Thoughts on manliness through developing an assertive, manly voice…

Thoughts on manliness through developing an assertive, manly voice…

One marked difference I noticed as I attended John Piper’s pastor’s conference’s over the years is how high-pitched the voices of the worship and workshop leaders had become. Before there was a woke ideology present at these conferences (2017 or so, after which I quit attending), we (myself and others) noticed a marked and increasing effeminacy of both the worship sung and the men leading the singing. No longer was it men singing hymns loudly and boldly, but increasingly newer, passive, higher pitched (unsingable!) and emotive songs.

I have been noticing a distinction between confident men and insecure men, or men who act like men and men who retreat from conflict as their primary default position. It is that the former have lower pitched voices while the latter’s voices are soft and effeminized. This is true of me, I would guess—when I am confident, I say things with a low, yet assertive voice, while the things I say insincerely or in fear of people are said in a higher-pitched passive voice. Repentance and obedience carry a tone.

Posture matters for both men and women, and this includes working to cultivate a manly voice. Notice in the movies of yesteryear vs the sitcoms of today? There is almost an entirely different vocal tone of actors in the old days than in today’s generation. Look no further than what the law of winsomeness, popularized by Tim Keller, Desiring God, and the Gospel Coalition have produced, vs. those influenced by Douglas Wilson, John MacArthur, or Voddie Baucum. Listen to their voices, their posture.

Case in point: I was on a zoom call recording a friend’s podcast (on “worship in the church”) and besides myself, there was another reformed Baptist pastor and a younger Presbyterian worship leader. The vocal tone-ation of both men presented a huge contrast, but it was reflective of what they said. The PCA guy, quoting TCG articles and an avowed Keller-ite, made no assertive claims, but merely hypothetical statements and platitudes about appealing to the comforts of men and women in worship, while the Reformed Baptist Pastor asserted Truth according to the dictates and principles of God’s Word. Ironically, the assertive pastor had a lot of practical nuggets to give, while the passive Millenial with the effeminate voice said almost nothing applicable.

Does not the nature of Godly manhood necessitate developing a low voice, one which is confident and assertive? Yes, because the nature of fighting and taking Culture for Christ necessitates assertive statements of advancement.

I would posit the High-pitched and rather effeminate voice is kept this way because of the law of winsomeness and is driven by necessary Accomadtion to not being offensive to others means that they (others) are “in Control.” The tone and pitch of the voice will follow suit; for in this view, public interaction being retreating, necessitates being afraid of men; Whereas driven by Fear of God will cause one to make confident assertions in spite of men’s opinions.

Is this not merely a natural genetic makeup? Of Course Not. Listen to Steve Lawson preach. He might have the world’s most unnatural preaching voice, and yet it sounds manly and clear. The same could be said for James White, whose natural voice seems quite high, but is manly. Or, on the opposite, does Voddie Baucuum really have that low and intimidating voice, or has it become this by his posture, his theology lived out?

Listen to the voices of pastors who were influenced by “the culture accommodationists/retreat-ism vs those who were most influenced by those who, by conviction or by obedience, take stands against culture to bring Christ as King into all of life. I would say the contrast would be striking over time.

Good theology lived in obedience will lead to mature, secure men. And Mature and confident men’s vocals will reflect this. A Godly posture in men will involve the whole of the man.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

 

Convictions on the “altar calls” and planned “revival responses”

Convictions on the “altar calls” and planned “revival responses”
 
I grew up in a church system where a public call for “walking the aisle” or “raising your hand” to receive Christ was a semi-regular occurrence in my Evangelical Free Church, though not too ostentatious. I remember this as normal but began to have some concerns as I worked at Bible Camp and saw the same kids come forward for the same experience on Decision Night (Tuesdays at the chapel) year after year, regardless of the content of the message.
 
My clear, personal, and abiding conviction on these issues came when I became the Camp speaker and was actually in charge of the Altar Call (circa 2003). I remember this night clearly as one of a fork in the road for ministry after which my ministry direction was altered and set on a different course. The night I am referring to came during a week of camp where there was a big thunderstorm and a significant power outage, which meant for chapel, the lights were off, candles were lit, and the music was acoustic. After two days of games, lack of sleep, and storms, the ambiance was one of the emotions, a “revival spirit.” Kids and counselors were swaying and raising their hands. Was it the Holy Spirit at work, or was the atmosphere unique and intimate?
 
Before I got up to speak, I remember that a very clear thought came to me and was crystallized. It was my turn to get the big decision numbers, and I knew exactly how I would do it. I was sure that I could get up, share the horrors of crucifixion with all the dramatic emotion I could muster, and then make a plea for the decision to receive Jesus.
 
As I considered this, I then realized that I could easily, not because I was a great speaker, but because of the emotive atmosphere, simply calling for a decision, and most or all of the kids would do whatever I told them to do. I knew it. I held this in my hands. And then I was gripped by Fear. I knew it was in my power to do this and I then realized their response might have nothing to do with God, but only by using the right words, and in this, I could give false assurance. They would have their faith in that night and the feelings of that night, but not in the Abiding Truth of God’s Word. It was one of those ministry crossroads. The temptation was great and the power and pull of immediate success were terrifying. I knew that God would hold me accountable for my words and actions.
 
I remember going to the bathroom and staring at the mirror with this realization and this Holy Fear. I knew I could go in the altar call direction and I knew the results would be immediate and marked. I knew we would have numbers to report and decisions to count up. In my fear, I resolved to do the opposite. I went up on stage and gave a simple, clear, and sincere gospel message. Then I did the opposite of what I had been indirectly trained to do: I sent the kids back to their cabins. I shared that I and the counselors would be available to pray and answer questions. A few kids stayed. Most departed. The Lights came on. I didn’t have the revival I had craved, but I had a clean conscience and the methods of my preaching ministry were changed. This was 18 years ago. I have only grown stronger in my convictions: Real Salvation is seen in the Spirit working on the individual to believe in Christ Jesus and Repent. This will lead to a lifetime of discipleship, love of the church, and marked maturity. This person will love God’s word. Their assurance will be Christ Alone as their King and High Priest (Hebrews 10:19-25), as they obey His word for the rest of their early lives.
 
Friends, you need the Word of God, preached, sung, obeyed, and meditated upon. Will your life be marked by experiences? Sure, both of victory, hardship, and repentance. You need to first realize that you are a Sinner who is separated from God and headed to Hell. The Gospel is Christ’s Work of mediation through his perfect life and atoning death. Believe this.
 
 

Thoughts on 20 years in the Ministry…

Thoughts on 20 years in the Ministry…
 
I am now in my 21st year of pastoral ministry and as I think back on the first two decades, my life has been one of reformation, both in the positive and the negative.
 
In the positive, I look back at the kindness of God to hem me in and move me from a seeker-driven youth minister to a Confessionally reformed pastor. That, through a series of books, mentors, podcasts, and just preaching through books of the Bible, I praise God for where he has reformed by thinking and living in conformity with his written word.
 
In the negative, I also evaluate my life through a long series of “forks in the road” requiring repentance and faith which God designed to put in front of me. Difficulties with people, the world, and the devil, the ministry has been anything but “conflict-free.” I look back and realize that every time, the dominant enemy, the primary foe, was my flesh, the hard choice between obedience in the long term and appeasing my desire for comfort, conflict-free living, and immediate success. Every conflict was exacerbated by my own fear within (II Corinthians 7:5, Proverbs 9:10, Proverbs 29:25), and the choice was often not that difficult intellectually, but it was painful spiritually. God has so loved me that he has forced me to contend with myself. Will I fear Him and obey Him, or will I give my dues to the altar of man’s approval?
 
The last 20 years have been a series of events and relationships through which God has forced me to recon with my worldly fears.
It has been a reformation of fears, a reformation of the heart.

The King’s Academy Homeschool Co-Op at Lifespring Church

 

The King’s Academy Homeschool Co-Op at Lifespring Church

 

Sharing the Purpose and Mission: Sunday, August 14 @6 in the Basement of Lifespring Church

 

Beginning in the Fall of 2022: Tuesday mornings 8:15-11

 

Primary Teachers (Lifespring Church): Eric, Bob, Noah

 

Weightlifting/Gym: Randy Mertes

 

Cost: $20/kid

 

8:15-8:45 Opening, Singing, Scripture Memory/Catechism and Creational Worldview

 

8:45-9:15–1st Class (American History, The Constitution, and Citizenship)

 

9:15-9:30—Break

 

9:30-10:00 2nd Class (The Christian Mind: Critical Thinking)

 

10:00-11:00 Gym/Weightlifting

 

Expectations:

  1. One or Both Parents Attend

  2. All work done before class (Scripture Memory and any books to read)

  3. Start on Time, End on Time

  4. No Cell Phones or impromptu Bathroom Breaks

  5. Everyone cleans up

  6. Ages: School age (younger kids can play in nursery)

 

Dates: Week of…

 

  1. Sept 11

  2. Sept 18

  3. Sept 25

The ending of Roe: Does not God writes the best and most ironic stories?

The ending of Roe: Does not God write the best and most ironic stories?

Psalms 66:5 Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.

In 50 years from today, what will we tell our Grandchildren about the Evil of the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling and the story of its slow overturn, culminating in the Reversal in June 2022 by 5 judges, including a black man and a middle ages mother of seven children?

Will we tell the story of how the vast majority of  Evangelicals, then very Biblically illiterate, actually approved of abortionof Roe v. Wade when it was passed in 1973?

Will we share how God used Christian thinkers, pastors, housewives, medical doctors, and technology to turn, not only Christians but the national conscience regarding Life in the womb?

Shall we recount the slow tale of a renewal of Biblical Convictions, em-flamed by discernment of Francis Shaeffer, the preaching of John MacArthur, and instruction of RC Sproul, whose children and grandchildren in the Faith pressed on with new convictions on the Gospel and the Nature of Biblical Authority?

Will we tell, with an ironic chuckle, how God directly used a Man named “The Donald”, a blunt and uncouth fellow, a billionaire businessman, hated by the elite class, who ended up being the most Citizen-friendly and courageous president in our lifetime, who kept his promise and appointed three of the justices who overturned Roe?

And dare we talk about how “The Donald” was elected? I for one will laugh when I tell how I waited until almost election day to decide to vote, with my nose pinched, for “The Donald,” and primarily because the party in power pitted a corrupt and vile woman named “The Hillary”, a terrible choice, even for them, to go against Him.

Shall we tell how the Lord used another Man, a career big-government politician named Mitch who, for whatever reason, held his ground until the election of Donald J. Trump to allow a new justice to be confirmed?

Shall we tell about this political party, which crashed and burned, called the Democrats, who became so stupid and foolish in their quest for power that they allowed the demonic leftists to write their script, continually attacked families, people, and workers with endless propaganda of Gay rights, transgender-ism, accusations of racism, murder of infants, and those constant threats actually served to bring a coalition of normal people out of their slumber and support life and truth?

 Will we recount how God choose June, the sacred month of festivals to the God of secularism, Pride month, to become that of emancipation for the babies in our land?

Shall we tell how this issue revealed and thankfully, ended an entire pharisee class of liberals, called “big Eva,” and their political stooges named David the French, Christianity Astray, and the Moore Twins (Russell and Beth) and, how they assaulted the Christian conscience with relentless false guilt and showed how much they feared man rather than God? Shall we tell how God worked this victory in spite of the dominance of the therapeutic takeover of much of evangelicalism? How men became effeminate and women dominant and many churches acted like regional spiritual resource centers rather than a place where warriors gather.

Shall we tell of this, God’s victory and blessing, in spite of the judgment our nation deserved for taunting him and attempting an all-out 60-year assault upon his truth by trying to re-write creational rules and norms?

Oh, the Irony of how God writes the Stories, and how he used crusaders and ruffians to win his wars and advance his Kingdom. Rejoice friends and toast the King of Kings, whose works of glory and surprises of providence continue to marvel and inspire awe and gratitude.  Praise Him!

7 thoughts on how the Transgender tyranny ravaging our society is necessarily good for us

7 thoughts on how the Transgender tyranny ravaging our society is necessarily good for us:

It is my conviction that the tyranny of transgenderism is the number one issue, the bottom line facing us today. We are nearing the bottom of perversion and now are seeing the results. We must fight injustice. Sin is horrible and when sin is protected and promoted, much injustice is furthered which harms many people. This is true, yet Satan will not reign, and now is the time we must believe God and turn to Him. We simultaneously heed and take hope. Here are 7 convictions, all true yet not exclusive to the ways God will bless us if we turn to him.

Shall not the judge of all the earth do what is Just?” (Genesis 18:25) 

We know that all things work for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)

  1. It is good to face the reality of what the gods of secular materialism deliver—a destruction which is increasingly unavoidable—in which we must choose which god to serve in reality, not just “spiritually” (Joshua 24:15, I Kings 18:21)

  1. It is good for people to face God’s judgment as seen in this earth, according to what he promises to do, It is good in that we can see the chaos of Man’s sin working to produce chaos and irrelevancy in our institutions (Romans 1:18-32, I Peter 4:17)

  1. It is good to be faced with God’s mercy to convert to him. You either accept all of God’s terms of humanity, or you must accept that self-identity is the final arbitrator of truth—it is an either/or. Sola Scriptura or solus-feelings. Self-identity or the full counsel of God in his word, both old and new testament. (Psalm 50:21)

  1. It is good to be forced to evaluate how we got here and repent. This is the result of our society’s (you and me) rebellion against God by re-creating reality from basic definitions of humanity (Genesis 1-2).  This is God’s world and ideas have consequences, particularly rebellious ones.  You cannot repent of transgender-ism unless you repent of being ambiguous on sodomy/lesbianism. You cannot repent of supporting the same same-sex-ism unless you repent of feminism. You cannot repent of feminism until you repent of egalitarianism. You cannot repent of egalitarianism unless you go back to the sin of the garden—where Men actually believe in God and hold to his standards, not being passive or giving into lies in the face of temptation. We will have to think and act, feelings and hyper-spirituality won’t cut it. You will either live in God’s world of Genesis 1-2 or continue to live in the covenant and curse of death (Genesis 3)

  1. It is good that this issue forces Men to actually stand up, both teaching and against this injustice..you will have to (Romans 14:23, I Corinthians 16:13))

  2.  It is good in that we will either work to reform these institutions or replace them—they will die—either quickly or slowly by their irrelevance (Jeremiah 29:5-7). Now is a great time to be like Boaz (Ruth 2-4), cultivating our fields and blessing our workings. By building churches, families, businesses, educational institutions, good art, etc, in the time of judgment where everyone else is doing as they see fit and the legacy institutions are becoming an irrelevant joke.

  3. We are eternal people. It is good for all men to have to face eternity and judgment. We will be judged by God’s law and live accordingly—either by Grace in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord, who earned new life for us, or continue by man’s law—earning deserved judgment in Hell and seeing an increasing preview through the hell on earth which the chose of god’s Judgement is. Believe in the Gospel of eternal hope and restoration and repent to God. (Acts 17:32) 

What is Holiness lived?

Humans are distinct from animals
 
Men are distinct from women
 
Marriage and sex in marriage is distinct from all other human relationships
 
This is holiness/sacredness as created by God.
 
Sin begins when my feelings become sacred and I rebel against God’s sacred distinctions.
 
Anger is God’s right and Holy response to the rebellion of his creatures.
 
Judgment is both earthly and eternal
 
Righteousness through Jesus Christ re-establishes God’s holy creational distinctions
 
Repentance is coming to my senses, agreeing with God with holy sorrow, and returning to his holy order.