In the midst of teaching “The Character Of The Strong Man Of God” which is Unit Two of The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study1 to locally incarcerated inmates as basic instruction for biblical manhood, I remain amazed at the lack of godly character among professed Christian men out here in the “free” world. From pastors to men in the pews over my forty year journey I have dealt with many that have no shame in being faithless, proud, disobedient, disloyal to God, weak in sin, dispassionate and cowardly about Kingdom causes, spiritual slackers, impatient, ungodly, dishonest, liars and unmerciful.2 Their lack of godly character is not even an issue for these men.
Here’s where I get accused of being a “goody two shoes,” “idealistic,” “too serious,” “super religious,” “unrealistic” and “legalistic” as a “self-righteous Pharisee” since God does not require perfection or that kind of “extreme” devotion. Instead, as I hear so much in Christian media and the churches today, God is more concerned with what He can do for us; how He can make us happy, healthy and wealthy. When character is mentioned, it is only as a means to the end of manipulating God into doing what we want, rather than what the Bible actually teaches as His priority will for our development and regeneration as eternal image bearers of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29)!
Faithful Bible students know that in point of fact God cannot be manipulated and that these mostly spiritual charlatans are deceived and deceivers as false teachers who will meet their just end (Galatians 1:6-10; Philippians 3:17-19; 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 13; 2 Peter 2:1-3, 3:14-18). And if you are one following after them, you will also receive their reward unless you come to your spiritual senses and repent before it is too late in having become hardened into resisting the truths of God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:22-26, 3:14-17). We were redeemed through the blood of Jesus to the divine end of being “transformed” into His image which includes His godly character (2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV).
What is Christ-likeness but God-likeness since He is the very “image of the invisible God,” (John 14:7-9; Colossians 1:15, 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-4, NKJV)? All of who God is in nature and character Christ is! For example, in nature God is love and so is Christ. In character, God is holy, righteous, just and true and so is Christ. Man was designed and created by God to uniquely display the divine image in nature and character, but sin was the foil through our first forefather, Adam (Genesis 1:26, 3:1-11). Christ the eternal Word and Son of God took on mortal flesh and came as a second Adam to redeem the willing and restore the divine image in us (John 1:1-18; 1 Corinthians 15:47-49).
Now, God renews the divine image in those who become Christians by the Holy Spirit who indwells and brings us to spiritual birth with a new nature (John 3:1-8; Titus 3:4-7). The sanctifying work of God through the Spirit thereafter is to effect and perfect the renewing of the divine image in us with our cooperation by purposely transforming and conforming us to the image of Christ as was earlier stated. Select attributes of the divine nature such as love, joy and goodness are displayed in us through His inner presence as natural fruit. We cooperate by being willing at all times to crucify the deeds of the flesh (Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 5:8-12; Colossians 3:1-17).
A number of the unique divine attributes of character and those otherwise that are desirable by Him, God must construct in us. Christ--who is our example in all things--through His mortal sojourn among us fully demonstrates this reality. In divine character, for example, He was perfectly faithful to God (1 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 3:1-6). As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics3 and teach in the men’s group study from Scripture, the Lord Jesus as a Man had to learn obedience through all that He suffered (Hebrews 5:8).4 Preceding obedience certainly was faith and humility as traits of divinely approved character He would have to put into practice which we are also called to do and grow in (Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 12:1-2; 2 Peter 1:1-11).
Indeed, contrasting every sinful way of professed Christian men in character defect I listed at the beginning of this post, Christ perfectly displayed what pleases God even as the Father proclaimed of Him on the mountain (Matthew 17:1-7; 2 Peter 1:16-18). So, having repeatedly affirmed my own failure to yet arrive at perfection in Christ, I nevertheless, share in common with all God’s sold out aspiring strong men of history a daily yearning to do so (Philippians 3:12-14). And though it is quite painful at times, I understand God must chisel, hammer and nail in my life to construct the godly character of Christ in me because it is absolutely essential to holy living if men will see Him in peace and rule now as well as in His Kingdom come like Him (Hebrews 12:3-17; Revelation 1:4-8, 2:26-29)!
1 Learn more about the Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and how you could possibly have me come teach it with the men of your church or men’s organization through
the Strong Man Institute on the Strong Man Of God Web Site.
2 Each of these ungodly character traits is the polar opposite of what God wills for His aspiring strong men as I teach in the Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study.
3 The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics is available through all major internet booksellers, by order from your favorite brick and mortar bookstore and in the Strong Man
4 Walk through a short presentation about what the strong man of God is and even read a chapter of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics for a fuller explanation on our
It is staggering to me now, looking back, how it is many so close after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not among the many moral issues related to Civil Rights galvanize against abortion as it made its way to the 1973 Supreme Court decision. Who could be more disenfranchised than an unborn child targeted for murder? Important figures in the Civil Rights Movement actually endorsed and advocated for abortion to make it as it is to this day for them a matter of women’s rights. Like ancient Israel forced to turn back from entering the Promised Land and wander in the wilderness because of unbelief, so, the Civil Rights Movement turned left away from biblical morality on abortion and other issues into the spiritual wilderness of sin seeking allies of mortal flesh rather than God (Numbers 14:11-25; Proverbs 14:34).
Even the most casual reading of the Bible will yield the straightforward understanding that human life is precious to God, humanity’s Creator (Genesis 4:8-15; Exodus 20:13; Mark 10:17-19). So, in this edited 2010 Commentary I have combined with a similar 2012 blog, I declare that men in the lead and women are to protect their children whose existence actually begins in the mind of God long before conception which He is also intimately involved with (Isaiah 45:1-7)! Therefore, in a biblical worldview, not only is abortion murder for the guilty parents, but also all who advocate for and perform it as accomplices. They will be held accountable by God in this life and on Judgment Day unless they embrace their only recourse I write about in this post.
Originally Published January 2010
Here in Portland, Oregon, Planned Parenthood the birth control and abortion provider is soon to finish construction on a new facility in an area that has been traditionally populated by black Americans. This is strategic on their part since black females have more abortions than any other racial group.1 Yet, the silence of most black clergy and open advocacy of others has been shocking. In the peaceful protests I have attended it has been primarily our white brethren that have represented the very clear scriptural mandate to revere human life (Genesis 9:5-7); life that begins at conception in the handiwork of God our Creator (Psalm 139:13-16; Zechariah 12:1).
Abortion as a concept at its root is not a black or white racial issue nor is it about women's rights. Men and women from all hues should be vitally concerned about what is very thoroughly a spiritual and moral matter. Men--especially those that aspire to be strong men of God in Christ's image--ought to be deeply affected by the slaughter of defenseless human lives. God has wired us with a heart like His and holds us responsible to defend the defenseless (Psalms 68:5-6, 82:1-4). But with steely precision abortionists around this nation routinely kill the unborn men have fathered for the sake of parental convenience. I know all about the convenience thing.
As a teenage father before I came to Christ, I either pushed for or passively offered no objection to the killing of my children on a number of occasions with different females.2 Years later I still wonder at times how I could have been so selfish and deceived. Then I remember the deceitful craftiness of the god of this world and my own fallen nature as a sinner and come to my senses. Spiritually speaking, we kill our unborn because we are dead in our sins to God and purposely deceived. It is not rocket science to understand the matter-of-fact reason we do so either: if there is no baby, then there is no responsibility or possible change in life plans.
Satan’s deceptive spin last century that morphed abortion from an issue of biblical morality into one that has to do with a woman’s rights over her body is of the success he enjoyed with Eve in Eden (Genesis 3:1-6a; 1 Timothy 2:14). And if they are not the instigators, just as Adam did not intervene while Satan deceived his wife and passively followed her lead in disobedience (Genesis 3:6b), so, many men today are doing the same thing in the decision to kill their unborn children. But now, made alive by God to God through faith in Christ, I have received forgiveness and instruction from His Word to fulfill all of my responsibilities as a father to my children (Ephesians 2:1-10).
In a truth I fully explain in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, none other than God the Father Himself has shown us men what a father is and does.3 Besides initiating Adam's existence, the Father also led, taught, provided for and protected him. In protecting Adam, God put him in the Garden of Eden as a shelter among other reasons and watched over him (Genesis 2:7-18). Even when Satan came to the garden please note he was not allowed to touch Adam or his wife, but only to deceive them if he could (Genesis 3:1-6). If it had been left up to the devil he would have killed the two humans where they stood (John 8:44). But God protected them!
God has given all men the responsibility to protect the lives we initiate through our seed released in the sexual intimacy of marriage or otherwise as well as those that are adopted. Our responsibility begins the moment of conception and continues until the new or adopted life attains the age of majority and departs from under our protective care (Matthew 1:18-25 2:13-15, 19-23; Luke 2:41-52). When men demand or passively allow the death of their children through abortion, it is a purposeful rejection of the responsibility that God has assigned to and holds us accountable for. We may only drop them off at the clinic, but we are just as guilty as the women for the murder that takes place.
So now, in these latter days Satan has gotten us to do legally what he was forbidden to do thousands of years ago in the garden: murder human life! For the record, only the bodies of the unborn are destroyed. God takes their spirits and souls back to Himself in Heaven to await the resurrection (Ecclesiastes 12:6-7). However, the parent's lives are eternally destroyed without repentance. Therefore, let every man and woman reading this who is guilty turn to God in all confession and repentance from your sins. By faith receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ believing that He died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day. All who sincerely do this will receive God’s forgiveness, healing, instruction, a restored mind and heart with eternal life!
Unlike in our former godless and selfish mindset, God expects His sons and aspiring strong men in the image of Christ to welcome the pregnancy of our wives with joy and thanksgiving to Him! His sons are never to father children out of wedlock. However, if this should happen, in repentance He wills that you embrace your child and the mother in marriage if possible. In all instances, we are to fulfill our responsibilities to our children to include protecting them with the wisdom, help and strength God supplies. Also, brothers, stand up like men indwelt by the living God and speak out against the slaughter of the defenseless unborn in the protecting responsibility He has given us. The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 "Abortion Number For African-Americans Rising," Life In Oregon, April-June 2008 Issue, p. 7. Also, see black Abortion Facts on theurbanprophet.org Web Site. The
facility referenced was completed and remains a hub of activity.
2 That God may always be glorified in His amazing work to save and transform sinners through my life; I share my shame at having been an unsaved, unmarried and ire-
sponsible teenage father of two children that lived, but others that were murdered in their mother’s wombs. I am not just some moralizing preacher who knows nothing
at all about the real fear and selfishness that goes into the decision to abort or after birth, abandon a child God has charged men in the lead with the responsibility to pro-
3 The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics is available through all major internet booksellers, by order from your favorite brick and mortar bookstore and in the
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