Of the greatest sins manifested among many church leaders today is the arrogance to believe that they can somehow improve upon and expedite God’s program for making and teaching disciples of Jesus Christ! Though ancient now, the methods Christ and His apostles empowered by the Holy Spirit used to make disciples (preaching the Gospel) and teach them to obey God’s whole Word were effective (Mark 1:9-20, 3:13-19, 4:10-12, 33-34, 8:27-38; John 20:19-23; Acts 2:1-16, 36-47). Even so, 100% of the people who heard their preaching and teaching did not accept it (John 6:60-71; Acts 4:1-4). Our problem is we want that 100% even if it means doing stuff in the flesh to get them!
The Lord’s approach and example to teaching men as disciples was Self-denying, labor intensive and time consuming. But these are the inescapable realities of spiritual fathering our Lord embraced as well as called, equipped and charged His disciples turned apostles to also do. Church pastors are imperative in the work (John 21:15-17)! Having been a pastor and mentor of boys and men I fully understand the demands especially of time spiritual fathering make on one’s life. However, this is why a pastor equips those he spiritually fathers to do as he does. If he is too busy to do what the Lord has commanded as his priority, then he is too busy! As the Lord leads me to point out in this edited 2013 Commentary, men are being hurt because of disobedience to His commands.
Originally Published September 2013
While our Ministry celebrates every brave incarcerated man that steps out before our Strong Man Of God Rally assemblies to publically pray to receive Christ or rededicate to Him, it saddens me personally to see the great numbers that rededicate. Most of these rededications are men that were Christians before their incarceration for a second or third time. It is certainly true Christians that commit crimes must take personal responsibility for their actions. However, after talking to many of these men it becomes clear that they are not getting the one on one mentoring of a “spiritual father” needed to deepen their walk with Christ in the churches they are members of as I did not early on.1
To be sure, the failure to make committed followers of Christ is a wide spread problem in the churches. Spiritual infancy dominates today in a Western church culture that is more concerned with the numbers than whether members are maturing in Christ. This lack of emphasis on the slow process of making disciples as our Lord commanded is hurting men the most since they are God’s chosen leaders in the home and churches. Many sit and the relative few that serve largely do so as babes in Christ with no intentional plan to disciple them. Once a month meetings and the annual golf tournament are not enough to turn baby Christian men into fiery, maturing disciples of Christ!
As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, teaching his family is a responsibility God assigns every man.2 As the head of the house, a man teaches his wife and children. As a father, he teaches all of the children, but with a special duty to mentor and guide his sons into manhood; his wife, their daughters into womanhood. Beyond their families, aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ imitate Him in taking newborn Christian men under their wing to spiritually father them into maturity. We know this process is slow because our Lord spent more than three years of intensive time with His twelve disciples, then the rest of the lives of those who became faithful apostles (Matthew 4:18-22; John 14:18, 16:12-15).
In the Lord’s “Great Commission,” He commands His disciples to make, baptize and teach new disciples from all of the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). As it concerns teaching, veteran disciples are to teach the new “to observe all things that” Christ had commanded them (vs. 20, NKJV). Teaching what Christ “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV) commanded entails more than just important doctrines, but also all of the thinking, attitudes and behaviors of Christ-likeness we are also to possess in pleasing God the Father as He did (Philippians 2:5). To this end, the apostle Paul also instructed his spiritual sons to teach and pass on what they had learned to men who would do the same with other men also (2 Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 1:1-9, 2:1-5).
To their shame, not only do many pastors and churches not encourage spiritual fathering or mothering in their ranks today, but too many have no formal discipleship instruction at all much less for newborn Christians in the pews who need the “pure milk of the Word” not the philosophical musings of men (1 Peter 2:1-3, NKJV).3 And for the churches that pride themselves on offering lofty sectarian seminary level courses such as Systematic Theology as sufficient to fulfill Christ’s command to teach especially babes, repent! You are causing them to gag and choke in confusion on what is not even biblically organic, but sinful humanly processed and genetically altered meat (1 Corinthians 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:14-16, 3:14-17).
Shame too on you guilty pastors that look down on my work in the prisons as though it were inconsequential when Christ your Judge is recording for Judgment Day how many of the Christians I find there that are members of your churches (Romans 14:10-13; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11)! We salute all of our fellow workers in the prisons filling in what lacks in the churches. To the pastors that need help setting up a discipleship plan for new believers or want to know more about teaching biblical manhood to and spiritually fathering men contact this Ministry or one of our brother Ministries at the National Coalition of Ministries to Men (NCMM).4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read Part 1 of the August 21, 2016 post, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, instruction. I lament the early lack of spiritual fathering that potentially
could have saved me from many painful failures and shortened the inordinate length of my infancy in Christ in the opening of this post and also that of the October 2,
2016 post, Gifted With A Prophet’s Heart, under the category, Call To Repent.
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
3 See the September 25, 2016 post, A Leadership Caused Failure and Pastors As Developing Christian Men posted on December 17, 2017 both under the category,
Call To Repent.
4 Get contact information for Strong Man Ministries and learn about for example, the Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study as an important help in making disciples of
men and teaching them biblical manhood as well as the Ministries that do the same through NCMM on our Web Site.
This edited 2013 Commentary originally published in the print version of this Ministry’s Strong Man Of God Newsletter, was written to incarcerated men throughout Northwest prisons as a first audience. However, in the aftermath of my February 17, 2019 testimony elaboration, “Surrendering All To Jesus,” under the category, Glory To God!, this Commentary has been edited to speak to the man in the pew. From my testimony you see I do know something about being a weak and defeated babe in Christ! I also know all about being one maturing that must daily confess and repent from sin. These truths do not invalidate God’s will that His sons mature in the faith or this exhortation to you!
God has a solution to spiritual immaturity and stagnation--daily die to self and sin and be filled by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:17-24, 5:18)! From the Holy Spirit will come the fire and power to serve God and His purposes. Living this way is why over forty years later I am still on fire for the Lord and refuse to allow spiritually deadbeat Christians and deceitfully sin hardened religionists to turn me around! It is also why in obedience to the Lord and empathy I do not cease prodding professed Christian men to get with God’s program. And you do not have to wait on church leadership to help you (this is the Lord’s perfect will, but so many now, are shamefully disobedient-Matthew 28:19-20).
Originally Published October 2013
In a shocking display of divine authority and holy offense, the Lord Jesus Christ cleared the Temple grounds at Jerusalem of all doing business there (John 2:13-16). His disciples were caught off guard and stood there in amazement at the physically aggressive and loud display of their up to this point, lowly and mild mannered Teacher. “Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up,”’ (Psalm 69:9a; John 2:17, NKJV). Zeal for God and the things of God is a character trait of Jesus Christ, the Strong Man of God and supposedly His disciples! As a general rule, all men are passionate about things that are important to them.
Alicia Keys may have been speaking of an otherwise lonely woman perpetrating an exciting life in her song, This Girl Is On Fire, but this man is on fire as should be all other truly born again Christian men through the fiery indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 20:9; Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:1-4; Revelation 4:5)! Yet, why do I in my zeal for the Lord among pastors and professed Christian men seem to be a freak of Christianity; strange and weird since the Lord’s fire supposedly blazes in all of us?1 Indeed, Holy Ghost fired zeal for the Lord who saved a wretch like me, made me His son and gave my life purpose through putting me into His service burns intensely in and drives me!
It is never far from my memory what a stinker I once was as an unsaved sinner nor is there a day that I fail to see just how very far yet my journey to perfection in Christ is. Still, with a heart like the apostle Paul who I hold up in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, as a most excellent example of zeal for the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:8-10),2 this man too has been on fire for the Lord since fully surrendering to Him in February of 1979 amid seven days of fasting to this moment!3 The great apostle humbly considered himself to be “chief” among and as a result the “first” that the Lord in “mercy” would “save” and put on display as a “pattern” of His “longsuffering” toward “sinners,” (1 Timothy 1:12-17, NKJV). To God’s glory, many including me have come after Paul!
Paul is also an example of persevering, difficult service to God. Thanks to the many impostors and willfully disobedient men and women of manmade Christianity the religion, I have tasted something of the suffering that comes with a zeal filled, sold out devotion to serving the purposes of God on earth in this present age (2 Corinthians 4; 2 Timothy 3:10-12).4 In that service through a previous Commentary, the Lord led me to strongly rebuke pastors and churches for their lack of spiritually fathering Christian men.5 But now, speaking also to the Christian man in the pew, you are not off of the hook; it is high time for you to get your zeal on for Jesus and press into maturity anyhow!
God will surely deal with those pastors and churches that dropped the ball with you if He has not already. However, you must understand that their failures (or anyone else’s for that matter) do not entitle you to fall back into the flesh and your old ways of handling your business so that you end up incarcerated for example, and bringing shame on the Lord’s name. You need to press hard into Christ, the Strong Man of God; the way of zeal and holy fire to live on purpose in dependence on Him, obeying and pleasing Him in everything (Philippians 2:5-8, 3:1-16)! Your spiritually impotent life and that of many of our professed Christian brothers in and outside of prisons prove that neither you nor they have diligently done this! Is Christ not important to you?
Therefore, repent of your half-hearted commitment and obedience to Christ that retards your spiritual growth into maturity. For while I have been blessed to have had many godly men speak timely words into my life and one spiritual father, Rev. Percy N. Manuel, Sr., who has gone on to glory for seven out of thirty-six years of my journey, God has been my Father, Christ Jesus my Teacher and the Holy Spirit my Companion par excellence continually (Psalm 119:97-104; John 14:15-26, 16:12-15)! If you have no spiritual father or mentor, God alone is more than adequate to raise you up as a faithful son, disciple and servant that is on fire for Him--if you are willing (1 Timothy 4:12-16).
1 Read the October 2, 2016 post, Gifted With A Prophet’s Heart, under the category, Call To Repent.
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store. In it I not only write about zeal
as Christian character, but also why many professed Christian men lack it in not aspiring to be strong men of God in the image of Christ!
3 Read the post cited in the introductory paragraph.
4 See the July 22, 2018 post, Religion No Substitute For The Holy Spirit!, under the category, Glory To God! Also, The Peril Of Religious Men posted December 9,
2018, under the category, Instruction.
5 See the March 3, 2019 post, The Need For Spiritual Fathering, under the category The Cause.
Strong Man Of God Resources
Get Your Copy Of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
Your purchase supports restoring men, families and communities through Strong Man Ministries!
Purchase It Now