Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Young Men — Is This You?
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Need” is a strong word. But I use it intentionally and I use it passionately. Yes, I use it urgently. Our culture desperately needs men. Not boys! We have plenty of boys. The church needs men, real men, godly men, holy men, biblical men. As a minister of the gospel, as a student of Scripture, as a biblical counselor, and as a man after God’s own heart, I will list 8 traits that should characterize men. So — young men: is this you?

Young men -- you need…

1) Truth — Jesus described Himself as being “the Truth.” God is the God of truth and truthfulness. You are made by Him and designed to emulate Him. Speak truth in your heart and have no fear of what you’ll say. Fill your mind and heart with truthful things and flee from deceptive, hidden, devious, manipulative ways. Young men, at all costs, be men of truth!

2) Integrity — The biblical concept of integrity speaks of wholeness, blamelessness. That is, to live a life of integrity demands a person who refuses double-mindedness and double-living. What you say you’ll do, do it at all costs. Be faithful, true to your word, and honest in all things.

3) Gentleness — The boldest and manliest person to ever walk this world was God in human flesh. And this Lord Jesus Christ was full of gentleness. Be strong! Be courageous! Be self-controlled and be sober-minded. Control your heart, mind, words, and actions. Be gentle!

4) Convictions — Be willing to die for things! These are your convictions. Men hold opinions but convictions hold the man. Believe God, His Word, the gospel and in the eternality of the soul, and live and die for Him. Shape your convictions by Scripture and stand up for them.

5) Perseverance — When life thrashes you against the rocks remember one thing: when suffering comes it comes because God wants you there. God grows His people as they endure hardships. Don’t despise the clouds that God brings. The Sun of Righteousness grows you in it.

6) Punctuality — Young men have this tragic reputation of being late (and lazy). And shamefully, it’s often true. Manhood demands responsibility. Rise early. Prepare your body and heart. Warm your soul with Christ each day. Leave early. Arrive early. Pray, prepare, be punctual. To arrive 5 minutes early is to arrive on time. Remember that.

7) Submission — Never be to prideful to submit. Godly men submit. Christ Himself — God come in the flesh — submitted Himself constantly and perfectly to the will of His Father. Submit to your parents. Submit to your authorities. Submit to the police. Submit to your church shepherd-elders. Find joy in obeying Christ in worshipful submission.

8) Discipline — Own your body. Don’t be mastered by it. You need to discipline yourself. No one wins a gold metal by coasting. No one wins the race with laziness. Discipline your soul, your mind, your body. Engage daily with Christ. Pray humbly before Him. Speak much of Him. Ponder His beauties. Discipline yourself, O man.


The Christian Theologist said...

Do we really get to call ourselves "a man after God's own heart?" Bit presumptuous, no?

The Christian Theologist said...

Chronological punctuality is not a biblical virtue. Your cultural slavery to the mechanical timepiece has nothing to do with serving the Lord. As a matter of fact, your whole view of an ideal Christian man bears a striking resemblance to an ideal American man.

Have you ever examined the degree to which your culture has shaped what you think is a Christian worldview?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! I thought the same thing. What are you, the way, the truth, and the life too?

Anonymous said...

I took it to mean he was using the phrase in the sense of it being his goal.

Anonymous said...

And yet how many habitually stroll in after the service begins? Or habitually show up to small group after it has already started? Occasional tardiness is one thing; habitual tardiness for no reason other than you couldn't be bothered to head out the door even five minutes earlier disrespectful, often disruptive, and carries with it a connotation that your time is more valuable than anyone else's.

The Christian Theologist said...

3rd Anonymous (6:29 AM): As with Geoffrey, your displeasure at "habitual tardiness" (and your subjective ascription of motivations to the "offenders") has nothing to do with biblical Christianity or serving the Lord and everything to do with your cultural conditioning regarding time-keeping. God set the luminaries in the sky for us to keep track of the days, not the sundial on the ground to chain us to the hours.

Anonymous said...

Punctuality is ridiculous to add to this list! Many a good man will be late due to care of others.

Anonymous said...

Wow...internet trolls that are Christian. Actually this is a great article. BE A REAL MAN! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I agree, punctuality is extremely important! Habitual tardiness shows pride, not humble a servant which all of is in scripture. Living by ones own time clock and making others wait is selfish and rude.

The Christian Theologist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Christian Theologist said...

Anonymous 5 (5:30 AM): Two things:

1. It's a bit rich calling people trolls when you're posting anonymously (y'know, like a troll does). I'm using my real name, which disqualifies me as a troll.

2. Calling someone a troll instead of dealing with their points is a rather juvenile form of argumentation, no? Defeating my argument is as simple as showing me from the Bible where men are called to be punctual in the way Geoffrey puts it.

The Christian Theologist said...

Anonymous 6 (8:30): Your subjective, culturally-determined opinions regarding Christian timekeeping are interesting, but hardly valid if you intend them to refute the accusation that they, like Geoffrey's, are not based on Scripture.

(To everyone whose commented so far: Why are you all posting anonymously? Is it really Christian to disguise yourselves like this? At least use some unique nic so we can tell how many of you there are....cheers.)

The Christian Theologist said...

*whose = who's

GotToBTru said...

Jim Kerr - I'm curious what you see is un-biblical about being punctual. It shows respect for others. It's a kind of stewardship. It seems pretty solidly biblical, as far as I can tell. (This account is under my favorite moniker, my real name is Howard Parks).

The Christian Theologist said...

Thanks for that, Howard.

The problem is with assertions such as yours that punctuality, by definition, “shows respect for others” and is “a kind of stewardship” and therefore biblical. This definition is entirely subjective—you value punctuality (because of your culture & worldview), so you equate it with other behaviors you value that happen to be biblical.

Showing respect for others and stewardship (of godly things) are biblical because they are behaviors prescribed in the Bible that are always correct in every circumstance. Punctuality is neither prescribed in the Bible, nor is it always correct in every circumstance. I can think of dozens of instances where getting to the church five minutes before service would be neither respectful to others nor good stewardship of godly things. The concept of strict punctuality on the Lord’s Day is pharisaical at best (do I have to cite all the verses in the Gospels rebuking the Jews for putting Sabbath adherence ahead of people?).

Of course, as Christians, we should endeavor to keep our word and stick to our commitments to be at a certain place at predetermined time. However, the gathering together of believers is a gathering together of family and in no way should we worry about when our brother or sister shows up for a visit; we should simply be delighted that they made it.

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