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Mid Week Reflections
Servants of God,
 
Speaking authoritatively seems to shame, judge, and make claims upon people, all of which are anathema to contemporary individualistic society. However, carefully spoken words of authority can be life-giving. They can give direction and meaning to people who are lost, hope to those in despair, light to those in darkness, and clarity to those in doubt.”
-Alistair Roberts

“We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.
We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
-C.S. Lewis
 
What is happening to men? Saturday, Marcia and I stopped to help two young men who had a flat tire. They were bright, articulate, college guys who grew up in the big city. Neither knew much about changing a tire. It was a joy to help them, but it was also a sobering moment. Here were two smart, strong, college-educated men who lacked basic “man skills”. Our culture is failing young men.

Have you heard of Jordan Peterson? I first learned of him from the twenty-something man I am closest to. Peterson is a professor of clinical psychology at Toronto University who gained the world’s attention by openly opposing a Canadian law that forced people to use certain pronouns in addressing transgender persons. He refused to use made-up pronouns and called it nonsense. His battle was not against transgenderism as such, but against forced speech. He has become a champion who opposes totalitarianism and promotes personal responsibility. He is an international phenomenon on YouTube.

Peterson articulates a type of compassionate authority that once was common in families when fathers confidently instructed children to be responsible and rational human beings. Such wisdom has become rare as radical feminism and social utopianism have painted Western culture as destructively “Patriarchal”. Political correctness is cultural Marxism. It has gained a death grip on academia in America (particularly at the University level) and throughout the Western world. It is an attack on the foundational ideas of Western culture which are Christian in origin. Young people are being instructed in all sorts of nonsense. Few are courageous enough to oppose the experts who assure us that life will be wonderful and “fair” if we just get rid of all the worn-out notions of the Bible.  

Jordan Peterson does not speak as a Christian, although he embraces much of the Christian worldview. He is a proponent of the psychological school of the Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung. He calls for and attempts to practice personal responsibility and speaking truth. He questions the notions of the leftist who want to breakdown long-held beliefs and social systems of Western societies. They like it not at all. He is labeled as a hater, a bigot and worse. Peterson soldiers on in the face of massive opposition.

Young men are particularly drawn to Peterson’s down-to-earth instructions about living a responsible, purposeful, and respectful life in a world gone mad with utopian dreams. He calls upon young people in general to “clean up your own room” before you try to fix social systems or rearrange the economy. His point is that change begins with getting yourself right before you try to change the world.  He calls young men to embrace their masculinity in a responsible way and to stop trying to be like women. Peterson is not a Christian, but he does cite the Bible as a helpful source of authority.

Have you noticed how the American evangelical church is embracing the notions of political correctness? Destruction, like Carl Sandburg’s fog, comes in on little cat feet. Male leadership in churches is grounded in the Created Order of God, modeled on spiritual leadership in both the Old and New Testaments and has been consistently practiced for twenty centuries in the church. It was not until the 1960s that male leadership in American churches began to be seriously challenged. For the past five or six decades the social push has been for men to become softer and more like women. Conversely, women have been pushed to be more masculinized and now we have a flood of gender confusion. If you hold to the biblical teaching of binary humanity consisting of males and females each gloriously created in the image of God and divinely suited to equal but different roles, you will be ridiculed and shamed.

Peterson argues for personal responsibility and for men to be men and women to be women, but that has been the rightful message of God’s people for millennia. How has the church become so mute?

The answer is simple: the church has rejected the Bible as an authoritative word from our Creator. The church has been devangelized by the lies of evolution and scientism. Instead of boldly speaking gospel truth that can set men and women free to be fully human, we have run into our holy huddles and licked our proverbial wounds and cried uncle. Now, we just play at being holy because to engage in the real thing would mean we openly oppose the oh-so-popular nonsense around us.

Isn’t it time for bold and clear speech by God’s people? The church in America is facing some gigantic challenges. As cultural Christianity dissipates it becomes clear that many who call themselves Christian are nothing more than worldlings wearing crosses around their necks while they chase after idols. There is little stomach in the American church for a fight with academic experts who are so brash and bold. Christians swallow the lies of the secular media hook, line and sinker then wonder why our children leave the church. Dear brothers and sisters, they are not leaving the church, they are simple openly and honestly declaring their long-held allegiance to the gods of this age which most of them inherited from their parents who have been tepid and confused about the Christian life themselves.

God’s word is truth (John 17:17). When Christians genuinely study it and apply it to their lives in the power of the Holy Spirit, they bring blessing to others and glory of God. Too much of the push for “equality” and “social justice” is a smoke screen for tyranny. Life has never been totally equal. There is genuine diversity of gifts and talents and callings and opportunities. Those who are pushing for “social justice” and “fairness” pervert true justice and equal opportunity. Until we are part of the New Heavens and the New Earth (where righteousness dwells) we will be in a world where we must teach truth and seek the will of God with humble hearts.

I am thankful for Jordan Peterson and all who pursue truth and justice. God tells us that human beings cannot get their minds and hearts and actions right until they surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. He has been granted all authority in heaven and on earth.

Let men become gloriously male and women gloriously female and let God be praised and the life-changing gospel of Jesus be proclaimed.

Blessings,

Pastor John

Coram Deo