Confusing. Each day I struggle to see what direction God might have me to trod. It is not so simple as just rejecting the world. Materiality is fairly easy to despise. But, at the basis of the world-psyche is a hunger for peace, so desperate that many would accept peace at any price. We grow up in a religion which lauds peace as an ultimate end. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. And it is easy to see war as a violent contradiction to that which we have been taught is good. If one stops right there, and lets religion be that simple, confusion wonít result.
But, if one looks at our history with God as our leader, the Old Testament is a story of wars, many led by God. And there is also that puzzling racial aspect; God favored one genetic family line at the expense of all others. Actually, God had no concern for any others except when they became problematic, then the solution was to kill them. Not exactly a God of Peace, is He?
For the New Testament church, Jesus has always been an effeminate, loving, peaceful guy with long hair who willingly died for the ones He loved. Christians today expect other Christians to be peaceful, nurturing, loving, charitable, husbands and fathers who never raise their voice and settle all disputes with peaceful solutions, and, of course, hugs. In such ways, Christian men are modeling their lives after the gentleness of their Shepherd. At least that is the kind of person the church presents Jesus to have been.
But, was He? I wonder if the church has been at all realistic about Jesusí presentation of Himself. What if the church has simply rejected any other possible personality traits than just the effeminate? Certainly the New Testament gives some other indications, but you will never hear sermons based on those texts. Jesus once stated, "Donít think I came to bring peace. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." And then there is His warning that unless one hates his wife, parents, siblings, and even his own life, he canít be Jesusí disciple. He asked any who would follow Him to leave their homes, jobs, families, possessions, etc. Jesus also said that He wasnít inviting us to a wedding, but to a war. The one story of masculine expression which is acknowledged is when Jesus went into the temple and flogged the money-changers and sellers.
Step back a pace, and consider the situation into which Jesus was born. I think the church dares not do this very realistically. Many of the true Israelite family of God had been purged from their tribal lands in the Palestine region over seven hundred years before Jesus was born. They were permitted to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple about five hundred years before Jesus. Those who returned brought with them the religion of Paganism, mostly in the form of Babylonian Talmudic Phariseeism. During the century prior to Jesus, that race which is the eternal foe of true Israelites, the Edomites, had taken over Judea, Jerusalem, and the Temple. They hated true Israelites because that is a driving instinctive compulsion with which they are born. Christís sheep were then oppressed and pushed out and away from the Jerusalem Temple region. Many joined their Israelite kindred in Samaria and Galilee where many had lived for centuries who never went into the captivity. Jesus was from Galilee. The regional political situation was not favorable toward Israelites because the ruling (Herodian) Edomites had powerful influence with Rome. Israelites were being ever more severely oppressed. Hence it was that they longed for a Savior who would save them from their oppression. They expected, because of prophecies, to be set free from those cruel powers, who were mainly Edomites, who persecuted them so terribly.
Jesus steps onto their stage. He was a man whom the uneducated, rough, and smelly fishermen recognized as one who might actually lead the overthrow of their Roman and Edomite oppressors. He was a man with whom they could identify. Had He been the effeminate wimp which todayís church presents, they would likely have thrown fish at Him. What made them follow Him? First, we must know that Jesusí family, with four brothers and some sisters, had moved from Nazareth to Capernaum on the northwest end of the Lake of Galilee. The fishermen worked from the shores of that small town, and along the shores to the south, down past Magdala and to the town of Tiberias. These were shores where Jesus walked, and where He likely visited with these rough-character fishermen. Some of them must have known Him long before He beckoned them to follow Him. Evidently the Holy Spirit was agitating the entire region at that time, for some of these fishermen even journeyed south to the Jordan River where a man named John was baptizing people as He preached fiery messages. The people were being stirred, and they were hoping for a leader to appear who would Save them. Jesus appeared. They looked at Him and thought, Yeah, maybe He can do it! Get behind Him and get an army started. Letís Go! Like men through the ages have felt drawn to battle for the sake of their families and their culture, these men began to march behind Jesus. He was telling them He wasnít there to bring peace, but to wield a sword. They believed Him.
Try to imagine for yourself what kind of person you might follow into serious battle, a Mister Rogers or a John Wayne? If you are going to put your life at risk, you would surely want some hope of winning, wouldnít you? This guy was making it clear that His followers must yield up their lives to the cause. He told them, "I have come to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a manís enemies will be those of his own household." He was telling them that by following Him, their families would even turn against them, so they must be willing to give up everything in order to march into battle with Him.
What do you think? Do you think they expected to be spreading peace and goodwill across their land? Would they be kissing mothers and handing babies cigars? Would they be loved by all whom they met? Or would it be a battle that would likely cost them their lives? Of course they expected the battle! It must have been some surprise that Jesus spent so much time demonstrating His divine powers through miracles and healings. They must have been confused and even sometimes disappointed, for that wasnít what they signed-on for. Yet, and this is important, Yet, they stayed with Him for they believed He had a plan. Those men offered more than once to die with Him or for Him because thatís what they expected Him to lead them to.
What kind of man was that who could hold the loyalty of these men who were down-to-earth practical men? Men who lived by stink and sweat and undoubtedly plenty of wine, too. They stayed with Him! Amazing! I think we must envision a leader who had "True Grit," one who led men because He expressed the masculine traits of a Warrior for God. Only such a Man could attract such followers as those fishermen. Keep in mind that many who heard Him turned away because He was saying things that were too hard. Just imagine Him telling a group of listeners that they must hate their own parents and families if they would follow Him. How would you react to a preacher who told you that? Too hard! Many voices would be advising Him to ease up lest everyone turn against Him. Many would be asking, "Where's the Love you talked about?" Of course, what they fail to understand is that God loves His Israel and His Kosmos so much that He will destroy any enemies who threaten them. Many would cross Jesus off as crazy for saying such things. Today, our warriors are dying for wicked politicians who merely want to expand Satan's tyranny to other lands. People accept such sacrifices, many of them with no questions asked. But, they would hardly permit their sons to die for principles which Jesus taught! They would consider that to be crazy. Peace is good, but God should just love all people equally and make them get along; His non-compromising discrimination is politically unacceptable! Tolerance for our destroyers is the "in" thing today. Christian culture is "out," while "multiculture" is the banner for our age. Miscegenation is the media's primary promotion.
Today, in our modern society, the John Waynes have been morphed into Sylvester Stallones, perverse comedians, and dufus fathers. Our liberal society doesnít want men who stand up as individuals to challenge Goliaths while their families plead for them to come back and be peaceful like everyone else.
Here we are, into the End-Time scene on the stage. God's great battle of Armageddon is beginning. Americans are being sold out by traitorous leaders. The media portrays evil as good and good as evil. Perversion of every facet of our traditional Christian culture has become entertainment. Our own true Israelite white-race European family favors peace-at-any-price rather than the risk of death in battle. Politicians easily attract the masses, while only a few climb to the wall-towers to shout warnings against following the mediaís darlings. For those rare individuals who feel compelled by powerful inner urges to challenge the enemy who is destroying us, their own families will wail against them. Women, especially, donít want war; it is not their God-given nature to give their lives in battle, but rather in peaceful nurturing. Like Jesus said, "a manís enemies will be those of his own household." A man can argue his case with his family, but it will be in vain. War is a hard sell. But in his inspired mind, he sees a large picture of his racial family through history, and he sees that Satanís forces are dangerously close to annihilating their Godly traditions, values, culture, and even the purity of their race. He knows that to give his life in defense of his greater racial family would be an honor. He knows that pleas for peace, and the offering of flowers will not win the day. He knows that the Rodney King philosophy of "canít we all just get along?" is a recipe for defeat. He knows that our very life is at stake, and the situation is looking more bleak every day. He knows that his Lord is that guy on a great white horse whose eyes are like fire, Whose robe is dipped in blood, and Who has a sword in His mouth (Rev 19). He knows that he, as a man, is being called to conquer, as Jesus states in Rev 21, "The one overcoming (conquering) will inherit these things and I will be to him God and he will be to me a Son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and those who are vile, and murderers and fornicators and sorcerers and idolaters and all the false ones - their part will be in the lake burning with fire and sulfur." He knows that one thing he must overcome/conquer is the pleading of those who love him, who would tie him in place with responsibilities, for their sake.
It is not easy to follow that Lord on that white horse into battle. A would-be-warrior will likely have to walk away from loved-ones while they wail after him. He is sad that they donít understand, and it is difficult to comprehend why Jesus said He came for the very purpose of setting family members against him. Unspoken is a conviction that there is a higher purpose for Godís family than just the enjoyment of peace in this world. Itís unspoken because we have precious little hint of what that higher-purpose might be. We believe that there is one, but we really stand up and march because we feel compelled to do so by an unexplainable force within us. We are called by that "feeling" inside us more than by any Biblical demand or rational argument. For the rare one who acknowledges that "feeling," he will yield up his earthly life with confidence that he is not alone, but is accessing his very God Father by doing so. He will charge into battle openly and boldly, disdaining his bodily life, knowing the truth that every seasoned warrior knows: "until you realize you are already dead, you canít function here." And he will do his task alone, knowing that he had to turn his back on his loved ones to do so.
Alone he is. Alone he pursues his quest and seeks his holy Grail. Alone through dark nights and storms and terrible trials. Alone in this world, but he knows he is not alone in his endeavor, for it is by his noble life and sacrifice that God might consider His creation was not a complete waste of effort. It is to such a solitaire that I write, to let you know that the desolate and lonely path before you was trodden bare by countless lonely brothers who walked it before you, and hopefully, because of you, will be there for countless brothers after you. If you are one of His overcomers, you will walk it. You will suffer the pleadings of loved-ones and the arrows of this world, and you will keep walking. Keep your eye on that hill ahead where the One on the cross beckons to you, "This is the way. Follow me."
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