The subject of the blog was requested to me, and it is about what it means to be man, and importance of men being men. The topic of men has been one that I have given some thought and apparently many other people have been discussing this issue as well. There groups that have come up in recent years such as the Men's rights activists groups or MRAs as they are called for short, but then there is a new group of men called Men going their own way. The MRAs are men that wanting address concerns about men, such the high level of men's suicide, and the amount of job related deaths that made up by men. The MGTOWs are a group of men that no longer wish to pursue relationships with women that lead to marriage and a family. Some of these men have stopped dating altogether, while others will date, but will not commit. If we add the increasing idea that gender is not important and that there are no differences between men and women (an idea that is while increasing in popularity is being discredited scientifically) then it is easy to see that men in this day and age can have a hard time understanding what it means to be a man. Another major factor in this is the increasing number of men who have grown up with fathers. I want to note that many of these problems can be seen in women too. It seems like American culture is suffering from gender confusion all of the map, however since talking about men was specifically requested I'll address it here. From a biblical worldview it is important for us to understand that our initial concepts of what a man is will not be quite right due to the fall. This where the Holy Spirit and scripture come in to guide us in our understanding of the man that pleases God. There are several examples of men in the scriptures, however I want to point out 1 in discussing what I view as a good starting point for defining Biblical manhood, and the man is Jesus. As our Lord and savior it should be no surprise that I would to Jesus as an example of what a godly man would look like. It's important at this point that we discard the old fashioned Sunday school version of Jesus however and get to the Jesus presented in the Bible. The Jesus that I taught seemed to be a bit of wimp. One can often see Jesus holding lambs, or holding a child and while these pictures of Jesus give us all kinds of warm fuzzy feelings on the inside, they presenting an incomplete picture of who Jesus is. First what we have to understand about Jesus is that he was a leader. He lead the disciples, but he was also able to draw a crowd. Jesus is our king, he is our Lord, he is our leader. In the same I believe all men should be leaders. They may not be called to be leaders at work, or in the church(although I do believe more men are called to these positions than respond), but men are called to be leaders in their families. It should be made clear that not all men are called to have a wife and children, but for the men that are called, they are called to lead that family. Not to boss them around or be a dictator, but to be a leader. Another aspect we see about Jesus is that he is a builder. Christ established and built the foundation of the church. He poured 3 years of his life into his disciples and most devoted followers and these people would go to not only establish, but advance the church from the time of his departure to even this day. So there is an aspect about men that they are builders, or creative. This doesn't have to mean building a building, but I think that it does mean building to society in a meaningful way. This includes, but is not limited to one's children, but there are many other ways that a man can be a builder and be creative. Raising their child is perhaps of most importance, however as I said earlier, not all men are called to have families, but I do believe in some form or fashion all men are called to be leaders and builders. The next quality of Jesus is that he was clear. While Jesus did speak in parables, when inquiring minds wanted to know Jesus was always clear about where he stood and what was right and what was wrong. This is something that I feel is vastly important for men to be today. How many times have read an article listened to a sermon, or heard a politician and at the end of it you still have no idea what the person thinks or believes. They talk a lot but say very little. This was not the case with Jesus. While there are those who try to claim that we cannot know what Jesus really meant I deny these claims. In allowing the text to speak for itself it becomes clear what Jesus said after proper hermeneutics. Jesus being clear also demonstrates that he was not a coward. Part of being a man is being brave. This does not mean that men do not experience fear, however this does not mean that they let fear stop them either. Jesus is the bravest man of them all. Knowing that he would face the full wrath of God, and yet boldly going to the cross like a lamb to the slaughter. In this day and age it is easy for men to be cowards. They can be cowards in not speaking up for what they believe, they can cowards in avoiding difficult circumstances, and there are many more examples of cowardice. I must admit I am guilty many times of being a coward, but the man of God must be bold just as Christ was. Jesus knew how to balance aggression and gentleness. I deny to concept that men are to always be passive men, and never show any aggression. In a fallen world where we can exposed to the worst kinds of evil it is important that men demonstrate their ability to be aggressive. It is only in being aggressive have men defended that which is most precious to them. It was aggressive men who fought to make America a nation. It was aggressive men that fought against the evil of the Nazis, and it Jesus was aggressive when it was appropriate. Jesus was not gentle when driving out the money changers in the temple. He was aggressive when dealing with stubbornness of the pharisees, however Jesus knew how to balance being both aggressive and gentle. When Peter goes to Jesus after the resurrection and asks for forgiveness after denying Christ 3 times, Jesus is not aggressive with Peter. Many Jesus was gentle with people who were earnestly seeking him. Shaming the prideful, and showing grace to the humble. A man needs to learn how to balance being aggressive which he is, and needs to be, and learning when he should be gentle as well. This is not something that one can learn over night, and I think it is something best learned by observing another man such as a father or another man in the church. This leads us to another aspect of Jesus which is he was social. Jesus went to wedding, spent time with his disciples, and talked with people. He was a social guy. I know for some men it is not easy to be social. I am the same way, however not only are commanded to gather together with other believers, but if we are to preach the gospel to the world then we must engage the world and this means being social. One of the last qualities of Jesus that I want to point out is that he was fully committed to the Father. Christians men must be fully committed to God. It was not only love for us that sent Jesus to the cross it was also to the glory of God the Father. For men we must cling to the cross and trust in the power of Christ to power us, to lead us and to enable us to be the men that God has called us to be. In doing this we must commit ourselves to God and put God first above everything else. Our culture, and the church are in desperate need for men. Women are such a vital part of the church, and the church would not exist without women, but the church can not exist without men either. It is only in following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ that we can be true men. Leading, building, speaking and believing in something that is bigger than we are, a truth that transcends us so that in what we do, we are serving the ultimate good of mankind. The only question left is, "Men, will you serve?"
What Is a Man?
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Here you can read various thoughts and discussions that come from the mind of our Pastor