home > Pastor’s Desk > 2023 > December 1st > Forming a True Man

Domestic violence, sexual assault, date-rape, sexual trafficking of minors, marital infidelity, street-gang violence, illicit drug abuse, high rates of suicide, increased ‘deaths of despair’, homelessness, are each the major problems confronting our culture right now. Governments regard these issues as matters of justice (punishing offenders) while agencies regard these issues as matters of social justice (helping victims). Both are valuable but neither are equipped or positioned unilaterally to solve the causes of these growing problems, and many in both of these sectors believe that it can never be solved. But I believe they can be. And I need your help. To achieve this, I propose two outrageous, yea – ridiculous – strategies. They are outrageous because they are simple (although not easy); and, they are ridiculous to materialists because they regard them as just fanciful, idealistic and supernatural nonsense. However, I have history on my side. It will involve men and women, young and old. But I particularly need all men to read what I am about to propose and for them to share this with other men and together with everyone else help to bring about the biggest social and cultural revolution our country has ever seen.  

 

WHY TRUE MEN ARE THE SOLUTION AND ARE THE KEY TO THE REVOLUTION

For this much needed revolution to happen it requires the formation of true men.

You don’t need to be a sociologist to see that there is at least one common thread to most of these societal problems – men behaving badly. We have a crisis of manhood in our society. Prof. Nancy Pearcey’s 2023 book, The Toxic War on Masculinity details why it is reasonable to describe the lack of true men as a crisis. She gives reasons why men are becoming afraid, unsure, and reluctant to be who God created them to be. She draws on good social research to show that men have been duped into being believing that if they act like true men they will be “toxic”. Of course this raises the question, what is a true man? Consider this list of traits of a true man which I will contrast with another list of traits of a false man. A True Man is:

* Powerful, using his physical strength to be productive and for the benefit of others;

* Courageous, he faces up to difficult circumstances and conversations that have to be had;

* Fearless, he will take calculated risks and is not afraid to fail when trying something new;

* Learning, he may not ‘schooled’ but he has learned how to learn (especially how to communicate);

* Problem-solving, he doesn’t give up easily but seeks out solutions to life’s problems;

* Committed, he is a man of his word and will finish what he committed to do;

* Thoughtful, he values the ideas of the others and seeks out wisdom;

* Protective, he is a guardian of the vulnerable; 

* Gentle, he is polite and tender in speech, especially toward women and children;

* Considerate, he has learned from the natural strengths of women to think empathetically of others;

* God-fearing, he has said “I will” to God and is not ashamed to publicly worship God;

* Truthful, he is honest and fair in his dealings and conversations with others, and will not comply with the lies of culture.

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!”
John 19:5

Jesus is the man — the true man. This is why I propose that all men make Jesus the Christ their model of the true man (Matt. 4:19; 16:24). While the Bible presents several men who were impeccably close to emulating each of the traits, most especially Enoch and Daniel, only the Lord Jesus epitomised each of these twelve qualities of a true man. And since I do not, and neither does or has any other man on the planet, I have to add a thirteenth trait for myself and for all members of our universal brotherhood who would seek to become a true man. This is the trait that God lauded in King David.

And when He had removed Him, He raised up David to be their king, of whom He testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’
Acts 13:22

But David was a sinful, fallen man, just like each of us. But he learned the thirteenth trait that qualified him as a man after God’s own heart: how to repent.

¶ Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to Your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! ¶ For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.  Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be justified in your words and blameless in Your judgment.
Psalm 51:1-4

David learned how to repent by confessing his sin to God and to those he sinned against (Psalm 51) and then discovered the answer to the very thing he sought God for – the cleansing of forgiveness.

¶ Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. ¶ For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah  ¶ I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Psalm 32:1-5

Repentance, and all that it involves (including learning how to apologise to the one/s he has injured with his words), is what every man must learn how to do. When a man sins by yelling in anger at his wife, he should repent. When a man mis-uses his strength to physically harm another person. He should repent. This is the only possible means for a man to become a true man.

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

Can you imagine what our society would look like if more men aspired to become a true man? Can you imagine how this would cause women and children to flourish if the men of their lives — their husbands, their fathers, their brothers, their uncles, their beaus – were each striving to be a true man? Can you imagine what homes, marriages, and families would like emotionally, economically, psychologically? Could you dare to imagine what public school classrooms could like? Could you possibly believe what a revolution of true manhood would do to our judicial system including prison populations?

 

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A FALSE MAN

In contrast to a true man, a false man is:

  • Harmful, he harms people with his words and actions;
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  • Selfish, he takes care of “Number One” and expects others to also regard him as their “Number One”;
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  • Uncaring, he fails to empathise or sympathise;
    .
  • Angry, he blames everyone else for his troubles;
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  • Bitter, he is unforgiving and resentful;
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  • Childish, he is irresponsible and unreliable and subject to unpredictable tantrums;
    .
  • Untrustworthy, he will lie, exaggerate, deceive, and misrepresent;
    .
  • Lazy, he will procrastinate, waste time on trivialities, and not clean up after himself;
    .
  • Ignorant, he cannot be taught, and has little desire to learn.
    .
  •  

The good news, though, is that it is possible for a false man to be transformed into a becoming-a-true-man. And if I am right, our society has a chance of undergoing one of the biggest cultural revolutions in our nation’s history!

 

THE STRATEGY FOR REVOLUTION

Shortly after arriving in Legana and being invited by the 17 members left in the church to be their pastor, I began to share what God had put on my heart. It seemed ridiculous. I was describing a church of hundreds of people that would grow to have 300 men following Christ and worshiping together each Sunday and filling key roles within out State and Nation. While we have made progress, I thought that I had still years of ministry and work ahead of me to see it all finally fulfilled. But with my diagnosis and the need to step down next year, it seems that I may not live to see this happen. However, as restricted as I am by this incurable condition that is progressing without any way of halting it, I am still committed to getting as close to seeing this vision for our society as fulfilled as I can. If you haven’t already guessed, here is the strategy that I am continuing to employ in order to see more men in our State get a vision of what a true man is and how to strive toward reflecting it:

 Firstly, let’s ensure that our house is in order. I want to be an example of the very thing I am urging all other men to strive toward (1Cor. 11:1; 2Tim. 1:13). I want to make sure that I am the husband, father, uncle, and Grandfather that my family needs me to be. I want to be an example to our church of a man striving to be a true man, and to do all I can to inspire the men of our church to strive toward true manhood.

 Secondly, let’s start young! Let’s raise of generation of boys who are in a community of true men who model the humility required to repent when they fail. Let’s begin to treat 13-year-old boys as young men and expect great things of them and to become increasingly responsible for their words and actions – especially as it relates to their interactions with young ladies.

 Thirdly, let’s welcome broken false men into our community and introduce them to Him who changes hearts, minds and lives, from falsity to truthfulness. This requires having pathways for such men to be introduced to the outskirts of our church community through fishing trips, sporting events, men’s breakfasts, and dinners (especially BBQs) together.

 Fourthly, let’s be a prophetic church that exemplifies the qualities of truthfulness and is prepared to boldly declare the truth of God’s Word about sexuality, sex, marriage, fathering, mothering, and discipling. (I encourage you to check out the Bible Study series our Young Adults are doing at the moment, 5 Cultural Lies about Sex.)

Fifthly, let’s encourage the other pastors and church leaders of our city and our State, to join with us in being the kind of salt and light that Jesus referred to:

¶ “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. ¶ “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16

It is my hope, that as we see many of the men of our church take their positions in our city, our State, and our nation, as “gate keepers” (Note the use of this term in 2Sam. 19:8) in business, politics, sport, the arts, and Christian ministry, that each of the key indicators referred to in my opening sentence of this article will become measurably and dramatically improved. As I said in my opening paragraph, the reason I have great confidence that it can is derived from my study of history. I read about it in the Book of Acts. I read about it in the annuls of ancient Christian history. And I recently read about it happening in Prof. Stuart Piggin’s two volume masterpiece, The Fountain of Public History, where Australia’s leading historian documents example after example where Australia has previously experienced such glimpses of the type of socio-cultural revolution I have been referring to. And this is where we all need to play a part. Prof. Piggin has convincingly demonstrated that it was when God’s people united in prayer and action that God has most often moved in ‘revival’. And perhaps the most obvious and inspirational aspect of this account of Australia’s history is that nearly three chapters of his great tome has been spent on how Tasmania was particularly blessed by such glimpses of revival. Now the time for revival glimpses is over! Now it’s time for a sacred revolution that will transform our culture over the course of the next 40 years and sow the seeds for prolonged revival glimpses for centuries to come! 

“I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn
First Kings 2:2-3

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

4 Comments

  1. Ali

    Thank you for the insight, Andrew. May we men strive to be True Men as spelt above

    Reply
  2. Mike Sladden

    Thank you Pastor Andrew. This is excellent. May we all strive to be real men and to influence all those we know to do the same. I am reassured every time I remind myself that God is Sovereign. Brother Mike

    Reply
  3. Roger

    Good, Godly guidance defining the attributes of a true man. This coupled with history on your (our) side is certainly cause for contemplation and a heartfelt call to be an encourager of the young men in our church who have the capacity to be leaders in the community!
    Thankyou Andrew for sharing this post!

    Reply
  4. Mary McKenna

    Excellent Commentary. I have experienced domestic violence.
    I would gladly help , if I may I someway.

    Reply

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Follow Me AS I FOLLOW JESUS

We all walk a path in life that is set before us. We start with very little experience and knowledge about the purpose of our life and the world beyond us. All of humanity experiences joy, wisdom, strength, weakness, suffering and hardship, especially those who are “contending for the faith”. Knowing Jesus is a very special part of this life journey.

A CERTAIN GOD

We can be reasonably certain about many things. In fact, without this certainty about life, none of us could function. We can be certain that tonight the sun will ‘set’. Tomorrow the sun will ‘rise’. After the February 28th it will be February 29th. This year there will be international unrest and much political instability in many parts of the world. In the coming months global warming will be identified by politicians as the source of floods and wildfires. Several high profile international celebrities will die this year. Archaeologists will make a discovery that will require some aspects of history to be rewritten. And you will certainly have one of the most memorable moments in your life in the coming days. You see, there are clearly some things we can be quite certain about. However, there are some aspects about our future that we cannot be certain about, yet in those moments we can be certain about what we should do.

LOW COST LIVING

Turn on any TV or radio news lately and there’s bound to be a story about the current “cost of living crisis”. We all feel it. Initially most people accepted the widespread price-rises were caused by 2020-21 pandemic lockdowns. But whatever the reasons for the rapid price hikes over the past two years, every time we go to the supermarket we feel it again. While governments are striving to curb the impact of this cost of living crisis, there remains a way to enjoy low cost living. The key to this is recognising that the most valuable things in life are literally priceless. The path to enjoying low-cost living is to be found in Christ, and what He taught — and it begins with treasure.

How To Know Jesus Better

It’s a scary thought to realise that the Jesus we have been told about and worship may not really be known to us at all. We can ‘know’ about someone or something, but not really know them. In Christian circles it’s often referred to as head knowledge not heart knowledge.

Knowing Christ Better

As a church, this year’s theme is coming closer to Christ by getting to know Him better. I feel that I am “the least qualified person” to tell anyone how this is done — but someone else has already claimed this distinction – the apostle Paul. After decades of hearing directly from Christ, seeing extraordinary miracles, being taken to heaven temporarily, planting churches across the Roman Empire, he could still say I would give anything to really know Christ – even if it meant suffering like He did! (Phil. 3:7-10). Therefore, I could say: If you do this or that, you will then know Christ better – but in my view, it’s not as easy as that! How we develop our relationship with Christ is shaped by several factors including our personality, our life experiences, our physical health and fitness, and our relationships with others (especially our parents and particularly our father). In fact, I believe that there is a relationship between how we have learned to build relationships with others (and notably how we have learned to relate to those who are closest to us) and how we then proceed to have a relationship with God. Even though I have expressed my lack of qualifications in telling anyone how to have a closer relationship with Christ, I still can, like one hungry beggar to another hungry beggar, offer you a few of the morsels of food that I’ve been able to find.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE AMAZING BUTS

I know of several people with amazing buts. There’s Jo’, Mo’, Sam, Esther, Jerry, and others. Each of these people were gifted by God with an amazing but that changed there life and the course of human history. Sometimes these gifts came with a …then, or …God, or …the LORD. When it comes to the size of things, a but is a relatively small thing (in Greek it can be just two letters: de) but it can have huge implications and enormously great blessings for multitudes. I hope to show you how this was the case with each of the people I have chosen as samples, and then show you how God is your God of buts.

OPEN

What does the word ‘open’ mean to you? Like language itself, it is like any word in which the meaning only comes from the context in which it is used. I can think of at least 12 different understandings of this word, some of which I will point out, most I will not, and one that I focus on because it is prophetically important for where we are at as a church at this crucial time.

ONE THING I HAVE TO SAY

​I’m always amazed at the really cool events I’d organised for my kids to experience, so that they might have happy memories – but now they don’t remember it except the random comment someone made in the car trip on the way there or what snack was eaten. Conversely, if you make a mistake, well that one is remembered! Once I drove Andrew’s car and just lightly hit something so it ended up with an annoying 2cm scratch. The mistake is (still) there in full view to anyone who looks. Is Andrew going to remember this above the years of my devotion to him? (Not likely, but some people do remember the wrong for way too long!) If you had the choice, what one thing would you want to be remembered for? What one thing would you want your family to remember? It’s not often going to be the thing you have in mind.

‘Famous last words’ comes from the hope that you’ll be remembered for them. If you were given the privilege of being able to articulate as the important thing to say, to be remembered by all, what would it be? Would it be a reflection on your love toward someone? Would it be a directive on how to have the best life? Would it be that you wished you had done something? Someone once mused, ‘would your dying words be that you’d wished you’d spent just one more day in the office’? (Not likely.)

AT THE END OF THIS YEAR I WILL RECOUNT 12 WONDERFUL THINGS (An Explication of Psalm 9)

This is my last end-of-year Pastor’s Desk post. When the head of our Live-stream ministry, Sari, asked me what I was thankful for this year, my immediate answer was obvious and predictable. But since then, I have considered that I also have eleven other things for which I am grateful to GOD for. In this last ever end-of-year Pastor’s Desk please indulge as I share my heartfelt thanks to God and for those God has used to bless me this year.

HE WAS BORN A KING

The king who reigned over Judea when Jesus was born was Herod the Great. Herod had no legitimate claim to the throne of Israel. He was from an Idumean noble family who supported the Roman occupation of Palestine. As a reward he was appointed by the Roman Senate as the King of Judea. Despite his attempts to curry favour with the Jews, including several major public works programs (including completing the temple reconstruction) he was still largely unpopular among the Jews. Little wonder then that when the Magi arrived in Jerusalem with their large retinue and requested to view the birth of the prophesied King of the Jews, Herod was emotionally threatened by this revelation. Herod immediately ordered an enquiry from the chief priests and religious scribes.