Thursday, June 23, 2011

The New Barbarians

Jeremiah 10:23 - "Lord, I know that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for him to direct his steps."

1 Corinthians 16:13 - "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; act like a man; be courageous; be strong."

I have wondered about all the bizarre incidents happening in restaurants, namely, vicious fights erupting between groups of people. Why is this happening? Why are groups of young people “flash mobbing” stores and people? Flash mobbing is when a group of people target a store or a person. They come in as a large group, intimidate, steal, threaten, and beat the store owner or people they have targeted. Then they melt quietly back into society.

The sociologists of our day (and politicians) site the usual excuses for these barbarians. Lack of a good education (we spend more money on education per pupil than ever before), lack of government job funding (also known as “make work” projects) and lack of equal opportunity are sighted as the causes. I disagree.

I feel the problem is the lack of fathers in our families; a lack of real men. Marriage rates have dropped significantly (people cannot make a commitment or keep one). The illegitimate birth rate has skyrocketed. It has been quoted to be 74% in the black community. In the white community, the illegitimate birth rate is lower, but the illegitimate birth rate is growing faster in the white community than any other group. The problem may be in the large cities for now but eventually it comes to the country.

I ask a question, “Christian men, what are we doing?” I have been in 35+ different churches over the last 11 years; I only find three with ongoing men’s programs. Most churches have had women program but now they are disappearing also. When I say programs, I should say Bible studies. Programs imply committee meetings, organization headaches, etc., Bible studies are faster, quicker and easier to do.

I have found that in Bible studies I have been involved in Western Minnesota that people lack commitment. We are too busy to find time for Bible studies and time to participate in our family’s lives. Yet we find time to make illegitimate babies, drink, raise hell, and not make serious commitment to our families and communities, much less a Bible study.

The Russian writer Dostoyevsky said, “When there is no God, then all things are permissible.” The truth being said, we are living in times when all things are permissible. Moral restraint is a thing of the past; now all is permissible. We have few, if any, men on fire for God; therefore, no fear or accountability to our God.

When God is no longer welcome in our churches, homes, or in our priorities, we all suffer. Our families suffer; our community and nation suffers. Oh, it is easy to point our finger at other people but what am I doing?

What should we as Christian men do? We need to stand up and live out our calling to be a man; be the man God called us to be—servant leaders, watchmen and defenders of the faith.

Let’s start with ourselves because on Judgment Day God will come and ask us “What have you done?"

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