Pride Parades and Capitulation in Christendom


Just recently Christian singer Audrey Assad openly said that she loves and celebrates gay communities during Pride Month. Her comment is not alone, and obviously various Christians have given varying levels of approval. To give two more examples, a pastor came out as SSA on Christianity Today and a christian rock star came out as gay a couple years back on Religion New Service. I want to ask a question about Assad’s tweet below: what can be more hateful than this response?

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What is happening among Christians in North America? I believe that we all are aware deep down how destructive this lifestyle is, and that the Word of God speaks out expressly against it. And yet, you can be sure that these are only a handful of examples for the many examples of Christians laying down their arms and capitulating to the culture. There are many more examples that you can find for yourself. So why are Christians giving up?

I want to focus here on the matter of ‘love’. This is because the allegation that disagreement and disapproval means hatred, is one of the most manipulative and oldest tricks of the movement and of the day. Its like the highschool girl who throws a fit when her parents won’t allow her to go to a party where the parents know there will be a lot of drunkenness, and she says “you hate me!” Of course they love you, they don’t want you to get raped by a drunk guy or drive drunk. And that means not approving of an action (in love).

If people are confused about what ‘truth’ is in our culture, then the result is that they are just as confused about the truth of what ‘love’ really is. But truth and love come together. Take the case of a Christian family where one of their sons might “come out” as attracted to men, and then start dating one. They can still say that they love him. But to celebrate him would be a sign of acceptance. To truly love him would be to bind themselves to the truth in love and that means warning him about the destructive nature of that lifestyle spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc.

Are we really just giving in to the oldest manipulative trick in the books? I grew up in Toronto, and my Dad generally advised that we stay out of certain parts of the downtown core during June because the pride parades have been happening as long as I can remember. I never sensed a hatred. As early as the year 2000, my parents had already done a number of Bible studies with a man who had done surgery on his privates. When I was at college, I saw Christians reaching out in love, in Idaho of all places. Have you read Doug Wilson’s blog? Yes, I am pretty sure that he would also have dinner and do a Bible study with any attendee of the gay pride parade in Toronto.

Why are Christians capitulating? Maybe its because we have bought into the lies of the most intense and aggressive manipulation scam of the day. Maybe its because we have left our Bibles at the door and have had our feelings groomed by TV shows, university professors, and teenagers. Maybe its because we want to do our own thing. Maybe it is because we are deathly afraid of any sort of conflict that would make us look like radicals. Maybe it is because we have given up on a culture of repentance and must repent and return to the Lord and to His goodness.

Sure, there is a lot of hatred out there. But more often than not (in the circles that I work in), I have seen rock solid pastors and Christian men and women calling out in love for repentance in a dark world. Sure, we need to kick this up a notch,  we need to be more aggressive in taking the message of Jesus Christ into a dying world. We need to listen to people’s pain and heartache. We need to develop a stronger view of Christian justice in an anti-Christian age. We need to take children into Christian schools who are not Christian, but who are being confused by the gender confusion, and the sexual lies that are being forced down their throats in the public schools. But let us not be convinced of the lie that lack of approval is lack of love. Nothing is more unloving than approving of something that will destroy someone. Nothing is more hateful than flattering a man (or a woman) who is headed to death.

Jude calls us to contend for the faith, to have mercy on those who doubt, to save others by snatching them out of the fire, to show mercy with fear, to hate the garment stained by the flesh. This is rock solid love. The image is used of snatching someone out of a fire. Love fights. Love rescues. Love dies so that another might have life. And that is where Jesus Christ comes on scene as the perfect sacrifice to take away the sin of the world.

Justice in the Church


I don’t think it needs to be stated that some of the most important issues to many people in our decade are related to matters of justice. The abortion debate has broken out onto the national scene. The debate over whether you can identify as homosexual/lesbian and be Christian has broken into some more staunchly conservative churches. And the point where things get messier is that injustice has often happened in churches and has not always been dealt with appropriately.

One of the first principles that I turn to in understanding justice is the fact that God is just. While man has a sense of what is just, his heart is inclined towards injustice. When we consider the mess that this world is, we can cling to the fact that God is just. The Lord states in Isaiah 61:8 “For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” We also read in Psalm 33:5 “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.”

Because the Lord loves justice, the Scriptures are full of commands for His people to love justice. He lays out the plan for His people in Deuteronomy 16:20 “Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Of course, the sinful inclinations of His people lead in the opposite direction and He must call them back: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic. 6:8)

Of course, God never gave His people an airy sense of justice that doesn’t touch down and take shape in this world. If you read the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, they lay out a pattern for dealing with the summary statements of God’s law in the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:1-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21). You find case laws against abortion (Exodus 21:22-25), against rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29), etc.

Some will draw a line between the Old Testament and the New Testament. For example, in the Old Testament we find that Church and State (to use modern lingo) are very closely connected. Nevertheless, we do find that principles from Old Testament case law do extend into the New Testament. Which also apply to the modern day State as the Church disciples the nations.

As the primary vehicle of the kingdom of God (Matt 16:19), the Church must promote justice. Consider the work of the Apostle Paul in the City of Corinth and how he unequivocally condemns the act of incest in chapter 5, moving to the act of excommunication. The Apostle Paul writes: “When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” (I Cor. 5:4-5)

In all of the judicial assemblies of the church, Old Testament principles of justice must be taken into account. In II Corinthians 13:1, the Apostle Paul draws on the principle of 2 or 3 witnesses to establish a case (see Deut 19:15 and Numbers 35:30). This was a safeguard put in place in the case of the lying witness (Deut. 19:18-19). It also falls in line with the teachings of Jesus concerning the bringing of charges against a brother in Matthew 18: 15-20.

Of course, there are times when people do not see proper justice take place. In a world where the state doesn’t hold to Biblical principles of justice, and injustice has also crept into the church, and even in the case where a matter can lie buried under lies and confusion, there is still justice that we can look to. God tells Christians not to take justice into their own hands. God Himself will repay the wickedness of men (Ecc. 3:17, Heb. 10:30, Rom. 12:19).

None of this is at odds with Biblical principles of forgiveness, loving ones enemies, and seeking the conversion of the enemies of God. Sometimes God brings about justice through conversion. Consider the prayer of the Deacon Stephen when the Apostle Paul stood watching the clothes of those stoning him: “Lord, hold not this sin against them.” (Acts 7:60) It is when we pit these principles against each other, that injustice gets a stronger foothold.

The reason that we don’t have to pit these principles against each other, is because both of them were at work at the cross of Jesus Christ. At the cross, God’s justice and mercy met together, so that the infinite debt of man’s sin and injustice and mercilessness could be paid. Yes, there are still worldly consequences for sin, which should be pursued where possible. But even the criminal on death row, even the thief on the cross, can know the power of Christ through faith in Him. In this way, the cross of Christ realigns our disordered understandings of justice and mercy, and recreates the image of God in fallen man.

Leaders are Forged


I was recently reflecting publicly on the importance of developing strong leadership skills among men in the church (also in myself). In the conversation below a friend dropped this comment: “Leaders are not built, they are forged.” The comment was made in the context of men who lead in worthy causes, such as pro-life, church, etc. What I have written below is a collage of wisdom I have received from various leaders in my family, the workforce, the church, and academia. And of course, primarily Scripture.

I find it interesting that certain secular writers I have listened to – like Jordan Peterson and Mark Manson – value the growth qualities of suffering in some ways more than many Christian leaders. But remember that the Scriptures are chock full of the call to joyful suffering in service to Jesus Christ.

The value of enduring suffering is one of the more important values that I have learned from my parents. A man does the hard thing before the easy thing. A man doesn’t take the easy route, but the faithful route. A man works faithfully and he works hard. He picks his battles carefully. He gives a hit and takes a hit. He rolls with the punches. Men are given broader shoulders so that they can carry heavier loads. An important lesson that we must learn in our age of entitlement and ease, is that to grow and serve greater, a man must endure suffering. If he walks away from the suffering, from the conflict, he loses an opportunity to grow and to help those around him to grow. One pastor encouraged me: “Always take the red pill.” Essentially, a man is called to love God, love his neighbour, and to work his butt off. Much more could be said from the Book of Proverbs.

One thing that I should emphasize is that the Apostle Peter calls the Christian to suffer – not for his own stupidity – but for being a Christian (I Peter 4:16). This is because suffering is not meaningless, but it is part of our warfare on the forces of Satan. As Peter says earlier: “For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.” (I Peter 4:6)

This also outlines the necessity for men who repent and who repent quickly. It is in the conflicts of life that a man should open his Bible and see how God speaks to his own sins against his brother and against a Holy God. It is from the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit teaches a man to be self-honest and to take responsibility for how he has responded wrongly to evil and the evil that he has done. It is also from the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit works courage in the heart of a man to do what is noble and right and good no matter how much pain and suffering it will involve (i.e. the fierce joy of Christian martyrdom).

The image of being forged is excellent because it moves us away from the image of fame and empty power to the scalding hot furnace where razor sharp weapons are made and silver is tried. While some men may seek to destroy, God can use their destructive purposes to build leadership qualities among His people. One of the Psalms uses this imagery: “For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.” (Ps. 66:10) It is used in the book of Revelation as an image of the need for God’s people to repent: “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.” (Rev. 3:18) We might also consider the promise of the Refiner in Malachi 3:3: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.” Do we love this idea of being refined in the forges of suffering?

Consider the testing point of King David’s kingship when he was on the run from King Saul. Or maybe Nehemiah who had to stand before the great king and ask for permission to go back to his homeland, following which, he takes flack from numerous surrounding kings. I think of the Apostle Paul who is stoned and thrown out of the town and promptly scrapes himself off the ground and charges into another city to preach the gospel and get beat up again.

The Apostle Paul passes on this wisdom of hardness or toughness to his student Timothy (and Titus). There is not a lot of fanfare or psychologizing. The Apostle Paul simply calls on Timothy to share in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (II Tim. 2:3). They are allies in suffering. The analogy extends to him serving the one who has enlisted him (vs. 4). As an athlete he must compete according to the rules (vs. 5). As a hard-working farmer who aims at receiving the first of the crops (vs. 6). Timothy is supposed to act in this way so that he can pass on the message of the Apostle Paul to other men: “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (vs. 1-2) Another Pastor gave Pauline advice when he said: “we need men with hard heads and soft hearts.”

All of these men of Scripture are refined by suffering, sometimes through fierce conflict. And similarly, we are called to be faithful to our Lord’s orders today.

Think about this toughness from a military angle. Lord Nelson wrote before the Battle of Trafalgar: “England expects that every man will do his duty.” General Stonewall Jackson warned his men: “Never take counsel of your fears.” He also wrote: “Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.”

There is a mental toughness that is developed in the thick of battle where a man learns to trust in His Maker and follower orders from his King, also through repentance and forgiveness. The aim is not to get the fleeting accolades and flattery of foolish men who boast in worldly strength that passes away with sickness and death. Its aim is that when we have passed through the billows and forges of life (Psalm 66:12), to receive the deep and abiding praise of Jesus Christ because we have been found in Jesus Christ: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matt. 25:23)

Letter to a Fearful Pro-Lifer


Dear Pro-Lifer,

I have heard some concern expressed at the latest protests against Member of Provincial Parliament, Sam Oosterhoff. He recently stated that he wants to “make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime.” It was a bold statement, and as you may have expected, there was some lashback.

While I am speaking to pro-lifers more broadly, I am speaking knowing that Sam is a Christian and I am a Christian as well. I am also addressing pro-lifers knowing that many of them hold to Christian convictions. I also recognize that I am a Christian in training for ministry in the Church, and I know how important it is to point those trapped in the shame and guilt of abortion to the fact that Jesus Christ is Saviour and Lord.

I know that many of you are concerned as I hear you speak about the direction that Canada is headed in. You are worried that Christians are headed into a time of more intense persecution. You are afraid that Canada is irrevocably headed away from many of the Christian roots in its founding.

I do not know what MPP Oosterhoff intended to achieve through this statement. But if you think about it, this was an excellent statement for a Member of Provincial Parliament to make. What it did was push the pro-life position to a moment of conflict once again. Think about what is at stake here.

First of all, the lives of helpless babies are at stake here. As a leader in the public sphere, Sam is called to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves and he is called to defend their rights (Prov. 31:8-9). Second, the mental health and safety of many women is at stake here. Many of these women struggle with intense feelings of guilt and depression following an abortion. As a leader in the public sphere, Sam’s beliefs demand that he works for laws to protect these women and to give them the best protection along with their babies (Prov. 31:8-9).

We live in a time where people love the concept justice. But they will only be just if that type of justice is popular. But in order to promote a more unpopular justice, a society must come to the point of conflict. Ten years ago, this debate was far more ignored in the media than it is today, there was not a lot of conflict. The price of this has been the blood of many more babies.

With the work of men like David Daleiden who were willing to push the card and challenge the status quo, this debate has become more heated in North America. Individual States down south have begun to pass laws against abortion. The core issues have had much more press time. The compassion and justice of the pro-life movement has had some important moments in the public eye. Those who are for abortion are feeling increasingly uncomfortable and this is the way that it should be.

In both the Book of Judges and the Book of Acts, we see that when the Holy Spirit rushes upon a man and he stands up for what is right, there is inevitably push-back. But it is through these trials that the Christian men of old and the Christian men of today continue to labour in this world for a better world.

I say kudos to MPP Oosterhoff as he takes this fight into the provincial spotlight. Christians continue to establish Pregnancy Care Centres on the ground floor, Christian Pastors teach the Word of God and preach repentance and forgiveness from pulpits, and Christians call each other to faithfulness and to rescue the one headed to death (Prov. 24:11, James 5:20). Our leaders as well are called to be men of integrity and men who defend righteousness. And we need men to defend what is right in all areas of society.

Political leaders as well are called to serve under Jesus Christ who “loved righteousness and hated wickedness” (Ps. 45:11). He did this perfectly and we look to Him.

So I would strongly encourage you to be unembarrassed and even courageous as you openly defend what is right, noble, good, and lovely. If you get lashback and are maligned, don’t forget to love your neighbour by speaking the truth. But remember, at least they aren’t apathetic. If you find the opportunity, defend pro-life among your friends at university, at work, and at church. Stand by men like Oosterhoff. Support a Pregnancy Care Centre. Pray for the young ladies and men who have questions but have no one to help or answer their questions. Hold our leaders accountable for the fact that they are called to protect the little lives, and yet might stand down for fear of conflict or losing their elected position.

Let’s speak out to protect the little ones. The debate seems to be growing. The conversation is spreading. This is good, because hopefully it gets people thinking.

Yours truly,

Nathan Zekveld

Christian Blogging: Searching For Truth in a Culture of Rumours


I was recently reading a post by Tim Challies on blogging that got me thinking about the value of the personal blog. How can a personal blog be a positive force in all the untruths spoken online?

Words are dangerous. The tongue has the power to encourage and to break apart. The Apostle James compares it to a bit in the mouth of a horse and the small rudder that pilots a ship. It can set a forest ablaze, it is set on fire by Hell, it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison. It will bless the Lord one day and the curse its brethren the next day.

Words are also powerful for healing. In Eph. 1:13 we learn that when we heard the Word of the Gospel, we believed. In Acts 1:8, we are called to witness to the truth that Jesus is alive. The Christian is called to pray (Eph. 6:18), to encourage one another and build each other up (I Thess. 5:11). Of course, a call to Biblical wisdom in public discourse is abundant in the book of Proverbs. The one who speaks must first be listening and reading and learning (Prov. 18:13). With much other godly advice and wisdom, a word spoken must be fitly spoken (Prov. 25:11). Even reproof is permitted, but it must be done in wisdom: “Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.” (Prov. 25:12)

A blog can be a powerful mode of communication because people can ‘share’, ‘like’, and ‘comment’. In many cases, personal blogs will not be read widely. But even then, we must use the power of the words that God has given us in service of Jesus Christ and the truth. And so, as a powerful tool of communication that can be used for good or evil, the Christian is called to use it for good. The Christian is called to use all of his/her communication in life for good.

The blog is not an authoritative means of discourse, although it can be, depending on the capability and commission of the person blogging. Blogging provides the student of life an opportunity to learn how to engage in public discourse. How do I communicate in a way that will effectively communicate this new thing that I learned? How do I utilize my education for the good of society? How do I communicate in a way that will make society a better place and not a worse one?

We live in a world where rumours start and are spread rapidly through the internet. We live in a world that is polarized and angry. We live in a world where everyone has something to say and yet nothing to say. Our government’s response to this is to bring the media under their control. But all that this does is make the media into their own image.

And so the goal for anyone engaged in public discourse is to be a truth-teller. Of course, that truth should be accompanied by love. And that speaking of the truth should be reasonable and willing to engage with arguments. A Christian blogger should “By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13) He should be in full combat with the earthly, demonic and unspiritual wisdom that comes from below. Instead he should be full of the wisdom that comes from above: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:17-18).

Of course, a truth-teller must also not be self-deceived: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22) And so the goal of being a Christian in public discourse is always to be challenging ourselves with objective truth and reality. Whether the target of your studies is science, history, education, theology etc, the goal is that we are always asking questions and learning more. A king is inquisitive, a king is always learning more: “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” (Prov. 25:2)

I appreciate the encouragement of Tim Challies in promoting the personal blog. He writes: “And as I think about the future of Christian blogging, this is one of my foremost concerns—that as bloggers migrate away from personal blogs to instead submit their content to ministry sites, we are giving away the ability to say what we want to say, when we want to say it, and how we want to say it. We are also diminishing the training ground in which we grow in our ability to express ourselves with greater skill.” Again the personal blog is not necessarily authoritative, the blog holds a very conversational role in public discourse, but is a great place to sharpen your talents in public communication and search for truth.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash


The Church and the Racism Debate


Although the topic of racism is far more popular south of the border, matters of racism are discussed in Canada as well. Questions about racism cross the web through blogging, online magazines, and discussion groups. In such a cultural moment, many Christians begin to look for churches that are actively engaged in what is often called “social justice.” And as everything has a cultural term to describe it, many of these churches are described as ‘woke churches’. Google Dictionary defines ‘woke’ as “alert to injustice in society, especially racism.”

I argue against the use of the term ‘racism’ because it stems from Darwinian science of evolution. Instead we may talk about ethnic groups, nations, or families of the world. We all come from Adam and are affected by his sin, the world was divided even further at Babel, and the Church is the project of the Holy Spirit to reunite the nations/families of the earth in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. As a result of this, skin colour doesn’t matter. Being found in Christ does matter. All those who have been baptized have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). This means that external divisions are broken down (Gal. 3:28). If we belong to Christ, then we are of the same family of the earth, re-united in Christ (Gal. 3:29).

I prefer to distance myself from a cutesy terms like ‘woke’. Some might describe me as a white, male, Christian, young, straight, with viewpoints that largely fall in the sphere of what might be described as “conservative”. To some this may seem strange in that for the first 18 years of my life I grew up in communities where I was a visible minority in both New York City and Toronto. My neighbours had backgrounds from China, India, Italy, the West Indies, etc. My family was one of two Northern European families on the entire street. There were many immigrants from the provinces of Gujarat and Punjab (in India) in the immediate area. From there I spent four school years in Idaho and a year in Grande Prairie (AB) which are both quite Northern European in background. And then I landed back in Hamilton (ON), which again, is a multi-ethnic area. My love for Christ and His Word means that I must be clear that I am a Christian first and foremost.

I believe that the Church is called, not to be ruled by cultural moments and fads and fashions, but by the Word of God. Because of the diversity of the area, I grew up in a local church that has leaders with backgrounds primarily in India and in the Netherlands. The membership in the church has backgrounds from India to Pakistan to Nigeria to Holland. I grew up knowing a number of pastors with Dutch last names, but also last names of origin from India and Guyana. One of my first internships was with Pastor Ramkissoon and Pastor Beukema. But the guiding principle for such leadership in the Church is not inclusivism or multiculturalism, but standards for biblical leadership that are laid out in the Word of God. Jesus is Lord and His Word is authoritative.

Churches of European and various other ethnic backgrounds should be self-aware of how ethnocentrism is perceived within our highly polarized society. We should also be aware that Christ has called us to bring the gospel to all nations (Matt. 28:19-20). That being said, the goal of the church is not to be multiethnic, but to worship God. Peace between ethnic groups then, only comes at the cross of Jesus Christ. The hostility between us and God has been killed at the cross of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:16), and now we share in the same commonwealth and promises of the gospel (Eph. 2:12-13).

What standards must I abide by in the war on injustice? Injustice has been perpetrated, that cannot be denied. But we should remember that this problem in history should not be reduced to a matter of skin colour, since the Irish were treated very poorly also through slavery in the history of the United States. We must not respond to injustice with injustice. We must remember the promise of the just rule of Christ in Psalm 72. But we must remember that this justice is defined by the Word of God, not by the class warfare of Marx. We must be aware of our own bias, but then we should place our biases under the light of Scripture before we turn to the next fad and fashion in our cultural moments. And then we should pursue the multi-ethnic nature of the Kingdom of Christ (Matt. 28:16-20).

Identity politics are confusing. Conferences and posts on social media won’t do much to end racism. Learn your theology of justice from Moses, not from Marx. Invite the immigrant and/or the refugee down the street over for dinner. Use the coffee shops in the neighborhood. Give your neighbor a ride to church on Sunday and then a ride to the employment office down the street during the week if they are still struggling to find work. Learn about their culture, rather than pretending you know everything because you took a ‘woke’ university course. Just be you and let them be themselves. If you are going to make a joke about ethnicity, laugh the hardest at yourself. Learn from both foreign and North American intellectuals. Be a positive force in society by sharing the gospel and promoting righteousness, and not by picking a side just because somebody is a minority. If you are a Christian, your identity is hidden with God in Christ (Col. 3:3).

The best advice at our cultural moment is straight out of Ecclesiastes 12:13. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash

Favourite Blogs-Podcasts


I enjoy some good blogs out there.

  • The Theopolis blog from various authors on various points of theology and culture.
  • I read Doug Wilson’s blog, blog and mablog working with matters of cultural engagement.
  • I read Tim Challies’ blog dealing with Christian living and doctrine.
  • The website of Kuyperian commentary has a lot of good material on theology and politics.
  • The Desiring God website and the Gospel Coalition website often have good material on theology and culture.
  • The Calvinist International website is excellent on historical theology.
  • George Harrell writes a history blog, called A Shot Glass of History: Delivering a Strong Dose of Historical Rethinking.
  • James Zekveld writes a hermeneutics blog, called Respondeo: Reflections on Interpretation and Education.

Podcasting is the new thing on the market, and there are some good ones to listen to while driving to work or school:

  • Kevin Swanson does some good work in his podcast on Generations Radio.
  • The guys at Crosspolitic also have a lot of good things going for them on the topics of religion and politics.
  • If you go to Crosspolitic make sure to listen to Matt Williams and his business podcast under the title “How to Build a Tent”.
  • Ezra Institute puts out excellent material on Christ and Culture here.
  • Sermon Audio is always a good place to listen to solid sermons.

I am sure that I have forgotten a few. Fill in the gaps.



Servant Leadership. Without Permission.


I recently read an article by Pastor Douglas Wilson criticizing the usage of the term servant leadership. Of course, that wasn’t the main point of the article, and I recognize that he wasn’t criticizing the spirit of servant leadership. The main point of the article was to defend the necessity of being masculine without permission. In the spirit of pastor Wilson’s article, I want to defend servant leadership without permission. I will do it with all due respect.

I would define servant leadership as an imitation of Christ who was a servant. And a leader. I really appreciate Pastor Wilson’s definition of masculinity: “masculinity is the glad assumption of the sacrificial responsibilities that God assigned to men.” Now, the main place where we can understand better what it meant for Christ to be a servant leader is in the book of Mark and in Phillipians 2. Mark 10:45 reads: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  The Apostle Paul recognizes this pattern in Phil. 2:8 “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Here is my argument. The term ‘masculinity’ is not used in the Book of Mark, the term ‘servant’ is. I’m not even sure if the term ‘masculinity’ is used very much in the Bible. We hear about being a man, but our cultural fascination with ‘masculinity’ is a bit strange. To say the least. Now, to not use the term ‘servant leadership’ any more, is to ‘dumb down’ all the glory of the Book of Mark. Of course Jesus had a back bone, and yes, he was being a servant leader without any permission at all. Even his disciples totally misunderstood what it looked like, hence, His reason for explaining it so thoroughly in Mark 10. Jesus cast out demons, healed the sick, rebuked the Pharisees, took a whip to those who turned the temple of God into a den of thieves. He was a leader. He was a servant. He was the Son of God. He was the Servant King.

We see the pattern of this Servant King in the lives of men who follow Him. Men (as well as women) are called to take up their cross and follow Christ. The “masculine” men of this world can turn this joyful life of service into a pale, vapid, and sickly image if they want (ask Nietszche for his thoughts). But James says to count it all joy (James 1). And of course Jesus commanded it. He also exemplified it. And if Christians call it vapid, then they are confused.

Jesus sent out His disciples to be servants. He also sent out His disciples to be leaders. He never sent them out to be masculine. Yes, male leadership is an important and necessary principle to be drawn from Scripture. And yes, there are male roles: i.e. servant leadership. And yes, homosexuality is sin (I Cor. 6:9) as well all the deviations of character (and of course actions) and sexuality that lead to it.

Yes, Timothy was called to be tough: definitely spiritually (2 Tim. 2:3-5). But of course, we are not disembodied spirits and so spiritual toughness is connected to emotional, mental, and physical toughness. This does not mean that a man who cries or an academic type cannot be a leader. Having emotions disciplined by the Word is manly. Having massive academic abilities disciplined by the Word is manly. Read Paul’s writing. While physical discipline is of some gain for Timothy, the spiritual disciplines are the most valuable (I Tim. 4:8). This means that a man with brawn and bluster and no discipline is a hollow shell of worldly glory that reeks of dead flesh.

If someone mocks you for being a “servant leader,” don’t back down. Use the term. Without permission. Be a servant without permission. Be a leader without permission. Be proud of it. Be joyful. Cultivate discipline in all areas of life, but keep Christ right at the center or it is all worthless anyways. Service means humility, not the false ‘servant leadership’ which seeks to get accolades from women and some men. Be a man and act like a man (2 Sam. 10:12, I Cor. 6:10), which means Christ calls you and me to serve. And He calls us to lead. And He calls us to stand firm.