In the Men’s Ministry or Fight Club as we prefer it called, we’ve been reading and discussing the book Wild At Heart by John Eldridge. Before the first week I was surprise that most of the men hadn’t already read the book or for that matter even heard of it. Once we began diving into the first couple of chapters it seemed everyone around the table resonated with a lot of what John was talking about. One of the biggest things we all really got behind was that Jesus wasn’t a nice guy.
Now let me expand that a bit. First, I would like to point out that there are not only two options here. It’s not either someone is a nice person or they are the complete polar opposite and are in fact a jerk. It’s not black and white. So don’t confuse what I am saying here. You can not be a “nice” person and still not be a jerk either.
Now Jesus was not a nice guy. Why do I say that? Well, John Eldridge said it best. By the way, I will be referring to him quite a bit in these blogs due to the fact that we’re reading him and you can expect I will be citing other authors as we begin reading them. John said you don’t crucify Mr. Rogers. No, no, by Roman standards this guy was what we, by modern standards, might call a terrorist. He the Jews in an uproar, it was a major religious holiday with thousands of people making the pilgrimage for Passover, and if Caesar caught wind of this, heads would roll. Also, let’s be clear about crucifixion: it was reserved for the worst of the worst. If you were a Roman citizen, it was illegal for you to be crucified. It was despicable punishment reserved for despicable people and it served as a message from Rome to anyone else of a similar mind that this is what happens to people who can’t life by Roman law. This message was quite clear as the bodies lined the main road going into Rome.
If that’s not enough, let’s look further back. In John 2:15, we find Jesus sitting on the steps of the temple making a whip. Now let’s take a couple of seconds and unpack that. First, Jesus is sitting there doing the equivalent of carving a Louisville Slugger. This is the definition of pre-meditated. Secondly, Jesus was said to be a carpenter but knew how to basically make a weapon. Now that right there shows that Jesus was once a boy. If you have or have had male children you know that somewhere in their DNA it is written that they like weapons and will make weapons and know how to make the sounds of explosions and gun sounds even if they’ve never heard them. Give a boy a stick and he’ll see a sword. Give him graham crackers and he’ll chew you the outline of a gun and then shoot you with it. This is just what a boy is: he’s an explorer and a weapon smith. And Jesus was definitely once a boy.
Next we see him take that very same weapon and cause a ruckus in the temple by chasing people around with said whip and flipping over tables. I wonder if he actually whipped anyone and if so, were those very same people there at his crucifixion and whipping him as he went. Something mull over.
These are just a couple of examples of how Jesus wasn’t a nice guy. Now how that related to us men is that in our church culture, especially growing up, we’ve been taught to just be nice and quiet and help out a lot; that’s the role of a man in the church. His role is to mostly be a nice guy and do plenty of work. We’ve all seen them: the guy that just stands there next to his wife, not saying a thing, just watching his watch waiting for it all to end so he can go home to the recliner. This is completely opposite of being a man. Now, again, let me say what I’m not saying in order to say what I am: I’m not saying being nice and helping out a lot is not manly. I’m not. What I am saying is that we’re taught to be that and not much else. In the church culture, men are just basically waiting to die. If you take away a man’s passion, you take away his will to live. Men only come alive when we’re given something to fight, someone to fight for, and the love and respect of the ones we love. You want to see your man come alive, let him be dangerous.
This is the sort of things we talk about at Fight Club. If any of this interest you and you’re a guy, swing by Canvas on Thursdays around 7. We’ll be in the café. If you of the lady persuasion, pick up Wild At Heart and read it. You’ll gain new insights into your man. ~Brad