A Sidekick's Blog

What Walter Chantry Really Said in 1966

May 18, 2015
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Robin:

Even as the Reformation is making inroads back into the Southern Baptist Convention, this is still as relevant today as it ever was. As long as we have SBC ministers in good standing who cannot even articulate the true gospel of Christ, the need for the rest of us to associate for the greater good remains.

Originally posted on chantrynotes:

wc Chantry at the 1966 Pastor’s Conference

It came to my attention over the weekend that my father’s sermon from the 1966 Pastors’ Conference in Carlisle, PA has been going the rounds on the internet. That conference was the first formal gathering of Reformed Baptists, and it was also the scene of earliest efforts to establish a Reformed Baptist association. Those efforts bore fruit two years later in the establishment of the RBA – forerunner to RBMS and ultimately to ARBCA.

The subject of the address – Christian Unity – has obvious implications for the project to build a confessional and associational movement among Reformed Baptists. As such, I thought it worthwhile to have a listen myself. I have never heard one of my father’s sermons from so early on; what struck me most was the presence of certain themes which I have heard from him all my life and continue…

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6 Things Christians Should Stop Saying

May 15, 2015
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Robin:

A plea against Christian triteness…

Originally posted on Gospel Relevance:

We all have that one friend that consistently says cheesy Christians clichés. I think most of us would agree that this is typically, well, very annoying. This is intensified when the sayings aren’t biblical. The motive behind saying them are usually noble, but they often simply aren’t true or helpful.

So, what are some of them?

Stop Saying

Below are six things that Christians should stop saying:

1) Let Go and let God.  This phrase is typically used when in a trial. In a sense, I adore the “letting go” part if that means resting in God’s sovereignty, but when facing trials and tribulations, there are simply a lot of things that we can actually do. We can pray, study Scripture, confess sin, repent of sin, seek help from wise counsel, weep, mediate on Scripture, serve others, etc. “Letting go” has too much of a passive feel to it; it denotes that we…

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Simplify!

May 5, 2015
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I have got to un-complicate my stressed-out life before I work myself into a heart attack or something. Maybe I’m getting too old for all these new beginnings, I dunno.

  • I’m training for a new career as an insurance agent and it’s high-pressure, high-stress, very complicated stuff. I have some prospects, but nothing certain.
  • I quit my lousy-paying job to do this, so I was already behind the eight ball when I started.
  • I have final exams at college this week, and I’m not doing well in two of my classes.
  • I’ve decided to drop out of college for now until I figure out what I’m doing there. Teaching as a second career is off the table.
  • I need a paycheck RIGHT NOW. I’m that close to the edge of oblivion.
  • I owe back taxes and can’t pay them.
  • My shoulder hurts a lot. It might keep from getting a decent-paying job.
  • My daughter is moving half a world away soon, to a third-world country.

Is that enough stress yet?

There’s always Calgon, but with my luck I’m probably allergic to it.

I covet your prayers, dear readers.


It’s All About Me, Right?

May 4, 2015
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Let’s say I’m on a boat on the ocean that was struck in a storm and sank, and I found myself floating on a raft for a couple of days awaiting rescue. On the horizon I see a ship! It looks like it’s getting closer and closer, but then it looks like it’s just going to keep right going past me. Suddenly it turns toward me and I’m rescued!

Am I grateful to the captain of that ship? Oh, yes!

But suppose I assume that the ship is out there only to rescue me. That it has no other reason for being out in the middle of the ocean. Let’s say that I suppose it’s primary mission is saving me. I might tend to think less of her captain even if I am rescued. “What the heck took you so long?”

If I was captain of that ship that had rescued the presumptive, arrogant version of me, I’d order the crew, “See to his medical needs, some dry clothes, a hot meal, then throw his sorry butt in the brig.”

Y’know what? It’s little wonder that so many of those that have been picked up from the Sea of Dead Works are languishing in the brig, so to speak. It’s that arrogant presumption that God’s sole purpose for being is to rescue me, care for me, provide for me, love me, satisfy me, and fulfill me that lands me in the brig – safe, but unhappy; resentful instead of eternally grateful; ashamed instead of humbled; envious instead of content.

When we present the offer of salvation to sinners, we must not do it in a way that leads those who accept it to wind up in the brig with other bewildered souls. It’s not all about saving sinners, it’s all about the glory of God! His ship does not sail the ocean exclusively on a mission to rescue unworthy stowaways. We are sinners, deserving only death and hell. When He rescues one of us, He does so for the glory of His mercy towards the unrighteous, unlovely, filthy, rotten, and undeserving. Those who end up in hell do not do so because He failed to reach them in time. They end up in hell because it is what they deserve, as do I. Even in hell, they remain for the glory of God. They bear testimony to the glory of His holiness, purity, and justice.

The gospel begins and ends with the glory of God, not the well-being and comfort of His enemies! It is good news for the wretched, evil, and undeserving. But it’s purpose is the glory of God, from eternity past to forever beyond time itself.

Perhaps fewer people would respond to the gospel of God’s glory, but at least of that number, fewer will end up in the brig for their arrogance and presumption.

Sorry sinners, it’s not all about you and me. It’s about Almighty, thrice-holy, all-sovereign God. We exist for His glory, whether we are rescued or left adrift to die.

Soli Deo Gloria!


Morality and Education

May 4, 2015
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Robin:

A further explanation of one of the main reasons I decided to drop out of college for now.

Originally posted on CredoCovenant:

In the previous blog, I addressed the second major issue regarding American college education – the promotion and fostering of the autonomous self. Although most social and academic commentators tend to believe that the entitlement mentality of the current generation of students is a relatively recent phenomenon, I believe that this is the fruit of a deeper problem that extends back multiple generations. Over the span of less than 60 years, the mission of college education has dramatically changed. We have abandoned the view that education is a virtuous endeavor (which seeks to train and disciple the mind) and have replaced it with a pragmatic view of education that primarily trains us for future jobs.

Moreover, the morality of education has also taken a rather dramatic shift and this shift has been consistent with the promotion of the autonomous self. Coupled with this moral change, I want to address…

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Imagine

May 1, 2015
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Originally posted on chantrynotes:

lennon Sorry, John, but I had to do it.

In an excellent post in which he admits that he’s a recovering TGC fanboy, Justin Bullington put the following words into the mouth of an imaginary objector to his criticisms: “Imagine if TGC didn’t exist!”

So I did.

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David Murray on Depression and Medication

April 10, 2015
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Originally posted on Reformed Baptist Geneva:

david murray

Dr. Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

Many readers of this blog will be familiar with the disagreements among Christian counselors regarding antidepressant medication. My goal is not to start a debate but to offer some comforting thoughts to Christians who have opted to use antidepressant medications, seen positive benefits, and desire to glorify God for this gift. My material will come from the book “Christian’s Get Depressed Too” by David Murray.

David presents the fantastic point that there are Christians who “…view medication as a rejection of God and His grace rather than a provision of God and His grace.” Should Christians think like this?

David lays out two different Christian approaches to this issue. The first approach, which is labeled “almost always spiritual”, views depression as mostly coming from spiritual issues and represented by Jay Adams. At the…

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Re-Thinking My Next Career

March 11, 2015
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I’m about to get my Associate of Arts degree in History. Yay for me. I minored in Education, taking three courses that are required for certification as a teacher here in Florida, so I have them out of the way when I transfer to my next school to finish my B.A. (also in History, perhaps something else). Finishing up my classes this semester, I’m taking the last two of the three required education courses, Introduction to the Teaching Profession (EDF2005) and Diversity for Educators (EDF2085). What I am learning in those classes has me seriously reconsidering becoming a schoolteacher, at least in a “public” (I prefer the term “government”) school.

The Diversity class, as expected, is nothing but a State-mandated propaganda course in political correctness. The textbook is filled with suppositions that are not only unfounded, but also completely at odds with the principles upon which our own nation and government were founded: Personal responsibility, limited government, local control of local issues, free markets, freedom of opinion, debate, economy, and as little government regulation/intrusion/control as possible. The Diversity coursework assumes not only that government can solve every human weakness and problem in the world (poverty, inequality, prejudice, sexism, etc), but that government should cure every human failing and solve every social problem, using government’s one unique asset: The power of coercion by force.

Harry Browne said it best on page 31 of his wonderful 2003 book titled, Why Government Doesn’t Work:

But coercion never produces harmony. How harmonious are people who are being forced to act against their will? Most likely, those who are coerced will resent those who benefit from the coercion. This sets group against group; it doesn’t bring them together.

Instead of persuasion by reason, by debate, by discourse, or by “voting with your wallet” in a free market, the answer is to simply use the force of government to impose sanctions on those who disagree. But the real answer to injustice and bigotry is the gospel! The human heart must be changed from within. Dressing mud-loving hogs in nice clothing does not change their nature, it’s just a waste of nice clothing. But God has been evicted from government, and from government schools in particular. So a lot of clothes get wasted, and government responds by spending more money on nice clothing and passing rules against mud, and spending even more money to incarcerate hogs for doing what hogs do. It’s a reincarnation of the lesson that Prohibition apparently failed to teach us: Legislating “morality” – even so-called secular morality – doesn’t work.

But it isn’t just “political correctness” that has me re-thinking my next vocation:

My other class, a much better put-together class that I have actually enjoyed and learned a great deal from is called Introduction to the Teaching Profession. It really is a good introduction to that career as far as I can tell. Largely free of the politically correct assumptions that must be accepted in order to succeed in the Diversity class, this one has shown me what is expected of educators in government schools and given me a far greater appreciation of teachers, their work, and the impossible constraints placed upon them. If I can’t even get an A in my Diversity class without violating my conscience (I’m only maintaining a C average in that class because I refuse to violate my conscience), what in heck am I going to do when my paycheck depends on it?

Teachers are not trusted to know what they’re doing, much less given any liberty to teach, except “to the tests.” Their evaluations and livelihoods are directly tied to student test scores rather than to better measures of actual learning. Zeal for accountability runs roughshod over students, families, teachers, and schools alike. Ideologically-based social experiments take deep cuts right through living human beings to achieve political objectives that cannot benefit anyone but the elites who profit from coercive testing and coercive government programs. I honestly cannot see myself as willingly having any part whatsoever in such a corrupt system, but I deeply admire and pray earnestly for Christian believers who are somehow able to survive there (so far anyway) while maintaining a clear conscience. In all honesty, I don’t think I could. God bless those who can.

So should I only look at private Christian schools? Should I look at teaching overseas where there might be, somewhere on this shrinking planet, a system that benefits students rather than existing only to achieve ungodly political ends? Does such a country even exist on Earth? Should I forget about teaching in the K-12 range and just major in the subjects I love and am passionate about, only to teach on the college level as a curmudgeonly professor at some little private Christian college? I have to admit, I think I’d love that. But I was hoping to work as a K-12 teacher on my way through a Master’s program. That would give me the benefit of gaining teaching experience before I jumped into a college faculty position (not to mention keeping student loan debt at bay). Now, I wonder if that is even possible.

Please share this post with any Christian educators you know. I would really appreciate some advice and counsel on this – counsel I cannot get from guidance counselors at my school. I need to hear from Christian educators about this. Christians who put God first, who do not surrender their principles for a paycheck, and for whom teaching is a true calling rather than just a job. Advice can be posted in the comments section below. I read them all.


Defining “Reformed Baptist” (again)

March 9, 2015
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It’s surprising how quickly the meanings of words and definitions change.  In fact I’m sure that a lot of plain, longstanding theological definitions are deliberately changed – without saying so – in order to “justify” some new and completely unorthodox theological position while making it appear orthodox by using familiar terminology.

Federal Visionists in my former denomination have turned the Reformation on it’s head to justify such unorthodox things as paedocommunion and salvation-by-sacrament, yet most of them claim the Westminster Confession and the Three Forms of Unity.  All they had to do was apply new definitions to the old terms and viola – they’ve undone the Reformation using their Reformed Confession.  They know that their heretical position cannot be justified in Baptist theology, so they call even 1689-Confessional Baptists “non-Reformed.”

Absurd.  They’re a heckuvalot further removed from the Reformation than any Reformed Baptist is.  But it seems that, again, Reformed Baptists – just at a time when we are rediscovering our own roots and restoring our churches to their historic heritage – have to defend our very existence again, as others change the meanings of plain, long-understood theological terms.  Linked below is a wonderfully clear article which I hope will help cement our identity.  Enjoy:

Defining “Reformed Baptist” (again).

 


The College of Central Florida Needs a New Name

February 24, 2015
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The College of Central Florida needs a new name, to better reflect it’s actual mission and purpose: To make money for the Pearson Education publishing house; to enslave students to a single proprietary vendor whose policies, prices, terms, and forms change on the whim of that vendor, and to promote political correctness and discourage independent thought.

Almost all of my classes insist on using Pearson textbooks, and the Pearson web site for homework. Almost all of the instructors and classmates passionately hate the Pearson books and web site. They would choose different textbooks and certainly a different web interface for exercises and homework. Yet the college tells them they have to use these awful textbooks as a matter of policy. What real college does such a thing? It stinks of kickback, and I’m not the only student who thinks so. More than one of my professors thinks so too. Perhaps it should be re-named Pearson College.

But I suspect that my school is not a wholly owned subsidiary of Pearson Education, Inc. Microsoft surely has a large stake in the College of Central Florida as well. Because all work in all classes has to be submitted in Microsoft format. Both of the two alternatives for the required computer literacy classes are classes in Microsoft’s Windows® operating system and Microsoft applications, and all work has to be submitted in Microsoft format. Technology for Educators, the class I chose, makes no mention of any alternative to Microsoft products and formats, even though many schools, businesses, and even governments are freeing themselves from being bound to a single system from a single vendor. It is completely unrealistic and unethical to train future educators in only one single proprietary vendor’s system and software when most of the world is free to choose any other vendor, system, and software. Mac. BSD (OpenBSD, FreeBSD). Or any one of hundreds of GNU/Linux distributions. So maybe we should call it, Microsoft-Pearson College. Or an abbreviated blend, like Soft Pears College, or Micro Arson College. Any of those names would make more sense and better reflect the real mission of this never-to-be-recommended institution of so-called “higher” learning. I can’t wait to get this insanity over with and get the hell out of there.

I disagreed in a research paper with a bit of extreme left-wing propaganda that was required viewing in the mandatory Diversity for Educators class. The so-called “documentary” was produced by the ultra-leftist group, Southern Poverty Law Center, which was recently dumped by the FBI as an educational partner because of its radical agenda. The result of my disagreement – on a well-documented opinion paper no less – was a 75 out of 100 possible points. Instead of Diversity for Educators, that class should be re-named to the You-Should-Be-Ashamed-to-Be-a-White-Male-Heterosexual-Christian-American class.

I’m sure that the College of Central Florida will be first in line to adopt the New History when the Emperor’s “updated” version of U.S. History is released by Pearson Publications. And a great hero of America – besides Emperor Obama, that is – will be a gay and black version of Microsoft founder and major financial backer of Common Core, Bill Gates.

All this bovine excrement has got me seriously re-thinking my pursuit of a second career as an educator. I don’t think I can really do it under all of the idiotic constraints that our government has imposed. Perhaps I could teach outside of the U.S., or in a private school where the truth is still permitted; where critical, independent thought and argument are still encouraged; and where students and staff are not held hostage to a single vendor’s textbooks, software, or format.


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