Saturday, March 21, 2009

Connecting Church and Home: Randy Stinson

I love working for this man. He lives this out. But, here is my question. Where are the single men who live this out in their daily lives and are over the age of 22. I have yet to meet many of them.
“An Army of None”
1 Kings 2

Sociologists have called this generation of 20-somethings “Generation Me”.
They have a great sense of entitlement. They feel like an explanation is owed to them. This is one of the most self-absorbed generations in American History. This generation thinks that God owes them an explanation for everything that goes on in your life.
This is a therapeutic generation.
This generation has promoted the feminization of the Church. “I want my life to be a love song to you, Jesus.” It is a romanticized view of a relationship with Jesus. No wonder there are no men in the church. Let’s talk about the biblical church. We have an anti-boy culture. We are eliminating things like physical education and rough play. They are being told that being masculine is a condition.
Our culture is pushing for a broad feminization of men. Men aren’t being encouraged to lead, protect, and provide. They are being encouraged to be prettier, softer. This does not help them take on their biblical role of leadership. It is important for a man to know how to put on a tie. We are in a culture that wants men to go in the exact opposite direction from where God wants them go. They are pushing them to be completely self-centered. It encourages a self-preoccupation. Men are called to be self-sacrificial, not to lead for the good of themselves. Biblical leadership is good for the ones being led. Men are called to be protectors. It is for the good of another. Men are called to be providers. It is for the welfare of others, not at the expense of others. This is a battle. God declared this battle in Genesis 3.15.
My concern is that we are going to have a “top to toe” man, but they are unable to fulfill God given mandates of leadership to the point of self-neglect. My fear is that we are going to have an army of none. If you are going to reach families you have to reach the men. God’s call for men is to be leaders, protectors, and providers. This is different then the biblical mandate for women. Men and women are equally called to obey God – but the context is different, they are going to do it in two totally different ways.
There is also a Christ-likeness that we should be reminded of in this passage. You read the failings of Solomon and have to be drawn to the perfectness of our King. Jesus didn’t fail. He had the balance of provision and masculine, righteous, anger in the cleansing of the Temple.
One of the problems of men having a biblical understanding of manhood – they have a wrong picture of who Jesus is. They have feminized pictures of Jesus – a Precious Moments Jesus, soft flowing hair, smooth skin, etc. Revelations gives a different picture of Jesus: a sword coming from his mouth, flames…so the nations will know that I am God.
If we want a revolution – we must have a compelling vision of manhood. Hold it up, model it in your own lives. You were made for battle. Let’s reclaim the spiritual warfare language. If we remind men they are in a battle maybe they will start acting like soldiers.
Biblical manhood is taught in the Bible, but it can also be cultivated. God will bring things into your life to help you lead, provide, and protect. David was ready for battle as a shepherd. He killed a lion and a bear with his own hands. And he played a harp. God brings challenges into our lives to make us more masculine. We have elbow pads, helmets, we baby them through everything. Then they turn 18 – and they are going to say “wait, I might get hurt”.
God might use these things to help encourage the men in your church:
1. Do the hard task first. Passivity is a killer of masculinity. Reject passivity.
2. Make the hardest phone call first. Fear of man. Don’t cultivate fear of man in your life.
3. Run to the battle. What I am trying to cultivate in my sons is the first step is forward. Not to run away from the battle.
4. Do your work now instead of later. God has called us to exercise dominion. Don’t procrastinate.
5. Keep your domain in order. Your home, dorm room, office, trunk of your car.
6. Kill a bear or a lion. Don’t run from the bear or the lion in your life. Some of you have people in your life who don’t know Jesus…share with them. Don’t be scared. A fast-beating heart does not mean you aren’t supposed to do something. Go deal with it. See number 1.
These things don’t make you a man. These do help cultivate manhood. If we don’t have ways to help men understand what manhood is – then we will have an army of none. But, if you will go back to your churches and hold up the banner of biblical manhood – call them into battle – remind them that they were made for battle. They will be the ones to lead the charge. They will be criticizes and challenged. They will be called to think of others more than themselves. But, don’t sit around waiting for an endorsement from the world. Be strong and prove yourself a man.

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