I write this one with some hesitation. People complain about ministry online. Perhaps they want sympathy? I don’t care about getting sympathy.Read More
We tend to think of born leaders as just aggressive, overzealous, and ambitious people, always whipping out their sword at the wrong time (John 18:10) or taking matters into their own hands (Luke 9:49, 54; Mark 3:17), but…Read More
This celebrate-everything idea has become a major part of modern parenting philosophy. Undoubtedly, many of the millennial generation (not all) presently trying to fundamentally change our culture were likely raised this way. Their vices (along with everything else) were probably celebrated to the sound of parents clapping their hands and proclaiming "Yay!!!!" for no good reason. Virtues were likely rarely mentioned because that might challenge the child's nature and make them unhappy. Now, these people are adults, at least by legal designations.Read More
So, how much do I "nail" things from the pulpit? Well, I'm afraid that "nailing" things is based on the presumptions that people don't get it, the Holy Spirit is incapable of telling them, and they can't come to the right conclusion without me telling them exactly what they need to do practically. Those seem like arrogant and uninformed presumptions. Some men just get enjoyment from straightening other people out.Read More
The thinking man however, he also struggles with doubt at times, but he continues acting on the decision of faith. He never lets it become worry. He just continues moving in the direction his initial faith took him. His progress reveals what side of the faith/doubt knife edge he is on- the faith side.Read More
We remember on this day in history those who ran toward an almost certain death, not away from it, because liberty for others mattered to them. Some today think words are violence when the men who charged the beaches of Normandy actually faced real violence of the worst kind.Read More
A man who wasn’t a Christian, was probably terrible, and who I don’t know anything else about said, “There are two ways to slide easily through life- by believing everything or by doubting everything. Both ways save you from thinking.” -Alfred Korzybski. Despite what the man believed, that statement makes a lot of sense. I think it explains, at least in part, how we got this way….Read More
When called on to pray publicly, sometimes people will inevitably feel pressure to “knock it out of the park”. Sure, this is often a fleshly, self-imposed pressure. But it should never be a peer pressure. People asked to pray in church should not feel any social obligation to impress with their praying, but rather just pray in humility and sincerity with “clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-4). And those being led in the public prayer ought to have enough brotherly charity to not care how it came out.Read More
…They separate from you, not because you changed what you stand for, but simply because you stopped offering virtue-signaling disclaimers to them. They likely feel guilty that your unwillingness to play the game makes them look juvenile and foolish. Then they get mad at you. Then you become the brunt of their griping with whatever inequitable and uncharitable brethren they can find next.Read More
I think it’s definitely on purpose that we see these verses side-by-side. The inherent manly quality of a strong will can be useful in the right way, but it must be tempered with Godly charity. The balance of these virtues seems to be the only way to get Biblical manliness right.Read More
I once had a guy stop attending church because he wanted preaching that “blows my hair back.” I’m not exactly sure how to accomplish that in preaching without the supplemental use of hair dryer, and a very large one at that because he always sat on the back row. I may have been happy to oblige if he’d have picked up and extension cord.Read More
What seems so crazy about all of this is that this is a phenomenon that unregenerate, likely God-denying secularists have observed and studied. Some even seem willing to examine themselves for it. Yet, as Biblicists, we know that the Bible gave it a name long ago. And so many of us seem unwilling to examine ourselves with honest examination to see if we’re affected.Read More
As I was stumbling backwards trying not to fall he said, “Never stand like that.” That was my first lesson in fighting. Subsequent lessons would all come from trying not to get punched in the face…. and getting punched in the face anyway.Read More
This is leadership from the front, not pushing from behind. Such leaders are not capricious in their choices but deliberate, basing their habits of life in principles that can be affirmed in Scripture.Read More
It seems it is unsettlingly normal in our culture to find wives making the material sacrifices to ensure the home operates well and the husband is out shopping for a gaming console. My eye’s rolled really hard just writing that.Read More
This is the third post in a series. You can read part 2 here.
For a boot to the head
I don’t ascribe to the notion that I am to trust the Lord for my protection and the protection of my family to the exclusion of making any preparations. Why? Because that logic is inconsistent. I’ve heard Christian men scorn others before for learning self-defense because they’re “just trusting God”. They say it with such a self-righteous tone that “snooty” would be too kind a word to describe it. It can be dangerous living life atop a “high horse”. I suggest they get off of it.
A Christian who thinks that way should also then not bother wearing a seatbelt, taking vitamins, exercising, saving money for a “rainy day”, or any other sensible way in which we try to be wise stewards of things. Bluntly, if a man saw his wife subjected to an attempted rape, don’t you think he’d want to be prepared to stop that? Or should he in that moment trust the Lord only? Perhaps he should both trust the Lord AND use whatever skills and resources he has to put a stop to it. Unless of course he thinks that it must then be God’s will for his wife to be raped. Then I’d say he’s lost his marbles. Christians sometimes succumb to “either/or” thinking, and yet many times Biblical truths are “both/and”. This case is the latter. Men can BOTH trust the Lord for protection AND develop defensive skills the Lord can then use in moments where there are threats to himself or those under his care.
Personally, I have trained in multiple combative disciplines including boxing, kickboxing, Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and sometimes further weapons training when I can afford it. Do you need to do all that? No. But do something! Go bare-knuckle box a tree in your backyard (Just kidding. Don’t do that…unless you’re into that sort of thing). Learn a simple takedown and ground-control and practice it with a friend in your yard. Read a book on situational awareness. Get a CCW permit and defensive firearm classes. Know and understand the law regarding self-protection. Whatever, just prepare both mentally and physically with whatever means you have available to you. Why? Because preparation is wise and the Lord can use it. Honestly, you prepare for other scenarios. Why not prepare for protection? This is not paranoia. This is protection, preparedness, and wise stewardship of ones body and family.
As a man, I must protect in several ways: 1) To be a diligent steward of my family, of my own body, and any under my care, 2) To have balanced and sensible faith in the Lord for protection, and 3) To be prudent enough to prepare in advance for as many possible outcomes in my world. Considering these three things, I am forced to conclude that the Bible does not teach that I am to be a pacifist and allow someone to inflict death or grievous bodily harm upon me or those under my care. Instead, I am 1) Not to permit someone to harm my physical well-being or that of those under my care. 2) I am to trust the Lord to protect me, and this may include trusting Him to use effectively the physical and/or tactical skills He has enabled me with. And, 3) I am not to succumb to normalcy bias and presume I will never be the target of physical threats but am to advance my physical and/or tactical skills as I am able and as I am led in order to mitigate such. I also acknowledge that certain scenarios may someday exist in which I may be called upon to instead lay down my life for the example of Christ, and that I should have the discernment to recognize such moments. (See Psalm 127:3, Proverbs 22:3. Genesis 14:14-16, Matthew 24:43).
We don’t need to be exuberant and fanatical about our rightness. Just be right. Just remain right. Speak up when you should. Be willing to accept looking like the loser of an argument even when you’re not. Be a man of principle, a man of conscience, and a man of conviction, a man who is confident and quiet and sees no need to be otherwise.Read More