It’s just mind blowing to me how so many in the church can’t see what’s unfolding right before their own eyes. Or they can and refuse to accept it…
rampant sin, of the highest order the world over
man routinely rejecting God as creator through the promulgation of Darwinian evolution
Satan and his angels deceiving the nations through a victim mentality and the marring of God’s image through:
the breakdown of the family
the destruction of manhood
the destruction of womanhood
the homosexual agenda
the transsexual agenda and the destruction of God’s image bearers
the explosion of false teaching in the “church”
the proliferation of false gospels at every turn, the prosperity gospel, the social gospel…
the rise and explosion of new age teaching, the divine spark, inherent “godhood” teaching
the explosion in literal witchcraft and the occult in mainstream society
the explosion in pharmakeia throughout the world, virtually the entire world is currently taking at least one if not more psychotropic drugs that have suicidal ideation listed as a known side effect
the explosion of pornography at the fingertips of every human in the world with a smartphone
the explosion of the internet and its ability to connect the world into a cohesive whole as never before in human history
a complete breakdown in trust in formerly trustworthy public institutions, ie the government, news media, academia, medicine
global censorship at all time highs
groupthink and collectivism the mantra of the day
the tenets of Marxism/collectivism becoming mainstream and even taking a major foothold in the church
the fomenting of racial strife and unforgiveness for past sins of racism
hatred of the wealthy and an explosion in greed by all
everyone is a lover of self
a highly debated election of the most powerful office in the world where half of those who voted have good reason to believe the election was something less than legitimate
yet any actual public discourse of the matter is squashed through censorism and the marginalization of opposition
a worldwide pandemic that increasingly looks as though it were purposefully created in a lab and “accidentally” leaked
a corresponding fear based draconian response to the pandemic where the law of the land is routinely violated including a:
a vaxx that is pitched a savior to the people and a corresponding propaganda campaign that seeks marginalize any and all who don’t “fall down and worship the idol”
the open discussion by the world’s power elite that the pandemic can be used to usher in a “new world order” a “great reset”
an economic freight train that is headed down the track at uncontrollable speeds and at any moment can jump the tracks and end the current financial order
wars and rumors and wars
saber rattling by global powers
the explosion of the ufo/alien phenomenon that has all the telltale signs of misinformation in how at once we are led to believe two equal and opposite stories; 1. aliens exist and are visiting us and 2. belief in aliens is crazy you must be a nutjob. This is a classic sign of subterfuge. What is this phenomenon really about? How does it tie to the lies of Darwinian evolution? “Ye shall be like God…”
the transhumanist agenda that is now the de facto religion of silicon valley and the power elites of the world
Brothers and sisters… what is all this?
What is happening? And why?
What is the testimony of the Scriptures? What does the Holy Spirit say?
Here’s what I read in the Scriptures and here’s what I hear the Spirit speaking…
This is the spirit of antichrist at work in the sons of disobedience. Your Adversary is fast at work deceiving the nations and building his new Tower. He knows that his time is short.
As for you my beloved, I have this against you…
But take heart, the Lamb has overcome and so too will you by the word of your testimony, the blood of the Lamb and loving not your own life, even unto death.
Abide in me and I will abide in you. Fill your lamps with oil for night cometh. Surely I am coming quickly.
So yesterday, my wife Kitty and I had the opportunity to teach the Second Graders during Children’s Church. We were teaching through 1 Samuel 3. The point of the lesson was that “God speaks” and therefore we should “listen for him.”
We were blessed to be able to share with the kids what the Lord had taught us and we’d be blessed to share that with you now too.
“Hear my voice…”
Over the years there are few themes or points that I believe the Holy Spirit has more impressed on me in the Scriptures than the importance of “hearing his voice.” From Genesis to Revelation you will see this theme played out continually. It’s the same in 1 Samuel 3.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
“20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’””
A second theme that is frequently coupled with “hearing his voice” is the idea of what is called “Divine Right”. Divine Right is the idea that King Jesus is sovereign and simply by nature of him being who he is, namely the Creator and sustainer of all things, he is righteously entitled to do according to the council of his Father’s perfect will. This has particular application in his revelation of himself to man. Man does not, in fact he can not, “find” God; on the contrary, all men must “receive Christ” as he initiates action and reveals himself to man.
The knowledge of God is the free gift of God. But it is a a gift that is GIVEN. The Giver of the gift initiates the giving, not the receiver of the gift.
Said another way, the boy pursues the girl. Not the other way around. 😉
Finally a third theme that runs the breath of Scripture is the omnipresence of the Trinity. Where ever the Father is, there also is the Son and the Spirit. Where ever the Son is there also is the Father and the Spirit. Where ever the Spirit is there also is the Father and the Son.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.””
Trying to convey this final theme to Second Graders was… difficult. So we taught ’em a $4 word.
A Christophany is an “appearance of Christ”. And Christ appears in the Old Testament long before his birth of the virgin Mary.
The most common examples of Christophanies in the Old Testament are Melchizedek and The Angel of the Lord. But those are only two of many and I believe another can be found here in 1 Samuel 3.
Three Themes, One Story
So let’s take a look at 1 Samuel 3 and see how these three themes all appear in this one chapter.
Pay special attention to theses words in the folllowing text: “word”, “sight”, “called”, “know”, “revealed”, “hear”.
In verse 1 we read that the “word” of the Lord was rare in those days. In John 1 we read that Jesus Christ is the “Word”.
In verse 2 we see that Eli’s sight was growing dim so that he could not see. It’s my faith that this is a picture of God’s judgement of Eli and all men who reject his voice.
The second theme of Divine Right comes in here. Again and again and again, you will see the themes of hearing and sight played out in Scripture. I believe there is a fundamental message that God is sharing in these themes and that is the idea of initiation and Divine Right.
“Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.”
On the contrary, in the eyes are the PRIDE of life. When a man opens his eyes, he initiates action. He takes survey of what is before him and determines it’s measure. And in all his hubris man, a creature from the dirt, presumes he would survey God Almighty and find him of his own volition? Never.
The knowledge of God must be RECEIVED from God. God initiates. Not man. All of man’s initiatives are works of the flesh, the pride of life, and God will not allow man to boast before him.
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
So it is, God displays this Divine Right in how he reveals himself to man. God initiates reconciliation between himself and a fallen world. Man will never reconcile himself to God by his own volition. And God shows us this truth in the themes of hearing and seeing throughout the Scriptures.
Start to look for this theme in the Scriptures. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal this to you and you will begin to see it everywhere, from the beginning to the end.
So back to 1 Samuel 3. In verse 7 we see that Samuel, who had been “hearing” the Lord call his name, yet he did not yet “know” the Lord because the Lord had not yet been “revealed” to him.
It wasn’t until Eli, perceiving that the voice Samuel was hearing was in fact the Lord’s that he rightly instructed Samuel that if he heard the voice again to respond with, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears.”
Read that again carefully.
In that simple statement what has Samuel done? He’s acknowledged that he has heard the Lord and that the Lord is Lord and that He, a mere man, is his servant. Samuel humbled himself before the Lord upon hearing the Lord’s voice. And as soon as he did, the Lord appeared to him.
Look at verse 10. “And the Lord came and STOOD, calling as at other times, Samuel!, Samuel!” to which Samuel replied “Speak Lord for your servant hears.”
And this is how salvation works for us all. We HEAR the word of Truth, Christ himself speaking to our spirits by the Holy Spirit and we are born again, born into his kingdom, servants of Christ the King, God Most High.
It was the same for Samuel as it is for us! What’s incredible though about Samuel’s experience was that the Lord himself came and “stood” in his presence as he revealed himself to Samuel.
This is a Christophany.
Christ before he was manifested in the flesh in the virgin birth, manifested himself to Samuel, just as he had to Abraham (Melchizedek) and Jacob (The Angle of the Lord with whom he wrestled) before him.
Now skip down to 1 Samuel 3:21 for confirmation of this Christophany.
21And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
The passage says plainly, the Lord “appeared” “AGAIN” at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel. This confirms what we read in verse 10. The Lord appeared to Samuel as he stood in his presence. Now look at this, how did the Lord reveal himself to Samuel? By the “word” of the Lord. By the WORD. That “word” is Christ Jesus the Lord, the Logos of whom John wrote in his gospel!
“1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life,a and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11He came to his own,b and his own peoplec did not receive him. 12But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Sond from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.e17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God; the only God,f who is at the Father’s side,g he has made him known.”
By the way, the place where the Lord revealed himself to Samuel a second time. It’s called Shiloh. Shiloh, comes from the Hebrew root word for “tranquil” or “secure, safe”. When we come to finally know Jesus he give us his peace; we know tranquility, security and safety in his arms.
A Solemn Warning
Now a word of solemnly warning. In 1 Samuel 3:13 the Lord explains how he will punish Eli’s house forever because of how his sons blasphemed God.
“And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.”
It’s my faith that this blaspheming is the same blasphemy that Jesus spoke of in Mark 3:29
28“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”
The Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Spirit. The Father and the Son so love the Spirit that the only sin which finds no forgiveness is the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit. Let that sink in for a moment.
The Father and Son are very serious about their desire for man to hear and heed the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Look further in Mark and in chapter 4:21-25 Jesus repeats this admonition.
“21Jesus also said to them, “Does anyone bring in a lamp to put it under a basket or under a bed? Doesn’t he set it on a stand? 22For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be brought to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24He went on to say, “Pay attention to what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and even more will be added to you. 25For whoever has will be given more. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.””
Eli’s eye sight was growing dim but the lamp of God had not yet gone out. Eventually the Lord removed his lamp from Eli and his house forever because they blasphemed God. They rejected his voice and so even what they did not have, heeding the Spirit’s voice, was ultimately taken away.
Samuel on the contrary, humbled himself before God, heard his sweet voice and responded with a contrite heart and acknowledgement of the Lord as God as he was led, as a true prophet, by the voice of God Almighty.
If you hear God’s voice do not harden you heart. Fear not his voice, learn to love and follow it wherever He leads you.
“1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”
If I had a tally of the time I chit chatted and small talked while at church and among my brethren versus the amount of time we spent just talking about Jesus as we fellowshipped in the Spirit and in the Truth it’d be sad accounting.
I don’t know how to explain it but to say that when I share as the Spirit has shared with me I seem to get a divergent response. Inevitably there are a couple of people who are drawn to it, who sense the Spirit and are edified by him as we share with one another.
Then there’s the majority of the rest. And I don’t know how to explain it except to say it’s as if the Spirit has made them feel naked.
They too sense him move in the place and they’re bothered by him. He scares them.
It’s weird. But I think the church is afraid of the Holy Spirit. I think they fear him because they have fallen from faith back into fear. And not apostasy but simply carnality.
Everything is a function of the flesh. Of the intellect.
But the flesh is no help at all. It is the Spirit that is life. And the Spirit works by grace through faith. And faith comes by hearing the utterance of Christ and it works by love. (Romans 10:17, Galatians 5:16)
In short, I think the church has a very deep seated love issue.
They fear the Spirit because their sin is ever before them and they, knowing God is just and will punish their nakedness are prone to run, hide and look for leaves to cover their shame.
Most often this comes in the form of “good works”, “programs” and “intellectualism” or “theology”.
What they fail to believe is the good news that Israel failed to obtain in their wonderings because they were not united in faith. (Hebrews 3 and 4)
They just don’t really, really believe the good news that while they were yet a sinner, the Father made a way for them and he did it by the crucifixion and resurrection of his precious Son Jesus, who is Christ and Lord.
They question in their heart of hearts this great love. They know it is true intellectually, that is in their Adamic mind but that mind must be crucified on the hill along with Christ!
Wokeism, Critical Race Theory, “we are the 99%!”, social justice.
For those who have ears to ear and have gained their powers of discernment trained by constant practice it’s obvious that there is something amiss in the world about us, there is something “going on”.
There seems to be a spiritual fog that’s descended on the world. A new culture “zeitgeist” or spirit of the age. One of the primary narratives being formed by this new cultural spirit is the mantra of “social justice”.
So what is this? What is all this talk of social justice about anyway?
In short, there is a demonic, nay, Satanic agenda at work. The devil of old is still at work “deceiving the nations” and he’s using his same old lies to achieve his end.
James Lindsay is Founder and Contributor at “New Discourses“, an excellent online resource that functions as a tutorial in all things philosophy and social justice.
A word of caution, James Lindsay is an atheist and therefore obviously does not speak from a Christian worldview but a scholarly one. Therefore I would encourage you to prayerfully consider whether or not the Holy Spirit would have you give him your ear.
While I wouldn’t encourage a Christian to try and understand this issue solely from an intellectual standpoint this podcast does serve as a good place to get some practical understanding about this whole social justice hoopla and it’s philosophical genesis.
Unfortunately Lindsay and New Discourses’ benefit ends there because they fail to connect the final dots. The dots that connect the spiritual zeitgeist of the day to the Father of Lies.
That being said, if you’re trying to get a better understanding of the whole social justice phenomenon I’d encourage you to give this video a watch. In it, James Lindsay is interviewed by Michael O’Fallon of Sovereign Nations:
After watching the video I felt compelled to share the following comment and that’s really the reason for this blog post. I felt like I should also share the comment I wrote here:
Excellent video. A couple of thoughts. So Hegel’s not the root of this thing. And neither is Kant. Satan is.
Here’s the first dialectic:
Agenda = Steal God’s throne and destroy his creation.
Thesis = Eve, you lack knowledge, if you had it you’d be ‘like God’.
Anti-thesis = The fruit’s desirable and good for knowledge. Hhrmp… let’s eat!
Synthesis = Now we have knowledge! Oh no, we’re naked. “Adam, where are you…”
This is what that Liar has been doing from the beginning. It’s his native tongue. If you dig deeper you’ll find Marx and most others in this stream, I’m not positive on Hegel and Kant but there’s a high probability that these men all engaged demons at some point via alchemy, sorcery, divination, witchcraft, etc; and that’s where they learn their father’s method. They, like Eve, were enticed by the same lie, “ye shall be like God…” There’s nothing new under the sun y’all.
So practically, how do you battle this? Well, you need to learn their favorite logical fallacies. They have a lot but straw man probably leads the way, red herring and association fallacies and a whole host of others will be there too. When you see them employee one, say it. Call it out for what it is. Tell them plainly, “that’s a straw man” and go right back to the heart of the argument and stick a sword in it.
Here’s the deal though, practicality is over rated. This isn’t a high school debate. It’s quite literally spiritual warfare and if you don’t want to get trounced by your enemy I suggest you armor up in something more sufficient than your mental capabilities. My point is this. Don’t play chess with the devil, he’s smarter than you are. You will lose.
Instead, take up the “sword” God gave you, which is the “word” of God. Now listen closely, that’s not the “graphe” mind you, not the Holy Scriptures but the “rhema” word, which is the Holy Spirit, the power of God himself (Ephesians 6:17), which dwelleth in you by grace through faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. First abide in Him and then the Scriptures will come alive like a lion as you weld them in battle.
The church MUST repent for their neglect of the powerful working of the Holy Spirit in and among them. For far too long the church has continued to go back and put on Saul’s armor, the carnality of their own minds. But that is not how David slew the giant. No, he “ran” to meet the enemy in the field with nothing but a sling and five smooth stones and he went forth by faith in the power of the Living God and the promise that He would go before him and be his deliverer.
“14Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.” – Luke 21:14-15
If the church would simply believe. Have faith in the good news of Jesus Christ crucified and risen for the remission of sin, then continue believing in the present ministry and wonder working power of the indwelling Holy Spirit they’d start slaying giants. But as it is, they continue to fiddle around in Saul’s armor, relying on their own mental ability, their own strength to save them.
Repent. Believe the good news of Christ. Believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to work in and through you by grace through faith and you will see your enemies fall.
Youtube Comment by Kyle McDaniel on “Hegel and the Dialectic | James Lindsay & Michael O’Fallon | Changing Tides Ep. 3” – The New Discourses Channel
A little while back I published a blog post about “Intellectualism and Apostacy” and how I had much that I wanted to share about the issue. This video/conversation is a prime example of that issue.
While Lindsay deftly understands and explains the philosophical trail that’s led us to where we are today, he utterly fails to give the listener any real hope of doing anything about this tidal wave of lies.
The reason for that is this: the social justice mantra is not an intellectual phenomenon but a spiritual one. It is quite literally spiritual warfare and he’s engaging in the battle in the “futility of the mind” (Ephesians 4:17) rather than in the “armor or God” (Ephesians 6:10).
If it is said, “I shall know him, even as I have been fully known” then we shall know him by his cross or not at all. The cross was for Christ but there is a place on Golgotha for you and I.
A place where the old man is put to death. Where the mind of man is crucified that the life giving Spirit of the new Man might be made manifest in power. And all of this by grace through faith in the finished work of Him who went before us and went before us in love.
So love is the yield of suffering.
Mystery of mysteries; the deepest love is found only in the deepest suffering.
“And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”
Are you fatherless?
Did your earthly father fail to love you well? Was he abusive or absent altogether?
If your Dad wasn’t much of a father, I’m very sorry. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. I can’t imagine the hole, the void that must reside in your heart.
If you’re reading this now and these words apply to you I want to encourage you that you can have another Father.
A Father who draws men unto himself. A Father who is steadfast in his love toward his children, who delights in them and numbers the hairs of their head. A Father who sees the pitiable state of his far off sons and daughters and runs to greet them in a loving embrace.
A Father who clothes them in his best Robe and for his wayward son he kills the fatted calf so that the heavens and the earth might celebrate the return of that which was lost.
There is a Father who can fill that void and make it run over. A Father who will love, defend, cherish, embrace and celebrate you as his own if you would but believe and turn to him.
Turn toward your heavenly Father, confess your sinful state and acknowledge your need for him and he who has already made a Way for you will embrace you as his own.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
Doug Wilson speaks frequently and accurately about the crisis of masculinity in the church.
And it’s no wonder there’s a crisis of masculinity in America and the west at large because the church hasn’t modeled biblical manhood for the world. So the world has no one to point them in the right direction and say, “Hey, this is how you do manhood”.
For my entire life as a Christian I have struggled to be at home in the modern church. There’s so much of it I just don’t understand. And one of the greatest mysteries to me is the church’s misunderstanding of manhood and the general shape of a Christian male.
To borrow from Voddie Baucham, we’ve largely convinced ourselves that Christian men are above all, “nice”.
It’s the ole 11th commandment and it trumps all the rest, “Thou shalt be nice.” At all cost. Even at the expense of the 10 other commandments.
The idea of a Christian man who speaks directly, truthfully and with authority is anathema in the modern church.
This man is a sower of dissention, a brut or worse, “unloving”.
So the result is a thoroughly feminized church.
What do I mean (and what do I think Wilson means) by that? Well if I could distill manhood down to one word it would be this:
Men take initiative.
So a feminized church is a church full of passive men.
And the tell tale sign of passivity in men is the spirt of avoidance. What do I mean by that? What is avoidance or passivity?
Avoidance and passivity is Adam, standing, watching, waiting and twiddling his thumbs while Eve chats up that serpent and ogles that fruit. He knows what the Lord said and what he gave him charge over but he’s gonna sit back and kind of passively watch how things go down without so much as saying a word.
Avoidance and passivity is reflected in the way that men refuse to engage and grapple with difficult issues. It’s the wolf at the door they refuse to acknowledge and if pressed to acknowledge it they quickly play it down as triviality or as a matter of secondary concern so as to be able to then avoid the issue altogether.
What are some examples? Just what Wilson’s explained here. There’s an elder’s wife who is acting outside her God ordained role within the body. Perhaps she’s insubordinate or insists on her own way. Perhaps she has a pet project that she wants to promote within the fellowship and the program itself is theologically or doctrinally questionable or even outright heretical. Well the passive man’s first move is to avoids the issue altogether. His earnest hope is that every one else will be passive too and just kind of let Eve do whatever she wants.
Then if confronted with the issue by some brut within the congregation, “Yo fellas! That thing the dearly beloved Mrs Elder is promoting looks like a false teaching. Looks like an idol. Whatchall wanna do about it?”
Uh oh. Now the passive man has to respond. The issue’s been brought to his foot.
Well, being the passive fellow that he is, he wants to avoid having to deal with the issue in a direct way altogether so the typical second response after outright avoidance is to downplay the issue as much as possible so that it’s now seen as “not really an issue at all.”
Avoidance has a cousin named compromise and they both follow passivity around like a gaggle of miscreants.
Well what’s the root of this thing? Why are these supposed “mighty” men of the faith so invariably feckless?
What drives their inaction? What keeps their hands under their seat and their mouth shut when it ought to be open and what makes their words lying kisses when they ought to be a truthful sword that wounds.
They’re afraid of what taking initiative against hot button issues will result in and that result is battle. Spiritual warfare.
They all know Ephesians 6. They can quote it with the rest of the Awana kids.
But they don’t KNOW Ephesians 6, they don’t know it experientially. They don’t know what the sword of truth is because they’ve refuse to pick it up and enter into the fray. Heck they’re reluctant to even acknowledge there is in fact a fracas all about them.
And all of that is because they are afraid. Suffering, the noble calling to which all Christian men have received their clarion call is a cross they won’t bear.
What do I mean?
I mean this.
If they engage in the battle before them and they speak truthfully and directly, say to the Elder about his wife and her penchant for false teaching, well they’re gon get a response. And it’s probably not going to be, “Hey thanks brother, I know that Proverbs teaches us that the wounds of a friend are faithful, so thanks so much for telling me what I didn’t want to hear or have to deal with.”
No they’re prolly gonna be called a sower of dissension, a muckraker, a busy body, a false witness and worst of all, “unloving”.
If they really force the issue they’ll be disruptive enough of the power brokers that a coalition will be built and they’ll be “reprimanded en masse” or worse “cast out”.
Outside the church this looks like getting fired and loosing your salary, 401K or pension. It looks like being unable to pay your mortgage, having to sell your home and an unhappy wife who’s grown accustom to having nice things. Yikes. No fun.
It looks like largely fighting real battles, real spiritual warfare against real spirts in real high places like government and big business and even in your local church. It’s looks like doing it alone with no brother in arms willing to get in the foxhole with you.
It looks like praying so intently and with such dread about the cross set before you you sweat drops of blood while your buds can’t bother to stay awake and pray with you. It looks like, regardless of what it means for yourself, for your own skin, you utter those same words as the one who went before you, “not my will but yours be done.”
You see fear or dread of suffering is common to every man. No one really wants to hang on a cross. That hurts. Bad.
But if we want to be faithful men. Men of good courage. We’re going to have to steel our minds and set our faces like flint that we’re going into battle. We’re going to war and there’s a high chance we’re not coming out of that tumult without a scar to prove that “we were there”.
Okay but there’s still a problem here. How do we get men who are understandably fearful of the cost of discipleship, to anti up and kick in like men?
In a word. LOVE.
You see a man who’s compelled by duty will only go so far. He’s sorta faithful. He’s compelled to do the right thing. But when the going gets real rough that man will stumble. He’ll fall and eventually, like the Peter in us all, he’ll run and hide and deny he ever knew us.
But the man who’s compelled by love. This man is ready to die. He willingly embraces the cross that’s set before him for the hope of the resurrection to come.
Stack up hell and all her armies and this man will stare them down flint eye’d and wooly haired. He’ll not be moved. He’s compelled by the very character of the Almighty God. He’s motivated by God’s own love working in him.
So how do we deal with the rampant feminization in the church and the passivity it produces?
How do we get men to act like men?
We preach Jesus Christ and his cross to them and we tell them the truth. It was love that ransomed you from your sin and it was born of the cross of suffering. It’s love that will unbind you from your fear and passivity but it will not come with out suffering.
When you finally settle it in your mind to love the Lord as he has loved you, to understand and embrace the axiom that truth does not come without suffering; well, then you’ll take up beside him on a cross of your own.
You’ll take those idols of yours, your nice comfortable life, your nice car, your nice job, your nice vacations and let’s not forget, most important to all of us men, the respect of other men; you’ll take all those false gods, you’ll set them on the altar and light ’em on fire to watch them burn as you embrace the cross your Master has set before you.
In doing this you’ll be doing actual battle against actual princes and principalities, spiritual forces of wickedness in high places exposing them to open shame. Know this; they, those evil spirits, they won’t take it lying down. They will come hard against you.
But know also this. The cross is the place not only of your salvation but also of your victory.
Standing victoriously in the truth, which IS Christ Jesus the Lord, you will join him in the power of his resurrection as you obey the Holy Spirit boldly and without reservation speaking the truth in love to brother and pagan alike.
In doing this, we’ll stand with Jesus in victory holding those scoundrels to open shame as we triumph over them in Him.
If they are good, why do they do such evil things? If they are evil, how do we know them to be so? Evil according to who? According to what standard?
Ask a man, any man, about almost anything and he will quickly make an appeal to morality. “That’s wrong.” “That’s messed up.” “They shouldn’t do that…”
Paraphrasing CS Lewis, it is because there is a way we know we OUGHT to behave… and yet… we do not.
And all of us admit it freely of our own volition.
Why is that?
The Bible says it’s because all men instinctively know the truth.
But they suppress it.
Why does a man suppress in his mind what his soul knows well to be true?
It is because he is in bondage to his own sin and the root of his sin is unbelief.
Unbelief in what?
That there is a God? No. He knows this already. Remember, this is the truth he is already at work suppressing.
What he refuses to believe is what God has said about himself, about his own character; and therefore, what God’s own character means for man and his own fallen condition.
And what has God said about himself?
What must a man believe about God’s character in order to be saved from this bondage to sin?
In short, a man must believe that God is good.
He must trust in his steadfast love.
Man already knows that God is all powerful. He knows that God is all knowing. Remember, this is the truth that man already knows and yet he suppresses.
What he refuses to believe is that God IS love.
How can a man KNOW that God is love? That he is altogether good?
Because of this. That while man was yet dead in his sin, a rebel towards his maker and hostile to him in everyway God showed his benevolence to this rebel, this creature from the dirt, in this; that Christ Jesus, the Son of the living God, died for our sins.
All the evil that we all know exists and we’re all ultimately accountable for was put on Christ the Lord.
Your sin. My sin. All sin.
All the death, the destruction, the evil of every thought and intention of the heart was laid upon his shoulders. He was brutalized by men, because of men… FOR men.
Moreover because the Lord Jesus knew no sin himself, he conquered man’s greatest enemies, sin and even death by his resurrection from the dead.
Having paid in full the debt of sin for the evil we all know exists, he now offers you to freely share in his great reward. Eternal life in Him.
So why do you tarry?
Why do you persist in unbelief?
Why do you question the goodness of God in the face of Jesus Christ? If the Spirit of God is prompting you now…. believe.
Believe the good news!
Repent of your unbelief and so be saved from your sin.
If you are still reading this now, know that I am praying for you personally. I don’t know who you are but the Lord does. And I pray that he will soften your heart, that in hearing the good news of Jesus you will persist no longer in your unbelief.
If you read this and you want to talk about it please send me a PM.