Christian MGTOWs: What Do You Want?

I’ve been contemplating this a bit. If possible, I am looking for some serious discussion about this and feedback as I am very, very interested in people’s thoughtful answers.

If necessary, allow me to explain where I’m coming from with the question. Obviously, I identify a great deal with the MGTOW movement and school of thought as well as MRAs and the issues they confront. Like many Christian MGTOWs, I’m sick and tired of what we have and don’t have in churches. We get “Men Step Up” or other accountability groups that are willfully ignorant of men’s realities, lack any sort of restorative and protective spirit towards men, and consequently, just don’t come across like they even care about the men to whom they “minister.” It’s the boot camp school of thought at best, and at worst, it’s a loveless demonization, condemnation, and an atmosphere that reduces men to performance objects (in great part, of course, for women).

I complain and protest it with no intention of quitting doing so. The other thing I do is this: produce something like what I want to see. Sometimes a man or woman needs a rebuke or boot camp, as it were. I often say–though it’s FAR too simple of a way to illustrate this overall, but may convey the imagery–it looks like men get almost nothing but “boot camp,” with women getting nothing but the “nurse’s office” (and major softball when it comes to their sins by comparison).

Yes, I’m sick and tired of real attention and real ministries and real responses to problems with an understanding, responsive, gentle, protective, supportive spirit seeming to go almost exclusively to women. If I’m talking to MRA/MGTOW crowds, this needs no introduction.

But once again, then: what do you want? Now that you have left churches and mainstream society for very understandable reasons, what do you want to proceed to build? My answer is found all over this blog as a starter–what’s yours?

I can see that MGTOWs want to be heard. Briefly, I would plug that it tests the faith to remember that God hears when no one else does, cares when no one else cares, and the world is no match for His power. Keeping all that in mind, I pray that Christian MGTOWs will continue to turn to the Lord.

How illustrative could you get as far as what you would like churches to look like as opposed to what they are now?

I don’t have a one-track mind with men’s rights in Christianity, so my primary interest is the church and ALL of Scripture’s principles materializing in it. As far as the church, then:

*If you were to be heard, what would you tell your local church, EXACTLY, what you would like to see them do?

*In the spirit of the saying “if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself,” if you’ve given up on churches, what would you like to do yourself while existing churches prove incurable?

*What would you like to see become of Christian MGTOWs in terms of building what you want to have? How will you influence it to go in that direction?

It’s no question that nature abhors a vacuum. Identifying a problem is the unavoidable first step toward making a solution. With MGTOWs being exhaustively descriptive about what they don’t want, where I see most of the discussion leaving things is with a vacuum. Yes, I understand that that’s kind of the point of “Going their own way” to leave it open-ended for the individual. For those of us who believe in Scripture’s teachings, and of course the overall implications of the problems of things today, I am greatly interested in both ideological and vivid descriptions of action that illustrate what Christian MGTOWs desire and a place where they could feel at home.

One thing I want to see is some more horsepower coming from women in the way so much tends to be consumed by women. For example, I want to see women say “Eek! Abused men don’t have any DV resources! Let’s act and organize to change that!” And the reason is because women do so to such great extent for themselves and men’s donated energies and resources have so much to do with the culture’s responsiveness to them. Suffice it to say, it’s important for the energy flow to be a two-way street more than it is, if only for men to have more left over for their own gender. But I believe in spiritual family being alive and active between genders.

In any case, please, your thoughts!

Can We Reclaim the Phrase “Be a Man”?

Boys and men, we’ll “become something great!”

I’m not sure how common it is for men and boys to hear this, but let me tell you, I have heard words to this effect a lot. “Greatness” has been prophesied over me constantly throughout my life (not saying whether or not such words came from legitimate prophets). By greatness, I mean in terms of accomplishments and the effect that I would have in the world. If everyone who has said that to me in my life is right, then great! However, that will be by the Lord’s will and power, not mine.

But what if a man doesn’t become something “great” in some way that scintillates for all the world to see? Can he still be loved? Can he still have value? (Note: I am not the slightest criticizing or doubting the well-meaning of anyone who is positive toward men and boys about their potential at all–I am just using it to make a different point for us as men to examine our hearts. 😉 )

1 Thessalonians 4:11

And that you study to be quiet, and to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you

With my personal romances of world-conquest (I exaggerate, but perhaps one could catch my drift) this once seemed kind of like a downer to me. Isn’t the world out there full of things to go out and achieve and go out and get?

1 Timothy 6:6-7

 But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.

And YET, there is much to be embraced about being a man! We can enjoy our own strength, enjoy any personal victories in our lives.

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?

When we want to become something great, can we do it without meaning, “great” compared to others? Can we handle thinking of it simply in terms of the challenges of our own lives, moment-to-moment, never resorting to comparison to others (positive or negative).

Galatians 6:4

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,

We love to feel strong, powerful, and like we can take down great obstacles. Though as we do so, Jesus says:

Matthew 6:25
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

I’m not going to “achieve greatness” or go out and succeed to prove my worth. I’m going to use my strength to provide for myself (and others, as becomes necessary/possible) because I have value to begin with! (As do others)

What’s the point of strength, intelligence, any aptitude or form of material gain, if not to serve the innate and irrevocable value of life? How is it that men are tricked into treating themselves like they exist for food and clothes, rather than the other way around, to legitimize their value? Oppressors in the world reverse the order of those whom they oppress, treating them like one’s value must be earned with strength, while showing no interest in anything else that threatens them. Unfortunately, the MGTOW/manosphere is the only avenue which begins to address ways this happens to men adequately. As I harp on, it’s even unwilling to address the topic of problems like pornography and lust with methods in the vein of “For by way of the prostitute a man is brought to a loaf of bread.” (Proverbs 6:26). The topic of sexual purity and the way churches usually handle the matter is perhaps the most telling behavior indicating mainstream Christianity’s commitment to hating men–refusing to approach the matter in terms of a man’s innate value versus the forces that try and dehumanize him. And that is because it is they who participate in devaluing men as much as anyone, trapped with a problem they can’t adequately solve because of only being armed with paradoxical attitudes toward men; yes, they want results from men, but they refuse to minister to the value to the person. They condemn, they demonize, they refuse to love (easily contrasted in the ministry that women can commonly be seen receiving), but like great Pharisees, they list duties without lifting a finger to help. (Matthew 9:36) They enslave–the word “pastor” means “shepherd,” but what sort of shepherd pays no attention to wolves? Where is the talk about that which threatens men, where rather most of today’s leaders merely demonize men, ignore the wolves, and try to convince men that they are pack-mules without value unto themselves?

If that all sounds like a tangent, it’s not: we have to be on guard against the false teachings of the world and their sources. It is incredibly important for men not to be ignorant of the poison fed by the world.

Some might say that my comments here are obvious, but apparently not if so many Christian men are caught feeling like their value as human beings decreases with their lack of effectiveness in earning money or various other measures of material success, and with many false teacher actively shaming men for struggling to succeed materially. And no, Adam did not receive a curse that makes this happen to men. Or, shaming any words that minister to the healing and protection of men (words which are abundant in Scripture and overflowing in today’s women’s ministries). But yes, thank God, we are fearfully and wonderfully made as men, and the strength and fortitude that we have as men is a GREAT thing to enjoy in every way! It is a gift to us – to give back to God – to use for the purposes of life and seeking the Lord.

“Be a man”? You bet! 🙂 Not a pack mule, not a machine, not a loaf of bread (Proverbs 6:26), but a man!

Making Sure We are not a “Feminist” Bride of Christ

Yeah, I know some guys are like “bah don’t feminize me!1!!11!” with this kind of language. Except it’s the language of the Bible. 😉 It’s exactly the reason why submissive women can be such a powerful ministry to men, because they can model to men how we are similarly submissive to God (1 Peter 3).

So on that note . . . I mean to write to the audience of men who are on guard. 1 Corinthians 11:3 begins describing the hierarchy of God to Christ to man and to woman. In that model, Paul says “he is the image of God, but woman is the glory of man. Man was not made for woman, but woman for man.” This is an important thing to remember with so much language used today which really inverts this stuff–of course men need to be considerate and minister to their wives in love, but a lot of language used to describe marriages starts to sound an awful lot more like an attitude of men being made for women as much or more than vice-versa, even in the “biblical gender roles” circles.

Back to 1 Peter 3, however, we can see how wives minister to their husbands not by preaching, but by being the model of Christ’s submissive bride to her husband. But for men who are on guard to protect themselves in the post-feminist world, let’s make sure we’re not feminists toward God, as a matter of opportunity for meditation.

 

*Do we truly understand that God was not “made for us,” just existing for the sole purpose of being useful to us for what we want? Or do we realize that we submit to Him in everything, that we were made FOR Him and not the other way around?

*Do we realize that life is all about being molded to God’s lead, to be conformed constantly to His purposes?

*Do we realize that we are not “independent” or “strong” or “like a boss” before God just as women are not to be so before men? Or can we learn to embrace our fundamental need for Him for every aspect of our provision and protection, quiet and listening (James 1:19), and vulnerable?

*Do we serve God because we are trying to “earn” or “prove” something, or is it out of love and obedience to Him, and in humble gratitude for all He’s done for us?

Hm . . . it’s sad to think of how scarily similar the attitudes of men and women both towards God can look to the way feminists treat men. Feminism is a fundamental rebellion, of course, and many recognize the fact; but I believe it makes for a useful meditation for searching our hearts and removing any pollution. 😉

A Man Does Not Need a Woman to be “Accomplished” or “Good Enough.”

How many have heard something of an axiom that women love confidence in a man? I have known a number of men who have been desperate to get a girlfriend and that kind of man always seems like one who has the hardest time actually getting one!

I talk a lot about women being treated like prizes for a man. Part of that includes women who eagerly get out the hoops for other men to jump through for her sake–a power game. Likewise–and even out of women’s own mouths I’ve heard this–even wives will use sex with their husbands like rewards for them, as well as withholding themselves as punishment.

The scene is horrible and sinful, but I just want to call attention again to men’s “need” for women as an affirmation that he should already have; a godly woman is attracted to a “man on a mission” and be a helper in every way. The man who is exciting and downright unpredictable, maybe even introducing some dangers, can utterly inspire a corresponding adventuresome spirit in a woman. And the adventure–the man’s true hunt–is for God, who enlightens, fulfills, protects, and brings men to life in His love.

Here is the central point I want to make at the moment: whether you want a wife or girlfriend or no woman at all, there is a major need to attack this notion that a woman is an indicator of a man being “good enough.” The unfortunate fact is that many married men receive only a severely tainted and polluted love from their wives–love that is very conditional or half-hearted, fundamentally not considering a man intrinsically worth as much as themselves (equally unfortunate is a married woman who is unloved). We have a MAJOR weak point if a woman’s love, happiness, and/or approval is tied to our sense of worth, and it’s opened the door for many women to get on a judgmental high-horse as far as men are concerned and many other forms of exploitation.

 

God gave Eve to Adam for a reason, and it wasn’t for this hoop-jumping nonsense. She is responsive, nurturing, encouraging, and just plain works hard just like a man does in the joint-effort of the daily grind. Spiritually, they are also to be eager participants to the fullest of their abilities in the Body of Christ. The feminine woman offers an atmosphere of total safety–NOT a challenge on behalf of some evil “prove your worth” scheme.

The Godly woman will love a man’s attitude of an utterly nothing-to-prove confidence, and this is pretty much common knowledge. She’ll love your fortitude that not even SHE can move you in your determination of self-preservation–to love yourself, as Christ loves you–and to follow your mission which is for the Lord, as that what PRECEDES a man’s abilities fulfill a woman’s needs: a man is to love his wife as his own flesh (which is to say, the foundation of this is that a man knows how to love and protect himself). He simultaneously does not settle with taking damage from a woman but is also patient with her with a godly patience.

But there are women with a parasite’s attitude toward a man, manipulative with emotion, treating men like he’s to have unlimited blood for her to drain. She’s totally her worst enemy for getting anything that she actually needs from a man.

There are obviously GREAT reasons for a man to want to find a wife! But it’s really important to understand situations (i.e. relationships) that can defeat the purpose of their intent.

It begins with knowing that a man is “good enough” today, inasmuch as having a wife is not the deciding factor either way. If we think (even unconsciously) we need a woman to be “good enough,” it’s immediately a sign that we need to re-examine ourselves and find our worth in Christ.

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The love that comes from God is one that esteems our value of the utmost preciousness BEFORE we did anything to “earn” it–while we were still POWERLESS and even sinful! Any message that says otherwise–that a man has to earn his value elsewhere–is from Satan and in conflict with God. And Satan would cook up any scheme imaginable to rob us of the surpassing love and riches of Christ.

Let’s shut this door and nail it shut so nothing can steal our value from us, married or not! 😉

Why the Manosphere Does Not Need to be Angry or Bitter

There’s no doubt about it: reading about men’s real-world issues can easily cause extreme personal frustration and upset. Of course, we’re reading about “bad news,” which in itself is no fun to dwell on, but on the other hand, truth is truth; is the Bible itself devoid of discussion about injustices and the unpleasantness of sin? No one who has the slightest knowledge of Scripture would ever claim so. The important thing is to have an answer for every thought that we get–not to end up with a thought that begets destruction to ourselves.

2 Corinthians 10:5

We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,

What is it that’s infuriating when reading about men’s issues and facing our realities? Now of course, bad news is bad news, and the world is full of it; injustices left and right. However, to quote the comedian Bill Burr (like most comedians, he uses a crassness that I don’t condone) in a stand-up I came across: “I envy women. I’m not saying all your problems get solved, but at least they’re taken seriously!”

To me, that’s the mixed blessing about reading men’s rights stories. On the one hand, I feel like I’m in the company of people calling a spade a spade: it is unbelievable how many issues men have that are unique to us that get so little attention, so little serious energy directed at attempting to solve, and in fact, it’s a bold thing even to speak about men’s issues. While women’s problems are declared from rooftops, men’s are in parentheses in a gracious moment. The mere mention of, say, men’s well-founded concerns about the likelihood of getting divorced and destroyed in family court or the lack of domestic violence resources for men–and just so many more I could easily list–we have to worry about coming across as offensive, let alone that barely anyone puts the level of energy that goes to women’s problems. As of this writing, there is not even a single federal level department dedicated specifically to any need of men and boys with a multitude of programs and an abundance of taxpayer resources dedicated to women.

Christian culture isn’t any better and often exposes gross hypocrisies when speaking of masculine responsibilities (accurately or not) without even a word of protective or restorative sentiment to men in a culture of unprecedented and intentional attacks on masculinity from feminism. If we can’t protect men, as a culture, then we can’t protect women, because it’s men who are simply expected to do the “provide and protect” small-scale and large-scale. And if it’s confusing what I mean by “protective” and “restorative,” just check out virtually any women’s ministry!

Angry yet? 😉

I’ve burned up and cried out to God a number of times over this. Clearly there’s such a thing as righteous indignation over injustice and it’s common to see women afforded that by the boatloads (i.e. “a man shouldn’t treat you like that” messages). Men are usually utterly deprived of the same caliber of loving ministry.

God’s answer to me was to the effect of: “You think YOU’RE mad?” In my cry out to God, He made very, very real to me the sheer wrath and punishment being stored up against those responsible for this scene, including “Christians”; multitudes–of women, especially–will have to answer for why they had one level of passion, one level of indignation, one level of energy unto action (be it time, money, resources, etc.) for the needs of women and a fraction at best for the needs of men. Many would claim that their love for men is evidenced in the treatment of their husbands and sons, and yet, while that is questionable, what of the world–law, culture, and society–that their male relatives, whom they “love,” have to live in?

Matthew 25:45-46

Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

So why does this thought set me free from anger? Because suddenly any notion of anger feels like going to war with a squirt gun against people who are about to be victims of a nuclear strike! It feels downright ridiculous! I know that my anger cannot generate a single degree of heat compared to what God has in store for this sin against men for whom Christ died.

Romans 12:19-20

Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Note the phrase “leave room for God’s wrath.” When I realize what comes to the unrepentant sinner, I’m quite genuinely moved to sympathy. What God can do to someone who harms me is so far beyond anything that any human could possibly do! (Matthew 10:28) Suddenly I’m moved to be on God’s good side more than anything, firstly, and then minister toward the good of the person after I “leave room for God’s wrath.” My own anger washes away–what’s the point? God’s wrath is comparable to millions of degrees of heat; my anger is pathetic by comparison!

Therein lies the message of God’s love: it matters when we are hurt.

1 Corinthians 3:17

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

That would be gender-neutral “him” folks. God will not tolerate harm women do to men any more than vice-versa, nor will He put on the kid gloves with women the way the modern West (particularly) comparatively takes women’s sin against men so much more lightly than the reverse. I’ve heard a lot of references to Jezebel over the years, and rightly so, since Revelations refers to Jezebel as something of a recurring character (Revelations 2:20). And there’s one thing notable about the story of Jezebel which I haven’t heard mentioned in all the discussion, and that’s the way that she died: killed by her eunuchs, the men she emasculated (2 Kings 9:32-33).

God cares about men, even if today’s world values men so much less. And there’s more to be said about God’s justice and the powers of our prayer, and God WILL hear those of men who cry out.

Luke 18:1-18

18 Now Jesus was telling the disciples a parable to make the point that at all times they ought to pray and not give up and lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and had no respect for man. There was a [desperate] widow in that city and she kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice and legal protection from my adversary.’ For a time he would not; but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will give her justice and legal protection; otherwise [a]by continually coming she [will be an intolerable annoyance and she] will wear me out.’” Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says! And will not [our just] God defend and avenge His elect [His chosen ones]who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay [in providing justice] on their behalf? I tell you that He will defend and avenge them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?”

I would urge considering the notion of the word “quickly” in this passage, as I have claimed it in prayer myself to great effect; it is not referring to the day of final judgment. How could it? There’s simply no way a human judge could be SLOWER than that, and Jesus is clearly comparing the speed of God’s vengeance here to the slowness of a human who doesn’t care.

Therefore, to men who are on this wavelength, pray with persistence for justice on your own behalf, while praying for souls. God loves you enough to protect you, pull-no-punches. These two notions are not in conflict.

2 Timothy 4:14

Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

This is a matter of confidence of God’s love for us and how much it matters to Him when we are hurt by others–in fact, that is the first step toward forgiveness, in which we release the debt that we are due for the sin committed against us.

 Ephesians 3:16-19

May He grant you out of the riches of His glory, to be strengthened and spiritually energized with power through His Spirit in your inner self, [indwelling your innermost being and personality], 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your faith. And may you, having been [deeply] rooted and [securely] grounded in love, 18 be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love];19 and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].

Amen! God give us strength!

The Greatest Milestone in a Man’s Life

I had the benefit of receiving Christ as a child–as far as I remember back. I remember being water baptized at age 8. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues for the first time, at age 21.

At the same time – like most people, I imagine – I gave lots of attention to planning out my life and the decisions that I would make to shape it for my duration on the Earth. Of course, this never really ends during a person’s life, but as a child, envisioning mere decades ahead feels like a sort of “judgment day” in itself. How many of us can remember school teachers assuring us that we better pay attention in class, lest we be condemned to being a fast food worker for life? For sure, Proverbs describes a number of benefits of discipline and hard work for material gain, and a child has a lot to learn about such things and the world around him. Yet Christ’s preaching about the Kingdom of Heaven makes clear that obtaining eternity utterly necessitates leaving behind everything of the world that is sure not to follow us into eternity either way.

A child usually looks forward to a lot of milestones in his life that require work to obtain, as a matter of standard fare:

*Getting a driver’s license
*Graduating High School
*Getting a first job
*Getting married
*Having children
*Graduating College
*Rising in Career
*Developing a Skill
*Owning a Home

To all such things, we tend to attach a great deal of romance. Most of us long for a sense of “accomplishment,” as almost everything on this list requires a great deal of work of the hands.

Ecclesiastes 9:9
Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun–all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.

Solomon was given a special gift of wisdom, and this is his sentiment regarding our lives with all of its work and all of its milestones. Surely he’s pouring ice-water on the fire of our passions for the various romantic milestones of our lives, calling absolutely all of it “meaningless.” What does Scripture say regarding the romantic confidence that character will produce a material result?

James 4:13-15
13 Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money.
14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].
15 You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing].

Or the romance of conquering the world?

Matthew 16:26
26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed [a]life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] [b]life [in the kingdom of God]?

The great stuff we have or can get from the world with some amount of work?

1 John 2: 15-17

15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].

17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.

Through all of these commonplace life objectives, some of us receive something exceptional at some point in our lives, which is the gift of Christ.

Is it obtained as an accomplished adult?

Luke 18:16-17
But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Faith with its rewards isn’t something you work to get. It’s a reason why you work hard because you already have a gift handed to you. After we receive the kingdom of God in the heart and the Spirit of God who enables, we are truly able to produce fruit unto genuinely good and lasting work. (Luke 17:21)

But I still want to talk about masculinity! 😉

In today’s world, many men are rightly complaining about masculinity portraying men like objects of productivity and the depreciation of their personhood. We can see men, historically, pursuing sciences, building things, fighting in wars, great thinkers and philosophers, but what is it that a man is doing as he does those things that are less socially oriented but pointed out toward nature and the elements outside of people? Looking for God.

“For the head of man is Christ.” A man goes straight for Christ in the wild, with the power of socially-independent thinking. He discovers the truths of nature and uses it to build–materially or otherwise. He ventures bravely into the wild to discover, getting what he needs for himself from the Lord’s provision . . .

. . . to be God’s “child” and His “bride,” so greatly loved, docile and obedient before Him and totally dependent on Him. He receives all of his instruction from God and returns to society with no timidity–quite the contrary, he now has what it takes to be a leader, unafraid to override the feelings, ebbs and flows of society around him, not a “mist driven by a storm.” He loves himself, filled by God from his adventure, and loves others as himself, entailing suffering negative reactions from those around him for love’s sake–love, essentially a force that creates. Much like all of a man’s hunting and survival instincts, he goes out and finds in the wild and returns it to others, builds and fights with it.

“The head of woman is man.” A step lower on the authority hierarchy, women will more focus on looking for God from people as man brings it back to her, also with equal courage to follow where it leads.

The greatest milestone of a man’s life is made in the boldness of his heart to independently receive Christ (Matthew 11:12, Hebrews 11:6, Luke 11:10). The victories aren’t a material world-conquest in essence, but are won in the heart, as a man discovers God and hears Him speaking to a man in his work: great victories alone in his room, on a hike in the wilderness, building what he builds, exploring the “wild” in which he can achieve line-of-sight with God as His child and utterly docile and submissive bride. A “real man” seeks God beyond the scope of society, Who in all reality was calling him (John 15:16) as a child or a bride of total dependency. The rest of his life, for however long it lasts with whatever other “milestones” are accomplished, is nothing and everything at the same time–though the “meaningless life” that Solomon describes perishes unto absolutely nothing, a man will constantly receive from his heavenly Father freely, stand firm among others, and with an ability to provide and lead with all that he receives from his heavenly Father.

Showing Wives Grace When They Sin Against Husbands

“Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and he receives favor with the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22

I’d be the first to follow up this quote with a note about the “contentious woman” myself (a marriage with whom is worse than no wife at all), but before we pour ice water on the fire, let’s set aside a woman’s behavior for a moment and consider the Lord’s sentiment. He has sent men a helper who could not have been better made.

“Woman is the glory of man.” (1 Corinthians 11:7) She has come from us and for us. (1 Corinthians 11:8-9) They aren’t angels any more than we are, and require grace just like we do, and God’s power to do good, just like us.

She is dependent on us, on so many levels, just as we are for God. They look to us to form their sense of purpose, and are built to be adaptable for how we need them to help. They require our energy to be energized.

Like with men, it’s not ever guaranteed that we take out what we put in. Sometimes we aren’t appreciated by our employers or the people around us despite our best efforts. Even slaves are commanded to serve harsh masters as the Lord (1 Peter 2:18), not because we’ll be credited as we are due on Earth, but because God is watching (Ephesians 6:6). Our Earthly authorities can be unloving and downright cruel to us! (James 5:4, Matthew 20:25) That’s why men, who are indeed an authority over women, need to make the effort not to pass on what we so often receive from Earthly authority, but rather pass on the example of the loving authority of Christ. (Ephesians 5:25) Likewise, wives can utterly sin against their husbands and fail to return what a man gives them to work with, disobeying God’s commands to women, betraying the fact that God gave man a good gift and a suitable helper as someone to love as much as she loves herself. (Genesis 2:18)

But gentlemen: “whoever loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28)  A wife is flesh of her husband’s flesh. (Genesis 2:23)It is wrong for a man to be harmed, including by his wife–this is part of understanding our love for ourselves.

“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19

I want men to love themselves, and therefore be persistent in love of their wives. The problem that many men tend to observe is that so little attention is paid to the harm women can cause a man in the modern world, and part of that may be because people fear men may somehow feel justified in harming their wives.

Nonsense! Affording someone the notion that someone who harms him (including to men from women) is wrong is a basic sentiment of love and no one should be deprived of that, and that is the foundation of extending grace. And, persistently loving one’s wife is still part of the same principle.

*Let’s acknowledge the need to love ourselves, including the understanding that women’s sin against us is wrong.

*Let’s therefore be PERSISTENT in loving ourselves by extending grace to her no matter what, because she is “flesh of our flesh,” and whoever loves his wife loves himself!

And I pray for the sake of both husband and wife that, by some means, the gift that God made of woman for man will emerge from every woman. Today’s is a complicated situation, in which most of us were raised on lies. In the post-feminist world, women are practically commended for challenging and even doing harm to men (and certainly paying no regard for a man’s authority). Femininity is treated like an inferior and even useless trait, like something a woman ought to escape rather than embrace, and take to competing with men.

As mentioned, most people tend to recognize the need to help an abused party (someone who is sinned against) heal, support, encourage, and restore. The very least that needs to be done is help an abused person understand that what he or she experienced was completely wrong and not something he or she deserved, which is a major issue if the sin continues unquestioned for a very long time. Yet the calls in Christian culture to return to biblical gender roles–hasty to impose notions of masculine duties on men–all but completely ignores the need to make a priority of this for a man in most observable ministry.

Somehow or another, then, many men are figuring out that not only have they been sinned against a great deal by women (in marriage or in society/culture), not only are those sins usually unchallenged and even commended, but even the schools of thought that implicitly renounce certain behavior in women (complimentarianism) have the gall to rush to demand masculine duties out of men before making much of any noticeable effort to help, heal, restore, and protect them.

As men, we have a lot of forgiving to do. We are right to be angry about this–because God is, as well. In fact, there is nothing we could ever, ever do to punish our debtors (including wives who are unrepentant in hurting their husbands) with the thoroughness that God can. (Romans 12:19, Matthew 10:28) He loves each of us–men and women–and did not make us to be sinned against. Wives were not sent to harm their husbands: “She does him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:12)

After we understand what we are owed, we are called to forgive others as God forgave us. (Mark 11:25) Many women are also struggling to learn and understand, and–again, like each of us–we’re called to show grace for every step, passing on the Lord’s grace. (Romans 2:4)

Normally I don’t write about marriage; I put an emphasis on the spiritual protection of men without treating men like their usefulness is the only dimension of their worth. That takes a lot of doing in itself, and next, a husband’s act of loving his wife, not being harsh with her, forgiving – not excusing! – her sin against him, is encompassed in the act of loving himself.

Hearing God’s Voice, Versus the Enemy’s

To let this out up front, this post is quite personal, but is such an important point for us. We must be able to tell God’s voice apart from the enemy’s. There are so many Biblical passages I could cite that I’m going to assume familiarity with the basic, pervasive messages of the Bible.

I caught myself today. My thoughts stream through rather heavy subjects almost no matter what I’m doing (I happened to be exercising), so I can’t particularly remember how my thoughts segued into this, but I considered this passage:

Hebrews 12:5-6

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

I got a little bit whiny about this–but not in the way you might think. I considered an awful lot of struggles and hardships that I encountered over the years (as it happens, things are really on the upswing recently albeit still with a struggle). But basically I thought perhaps I was being punished. And I complained to God, haven’t I been asking daily for correction, to hear God’s voice, to dedicate every moment of my life to following You?

And then it hit me: who accused me of sinning? Who was condemning me? My sentiment to God was as if God never said a word to me, which could not be farther from the truth: He has been speaking to me continuously! And everything He says to me is truly empowering.

I considered Biblical figures like Job and Joseph and many others, were they being punished or rebuked for sinning? Clearly they were not, but God was definitely in the process of refining them.

So what happened, when I was caught complaining to God, and for a moment, felt like He was like an enemy? Well, I was not hearing his voice! It was another voice at work: an accuser! The fact is that God is not the only voice that tries to speak to us, and other voices that speak to us will claim to speak for God.

John 10:27

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

We must know the nature of God: He loves us. He is a God who answers prayer. Consider: have you ever spent an enormous amount of your time and energy to obtain something? Have you worked hard for a goal? And once you obtained something that you spent all of that time/money/effort obtaining, aren’t you serious about taking care of what you bought.

Our Heavenly Father bought us with His Son! How could He have paid a higher price? And since He paid such a high price, is He not interested in taking care of His investment?

Praise the Lord, He is invested in us! He answers prayer, supplies all of our needs according to His riches and glory, training us in every way.

Unfortunately we know the better part of the world does not follow God, and Satan speaks lies as truth–lies that steal, kill, and destroy.

To speak in general terms, lies are extremely abundant. They come from theologies that do not agree with the Bible: masses of people who will enable their “leaders” to say what their itching ears want to hear and feign submission to the truth–false humility; “leaders” who appeal to people’s worldly and fleshly attachments versus the unmovable truth of God.

And it doesn’t matter how many stand up against God. God does not yield to popular opinion, or “leadership” whom man exalts. This may seem obnoxious, but this whole passage is worth seeing for this point:

Luke 6: 21-26

21 Blessed (happy—[h]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition—and [i]to be envied) are you who hunger and seek with eager desire now, for you shall be filled and completely satisfied! Blessed (happy—[j]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition—and [k]to be envied) are you who weep and sob now, for you shall laugh!

22 Blessed (happy—[l]with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, apart from your outward condition—and [m]to be envied) are you when people despise (hate) you, and when they exclude and excommunicate you [as disreputable] and revile and denounce you and defame and cast out and spurn your name as evil (wicked) on account of the Son of Man.

23 Rejoice and be glad at such a time and exult and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is rich and great and strong and intense and abundant in heaven; for even so their forefathers treated the prophets.

24 But woe to (alas for) you who are rich ([n]abounding in material resources), for you already are receiving your consolation (the solace and sense of strengthening and cheer that come from prosperity) and have taken and enjoyed your comfort in full [having nothing left to be awarded you].

25 Woe to (alas for) you who are full now (completely filled, luxuriously gorged and satiated), for you shall hunger and suffer want! Woe to (alas for) you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep and wail!

26 Woe to (alas for) you when everyone speaks fairly and handsomely of you and praises you, for even so their forefathers did to the false prophets.

We can expect to be absolutely bombarded with lies, screamed out by the majority. You may or may not be an actual prophet, but would you listen to a Jeremiah, whose message no one liked and the man ended up looking like a bum? Or will you listen to a man who says what you want to hear, propped up for all to see–propped-up by people ONLY because he says what people want to hear? A man who is essentially a hired hand, with a craft for keeping his customers coming back?

And I see it all the time: the lapses in basic, common sense with people warping theologies in ways that suit them. How will they control truth? By immersing themselves in a mutual admiration society?

1 John 4:4

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

1 John 5:4-5

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

No matter how many shout lies, and no matter how loudly, if you have God on your side, God works out everything around you for your good, including trials:

James 1:2-4

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

For the purposes of men, so many of us awaken to anti-male propaganda in the world. Tirelessly, people craft theories and ideologies that enslave, degrade, and dehumanize men, including warped theologies, such as that insane “Silence of Adam” theology to which I recently responded, and much more. They write to an audience, nothing more. Listen to God. Their agenda is not there.

God meets you where you are. If you are in need of discipline, discipline you will receive until you approach God with a humble, submissive, and dedicated heart that understands everything you have belongs to God. Believe that God answers prayer. Pray for gifts of His Spirit and He will shower them abundantly.

To share something I do quite often, I speak to God when I weigh my thoughts when evaluating things according to His will. One particular story I can share involved a decision that was a very distinct fork in the road: it was one way or the other. NEITHER option was relieving my conscience. I worked it out and used my mind, to reason through it morally, to come at a decision, but the feeling of guilt was relentless. Finally, I spoke to God, explaining what I intended to do, and explained why I reached the conclusion. Time after time I was struck by the Holy Spirit so powerfully while I spoke that i was silenced; I could not put more than two or three words together before I felt that strike–it was not something I “waited” for, but it was so overpowering. The doubt and guilt had gotten so deep into me that I kept speaking, kept explaining. The feeling was overpowering, yet filling, healing, and empowering. And finally it was clear and inescapable that the enemy was tormenting me with lies, and I could not deny it: even if I TRIED to think that my conscience was legitimately condemning me, the force of the Holy Spirit overwhelmed it so greatly that I could not succeed. Quite simply, my Shepherd led me with his voice away from a wolf.` The feelings, that troubled me greatly for at least a year, troubled me no more. Why not? Because God’s voice was like waking from a dream: no matter how “real” the dream feels, the reality of waking truth washes away a dream with a force that will make us forget the lie.

John 8:32

and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

The Lord will lead us far away from lies when we follow, and lead us utterly to life.

I do not in the slightest suggest that I do not struggle with sin. Quite the contrary, the Lord has been working a great deal in me, uprooting layer upon layer of bitterness, but it is by His power, not mine, and it involves taking in His love and empowerment, the good news of grace–setting me free from lies that breached me, freeing me from wolves, enabling me to fight and resist and stand firm. I thank God that He is “here,” even when I feel alone–my tireless good Shepherd.

God Believes in Protecting Men!

Great news: God has a protective attitude toward men. I don’t know how you would figure out such a thing from the main drag of Christian culture, but Scripture tells a great story about men’s value to God. Ultimately, this is also great news for everyone–men and women both.

I’m going to kill two birds with one stone, here. First, I will address a bogus theology: “silence of Adam.” This is a theology that declares conclusively that Adam and Eve were side-by-side as the Serpent tempted Eve, which is true according to the meaning of the original translation, but also assumes that Adam stood silent like a piece of wood all during the Serpent’s dialogue with Eve and while she tempted Adam. Let’s look at the recorded story about that:

Genesis 3:6
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

That’s an extremely simple description of what happened–which suggests, God gave us all the relevant details, although the “silence of Adam” theology ADDS a “relevant” detail, declaring that Adam allegedly stood there absolutely mute beside Eve the whole time.

If you take Genesis 3:6 at face value, Eve didn’t even say a word to Adam either: she just handed him a piece of fruit without saying a single word. But, when God shows up, he says “because you listened to your wife’s voice.” (Genesis 3:17) It is implicitly clear and indisputable that Eve spoke to Adam–it just wasn’t recorded or shown to us in Genesis 3:6.

Since Eve’s words weren’t recorded in the simple, non-detailed description of events of Genesis 3:6, how can you say with certainty whether Adam stood there like wood, or if they had a loud screaming argument before Eve took the fruit? You can’t!

Moreover, what could Adam have said that Eve didn’t already know?

Genesis 3:1-3
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,
but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

So what? Adam should have reminded her of what she just said seconds earlier? “Hey Eve, remember what you said twenty seconds ago? Yeah, that.” Really, people? Some people are so desperate for a very feminist “blame men, women are helpless infants” narrative to come up with a proposal that stupid? There’s no way of knowing whether Adam was silent or not, but what sort of words could have made the difference if Eve already JUST SAID exactly the words that should have been as good as anything to dissuade her from eating the fruit?

The argument for the “Silence of Adam” is that poor, poor victim Eve was “merely” deceived (1 Timothy 2:14) and therefore did not know what she was doing, and poor, victim Eve should have been protected by Adam who “knew better,” suggesting that she is less guilty than Adam; the premise that being deceived makes one less guilty is profoundly and gravely mistaken and very obviously does not hold up against the rest of Scripture.

Being deceived is NOT the same as being ignorant. Those are completely different conditions. It is biblical that the condition of ignorance makes an offense less severe (Luke 12:48). Romans 2:14 even states that those who are outwardly ignorant of the law can be justified by their conscience–they are responsive to God’s law that is written in their hearts minus their ignorance. Likewise, Paul states in Acts 17:30 that God even overlooked the ignorance of the Gentiles until time of Christ. The state of deception is COMPLETELY different: The condition of deception is that you have the truth in front of you, from current or past experience, and you trade it for a lie!

2 Corinthians 11:4

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

Countless Scriptures contrast clearly the conditions of deception and ignorance. Hebrews 6:6 clearly tells us that falling away from God is possible after once knowing the truth to the worst consequences. When Jesus preached, he said this about his opponents:

John 8:12-19

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”

“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

Many times Jesus talks like this about his opponents; that they do not recognize him or that his teaching was true. Yes, in a manner of speaking, they don’t know what they are doing. Scripture also refers to such things as a condition of “blindness,” again, that one cannot recognize the truth when he sees it (2 Peter 1:9, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, John 9:39, and many more). Does that lessen the punishment, then? Not in the slightest, as Jesus is clear that it is their attachment to sin that makes them reject the truth, NOT IGNORANCE, because the truth is directly in front of them and in the Scriptures that they’d always had. The Gentiles on the other hand were genuinely ignorant and less accountable, and this was demonstrated by the fact that many of them easily let go of their inferior understanding in favor of the truth once they finally received it.

The very case in point, how easily the post-feminist Christian world swallows lies like this is deception that has no excuse. It is not ignorance, because–as I am illustrating–the nature of deception versus ignorance is absolutely all over the Scriptures only to be jettisoned by women who keep trying to find ways of portraying themselves as less accountable or innately less sinful or supreme; it is belief in what their itching ears want to hear. Eve was NOT ignorant, as she was fully aware of God’s decree and the consequences of disobedience, but she wandered away from the truth that she knew for a lie from her temptation.

Moving on, whether Adam spoke or not after the temptation, there’s a reason why the Bible does not say, and why it was never followed up with a comment on Adam’s actions other than that he buckled from Eve’s words: it isn’t relevant. If it was relevant, Scripture would have made a point out of it, just as it did Eve’s unrecorded words.

It’s a theology that is based on words totally put in God’s mouth–that simply cannot be denied. Over-reading Scripture, in general to inject theology at a whim is sinful and dishonors God, let alone a theology that makes up something that isn’t even written!

So now onto the next point, which is an alternative look at this event which I can actually support with Scripture unlike the “Silence of Adam” garbage.

Let’s consider a New Testament reference to Eve’s sin:

1 Timothy 2:12
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Let’s take note of verse 14 and really let it digest for a moment.

!!!!!!

Wait, what? Isn’t the Bible otherwise more than clear that BOTH were in the transgression? Didn’t Adam and Eve both sin? Why does Paul say this, as if to suggest that Eve was in “the” transgression, but Adam was (by clear implication) NOT in the transgression?

Well, it’s saying that Adam didn’t sin against Eve, Eve sinned against Adam by way of temptation. And we know how much our sin is compounded when we not only sin ourselves but drag others into sinning.

Mark 9:42
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

This is exactly what Eve did: she caused Adam to sin. The first rebuke ever given to any human being by God in the history of creation began with, “because you listened to your wife.” Eve tempted him and led him to sin: neither the tree in the garden nor the Serpent could push Adam to rebel against God on their own, but only after Eve “was in the transgression” against Adam did he sin. That’s why the fact of “because you listened to your wife” warranted a mention from God–not a mention of “you didn’t say anything to Eve,” not “what are you doing blaming Eve for your actions?”

Is this a reason for Adam to be off the hook for eating the fruit that Eve gave him? Of course not–no one is acquitted of sin because someone else tempted him or her. But the detail is highly significant, as God considered it worth a mention, and so did Paul in 1 Timothy 2:14.

Now if the “Silence of Adam” garbage were actually true, God would surely follow-up somehow on such a significant detail–such a sin against Eve–but forget it, it isn’t there. On the other hand, God’s response to Eve is this:

Genesis 3:16
Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.

And hence, what does Paul reiterate in 1 Timothy 2:12-14? The same conclusion God made: protect men by ensuring that man rules over woman and not vice-versa, because Eve “was in the transgression” toward Adam, NOT the other way around–as Paul reinforces, woman must not “usurp” the authority that God gave man after Eve was “in the transgression” against him after the fall for his protection.

And there you go: all the Scripture lined up in order here without anything missing or added. I have only made a simple conclusion after lining up the Scriptures on the matter and cutting away the godless thinking of false theologies which involve putting words in the mouth of God.

I don’t care who gets red in the face from the sound teaching of Scripture when not a shred of Scripture could possibly be used against my previous claims. But it’s not like God forgot about Eve’s interests when he put Adam in authority in response to this event: how can Adam protect Eve if he himself isn’t protected first? And unfortunately this is so much what we see in the world today: men unprotected, and traditionalists showing up and demanding that men still manage to fulfill notions of male duties.

Praise God, He believes in protecting men! And, such as in cases like Eve, Delilah, Jezebel, and such, He advocates we stand our ground under pressure in our own defense.

“The Universe is a Simulation”

This statement has been an intellectual/philosophical pursuit for many. Descartes entertained those thoughts, complete with the question of, “do even I exist?” He concluded with “I think, therefore I am.”

Descartes had said that, truly, who knows if anything around him exists according to his understanding? Could it all be an elaborate deception of some evil genius? Well, his surroundings might be. But at the very least, an “evil genius” running the simulation could not “simulate”–or falsely make him think–that he thinks.

In summary, Descartes was convinced that he exists, even if the existence/reality of anything else cannot ever be ascertained for certain.

Descartes is just one example of many who have gone down this pathway of thinking (solipsism). But I think there is something absolutely huge to be gained as a mental exercise in our walk with Christ–at least, it does to me. Please allow me to explain.

Let’s say, for a moment, that NOTHING around you actually exists. It’s just a simulation. Now of course, if it’s a simulation, there must be someone running it. And as Christians, we acknowledge the creator of the universe, so in this exercise, God is the creator of the simulator. We can acknowledge two things, then: like Descartes, we can be certain of our own existence (our consciousness), and we can be certain of God’s existence as the one who runs the simulator built specifically around you, the individual.

(please note, as per the mental exercise, I am speaking as if “you” are the only consciousness)

Since it’s a simulation, nothing else actually exists. It’s all meaningless–all the sights and structures, people, places and things are not at all real. Nothing that happens to them actually matters. The only thing that matters–as these are the only things certain to exist–are your consciousness and the consciousness of the one running the simulation. At some point the simulation ends, and you meet the creator of the simulator who has been studying you for evaluation. The one who runs the simulation, of course, also cares nothing about what happens around you so much as the way you respond to everything around you.

When you realize that nothing else exists, you don’t care what happens to it, or even yourself in terms of your current form of existence in it. You do realize, however, that you have a game to play within it, as it were. The rules are set SPECIFICALLY for you in the simulation. You don’t care about what happens in the simulation per se–since everything in it will disappear in the end–but you care immensely that you respond accordingly to everything that the designer has thrown at you.

Here’s the point: it’s so easy to get distressed about outward results, and the world is very good at trying to get us to stress about outward results. Jesus told us that hating our neighbor is the same as murdering him (Matthew 5:22); whether the person hated actually dies or not, the one who hates is guilty of the sin of murder. On the other hand, Jesus did a perfect job of loving those around him and yet even he did not turn up results in the people around him (Matthew 11:20-23); and consider how many came after him and apparently won more souls than even Jesus did when he walked the Earth–now of course that’s mistaken sentiment, but hopefully therein the point is made: we are not judged before God based on the reactions of our environment, for anything, ever. Many people think and speak in terms of outward results directly indicating one’s character: whether he/she marries the right person (or manages to get married, period) and whether his/her marriage is good, the condition of one’s living and financial situation, one’s popularity, one’s success at working in the elements, and so on. Lazarus the beggar–a decidedly “unsuccessful” person who died from his poverty–was raised up to heaven. (Luke 16:19-31) When Jesus met fishermen in Luke 5:5-8, they spent all day long trying to catch fish and failed, and at a certain point Jesus told them simply to do the exact thing they did all day, only from the other side of the boat, and then they achieved success in catching an abundance of fish; there was no lack of effort either way, and of course there was no reason why the fishermen should have thought that casting the net on the other side of the boat would make a difference, except by faith in the word from Jesus, but a whole host of different results occurred nonetheless.

Why do some people judge others and themselves based on the conditions of the simulation versus the heart? Of course, “man looks on the outside, while God looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) We have NO hope but to ascertain another person by outside indicators. When someone (say) dies by being hit by a car, we look at outward evidence to see if it was intentional murder, a legitimate accident, or even if the victim was deliberately committing suicide–the heart makes the difference as to the judgment of the person, not the outward result. We can never truly know another’s heart–that is just our limitation; from our point of view, it’s like a simulation.

The upshot to this is that we’re all on equal footing in that sense: God created my simulation for me, and your simulation for you. No two people’s simulation are exactly alike, but each is fine-tuned for the person. One person’s trials may look entirely different from another, and yet we are told “no temptation has befallen you except that which is common to man.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) Our simulation is unique, and yet our tests, inasmuch as they test us individually, are completely fair, as a period of evaluation.

One sure-fire way of failing the simulation, however, is to evaluate ourselves by the condition of the simulated environment–when we realize that God has total control of the simulation, it should be obvious how foolish this is, just as we are told not to love the simulation (1 John 2:15), and as everything we store up in the simulation will be gone (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Judging by material success goes against countless Scriptures, and so is boasting about riches (Psalm 49), yet sloth is condemned (2 Thessalonians 3:10). What if you teach Scripture truthfully and actually win souls, yet you’re a hypocrite? (Matthew 7:22-23). What if you do a perfectly fine job fulfilling your duties in a marriage, yet the other never responds positively (1 Corinthians 7:16)?

Well, what do the results matter for the time being, for better OR for worse? It’s just a simulation! What counts is the way we respond to everything in it, and to the way God speaks to us within it.

Perhaps this was a long-winded way of going about something obvious–let me know. But it’s one way I think of things to combat the angst of the conditions of the world and the “results” I obtain while in it, versus thinking ONLY in terms of what I do within it while the one who has written my situations for me evaluates me.