Warrior

Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs, and the Choice Men Must Make

It’s easy to armchair-quarterback Adam’s failure in the Garden of Eden.

Why did he allow the enemy to deceive his wife? Why didn’t he anticipate the danger? Why was he so passive in the face of the enemy?

 Each of us imagines we would have operated differently. We would have recognized the danger immediately, right?

Before we treat Adam too critically, we should consider the danger in our own environment. How are we responding to the attacks on our land, our families, and our relationships?

Psychology professor Dave Grossman studies human aggression and the psychology of humans in combat, and he suggests that people fall into one of three personality types.

“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep.  If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath – a wolf.  But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens?  Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path.”

Adam approached the situation in the garden as a sheep. He failed to protect and defend against the threat, and he invited sin into the world.

Later, his son Cain would become the first wolf, killing his brother Abel out of jealousy.

Although Grossman’s work addresses our military and law enforcement, I believe it applies to Christian men as well. True followers of Jesus have no place being passive, powerless sheep or sociopathic wolves when Satan is working around us to get a foothold in our lives.

Consider Jesus.

He lived His life in sharp contrast to others: standing in as protector and defending His people. Even today, He continues to fight our battles.

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

2 Thess 3:3

There’s no doubt that Jesus’ character matches Grossman’s description of the sheepdog. He is both warrior and hero, intent on protecting, defending, and fathering his people. He seeks those who are hurting, suffering, oppressed and lost, and He sacrificed everything for them.

The Last Adam came to accomplish what the First Adam could not. While the First Adam was motivated by self-preservation, the Last Adam came to protect His people.

Jesus stands in the gap where Christian men fail. But given that we all fail, we should view that as an encouragement rather than an indictment.

We are called to stand and defend those around us, but we do so with the strength of Jesus on our side.  

We have something to fight for, and something to fight against.

We have a land to protect; relationships to defend; people to save. And we have an enemy to fight.

Take stock around you:

·      Who has fallen prey to the confusion of the world?

·      Who is imprisoned by sin and shame?

·      Who needs a defender to stand in the gap?

The men of Junto Tribe understand that it’s difficult to stand as a sheepdog in the world, but we believe it’s the path God calls us to.  

God is seeking warriors, and we want to be those men.

In a world of sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs, which path will you choose today?

 

 

Photo by Federica Giusti on Unsplash 

 

 

Kingdom Men, Aggression, and the Warrior Spirit

The First Adam paints a picture of what God intended manhood to be.

God created Adam to be a servant, a warrior, a scholar, a craftsman, an explorer, a leader, and a disciple

He then placed the First Adam in the Garden of Eden with an assignment: to be a watchman and a protector. Adam was to defend and to preserve the garden and all its inhabitants.

God gave Adam all the tools he needed to “keep” the garden.

Adam was created to fight against the world’s enemy and his mission to steal, kill and destroy.

Adam was entrusted to fight for his relationship with God and Eve, and all the inhabitants of the garden.

But when the enemy invaded Adam’s domain and tricked Eve, Adam failed to protect her. Instead of defending his wife and his land and his relationship with God, Adam defended himself and blamed Eve and God.

The man said, "The woman you put here with me -- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. " 

Genesis 3:12

Adam likely misunderstood his warrior spirit, just as many of us do today. He likely failed to understand that manly aggression, guided by Kingdom principles, was one of the tools God gave him to protect his domain.

He also failed to understand that it was his heritage as a son of God.

The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.

Exodus 15:3

John Eldredge explains in his book Wild At Heart that the warrior spirit shows up in childhood when we pretend to be soldiers, knights, cowboys, and superheroes.

It often continues into adulthood in our interest in guns, knives, action movies, and even video games that depict a battle between good and evil.

But somewhere along the way, society convinces us that aggression is always bad; that it’s toxic, and it’s destroying us.

The world asks, “What Would Jesus Do?” and prompts us to respond accordingly. It suggests that Jesus teaches only meekness, mildness, and timidity.

But the world overlooks the fact that when Jesus found unethical behavior happening in the temple at Passover, he drove out the thieves who were defiling His Father’s house.

So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

John 2:15

Jesus’ Kingdom aggression was born of his responsibility to protect and defend, and it was measured and appropriate.

Even today, our families, our workplaces, our communities, and our churches need this brand of Kingdom aggression. At the same time, men need a battle to fight. We are hard-wired for it, and it’s a major component of our legacy on earth.

Instead, we give in to fear or we turn a blind eye to the battles around us. In the very worst of cases, we use our manly aggression against those we are called to protect.

Decide for yourself:

·      Where did your imagination take you as a young man?

·      Do any of those interests still exist for you as an adult?

·      When would Kingdom aggression be justified in your own mind?

The men of Junto Tribe seek these answers on a daily basis because the world needs us to know who we were created to be.

We don’t seek to spoon-feed you the answers, but rather to help you seek them through your own relationship with Jesus.

This is an ongoing conversation about questions that will exist as long as we live in a broken world.

The world doesn’t hesitate to share its opinions with you, but it only gives you one side of the story.

What if the world is wrong?

 

 

photo: https://pixabay.com/en/medieval-knight-fight-sword-2335880/

Manhood Is Only Unclear If You're Seeking the World's Definition

We struggle to understand manhood. 

Society jokes about it. Belittles it. Diminishes the need for it. 

Men find themselves caught between contradictory beliefs: the sense that manhood matters and the notion that it’s a threat to the world. 

But God never intended for us to be confused. 

In fact, God values manhood so much that His plan for the world centers on it. When God created Adam in His own image and placed him in the Garden of Eden, He began the work of revealing manhood to us. 

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”

Genesis 2:15 NKJV

 

Adam was a servant. He bore a responsibility to tend the earth in a way that helps it flourish. 

Adam was a warrior. He was appointed to guard and protect the garden and its occupants against threats. 

Adam was a scholar. God directed Adam to name the animals, engaging his powers of observation, language, knowledge, reason, and curiosity. 

Adam was a craftsman. He designed weapons, built shelters, and cultivated plants, and he developed the means to do all those things. 

Adam was an explorer. The garden was only a small part of God’s creation. The rest of the globe was uncharted territory that invited Adam to explore.

Adam was a leader. God called Adam to father a generation and to teach that generation to carry out the same mission that God had given him.

Adam was a disciple. He spent time with his Creator and learned what it meant to be a son of God. 

Though we may struggle to find modern examples of true manhood, God’s Word is full of them.

In Adam, and other men of the Bible, we recognize a pattern: when men imitate God, they succeed in their missions. When they fail to imitate God, they fail to be men.

Adam carried a massive responsibility on his shoulders. By living his life according to God’s character, he would fill the world with God’s goodness, and fulfill man’s mission on earth.

You carry the same responsibility Adam did; to do meaningful work that benefits creation and people. 

Thousands of years later, the mission hasn’t changed. Manhood hasn’t either.

You are a servant, a warrior, a scholar, a craftsman, an explorer, a leader, and a disciple. 

You were created in the image of God, and your presence here is meant to be world-changing. As you discover manhood for yourself, you’ll be equipped to share it with the generations behind you. 

The journey won’t be an easy one, but time is of the essence. Our days here are numbered and our mission is unique. 

The men of Junto Tribe would love nothing more than to walk alongside you in this all-important journey. 

The world needs men that know who they are. We intend to become those men. 

 

 

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash