A Few Good Men
Margaret Mead, who is probably the leading anthropologist
and sociologist of this century, has said, "The central
problem of every society is to define appropriate roles for
the men. If the men don't know what they are supposed to
be, the culture is in trouble." She's right. And our
culture is in trouble because men are confused.
Men are different. They are, they're different from women.
Those of us who believe the Bible, must resist the current
societal rage to make androgyny [having the characteristics
or nature of both male and female] a viable option. There
are those who are trying to play down and ignore the
differences between men and women. Gloria Steinem, one of
the early leaders of the feminist movement said, "We are
human beings first, with minor differences for men, that
apply largely to the act of reproduction. The only
functional difference," she says between men and women, "is
a woman's ability to give birth. A woman needs a man," she
concludes, "like a bicycle needs a fish."
Well she's wrong, she's dead wrong. The Bible says she's
wrong, biology says she's wrong, and experience tells all
of us she's wrong. The cover article on the front page of
the January 1992 issue of Time Magazine stated in bold
letters, Why Are Men and Women Different? And then the
sub-title stated New Studies Show They're Born That Way.
Yeah, yeah, Genesis 1:27, "God created man in his own
image, in the image of God he created him; male and female
he created them." Did he ever!
In the ninth week of pregnancy when the little child is
still in the womb and so tiny, God begins the secretion of
testosterone in the male brain. And that testosterone coats
that little bitty tiny male mind, and from that time
forward, that baby, that child, that man, never is the
same. He thinks dominantly with the left half of his brain
and women think with both halves of their brain.
What about that left half? That left half is given to task
orientation, to competition, and to work. Because of this
phenomenon, that's as natural as water running downhill,
men are less verbal, men are less sensitive, men are more
decisive, however, they are less grudge holding. Other
lessons will address how God made men for certain roles,
and certain functions. The Bible says, "Maleness and
femaleness were designed by the Creator to each uniquely
reflect his image." Maleness is God's gift to men, not
something to be ashamed of.
Now admittedly, like most of God's gifts, there have been
some who perverted maleness, some of them have turned it
into a thing called, "macho." Macho is sick, macho is a
gross perversion of masculinity. But just because some guys
have perverted the gift, doesn't mean we do away with it.
We should withstand all attempts to remake men into the
image of women as if maleness were a disease. God's ideal
is masculinity and femininity living together in unity.
That's the plan.
Men are vital. I don't know many Christians who believe the
radical, feminist claim that men are no longer necessary.
But quite frankly, their influence has rubbed off on us, no
question about it. In the church today, we spend a lot more
time talking about the role of women than we do teaching
young boys about the role of being men. The Bible affirms
the importance of men, of male leadership in the home, and
in the church, and in the community. Now, I know that is
not politically correct, but I also know the Bible has
never been too concerned about political correctness. The
role of man is vital. His influence will extend to the
third and the fourth generations and beyond. That influence
can be a blessing.
I've always been impressed when I've read about the
heritage and the history of Jonathan Edwards. Do you
remember Jonathan Edwards, the Puritan preacher of the 16th
and 17th centuries? He later became the president of
Princeton University, and among his descendants, 300 of his
descendants became preachers and missionaries. One hundred
and twenty became college professors. Sixty became authors.
One hundred and ten became attorneys, 30 became judges, 14
of his descendants became presidents of colleges and
universities, three took seats in Congress, and one became
the vice-president of the United States. Jonathan Edwards
studied the Bible 11 to 12 hours every single day of his
life, but he always came home and devoted one hour a day,
uninterrupted with his children, without exception. And he
blessed them for generations.
The flip side of that is also true. The influence of men
can also be negative. The Bible says, "The sins of the
fathers are punishing on the sons even to the third and to
the fourth generation." Some of you today, are struggling
with the sins of your fathers and your grandfathers, the
consequences of which you're still wrestling with today,
particularly those of you who are children and
grandchildren of alcoholics.
Most of us know how vital men really are. We tend to forget
that there is a great spiritual war going on all around us.
To remind you of that Paul states in Ephesians 6:11 "Put on
the full armor of God so that you can take your stand
against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not
against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against
the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly
realms. Therefore put on the whole armor of God, so that
when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your
ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
There is a colossal, spiritual battle going on, and
strategy number one on Satan's part is to neutralize men.
See, Satan's strategy has always been to scatter the sheep
by taking out the shepherd. That's what he tried to do to
Jesus, take out the shepherd, scatter the sheep. The family
is the fundamental unit of civilization, and God has made
the man to be the shepherd of the family. Satan's strategy
is simple, it's just, "Divide and conquer." Alienate and
sever a husband's relationship from his wife. Alienate and
then sever a father's relationship with his children. Satan
is no fool. The reason he does it, is because it works. And
it's working like crazy.
This is simplistic, but the problem with society is good
men are missing. Some are missing because they're tired and
confused. Some are missing because they bailed out, some
are missing because of a girlfriend. Some are missing on
the golf course, some are missing on a boat. Some are
missing under the car, some are missing right there in
their lazy boy, channel surfing, but too many good men are
Dr. James Dobson, leader of Focus on the Family and one of
the leading family therapists of our day, stated, "The
western world stands at a great crossroads in its history.
It's my opinion that our very survival as a people depends
upon the presence or absence of masculine leadership in
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, senator from New York
state, said: "From the wild Irish slums of the 19th century
eastern seaboard to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles,
there is one unmistakable lesson of American history. The
community that allows a large number of young men and women
to grow up in families dominated by women, never acquiring
any stable relationship to male authority, asks for and
William Raspberry, African-American columnist, wrote this
in the Washington Post not long ago. "If I could offer a
single prescription for the survival of America,
particularly black America, it would be to restore the
family. If you ask me how to do it, my answer obviously
over-simplified would be, 'Save the boys.'" We live now in
a culture where boys are not being taught to be family
shepherds, where they're not being trained in masculine
leadership, where they don't know what it means to be in
God's image as the shepherd of that home.
There is a great need in our country, for men to rise up as
spiritual warriors. It's easy to get caught up in paying
the bills, and keeping the car running, and making sure the
grass is mowed, it's easy to be lulled to sleep by the
nearsighted images of life. We forget we're in the middle
of a great cosmic battle.
Just imagine it's late one night and you're sleeping at
home, there's a noise, you hear a glass break and somebody
has come inside. You grab something to defend yourself from
the intruder and you tell your wife to lock the door and
dial 911. I'm going to go stop him before he gets to the
kids." Well, folks, there is a prowler trying to get into
your home, it's the evil one. Who's standing at the door
right now saying, "You can't have my home." I don't believe
the answer for men is to go off in the woods and beat drums
and find your primeval selves. But some of us men just need
to beat our chest in repentance and reclaim our
God-intended roles as spiritual warriors.
Men, when you go home, I want you to read today I
Chronicles 11 and 12. Saul has just died, and Israel is in
a morally dismal state, David is in the wilderness, and the
Bible says, "Mighty men of God came out to David." And
verse 32 of chapter 12 states: "Men of Issachar, understood
the times and knew what Israel should do---" I love that.
They understood the times, and they knew what Israel should
do. We need some men of Issachar today.
We're at war. The critical shortage of any war has always
been good men. E. M. Bounds wrote "Men are always looking
for better methods. God is looking for better men." The
Holy Spirit guided Paul to write in Romans 13:11-12: "And
do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come
for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation
is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is
nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside
the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of the
There is absolutely no difference in the value between a
man or a woman. There is no difference in the value of a
preacher and anybody else in the whole world. There is no
difference between a child and a parent in terms of the
value of the soul. God says, however, there are certain
roles I want you to fill. I will give some of you certain
gifts, certain talents, use them to my glory. He said, I
will make you men to be the shepherds of the home.
Program #1206 - Steve Flatt