Mediocrity's Message to Your Men: You Don't Really Matter - In A World of Quality, Church Is In A Quandary
- Wed Oct 28, 2015
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A drug rehab program ran an ad that got my attention. It involved a live elephant walking around the inside of a house full of people who are trying their best to ignore it. Clearly, obviously the elephant is by far the most noticeable and largest presence. A son is doing homework, head-phones on, eyes fixed. Elephant walks by. Doesn’t flinch. A mother is doing dishes in the kitchen, washing them, putting them away, and vigorously determined not to be distracted by the enormous mammal filling up her kitchen. Elephant passes by her too. No reaction. It is a stunning display of dysfunction in the face of a reality that is engaging the senses but receiving no recognition. The viewer is put into a dysfunctional family as a member of the house and reacts normally (“Hey, there’s an elephant in the room!”) while those who should be most concerned are acting like nothing is wrong. The metaphor for unaddressed, un-discussed, and unresolved alcoholism lands with force.
Someone has to say something. But many times no one says anything.
When it comes to the topic of men, the church is playing this family’s role perfectly—it is hoping to stay focused or distracted by other activities in the house while deep within we know our energy, strategy, and investment in men is, at best, nominal. Mediocre men’s ministry is the elephant walking around our house. We convince ourselves against our senses and better judgment to continue the procession of appearances. The appearance of church health. The appearance of successful weekend services. The appearance of various and widespread small groups. The appearance of discipleship programs. The appearance of several different ministries and outreaches. The appearance of meaningful missions abroad. The appearance that all is well when the one segment of the Body that most broadly impacts all other segments of family, marriage, and children’s health is neither motivated nor activated in any measureable sense. Can you say “uber-dysfunctional?”
TEENS HIDING THEIR SEXUAL REALITY FROM PARENTS
By Kenny Luck
Sexual revelations about their children shake most parents to the core.
Let’s face it – “our little Katie” getting naked with a boy or “our little Kevin” guzzling porn on his smart phone and chronically masturbating is an exercise that – again – most parents can’t mentally engage or never want to imagine. However, to personally witness the shock, awe, shame, and personal disappointment in themselves as they deal with a teenage sexual revelation after the fact is even more painful. Their face says it all:
- What happened?
- How did we miss this?
- Why didn’t they come to me?
- Have I failed to pass on my values?
- Am I such a bad parent?
These are the questions parents around the country are asking themselves in the wake of deeply held moral and spiritual expectations colliding with what are, for parents, unexpected sexual revelations about their children.
- Thu Jul 23, 2015
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Our world has fallen head-over-heals in love with love – an idealized version of it that swallows massive amounts of our mental, emotional, social, and financial resources. “We all” pursue it. Chick flicks, romance novels, music and newsstand magazines all depict it. Advertisers appeal to it. Some brokenhearted people avoid it. And we download the sentiment of it with 90% of music selections.
And yet, God designed it. Love is a matter of the heart, and biblically, the heart is the center of our emotions and will. Oh, and by the way, since God has designed it…. The enemy is after it.
Our hearts are under fire by a culture that romanticizes, fantasizes, and strives to realize love its’ own way apart from God. It’s a brilliant tactic by “pseudo-love’s” main sponsor – Satan. Think about it. The more distracted we can become by it, the less we can connect with the true purpose for it.
When Jesus was asked to rank the most important commandment in Mark 12, I imagine if He had a microphone He would have turned up the volume and shouted:
- “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” --Mark 12:29-31
It’s silly not to talk about the number one issue, the number one temptation, the number one economic engine in culture for men — and that’s sex.
Testosterone never goes away; your sex life isn’t just a physical thing. God knows where your sex life really is - on the inside. There is so much sexual confusion, so much brokenness. I have never met a man who hasn’t, in some way, been impacted or broken in the area of sex in one form or another.
God’s mind on sex is very positive. Sex is a gift. That’s how He created you. Sex is a good thing. He wants you to use that aspect of your life for positive things, not to misuse or abuse it.
God hates sexual sin, not because He hates sex, but because He loves life. Our identity as God’s men, our energy and expression sexually is to honor, worship and glorify God.
Whether God’s man likes it or not, we live in “glass houses,” meaning people are watching our behavior to see if we live consistent with our words, beliefs and reputations. A little Google search will lead you to find several “Christian” men giving our faith a bad name because they were involved in scandals and doing mental and theological gymnastics to justify what they were doing with the Bible. Evil loves that kind of self deception and encourages it.
Just like in war where you learn from the classic strategic blunders in history so your side doesn’t repeat them, I think there’s a lesson here for God’s man. It’s this: God’s plan to have Jesus sacrificed on the cross for our sin and rise again sets you and me “free” from sin. But just like a prisoner who has his sentence commuted must learn to live as a free man and not return to his old life so must God’s man. We too have to learn how to live in our spiritual freedom.
If a prisoner has not been ‘rehabilitated’ (or know how to live like a free man), then he will be tempted to make bad decisions, reunite with old friends, re-engage in old habits, and ultimately cause even more damage to himself and loved ones. He may, in fact, prefer to end up back to jail, where there’s safety in the boundaries, parameters and limited freedom.