Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Updated wish list

New and Improved Wish List of Vision Forum Items:

The Anti-Historical Revisionism Home School Kit #23507 $45

The Master’s Plan for Fathers # 43752 $35

Strength and Dignity for Daughters #86650 $10

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God # 84332 $16

The Wise Woman’s guide to Blessing Her Husbands Vision # 68221 $16

Strategic Siblings # 58785 $10

Building a Family That Will Stand # 10176 $30

The Adventures of Missionary Heroism # 74642 $24

Yankee vs. Rebels # 64111 $10

Providential Battles Vols. 1 & 2 # 35272 & # 352274 $50

Total: $ 246.

sponsored by,

Vision Forum & InAShoe

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vision Forum Wishlist:)

Vision Forum and Lifeinashoe are having a giveaway:) so we are posting a wishlist. go check out their sites.

Wish List of Vision Forum Items:

The Anti-Historical Revisionism Home School Kit #23507 $45

The Master’s Plan for Fathers # 43752 $35

Strength and Dignity for Daughters #86650 $10

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God # 84332 $16

The Wise Woman’s guide to Blessing Her Husbands Vision # 68221 $16

Strategic Siblings # 58785 $10

Family Driven Faith #37825 $18

Total $150

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Book Review: Prowl

Well wow! It's been almost two years since I posted anything on the blog site and now I just discovered that I never posted a book review of my brother Gordan Runyan's Prowl. So Here it is from 8/27/2007. It is short and I can't give all the details since I don't want to give the story away, but suffice it to say we thoroughly enjoyed the book. Thanks so much Gordan:)

I wanted to take a moment and write a brief review of a good friend's novel, Prowl. Gordan sent me the book a few months back. I often read historical type novels with the kids during or after family worship at night. However, since my dear brother sent it to me and in anticipation of all of the excitment and suspense that I heard about, we put it immediately in line to read to the kids after our current book.

We began the book some weeks back, but because of having to be out of town due to an overload in the work we had, the book went very slow for us. However, it was all it was made out to be:) Gordan has a great style of writing and if you have ever talked with him, you can almost hear his voice in some of the humor of the book. If you've ever read his blog and enjoyed it, then you will enjoy this novel. Like I said there were times where I was completely cracking up, looked at my wife and kids and said, "This has Gordan Runyan written all over it".

You will enjoy the story. It has action, suspense, and edge of your seat drama. this reads almost like an episode of 24. The great thing about the novel is that it is not a pipe dream. It is based in reality. Real life stuff happens. Gordan gives you intimate details of the inner workings of a Navy submarine and he takes time to develop the ship and its crew for those who wouldn't know what a poopie suit is:)

The message of the gospel is realistic too. Gordan develops the characters in the story very well and the back and forth between scenes is what makes it so great. You are never stuck in just one scene, but are constantly being moved about with action, suspense and adventure as well as an easy to follow story line. Gordon, you should write many more books brother. Those who read will not find this the usual "Christian novel" simply because the main character is struggling to understand who he is in light of what he learns from God's Word. In the midst of things he isn't surrounded by a bunch of Christians who are encouraging him. Rather he finds himself trying to stay alive amidst a killer on the loose in his submarine. My hat's off to this book. My family enjoyed reading it together:) They even run around the house saying, "Mo betta"....and if you are wondering what that is......get the book:)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The erasure of American borders with Canada & Mexico??

Conservative Coalition Assembles To Warn Americans About Agenda For ‘Hush-Hush’ North American ‘Merge-Fest’ In Quebec.

Lancaster, PA/ August 17, 2007 - The Constitution Party, joins conservative groups and a growing number in Congress urging Americans to speak out against the formation of a North American Union (NAU).

A meeting, planned for Aug-20-21 in Quebec, will advance the well-developed plan despite a near blackout by U.S. media.

The summit, sponsored by The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, a vehicle by which the NAU is being advanced, will be led by President George Bush of the United States, Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico to plan an EU-type merger joining all three countries.

Former Director of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, Howard Phillips said: "This summit is being held away from the scrutiny of the American people. It was declared off limits to those who oppose it, and that speaks volumes. The SPP is part of a treacherous scheme to incrementally merge Canada, the United States, and Mexico in a manner similar to that, which brought the European Union into being over a span of 50 years. Lost liberties and a lower standard of living would be the inevitable result if our borders with Mexico and Canada were to be erased. Americans won't want to be part of that global nightmare." Phillips, founder of the fast-growing Constitution Party, one-time presidential candidate and the leader of the Conservative Caucus ( will be joined by a coalition of American and Canadian leaders assembled in Quebec to speak out against the proposed merger of the three countries at a press conference.

The press conference is scheduled for August 20th, 2007 at 10 am at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel, Ottawa, Canada.

“The NAU and the SPP are a virtual toxic alphabet soup being cooked up behind closed doors so Americans won’t have a clue they’re about to lose their rights and freedoms until it’s too late,” warned Constitution Party National Committee Chairman Jim Clymer. “Just ask the people in Europe who are now dealing with the disastrous effects of the E.U.”, Clymer further noted.

Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., New York Times best-selling author of the new book The Late, Great U.S.A.-The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada will be covering the SPP summit from Quebec. Corsi is an internationally known expert on the clandestine effort to force Americans into an unconstitutional fusion with other countries.

The Constitution Party joins opponents of the SPP/NAU and supports proposed legislation (HCR40) introduced by Congressman Virgil Goode (R-VA) which calls for an end to the merger that would result in a North American Union (NAU). In addition, the Constitution Party expresses appreciation to the 18 states introducing resolutions calling for a halt to work on the NAU.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Thomas More before those who condemned him

I ran across this quote in my study of Philemon. It comes from Sir Thomas More, who was the Lord Chancellor of England under Henry VIII. The quote is cited in Thomas More, by R. W. Chambers, pg. 342). Remember that this quotes comes after the very men he is addressing have condemned him to death.

“As the blessed apostle St. Paul…consented to the death of St. Stephen, and kept their clothes that stoned him to death, and yet be they now both twain holy saints in Heaven, and shall continue there friends for ever, so I verily trust, and shall therefore right heartily pray, that though you Lordships have now here in earth been judges to my condemnation, we may yet hereafter in Heaven merrily all meet together, to our everlasting salvation.”

May God grant us this kind of spirit in dealing with those who oppose us!

A quick update

Just a quick update. I know I haven't posted in a while, but wanted everyone to know that things are ok with us. Today we hope, in God's Providence, that this will be our last visit with DSS. It has been 8 months since this started. The other week RC was released from the specialist and was given a clean bill of health. So we are waiting now on the case worker's visit. We are praying for God's favor with them.

On a lighter note, the family and I were able to meet Nathan White and his wife and daughter the other week as he was up our way on business. We had a delightful time around the table and are thankful to call them brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope we are able to do it again sometime:)

Gordan, hehe, we are still trudging slowly along through Prowl. We are almos towards the end. We just finished the chapter where the Omaha torpedos the cruiser. That has been the most intense chapter! I loved the back and forth too. It really made it edge of your seat reading.

Hopefully, I will get back to posting some things soon.

Some of you may have seen this

I received this email the other week and thought I would share it with you. Though our government has the right to wage war on those who threaten it's citizens because they are ministers of God and hold the sword as a means against evil doers, we as individual believers should have a heart of compassion for these who have been deceived and we are obligated to love them and present to them the blessed gospel of Christ, which alone can save them. Here is the email.

These Pictures tell it all!

Muslims have stated that England will be the first country they take over!

These are pictures not shown on American TV or in American Newspapers (as they might help Bush's war on terror), but were forwarded to me by a Canadian Friend who thought Americans ought to know!

These pictures are of Muslims marching through the streets of London during their recent

"Religion of Peace Demonstration."

Why would anyone think

that we should be at war

with such nice, peaceful Muslims?!

PS>Our war brothers is not with carnal weapons, but they are mighty spiritual weapons God has given us in the tearing down of strongholds.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Pics from Jamestown

I thought I might post a few pics from our trip to Jamestown. I don't do a lot of pic posting, but thought some might enjoy:) So here they are.

The John Smith Monument

The Susan Constant.

Teddy Roosevelt reenactment

Fifers at Jamestown

First Landing Reenactment.

Inside the first Jamestown church building

The Memorial Cross at Jamestown

Dakota showing that Jamestown is not only 17th century history, but also Civil War history

The Browns in front of the Jamestown settlement.

Hannah enjoying the delights of fruit..

Caleb becoming a young man and helping his mother by carrying the diaper bag.

OK, Mom & Dad got into trouble. Fortunately we weren't hung

Hailey enjoying a piggyback ride. Dad with a super short hair cut!

And people think boys are only interested in science fiction.....

A Reformed Baptist's kids with the idol of Pocohantus..

A very cute Brown girl beside the James River.

The family by the James River

The kids with Ms. Hawley & Ms. Regina, and yes RC is having a caniption fit:)

Tori and Tabitha with a new friend Emma

Hailey with new friend Jacille (not sure about spelling:)

The Brown kids on Duke of Gloucester St. in Colonial Williamsburg

DSS Update 7-1-2007

Well it has been 6 months since R.C. was released from the hospital. It has been about 5 since DSS claimed that our case was "indicated". I got a call this week from the social worker letting us know that at least for now, she will be coming once every other week, rather than every week. Praise God for that! He has certainly shown us mercy in this area:) He has continued to keep our rebelliousness at bay by His Spirit in the matter and for that we give Him glory. We don't know when there will be finality. The doctor wrote some things in a letter to the social worker that were clearly not true and the worker knew it from previous experience, so I will be confronting that with video recorder in hand on our next visit at the end of the month.

We covet your prayers for a demonstration of the power of God to continue to restrain our own sinful desires and to cause us to love those who are against us. Please pray for the social worker and doctor. I have shared our concerns and the gospel and am desirous that God might be pleased to use it for His glory in their lives. Finally, please continue to remember Denise as she is due in the first part of November. We are very, very tight in our finances, so please pray with us for the Lord's provision as the midwife now is another responsibility we have. May God continue to be glorified in all of this:)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jamestown Quadracentennial 1607-2007

This week our family was given a very special gift. A very sweet lady and her daughter from San Antonio, TX purchased tickets for our family to attend the Jamestown Quadracentennial in Virginia. We were greatly humbled and appreciative as our children had been studying some of the beginnings of our nation. We arrived here on Wednesday and these dear ladies had lunch ready for us at the hotel where we registered for the celebration. Then later when we checked into our hotel we entered and these ladies had found out where we were staying and filled our room with all sorts of fruits and organic goodies:) Denise and I were speechless and in all honesty were moved to tears. They then proceeded to purchase for us hot air balloon tickets and a historical boat tour for all the members of our family.

These dear ladies attend a church in San Antonio and after speaking with several of the men in that church, this is not unusual for them to do. God has given them tremendous means and a wonderful gift of His Spirit. This church is greatly blessed to have such women in its midst. God has indeed been gracious to these ladies, their church, and to us as well. We bless Him for His goodness through the means of women like these in His body.

Now, we are here to learn about the Providential hand of God in our nation's founding. As we are instructed in Psalm 78 as fathers :

Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,3 Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.4 We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.5 For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;6 That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children,7 That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments;8 And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not set its heart aright, And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

One of the desires I have is to better understand history and the Providence of God, so when I get an opportunity to hear men speak of historical events and put it in the perspective of seeing the hand of God at work and the purposes He was accomplishing, I jump at it. This week has been pretty impressive so far. We missed the first two days, so of course we are hearing all about the wonderful tours and speakers. I was really encouraged on Wednesday evening by the fact that the dramatic presentation of the first colony settlement basically came down to a memorable quote:

There are no extraordinary men. God simply puts ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances to achieve extraordinary things for His purposes and glory.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I just finished reading Nathan's blog, along with several other's including Tom Aschol and Timmy Brister concerning what the Florida Baptist Convention has done in distributing what they feel are "evils" coming into the church. First and foremost, it simply should have never been done. Whoever authorized it should not only apologize, but should have to foot the bill or lose his job. Many of you who know me, know I can be very gracious about a lot of things, but when it comes to someone outrightly attacking the doctrine of God's sovereign grace, well, I have no patience for that at all. If someone is not understanding the doctrines, fine, I have no problem with patience, but when men who should be able to read and articulate properly another's view and should have been trained to exposit Scripture and they openly misrepresent and mischaracterize and demonize those who hold to those doctrines that they are so foolishly balking at, then it is time to do what the apostle Paul says to do.

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

This passage falls right in the midst of a section concerning elders. Many of those in the position of leadership in the SBC are in fact elders, though most want to use the title pastor. As such, we must remember that those in leadership in the SBC must be held accountable and that does not merely mean some "apology", but biblical repentance.

Just so that we understand, the SBC has been politicized for over a decade. While some of the men such as Dr. Jerry Vines, Dr. Adrian Rogers, and Dr. Paige Patterson were incredibly effective in bringing the SBC back from total liberalism, these men, along with others, are the ones keeping the convention from returning to truly conservative Christianity and a clear biblical gospel AND returning to the rich calvinistic heritage of their forefathers. As a matter of fact, many who founded the SBC would see these men as liberals. This must be kept in mind when confronting this situation.

Once the SBC had pushed the issue of inerrancy to the forefront, many thought that was all that needed to be done and as long as you hollered from the pulpit that you believed the Bible was inerrant made you one of the "good ole boys". Well, there are many great men of God who have been used of God in that. However, what eventually happened was that many of the liberals wanted to stay in the SBC and try to retake the convention. When this happened those who had battled their way to the top via standing upon the Word of God as the Word of God, sunk to political maneuvering and sought to rid the convention of the liberals through means of money. By using money as a ploy to maintain status in the SBC, those in power hoped to rid themselves of the liberals. Gentleman, you should have simply stood fast upon the Scriptures apart from the political tactics.

With that in mind, now calvinism (the true gospel), is under open and blatant attack. There is no reason for the ignorance of these men. They are PhD's for crying out loud, not some small town guy from South Carolina. There is simply no excuse for the blatant misrepresentations, dishonesty and yes outright lying concerning the doctrines of grace. These men evidently express such arrogance in their sermons that sometimes I simply think they are desirous of the applause of men when it comes to this issue and not good pleasure of God (that's my opinion). You can hear it in their tones.

As Dr. Nettles told me at the conference in October in Virginia, "the battle right now in the SBC is over recovering the true gospel." He is right. Basically we are seeing a similar battle raging in the SBC that took place 500 years ago. Many Southern Baptists don't know their own heritage and are WILLINGLY IGNORANT OF IT.

I recall receiving Bob Selph's little book titled, "What Southern Baptists believe about the doctrine of election" some years ago. He detailed a tremendous amount of history concerning our forefathers and the faith they held to. While I applaud the efforts of men like Dr. Aschol, Dr. Nettles, and others, I wonder if in the end many in the SBC should not simply pull out, let it implode and be separatists rather than puritans. Maybe I'm wrong, but I have experienced the same thing in the local church and it seems that when a little leaven enters in it leavens the whole lump. Getting rid of it is next to impossible. You don't have to remind me that all things are possible with God. This I know. I'm just saying that even history bears out that there will more than likely be a clear break that will have to be made in the SBC between the Arminians and the Calvinists. I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but I can't see it any other way.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hodge on Paedo Baptism

In light of the recent posts concerning paedo baptism, I thought this little excerpt from Charles Hodge might be enlightening to the conversation. I added some comments and questions at the end.

In either view we are said to be cleansed (whether from guilt or pollution) by baptism. What does this mean? How does baptism in either of these senses wash away sin? The Protestant and scriptural answer to this question is, that baptism cleanses from sin just as the word does. We are said to be saved by the truth, to be begotten by the truth, to be sanctified by the truth. This does not mean:
That there is any inherent, much less magic, power in the word of God as heard or read to produce these effects.
Nor that the word always and everywhere, when rightly presented, thus sanctifies and saves, so that all who hear are partakers of these benefits.
Nor does it mean that the Spirit of God is so tied to the word as never to operate savingly on the heart except in connection with it. For infants may be subjects of regeneration, though incapable of receiving the truth.
In like manner when the Scriptures speak of baptism as washing away sin (Acts 22:16); or as uniting to Christ (Gal. 3:27); or as making Christ's death our death (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12); or as saving us (1 Pet. 3:21); they do not teach:
That there is any inherent virtue in baptism, or in the administrator, to produce these effects; nor
That these effects always attend its right administration; nor
That the Spirit is so connected with baptism that it is the only channel through which he communicates the benefits of redemption, so that all unbaptized will perish.
These three propositions, all of which Romanism and Ritualism affirm, are contrary to the express declarations of Scripture and to universal experience. Multitudes of the baptized are unholy; many of the unbaptized are sanctified and saved.
How then is it true that baptism washes away sin, unites us to Christ, and secures salvation? The answer again is, that this is true of baptism in the same sense that it is true of the word. God is pleased to connect the benefits of redemption with the believing reception of the truth. And he is pleased to connect these same benefits with the believing reception of baptism. That is, as the Spirit works with and by the truth, so he works with and by baptism, in communicating the blessings of the covenant of grace. Therefore, as we are said to be saved by the word, with equal propriety we are said to be saved by baptism; though baptism without faith is as of little effect as is the word of God to unbelievers.
The scriptural doctrine concerning baptism, according to the Reformed churches is:
That it is a divine institution.
That it is one of the conditions of salvation. "Whosoever believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). It has, however, the necessity of precept, not the necessity of a means sine qua non. It is in this respect analogous to confession. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:10). And also to circumcision. God said, "The uncircumcised male child-should be cut off from his people" (Gen. 17:14) Yet children dying before the eighth day were surely not cut off from heaven. And the apostle teaches that if an uncircumcised man kept the law, "his uncircumcision was counted to him for circumcision" (Rom. 3:26).
Baptism is a means of grace, that is, a channel through which the Spirit confers grace; not always, not upon all recipients, nor is it the only channel, nor is it designed as the ordinary means of regeneration. Faith and repentance are the gifts of the Spirit and fruits of regeneration, and yet they are required as conditions of baptism. But if faith, to which all the benefits of redemption are promised, precedes baptism, how can those benefits be said to be conferred, in any case, through baptism? Just as a father may give an estate to his son, and afterwards convey it to him formally by a deed. Besides, the benefits of redemption, the remission of sin, the gift of the Spirit, and the merits of the Redeemer, are not conveyed to the soul once for all. They are reconveyed and reappropriated on every new act of faith, and on every new believing reception of the sacraments. The sinner coming to baptism in the exercise of repentance and faith, takes God the Father to be his Father; God the Son, to be his Saviour; and God the Holy Ghost to be his Sanctifier, and his word to be the rule of his faith and practice. The administrator then, in the name and by the authority of God, washes him with water as a sign of the cleansing from sin by the blood of Christ, and of sanctification by the Holy Spirit; and as a seal to God's promise to grant him those blessings on the condition of the repentance and faith thus publicly avowed. Whatever he may have experienced or enjoyed before, this is the public conveyance to him of the benefits of the covenant, and his inauguration into the number of the redeemed. If he is sincere in his part of the service, baptism really applies to him the blessings of which it is the symbol.
Infants are baptized on the faith of their parents. And their baptism secures to them all the benefits of the covenant of grace, provided they ratify that covenant by faith; just as circumcision secured the benefits of the theocracy, provided those circumcised by infancy kept the law. The doctrine of baptismal regeneration, that is, the doctrine that inward spiritual renovation always attends baptism rightly administered to the unresisting, and that regeneration is never effected without it, is contrary to Scripture, subversive of evangelical religion, and opposed to universal experience. It is, moreover, utterly irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Reformed churches. For that doctrine teaches that all the regenerated are saved. "Whom God calls them he also glorifies" (Rom. 8:30). It is, however, plain from Scripture, and in accordance with the faith of the universal church, that multitudes of the baptized perish. The baptized, therefore, as such, are not the regenerated.
The foregoing remarks are intended to show in what sense the Reformed understand this and similar declarations of Scripture. Christ purifies his church by baptism. That is the initiatory rite; which signifies, seals, and applies to believers all the benefits of the Redeemer's death. The apostle is speaking of the church, the body and bride of Christ, and of the effect of baptism on those who constitute that church, not of its effect on those who are not included in the covenant and are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.

This quote comes from Charles Hodge (1797 – 1878) in his commentary on Ephesians (pgs 320 and following). I am just wondering if it sounds as confusing to others as it does to me.

Let me ask some questions. For instance, where in the New Testament does it teach that “infants are baptized on the faith of their parents?” Where does the Scripture teach that the covenant is “ratified by faith”? How can it be said that baptism “secures to them [infants] all the benefits of the covenant of grace” and then add that there must be a ratifying in order for that to be “secure”?

Hodge goes on to state, “The baptized, therefore, as such, are not the regenerated.” So the question for me becomes, “Then why should we baptize those who are clearly unregenerate?” At least from the Baptistic standpoint we have a profession of faith by the individual, which we see all throughout Scripture, rather than by an individual’s parents on their behalf, which we never see in Scripture (Note: This statement concerns baptism, not circumcision).
Notice that he ends with this: “The foregoing remarks are intended to show in what sense the Reformed understand this and similar declarations of Scripture. Christ purifies his church by baptism. That is the initiatory rite; which signifies, seals, and applies to believers all the benefits of the Redeemer's death.” But can it be said of all who are baptized? Absolutely not, and he said that earlier. So it appears, at least to me, that Hodge really doesn’t show these “declarations from Scripture”, but rather follows after the Reformed “tradition” (yes, there are traditions in the Reformed community as well).

Finally, could someone tell me where in the Scripture baptism applies to believers all the benefits of the Redeemer’s death? I’m sorry, that sounds very Romanist to me, and I’m being gracious:)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Paedo-baptism 2

Continuing on with posts concerning paedo baptism, we will look at Romans 4:11. In the passage we find the apostle arguing against those who would seek a works righteousness. Specifically he argues against circumcision. His primary objective is to demonstrate that Abraham was given a righteousness that was not his own before he was circumcised. The text says,

9 ¶ Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.
10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised.
11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,
12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

The blessedness spoken of in verse 9 refers to verses 7-8. There we see that the blessedness is the forgiveness of sins, those to whom God does not impute their sin. So Paul is going to make his point by using the “father of all those who believe”, Abraham. It is crystal clear that Abraham is indeed justified by faith apart from circumcision. Paul says as much in verse 10. He also makes a point in verse 11 concerning those who believe who are not circumcised. Paul’s point is that though there are those who are uncircumcised, they still might have righteousness imputed to them because they would have the same faith that Abraham possessed.

We also note in verse 12 that those who were circumcised found righteousness the same way those who were not circumcised found it: by faith.

So, with this said, am I saying that paedo-baptists don’t believe this? Absolutely not. But here is where the inconsistency comes in, IMHO. Circumcision simply was a sign given by God concerning the promises He made to Abraham and yet those promises were made to him and affirmed to him BEFORE he was circumcised. My paedo-baptist friends will point here and say there is a correlation between baptism and circumcision. At least in this passage I cannot even begin to see that correlation. By this I mean that I don't see the passage tying the two together. The only thing I can assume that is meant by that is this: Since Abraham then circumcised Ishmael and Isaac and since they in turn gave that sign to their children and so on and so on, then we should administer baptism in the same manner, as merely a sign.

However, as a previous commenter pointed out, many in church history put far more emphasis upon baptism than a mere sign. They actually said it had salvific efficacy. If baptism has salvific efficacy, then I might want to ask those who believe that, “Why did Christ die?” This will come out more clearly in Colossians 2.

Now, the paedo-baptists I know of do not declare that baptism has any power to save, though some of them in their language seem, at times to indicate that, apart from clarification. Those I have spoken to simply indicate that it is a sign, just as circumcision was a sign in the Old Covenant, and that it points to the doctrine of regeneration, which is fine. I have absolutely no problem with that. However, they will then go on to say that this brings children of believers into the covenant community of the church. This I do have a problem with. Does it bring them into the covenant community in the same way that an adult believer who has professed Christ and actually been regenerated come into the “covenant community”? I don’t think so.

From the Baptist perspective, we don’t deny the picture of regeneration in baptism. We actually go further than that. We recognize that the Scriptures teach death in baptism as well.

Ro 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Col 2:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Only true believers are really identified in Christ’s death and thus ONLY true believers are identified in His resurrection. Therefore, as far as the Scriptures are concerned, only those who have been identified with Christ in His death AS WELL AS His resurrection should submit themselves unto baptism. The clear reading of the text seems to indicate that. I simply can’t understand, apart from assuming a silent mindset, which we are told that the Jews would have had about circumcision, that we should be baptizing infants.

Why would I say that this is “clear” concerning believers? Notice Romans. Paul uses the term “we” and identifies that we were buried with Christ and that “we” should walk in newness of life. In Colossians he uses the term “you” and indicates that the Colossian believers were raised with Christ. So it seems that baptism is simply the outward sign of the reality that one has both died and risen with Christ, not a hoped for event in the future.

I will next deal with the Colossians 2 passage.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Quick Update Pt. 2

I received word from our attorney yesterday that our appeal was denied. Now pay close attention, lest you come into an encounter with Social Services. You would think an appeal would mean that you would actually be heard and that a basis would be heard concerning this matter. Not in Social Services (notice anything familiar about the initials of said organization? hint:Gestapo). Nope, we are not in a judicial matter hear, it is purely administrative. So our appeal was heard by a judge? NOpe. An outside party? uh uh. Anyone who could objectively look at evidence and hear testimony. Nada. It was looked at by the same organization that has accused us of neglecting our son, who by the way is crawling, chattering, eating well, and has tremendous strength in his legs!

All in all, we are at the mercy of DSS. They will determine when and IF we go to court. Please remember to pray for us that our conduct may be that which glorifies Christ and His gospel and that God may grant us grace in this matter. As soon as a court date has been set I will post that, but getting that will be diffcult for getting anyone from DSS to return a call is like pulling teeth.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Quick Update

We are still in Limbo concening our appeal. Our attorney has advised us to be patient that DSS is notorious for drawing things out over a long period of time. The woman in charge of the appeal will not contact me though I call and request it of her every week. We must continue to allow them in our home until the appeal takes place and then we will see whether it goes to a family court. More than likely it will, unless the Lord brings us into favor with the judge. He can do it, just as He brought Daniel into favor with those who were in authority over him and so we petition Him for this. Many wonderful brothers and sisters have encouraged us with letters and even some financial support. We are tremendously humbled by their love and if you read this and have even offered prayers for us, let me say on behalf of my family, "Thank you so much."

Indeed God is sovereign and we have learned much about ourselves (both good and bad) and experienced the loving hand of the Father working in our midst. Also, we have recently found out that the Lord has added to our number. We are now 10 B's in a hive. Yes, Denise discovered last week that she is pregnant again. We rejoice, though we realize that people probably think we are crazy (we didn't have to have 8 children to determine that:).

Please remember us before the throne if the Lord brings us to mind, especially Denise. The added stress is not good for the adults, much less the baby that grows in her womb.

By the way, I am toying with the idea of actually recording a few thoughts rather than typing them and offering them sort of like a podcast. There is lots of "free" time in my van, but it is so noisy, so this week my boss is looking to replace my van with a new quiet one or possibly.......could it be?.........a new truck (please please please). If so and the road noise is significantly minimized, then I will probably record thoughts each day entitled, "One for the road".

That's a quick update, I post more as soon as things change.

Understanding Paedo-Baptism

A couple of weeks ago our family was invited to spend the weekend (a much needed vacation) with a dear brother in the Lord, Jerry Johnson. Many will recall Jerry as the author of the Apologetics Group’s wonderful DVD “Amazing Grace – The History and Theology of Calvinism”. Jerry has been a great friend in the last few years. He has housed us on several occasions for the Apologetics Group’s Conferences and we have had many wonderful discussions of theology and books, as well as, shared in some business together.

During our past stay with Jerry we were able to relax on a beautiful mountain in Draper, VA right on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We drank lots of coffee, took it easy, watched a few movies, and discussed numerous theological matters. One of these topics was the subject of infant baptism (paedo baptism). This subject sometimes becomes lost in understanding the connection and also the disconnection of the covenants of the Bible. Let me make clear that my comments are not in anger, nor are they saying that those who baptize their infant children non-Christians. I do not believe that at all. However, I have not come to the conclusion that they are correct either. With that said, I wanted to be able to question Jerry regarding the reasoning behind coming to this conclusion. Jerry was more than willing, since he understood I was not trying to argue with him, but to understand his position. Therefore, I will try to lay out the position as I understand it. Note: I said, as I understand it, this way I will be able to be open for correction from any paedo Baptists who might read this entry. Please do not take this in any way as me trying to be inflammatory towards paedo Baptists, but I truly want to understand the position because should I be found in error, then I want to repent. As of this moment, I cannot turn into the path of paedo baptism.

First, I understand the paedo Baptist position to be consistent up to a certain point, that is from their perspective of how the covenant works. They see a continuity of the covenants, as do I. We both see one over-arching covenant and that is the covenant of grace. Historically, as you read many paedo Baptist authors their language does seem to imply baptismal regeneration, though, thankfully, at least orthodox writers do make the point of stating they do not believe in such a thing. Nevertheless, I have run across numerous statements that even in their context, seem to suggest that. I will provide some of those in a future installment.

We must keep in mind that while there is one over-arching covenant and that being the covenant of grace, there were numerous covenants throughout history between God and man. The covenant of grace is a covenant between God the Father and God the Son, with men being the beneficiaries. The other covenants include the Adamic covenant, the Noahic covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the Old covenant, and the New covenant. In the New Covenant is the fullest expression of the covenant of grace. In it is the fulfillment of all of the promises that He has made because in this covenant comes the promise that He made and that is in the person and work of Jesus Christ. However, the issue we are concerned with requires that we understand the difference between the Abrahamic covenant and the Old covenant and the difference of these from the New covenant.

First there is a difference between the covenant God made with Abraham and the covenant God made with the nation of Israel at Sinai (the Old covenant). The major difference is two-fold.

The Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional, while the covenant made at Sinai was conditional. God made promises to Abraham that were not dependent upon Abraham, but upon God. However, at Sinai, that covenant was accepted by the people and was dependent upon their obedience. Consequently, this is why this covenant has passed away
The Abrahamic Covenant is most clearly extended in the New Covenant, while the Old Covenant is made obsolete and ready to vanish away.

Here is where our dispensational friends get tripped up. They intermingle the two as though they are the same covenant and as Dr. John MacArthur showed in his recent attack against a straw man he called a-millenialism. Now paedo-baptists recognize the difference here between these two covenants well. But it appears to me that there is a melding of some of the thoughts behind the “covenant community” of Old Testament Israel and the “covenant community” of the New Testament. This is where I see a glaring inconsistency.

First, we will note that in the Abrahamic covenant we see that this covenant is completely dependent upon God. Abraham is simply the recipient of the promise of God. We find in Genesis 15,

12 ¶ Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him.
13 Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.
14 "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
15 "Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.
16 "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."
17 ¶ And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.
18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—
19 "the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites,
20 "the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,
21 "the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."

They covenant was completely dependent upon God’s own word. We find in Genesis 17 that Abraham believed the promise of God and as it was counted unto him for righteousness, there was also given to him a “sign” of this covenant, circumcision. Abraham, his son Ishmael and all the males in his house were circumcised. Later we discover in the Old covenant that all the males of the nation Israel would take up this sign of the covenant on the eighth day.

Now if one was not circumcised he was to be cut off from his people (Gen. 17:14). In the New Covenant, the paedo-baptist sees continuity between the covenants concerning this sign. That continuity is that the new sign of baptism, which identifies one with the Lord of the New Covenant, is simply a replacement for circumcision. They will reference such passages as Romans 4:11 and possibly their strongest argument comes from Colossians 2:11. We will take a look at these passages in the next post.

They believe, and their argument is really an argument from silence, that the mind of the first century New Covenant Jew would be that since baptism replaced circumcision that it would be natural for believers to baptize their children into the covenant community. I remind us, this “mindset” is argued from silence in the Scripture. I will attempt to show that the covenant community of the New Covenant is not the same as the covenant community of the Old Covenant. For in the New Covenant there are only believers, not unbelievers. All in the New Covenant community are the elect or the true Israel of God.

Now, much like our dispensational friends who want to go back to separating believers based upon ethnicity and end up promoting some fleshly appeal to the Jew for the future, I believe the paedo-baptist does something similar. They have carried the idea of the Old Covenant community into the New Covenant and therefore, they baptize their children based upon flesh (ie. They are their offspring). However, if they are to be consistent with the Scripture it would seem that they would baptize only the children of Abraham. And who might the children of Abraham be? The apostle Paul identifies them for us in Galatians 3,

27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

The children of Abraham should receive the New Covenant sign of baptism because they are of the same faith as Abraham and because they are Christ’s, not because they have believing parents.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New Label

I wanted to throw this out and ask a question. During the Lordship controversy there were terms that were coined such as "easy believism" and "cheap grace". Mind you, at the time they made sense in light of what was being offered. However, are they really legitimate terms and do they express the reality of the "other gospel"? I think not, for the other gospel that attacked the true gospel, which really does call me to believe, made it so man centered that God really was an impotent God and actually unable to save apart from man. So was easy believism really belief? Was cheap grace even grace? Maybe we should follow the apostle Paul and simply call it another gospel, which is no gospel at all. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

R. C. Sproul's view of Faith Examined Critically

I thought I might throw this critique of R. C. Sproul's view of faith out. It is done by John Robbins of Trinity Foundation. I found Robbins' critique to be clear and concise and serve as a warning to us of being carefully defined in our understanding and communication of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have benefited greatly from Dr. Sproul's teaching, but would desire him to be more in the biblical text rather than philosophy apart from the text and I hope he will read this critique and repent. You can download it here. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Address For Help in DSS case

Brothers and sisters,

I have been overwhelmed at the numerous emails from so many people that I don't know who are praying for us. I am extremely humbled by your love and God's graciousness. Many of you have asked could you help us financially since we are going to have to acquire an attorney. Our attorney is Dr. George Gaddis. He is a godly man and very skilled in DSS cases in SC and abroad. This will be an incredible amount of money. We will be sending him $2300.00 to start everything and since this will more than likely go to trial, we are very unsure just how expensive this will be. We have prayed that our Father will meet the need and I realize that money will not fall out of the sky, but God uses means. Please do not feel pressure to give. If you are unable, then if the Lord brings us to mind, please pray for us. But if you desire to help, you can send donations to the other elder, Tim Davis, at our church and these will be tax deductible. You may send them to:

Heritage Community Church
1627 Laurel Lane
Gastonia, N. C. 28054

I truly am humbled by the ourpouring of love and concern from brothers and sisters in Christ. I am much more comfortable being on the giving side than the receiving end. However, we are in desperate circumstances and are completely dependent upon God and His people. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you and may God bless you all.

Tim & Denise Brown, Tori, Caleb, Hannah, Dakota, Tabitha, Hailey, & RC

Monday, February 19, 2007

What you need to know about DSS

I promise this blog will not become about DSS:) However, I know many of you have children or are expecting children in the near future. I obtained this information from, where the owner seems to live in Massachusetts. I am posting this information here so that you will know exactly what we and, yes, even you are up against should someone report you to DSS. This is written by Gregory A. Hesssion J.D.

How to Fight False Allegations of Abuse and Neglect

DSS is completely in control. Even judges can't reign them in.
This is one of the dirtiest and least known secrets of how DSS is able to destroy so many families, and the source of their power: DSS is in control, not the courts.
Ever since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided two cases back in 1995, Care and Protection of Isaac, 419 Mass. 602 (1995) and Care and Protection of Jeremy, 419 Mass. 616 (1995), the DSS has had almost complete control of all children in its custody. A judge will only interfere if DSS is committing what is ridiculously called an "abuse of discretion."
When does DSS abuse its "discretion" enough for a court to step in and stop them?
Generally, never. The Courts have become rubber stamps for DSS. Death, torture, broken bones, bruises, wounds, medical neglect, and other 'minor' problems caused by DSS do not seem to bother courts very much. However, if the parents pray, spank, or yell at the child, then they will authorize the DSS to take your children and give them to a family who cannot be told not to abuse them. Foster parents and DSS approved programs and institutions can usually abuse children at will, often with no consequences whatsoever. As long as it's their guy doing the abusing, nothing will happen.
Not only will a court refuse to stop DSS caretakers from abusing children, it will usually not mind if DSS is falsifying records, committing perjury, taking children on false pretenses, illegally stretching out a case for years, or demanding that a wife commit perjury by getting a false restraining order against the husband.
In other words, DSS is accountable to no one, and no one can stop them, unless the state legislature or a higher court steps in and changes the state of the law.
Well, can't I sue them?
As with all things in the strange world of "child protection", the DSS has been given a gift of protection from lawsuits, called "qualified immunity". That is a fancy name for being lawsuit-proof in most cases. Right now, until someone succeeds in getting a court to change the situation, DSS agents are immune from suits for all "discretionary" decisions.
"Discretion" is when they decide to do just about anything they want: to kidnap your child from you, to keep your child, to adopt your child out, to hurt your child, to emotionally manipulate your child, to stop your child from hugging you at visits, or just about anything else. Only when they violate a "clearly established" constitutional right can they be sued. That is almost never.
It is ridiculous, but the courts have continually protected foolish and biased social workers from any liability for wrongdoing. We are going to try to change this. See the section about our DSS lawsuit.
What are "clearly established" constitutional rights?
Technically, they are rights specifically listed as being protected in the Massachusetts or federal constitutions, such as the right to free speech, or the right to bear arms.
Parental rights are not specifically listed in the either the state or federal constitutions. However, parental rights are "reserved powers", which means that any power not specifically given to the government by the constitution belongs to the people. All powers, including parental rights, which are not mentioned in the Constitution, are kept by the people under the 9th and 10th Amendments.
Because most courts now operate more by a political agenda than by law, they will often only protect 'enumerated', or listed rights. However, the constitution is not supposed to work that way. All rights are yours by natural divine law. The constitution does not create rights, but only binds down the government from interfering with them. The Massachusetts and Federal constitutions list several rights as examples in the Bill of Rights, and then basically say that if we forgot any others, they are protected, too.
However, most judges now believe that government creates and grants rights, rather than preserves existing rights that are bestowed by our creator, and which cannot be taken away. Thus, they will ignore your parental rights if it suits them.
Judges often merely explain rights away if they do not favor them politically, as they have done with gun rights, for example. They treat the rights protected under the constitution like an accordion - they expand certain ones that are in political favor, and contract others that are not politically correct.
Do parents have ANY rights?
Not really. The problem is that our founders never dreamed that anyone would ever think of intruding into families, so they did not write specific protections into our state and federal constitutions. They assumed family government would exist peacefully alongside state and church government. Now, when the rights of parents to raise children are being challenged, there is little protection available from courts against the savage predators in the DSS.
A parents' right to direct the upbringing of their children was never questioned until recently. Now, the state sees itself as the parent, and they let you have temporary custody of your own child, unless and until you do something the state doesn't like - then the child goes back to its true parent - the state. There is even a Latin lawyer term for this: Parens Patriae, which means, "father of his country". The Real Life Dictionary of the Law defines parens patriae as: "the doctrine that the government is the ultimate guardian of all people under a disability, especially children, whose care is only entrusted to their parents."
Are you getting this? The state now owns your children, and entrusts you with them, until you do something politically incorrect, like home school them, spank them, pray with them, or otherwise try to keep them out of the hands of those who want to make them into obedient world citizens.
You have told me all that I CAN'T do. Is there anything I CAN do?
Yes, but there are no easy answers. Read on.
II. THE GRIZZLY BEAR (Adapted from material written by Mike Humiston at
A grizzly is a dangerous creature. They are arbitrary, vicious, and they are not afraid of you. Sound familiar? If you encounter one in the wild, you must be very careful. . .
Should I throw sticks and rocks and scream at him?
Only if you want him to kill you.
Then I should turn and run, real fast . . .
Only if you can run very, very fast.
Then what should I do?
Stand firm, don't show any signs of fear or anger, then carefully, quietly, back away.
The grizzly is the child welfare system . . .
But I thought somebody else's government was the Great Bear . . .
Indeed. Always be polite when dealing with caseworkers and the police. Always, always!
Because the police carry guns, for crying out loud! And because you are dealing with terrorists, and they have your children. If you argue with the caseworker or the judge, you will only antagonize them. Nothing you say is going to change their minds or make them quit twisting your words. So don't try. Don't give them words to twist. There's no use throwing sticks and stones at the grizzly.
What about running away?
If you can do so legally, then do so. If the state has legal custody of your children, it is illegal to take them and leave. If you're going to break the law, then as with the grizzly, you better be able to run pretty far pretty fast. There are people sitting in prison at this moment for "kidnapping" their own children.
Are you telling me to give up?
Absolutely not! We're telling you to be smart. Know your rights and control the flow of information, but do it with a smile on your face and with total graciousness. "I'm sure this treatment plan is okay, but I'd just like to have my attorney go over it before I sign it. I believe you when you tell me they're just routine, so I'm sure you don't mind if he just has a look before I sign." Remember, the guy who tells you don't need an attorney is the guy who has something to hide. Just because their forms are "routine" does not make them right.
Unfortunately, you cannot do as much as you would really like to do to fight DSS yourself, except to AVOID doing the wrong things. You can learn about many of those wrong things, and about DSS dirty tricks, on this MassOutrage web site, and the linked sites. However, even if you learned it all, that is only the beginning.
Knowing the things you can learn here, simply doesn't give you the whole scope of the process. Courts and lawyers have made it so complicated (probably to keep a lot of their buddies employed) that very few people even inside the system completely understand the process and all its legal requirements.
In sum, fighting DSS is so hard, so technical, and there are so many pitfalls, that you are better off to work with a good lawyer rather than try it yourself. There is just so much to fighting one of these cases, that it is about like doing brain surgery on yourself to try it alone.
So. . . .
1. Get a good lawyer.
The single biggest ingredient in fighting the DSS menace is to get a good lawyer. What is a good lawyer? Here is the list of qualities I would look for:
Hates the DSS;
Committed to parental rights over government power;
Knows the DSS law, regulations and policies;
Will stand up to DSS social workers and judges, not collaborate with them;
Is YOUR lawyer only, and is not being paid by the state;
Will work with, not against, your spouse's lawyer to get your kids back, if appropriate;
Respects you;
Respects the Constitution and other founding documents;
Does not think lawyers are God, and will work WITH you, not talk down to you;
You trust him and he trusts you. You are both going to take a blindfolded walk down the plank in the dark, so you better trust each other.
2. Work with your lawyer.
The most important thing you can do to get your children back, in addition to avoiding falling into any of the DSS dirty tricks, is work with your lawyer to help him or her get your kids back. How?
You can help review the DSS record, which is very tedious, to look for any evidence you can use against DSS. You can make a chronology, or a time line of all the major events so far, so that the lawyer can get a clear overview of your case. You can pay the poor guy, so he can endure the endless days and nights of attention to your case. You can be patient with the delays, knowing that it is not your lawyer, but DSS and the Court, who have caused them.
You can do everything he tells you in the way of counseling or drug testing or parenting classes, so that he can go back to DSS and report that you have been a good little boy or girl. You can clean up your act, if it isn't: Straighten up your house, your heart, and your life.
You can attend every visitation that your child's kidnappers allow, without fail, even though they will cancel the visits any time they feel like it for any selfish reason. (Irony - they often cancel to care for their own child). You can smile (though gritted teeth) at your child's captors, and work with them. Never, never show your anger, even though the social worker may deserve to fry in the lowest part of Hell.
Listen to your lawyer. Trust your lawyer. If you can't, get a new one. Even if you have a state appointed lawyer, due to lack of finances, fire him if he does not work for you. If he is laughing it up with DSS, fire him. Most lawyers who do this work actually like DSS because they get a lot of work from it. Me - I'd be very happy to be put out of the DSS business tomorrow, if they were abolished.
What about the Government School? Can they get my children there?
They sure can. In fact, it is the preferred method. No pesky parents. Only sympathetic statists who embrace big brother and believe that the government has the best interest of the child at heart, as opposed to the parents. Government school, you say? Is that a PUBLIC school? Yes, and it is financed by, supported by, and run by the same government who wants to steal your children.
If they have any suspicions about your home whatsoever, the DSS agents will come to your child's government school, all smiles, and take your children aside. They will use suggestive and coercive techniques, and get "disclosures" about what goes on in your home: things like spanking or other discipline, prayer in the home (that is now 'abuse'), yelling or arguments between parents (that is now 'domestic violence'). Since this is done alone, no one will be able to fight the DSS agent's lying version of the "abuse" that they will coerce out of the child.
If I can't trust the government school, who can I trust?
No one but your own private lawyer, as stated above. The government has a snitch network of so-called "Mandated Reporters" everywhere a child is likely to be. Nurses, doctors, school counselors, police, dentists, therapists, teachers, day care workers, and many others MUST report anything they think is suspicious, or risk a big fine.
They have manipulated these former helping professionals into becoming snoops for the "Central Party Committee". These people used to be able to help folks in trouble. Now, if you go to them, they will turn you into the DSS. The authorities have beat them into submission, and most of them now have the attitude of : When in doubt, report.
At this point in our history, only your lawyer can keep your secrets, by law. Everyone else is a snitch. Tell them to no one else.
What should I do, then?
GET YOUR CHILDREN OUT of the government school, and do it now. That is the major pipeline through which the DSS steals children from families. If you are taking government aid of any sort, get rid of it, if you can.
If you decide to compromise your family by keeping your children in danger there, then at least teach them that if some DSS agent comes to talk to them, that they demand to have their parents present before answering any questions.
Teach your children the sanctity of the family. The schools are teaching your children to rat on you. Teach your children the other side, the danger to which they expose your whole family by reporting you to the authorities. Teach your children that dozens of children have committed suicide while in foster care. Hundreds have died. Thousands have been tortured and abused.
Teach them that they have the right to remain silent, and if they choose not to remain silent, each and every word they say will be used against their mommy and daddy. Love them, love them, love them.
Teach your children this: "Kids, this is our family attorney, Mr. Smith. He is our family's only attorney. He is the only attorney that we talk to. If somebody else comes to you and says he is your own attorney (e.g. the DSS agent, or guardian ad litem) anything you say to him will be used against our family."
One of the best things you can do is buy and read Suzanne Shell's book, Profane Justice. It can be ordered for $15.00 by calling 1-800-447-3081, ext. 7794, or write to: Sage Wisdom Press, P.O. Box 75863, Colorado Springs, CO 80970. Forewarned is forearmed.
What about real child abuse?
Real child abusers should go to prison. And the traditional due process protections of criminal law are more than enough to separate the true abusers from the falsely accused. Just because O.J. was acquitted of murder does not mean we should dispose of all due process. Likewise, just because some abusers will get away does not mean we should take away all children.
[Compiled from numerous sources.]

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Great Exhortation from 16 Centuries Ago

This morning in our fellowship I was greatly encouraged. First, in our responsive reading we read from Psalm 109. If I have ever truly believed in imprecatory prayers it is now. I truly believe that everyone there sincerely prayed this Psalm before the Lord today. Then our fellowship gathered around us and prayed for us.

Do not keep silent, O God of my praise! 2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful Have opened against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. 4 In return for my love they are my accusers, But I give myself to prayer. 5 Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love.

6 ¶ Set a wicked man over him, And let an accuser stand at his right hand. 7 When he is judged, let him be found guilty, And let his prayer become sin. 8 Let his days be few, And let another take his office. 9 Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow. 10 Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg; Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places. 11 Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder his labor. 12 Let there be none to extend mercy to him, Nor let there be any to favor his fatherless children. 13 Let his posterity be cut off, And in the generation following let their name be blotted out. 14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be continually before the LORD, That He may cut off the memory of them from the earth; 16 Because he did not remember to show mercy, But persecuted the poor and needy man, That he might even slay the broken in heart. 17 As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him. 18 As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, So let it enter his body like water, And like oil into his bones. 19 Let it be to him like the garment which covers him, And for a belt with which he girds himself continually. 20 Let this be the LORD’S reward to my accusers, And to those who speak evil against my person.

21 ¶ But You, O GOD the Lord, Deal with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your mercy is good, deliver me. 22 For I am poor and needy, And my heart is wounded within me. 23 I am gone like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like a locust. 24 My knees are weak through fasting, And my flesh is feeble from lack of fatness. 25 I also have become a reproach to them; When they look at me, they shake their heads. 26 Help me, O LORD my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy, 27 That they may know that this is Your hand—That You, LORD, have done it! 28 Let them curse, but You bless; When they arise, let them be ashamed, But let Your servant rejoice. 29 Let my accusers be clothed with shame, And let them cover themselves with their own disgrace as with a mantle. 30 I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; Yes, I will praise Him among the multitude. 31 For He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, To save him from those who condemn him.

Second, came during my study of Revelation 8. In all of Revelation we see the sovereign hand of God in protecting His people from those who seek their harm and pouring out judgment upon the wicked who oppose His people. During that study I was struck by this quote from Augustine who addressed pagans who claimed that God had failed to rescue His people from their enemies:

: “The whole family of God, most high and most true, has therefore a consolation of its own – a consolation which cannot deceive, and which has in it a surer hope than the tottering and falling affairs of life can afford. They will not refuse the discipline of this temporal life, in which they are schooled for life eternal; nor will they lament their experience of it, for the good things of life they use as pilgrims who are not detained by them, and its ills either prove or improve them.

As for those who insult over them in their trials, and when ills befall them say, ‘Where is thy God?’ [Ps. 42:10] we may ask them where their gods are when they suffer the very calamities for the sake of avoiding which they worship their gods, or maintain they ought to be worshiped; for the family of Christ is furnished with its reply: Our God is everywhere present, wholly everywhere; not confined to any place. He can be present unperceived, and be absent without moving; when He exposes us to adversities, it is either to prove our perfections or correct our imperfections; and in return for our patient endurance of the sufferings of time, He reserves for us an everlasting reward. But who are you, that we should deign to speak with you even about your own gods, much less about our God, who is ‘to be feared above all gods? For all the gods of the nations are idols; but the LORD made the heavens’ [Ps. 96:4-5] .” Augustine, The City of God, i.29

It is truly good to know that our God cares for us and has appointed us, not for wrath, though there may be trials and tribulations (these He has promised), but life and salvation. To Him be the glory forever and ever! Amen.

Finally, in our study of Galatians we covered 2:11-21. In speaking about Paul confronting Peter about not being straightforward about the gospel we spoke of our emotions (a disturbance of the intellect) determining our actions rather than our minds (knowing and understanding the Word of God as to what is right and what is wrong). Quite often, if not always, our sins are a result of us being led by our emotions rather than our minds. It seems Peter faced the same thing. He felt the pressure of the Jews, rather than doing what he knew to be right. We spoke of the fact that though Peter may have not said with his mouth anything about being a Jew to be justified or being circumcised to be justified, his actions betrayed the gospel. After all, Peter was given divine revelation concerning the gospel and the fact that there was now no longer the ceremonial uncleanness spoken of concerning the Gentiles. Paul addressed it and openly and publicly rebuked him for it, because his actions had compelled others to follow him such as Barnabas, a great evangelist of the church. God really did open my eyes to my own situation and once again I was repenting. I do not want the gospel to be maligned or distorted in the circumstances we are facing now. May God grant us the power of His Spirit to be straightforward concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

DSS Update 2-7

Before launching into my thoughts concerning paedo baptism, I wanted to give an update. Well friends, I have seen the face of DSS and it is ugly. It has been beaten with several ugly sticks. Every branch on the ugly tree was hit. It’s mother, or I should properly render it, father is ugly. I attempted to be forthcoming and give DSS a chance to prove to me they really were doing their job and nothing more. However, in just one day they have shown me that they are incompetent, unable to answer the simplest of questions without turning the tables on me and threatening legal action, and a clear practice of deception and above all a show of cowardice.

Denise and I are currently listed as “indicated”, which basically means that we are found guilty by these people. Mind you, they are an entity that has immunity. That’s right. They seem to be able to violate your constitutional rights, jump to huge leaps of illogic and proclaim that you are guilty. What is so ironic in this situation is twofold: (1) Those investigating us have small children that they neglect everyday, when they come to work for DSS (either leaving them at daycare or with someone else rather than caring for them as parents, while I try and make provisions for my wife to be at home with our kids (which DSS is in fact disrupting). (2) While the doctors at CMC who reported us (and they have to do this by law, go figure) go about their merry lives, they did absolutely nothing for my son. Did you get that? Nothing. Even the doctors now who we are made to see claim he is unhealthy because he doesn’t fall on a curve somewhere on their chart, yet CMC says there is no medical reason for this. So when I ask can he be healthy and small, the response is “No”. The answer given is, “Because he doesn’t fit on our chart.” And yet he continues to gain weight and be alert and mobile and happy. If this is such a life threatening issue and the child is in danger, then why wait 2 weeks in between visits? Shouldn’t he be admitted somewhere that can find out what is wrong as soon as possible? See?? Incompetence. So we are now in hold mode until our attorney files the paperwork.

Please pray for us. I realize this is a sovereign work of God. I know His hand is in it. And yet there is both a righteous anger in me at what is being done to us in the name of “it’s for the best interest of the child”, and also I confess some fleshly anger. I realize that my sinful desires are not justified because of the sins of others. It is unacceptable and I have repented several times. Pray that my repentance might be genuine and that I would indeed honor the Lord. Please pray for Denise as well. It has been very hard on her being accused of such things. No one loves her children like she does and to be told that you are basically guilty of not loving your child because you don’t take them to the doctor for “well visits” is simply outrageous. Please remember R.C. as well. He is the one caught in the midst of all of this and unless something can be done legally, then we will probably have to have him endure some very uncomfortable procedures in order to demonstrate that DSS has absolutely no idea of what they are doing.

Brothers, thanks for your prayers and words of encouragement.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dissing Dispensationalism 8: The Final Post

Ok, this will be the final response in regards to Dan’s post on dispensationalism.

21. "For all the promises of God find their Yes in him" (2 Corinthians 1:20a). As if there's a dispensationalist that disbelieves this verse. I'd suggest that it's the decoder-ring set that disbelieves it. Dispensationalists believe that Christ will make good on all the Trinity's promises, as He carries out all the will of the Father, and is King of the mediatorial Kingdom. It's the CT's who would turn this verse to "For all the promises of God find their 'Ha-ha, fooled you!' in him," or "For some of the promises of God find their No in him."

Ok, this is a cheap shot. If you are going to slander CTs by saying “ha-ha fooled you”, then please provide the evidence and then respond to the material and the interpretation laid out from that. But don’t put words in their mouth. CTs do not say that God has fooled anyone, nor do they say that some of the promises of God are no in Him. Let’s actually hear a quote from a reputable CT theologian (tick, tock, tick, tock).
What is with the decoder ring thing? What Phillips fails to deal with is the fact that the New Testament, because it is progressive in nature as to its revelation, gives us the proper understanding of such things as Jew, Israel, the elect and the realities promises in types. From the dispensationalist point of view, they would rather hold on to the shadows and picture books, as it were, and not move on to the reality and true grammar and language. Thus, this becomes a problem when they attempt to understand the two covenants. Many, but certainly not all will actually state that Old Covenant believers actually merited God’s favor to some point through their obedience! They fail to see the continuity throughout all of Scripture which sees anyone who is saved is saved in the covenant of grace. With that said, I don’t think Dan falls into this category. He is Calvinistic for goodness sakes.
Finally, the fact that Dan tries to make Christ have two different kinds of kingdoms is simply a stretch here. I never read in Scripture where Christ spoke of two kingdoms that He was to rule over. If you ask me, this is where the decoder ring is needed, because you don’t find it in the Bible. Jesus simply spoke of the kingdom that was His and that it was given to Him by the Father and that it was from above.

22. Dispensationalism teaches two ways of salvation. Sigh. Maybe if this is answered for the 950,000th time, it will go away? This old corker has been responded to and documented more times than a department-store "Santa" has said "Ho ho ho."
So what, exactly, are we talking about? Oh, you mean like this? "Grace offers escape from the law only as a condition of salvation -- as it is in the covenant of works --, from the curse of the law, and from the law as an extraneous power." Oh yeah, that's bad. What rotten dispensationalist wrote that? That "rotten dispensationalist" Louis Berkhof (ST, p. 291). Allis and others have made similar statements that, isolated, sure sound like offers of two methods of salvation. Statements capable of misunderstand and misrepresentation are not the sole provenance of dispensationalists. Golly, it'd be nice to wake up tomorrow to a world in which I can focus on the text, and not constantly see the discussion derailed by red herrings like this one. Could there be a reason why anti-dispies don't want to do that?

Actually, that’s not the point Dan. Neither would the quote you cited bear that either from Berkhof. Classic Dispensationalists do hold to two means of salvation. For instance, though many people nowadays count Dave Hunt as completely out to lunch, he would readily point to the fact that there is merit in law keeping or obedience in the Old Testament. Those of the Darby kind readily point to such things as well. As with any view, there are those who are conservative and those who are very liberal, so while there are those like Dan who would fight that tooth and nail, there are those who would easily embrace that.
Second, there are many both dispensational and not who would see two means of salvation and this comes out clearly in discussions that surround the death of infants, mentally incapacitated and also those who have never heard the gospel. Somehow, there are those, and the only ones I’ve talked to are dispensationalists, who would hold that all in the first two categories will be saved (SEE Safe in the Arms of Jesus by MacArthur (a dispensationalist). Clearly this is not the difference of Israel as nation under the Old Covenant and Israel as the Church in the New covenant, but the point ends up being the same: there is not the comprehensive understanding that throughout Scripture there is One overarching covenant and that is the covenant of grace. This covenant was not instituted in the Garden, nor at Sinai, nor specifically at the cross, but in eternity between the Father and the Son. This covenant was ultimately shown to men in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. All of the elect in the past, present and future are in this covenant, whether Jew or Gentile.
So, to this argument, Dan may disagree, but if he is honest, then he must concede that there are many dispensationalists who do hold that God has a different covenant TODAY with national Israel (whatever that actually is and in dispensationalism, it is actually the nation we call Israel) than he does with the True Israel, the church.
23. "Hey, I'm a CT/amill/postmill/preterist whatever, and I use grammatico-historical exegesis on everything!" Suuuuure you do, Bunky. And I'm a muscular, slim 25-year old published author with multiple doctorates who pastors a successful church and teaches in seminary -- plus I have a full head of hair! It's really more than just a river in Egypt for you, isn't it, brother? When you tell me that Israel is the church, that only the prophetic curses have realtime fulfillment, but that the prophesied blessings are all spiritualized, you and G-H exegesis have long since gone the way of the Beatles. CT is your Yoko.

So, Dan, I wanna hold your hand as we look at this claim you are making as we take a ride in our yellow submarine. Now while I might let you Drive My Car, I can’t stand by and let you broad brush the entire CT community with such language. For instance, I will readily admit that there are some who do take the view that you present. However, I find them to be in the minority, especially among conservative CTs.
There is no question that God poured out the exact curses He said He would in the Law upon Israel when they departed from Him. This was proven many times in the Old Testament, such as in the prophecies that Jeremiah revealed, Ezekiel spoke of and Daniel actually saw, not to mention the fact that ultimately God brought His judgment down upon Israel in 70 AD in finality concluding and bringing to an end the specific promises of that nation’s apostasy. With a Little Help from My Friends I’m sure we could pile up enough evidence to make this quite clear.
When Jesus comes in Matthew 5 and lays out the heart of the Law again, (NOTE: Jesus did not bring a different Law. He brought the same Law. While Moses delivered the Law to the people, it was God who gave the Law. Therefore, if we say that Jesus brought a different Law, wouldn’t that imply that there is some disunity in the Godhead?) then weren’t the blessings clearly outlined?
The problem is this crazy idea of “literal interpretation”. Literal by what standard? Maybe The Two of Us could Come Together and hash this out a bit. This is the biggest hurdle that people have, in my opinion. Let me give an example of the literal interpretation. Anyone reading in the Old Testament who came upon the words, “I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness” would have simply took this to mean that God was speaking of the nations that sprang from Jacob and Esau and that would be correct. However, the inspired apostle uses the CT method of interpretation and quotes the passage in favor of individuals. Now Dan is a Calvinist and readily agrees with the apostle Paul. However, is he being literal? I’ll leave that to be decided by the reader.
24. Dispensationalism divides the people of God. Wait -- isn't it complementarianism that does that? The Bible says, "there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28) , but complementarians teach that men and women are still distinct, even though they're in Christ, and have distinct roles. Calvinists/Reformeds tend to be complementarians, yet they affirm that men and women are distinct in Christ in one way, yet they affirm that they are one in Christ, in another way. Isn't that a contradiction? "But-but-but," sputters a Reformed complementarian, "that's stupid! You can be distinct, and yet one! Look at the Trinity! The Persons are distinct, yet they are one God! They have different functions, and there is an economy of relations, yet they are one! That's an inane criticism!"
Oh, I totally agree. It's inane. It's stupid. It's lame. So... why do you go for the same inane, stupid, lame line of reasoning when it comes to Israel?
I just keep wondering why the same people who have no trouble understanding why men and women can be distinct and yet one, fall all apart into hysterics and start doing horrible things to the Bible when it comes to Israel. Why can't Israel have a certain and sure ethnic future (as God promised, in the starkest and most undeniable terms, about a gazillion times), and yet be part of one people of God? Why do we have to turn God into a liar and a promise-breaker (see Jeremiah 31:35-37), in order to salvage some preconceived construct we made up?
Having said all that, I don't think it's fundamental to dispensationalism to make divisions as stark as some pioneers did, as if Israel's eternity is 'way over there, and the Church's is right over here, and never the twain shall mix. I don't tend to think that way, myself.

I think this is where Dan cannot see who Israel actually is. Paul spells it out plainly in Romans 9 that all who are of Israel are not Israel. The true Israel is the elect people of God. Those who were of national Israel but rejected God and were not Israel, but rather members of Sodom, Gomorrah, Egypt, Babylon. They were apostates, and from the beginning when they left Egypt the unbelievers were cut off from their people, not a part of them. My question to Dan would simply be this, “What is the purpose of these promises to a geo-political entity today that calls itself Israel, but is completely apostate in biblical terms to the true God?”
Again, Dan simply misses the point of Jeremiah 31. Besides, did God make that covenant there with every single individual of the house of Judah, or was He referring to the house of Judah in the light of election? Interestingly enough, Gentiles are included in that covenant in the New Testament. I wonder if Dan thinks that Gentiles become ethnic Israel and are also recipients of that little sliver of land in the Middle East. I like to think of the words of Christ, that not a sliver of land is our inheritance, but the earth is.
As for his final comment, I don’t know what to say. It sure sounds like he makes a pretty big and stark division. He may see some mixing, but it is extremely small from what I hear.
25. Dispensationalism fails to see Christ in every verse of the Bible. Again with the being-more-spiritual-than-God sin. This is maybe one of the most damaging Reformed traditions (in the worst sense of the word): the insistence by some of putting perfectly innocent texts on the rack, and torturing them until they scream "Jesus!" This turns God into a Clintonesque, smooth-talking trickster. He fools His audience into thinking He's talking about Israel, but He's really talking about something they couldn't have conceived of. He offers them an egg and some bread, and then gives them a stone and a serpent. "I promise to bless you, I swear it. {Later} Oops, presto! Not really you at all! Someone else! But I do have a dandy curse just for you -- and this time, I really do mean you!"
Christ is indeed all over the Bible, directly or indirectly (Luke 24:27, 44, etc.). But to insist that a text is unworthy of God if it really talking about what it seems to be talking about is (A) to adopt a suicidal hermeneutic, (B) to make God into the worst unethical bait-and-switch salesman, and (C) to pour shame on the very hermeneutic of Christ and the apostles. If we abandon Scripture to adopt this hermeneutic, we invalidate Jesus' constant refrain to His enemies:
"Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" (John 5:45-47)
If this decoder-ring hermeneutic were true, his enemies could justly and correctly have replied, "There is no way we could be judged by Moses' writings, or the prophets. God said 'Israel' and meant 'not ethnic Israel at all, but the Christian church.' He named cities, but didn't mean them. He promised full national restoration in the most specific terms, again and again, but never meant it. All His threats He meant exactly as He said them, and all His promises meant something totally unrelated. So no, Jesus, Your teaching turns revelation into obscurement, and gives us a perfect, bona-fide excuse for rejecting You. God didn't give us the right decoder-ring when He put out the garbled, encrypted code. It's not our fault."
Of course this is nonsense. Christ and the apostles treated the OT with full respect. Bethlehem meant Bethlehem, a donkey meant a donkey, Jerusalem meant Jerusalem, Israel meant Israel. It was because the OT was to be read as outlined in point #10, above, that Jews (and everyone) could then (and now) be held guilty before God: because they rejected the plain and clear sense of the text. What was bad for them is bad for us.
God forbid we "honor Christ" in theory by dishonoring Christ in practice.
This is the hermeneutic God saved me from in saving me from the cult of Religious Science, decades ago. We did the same thing, always finding "deeper meaning" that was in fact opposite meaning to texts we simply didn't like, because they didn't fit into our system. By the grace of God, the folks I'm criticizing don't do it to Christological, soteriological, or other passages. Only to prophetic passages. If they did the same across the board, they'd not be Christian.
It is not dishonoring to Christ to believe that He said what He meant, and meant what He said. The reverse is what dishonors Him, no matter how honorable the intent.

You know what Dan, there are some who do just that, but I don’t hear from them that often. Most will simply allow the New Testament apostles to interpret the Old. I wonder why the apostle Paul, an ethnic Jew, didn’t put hope in a future national geo-political revival. I wonder why the apostle Peter, an ethnic Jew, didn’t put hope in future land promises. I wonder why those of the early church who owned lands that were rightly theirs didn’t hold onto it because it was theirs by divine promise. I wonder………hmmmm. I really do think it’s because those things are yes in Christ and I as a Gentile believer have a yes in Christ and it is not to a piece of land, but to an inheritance that is incorruptible, kept in heaven for me by Christ Jesus. The New Testament apostles do not go the way of dispensationalists. If they were dispensationalists then they would hold up your mantra, but they don’t.

I welcome any additions. I hurriedly put this together to get it off my plate and move on to some other things.