Looking for a few good men (Bearded ladies need not apply!)

Hummm, lets see, How do I say this? I have been praying for men to return to their place in the body of Christ for years. I have good news and bad news, the good, they are returning! The bad, they are neutered, emasculated shadows of men, afraid to stand their ground, have an opinion, lead with authority, or bring correction where necessary. If you are a “leader” and you are not leading people, everyone remains neutralized. The reason there is a division between church and state, is to protect the church, not the state!

The church was not originally crafted to be political because we had already pledged our allegiance to Heaven. We have a government, it’s called The Kingdom of God, it RESTS on God’s broad shoulders and every other government, tribe and tongue pales in comparison!  As a “Kingdom” man, I am troubled by the lack of testosterone in the church. To all of my female readers, this note is about men being men, I have a great respect for estrogen, but obviously, there needs to be a balance, hence this challenge to the menfolk! A brief glance into Biblical history will prove that this “light in the loincloth”  approach has NEVER advanced the Kingdom of God. Elijah ran for his life because of a threat from Jezebel and that journey was the end of Elijah’s earthly ministry. Rule of thumb: Never run because of fear. Elijah heard the Lord utter words I never want to hear: “What are you doing here Elijah?”

The current secular humanistic mentality embraces socialism, neutrality and a “vanilla” resolve… which, is the mentality behind our current washington administration, weaklings empowered by weak people. America was not built on this foundation, Neither was the Church!  The Church was built upon a Rock, not a daisy.

I am not so callous (or heartless) that I don’t realize that there are reasons why men are emasculated, I wrote this article to remind them that they don’t have to stay that way!  My point, of course father issues, rejection, abandonment and abuse are legitimate circumstances that lend themselves to a lack of identity and a sense of emasculation, however, eventually you have to stop blaming everyone for your stuff, own it and deal with it. It is your response to a circumstance that will dictate the outcome.

Years ago, as a youth pastor, during a bus trip to summer camp one of the boys stood up and started poking me in the chest. I asked him to sit down and he continued poking me and I said “if you don’t sit down, I will sit you down,” he replied “do you think your man enough?” A right cross answered his question. When he got off the ground, he said, “I am going to call my dad,” I replied good, I would like to speak with him. Before I hung up with the boys father, he thanked me for loving his son enough to correct him! Two weeks later, that young man came into my office and told me his whole life story, including all of his secrets abuse and pain. At the end of our time together, with tears streaming down his face he said, “Pastor Mike, I want to be a youth pastor like you someday, but you are so together and I am such a mess.” I responded, “Son, everyone is dealt a hand in life, let me see your cards,” (he turns his imaginary cards towards me) I replied, “Wow, you’re right, this is a losing hand, but you can still win.” The boy was incredulous, “What do you mean,” he said… “What hand did you get?” “The same hand as you, son, a two of clubs, three of spades, five of diamonds, ten of hearts and a one eyed jack.” “How did you win then?” the boy asked, my answer? “I bluffed!” Today, that boy is a youth pastor, happily married to a pastors daughter… He bluffed!

Love is tough, stronger than death and harder than nails! We have also emasculated Love! I have heard many men (and women) use the phrase “just love em” or “be Jesus to them” when someone is being confrontational. Friends, the truth stings, but the one who tells you the truth, loves you!  We are to tell the truth in love, not mask the truth by being nice. The fear of man may keep you from telling a man the truth, yet, perfect love (agape) CASTS OUT FEAR!  Many of you reading this may be offended by my frankness, if you are, keep reading, this post is custom made for you!  Many would also be shocked if they looked into “church discipline” at the turn of the century. If a man abused his wife or committed adultery, the men of church would first confront the man with a warning, if it happened again the man was taken behind the church and beaten severely by the elders! Amazingly, it worked, however, we are far too “civilized” today for such an approach.

 I recall a story told by Rodney Howard Browne years ago. He mentioned a woman that came for a counseling session, claiming her 13 year old boy was running the household. Rodney’s first question was, “what is your husband doing about it?” She replied, “he works all the time and by the time he returns home he is too tired to deal with it.” Rodney said, “bring the boy to me.” The next day, the woman showed up with her son, Rodney said, “wait outside I will handle this.” Rodney sat the boy in his office and said, “So you have been sassing your mom and causing trouble around the house have you?” Without a hesitation, Rodney pulled the boy over the top of his desk, got right into his face and said, “If I hear of you sassing your mom, or causing any more trouble at home whatsoever, I will visit the house and wear you out, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?” Weeks later, Rodney checked on the family and the mother said, “Pastor, whatever you did worked, our son has been a perfect gentleman ever since you met with him,” Rodney looked at the boy, winked and said, “He’s delivered Mam, good day.”

 Love cares, love delivers on it’s promises, love is indestructible, love tells the truth, love, never fails. So there is no excuse for weakness, and there is no apology for meekness. Wimpy men preach wimpy sermons and beget wimpy offspring. Ravenhill said: “Wet-eyed preachers never produce dry sermons.” He also said, “There are Pygmies in the pews because there are puppets in the pulpit.” I hear the youth of our generation crying, “Wheres Moses?” If no one stands for something, everyone falls for anything. If you are a man, then be a great man, take a stand, lead with authority, tell the truth in love and let the chips fall where they may. This isn’t a “fist pump” rah rah word, this is a full blown challenge to every man reading this post.  “All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing”.  Be ALL you can be, the Master is looking for a few good men (Bearded ladies need not apply).  Love (Agape)

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