Some temptations come to the industrious, but all temptations attack the idle. —Charles Spurgeon
Evangelicalism has taught men that it’s okay to be mediocre. But…
- Being in shape isn’t vanity
- Being financially well-off isn’t avarice
- Desiring an active marriage bed isn’t lust
- Having God-honoring ambitions isn’t pride
Stop listening to them. Go after it hard for God’s glory.
One of the problems is that the church, at least in her evangelical variety, is almost entirely led by managerial personalities. Hence, she struggles to meet the needs and the battles of the day. She is unwilling to be exceptional because it is gonna get messy.
Pastor Chris Wiley writes:
Improvisational versus managerial personalities:
Each has its problems, but the managerial personality is often acutely limited because of its need to control all variables. This blinds it to at least two things:
First, its own sterility. Managers never make, only organize. They depend on the improvisational personality to spot good soil (opportunities), plant seeds (take action), make rain (bring people into the venture), etc.
Second, Managers avoid uncertainty to the point that they purposefully blind themselves to those things they cannot control. They just cease to exist for the manager. If it can’t be controlled it must not be accounted for is his motto."
Managers are necessary, but the church today needs improvisers. That doesn’t mean that if you’re a managerial personality, you have nothing to offer. It does mean that you need to be aware of your weaknesses and blind spots so you can proactively work with improvisers.
Either way, one of the most important things you can do in our current climate (single or married) is take responsibility for yourself first. Thomas Sowell recently said:
It would be hard to think of a more ridiculous way to make decisions than to transfer those decisions to third parties who pay no price for being wrong. Yet that is what at least half of the bright ideas of the political left amount to.
It is exactly this kind of thinking that has aggressively infected the church as well. It’s just another facet of victim culture.
Victim culture has gutted men. All the problems are “out there.” It’s my parents. It’s my genetics. It’s society. Whatever. So all the solutions are “out there” too—usually in the form of some hero/guru type, which takes its ultimate form in statism.
Scott Tungay summarizes aptly:
Xtian says “My life is bad, I need to change” (Repentance).
Lib says “My life is bad, I need you to change” (Political Correctness).
We definitely need mentors—especially pastors. But you are responsible for yourself. You are the solution for your problems.
That’s not some self-help nonsense. It’s just a fact.
Scripture says if you don’t work, you don’t eat. You must provide for yourself. You must discipline yourself.
How can a man lead a wife and rule a home if he can’t lead and rule himself?
So it starts by developing self control and self-discipline.
Just pick somewhere and start. Don’t overthink it. Don’t start developing some elaborate plan. You don’t need to research this.
You just need to identify a single point where you can improve, and one step to take.
Then take that step, see what happens, and repeat.
Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. When someone tells us that something can’t be done, and then we go and do it, afterwards they will say we got lucky or we were an exceptional case.
It wasn’t impossible, we didn’t get lucky, and we aren’t exceptional.
The problem is you.
You defeated yourself before you even tried.
Now watch us help a whole lot of young men and young women form healthy and long-lasting marriages founded on Jesus Christ. (For some of our readers, realizing that this isn’t impossible or exceptional, and it had more to do with them, will be the blackest of the black pills they swallow.)
And watch us help them reform the church too.
That’s where things are really going to start picking up steam.
Not all individual churches can be reformed, of course. In many denominations, the pulpits are chocka with politicians, and nary a pastor to be seen. You can as soon make cooked spaghetti stand up straight as reform such institutions. But the church as a whole will be reformed. It’s not even in question. So we suggest that you make bad churches force you out. That way, you can take the faithful with you and build new churches.
Remember John Knox: “The man who stands with God is always in the majority.”
There is one thing that will help enormously in doing this that you probably don’t have. It’s something that most men are deficient in.
It’s not chemical or a hormone.
Since embarking on our ministry, we have noticed that manhood is dangerously emaciated because of a lack of male friendship.
Men need flesh and blood relationships with other men. They need “brothers” and “fathers.” They need male pastors, mentors, friends, teachers, co-laborers, and confidants.
You can’t mature into a godly, capable man without fraternity. We’ve talked to hundreds of men, and again and again, the big takeaway from counseling them is that they are in desperate need of the love and approval of men.
Yes, they need discipline, hard words, and to be told to repent. That goes without saying. But they also need to be encouraged. It’s brutal out there. A little encouragement goes a long way.
The homoeroticizing of relationships has made this even more difficult than it should be. Anthony Esolen has written on this in his excellent essay, A Requiem for Friendship. But the problem is more fundamental too: the church treats men like women. As our brother Eric Conn put it recently:
The American church is a transgender woke slut. Its men have no balls, its women preach, and its children—if it has any at all—are raised by a sexless state. It’s time to stop being shocked about where the culture is at and look in the mirror (and the pulpit).
If you are finding yourself feeling displaced, and lacking for fraternity, remember that there’s Tyrannus Hall. It’s not a church, and it’s not flesh and blood brotherhood, so it’s no replacement for what you need.
But it is a good stop-gap or supplement.
We’re taking on more members soon. Perhaps you could be one of them. Find out here:
Talk again next week,
Bnonn & Michael