QUIT YE LIKE MEN
Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas
January 23, 2013
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men, be strong (1 Cor.16:13).”
To the modern ear, the phrase, ‘Quit ye like men," may sound somewhat foreign. In fact, this statement, apart from its Biblical revelation, may inadvertently confuse the reader. You may relate this expression as one that aptly portrays the tragic plight of the contemporary American male. A manhood that simply quits, runs from responsibilities, and seeks self-gratification as the ultimate meaning in life. It appears, at first, maybe to inspire men with an appealing call to our basest nature, "Be a man and just quit." But I assure you, Biblically, this is not the case. No, this maxim uttered by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost calls for the complete opposite. It is a direct challenge by Almighty God for men to rise up and act like men. It is a manhood defined not by the world system, the Feminist Movement, nor hedonistic males, but is defined by the Creator of the Universe. It is a heavenly mandate for men to be strong and to act courageously.
The Lord, according to this Scripture, presupposes strength to be a male virtue. He also declares that women are the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7). It is important, especially in today’s feminized culture, to distinguish what God means by weaker. He is not advocating the idea that women are inferior, less intelligent, less capable, or a second class citizens in His Kingdom. He is, however, stating there is a distinct difference between the make-up of a man as compared to women.
Unfortunately, we live in a time where the "Powers that Be" are trying to remove all distinctions between the sexes to create a gender-blender society. This lunacy is the fall-out of modern liberalism. It is a failed attempt to equalize outcome by government decree. Thus lowering, or in some cases, even removing the Biblical standards by which we ought to live. The other travesty of liberalism is radical individualism, where selfishness, greed, and pride are magically transformed, again by government decree, from vice to virtue. This is, at its very roots, the attempt by rebellious man to cast off God’s defining roles that He has established for men and women.
The consequences of these humanistic doctrines are far-reaching. Men have lost their masculine identity. They have either become filled with rage and abuse or have fallen prey to homosexuality. Women who appear to have won the battle for their rights, have tragically lost the war as they now face life alone as single moms. Of course, the ones who have suffered the most are our children. They have become a prey to evil. Men are missing in action, and our children are set drift on a sea of violence and perversion.
Biblically, there is a solution to the battle of the sexes that will repair the breach and restore the building block of our society, which is the God-ordained family. According to God’s word, in Christ, there is neither male nor female (Gal. 3:28). In other words, when it comes to value, God loves us all the same. In salvation, God removes the barriers between men and women that the Enemy exploits to divide us and makes us one in Christ.
On the other hand, God also reveals the concept of function. It is in the area of function that God makes a major distinction between men and women. The Scriptures teach that the man is to be the head of the woman in marriage specifically, and generally, women are not allowed by God to usurp authority over men. (1 Cor. 11:3 & 1 Tim. 2:12) God’s purpose is not to elevate the man over the woman as superior in value. In fact, the opposite is true. God values women as unique, so He ordains men to use their strength to provide, protect, and defend women and children.
In today’s culture, we chafe against this Biblical concept, primarily because of the inherent weaknesses contained within us as males and females. First, men are responsible before God to exercise proper leadership. Unfortunately, we either abandon that role and become irresponsible or take that role as a dictator. We end up abusing our God ordained authority and use our strength to abuse women and children to satisfy our own selfish whims. The weakness within women is to try and manipulate the man to dominate him. The combination of weak men and dominate females is the predominant curse upon our culture that has provided an opening for the enemy to exploit and savage our children.
The Biblical revelation of men being strong in order to serve God, their wives, and children is what gave birth to the whole notion of chivalry. It is a model of leadership based upon Patriarchy, which simply means “the family ruler.” Without this understanding, there is nothing to reclaim the masculine identity that will effectively turn men from being predators to protectors and providers.
Men will eventually embrace one of two models of masculinity that will define their manhood and capability to lead. The first model is what we inherited from the first Adam (earthly man) and the second model is what has been made available to men by the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ (the heavenly man).
The first Adam represents manhood separated from God. It is a manhood that is primarily concerned with self-preservation, self-gratification, and pleasure-seeking. It is a failed manhood that naturally gravitates towards irresponsibility. It seeks to please self at the expense of others and is manhood devoid of transcendent meaning. In other words, this kind of manhood doesn't’t perceive an objective truth beyond the dictates of his own carnal whims, passions and desires. To those whose manhood is governed by these factors, there is nothing really worth living for except self, because there is nothing worth dying for.
Thankfully, the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, rejected that cowardly notion and laid down His life for a wicked world that He still loves. He settled that issue two thousand years ago by enduring the agonizing torture upon a cruel cross for the sins of mankind. According to Jesus’ example, there is something worth living for and worth dying for, beyond our own personal considerations.
By contrast, to the first Adam, the second Adam (Christ) represents life in union with God. His manhood was influenced by spiritual direction, destiny, and based on faith, not carnal, selfish whims. His manhood was elevated masculinity that was defined by a life-giving spirit instead of a life-taking legacy we inherited from the first Adam.
FOUR MANHOOD PRINCIPLES
I’m convinced, if America is to be restored and find the remedy that will heal our land, then men must return to the God-ordained role and inclination to direct, protect, and provide for the family. The following four principles are absolutely essential to reclaiming the masculine identity and to restore men to authentic Biblical manhood.
1) Real men reject passivity: Boys and men possess a natural inclination to be aggressive, to initiate, explore, and achieve. But the sad truth is, men, especially today, seem to become passive where it matters the most. In our homes, amongst our families, and in our communities, men are generally passive towards righteousness and aggressive towards evil. This is part of the curse men have inherited from Adam. What God imparted to Adam, authentic Biblical manhood, Adam squandered by being passive while Eve was committing moral and spiritual suicide. As naturally aggressive as Adam was, when the moment of authentic manhood arrived, when he was called upon to act responsibly, to take charge spiritually, and to protect his woman, Adam just stood there. Unfortunately, men have been just standing there ever since while this same enemy kills, steals, and destroys our marriages, wives and children. Passivity must end and men who are naturally angry, must get angry for the right reasons. It must be holy anger and a righteous indignation against evil in all forms and not an anger that erupts because someone interrupts our selfish pursuits and irresponsibility.
2) Real men accept responsibility: Adam was entrusted with four main responsibilities; a battle to fight, ("subdue and take dominion") a work to do, ("cultivate the garden") a will to obey, ("don’t eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil") and a woman to love (Eve). These are the primary responsibilities entrusted to men. The first Adam failed, but the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, however, triumphed. In Christ, men can embrace and fulfill these four primary responsibilities as we follow His example. Jesus said, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to accomplish His work." (John 4:34)
3) A real man leads courageously: Authentic manhood was designed by God to lead, not follow. Adam forfeited his ability to lead when he refused to step forward with God’s word and lead his wife. This inaction is precisely the curse plaguing men today. We have a bunch of neutered, feminized men who passively submit to evil, tyranny, and injustice, instead of aggressively leading their homes and communities with God’s truth. The results have been devastating and has wrought chaos in our nation.
In Matthew 4:1-10, when Jesus was tempted to passively submit to Satan and his schemes, Jesus cried out, "BE GONE SATAN!" This is the essence of the commanding cry needed in manly leadership today. Men must muster the courage to master their passions and bridle themselves with the principles of God’s truth. Only then can men effectively lead others entrusted to their sacred charge.
4) A real man expects the greater reward: Though authentic manhood is challenging, sacrificial, and burdensome at times, it is also quite fulfilling and deeply rewarding. The example of Jesus in Herb. 12:1,2 reveals that He endured the cross because of the joy that was set before Him. In other words, Jesus was empowered to endure the agony by the sheer joy of knowing His sacrifice was going to be rewarded by rescuing mankind from sin, death, hell, and the grave. One wonders what might be reclaimed, restored, and rescued in this generation, if men today had this same godly perspective?
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We see this same powerful insight in the life of Moses. Hebrews 11:24-26 states, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”
How about you, O man of God? Are you going to give in to the dictates of the Spirit of the Age, your carnal desires, and a natural inclination towards irresponsibility for temporal self-gratification or will you repent and return to authentic Biblical manhood and receive the eternal reward? I believe our God, our nation, our wives and our children await an answer.
© 2013 - Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas - All Rights Reserved