The world crumbles and falls around us. Men (and women) of high regard and Christian leaders falling from grace in view for all to see, although grace abounds much. Why? How did they get to this point in life, only to forget the things that brought them strength and purpose?
Maybe we all forget to whom the glory belongs at some point in our life. Don’t forget.
There are other problems when, out of fear, we live for the glory that comes from man rather than that which comes from God. It would have appeared to anyone that men like Lentz loved the glory that comes from man. If you would have watched him preach you would have thought, “he really loves his people.” And in a sense, it was true. He loved them. But what was more important to him was that they loved him. You could see it in many things that he did and spoke. The man wants to be loved and praised by all. Again, I don’t know him, and I didn’t research him too deeply, but I know the human condition all too well. Am I not also a man in a fallen world? Would I stand firm if I somehow become “popular”?
The sad fact is that often the only difference between most of us and a Carl Lentz or a Jimmy Swaggart is that we are not gifted or handsome enough to attract such a following and so much temptation. We do not have the capacity to sin on the level of those high-profile celebrities, so we think we are better. “Take heed, lest you fall” (1 Cor 10:12). For most men, it is not that they succumb to the temptation of throngs of women throwing themselves at them, or thousands and thousands of people in a congregation lapping up everything they say. For most of us, it is smaller and more subtle. Perhaps it is an addiction to pornography, or allowing yourself to be manipulated by female colleagues, because you want them to like you.
— From the book: Christian Manliness: The Courage to Stand Firm
The fear of speaking up and speaking out in truth is destroying the modern Christian church in the United States. Christian men have lost courage.
Christian men are not being courageous in the home, church, or communities. This must Stop! Our King deserves courage as He had courage in the face of opposition. The enemy and fleshly comfort is being allowed to have an unchecked lead role as head of our lives.
The fear of losing the praise of men, the fear of losing our jobs, the fear of fully believing the Truth of who Jesus is. This first battle is within us, as men, to overcome our own doubt and start living like we genuinely believe in Truth!
My hope is that Christian Manliness: The Courage to Stand Firm is going to spur reflection and action and act as a reminder that we, as Christians, are on the side of Truth. We don’t dabble in far flung conspiracy, false teachings or hope in man, but we stand firm on the Truth of Jesus Christ.
We must be courageous in the face of opposition and be ready to accept the price of following Christ as we also must be willing to accept and repent of our own failures.
Believe it or not, the passage below, attributed to Paul, was not written just to be read at a wedding. Love is of God.
In fact, it was written to instruct us on how we are to live each day of our life in this world. I feel like there are a lot of noisy gongs in our church community these days. What about you? Where do I fail?
Uber patriotism and uncaring dogmatism should never overrule your Christian walk. Stand firm with love. The word of God is a two-edged sword, yet our tongue and typing finger should not be.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 NASB1995
Your Faith and Salvation are personal. My faith doesn’t cover my children and their sin doesn’t condemn me. Although it seems like many parents try and make both of those things a reality in their home.
As parents we need to take time to train our children on the reasons behind our faith. And then live out that faith. That doesn’t mean we can be sinless examples to our children. It means we admit when we have sinned and repent in an open and observable way.
Many times while we are worried about getting our children to school and taking them to multiple sports practices and games, we forget to prepare them for the spiritual battles they will face in high school, college and life. Which is unfortunate, because their eternal soul is much more valuable that their athletic or scholastic prowess and earning potential.
What do we as parents do? I won’t pretend to know exactly. But here is what I am going to do based on the Biblical directive; “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6)
Commit to understanding why I believe. My experiential faith may not work for others.
Continue to read, learn and share the doctrine, life examples and Word of God as given to us in the Bible. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Prepare for the tough questions about why I believe and be ready to give a defense. We should research and formulate our answers and practice them. (Plenty of online videos and books)
Put myself in situations that require me to practice my evidentiary and researched defense of my faith.
Schedule time to train my children and equip them with the knowledge they need to answer the big questions that they will be asked from non-believers and false teachers.
Put my children in controlled situations to experience atheistic and/or false doctrine. And then debrief and examine the proper defense and theology.
Prepare my children to know that even if a teacher or authority figure makes a good case or puts on a good presentation against the existence of God, it does not mean it is true. (This happens in college all the time)
Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die. The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God . “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God . “Therefore, repent and live.” EZEKIEL 18:4, 20-20, 30-32 NASB
So, I finally allowed my daughter to get a gerbil last year. She named it Squirt.
She treats that thing like a queen.
The Gerbil has a penthouse.
Apparently they love eating apple wood. So I went and cut several branches off my apple trees and she loves it.
Oh, and the Gerbil has taken over the doll house toys too.
I suppose it’s a fairly good pet. And it’s easy to clean her cage.
So if you’ve been putting off letting your kids have a Gerbil due to maintenance, go ahead and give in. Its actually much easier than the pet hamster I had as a kid. And the Gerbil doesn’t bite like that evil hamster did.