But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution. (Letter to H. Niles — 1818)
George Washington (1774):
“[T]he crisis is arrived when we must assert our rights, or submit to every imposition, that can be heaped upon us, till custom and use shall make us as tame and abject slaves.”
This New Year, I am addressing my message particularly to men. Now ladies, please do not be offended or think I am neglecting you – just continue reading, and I think you might see how this message benefits everyone.
How would you describe a Christian gentleman? In this culture, if a man attends church once a month he may be thought of as a good person. Let’s face it; to some degree we all put on our best Sunday attitude at church. I hope, however, this is not the only time a man is at his best. But the truth is, for guys; it probably is.
Men, how would the people who actually know you describe you? Would they say you are well-mannered and kind? Would they describe you as a good person to know because they enjoy being around you?
My concern is that there are too many men in America today who are extremely impatient with others. They are easily angered and often obnoxious. Just let anyone make a mistake in their presence or disagree with their cherished opinions – and an explosion of furious ranting goes off to the discomfort of everyone. They may be successful in academics or business, but their manner is arrogant and rude. Thus, civility is declining and obnoxious behavior continues to grow. How do we solve this problem? This article is a call to men to bring the art of living as a Christian gentleman back again.
First of all a man must be born again. (John 3:3) As Luke writes when speaking of Jesus, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 ESV) Also, Paul writes: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV) However, even Christians are not perfect in their interactions with others. Many Christian men fail miserably at being a Christian gentleman.
It is a national tragedy that many American men seem to be untrained in the rules of simple manners. Perhaps I should provide some specific examples:
A gentleman is respectful of others. He is not soft, but he is polite and considerate. A gentleman is respectful of women and treats them all like ladies. He always holds the door for a lady and gives up his seat if she has no place to sit.
A Christian gentleman displays the fruit of the Spirit in his life: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV) A gentleman puts people at ease in his presence. If a gentleman disagrees with someone, he does so with kindness and always avoids vulgar jokes, profanity, and negative gossip.
A gentleman remembers such ordinary things as to say “please” and “thank you”. He uses the words “sir” and “ma’am” when he responds to others. He demonstrates respect for those who are older. (1 Peter 5:5 ESV) Concerning his appearance; a gentleman does not dress like a clown. He is conscientious about what is appropriate to wear for the occasion, in public, or work. He also does not date women who dress like hookers. Enough said!
A gentleman shuns violence and the loose talk and actions that lead to violence. When I was a teenager, I took classes in the Japanese martial arts. I remember my sensei always reminding his students “when faced with violence, it is better to run.” According to Jesus, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39 ESV) This teaching does not mean that one should never be prepared to defend his life and health or that of another. It does mean, however, that you should never think your own honor so venerated that you are ready to fight at the slightest insult.
As an educator, I often heard my single female colleagues complain, and I quote: “No man is going to put his feet under my table if he cannot hold a job.” I recognize that bad health and our present economic conditions may make it difficult to find a good job and hold it. But consider what John Calvin said, “There is no work, however vile or sordid, that does not glisten before God.”
Men have become too willing to “pass the buck” to others; but a gentleman takes responsibility for his actions. If he makes a mistake, he owns up to it. If he sins against someone, he asks for forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:32) He deals responsibly with the results of all his actions. Another complaint I often heard from my female colleagues was, “There are no longer any ‘safe’ men around.” A gentleman should be a “safe man”. Think about what that means!
The Christian gentleman is a man of honor who keeps his word. He can be counted on. He is also highly family-centered. He is committed to his wife and children. He is conscious of the character he displays when interacting with his wife and children. He disciplines his children and goes with them to church. He demonstrates his love for his family openly.
A Christian gentleman is a man of the book – the Bible. He does more than simply read it; he studies it in order to apply its teachings to his life. As Jesus said, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4 ESV)
William Lyon Phelps has written, “The final test of a gentleman is his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him.” This is best illustrated by Matthew 7:12 (ESV), “whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them. . . .” Too often, men in our society adopt the view, “It is better to do unto others, before they do unto you.” They think it is better to be labeled a wolf than possibly seen as a lamb. Well, consider this quote from Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt who history records as being a masculine “man’s man”: “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.”
In conclusion, my message to men this year is a call to civic virtue. American culture and institutions have been in decline. The traditional role of men in our society has become confused and denigrated. Yes, we need “men’s men” but we need to redefine this concept beyond physical ability and sports. Within this idea we must incorporate living life as a gentleman, and I hope – as a Christian gentleman. The barbarians of cultural chaos are currently at the gate. Real men must step up to become gentlemen in the finest tradition of George Washington, Samuel Adams, and Robert E. Lee. As we begin this New Year, you can make a difference by helping to reform the character of the America male. Man-up and change the future by resolving to be a Christian gentleman.
The Bible commands us to pray for those who are in leadership. This includes those who are vying to become leaders.
Godly leaders can help slow the erosion of religious liberties in our land. This can provide an increased window of opportunity for the Church to pray and evangelize.
According to Scripture, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Prov. 14:34). The selection of leaders who understand and lead according to God’s righteous standards can bring great blessing to a nation.
Scripture also says in Proverbs 11:14, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisors make victory sure.” The determination of who leads our nation will also determine who advises that leader and how we are guided.
PRAY FOR THE CHURCH:
Our eyes will be opened to see the hope to which we are called (Eph.1:18).
We will experience in a fresh, new way the Presence of Christ in revival.
Believers will be given the faith to believe that their votes will make a difference.
A spirit of repentance and humility will be poured out upon the people of God.
PRAY FOR THE VOTERS:
Wisdom will be sought from God (James 1:5).
Self-interest will be laid aside for the common good.
Discernment between truth and falsehood will be clear.
PRAY FOR THE CANDIDATES:
They will take brave stands for righteousness, even when it may not be well received.
Their families will be protected from harm and unnecessary scrutiny.
They will surround themselves with godly advisors.
They will focus on the issues we face as a nation and not on personal attacks on other candidates.
PRAY FOR THE MEDIA:
Truth in reporting and election coverage will become a high value.
Media bias will disappear.
Christianity will receive fair coverage in all reports.
Hope will become a part of the message of the media.
PRAY FOR THE NATIONS:
Voters will consider the foreign policies of candidates and how they fit with biblical principles.
The activities of other nations will not have an undue influence on our elections.
The result of U.S. elections will serve to spread the gospel around the globe.
The U.S. will stand firm in its commitment to Israel’s right to exist as a nation.
PRAY CONCERNING SPIRITUAL WARFARE DURING THIS ELECTION:
Great awareness and discernment for the Lord’s praying people as they pray over the election.
Physical protection for all candidates and their families throughout this campaign season.
A strong hedge of protection around the nation itself during this time of decision.
The unleashing of the sword of the Spirit throughout the nation, judging the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
PRAY FOR THE PURPOSES OF GOD:
Pray that the U.S. will turn and seek first the Kingdom of God.
Pray that the results of the 2012 elections will please the Lord and release His blessing over this nation.Pray for opportunities for Christians to share their faith and their values in the midst of this election process.
The above excerpts are from the 2012 Election Prayer Guide Posted by Darla Dawald, National Director on October 8, 2012 at 12:13am in Patriot Action Alerts
By David Butts, chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee and founder/president of Harvest Prayer Ministries.
[T]he passion which we invest in Presidential elections, especially this Presidential election, is a very bad sign. Those who truly think that the current path we are on is imminently destructive should be throwing all their elective energy into Congress. The presidency should be, by comparison, much less important. . . .
In fact, the framers were so wary of a strong President that they didn’t even have him elected by popular vote. This interesting fact now makes us bristle with resentment, but the truth is that they were trying to prevent just the kind of short-sightedness, so often found in democracies historically, of the people wanting a king, an absolute dictator, a messiah, to save them from self-inflicted crises. . . .
We have given in to that temptation. As is predictable, our embrace of a strong President began historically with a crisis, the economic and social crisis, the crisis of the Great Depression. FDR answered the crisis by treating a deadly serious domestic problem as if it were a war. That allowed him to transfer the constitutionally-defined strong powers of the Executive, meant for real war, to a domestic crisis.
Filed under: Constitution, Education, Founding Fathers, Freedom, Government, History, Patriotism, Politics, Samuel at Gilgal | Tagged: Benjamin Wiker, Franklin D Roosevelt, Great Depression | 2 Comments »
According to J. Gresham Machen:
“A public-school system, if it means the providing of free education for those who desire it, is a noteworthy and beneficent achievement of modern times; but when once it becomes monopolistic it is the most perfect instrument for tyranny which has yet been devised. Freedom of thought in the Middle Ages was combated by the Inquisition, but the modern method is far more effective.” (Christianity and Liberalism)
“It’s time we stopped looking backward at how we got here. … We must reach out and appeal to the patriotic and fundamental ideals of average Americans who do not consider themselves ‘movement’ people, but who respond to the same American ideals that we do.”
Quoting Samuel Adams:
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that … he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
In the words of Patrick Henry:
“It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth — and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?”
In the words of President “Teddy” Roosevelt:
“There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100 % Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.”
Filed under: Conservative, Constitution, Culture, Education, Government, History, Patriotism, Politics, Secular Progressive, Terrorism, Worldview | Tagged: President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, United States | Comments Off
In the words of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963):
“I believe in an America where the free enterprise system flourishes for all other systems to see and admire — where no businessman lacks either competition or credit — and where no monopoly, no racketeer, no government bureaucracy can put him out of the business that he built up with his own initiative.”