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Guest Blogger: Brad Brinkley (July 12, 2011)

July 12, 2011 0 comments

Today’s guest blogger is Brad Brinkley. Brad and his wife Taylor have been a part of NewLife since last November.

Lover and a Fighter

“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.’” (Revelation 19:11-16)

When it comes to understanding godly masculinity, two extremes dominate modern (especially Western) culture. One extreme prevails more in the world, the other in the church. They might be fittingly labeled thus: The Bully and The Sweetheart.

The Bully is king of his castle. He will have his way. He will be obeyed, and if not, there will be consequences. He loves to display his glory, strength and power. He may even resort to violence. The Sweetheart, on the other hand, is exactly that—sweet. He rarely makes waves or initiates conflict. He is often quiet, meek, and tender as a lamb. His mission in life is singular: to be nice.

Neither extreme honors God. Neither is biblical. And Jesus comes to destroy them both.

Somewhere between these extremes is the God-man, Jesus Christ, not only our Savior and King but also our model for Christian masculinity; the One into whose image we are being conformed (Romans 8:29). Jesus is tough and tender, fierce and friendly, a gatherer of lambs and a slaughterer of enemies, and he will not settle on his sons becoming anything less than a warrior and a priest—a lover and a fighter.

If you are a man, I want to invite you to Firewalk, a men’s weekend inspired by the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge and led by men from Warrior Heart Ministries (Waco, TX). Firewalk is designed to purify and empower, to soften and embolden the hearts of men. The Bullies will be tenderized; The Sweethearts, galvanized. Do not miss this event.

Firewalk will be August 5th-7th at Camp Keswick (Monterey, MA). $100 covers food, lodging, and materials. (Make checks payable to NLCF, and be sure to note “Firewalk” in the memo line). Registration ends July 31st.

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