Taming Politics

Politics should not be an idol nor something to be ignored.

Politics should be stewarded with thankfulness

Please share your insights by commenting below this post.

Political thinking does not arise in a vacuum, nor do our politics stay neatly within the walls we erect around them…

On the contrary, political convictions emerge from our deep underlying assumptions about reality, life, and what we believe about the world we inhabit.

While political possibilities shift, biblical truth does not – neither should our convictions. However, some treat politics as a worldview – this is wrong. Politics is incapable of answering the bigger questions of life and existence (origin, meaning, identity, morality, destiny). In other words, politics is too small to function as a comprehensive worldview.

On the other hand, some believe politics has no place within a Christian worldview or mitigate its importance – this is also wrong. If a worldview is incapable of containing politics, that worldview is too small.

Only a full-orbed Kingdom vision is capable of not only containing but taming and informing our politics. For the Christian, our politics should flow from deeply held truths about God, His reality, His creation, His commands, and our responsibility. We must ground our politics in the Word of God and reflect on His commands and the implications of scripture upon our cultural moment.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… And “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39 ESV)

Can we truly claim to love God and love our neighbors while allowing evil and destructive policies to harm our neighbors who are created in God’s image?

Someone said, that “politics has sucked the air out of the room” in our social discourse. I agree!  However, I will take it a bit further…  Politics IS the room and the door is locked.

I believe the Church is the only institution on the planet that possesses the only key to unlock the door. But it will require the recovery of an integrated Kingdom vision where we live under the rule and reign of Jesus Christ – declaring the Lordship of Christ over all things… even political things.

Politics should not be an idol nor something to be ignored. Politics should be stewarded with thankfulness.

 

Please share your insights by commenting below this post.

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How Then Shall We Vote?

For the Christian, there will be political implications of our Biblical worldview. What we believe about God, ourselves, others, and His creation will shape our politics and how we vote.

Please share your insights by commenting below this post.

In America, we fail to realize people around the globe would die to have their voice heard politically or be able to vote in a legitimate election. They don’t possess the opportunity and freedom to run for office or vote. In America, we need to remember this fact… We can vote. We should vote. How then shall we vote?

When it comes to political engagement, some Christians will try to convince you to remain silent or shame you for speaking up.

Why? Because they believe being ‘political’ is somehow antithetical to the Gospel. As if the infinite Gospel of the Kingdom is too small to contain politics.

Have you noticed these pietistic holier-than-thous are the ones who’s social media feeds and conversations are brimming with under-informed political commentary and flimsy theological arguments? Have you noticed how they subtly shame others?

They claim Christians are to be ‘apolitical’ (non-political). But they attempt to persuade others by making political statements and taking political postures themselves. It is intriguing that these pietistic pundits tend to lean left politically. If you lean left, that’s fine with me but don’t cloak it in Christian garb. Don’t cloak the right in Christian platitudes either.

Some have developed an allergy to certain personalities. So, they vote for more ‘tame’ personalities that don’t upset their sensibilities. They are too fearful, shallow, and shortsighted to think through the long term implications of their vote.

Do they believe the Gospel is too delicate to withstand the storms of politics?

Recently, I had a conversation with a fellow Christian friend who stated that one of his biggest fears was to be labeled a Christian Nationalist. Christian Nationalism is a loaded term and carries negative connotations. My response to my friend was, “what do you mean by Christian Nationalism?” After all, several definitions exist. He lacked a coherent response. Obviously, he had not thought deeply about the issue. His position was emotionally based in his fear and a need to be accepted. No one likes to be called names or rejected. Even though that is exactly what Jesus promises in Scripture (see John 18:15-25, Matthew 5:11-12).

In the final analysis, my friend was incapable of properly articulating much less understanding one of his biggest fears. That’s a problem. Meanwhile, his social media posts over the last two years are filled with poorly formed political and theological arguments of why Christians ought not to be political or vote for certain candidates who he finds distasteful. He posts articles and books from pastors and Christian leaders who support his chosen political position. Unbeknownst to him, the non-Christian world has already labeled him a Christian Nationalist. My friend is walking into the very snare he’s trying desperately to avoid.

The holier-than-thous’ defense is usually some form of Tone-policing. I’ve written about this here

Hey, look at me, I’m not one of them” is not an effective strategy to reach lost people. The unbelieving world doesn’t care. They hate you, your Bible, and your God. No amount of virtue signaling is going to change that. So, get over it and return to biblical fidelity, a bold public witness, and a faith that is undefiled by the world. (It wouldn’t hurt to apologize to the people you’ve shamed).

Dear Christian, if your worldview isn’t big enough to contain politics, then your worldview is too small.

As Christians, our politics and how we vote must be formed and shaped by a biblical vision of the world and grounded in truth. The Bible doesn’t tell us who to vote for. However, the Bible does tell us how to vote. The Bible provides moral laws and principles to guide our politics and inform our vote. John Stonestreet once said, “The Bible isn’t a book to be looked at, but a lens to be looked through.” In addition, we must understand our cultural moment. 

We ask the questions; What is our current situation or cultural moment? And what does the Bible have to say about it?

For the Christian, there will be political implications that flow from a Biblical worldview. What we believe about God, ourselves, others, and creation will shape our politics and how we vote. Our theology should direct our vote.

A few thoughts…

Why vote?

Authority – America is different from other nations. From a governance standpoint, our government is not the authority. “We the people” are the authority. With that in mind, go and read Romans 13. Question the Romans 13 sermons that were used during the COVID lockouts to justify closing churches, keeping you silent, and subservient. God’s Word is our ultimate authority.

Opportunity – As I said, In America, we fail to realize that Christian brothers and sisters around the globe would die to have their voice heard politically or be able to vote in a legitimate election. Honor your brethren in closed countries by stewarding your privilege well in your nation.

Stewardship – All Americans and particularly Christians have the privilege and responsibility to vote and influence politics. We Christians vote according to biblical principles. Again, our government structure is unique. In His providence and mercy, God has given us a voice and influence to steward in the political realm. The purpose of government is to promote righteousness for the good of the people and government (read Proverbs). If we refuse to steward the gift God has given us, we will lose the gift.

That said, we run afoul when we place politics or politicians at the center of our lives. Do not enthrone a politician over and above Christ. Instead, proclaim the Lordship of Christ over politicians and political realm allowing His Word to guide you.

“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be shaken.” But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord…”

– 1 Peter 3:14-15a

How to vote?

Wisdom – Fear of the Lord leads to wisdom and life. The fear of man sets a snare. Pray for wisdom and seek it in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

Directionally – Personally, I vote direction. This helps me from getting caught up in personalities, propaganda, and pandering. What direction does the platform point the nation? Does it lead to righteousness, human flourishing, prosperity, and protection for the most vulnerable? What are the logical conclusions and moral outcomes of a candidate’s or party’s chosen platform and direction?

God’s Commands and Principles – For starters, one can use the Ten Commandments as a guide. Perhaps begin with what type of platform should we NOT vote for and move on from there.

Human Life – I’m not a single issue voter but I am a single issue voter in the first instance. If a politician or platform or party does not protect human life in the womb, I could care less about their great economic policies. It’s a matter of first principles. If they get human life wrong, God doesn’t care about their economic or foreign policy or tone.

Character – Remember, you are voting for sinners just like you. The problem we have when discerning the character of a candidate is the accuracy of our understanding. The media deliberately distorts our perception of how people really are. We are limited. This is where we need to pay attention to platform for the future and pray for discernment.

Purpose – Government is designed to restrain evil and promote good. That is its ultimate purpose. In America, we have checks and balances to restrain government from becoming evil and tyrannical. That is why it is important to understand the purpose of government and then vote purposefully.

Our conscience is a guard, not a guide.

In other words, our conscience is designed to alert us when we are tempted to sin or help convict us when we do sin. It is a guard and is not our authority. When we try to use our conscience as our guide in making decisions, we are actually listening to emotions. Emotions can lead us in the wrong direction. God’s Word is our guide. It is our authority.

What we believe about God, ourselves, others, and creation will shape our politics and how we vote.

Now, go vote biblically, soberly, thankfully, and righteously as if God is watching. Because He is.

Related:

iVoterGuide: https://ivoterguide.com/

My Posts on politics and culture:

https://revolutionofman.org/politics-is-downstream-from-culture/

https://revolutionofman.org/the-christians-role-culture-politics-and-government-part-two/

https://revolutionofman.org/should-the-church-get-involved-in-politics/

https://revolutionofman.org/christian-tradition-of-resistance-against-tyranny/

No Time for Weak Men

Men, we find ourselves in this civilizational moment facing a pivotal decision. Will we allow this scourge of abuse and exploitation against women, children and the vulnerable to continue unabated? Or, will we recover who we are created to be?

 

Is a real man safe? “Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

Please share your insights by commenting below this post.

Weak men are dangerous men.

Someone once said, “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times.” Easy living, loose morality and affluence have led to a decadent culture.

America has arrived at a civilizational moment, a crisis point, and it is no time for weak men. As men we’ve bought the idea that passivity and weakness are virtues. This idea is shaped by movies we watch, music we listen to, games we play, and how men have been taught to view their role in society.

Someone will say, “It sounds like you are advocating for violent men or toxic masculinity.” If you mean abusive, terrible, evil men? Absolutely not! Nor am I referring to a man’s physical strength or capabilities to commit violence. I am referring to men who demonstrate moral strength and virtue. Let’s call this type, “Good Men.” Good men protect against evil men. Good men who display moral courage are the antidote to weak men and men who demonstrate ‘toxic masculinity.’

Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world where good men at times must resort to violence in order to defend against evil. That is reality. That is the reason why we have military, police, security guards, etc.

Morally weak men

Morally weak men are like doorways that allow evil into homes and societies. Moral passivity and weakness are detrimental to the vulnerable, women, children, the elderly, families, and civilizations.

Since the 1960s men have been portrayed as predators or witless oafs. Many pathologies exist, including radical feminism, secular humanism, and the rejection of objective morality. Pornography has lured men into sexual fantasy just as violent life-like video games have lured men into pseudo-conquest. Sexually explicit and violent music lyrics catechize generations of boys to believe exploitation, violence, and personal pleasure define what it means to be a man. Set within the modern social environment of psychologized expressive individualism… boys grow up lacking necessary skills required to successfully fulfill their vital responsibilities of manhood. In other words, boys physically mature into adult males who don’t possess moral courage and virtue. They do not know how to be men.

A distorted vision of manhood eventually leads to decadence and destruction. The tyrants and monsters of human history were all weak men. History reveals weak men always prey upon the most vulnerable.

Don’t confuse physical strength, wealth, celebrity, or political power with moral fortitude. Hitler, Stalin, and other ‘strong men’ were in fact extremely weak. Bullies are weak and insecure cowards. Thus, weak men are dangerous because they commit evil against vulnerable people. Unfortunately, at times good men have also been known to allow evil to be perpetrated against the weak.

It has been said, “For evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.” (Unknown). This is true of Hitler’s Holocaust against 6 millions Jews. Good men stood aside while evil men abused, tortured and murdered the weak. It is true today as ‘nice guys’ and dare I say some ‘good Christian men’ stand aside while women and children are abused and exploited.

“Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”
Proverbs 25:26

We are witnessing good men fleeing the moral battlefield – allowing women and children to be exposed to the onslaught of the enemy.

Drag queen strip shows in schools, boys claiming to be girls competing in girls’ sports, chemical sterilization, medical mutilation, the rise of pedophilia, sexual grooming of children in schools and on social media are a few of the atrocities men are allowing to occur. Thus, men become accomplices to such evils by refusing to speak up or otherwise defend the vulnerable.

When I survey the cultural moment in America, I observe bold women standing up for themselves and children against evil. However, very few men are entering the moral fray. There is a strange silence. Where are the men? Where are the defenders? Where are the ranks of courageous men who belong to the armies of the living God?

Have we forgotten who we are as men?

How can we (men) who claim to “love our neighbors” who are made in God’s image allow those same neighbors to be harmed?

Men are called to be good and formidable enemies of evil. Men should be capable of appropriate violence for the protection and defense of the defenseless and weak. At the same time, promoting what is good, true and right. We are to pray, reason, having sharp minds and warm hearts. We are to use our voice to speak against the spirit of the age that is destroying lives and robbing our progeny of a future.

The devil kills in the womb if not actively resisted. He slyly attempts to destroy the future fertility of society by ensuring the children of today are rendered incapable of following God’s admonishment, “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28a). The devil would love nothing more than to sterilize a generation thus robbing the future of human flourishing.

In his novel, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” C.S. Lewis writes about a conversation between a little girl named Susan, and Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. The protagonist and star of the book is Aslan the Lion. He is all powerful and benevolent. He is king over the entire land. Little Susan has never seen or met Aslan the Lion. As you can imagine, she is a bit scared of meeting such a powerful being. Susan asks Mr. and Mrs. Beaver about Aslan.

[Mr. Beaver said], “Aslan is a lion–the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he–quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver. “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” asked Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe (He’s a lion). But he’s good.”

Men are created for greatness but are fallen in sin. However, a lost man can be redeemed in Christ. He can be made an heir of the King and put on mission. Men are capable of great violence and strength. But, men are to be disciplined and self-controlled. Men are to be like sheathed sword – under the control of God’s spirit.

Meekness is not weakness
The Bible refers to this ‘controlled strength’ as meekness. “Biblical meekness (Greek, “praýs”) is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness.” It is a blend of gentleness and strength. (Strong’s Concordance 4239)

The same father who must hold his baby daughter with gentleness and care must also be willing and able to physically defend that same baby girl from someone who intends to harm her. To allow a child to be molested or harmed would be evil.

Fear of man is Satan’s primary snare for weak men.

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”
Proverbs 29:25

The Puritan, John Flavel writes the following in his book “Triumphing Over Sinful Fear“, I’m going to quote him at length.

“Fear drives people out of their proper station, out of their proper place and duty and into Satan’s ground… When troubles and dangers come to a height, fear begins to work at a height too. The critical hour is when fear is high and faith is low, temptation is strong and resistance is weak. Satan knocks at the door and fear opens it, yielding up the soul to him, unless special assistance arrives from heaven.

As long as we can profess religion without any great hazard to life, liberty, or estate, we show much zeal in the ways of godliness. But when it comes to resisting unto blood, few will assert it openly.”

Flavel goes on to say something very germane to our modern context, “The first retreat is usually made from a free and open to a closed and concealed practice of religion.” In other words, fear causes good men to become weak men who then privatize their faith, limiting it to inside the home and church.

He continues, “We fail to open our windows to show that we do not care who knows we worship God (Daniel 6:10). Instead, we hide our principles and practices with all the art and care imaginable. We seek to escape danger by letting go of our profession. If the inquest continues and this refuge can no longer protect us, then we give some open sign of compliance with false worship (i.e. virtue signaling). We do it in order to avoid being marked out for ruin. Then, fear says, “Give a little more ground and retreat to the next security. We comply externally with what we know is forbidden, hoping God will be merciful to us as long as we keep our hearts for Him.” (Flavel, John – Triumphing Over Sinful Fear 1682)

If the fear of controversy or criticism or cancelling or offending spiritually dead people keep you from speaking truth and defending the weak, Repent! Repent of your sinful fear of man. Join me in this hour of repentance.

In conclusion, men, we find ourselves in this civilizational moment facing a pivotal decision. Will we allow this scourge of abuse and exploitation to continue unabated? Or, will we recover who we are created to be?

Is a real man safe? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

Men are called to be formidable and good. Men are called to serve God’s purposes in their generation.

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Proverbs 28:1

Be the kind of man others would want by their side in battle!

 

Related: Revolution of Man Podcast: Ep. 2 Cancelling Women and Girls

Leaders are Readers – Books I’ve Read Since January 1, 2022

There are no ‘experts’, there are only expert learners. It doesn’t matter whether you are 10 years old or 100 years old, there is always something new to learn.

Please share your insights by commenting below this post.

One of the best ways to become a better leader is to read voraciously and widely.

Why? Because leaders are readers. Not only does reading widely help you learn new skills and qualities of leadership, reading and learning keep you HUMBLE. When you think you’ve somehow ‘arrived’ in your respective domain of vocation or station in life… think again! That’s hubris. “Hubris born of success” is first mark of decline in an organization or team (see Jim Collins’ ‘How the Mighty Fall‘).

There are no ‘experts’, there are only expert learners. It doesn’t matter whether you are 10 years old or 100 years old, there is always something new to learn. Learning keeps your brain active. Healthy curiosity and learning are life giving.

On January 1, 2022 when I set a goal to read 13 books in one year. In the spirit of learning, below is the list of books I’ve read so far. Please note, perhaps you, like me have learning challenges (dyslexia, ADHD, etc)? That’s okay! I read very slowly. Sometimes I must re-read entire books. In a future post, I’ll share some tricks I use in my reading journey.

1. Our Bodies Tell God’s Story: Discovering the Divine Plan for Love, Sex, and Gender – Christopher West

2. Carpe Diem Redeemed: Seizing the Day, Discerning the Times – Os Guinness

3. The Kingdom Unleashed: How Jesus’ 1st-Century Kingdom Values Are Transforming Thousands of Cultures and Awakening His Church – Jerry Trousdale & Dr. Glenn Sunshine

4. Another Gospel?: A Lifelong Christian Seeks Truth in Response to Progressive Christianity – Alisa Childers

5. Art and the Bible – Francis Schaeffer

6. Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling – Andy Crouch

7. The Stress Effect: Why Smart Leaders Make Dumb Decisions–And What to Do About It – Henry L. Thompson

8. The Lord of the Rings (Part 2) Tale of the Two Towers – JRR Tolkien

9. QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life – John G. Miller (note: I read this once per year)

10. Hinge Moments: Making the Most of Life’s Transitions – Michael Lindsey

11. The Dust of Death: The Sixties Counterculture and How It Changed America Forever – Os Guinness

Currently reading: Dominion – How the Christian Revolution Remade the World – Tom Holland

In addition, I read my Bible almost every day. I use a devotional reading plan and I read a Proverb daily (there are 31 Proverbs). I also read Psalms and Ecclesiastes often. I have an ESV Reader’s Bible that contains no verses, no references, and no chapters – enabling me to read huge sections of scripture without feeling like I’m chasing rabbit trails. It is a joy!

What books are you reading?

Reflection: The grand story of the place we inhabit

Please share your insights by commenting below this post.

In the beginning God created all things and He set all things in a particular order.

All things are held together and move in certain ways.

God created the place His creatures inhabit.

The realization that God cared enough to share the story of creation with His creature called ‘man’ is astounding. This begs the question, “Why would God even bother to create or share the story?”

The simple answer is, God is all powerful and He is good. God sharing His grand creation story of the place that we inhabit, live, move and have our being is a demonstration of divine love and mercy.

The response is awe-struck wonder!

“Lo, these are but the outskirts of his ways: And how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

– Job 26:14

Tone Police

Tone Policing is a logical fallacy (ad hominem). “The ad hominem fallacy occurs whenever the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing an argument is criticized instead of seeking to disprove the argument provided.”

[Philosophy Lander.edu]

Please share your insights by commenting below this post.

I’ve observed a disturbing trend in the American church.

Tone Policing is a problem among leaders. It needs to stop immediately. Are you a church leader? You are held to a higher standard.

What is Tone Policing?

Tone Policing is “a conversational tactic that dismisses the ideas being communicated when they are perceived to be delivered in an angry, frustrated, sad, fearful, or otherwise emotionally charged manner.” [dictionary.com]

Wikipedia says, “Tone policing (also called tone trolling, tone argument, and tone fallacy) is an ad hominem (personal attack) and anti-debate tactic based on criticizing a person for expressing emotion.

Tone policing detracts from the truth or falsity of a statement by attacking the tone in which it was presented rather than the message itself… it prioritizes the comfort of the privileged person (in authority) in the situation over the oppression of the disadvantaged person.

While anyone can engage in tone policing, it is frequently aimed at women as a way to prevent a woman from making a point in the discussion. It is a means to deflect attention from injustice and relocate the problem in the style of the complaint, rather than address the complaint itself.

Note: Women can be guilty of Tone Policing. This is directed at male church leaders.

Tone Policing is a logical fallacy (ad hominem). “The ad hominem fallacy occurs whenever the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing an argument is criticized instead of seeking to disprove the argument provided.” [Philosophy Lander.edu]

Often times, a personal attack using tone as the offense is converted into a strawman fallacy by someone I’ll call the “Tone Policeman.”

[Cue the siren and the red and blue lights]

A Tone Policeman assumes the role of; victim, hero or social justice warrior in order to coerce, criticize, or manipulate. Accusations of tone crimes shame, silence, degrade, abuse, or bully in order to achieve a desired result (submission or silence).

Interestingly, Tone Policing contains a resemblance to Herbert Marcuse’s “Repressive Tolerance” with a more pronounced psychologized expression. Think ‘Cancelling’ someone based on their tone (expressed emotion).

Tone Police reside in the domain of organizational power and authority. They typically employ psychologized therapeutic language in order to manipulate. They create an offense where there is no offense.

Tone Policing is a speech code similar to Political Correctness. Instead of censoring certain words or phrases, Tone Police attempt to govern intent and meaning based on vocal inflection or perceived emotion. Both Political Correctness and Tone Policing are extremely toxic and unloving.

How is Tone Policing used?

Tone Policemen attempt to relocate a substantive statement or argument into the domain of style or tone (expressing emotion). It is a deflection tactic that dismisses or ignores the core issue(s). The issue is not the issue, Tone is the issue. In other words, tone trumps substance or truth. A guilty verdict is pronounced by the one in power over someone else for expressing emotion (tone).

Most often a Man’s Game

Typically, the Tone Police tactic is used by men in authority to manipulate women who do not possess power. While women can be guilty of using the Tone Tactic, its most often men. Occasionally, men in authority use it against other men as a power play, defensive/deflection tactic, or psychological manipulation.

Ultimately, this is a passive-aggressive tactic wrapped in therapeutic language.

Left unchecked, a Tone Policeman will go on to gas-light, damage relationships, and toxify an organization.

Example: Mary brings a substantive problem to her male boss with urgency. Because women are perceived as more emotional than men, her boss (Tony) dismisses the substance of the problem. Then he makes perceived emotion (tone) the problem – regardless of the validity of the claim being made by Mary.

Tony says something like, “You know, Mary, I don’t appreciate your tone.” Or “I find your tone very hurtful.” Or “Your tone is so abrasive and harsh.” Or “Mary, you seem joyless, what’s wrong with you?”

Tony is saying, “What you are telling me is true but I don’t like the way you are telling me truth (tone). So, I’ll negate the truth and attack you personally based on your tone. You are guilty of expressing emotion!”

Content and validity are brushed aside while subjective tone is reframed as the issue.

Christian Tone Police take cues from worldly sentimentalities and pop-psychology rather than the Bible.

Sometimes, Tone Policemen produce man-tears. One can cry and lie at the same time, you know. Ask any parent of a 4 year old child. Other times, tone is attributed to body-language. “She had an aggressive posture toward me.” Or “I didn’t like the way she looked at me, it hurt my feelings.”

Most commonly, men in authority use this hurtful and deceitful method to silence or dominate women. Instead of trying to understand the substance of an issue, they create presumptions, inferences, and deflections.

Increasingly in America, we see grown men in Christian leadership roles wallow in feigned self-pity, contrived offense, psychological fragility, and hurt feelings. And men who have experienced actual abused or exploitation are overrun by a crowd of charlatans.

The Darker Side of Tone Police

Some Tone Policemen are so enamored with the spurious glittering therapeutic power of spells they cast, it’s astounding. They relish silencing and controlling others in order to insulate themselves, protect their psychological comfort, or dominate and humiliate others. These males are cowards and don’t deserve the title of ‘Man’ in a biblical sense.

Dealing with Tone Police

Remember, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” [Proverbs 15:1]

Bring the issue forward to one in authority with confidence. I recommend the following steps:

1. Write down the problem – This helps you articulate it and ensure you have a valid issue. To the best of your knowledge, is it true?
2. Pray over the issue and interactions.
3. Invite someone else to the meeting (if appropriate).
4. Take a few moments to breath deeply.
5. Be kind, be firm, be honest, and be courageous (Fear of man is a snare – Fear of God leads to wisdom and peace)

Dr. Henry Thompson says, “Have emotions but don’t allow emotions to have you.
James 3-4 teaches about our tongues and worldliness.

Self-awareness:

Tone Policing is subconsciously learned social behavior. It is catechized through culture via various means (family, media, entertainment, etc). That does not excuse it. If you are not self-aware enough to understand you are manipulating someone, you are not mature enough for leadership.

Responding to Tone Police:

If you are on the receiving end, take a moment and assess yourself and the situation. Then tell the Tone Policeman that their ad hominem (personal) attack is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Expose the logical fallacy and offer them an opportunity to re-address the issue. If they continue to pull the Tone card, tell them you won’t be manipulated or entertain it any longer. Leave their presence. If they continue, report it to someone else in authority [Follow Matthew 18].

Tone Policing is Sin:

Tone Policing is a sin because it’s a manipulation of another human being. The cure is repentance before God and reconciliation with those manipulated and harmed.

Warning to Tone Police:

If you engage in Tone Policing, you run the risk of alienation from community, co-workers, and friends who you depend on. Back-sliding and destroying your Christian witness become growing risks.

Additionally, you run the risk of misreading scripture because you will read God’s Word through a lens of ‘tone.’ That is dangerously thin theological ice.

Someone will say, “But wait, Jesus He was kind and gentle. He used a compassionate tone.” True, but Jesus Christ offered stern words and harsh language without sinning.

Read the texts below, see if Jesus Christ would be pulled over by the Tone Police and given a Tone Ticket for speaking the truth in an off-putting, emotionally-charged tone.

Matthew 23:33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”

Matthew 12:34-35 “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

From Luke:

11:42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces….

11:46 “And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers….”

11:52 “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”

11:53-54 “As he (Jesus) went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.”

Warning from Luke:

12:1-3…. “[Jesus] began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.”

What is the Alternative to Tone Policing?

Listen and speak truth plainly, firmly and humbly as before the Lord. Try to discern truth even as you are being harshly criticized or confronted by an emotionally charged person. Remember, you are a Christian leader! You have a higher calling. If you are so insecure that you resort to Tone Policing, you need to choose another profession. Or you can Repent!!! Ask for forgiveness! Then, work towards restoration with others!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”
[Pslam 139:23-24]

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” [Proverbs 19:11]

In all things, charity.

The prophet is specially called to critique and challenge the people of God when they have forgotten or betrayed their original calling. Thus Moses confronted the people of God over the golden calf, Elijah over the prophets of Baal, Jesus over legalism and hypocrisy, Martin Luther over the distortion of faith, and Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer over the idolatry of nationalism. Such prophetic critiques were often delivered with outrage, but they were not denials of the chosenness of those attacked. On the contrary, the purpose of critique is restoration, not dismissal. The prophets were specially called and their prophetic messages were special calls to bring God’s people back to the original calling from which they had fallen away.
Os Guinness

The Call

You are worthy and valuable

The truth is the truth regardless if you believe it or not. You are very valuable! You have so many fine qualities. You are made in the image of God. Therefore, you have intrinsic value and worth. No one, not even you can change that reality. The truth is the truth regardless if you believe it or not.

The Lord put a word on my heart that I must share with you. Not sharing would be to deny water to the thirsty.

Someone needs to hear this today…

Several years ago, I’ll never forget I heard Pastor Dr. Greg Cook talk about how we’re all “self-deceived deceivers.” Spot on!

Since I was a small child, I struggled with a deep-seated sense of worthlessness. Perhaps it was my upbringing or a traumatic event I can’t remember. It was a lie I believed about myself and that lie shaped my life in many ways for many years. It led to chaos, destruction, and casualties in the lives of others. But, over the years, Christ delivered victory. To God be the Glory!

To a greater or lesser extent, we all believe lies about ourselves and our value as a human beings. We believe a deception, then we deceive ourselves, then we deceive others by putting up a facade. Finally, we believe the facade is the real us – forgetting who we are. The false notion becomes so real that our lives can be built on a lie we believed long ago. Many times, we’re not aware that we’re acting on a false belief about ourselves.

Maybe someone made you feel worthless at some point in your life. The devil got a foothold in your mind and breathed out lies that you believe to this day.

Dear Christ-follower,

DO NOT believe lies the devil or the world have told you to believe about yourself!

The TRUTH is, you are so very valuable! You have many fine qualities. You are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, you have intrinsic value and worth. No one, not even you, can change that reality. The truth is the truth regardless if you believe it or not. Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead for you. He took your sin and worthlessness upon himself. He gave you the crown of life and the keys to his Kingdom.

Ask the Lord to reveal to you the lies you believe about yourself. Ask him to use other Christian brothers and sisters who love you to help you see clearly and believe the truth. Repent of believing a lie and believe the Gospel. Preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to yourself each day and believe it!

Here are some truths to believe:

– In Christ, you are WORTHY because He is WORTHY! (Roman 8:17, Rev. 5:12) That is TRUTH!

– You have so many fine qualities, talents, gifts and beauty in who God made you to be. There is only one you! This is TRUTH!

– You are loved by the creator of the universe, who knitted you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139). This is TRUTH!

– You did not choose the circumstances of your birth but, God ordained them in His providence (Acts 17:26). This is TRUTH!

– Before the foundations of the world, the Lamb was slain for you (Rev. 13:8). This is TRUTH!

– Therefore, you were, you are and you always will be part of God’s Story (Eph. 2:8-10). This is TRUTH!

– It is NO accident you are on this earth. Today was and is in God’s plan for you. This is TRUTH!

If you have experienced victory in Christ over deep-seated feelings of worthlessness, praise Him afresh today! Now, help someone else experience that same victory. Encourage someone, tell someone they are valuable and they have many fine qualities.

You have the power to influence conversations tonight by how you serve and treat people in your life today. What is the story you want told this evening? …. Begin by telling it now.

Someone once said, “All of Christ for all of life!” Make it so, Lord!

Conquering the Madness of the Moment with God’s Story

God structured reality in such a way and embedded reality in his creation so that His image-bearers (humans) can apprehend it, albeit imperfectly. For sure, the fallen world, sin and broken lives distort and dim the good world God created. But, that is not the end of the story. It’s just a moment.

We live in an ever expanding crisis-centered culture.

Stress at home and at work, and free-floating anxiety are in the air. It seems like you can almost touch it. The world says, “just deal with it” as moments like waves pound you like an ocean storm. Some deal with stress and anxiety by indulging in excesses like drinking, eating, drugs, video games, social media scrolling, pornography, or other unhealthy activities. Some will fall into a pit of despair, depression, or apathy. Many barely make it through the day. It’s a chore to sleep at night. The alarm goes off in the morning shouting, “Wake up! Another crisis ensues!” It can be maddening.

I hear it and see it in the faces of people everywhere. It’s a problem.

The “Out of Control vs. Control” Problem

Most situations we face are completely out of our control. You can only control yourself and your responses – which is extremely difficult.

Out of My Control:

Are you helpless to do anything about a world on fire?

School shootings, natural disasters, wars, a traffic jam on the way to work, a serious health diagnosis, a family member making destructive decisions, an abusive boss, a flat tire, or the dying garden caused by the relentless Texas heat are examples of our limited control.

Don’t confuse the madness of the moment with the bigger story. Remember, we live in moments within a bigger story.

Open your newspaper or newsfeed. You come face to face with empirical evidence of evil, brokenness, and pain. Deep down you know what you’re seeing and experiencing is bad, it’s wrong, it’s cruel, it’s unjust! The madness of the moment militates against a deeper notion that the world is not supposed to be this way. Something is wrong.

Where did the notion that “the world and life are not supposed to be this way” come from?

C.S. Lewis said about his conversion from atheism to Christianity the following, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.” (Lewis’s full quote below this post)

In other words, although we live in a world of brokenness and sin, God did not obliterate goodness, truth and beauty embedded in creation. In a fallen world things are disjointed, distorted and decaying. However, God structured reality in his creation so that His image-bearers (humans) can apprehend it, albeit imperfectly. The fallen world, sin, and broken lives distort and dim God’s good creation. But, that is not the end of the story. It’s just a moment.

By God’s mercy that we have “some idea of a straight line.” The “straight line” is God’s Story.

Within My Control:

Presuppositional truths of the Christian worldview – God’s Story:

1. God is… (God exists, whether one believes or not does not change reality of God’s existence)
2. God is the source of all goodness, truth and beauty…
3. God created all things…
4. God created all things good… (God is the source of good).
5. Sin entered creation because man chose to “be like God” and rebel against his creator…
6. Creation fell into the curse of brokenness, pain, decay and death…
7. But, God sent Jesus Christ to redeem people from sin and His creation from the curse…
8. God is setting right what sin sets wrong…
9. God is currently redeeming and will restore all things in the future…

How to Conquer the Madness of the Moment

Remember The Story
So, when you find yourself caught up in the madness of the moment, remember The Story. Out-narrate the moment with God’s bigger unstoppable redemptive story. It is The Story we inhabit. The Story can be described in four chapters; creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. The story of the Bible contains all other stories.

Did you choose the circumstances of your birth?

Of course not, we did not decide where, when, and to whom we were born. We were born into a cultural moment within God’s bigger Story.

Discover or Rediscover Your Calling
Every man or woman’s life mission is to seek out their unique role in The Story. Merely existing is NOT what life is all about. Escaping life’s troubles and pain through pleasure or distraction leads to meaninglessness, madness, and self-destruction.

God created you for this place and time to serve His purposes in this generation.

Those who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved!” (Roman 10:13) Those who God saves He calls into the biggest, truest and most beautiful Story ever told. God writes His Story with the lives of ordinary people just like you and me – moment by moment, one life at a time.

Reflect on the following:

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
– Isaiah 26:3

“Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.” – Os Guinness

Note: Join me as I interview Os Guinness on August 8, 2022 at 7pmCT via live Zoom (ask your questions). Link…

“For the secret of man’s being is not only to live but to have something to live for.”
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

C.S. Lewis’s full quote from above:
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

Live Interview with Dr. Christopher Yuan (Holy Sexuality and the Gospel

On Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 7pmCT, we hosted a live virtual Zoom event with Dr. Christopher Yuan, author of the book Holy Sexuality and The Gospel.

Watch the video recording – Link below.

We discussed identity and sexuality from a biblical perspective, how to reach and apply the essence of the gospel to a gay loved one, what Christ-followers can do to minister in to those struggling with same-sex attraction, the importance of prayer, and more.

Please SHARE this event within your spheres of influence.

Bio – Christopher Yuan
Dr. Christopher Yuan has taught the Bible at Moody Bible Institute for twelve years and his speaking ministry on faith and sexuality has reached five continents. He speaks at conferences, on college campuses, and in churches. He has co-authored with his mother their memoir, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope (100,000 copies sold and now in seven languages). He is also the author of Giving a Voice to the Voiceless. Christopher graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2005 and received a master’s in biblical exegesis in 2007 and a doctorate of ministry in 2014. Dr. Yuan’s newest book, Holy Sexuality and the Gospel: Sex, Desire, and Relationships Shaped by God’s Grand Story, was named 2020 Book of the Year for Social Issues by Outreach Magazine.

Dr. Leon and Angela Yuan have experienced much heartache from a broken marriage and their prodigal sons. But, God has given them the grace to rely upon His power to change the unchangeable and focus upon their own daily renewal and transformation. Learn more at www.christopheryuan.com

Resources mentioned:

Live interview and Q&A with Monique Duson

Monday, June 6, 2022 at 7pmCT, we hosted a live virtual Zoom event with Monique Duson from the Center For Biblical Unity.

Watch the video recording – Link below.

Monique Duson has a background in social service and children’s ministry. She has worked with a diverse array of under-served communities.

Monique worked as a Missionary to South Africa for over four years, serving children and teachers impacted by drugs, violence, and trauma.

She spent two decades advocating for Critical Race Theory (CRT), but through a series of events, began to clearly see the contradictions of CRT with the historic Christian worldview. Monique is now convinced that CRT is not the best way to achieve racial unity and actively speaks out against the use of CRT within the church. Her mission is to promote a vision for racial healing based on the historic Christian worldview.

Monique has appeared on shows such as Relatable (with Allie Beth Stuckey), the Alisa Childers podcast, and Breakpoint (with John Stonestreet). Monique has a BA in Sociology from Biola University. She is working on a MA in Theology.

Monique has appeared at Wilberforce Weekend (Colson Center for Christian Worldview) two years in a row. Monique is one of the most sought after Christian thinkers and speakers on race and culture. She is straight forward, funny, and encouraging.