I haven’t really left the fight. In fact, I’ve been arming up and getting in the fight quite a bit this summer. I just haven’t been recording podcasts. Sorry about that. But, join me to catch up and let’s get back in the fight together.
We had a rough night last night. In fact, we’ve had a rough week. Ok, fine. It’s been a rough couple months. You get the point. But, the last couple weeks have been crazy. In the midst of an out-of-town family wedding, two plays my kids are in, work craziness, and all the normal day-to-day zaniness of a family of six in a one-bathroom house, one of our cats decided he was done using the litter box. Save your advice. We’ve heard it. We spent $400 treating him and giving him a vacation at the vet. We tried cage training him for a few hours. He threw his litter, food, water, and bed all over himself and gouged the bejeebers out of the wall he could reach from his cage. The long and short of it is this: We have neither the time, the money, nor the patience to deal with a cat that has gone plum crazy.
So, last night my wife and I came to the agonizing conclusion that this cat’s days in our house were numbered and the number was 1. Bedtime for the kids was approaching and I announced that they would need to say goodbye to the cat because he would be gone in the morning. However, trying to spare the little ones’ feelings, I fudged a little on what exactly would be happening. This sent my wife over the edge because she did not think I was going to lie to the kids. Basically, what we had was an extreme failure of communication and one massive spiritual attack coming on. In the old days, I wouldn’t have recognized the spiritual attack, but I’ve been training (through books and audio and video materials) with John Eldredge and the Ransomed Heart gang. Take my word for it. It got ugly — fast.
Once I recognized the spiritual attack, I called a halt and announced that Hobbes (our cat) would not be dying in the morning (God willing) because we were going to pray for him and see if God would heal our cat. So, we fought spiritually. And Satan got ticked.
That’s how you know if you’re praying right. If Satan isn’t mad, you’re not praying right. If foul and evil spirits start accusing, assaulting, and attacking you with fear, discouragement, exhaustion, headaches, distraction, deception, confusion, etc., etc., you are on to something. Don’t give up! The devil knows how dangerous you are. God knows how important you are to His kingdom (Joh 14:12). He has given you his name (Isaiah 43:7). God and Satan both know how important you are to the Kingdom of God. That’s why the evil one tries to make us forget who we are in Christ.
“You have a great name. He must kill your name before he can kill you.” – Gladiator
If he can get us to forget who we are, he can render us ineffective for the kingdom.
Unfortunately, I was almost taken out by this attack. All I had in me was the one prayer for the cat and some quick covering for my family and some pleas for mercy and grace. Thankfully, God had mercy on us and filled in what we lacked. My wife and I managed to talk through our communication issues and come to a peaceful resolution, if not exactly true unity.
This morning, I spent a good hour praying through a lot of stuff. And again, I’m pretty sure some demons got ticked off. So, I pressed in and kept praying. Things aren’t perfect and easy, but they are better. And, I know I’m on the right track. Why? Because the evil one and his buddies are mad.
I went to see the Ransomed Heart/And Sons film A Story Worth Living a couple weeks ago. If you missed it, you’ll have to wait until it comes out on BluRay/DVD because it was a one-night event. There has been a touch of controversy surrounding this film because it was promoted as a motorcycle adventure film and some of the motorcycle adventure purists felt that the film was short on motorcycle adventure and long on Jesus.
To be as objective as possible, let me say, I love Ransomed Heart and pretty much everything they do. For fans like me, I knew that they were going to talk about Jesus in the movie and that doesn’t bother me at all. As the event neared and the promotion of the film got picked up by the motorcycle adventure community, I wondered myself how the film would be received by non-Christian motorcycle enthusiasts who only saw the trailer and weren’t familiar with Ransomed Heart or And Sons.
So my review is this:
For fans like me, it was not nearly as spiritually deep as the RH stuff we’re used to reading/watching. It was good and I believe God used it and will continue to use it to reach many people.
For motorcycle enthusiasts unfamiliar with Ransomed Heart, I can see how the film may have disappointed, unless God was moving in their hearts as they watched. Let’s face it. Six guys, four of whom have never ridden motorcycles off road, don’t have the makings of a great motorcycle adventure film.
In a nutshell, I can see how this was poorly received by some people who went to see it. As I said, I’m happy to support RH and I pray this film will help spread their message far and wide, but I’d have to give it an A for effort and a B- overall. They get an A+ for class though, because they immediately offered a full refund to anyone who felt misled or disappointed by the movie. I’m still waiting for someone to offer me a refund for The Kingsman. That movie was nothing like its preview and I felt downright violated by that piece of garbage. Also, even if you felt duped, it was not offensive to anyone but the most obnoxious anti-Christians and it was deeper than 99% of what Hollywood has to offer. That being said, if you’re looking for mind-blowing spiritual depth, check out the Wild at Heart bootcamp DVDs or the Platinum Collection. If you want a great adventure documentary, I suggest the surf movies Step Into Liquid and Riding Giants (I like surf movies).
Bonus: What I’ve Been Learning From RH
- Spiritual Warfare – broke agreement with Fear from Kindergarten.
- Chase God (relate to God), don’t chase calling.
- It’s all about relationship.
“Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — “No, YOU move.”
― J. Michael Straczynski, spoken by Captain America in Marvel’s Civil War: The Amazing Spider-Man
Do you have any idea what’s at stake for your children?
Our children are under attack by the enemy. And shockingly, there are people who call themselves Christians who are giving the enemy a foothold! They’re preaching tolerance above truth. Our children are being assaulted at the most basic levels, even at the very level of their gender identity! There is no time for talking, wishing, and planning.
It’s time to fight. (Disclaimer: No, I’m not advocating violence or revolution. Keep reading.)
Do you know how to fight? Do you know how to arm yourself?
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil… For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:10-18 (For more information on spiritual warfare, see the works of John Eldredge, in particular: Wild at Heart, Moving Mountains.)
I’m astounded at how easily the devil has accomplished his goals lately. Have you noticed? In the last ten years, the church has erased hell, accepted gay marriage, and is now considering transgenderism. Now, I know, not everyone in the church has rolled over on these issues, but this stuff would have been laughed at as ridiculously absurd a generation ago. When Rob Bell declared the end of hell in his book Love Wins, a lot of Christians said, “Hmm. You know, he might be right.” How many evangelical churches went along with that? This is core, fundamental stuff! Mature Christians should not be debating the existence of hell!
“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” – Hebrews 6:1-2
All it took for gay marriage to work its way into the church was apparently a Supreme Court ruling, the president to flip his position from what he said as a candidate, and a little pressure from the media and some bought-and-paid-for protesters. Again, not every Christian (obviously), but a surprising amount (if my Facebook feed can be believed) now defend the “rights” of homosexuals to marry each other! As I write this, I’m forced to wonder how long it will be before I’m going to be arrested for even suggesting it’s not right.
And now, our children are being brainwashed into thinking that boys can be girls and girls can be boys just by deciding they identify with the opposite sex. Our government is forcing public schools to eliminate gender-specific bathrooms. A federal judge ruled this week that according to the Civil Rights laws of this country, the sex of a child is no longer determined by biology. Can you believe that?!
You do realize what this is about, don’t you? It really has nothing to do with accommodating anyone’s civil rights or being tolerant. It’s not about helping the downtrodden and the marginalized. It’s about control. It’s about power. It’s about the government concentrating power and wielding it. If they can get us to surrender authority over our children (through the public schools and their policies) and allow them to deceive them with confusion about their gender identity, they’re one step closer to a populace that is nothing more than an army of mindless, faceless, genderless stormtroopers that can be controlled with the ease of a cattle prod. It’s like the old Soviet Union or some dystopian novel like 1984 or Brave New World. We’re on our way. And the truly scary thing is that some Christians are looking for areas for compromise! They’d rather be ‘safe’ than right. Tell me — How does right compromise with wrong? How does good compromise with evil? How does God compromise with the devil? How does the Truth compromise with a lie?
The time has come to take a stand. The whole country is telling us that something wrong is something right. They are demanding that we change our beliefs, that we compromise. The whole world is telling us to move. Our job is to plant ourselves like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world —
No. YOU move.
No spoilers contained in this podcast, so don’t worry. I did see Captain America: Civil War with my kids this weekend. Captain America has always been one of my favorite superheroes, along with Superman (the Christopher Reeve version and the old TV show) and, more recently, Mr. Incredible (of The Incredibles). In Captain America, you see a true man.
“Manliness is the character of a man as he ought to be, as he was meant to be. It expresses the qualities which go to make a perfect man — truth, courage, conscience, freedom, energy, self-possession, self-control. But it does not exclude gentleness, tenderness, compassion, modesty. A man is not less manly, but more so, because he is gentle. In fact, our word ‘gentleman’ shows that a typical man must also be a gentle man… The manly spirit… is ready to defend unpopular truth, to stand by those who are wronged, to uphold the weak… And so it causes truth to prevail, and keeps up the standard of a noble purpose in the world.”
“Courage is an element of manliness. It is more than readiness to encounter danger and death, for we are not often called to meet such perils. It is every-day courage which is most needed — that which shrinks from no duty because it is difficult; which makes one ready to say what he believes, when his opinions are unpopular; which does not allow him to postpone a duty, but makes him ready to encounter it at once; a courage which is not afraid of ridicule when one believes himself right; which is not the slave of custom, the fool of fashion…
Truthfulness is another element of true manliness. Lies usually come from cowardice, because men are afraid of standing by their flag, because they shrink from opposition, or because they are conscious of something wrong which they cannot defend, and so conceal. Secret faults, secret purposes, habits of conduct of which we are ashamed, lead to falsehood, and falsehood is cowardice… Therefore if we wish to be manly, we must not do anything of which we are ashamed. He who lives by firm principles of truth and right, who deceives no one, injures no one, who therefore has nothing to hid, he alone is manly.”
– James Freeman Clarke, on True Manliness from Every-Day Religion, 1886; from the Art of Manliness: Manvotionals by Brett and Kate McKay
If that isn’t Captain America, I don’t know what is. If men today were true men, with this kind of character, we would have no boys questioning whether they were meant to be girls. Even superheroes today are portrayed as wishy-washy, questioning their purpose and character, their very essence, in the face of opposition.
What shall we do, men?
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14