Monday, March 19, 2012

The True Man - Warrior

The True Man goes through seasons in life.

I’ve posted about the Season of Boyhood and the Season of the Cowboy.

Now we come to the Season of the Warrior.

This doesn’t mean we all join the Army, Marines or any other branch of service. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

Rather, this season reinforces the reality that we are at war in this life. We are made to be warriors, to fight for what is right, to protect our wives and families.

The rise of what is sometimes referred to as the “second wave feminist” movement in the 1960’s brought a change to this season in a man’s life by trying to eliminate it. Fighting for such rights as abortion, pushing an agenda that has at is foundation that there is no real difference between a man and a woman.

While I agree that in Christ there is no “male or female, slave or free,” that all are equally loved in the heart of God, I disagree that there is no difference between men and women. There’s huge differences, for which we should thank God!

Men, we were made to be warriors.

In Genesis it says we are created in the image of God. In Exodus it says, “The Lord is a Warrior, the Lord is his name.”

From Genesis chapter 3 on, we live in a world at war. All the wars that have happened since then have been pale comparisons to the War that is being waged against us. As Paul says in Ephesians

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. Ephesians 6:12

This we know. We are at war. But this war plays out in different ways.

Steve Farrar writes in Point Man, “Gentlemen, this is no imaginary situation. It is reality. If you are a husband/father, than you are in a war. War has been declared upon the family, on your family and mine. Leading a family through the chaos of American culture is like leading a small patrol through enemy-occupied territory. And the casualties in this war are as real as the names etched on the Vietnam Memorial.” (Point Man, page 22).

You see, Satan has moved his focus away from the church and to the family because if he can destroy the family, the Church is that much weaker! The first church a child will know about, the first place he will hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is at home from mom and dad. If Satan can destroy that, the Church has a much harder time getting the Gospel message out to the world.

Once we understand that we are at war and that his war’s battlefronts are all around us (and not just “out there” in the mission field or where Christians are persecuted), then we will be in a much better position to fight those battles.

Where are the battle lines? Everywhere!

There’s a great scene about this from a somewhat  unusual source – the movie “You’ve Got Mail” (click here to watch it).

Warriors are not just found on the battlefields of the world. We are at war every day! In every day life – at the office, in the bedroom, in front of the classroom, on the football field.

The Season of the Warrior is its own specific season. But there are elements of the Warrior in all seasons, starting with boyhood. Like I said before, it is because we are made in the image of God and the Lord is a warrior, the Lord is his name.

All our movies that we love have a warrior theme to them. Even a movie like “You’ve Got Mail.” We fight in all areas of life because in all areas of life, there are still things worthy fighting for.

“When Alexander the Great died, his massive empire was divided among several high-ranking officers in his cabinet. What we would refer to as the Middle East, including Israel, came under the rule of the Seluecids, who continued Alexander’s mission to Hellenize the locals, making all the world Greek in its customs and values. What began as the seemingly innocent importation of Greek culture became increasingly hostile, and eventually violent. The Seleucid overlords took a special hatred of the Jewish insistence on worshipping one God, seeing it—as so many dictatorships since—as a threat to their regime. In 165 BC a Greek officer holding command over the village of Modiin—not too far from Jerusalem—ordered the Jewish villagers to bow to an idol and eat the flesh of a slaughtered pig, acts that struck at the heart of Judaism, at the heart of the people for whom such a command was unthinkable. Blasphemy.

“The people refused, an argument ensued, and the Jewish high priest Mattathias killed the officer with a sword. The villagers—led by Mattathias’ five sons—took up arms against the rest of the soldiers and killed them as well. Mattathias and a growing number of his followers fled to the hills, from there launching a resistance movement against their Hellenistic oppressors. Meanwhile, Antiochus IV (current heir to the Seleucid Empire and a cruel enemy of the Jews) seized control of the temple in Jerusalem, set up in the Holy of Holies a satue of Zeus, and commanded the Jews to worship him. Those who refused to abandon God and his commands—included circumcision—were persecuted, mothers put to the sword with their infants hanging round their necks.

“Meanwhile, Mattathias had died, leaving command of his growing forces to his son Judah Maccabee, who led his outnumbered and outarmed troops against a far superior force (ten thousand Jews against more than sixty thousand Greeks and Hellenized Syrians) and eventually routed their enemies from Jerusalem. They cleansed the temple, tore down the desecrated altar (including the idol) and rebuilt one from uncut stones, after which they held a feast of worship and dedication. Of course, I am referring to the origin of the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah. Historian Thomas Cahill observed that ‘there are humiliations a proud people—even one oppressed for generations—cannot abide.’

“Indeed. It may take time, and require repeated provocation, but eventually a man must come to realize that there are certain things in life worth fighting for. Perhaps, when we appreciate the truth of this, we can better understand the heart of God.” [The Way of the Wild Heart, John Eldredge, pages 136-37]

It may take the battle hitting close to home to rouse the warrior in a man, but maybe that is exactly why God allows the battle to hit close to home.

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