August Column: Be Godly Men

1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

In the era of #metoo, promoting strong, masculine leadership seems like an act of aggression in our contemporary culture. Masculinity, in my opinion, has only become “toxic” as it has deviated from scriptural norms. This is precisely why the Lord promotes biblical manliness from the likes of Paul and others in holy scripture. The Bible is wonderfully clear in its distinction between the sexes, as it is concerning their roles they are to live into. To even state such truths today invites rabid attacks of being “sexist,” “misogynist,” or whatever assault of the moment might apply. And if any of you find your hackles being raised by what I’m saying, my gentle question to you is this: Where do your presuppositions come from which causes this offense within you? Are they from man or God? Is it the world compelling you to be angry about this, or the Almighty’s eternal truths?

Churches become less effective when people do not live into the roles to which God has called them. In a multitude of churches I’ve pastored or visited, no more than three or four generations ago, the number of men involved in the church and passionately leading it, were immense. Men’s Bible study groups overflowed with excited seekers. They were zealous to promote the gospel. Guys knew, from instruction in the pulpit, what God expected from them. However, as the church adopted a worldly perspective, and sought to suppress or even teach biblically proscribed qualities of manhood, it became weakened. Men began to fall away from their duties (and the church), and viewed Christianity as intolerably “soft” because Jesus was represented as a veritable doormat rather than King of kings and Lord of lords. Women, just like Deborah in the Old Testament, had to step into the leadership positions which were now vacant, burdening them with additional duties above their already full plates. Today, ladies are cast as “Wonder Women” who can do it all, but this comes at a steep price relationally, spiritually, and often with their families.

If this sounds like I’m laying down the gauntlet, well, perhaps I am.

My prayer is to spur all men (high school age through 99+) in our congregation to attend a four week class on Masculine Spiritual Leadership which I will moderate. If you know someone from another church who you think might benefit, feel free to invite them as well. Homeschool youth could invite their friends too. This class will be on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 PM, following the completion of our study of The Pilgrims Progress. I am anticipating mid to late September as the start date. The Rev. Dr. David Hall (a PCA pastor) is teaching this class in a video series. He will touch on the lost art of masculine spiritual leadership, leading ourselves and our families, the search for virtue, and decision making in the home. The statistics are telling: women who come to faith in Christ are likely to bring their family 17% of the time; when men come to Christ, their family joins them 93% of the time.

Look at our opening verse from 1st Corinthians. Men are ordained by God to be protectors (watchful), uncompromising in faith (firm), act like men (distinct in their duties), and strong (fighting the good fight of faith). Let us boldly explore the biblical imperative of our God-given duties for the advancement of His kingdom and all to His glory.

To His continued victory,

John