Saturday, March 6, 2010

Violent Men ~ Rebels For God!

Matthew 11:12 says; “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.”

I don’t think we grasp the enormity of this verse today! Let me explain by quoting John Eldridge…
“How many of you know that God meant something when he meant man! John said that God made the masculine heart, set it within every man, and thereby gave him an invitation; Come, and live out what I meant you to be! He said that in the heart of every man, God gave him a battle to fight, and adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.”
How many of you know that the world is totally against this! In the past 40 years or more, men have succumbed to the lie that feminism and Oprah have preached. Masculinity has been stripped down to nothing but a weakness to be mocked, ridiculed, and laughed at. From sitcoms in Hollywierd, to our very own communities, churches, and families we can see that men just aren’t what God meant when He meant man!

If this isn’t bad enough, these very lies have crept into our churches, into Christianity! How many times have we been told that we are created in the image of God and that we are to be Christ in the world we live in and in the same breath be told to be nice and non-confrontational and polite and well basically weak. Maybe not out right told be ‘weak’, but it’s surely implied! Christianity has taken on a new meaning and that meaning has nothing to do with Jesus or God or violence or passion or anything that is powerful and confrontational! If that is what being a Christian is, Jesus certainly was not Christian! The fact is that our churches have successfully taken the ‘wildness’ and the ‘passion’ out of real Christianity and replaced it with impotent religion! One doesn’t have to go far to hear about people in our churches ‘whining and complaining’ about things like; ‘the music is too loud, too contemporary, too long, too short, too ‘musical’, or the pastor didn’t come see me when I was sick (uh – if you are sick, no one wants to see you – that’s how other’s get sick!), or ‘it’s too cold or too hot in the sanctuary, or the preaching went too long, or blah blah blah, waaaaaa… And I am talking about grown men doing this, not grannies, even though grannies can do a lot of griping too! Grown men who have succumbed to the lie and wouldn’t know passion or wildness or anything about the real Jesus if it bit ‘em on their backside! They hide helplessly behind an institution called ‘the church’ never embracing anything that might cause them to live a life of adventure and excitement. They’ve been weighed down by religion and strangled by the traditions of man. Men created in the image of Holy and Wild God yet never, ever seeing that image for what it truly is!

Created in the image of God. How many of you know that God was a Warrior? When you look around at men in the church what do you see? Do you see any warriors? Any who even look like they would pick up a sword and wage war for God? (There are many who would wage war and fight about by-laws and whether or not to have services on Sunday night or other stupid man-made tradition!)

I love what C.S. Lewis said of Jesus; “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course He isn’t safe, but He’s good.”

The image of a warrior God! Why do boys want to attack something? Why do they whack and hit things? From a baseball to a 10 point buck, God has placed within boys and men a warrior’s heart, His heart! Why does a Veteran well up inside when he sees the flag or hears the national anthem? Why is it we get so excited when Wallace addresses his fellow Scots prior to battle in Braveheart? Why is it that we feel the rage in the heart of Benjamin Martin in The Patriot when he fights and kills the enemy? It’s because God has given us a warrior’s heart! That’s why!

But then again, the toll has been taken and so many men don’t even know that they have been given a warrior’s heart! The sad thing is that Christianity doesn’t even miss it! Men, we have been lied to for so long that we have accepted the lie that Christian men are to be nice and polite and well, “Christian”. Guys, I am here to tell you that is so far from the truth! Life needs us to be fierce, our families need us to be fierce, our wives and children need us to be fierce – and fiercely devoted! The ‘nice guy’ mentality is promoted in churches all over today. We are told to be nice like Jesus was, stay in line, and mind our manners. How many young boys grow up and never become the warrior God has called them to become all because they were taught that Jesus was a nice guy who never rocked the boat or caused any problems. Have we ever read the Bible??? Jesus didn't 'stay in line'! Jesus rocked the boat, called people names, turned tables upside down, raised His voice at people, and at times got angry. Jesus was not crucified for being nice, He was killed for being a rebel with a warrior’s heart who did what was right instead of being nice and trying to please everyone.

This flies in the face of modern Christianity and especially churches that are ‘run’ by egotistical, self righteous goobs who hide behind the traditions of men, you know … traditions such as by-laws, ‘we’ve never done it that way’, and majority rule. Jesus never hid behind anything and always stood for what was right even when it was not popular.

The fact is God created men to be warriors who were filled with passion and wildness and life! Don’t you think it’s time we embrace that once again? Man I do!