Week 10 in the year of our Lord 2021

The church, men aren’t disposable, naughty speech

7 minutes to read

Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off. (1 Kings 20:11)

Most bullies are cowards.

If you stand up to them, they’ll shrink back.

If you cave into them, they’ll rule over you forever.

Comfort is the enemy of victory.

You want to win?

You’re going to need to be uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, the goal for many conservatives is maintaining the status quo, not victory.

This is why they lose.

Fear not, and gird up brothers!

It’s not the first time we’ve seen pagan fools rage against the Son of God and the Church (Psalm 2).

They always lose, so we can be sure they will lose again. J.C. Ryle writes:

The broad walls of Babylon are sunk to the ground. The palaces of Nineveh are mounds of dust. The hundred gates of Thebes are only matters of history. Tyre is a place where fishermen hang their nets. Carthage is a desolation. Yet all this time the true Church stands.

But they won’t lose by themselves. God will defeat them through the usual means: his assembled army on earth. If the gates of Hades itself cannot withstand us, how can self-destructive ideologies and ideologues?

What is the work of a church? It’s something we need to revisit often because it’s easy to get unbalanced ecclesiologically…

When the church is turned into a YMCA, the pastor is turned into a program coordinator. The congregation is taught to view the church as a provider of specialized programming that caters to all life stages and schedules.

When the church is treated as a replacement for the natural family, the pastor becomes a surrogate father instead of a shepherd of souls. The congregation is taught to confuse the limits and purposes of the natural family (household) and spiritual family (church). This quickly gets cultic.

When the church is reduced to a social action group, the pastor is reduced to a community organizer. The congregation is taught to subordinate primary doctrine to a derivative cause.

When the church is reduced to a para-church ministry (e.g. men’s ministry, anti-abortion, etc), the pastor is reduced to a single issue specialist. The congregation is taught to neglect the whole counsel of God’s Word in favor of a single portion.

When the church is reduced to a discernment ministry, the pastor becomes an investigative journalist, or the editor-in-chief of a paparazzi rag. The congregation is taught to “spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new” (Acts 17:21).

So what is a church?

The Book of Church Order has some helpful descriptions. They are a little technical—but still very helpful:

A particular church consists of a number of professing Christians, with their children, associated together for divine worship and godly living, agreeable to the Scriptures, and submitting to the lawful government of Christ’s kingdom.”

When this is the case, the work of the eldership is defined as follows:

It belongs to those in the office of elder, both severally and jointly, to watch diligently over the flock committed to his charge, that no corruption of doctrine or of morals enter therein. They must exercise government and discipline, and take oversight not only of the spiritual interests of the particular church, but also the Church generally when called thereunto. They should visit the people at their homes, especially the sick. They should instruct the ignorant, comfort the mourner, nourish and guard the children of the Church. They should set a worthy example to the flock entrusted to their care by their zeal to evangelize the unconverted, make disciples, and demonstrate hospitality. All those duties which private Christians are bound to discharge by the law of love are especially incumbent upon them by divine vocation, and are to be discharged as official duties. They should pray with and for the people, being careful and diligent in seeking the fruit of the preached Word among the flock.

When a church and her elders are focused on being the church, the saints are equipped and much salt and light is brought to bear in all segments of the surrounding community.

There is a deep streak of white knightism in some otherwise patriarchal leaders. One way that it manifests is in the chivalric idea that men are disposable.

It simply isn’t true.

Men are not disposable.

The reason “women and children” get off the sinking boat first is because they are central to a man’s mission and legacy.

So it’s not that the man is disposable.

It’s that the mission is indispensable.

Thus men are willing to die for it.

This is the same reason a mother will throw herself in front of a bullet for her children. It’s not that she is disposable.

It’s for the mission and the legacy.

It’s for the future.

Both sexes want their “fruit” to remain and mature.

And they are willing to die for it.

Scripture is replete with examples of speech that modern Christians would wrongly label sinful. One of our favorite examples is Galatians 3:1, where Paul calls Christians bewitched fools. The verse reads as follows:

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

Here are the comments of a few godly men on the passage:

These he first sharply reproves, and then endeavours, by the evidence of truth, to convince them. This is the right method, when we reprove any for a fault or an error, to convince them that it is an error, that it is a fault. He reproves them, and the reproof is very close and warm: he calls them foolish Galatians… —Matthew Henry

Paul reproves the Galatians rather sharply when he calls them “fools, bewitched, and disobedient.” Whether he is indignant or sorry, I cannot say. He may be both. It is the duty of a Christian pastor to reprove the people committed to his charge. Of course, his anger must not flow from malice, but from affection and a real zeal for Christ. —Martin Luther

They are foolish Galatians! Paul says. Very rude of him, mark you—very rude of him! But I shall not attempt to excuse him, for I fully endorse his verdict. —Charles Spurgeon, Men Bewitched

New content this week: #

Notable: #

New Zealand’s Big Mother, Jacinda Adern, openly describes how the NZ state has “drummed in the dangers of covid pretty diligently for a full, two-week period of sustained propaganda”:


What could lead to such a slip? Our guess: behind closed doors, governments openly use the term propaganda to describe state messaging around covid, and their intent for it. Every now and then, when required to speak extemporaneously on the issue, some officials accidentally slip into that habit, instead of using public-approved vocabulary.

It’s Good To Be A Man, the book, is on the final stretch. The last two chapters are underway, and we will have the manuscript complete this month. Thank you to everyone who has supported us as we have worked to get this done. We really do believe this will be a singularly helpful book; there is nothing quite like it on the market at the moment.

Talk next week,
Bnonn & Michael

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