THE Christian Man
By David R. Kenney
While I certainly could not make this statement without reservation, I enjoy stereotypical humor. I can appreciate a good laugh with someone provided I am not laughing at or to someone’s detriment. Solomon stated “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22, NKJV.) Of course, there are many things said and done in the name of humor that are not very funny. Still, we should be able to enjoy a good laugh with one another as we enjoy one another’s company.
That being said, there seems to be a rather steady target of stereotypical humor that concerns me as a father of a son (and daughter). There is such a thing as overdoing a matter, even in the case of humor, that can be damaging. One example is the constant use of what is now a ready-made target in our society, as seen regularly on sitcoms: men. While certainly there are exceptions in the portrayal of men, it seems like those are becoming just that—exceptions. Of course, the same certainly could be said of women. There is no shortage of those who seek to pit one group against another and exploit for their own advantage, but I want to ask a different question. What type of men does our society truly need and ought to work towards promoting?
It has been observed that to be a male is to be born that way, to become an adult is to live that long, but to be a man is to be taught and trained to become that way. When we talk about the type of men we want to foster in our society, we are talking about the morals and values by which males are taught to live to become men. But the big questions—whose morals and whose values?
It seems like the name “Christian” or Christ” is rather unpopular in some circles. Secularists seek to drive out the name of Jesus and His position as Christ from our society. Even those who are not atheists support the scrubbing of Jesus Christ from our society. I have noticed that the name of some religious groups seem to avoid having the name “Christ”. When you notice the formation of religious bodies that seek to have the word “community” but appear to refrain from the word “Christ” in their names of identification, one wonders if this is deliberate or a consequence of trying to appeal to a society that has become ashamed of Jesus Christ? We take the morals of the Bible (sometimes called Judeo-Christian) out of our schools, and we wonder why our society is crumbling. Of course, secularists would be quick to claim that pluralism would be a great benefit for our nation, but sometimes this is a smokescreen to further the agenda of some—dilute Christianity in the land. Have you ever wondered why atheists and secularists are so interested in the promotion of tolerance for Islam but often silent about Christianity? My theory is that the reason they do this they are willing to do anything to hinder Christianity. There is an Arab saying “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Ask yourself honestly, is our society significantly stronger as we move ever closer to pluralism, the idea that all religious views are equal and must be accepted that way? Jesus certainly never taught pluralism and other religions on the popular COEXIST stickers certainly do not teach such either. Sadly, there are those who have not given much thought to the outcomes of their high-minded ideals.
But what about Jesus of Nazareth? Were His teachings commendable and beneficial to society? There was a time that such a question would be dismissed with “Of course!” But what about our society today? Are the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth worthwhile? One wonders if people have given time to seriously study His teachings. My High School Speech Teacher was asked who she thought was the greatest public speaker who ever lived. I remember her response “Without a doubt it is Jesus of Nazareth! While we do not have an audio or video recording of His delivery, the Sermon on the Mount leaves no doubt who was the greatest public speaker to ever walk the earth.” Sometimes I wonder how many people in our land have even read the Sermon on the Mount? His teachings must be of significance, or why else would Jews, Muslims, Agnostics, and even Atheists hold his teachings in high esteem although their perceptions of Him are incorrect?
The Wadsworth church of Christ will be having a series of lessons on “The Christian Man” from May 18 to 22. These lessons will be taught by my father who lost his father when he was three years of age. He has learned what it means to be a Christian Man from the example of others, rearing three children, and the things he has studied in the Bible. If schools are not teaching our boys about the importance of being a Christian Man, then we must look someplace else for such teaching. What kind of men should we want for our daughters to marry? What are the attributes that our daughters, grand-daughters or even great-grand daughters should be looking for in a man to marry and start a family with? Whose standards and values are such that we could and should pattern our lives after; especially if we do not have such examples of godly men and women in our lives to pattern ourselves after? The importance of Christian men in our society is that important!
By Karen McCoy
I’ll follow in your footsteps Dad
I want to be like you
You know you are my hero
My love for you is true.
I feel safe when I am with you
You are so brave and strong
You stand by when I am happy
You hold my hand when things go wrong.
So make your footsteps smaller
So I can keep up with you
Then some day when I’m a Dad
I’ll be a hero, too.