Mark has been a Christian for three years. His story is short and sweet. His faith began when a co-worker invited him to a concert sponsored by his church. The music was awesome and allowed him to relax in a church environment in a way he didn’t think was possible. His soul was being touched and when the singer opened his mouth about Christ it was like an episode of Lost. A flash forward envisioned a relationship with Christ forever. A flash backwards brought up painful and regrettable choices that could now be dealt with definitively. A flash sideways projected a lifestyle that could be better than the one he now lived. It all added up and he went “all in” for Jesus that night. When I met him at a men’s conference a few years later I chalked him up as a dedicated, growing man of God. That’s why the next chapter of the story confused me.
Through a friend I heard about Mark’s “lost weekend.” A March Madness trip to the NCAA Finals with few of his college buddies where thirty eight year olds give themselves permission to act eighteen again for a span of time. Nothing out of the ordinary, mind you, for a group of dudes who don’t claim to know Christ. Whooping it up, Budweiser induced carousing, and plenty of broken male thinking and acting out when they came in contact with the ladies. All these guys are married. All had kids. But let’s put it this way: Mark definitely checked his faith at the front door of Hooters that weekend. I got to ask Mark about his weekend, the happenings, and how he felt about it. His response reflects a dangerous presumption: “It’s only one weekend a year Kenny. It’s my little indulgence. Believe me. I tow the line the rest of the year.” In other words, he believes he can take a vacation from Christ. Wow.
Cleavage or Christ? Hooters or Holy Spirit? Feelings or Faith?
When push comes to shove it comes down to this question: what is your source of authority?
Every man has a filter for his decision-making in the moment when it comes to porn, sexual thinking and practice, marriage issues, relationships, and his own leadership of others that are affected by his choices in those moments. Some filters are horrible in the moment like your feelings, moods, or drunk buddies. Some are good like wives, friends, and good advisers. But only one has complete authority and endorsement by both conscience and Christ every time—The Bible or God’s Word. The standard and rule for all believers is this: God’s man always defers to God’s Word and the way of being, believing, and behaving offered and seen modeled by Christ there. We do what will express love for God or love for people in any given moment. It’s only when, in our arrogance, we elevate our own opinion and mind on a matter or situation above God’s revealed opinion and mind that we become truly stupid.
Cleavage wins. Christ loses.
Every Man Ministries, founded by president Kenny Luck, gives men the tools they need to walk with God and navigate the difficulties of life. As the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church, Kenny Luck created a program for men to start and lead their own men’s ministries, the Sleeping Giant program. Watch Kenny’s teachings at EveryManMinistries.com.