by Rev. John Edward Smith, Jr. on Friday, 16 September 2011 at 14:29
Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The Body of Christ in America is sorely lacking in male leadership. And it shows. It’s also lacking in poor to nonexistent proper biblical theology, period. These two things surely fuel the reality of the other.
I’m concerned with what goes on in this country in the name of Christ, and the spiritual void left by so-called Christian men who don’t know sound theology or biblical love (which acts and speaks in truth for the betterment of the other person, bringing glory to God; not this childish, sappy sweet, politically correct, worldly love which so many Christians adhere to) from a hole in the wall. This isn’t an off-the-cuff opinion; take a look at the state of the American Church, you who have eyes to see, and you can’t but come to the same conclusion. I ask, if a man doesn’t know the Word of God and if he doesn’t exhibit the love of God, does he actually know God?
In local church gatherings, on the streets, online, in their very households and marriages, too many men are, spiritually, nothing more than little boys who abuse and misuse scripture, if they bother to open a bible at all.
Too many men shirk their spiritual responsibilities, acting out and and rebelling against spiritual mandates, kicking and fighting against their wives and their husbandly duties as spiritual head of the home [Job 31:1, Proverbs 5:15-20, Proverbs 31:10-11, 1 Corinthians 14:35, Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7], leaving it to the women to stand in the gap and attempt to be the spiritual head, which the Lord never intended [1 Corinthians 11:3]. The result is chaos, resentment and most importantly, the God of our salvation being disrespected over the folly and laziness of men.
Some of this comes, no doubt, from theological ignorance and improperly exegeting the Word of God. False teachers breed biblically illiterate students who become stunted in their spiritual growth. We have the blind leading the blind into proverbial ditches; yet there is no excuse in this, having the treasure of infinite wisdom, proper theological doctrine and the very mind of Christ at our fingertips daily [2 Timothy 2:15-16], as well as the helps of sound bible teachers and theologians whom the Lord has raised up throughout the centuries to aid the Body in her understanding of the scriptures (note that I said “sound” bible teachers. The great majority of Christian TV, radio and modern literature is unbiblical trash that vast seas of American Christians consume without question [Proverbs 14:15]); not to mention, and most importantly, the Spirit of God, our Teacher [John 16:13], if in fact, we are indwelled by Him and seeking His Truth, not our own, which is no truth at all [Proverbs 14:12].
Some of it is sheer complacency, indifference and lukewarmness.
Some men, we know, have never truly met Christ and are merely playing religious games, which can’t produce anything but the dishonoring of the name of Jesus [John 6:63], or end in anything but tragedy, unless God grants that man faith and repentance unto Christ [John 6:37-45].
Day by day by day, we see the doctrines of demons and the traditions of men exalted above the truth of the Word of God, which results in people being tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine [Ephesians 4:14]. Most importantly, due glory is taken away from the true and living God.
Are you a Christian man? If so, by name only? Or is Christ working in you [Philippians 1:6]? I’m not talking about spiritual perfection; that doesn’t exist on this side of glorification. I’m not talking about a standard that the Word doesn’t hold each of us, including myself, to. But, on one end of the spectrum is so much complacency. On the other end is so much pride, based on the abuse of scripture by theological infants.
As a matter of fact, the closer we get to Christ Jesus and the more we properly exegete the bible, not out of dry ritual, but out of deep love for His Word, properly understanding the absolute holiness, sovereignty and love of God, the more we should be driven to our knees in humility, not puffed up with pride [Psalm 119, James 1:21].
Far too often, I have met immature men in the faith, touting themselves as “men of God”, who only succeed in the hellish mishandling of the holy Word [2 Peter 3:15-16], who twist it to fit their preconceived notions and selfish desires, who isogete and do dishonor to the scriptures, to their families, to their local church gatherings and most of all to the Lord Himself. This is no small thing. Peter says that men twist the scriptures to their own destruction. And yet men all over America, in the pulpit, online and in the home, do this very thing constantly, while multitudes upon multitudes of undiscerning Christians give it all a big “Amen!”.
Anyone can copy and paste a picture of Jesus or a bible and slap it on their profile next to a bunch of Christian lingo and buzzwords, just as anyone can slap on a suit and a tie and say “God bless you”; these things, in themselves, mean nothing. Many men call themselves “pastors”, “teachers”, “ministers” and “prophets”. Some are actually called by God to such a position or office, but there are many who, despite their claims, have not been called of God; frauds, who use these titles to lord over others and to be seen as ever so “spiritual”. Pure pride. We are not to glory in anything of ourselves, but only to glory in the Lord, i.e., to give the Lord all of the glory due to Him and Him alone [1 Corinthians 1:31, 2 Corinthians 10:17, Galatians 6:14].
There are many of these latter types of men, spiritual frauds, here on facebook, myspace, etc. Indeed, anywhere, online or otherwise, where Christians can be found, so can more and more counterfeits. Many men have hundreds, even thousands of “friends”. How many of these men have proven, by their false doctrine and lack of character, to be biblically illiterate, insincere, prideful, gossiping, slandering charlatans [2 Peter 2:10-22]? Far too many. (And that goes for the conduct of many “Christian” women as well, though I’m here concerned with men.) Discernment is needed. Again, we’re not looking for perfection; we are, however, to discern between their doctrine and character (or lack of), and orthodox biblical doctrine and character.
Men who should be avoided are instead flocked to [Jude 1:16], like ants to candy on the sidewalk [2 Timothy 4:3-4]. Where is the discernment amongst all of these “friends”? Where is the biblical discernment in the Body of Christ? Someone will say, “I’ll add anyone.” Well, that’s part of the problem. Do you think that’s the “Christian” thing to do? It’s not. The Word is clear that there are some people who are to be absolutely avoided, and I’m not talking about unbelievers. I’m talking about professing Christians. [Romans 16:17-18, 1 Corinthians 15:33, 1 Corinthians 16:22, Galatians 1:8-9, Col. 2:8, 1 Timothy 6:3-6, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 2 John 1:10-11]. So, if you will add anyone, I ask you, “Where is your biblical discernment?” False converts have no spiritual discernment. What is the excuse for you true converts?
How many Christian men have we encountered, touting themselves as “pastors”, “teachers”, “ministers”, “prophets”, “bishops”, “apostles”, etc., who befriend only, or mostly, young women and girls with sexually provocative, or outright pornographic pics and profiles, and then willfully proceed to elicit sympathy and emotional affection from them [2 Timothy 3:6-7, 13] in a sly scheme of lust and flirting that they justify by mingling their lewdness with Christian lingo? Far too many. It’s, of course, not just men with spiritual titles attached to their names who are doing this. There are countless ”Christian” men online conducting themselves this way. How many Christian men have requested my own wife…only to be looking to add one more female to their fleshly social network harem of women [Jude 1:4]? Far too many. It’s interesting how many Christian men would rather “fellowship” with or “witness” to lewd, half-clothed young women than other men.
I call you men out as what you are: sexual predators.
These lust-filled “men of God” [2 Timothy 3:8] that I refer to, as I’ve said, don’t seem to have much interest in witnessing to men and certainly not in fellowshipping with other men. Their friends lists attest to this. Besides, they would not want to be called out and rebuked for the spiritual frauds that they are by a discerning Christian man. No, instead they surround themselves with undiscerning females who they can play their emotional games with [2 Timothy 3:6-7, 13]. And, believe me, when they do get called out by men who can see right through their charade [2 Timothy 3:9], such men react with such a typical immaturity and spewing of hateful venom, that they not not only unwittingly prove their own guilt with overblown defensive bravado and attempted justification of their inappropriateness, but they exhibit the total pride and folly of touting themselves as ”ministers”, or just plain “good Christians”, in the first place.
Galatians 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
May our sisters see through this manipulative, reprehensible garbage and not take part in it.
I can tell you, these devious ”Christians” will not be allowed, in any way, shape or form into the home of me and my spotless bride. Count on that.
Social networking sites are only filtered microcosms. While on one hand, some people say things online that they would never have the guts to say to anyone face-to-face, on the other hand, if you’ve no character online, you’ve probably no character anywhere else. What it comes down to is that, whether it be online, in the home or in the local church gathering, too many of our men, if they’re born again at all, are sinful, spiritual infants [1 Corinthians 3:2, Hebrews 5:12, 13].
The lust issue, the pride issue, the lack of biblical and theological literacy, the misunderstanding of biblical love (which causes so many Christians to be offended if you simply speak to them as adults and don’t handle them with kid gloves), the myriad of issues that are taking place in this country by men who claim to love God, is truly a sad thing to behold. And this is not about finger pointing, for we all fall short. This is about unrepentant men who, instead of being leaders and spiritual heads, are engaging in these sins unabashedly and it’s a sinful disgrace upon the holy Name of Jesus Christ.
So now, where are the true men of God who revere Jesus Christ Himself above all of the religious trappings, Christian T-shirts, Christian music, Christian cliques, Christianese, Churchianity, the notice and applause of others [Matthew 6:1-8, Colossians 3:23-25], and their own fleshly desires? Where are the spiritual examples, the male leaders who are concerned with honoring the Lord, rather than glorifying themselves and surrounding themselves with undiscerning women, and other undiscerning men as well, who, rather than properly rebuking them in love, or having nothing to do with them at all until / unless they repent, actually encourage them, pat them on the back and cover them with flattery, thereby taking part in their fleshly, unbiblical heresies?
They are out there, but, sadly, few and far between; men sincerely studying the Word of God [2 Timothy 2:15], growing in Christ [2 Peter 3:18], seeking to be clothed from on High for the task that the Lord has called them to and glorifying Him alone [Isaiah 42:8, Ephesians 3:20-21]. I’m thankful to God for these true brothers; I truly am. But truth be told and without exaggeration, the great majority of men I’ve encountered who call themselves Christians are either dismally lukewarm or abusively prideful.
And when true men of God have become not the norm, but the exception to the rule, what a pathetic testimony that is for the comfortable, consumer-culture Church of America…and what contempt it is for the unfathomable grace of Christ, our Living God and Saviour.
The Lord knows those who truly belong to Him, and His sovereign will, concerning His Bride, is coming to pass and will come to pass. The true Church is accepted in the Beloved [Ephesians 1:6], who “gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that he might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” [Ephesians 5:25-27]. This is, however, no excuse for the rampant sin and irresponsibility taking place in the Church today by American men.
I for one, (as a man saved, undeservedly, by the grace of God) am tired of the disgrace brought upon my God, His priceless scriptures, those who actually worship Him in Spirit and Truth, and the families of those careless and beguiling men, who desperately need the headship of a man who actually loves the Lord and His holy Word. This isn’t about sinless perfection. This is about standing up and being the men Christ has called, even commanded, us to be.
Are you a true man of God?
Then grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ [2 Peter 3:18]. Refuse to play religious games. Learn proper biblical hermeneutics and orthodox biblical theology so that you do honor to the precious and powerful Word and lead others to the true God, not a false, unscriptural god. Develop a serious and disciplined prayer life. Know and love your Saviour for who He truly is, not who you think He is or who you want Him to be. Love others with the love of the Lord. Get about the business of what should ultimately matter to you, if you have been born again…the glory of God.
You don’t answer to me, but you will answer to the Lord Jesus Christ. And so will I.
by Rev. John Edward Smith, Jr.
Thank you brother John for the permission to place this article.