Frankly, I'm a little upset. No...actually I'm pissed. Sorry if that offends you. And I know full well that you shouldn't type blogs when you're angry. I also know that what I'm going to write is going to make it look like I think I'm all high and mighty and I've got life figured out. Forgive me for not caring too much. The truth is, is that I do have some of life figured out and if more Christians knew.....or believed...what I'm about to write then the world would be a whole lot better off.
Let me explain why I'm upset. Men that I know, good men who love God keep getting taken out. They are falling prey to addictions. They are falling prey to affairs. They are falling prey to the lies of Satan and I'm seeing my friends and people close to me becoming casualties. Families are being ruined. The impact of these casualties is always widespread.
And simply put, it sucks!
I'm not mad at the men themselves who have made mistakes, and I don't favor kicking a man while he's down. What I'm angry at is the preparation. You know the best way to guarantee that you will become a casuality is to live a casual life. And I'm perplexed by the contemporary Christian Church and it's acceptance of "casual." We are not called to live a casual life. If you are a Christ follower you are called to live a crucial life.
Can I just clear something up? I don't think men need more discipline. I don't think we need to learn more Bible verses. And I don't think that learning to keep our promises is going to fix the problem either. Going to church every Sunday and getting inspired for a few hours does little to help and most of us have learned how to fake our way through a Bible study course. We need two things. The first is understanding.
We need to understand that we each have a crucial role to play in the story that God is writing. That crucial role is written on our hearts in the form of desire. If we do not find that which we were created for, we will fall prey to all sorts of counterfits to fill the void. But they will not satisfy the aching places in us.
We need to understand that we live in a world at war. We have an enemy who works 24 hours a day 365 days a year at destroying the image of God in you and trying to keep you from your glory. You cannot approach this battle in a casual manner. Passivity and Christianity cannot go together. It is an oxymoran. You name one passive man held up in scripture as an example that we are to follow. But yet, how many Christian men do you know who are passive? It only goes to show how far we have strayed from an accurate, biblical, picture of the Christian life as warfare. If you do not fight for the life you desire in Christ you will get taken out. Usually just withdrawn, on the sidelines, ineffective type of men. Or, these men have a gut feeling that they really should be fighting for something so they pick a small battle and make their life about getting all of the neighbors to comply with the CC&R's or something even more important like fighting through church legislation to get new choir robes.....stuff like that.
So we need understanding. We need clarity. But the second thing is we need to be made whole. Understanding and clarity don't bring healing. We need to take Jesus up on his offer to come and do what he said he came to do. To heal the brokenhearted and set us free. At the center of the battle is our hearts. And if we do not get that back, whole and free and alive, then we don't stand a chance. The battle is too difficult, the role God has for us too great....we simply will not get there by being half hearted.
So what is my point in writing all of this on a hunting blog? I don't know, I think it started by just blowing off some steam from the latest dissapointment. But maybe what I wrote will help someone. Maybe for some the message will click and a light will go off and you will have some understanding maybe for the first time in your life. I first understood that message at age 28 after being a Christian my whole life and going to church my whole life and going to Christian high school and Christian college. But I never got it. And then I hit a low point in life. I read "Wild at Heart" and it just clicked. Suddenly, the frustrating Christian life I had been trying to live but never could quite get my act together enough for started to make perfect sense. But understanding does not equal healing. And knowing does not make you whole. But the next 4 years of my life was an amazing time of God taking me through the things he wanted to show me. I haven't by any means arrived. But the journey has been a good one and I pray that more men will journey with God into what He has for them.
One more thing I guess. Would you pray with me that our churches start becoming a more relevant place for men and boys to be challenged to enter into a crucial kind of life and discover all that God has for them?