Recent comments

  • Porn: Truth, Lies, and a Challenge...   13 weeks 4 days ago

    Lie: We're just a bunch of animals.

    Scripture: "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Genesis 1:26-27)

  • Porn: Truth, Lies, and a Challenge...   13 weeks 6 days ago

    16 So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
    from the adulteress with her smooth words,
    17 who forsakes the companion of her youth
    and forgets the covenant of her God;
    18 for her house sinks down to death,
    and her paths to the departed;
    19 none who go to her come back,
    nor do they regain the paths of life.

    Proverbs 2:16-19

  • Porn: Truth, Lies, and a Challenge...   14 weeks 4 days ago

    In regard to the bonus lie that we are just a bunch of animals:

    "What is man that You take thought of him,
    And the son of man that You care for him?
    Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
    And You crown him with glory and majesty!
    You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
    You have put all things under his feet,
    All sheep and oxen,
    And also the beasts of the field,
    The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
    Whatever passes through the paths of the seas."
    —Psalm 8:4–8

    God sometimes convicts men of acting like brute beasts, but it is always shameful and perverse and incurs God's condemnation:

    "But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them!" —Jude 10–11a

  • Porn: Truth, Lies, and a Challenge...   14 weeks 5 days ago

    I always think of this verse in relation to the lie. "For the lips of an adultress drip honey and smoother than oil is in her speech; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps take hold of sheol." Proverbs 5:3-5

  • Marriage Is Greater Than Love   1 year 11 weeks ago

    I don't think I can agree with this because In my own opinion, love does not fade. for the love of a person will never be fade and so as the love of God.

  • Why Marriage?   1 year 11 weeks ago

    "(Ephesians 5:31-33) 31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband."

    - well in this sermon, i can see that there is nothing wrong with it. and yes it's just the truth.

  • When Evolutionary Biologists Get it Right   1 year 26 weeks ago

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the comment. That's a good quote from Haldane. I wrote another post responding to your last sentence. You can find it here.

    -Joseph

  • When Evolutionary Biologists Get it Right   1 year 26 weeks ago

    J.B.S.Haldane, a famed British geneticist and evolutionary biologist often credited with playing a central role in the developement of neo-Darwinian thinking, once said:
    "Teleology is like a mistress to a biologist: he cannot live without her but he is unwilling to be seen with her in public" [Quoted from Measurement of Evolutionary Activity, Teleology and
    Life, M.A. Bedau, N.H. Packard]

    Of course the difference between evolutionary design and God's design is that one is "mindless" with strictly biological consequences (no sex = no procreation = no human race). One would think that the church, also being aware of the spiritual consequences for breaking God's design, would be more careful to stand by it both within the Christian community as well as in general society.

  • Homeschool Blindspots   1 year 36 weeks ago

    This article is very true. although the parental figures in a child's life play a very important role the child will not become a perfect mold of the model. (this is not only a disadvantage, it is also a good thing) instead Home school parents should teach their children to stand on their shoulders to be better and achieve far more than they ever could in their lifetime.
    in love,
    Levi

  • Should we give to beggars?   1 year 42 weeks ago

    As a deacon for the past 4 years, our board has struggled through many of these same questions. There are no easy answers. However, for those that are genuinely interested, let me provide a great book that our board has read over the past year. It has been greatly helpful.

    When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert

    Read it if you are involved at all in interacting with the poor.

  • On Growing Up   1 year 44 weeks ago

    I am not Joseph's apologist here, he certainly needs no help from me. However, I would offer my take on your comments. It seems odd to me that someone who is so clearly interested in wisdom would not see the value of forming your own apologetic relative to the article. You call yourself a seeker of wisdom, yet you excoriate Joseph for not providing you with the tools the refute the article? This is intellectual laziness on parade.

    You admit that the article is necessarily biased, *which* presupposes something antithetical to the *Christian* worldview and yet Joseph is supposed to spend his time nuancing with philosophical precision the case against the article? That my friend, is drivel. The height of your hypocrisy is your admission that the article is possibly wrongheaded-a fine admission from someone who quite obviously was looking only for an opportunity to provide an *abusive ad hominem* toward Joseph. Who by the way, quite graciously offered an apology for a-yet-unnamed-offense. If you were interested in helping the cause of Christ rather than simply wounding Joseph and undermining his post you would offered your *insights*.

  • On Growing Up   1 year 44 weeks ago

    Dear same anonymous person as before,

    Thank you for commenting again. However, If I'm regularly self-righteous, posturing, presumptuous, unengaged, unthoughtful, wrongheaded, and unhelpful, I'm not sure why you come here looking for wisdom. (Nice set of insults this time around, by the way.) But setting that to the side, let me answer your question.

    Yes, I read the article. Contrary to your claim, it does not try to explain why people are starting to marry later in life. Neither the study, nor the article addresses *why* marriage ages are changing. Presumably people's brains have always developed this way, but we are just now discovering it. Our discovery in 2012 of how the brain develops later in life has nothing to do with why people started marrying later around 1960. Science has nothing to do with the claim in this article that it is better to marry later. The only thing that science has said here is that the brain continues to mature longer than we thought. Actually, the article is trying to justify later marriage as a good thing by pointing to a scientific finding about how our brains develop. The two don't necessarily have anything to do with each other, and the argument isn't supported at all.

    My point might not have been made completely clearly in my post, so let me try again: The fact that brains stop developing around age 30 could actually be a strong reason to get married before then, if you can, before you lose the ability to adjust to life with your husband or wife. The article actually points out that there are many things that are much harder to do once your brain stops developing. No case is made that marriage is in the other category. Nor is any case made that marriages actually benefit by marrying later.

    In point of fact, although later marriages tend to survive better, at the same time as the average age of marriage has increased (since 1960), divorce rates have sky-rocketed. Neither of those facts prove very much, and certainly not causality.

    I find it very difficult to believe that you would take such offense at this post. Certainly very few people would disagree with my conclusion: "If you are immature and irresponsible, I'm not telling you to go off and get married. I'm telling you to grow up so you're ready to get married." Clearly I must have offended you some way for you to leave these comments on such an inoffensive post. Feel free to email me directly at jtbayly@gmail.com. I'd be happy to talk to you directly to try to resolve the real issue.

    Thanks,
    -Joseph

  • On Growing Up   1 year 46 weeks ago

    why this is "grasping at straws." I mean, really explain it. Its a piece offering some conjectures (the article is not doctrinaire) about why people are getting married later, and why its perhaps not as worrisome as we might think. You can't simply say, here's another grasp at a straw, trying to justify blah blah blah. If you have an opinion and someone offers evidence of some kind to challenge it, it is rather uncharitable to write it off simply because--on occasions presumeably unrelated to neuroscience you gave pastoral advice that MIGHT contradict this--it doesn't adhere with your pastoral advice.

    I should say, I married at 24 and have 2 children. This is not self-defense. This is a challenge to you to be less presumptuous and more critical. Quick to listen, slow to speak, to paraphrase.

  • On Growing Up   1 year 46 weeks ago

    The article is actually an interesting piece, trying to explain the empirical phenomenon of later marriage ages through neuroscience. Presumably you don't find neuroscience a useless pursuit. And truth be told, while the writer of the article isn't bias free, she does a decent job just trying to connect the dots. You disagree with what, then? The science? You take umbrage at the writer's curiosity? I'm not sure how you get from this article to your pat, simplistic, self-righteous conclusion, since you don't actually engage the article at all! Perhaps you don't expect us actually to read it? I would expect a smart, Christian pastor not to be so glib when the task seems to be engaging this thoughtful--if perhaps wrongheaded--piece. I come away from you post with no real tools to go back to the Wall Street Journal piece, with no way of challenging the claims made there, because you don't actually address them! It appears you were just looking for an occasion to lambast the culture and air your unengaged, unthoughtful, unhelpful opinions. Its actually quite discouraging, because I come here looking for wisdom and this post is not atypical of the self-righteous, uncritical posturing that you maintain.

  • Why Marriage?   1 year 48 weeks ago

    Dear Anonymous person,

    This is not Bayly blog, and I don't write there all that much. Maybe I'm just not remembering, but I'm pretty sure I haven't written more than once or twice about having people angry at me or criticizing me. Certainly you can't say it happens all the time on a blog I've only rarely contributed to.

    Anyway, I don't assume that when people get angry at me I'm doing God's work. Nor do I assume that when people thank me I'm doing God's work. But it is true that "it has always been the case that the preaching of God's word causes division."

    I'm certainly not immune to criticism. But I am immune to criticism from anonymous persons complaining that I don't listen to criticism. You don't like this sermon? Feel free to point out where it is unbiblical. Make an actual criticism. It's so much more helpful than just complaining that you can't criticize. Of course you can. Go for it!

    By the way, if you are in the area, I and my ilk would love to have you over for dinner. You can meet my 10-day old daughter, Eliza-Jane.

    -Joseph

  • Why Marriage?   1 year 48 weeks ago

    Whenever you talk about anger/criticism directed at you (and this happens ALL the time at the Bayly blog) assume it is a sign that you are in fact doing God's work? Makes you pretty immune to actual criticism...which is why I can never hope to engage you or your ilk. Alas for the self-righteous.

  • Should we give to beggars?   2 years 3 weeks ago

    Eric, I attend Westminster Reformed Presbyterian (http://www.westminsterrpc.org/), which is way up in Prairie View (Buffalo Grove) area. I've heard there are some good Orthodox Pres ( http://www.opc.org/locator.html ) churches in other parts.

  • Should we give to beggars?   2 years 7 weeks ago

    We just moved to Chicago - do you have a church home that you could recommend?

  • Should we give to beggars?   2 years 10 weeks ago

    I read this a few days ago and have been thinking about it a lot since I live in Chicago, where I may see dozens of homeless people any given day. Today in a meeting at work this doctor happened to mention that his church gives phones with prepaid minutes out to homeless people - "because if you don't have a phone, you can't get a job." Wow. Simple and true! And phones are a luxury that I certainly take for granted. What a unique ministry, to be giving out cell phones so that folks can have contact info to put on job applications, etc.

  • Should we give to beggars?   2 years 11 weeks ago

    What wonderful suggestions, Paul. I'm hoping others will chime in with more.

  • Should we give to beggars?   2 years 11 weeks ago

    I quit giving cash years ago. It disappoints all I've encountered. But it's opened up a whole new world to me of real help. Here's what I do sometimes but only too rarely.

    Take them out for a meal, take them shopping for food or critical items. Take time to talk with them, listen to them. It's okay to explain why you refuse certain requests.

    If you do this a few times, you may soon find out which businesses are more hospitable. Find a few restaurants that have healthy food, a casual atmosphere, accepting staff, and single-person lockable bathrooms. Once, it wasn't the meal but the large private bathroom that a homeless man got the most use of. It was nearly closing time and the place was almost empty, so he felt comfortable taking his time in the bathroom and was very happy to get done whatever he needed in there. During good weather seasons, I've found that many tend to avoid shelters and so also have little access to a variety of indoor facilities we take for granted: mirrors, a clean place to repack a bag, real if only brief privacy.

    Since we can't always feel able or willing, have backup plans. See if you have friends who can pitch in when you don't have time but come across an appropriate, pressing need. When a homeless man began visiting an urban church I once attended, he found a diverse group of people and a support network that he could rely on because he was not overly encumbering any one of us. Not everyone felt comfortable hugging him or giving him their phone number, not everyone could afford to take him to dinner, not everyone had cars to drive him places. But, for a while, he got regular, loving care and attention from individuals once or twice each week.

    It's certainly not always all possible. But in an urban environment, while walking down the street, it's often very easy to pop in a store and help a person with a specific need.

    People need to be careful about safety and getting in over their head. Stay in populated areas. I'd imagine most churches and shelters can offer advice or training in this area for those who feel inclined to get more involved. Even the occasional, irregular helper should have an emergency plan for weird or scary situations. I've had someone ask me to drive them to a place I didn't feel comfortable going; I asked for a busy intersection or subway stop to drop him off at instead. He understood and appreciated the still-helpful compromise.

    Any personal and direct involvement, no matter how small, even just talking to them more politely than you do telemarketers, can be mutually beneficial.

  • We Judge Motives All the Time   2 years 17 weeks ago

    Excellent question, Daniel. We are obviously not omniscient. We can't know everything. I had this exact conversation with somebody in college. He did not believe in the total depravity of man or original sin. He thought it was possible for men (and in particular himself) to do things without sinful motives. I was trying to convince him that he was wrong. In the end, he felt like I was claiming that he had to be omniscient in order to be able to avoid doing things that could have bad outcomes.

    But the whole point is not that we need to be omniscient. It is that we need to be very wary of our motives, since we know that we are depraved. How many times have you determined to do something that you felt would be beneficial to yourself, only realizing later that you were actually deceiving yourself to set yourself up to pursue sin? This can even include things like saying, "I'm going to go spend time reading the Bible now." The reality is that you could be using supposedly "holy" motives simply to avoid doing the work in your home that the Bible requires. Will reading the Bible produce good fruit in that circumstance? No. It's actually the very producing of bad fruit, in that case.

    Similarly, we often think we know what would be good for somebody and we tell them what to do. But did we seek the Lord's will in prayer? Are we trusting in our own wisdom? Have we spent the last 4 months avoiding finding out what's going on in their life so that we are culpably ignorant of what is actually necessary?

    As fallen men, bad motives are everywhere in us. Does that help?

    In Christ,
    -Joseph

  • We Judge Motives All the Time   2 years 17 weeks ago

    >>> never will our heart be pure and produce bad fruit

    Joseph, on your Dad's blog I saw your question, something like "So people can't do bad things from good motives?" And here it looks like you got your answer, but I wonder how you got to it. If I do something for somebody that I think will be good for them and I was mistaken, does that mean my motives were bad? That doesn't seem right.

    Or maybe trying and failing is different than bad fruit? I think there's something I'm not understanding.

  • Education That "Makes a Difference"   2 years 20 weeks ago

    This is really one to chew on. Thanks Joseph.

    In Canada though education maintains a strictly god-less education system, perfectly neutral, perfectly sterile and untouched by all these considerations:

    But the Supreme Court’s majority decision, written by Justice Deschamps on behalf of herself and six other justices, argued that the course does not infringe on a particular set of religious beliefs because it remains neutral to religion.

    “State neutrality is assured when the state neither favours nor hinders any particular religious belief, that is, when it shows respect for all postures towards religion, including that of having no religious beliefs whatsoever,” wrote Deschamps.

    -- http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/supreme-court-ruling-shifts-education-a...

  • Marriage Is Greater Than Love   2 years 21 weeks ago

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it wasn't Augustine. He only had one child, the son of his first lover, whom he never married. (In fact, he didn't ever marry, so far as I know.) I can't imagine him being able to speak of his ex-lover and himself as "one tree, not two" to his son, even though he did love her dearly.

    I've changed the citation accordingly.