Christianity-but that is not what we are trying to point out to you.

What we are saying is that for the person who is fighting these urges, and wants to know if Jesus still loves him or her even while the battle rages, to read what you wrote could be interpreted to mean that in your view no one who is a Christian could have those urges. Which you would agree is NOT what you meant, but still, that is how it came across.

Now, it is true we don't need to put this particular sin in its own protected category BUT we have to acknowledge that many Christians DO put this sin in a particular category as being beyond the pale-in other words, they excuse their own pecadilloes and temptations while being horrified beyond belief that anyone claiming the name of Jesus could be tempted in THAT way.

All I am saying is while we do want to be careful with our semantics, let us not forget that we do not want to put stumbling blocks before those whose dearest desire is to be freed of sin. And who in many cases struggle to find people willing to stand with them in the battle.

connie said...

dYou know, maybe it would be better if you could hear those of us who are suggesting that your statement might be communicating other than what you meant. I too took it as your saying that a true Christian wouldn't even be struggling with this temptation.
And as for it not being a protected category, well you have to admit that the Church in general treats people who struggle with homosexuality as if they are a different class of sinner than people who are just fornicators or adulterers or gossips. Those of my friends who love the Lord and at the same time struggle with these temptations deserve our support not our nitpicking.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

This has been a very interesting discussion, and I look forward to reading your future post, DJP. The verse from Philippians 1:21 comes to my mind, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

When I read Keith G's words, "I, personally, am a very lazy, covetous, selfish, hateful Christian." I snorted at first because I could immediately relate, and I appreciated the candidness of the comment. But then considering my ongoing battle against some of those things as well as laziness, and then thinking more about what you wrote, I'm beginning to see that even I (gasp) sometimes look at myself that way, rather than seeing myself as the new creature I am in Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5 comes to mind as well.) So it's not just about my thought life, and whether I think of myself as a Christian instead of a lazy Christian or a Christian who struggles with laziness. It's not just a mental game I play with myself or to convince others that I'm "really trying." My actions are also a necessary part of the mortification process, I do believe. That's all the thinking out loud I will do tonight. Again, I'm looking forward to your insightful admonishions.

And I heart Govenor Christie. Makes me want to move to New Jersey so I can vote for him and so my tax dollars can go to his capable administration.

And that video of Obama's stare didn't creep me out. I got the feeling that he's convinced that all it takes is looking the part, and the people will tremble. In reality many people aren't convinced. (Hopefully enough people to not re-elect him.)

Okay. I'm all out for now. Happy holiday weekend!

Merrilee Stevenson said...

This comment's word verification: "supploti."

As in, I sometimes have to submit a supploti comment in order to check the box that allows blogger to e-mail follow-up comments to my address. (I should have logged in BEFORE commenting.) Will I ever learn?

CR said...

I didn't see in DJP's statement that he was saying that the temptation is a sin in and of itself. Nor did I read from DJP's statement that Christianity and any kind of temptation is incompatible. What I read from his post was that it is incompatible to call yourself a celibate homosexual Christian.

I would also argue it's needless to call yourself, "A Christian who struggles with ________ desires."

Piper tried dealing with this issue not long ago, with some people who were dealing with labeling issues, people who had been saved, but had homosexual desires and he told them, you are not homosexual, you area new creature who struggles with the temptations of homosexual desires.

I think John Piper meant very well, and I'm sure he has one of best ministries in dealing with this area. But the fact is, the Bible in Romans 6 in its teaching of the union of Christ (in his death, burial and resurrection) is very categorical in its teaching of who we are. We have died to sin. We are a Christian, period. There are no modifiers needed for our union with Christ. We either are in Christ or in Adam.

Now, the Bible does teach we are to put to death the deeds of the body. One might say, there's a contradiction because Paul told us earlier that we have died to sin. What he means is that the real us, has died to sin, and it's no longer us, the real us, sinning, but because of remaining sin, it is the deeds of the mortal body that we must put to death. We do sin, but it's not the real us, that is sinning, it is the deeds of the body.

The Christian is not the Christian who struggles with homosexual or __________desires. He is a Christian, period. And he must put to death various deeds of the body, which will include numerous desires to fall into whatever temptations.