October 2015

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To the fearful would-be mother...

[My wife, Mary Lee, forwarded this to me and I asked the writer, Mrs. Lucas (Hannah) Weeks, for permission to post it here—which she kindly granted.]

You recently mentioned your fear associated with many aspects of motherhood. It seems that these fears are a major factor in your decision to put off the big leap, as well they might. But may I be so bold as to encourage you to take a new perspective on those fears, although I am a mere acquaintance?

I write "from the trenches” as they say. As a mother of five children six and under, including an infant with special needs, I could hardly be more qualified to address your fears. However, after a year of trials with our newest addition, my observations are bound to be a bit raw. The thing is, I don’t intend to assuage your fears. You might say my goal is to help you embrace them.

There are lots of women who would be happy to tell you all the beautiful things about motherhood. In fact, when you walk through the grocery store with a baby in a cart, you’re bound to be stopped by an older woman who tells you to, “enjoy it, it’ll be over before you know it.” They’re very sweet, and certainly well-meaning. And it really is a good reminder. But the truth is that, generally, the passage of time has given a golden cast to the years when they were raising their own children and they don’t remember (or don’t realize) that the best attributes of their character were molded, not by the days of bliss they seem to remember now, but by sleepless nights, worry-filled days, and the weight of constant care they carried for the little ones they raised. 

And then there’s another type of woman you’ll meet...

Faith and sex...

It would be good to do a study of the birth rates and sex ratios among Christians who are members of China's house churches. There is a strong positive correlation between religious piety and fertility, especially among Christians. Women and men of Christian faith don't choose cars, houses, investments, vacation homes, or "a good education" over God's blessing of a house full of children.

Where is Christian faith more proven and denied than sexuality? What requires more faith than the fruitful marriage bed, pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, and fatherhood?

Trick or treat...

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,
Had a Mother and didn't love her;
Peter learned to read and spell,
And then he loved her very well.

Read the wish-list Peter Leithart put together for all his fellow Christians in the Roman Catholic Church. He was asked to write a short piece on the subject, "What I Want from Catholics," and he utterly failed.

Start with his claim that the wish list is "terribly old-fashioned," then that it's "terribly assertive." Read on, though, and you'll recognize it's neither. Peter is the master of misdirection. [NOTE: Thinking about this later, it came to me that Peter was likely speaking to Roman Catholics in acknowledging their perceptions of his piece, not Reformed Protestants. To Roman Catholics his piece might well appear "old-fashioned" and "assertive," although any Roman Catholics with even a smattering of knowledge of the Reformation would have been gobsmacked that this "Reformed theologian" failed to be old-fashioned or assertive enough to remind them of the chasm between their false teaching concerning how a man is saved, is declared righteous before God.]

Dr. Leithart is also a master of flattery. Reading his stuff makes men feel...


If you wonder, yes, Mary Lee and I approve of it. No, it's not a Satanic holiday—unless we abandon it to them.

Rather, it may be the best night of the year to do door-to-door church invitations since almost everyone has their door open and welcomes you. Take a child with you. This is what the congregation I served did back in Wisconsin. It led to a man confessing faith in Jesus Christ and becoming a part of the church. The most unlikely man in the world. A real sinner.

Claim costumes and pumpkins and leaves and candy for Christ and His Kingdom!

Unless you're a food Scrooge and want to use your child to alienate people.


China's single men: 32,000,000 and counting...

(CORRECTION: The 32 million was back in 2005. By now it's probable the number is around 45 million.)

The amendment of China's one-child to a two-child policy isn't likely to improve their ratios of old to young or men to women. Stuart Gietel-Basten, Associate Professor of Social Policy at the University of Oxford, writes:

...questions will undoubtedly be asked about the legacy of the one-child policy. While its likely role in driving down fertility has probably been overstated, its role in shaping the highly skewed ratio of boys born compared to girls is widely considered to have been significant. In 2005 there were 32m more men under the age of 20 than women in China.

...What is the likely psychological impact of 35 years of constant messaging extolling the benefits of one-child families? And how is that internalised? We shall see.

Looking elsewhere in Asia, though, the Chinese government may find that it is much easier to “encourage” people to have fewer children than to have more.

Gietel-Basten links to a study exploring the connection between China's one-child policy, its sex ratio, and abortion...

After slaughtering at least a billion babies, China goes from one-child to two-child policy...

China's one-child policy is being abandoned, but not for reproductive choice or freedom. Rather, for a two-child policy.

China's one-child policy has been responsible for the slaughter of at least 350,000,000 little babies, surgically. Add in chemical and IUD abortions and the death toll is certainly far above a billion. Changing the limit from one to two children will not stop the forced abortions, but they will decrease and that's good news. Wonderful news!

More children are also necessary if China wants to avoid drowning in pensioners.

Check out the tweets responding to China Xinhua News' announcement, including this one: "Imagine aborting your child yesterday." Others guess how long it will take China to get back to parity between the sexes.

Germany: Church reformed, always reforming...

Heartening. Please pray for Pastor Olaf Latzel; but more, for Germany:

Reformation Sunday: Luther's Ninety-five Theses...

Most years we've made it a habit to read some (and one or two years, all) of the 95 Theses that were posted on the door of the All Saints' Church of Wittenberg by Martin Luther. Read them to your family or church today, two years before the theses' 500th anniversary. Twenty of the theses (the ones in italics) will be read during our sermon this morning.

* * *

Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (Commonly Known as the 95 Theses)

by Dr. Martin Luther

Posted October 31, 1517 on the Door of the All Saints' Church of Wittenberg

Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.

  1. When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent”, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of penitence.

Let's tip over the Republican pyramid scheme...

Before making a proposal, a sentence or two on how political parties work. As a registered member of a particular party, you have next to no ability to make a difference at the federal level, even if your party is in control of the House, Senate, and White House. This is because individuals are not created equal in a political party. It's a pyramid scheme of power, and you and I, itty-bitty voters, are at the bottom. We hear grand promises of the benefits we'll receive if we join ourselves to this scheme by giving our vote to the ones above us, but if you are a Republican, the promises never pan out. The recent Republican grandstanding at the hearing with Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, is a perfect example of our political superiors pretending to give us what they promised before they were elected, while doing nothing of the sort. The party has no heart for fighting abortion at the top. 

However, don't dismiss me as a cynic quite yet. In elections at the local level, in your county and city, you have a much bigger influence. And the people at those levels in the pyramid actually have influence with those directly above them, and so on. For the most part, people work their way up from the bottom of the pyramid to the top. The consequences of this fact are diverse, but among the more interesting are these two:

  1. The reason you shouldn't vote for a city dog-catcher who isn't truly pro-life is that he will soon be your state representative.
  2. If we all refuse to vote for Republican dog catchers, soon there won't be any Republican state representatives. In other words, if the bottom of the pyramid pulls out, the whole party is gone in the blink of an eye. 

The first fact is helpful to remember, but the second one is more useful for dealing with establishment types at the top of the party. You see...

The oppression of the common man...

Progress, in the sense of the progress that has progressed since the sixteenth century, has upon every matter persecuted the Common Man; punished the gambling he enjoys and permitted the gambling he cannot follow; restrained the obscenity that might amuse him and applauded the obscenity that would certainly bore him; silenced the political quarrels that can be conducted among men and applauded the political stunts and syndicates that can only be conducted by millionaires; encouraged anybody who had anything to say against God, if it was said with a priggish and supercilious accent; but discouraged anybody who had anything to say in favour of Man, in his common relations to manhood and motherhood and the normal appetites of nature. Progress has been merely the persecution of the Common Man.  - G. K. Chesterton, "The Common Man"

Don't let Chesterton's typical Roman Catholic ignorance of all things Protestant (here, the Puritans) keep you from reading him. You might start with The Everlasting Man, then read The Thing and What's Wrong with the World. Other than Scripture, there's no better antidote to the almost-universal stupidities of our age...

The Crime Alert IU will never send...

A couple weeks ago, Indiana University started filling the inboxes of Bloomingtonians with urgent notices of crimes in progress. For instance, this one rolled in last night at 3:11 AM...

Webb may run independent...

It would be fun to watch Jim Webb run as an independent. He'd get some support from both parties. Too bad he's a mad dog in support of baby slaughter.