Canaan’s Rest represents a quiet place “set apart” for the purpose of hearing God's voice, growing in intimacy with the Lord, and being renewed in soul and spirit.

Category: Brother Al (Page 1 of 51)

Young Men are Welcome Here

Jorden Peterson is making waves again in the Evangelical community.  He recently published a message on You Tube entitled “Message to the Christian Churches.”  Peterson has gotten a lot of attention among evangelicals, especially in his appeal to young men.  He want us to be aware of the needs of men, warning us that they are facing an unparalleled demoralization due to the West’s weaponizing guilt regarding males. 

He is forceful in his challenge. “Put up a billboard saying “young men are welcome here”.…..Ask more, not less of those you are inviting.  Ask more of them than anyone ever has.  Remind them who they are in the deepest sense and help them become that.”  He is blunt when he says, “Attend to some souls.  That’s what you’re supposed to do.  That’s your holy duty.  Do it now, before it’s too late.  The hour is night.”

I for one have an appreciation for Peterson.  He has received his fair share of criticism because he has not as of yet become a believer.  Referring to Genesis, He tell the church how to speak to young men. “The Christian church is there to remind people, young men included, perhaps even first and foremost, that they have a woman to find, a garden to walk in, a family the nurture, an ark of build, and land to conquer, and a ladder to heaven to build.”  I only question the idea of a ladder to heaven.  Our message needs to be grace filled.  

When I watch his video and read some of the articles in response, I kept thinking of Isaiah prophecy regarding Jesus. “But he won’t yell, won’t raise his voice; there’ll be no commotion in the streets.  He won’t walk over anyone’s feelings, won’t push you into a corner.  Before you know it, his justice will triumph; the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even among far-off unbelievers” (Matt. 12:19-21 -MSG). 

In my view, Peterson is like a compassionate father figure, desperately trying to wake up the church, to welcome young men, who have lost their way in the midst of the cultural cross currents that have vilify the masculine.  Peterson has stood up to an over -bearing woke culture, and is now saying, “come home” to young men.  The church as a caring, open-minded and affirming community of folks who want to live out the reality of Genesis, can make a difference in the lives of lost young men.

But it will not be easy.  it will be messy, when young men, check out “The Good News” of the kingdom and its implications for our day.  What will it take?  Came we meet some of the challenges? Are we willing as followers of Jesus, to plant the Christian flag in the midst of almost demonic resistance, and say,  “At the beginning the Creator ‘make them male and female'” (Matt. 19:4).  God’s plan from the beginning is the reality we embrace. 

All other opinions are asking men to live in unreality. They are being asked to deny their identity as men, and settle for a patchwork of woke ideology, which imprisons men in a false reality.  It will not stand the tests that are about to come upon our whole nation.    

Men need to here it straight, with no apologies.  They will need strong, affirming communities to nurture their souls.  As Peterson said, “Attend to some souls….That’s your holy duty.  Do it now, before it’s too late.”  I for one, take Peterson’s message to heart.  We can learn a lot from the common grace, as expressed by the likes of Jordan Peterson.  

 

 

Gravity

New songs by Spirit-led artists can speak to my soul.  Kristene DiMarco’s latest song “Gravity” is such a song.  It is a searching song that subtly probes the hidden life of the soul.  It will make men (if they’re open to it) ask questions regarding their hidden, inner life.  The chorus speaks to the gravity of our condition: “Positivity can’t split these seas/And all my optimism won’t set this captive free/I need a King who hung on Calvary/I’ll always need a God who feels deeply/I need a God who knows the gravity.

Paul describes the gravity of our struggle in Gal. 5:16-18 (NLT): “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.  Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.  And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.  These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” 

Earlier in Romans, Paul laments, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t.  I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong, it is the sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:19-20 – NLT).  Men, that is a pull of gravity in each of us, the pull of our flesh in conflict with the Spirit.  

Each man reading this blog knows of the gravitational pull of the “sinful nature.”  All our positivity and optimism will not release us from this pull.  The singer refers to “This innocent idolatry/Not letting You in too deep/Because who knows if You can handle me.”  In our pride (innocent idolatry), we think we can handle what goes on inside.  We prefer to manage our spiritual life, not realizing we can’t do it without the Lord (John 15:5; Psalm 16:1-2).  

“This innocent idolatry” creates an image of God being “proud of me [when I] keep my tears back behind my eyes.”  Men, we can too easily project the image of a “strong, spiritual man” to hide our real pain.  It’s okay to cry.  The song asks, “When did I decide/I’m not allowed to cry?”  My advice: spend time before God allowing yourself to feel and express your deep, hidden pains. 

The singer laments that her “innocent idolatry” causes her to “make You somehow just like me/Unable to sit in the suffering.”  Then “movin’ too fast past my grief/When you are acquainted with what I’m carrying.”  At the end the singer asks, “Don’t let this truth be lost on me/My God, He feels the gravity of everything.”  

Men, it an absolute, wonderful truth to know that Jesus suffered for you.  Allow yourself to feel your emptiness, nothingness, and hidden shame.  Then look up and out of your pit, into the eyes of love.  See the suffering, wounded heart of God bleeding on the cross for you.  Trust Him to take your pain.   Confess: “This innocent idolatry/I make you somehow just like me/Unable to sit in the suffering.”  

Men, you can break the pull of gravity?  Humble yourself as a child before the Father and let him carry you as you find your way home together.  Claim this promise for yourself: “At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home” (Zeph. 3: 20).

 

No Excuse

 In the weekly Bible study at our apartment building, we recently studied John 15.  Some speculation on a contemporary application of John 15: 22-25 led to some thoughts that I’d like to share for your consideration:

“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin.  Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.  He who hates me hates my Father as well.  If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin.  But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.  But this is to fulfil what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason'” (John 15:22-25).

Earlier in this chapter, Jesus warned his disciples that they would be “hated” by others because those others hated Jesus first.  He told them, “If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own.  But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you” (v. 18-19 – Message).  As believers, we live in the world but are not part of the world. Jesus wants us to know that “if they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you” (v. 20 – Message).   

Jesus’ words (v. 22) caused his hearers to be guilty of sin.  My question for our culture is this: How guilty are we of having rejected the words of Jesus?  Has our culture actually rejected the gospel or simply reacted negatively to a distorted version of the gospel?  

Jesus says this regarding those who have heard:  “Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin” (v. 22).  My question for believers, however, is this:  Are we without excuse when others reject the gospel?  How much light (the good news) has our culture really encountered in us?  How much of our behavior is without excuse?

Jesus is very clear: “Whoever hates me hates my Father as well” (v. 23).  This is how I would interpret that statement for our day:  Jesus is the way to the Father (John 14:6).  John declares Jesus as coming from the Father.  “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18).  When we spurn Jesus’ speaking into our lives, we lose the sense of transcendent reality.  We live in a “closed” world with little spiritual connection to the Lord.  

Jesus’ listeners had seen the “works no one else did,” yet they were guilty of sin.  They had witnessed Jesus’ miracles, only to dismiss both Jesus’ words and his Father working in and through them.  My question:  As we try to live out the gospel in our culture, have we discounted the voice of God in our midst? 

Jesus interprets the rejection of his message as a fulfillment of scripture, referring to Ps. 69:4, “They hated me without reason.” Could it be that some of the opposition to Jesus and his kingdom is the result of thinking within the Body of Christ that discounts the Lordship of Jesus – thinking that has become a stumbling block for us and for unbelievers around us?   Revelation 12:12 reminds us that the devil “knows his time is short.” Yes, we see an almost demonic spirit at work in our nation.  But is it not also possible that we have accepted a watered-down version of the gospel to the point of no return?

 

 

 

 

 

A New Pentecost

By God’s grace I have become more ecumenical as I have matured.  Early on, I learned to see beyond the institutional challenges of the Roman Catholic Church, finding and embracing the rich spiritual streams in its long history.  It all started for me when I met and enjoyed rich, deep fellowship with some Catholic Charismatics.  It continued as I became acquainted with the deep spiritual life found in such people as St. John of the Cross and Bernard of Clairvaux.  So, in this blog, I share two recent articles that could very well be addressed to any evangelical church.  

First, from Ralph Martin’s blog at Renewal Ministries.  I have followed Ralph for years, and believe he has a proven prophetic ministry.  In 1975 at a conference in Rome, he gave this prophecy: “Because I love you, I want to show you what I’m doing in the world today.  I want to prepare you for what is to come.  Days of darkness are coming on the world – days of tribulation.  I will lead you into the desert.  I will strip you of everything that you depend on now, so you depend just on me.”

God is preparing his people for the days to come.  We are to heed the warning.  Days of darkness and tribulation are coming upon us.  We will find ourselves in a spiritual desert.  What we have depended on will be removed.  Through all this the church will be purified. 

Another prophecy that has stood the test of time is from Fr. Mike Scanlan, who spoke these words back in 1980: “What I have not accomplished in my blessings and gifts, I will accomplish by my judgment and my purification.”  Today the Lord is exposing the worldliness in the church.  We are being called to repent. 

Quoting two Catholic brothers who have prophetic ministries might cause some to question my discernment – or to even cry “Heresy!”  Trust me – these are true servants of the Lord.  Their words are for the whole church.  God is allowing tribulation, darkness and pruning to take place.  God is forming a holy, purified church that will speak the truth and shine as a beacon in the days to come.  Don’t be surprised by tribulation. 

Yet another Catholic testimony is from retired Archbishop Charles J. Chaput:  “We need a new Pentecost.”  Speaking to the graduates of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, the Archbishop lamented the religious life of the church as “a malleable, vanilla kind of religion that can be used to justify almost any ugly idea or behavior that needs a moral gloss.”  He spoke of American Catholic life as “the temptation to accommodate, to compromise, to get along and fit in – and then feel good about it.”   Tolerance is placed above “genuine love, justice, and charity, because it seems so much more peaceful to manage differences that way.”

In the Archbishop’s view, the church has “abandoned who we really are. In one word – “holy” which means “other than” or “different from.”  So, his challenge is for “a church rooted in holiness [and] parishes on fire with faith.  He dares to say “we need priests who will spark a new, Pentecostal fire from every vocation and form of discipleship in the Church.”  “We need a new Pentecost,” he declared.  “Remember that.  Give your life to that.” 

Wow.  This retired archbishop is preaching like a Pentecostal preacher to Catholic seminarians.  Oh, that we would have ears to hear the passion and conviction in his words.  We do need a “new Pentecost.”  Be open to the work of his Spirit in your heart. 

 

Babylon Falling

In Scripture, Babylon represents humanity organized in defiance of God.  In Isaiah 47, the prophet describes the humiliating destruction of Babylon.   The primary sin of Babylon was its “self-deification.” She sees herself as “queen of kingdoms” (v. 5), declaring, “‘I am forever – the eternal queen'” (v. 7).  Babylon implies its superiority when she declares, “I am, and there is none other” (v. 8).   Is this not the stance of certain governments in our world today?  

Isaiah prophesied the fall of Babylon more than 150 years before it happened.  At this time, Babylon had not yet emerged as the mightiest force on earth, an empire that would destroy Judah and Jerusalem, leading the Israelites into captivity for 70 years.   But the Babylonians would become captives themselves in 539 B.C.  God tells them, “Sit in silence, go into darkness, queen city of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms” (v. 5).  God will bring them to silence and turn out the lights.  Revelation declares, “the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again” (Rev. 18:21).  How will God deal with the nations of our day? 

I often think of Babylon when I behold present day world leaders appearing on the world stage in defiance of God.  I find myself crying out with the prophet Habakkuk, “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?” (Hab. 1:2).  The book of Revelation describes Babylon’s final defeat: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great!” (Rev. 18:2).  Those who had benefited from such a great empire were overwhelmed at its demise. “Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: ‘Woe, woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power!  In one hour, your doom has come!” (Rev. 18:10).

God had used Babylonians to deal with his own people, but they did not show any mercy. “I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy” (v. 7).  They felt very secure in saying, “I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.  [But] both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood” (v. 9).  “A catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you” (v. 10).  In the margin beside v. 10,  I noted in my Bible 8/6/14, USA today.   Could this happen to America?

Through the prophet, God exposes the delusional thinking that we are not accountable to our Creator.  “You were so confident and comfortable in your evil life, saying, ‘No one sees me.’  You thought you knew so much, had everything figured out.  What delusion!  Smugly telling yourself, ‘I’m Number One.  There’s nobody but me.’ Ruin descends – you can’t charm it away” (v. 10-11 – Message).  Could America be posturing in like manner today?

God even mocks their futile attempts, while warning of a disaster they will not be able to avoid. “So disaster will overtake you, and you won’t be able to charm it away.  Calamity will fall upon you, and you won’t be able to buy your way out.  A catastrophe will strike suddenly, one for which you are not prepared” (Is. 47:11 NLT). 

I wonder about God’s silence. “For a long time, I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I grasp and pant” (Is 42:14). Have we assumed God’s silence as his favor on our nation? Is God about to act?  I wonder!!!

July 12, 2022

Dear Ones,
  You are getting this early today and hope you wake to a glorious day! The question for today is: What do you see when you first look into the mirror? I hope you see a beloved child of God that is in the process of being transformed. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see beautiful bright eyes and soft skin and perfect physique? That is not what looks back at me in the mirror! I am soon going to have a big birthday next month and I notice wrinkles, and freckles and hair that is getting lighter (gray to be exact) around the edges. Clearly it is not the same image I saw in the mirror years ago when I was young and first in love, but the mirror doesn’t lie.  
  But there is a more important mirror. It says in scripture that God’s word is like a mirror and it shows us the truth of what we are really like inside. It’s not very pretty at all for we are all sinners and in need of a heart makeover. But it is not something we can do ourselves, but only to recognize our condition and ask forgiveness and for our Maker to do a major heart change. It is quite astounding to go from an ugly sight to being covered over by His grace and being made entirely new and beautiful. The more we agree with what we see in the mirror and ask for Him to cleanse us, the more we will become like Him.
  As we look into the mirror of His Word, wonderful transformation can take place.  Paul says in II Cor. 3: 18, “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
  It makes me think of Cinderella who is dirty and dwells amongst the cinders and then being transformed into a princess. The change is so over the top, that sometimes we are not even recognized from what we use to be. Let us be conformed more and more to His image, that even our outward appearance changes and others begin to see Jesus in us.
   Challenge for today: Look into the mirror of His word and let Jesus change you from inside out. 
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy

The Arm of The Lord

Isaiah 59 begins with an affirmation of God’s ability to provide salvation: “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.” (Is. 59:1).  The problem was neither God’s ability to save, nor his inactivity, but rather the sins of the people.  “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (v. 2).  

“Repentance does not come easily to any of us, and it is hardest of all for people who have become accustomed to using religion as a cover for their sin.  When their prayers go unanswered, they find it easier to blame God than to take a long, hard look at themselves” (Bible Speaks Today).  We are being held accountable by the words of the prophet.

Isaiah describes what life was like among the Israelites.  Their hands are those of “murderers” (v. 3); their “lips are full of lies and [their] mouth spews corruption” (v. 3). “No one cares about being fair and honest” (v. 4).  Even worse, “The people’s lawsuits are based on lies. They conceive evil deeds and then give birth to sin. (v. 4).  “They think only about sinning.  Misery and destruction always follow them” (v. 7).  They are not able to find peace nor do they know what is just and good (v. 8).  This is a mirror of our culture.

The result was a life stumbling in spiritual darkness.  “So there is no justice among us, and we know nothing about right living.  We look for light but find only darkness.  We look for bright skies but walk in gloom.  We grope like the blind along a wall, feeling our way like people without eyes.  Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark” (Is. 59:9-10).  Those who articulate the popular narrative seem to be “groping like the blind along a wall.” 

This spiritual decay moved the people to confess their sin and repent. “For our sins are piled up before God and testify against us.  Yes, we know what sinners we are” (v. 12).  The condition of their nation could well be describing America today.  “Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found.  Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed.  Yes, truth is gone, and everyone who renounces evil is attacked” (v. 14-15). 

God’s response is to assume the guise of a warrior.  “So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him” (v. 16).  “He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head. He clothed himself with a robe of vengeance and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion” (v. 17). 

Men, I write this to give you assurance that our heavenly Father sees the condition of our nation as described by the prophetic words of Isaiah.  As we apply them to our day, it should lead us to daily repentance and motivate us to cry out for mercy.  

At the appropriate time God will intervene in the affairs of our modern age. “The Lord will march forth like a mighty hero; he will come out like a warrior, full of fury.  He will shout his battle cry and crush all his enemies” (Is. 42:13).  At that time, “He will say, ‘I have long been silent; yes, I have restrained myself.  But now, like a woman in labor, I will cry and groan and pant” (Is. 42:14).  Lord, come again! Heal and save!

 

   

Dragon Time

I have been followed Paul Kingsnorth on the internet.  He posts at “The Abbey of Misrule.”  He has recently become a committed Christian.  For me, he puts into words the spiritual conflict taking place in the West.  Recently he wrote a blog entitled “Chasing the Dragon.”

“When I look forward,” notes Kingsnorth, “I can’t see anything much that is fixed or holy or pegged down.  All I can see…….is that dragon.” He wonders if we are moving into a dragon time.  “If this is a dragon time,” He ponders, “what is our age’s serpent saying?  What has it come for?  Perhaps our dragon is the beast rising from the sea.  Perhaps it is the return of the wild nature we have crushed outside and inside of us for so long………Is it the consuming passion of the Machine, which will end up consuming us all?……. Does it come to destroy us or to redeem us – or are they both the same thing?”

I am fascinated by Kingsnorth’s intuitive struggle to understand the modern day struggle between good and evil.  It takes me to Revelation 12, where we read about Satan as the great, red dragon.  “Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. (Rev. 12:3).  We are told, about a war in heaven. “Michael and his angels fought against the dragon.” (v 7). 

Michael is victorious, causing the dragon to lose its place in heaven.  “The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth” (v 9).  Heaven rejoices at the victory, but we have these fateful words regarding  the dragon.  “But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short” (v 12). 

We are told, “the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (v 17).  This is the believing church throughout history.

Eugene Peterson has this observation about the bluster of the dragon.  “Our problem is that we overestimate the politics of earthly governments and underestimate the politics of heaven.  John’s imagination is a rush of adrenaline to those of us with little faith.  And so infused, we’re again fearless, unimpressed by the bluster of the dragon.”

I appreciate Kingsnorth’s wondering about our time being a dragon time.  I understand this to mean the power of darkness which seems to be clouding our civilization.   Could there be an intensifying of the battle between light and darkness in our Post Christian culture?  So many signs point to a deepening of a battle between good and evil.  

Only our heavenly Father knows the day of the Lord.  But could the crises and chaos of our time be pointing in that direction.  I sure can see our age being a dragon time.  Peterson give us this warning: “The political metaphor of a kingdom insists on a gospel that brings everything and everyone under the rule of God.  People love to hear that God is powerful and that he rules.  They aren’t as enthusiastic when they discover the means by which he exercises his rule.” 

Men, the battle has already been won through Jesus death and resurrection.  We live in the time of the “not yet.”  Victory against the dragon is assured.  But how the battle will play out is not for us to determine. 

 

 

Deep People

As a young pastor back in 1978, I read Richard Foster’s book “Celebration of Discipline.”  It was a kind of spiritual awakening for me.  I felt like I was breathing “fresh spiritual air.”  I was concerned about matters of the heart and soul, but there were few evangelical leaders speaking to the issues of “soul care.”  Foster opened new doors for me. 

I was captivated by the opening words of Foster’s book: “Superficiality is the curse of our age.  The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.   Foster went on to say, “the spiritual life calls us to move beyond surface living into the depths.”  He was talking about soul life.

Recently I watched a video of Foster giving a presentation in 2018 at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of his book.  What was true then is true today: “The need for the growth of the soul.”  In Foster’s view, “The most lasting work is accomplished in the depth of the heart.”  All real spiritual formation is “heart work.”  The focus is on the purity of the heart (Proverbs 4:23).  “We must not neglect this work,” he warns, “Spiritual formation is not a tool kit to fix things.”

When Foster looks at our culture, he listed four areas of concern:

First, information technology.  We are all wired to the information age.  The changes have been rapid and all pervasive.  The demands on each of us can be a spiritual drain.  The inner life can easily be neglected.  Soul care takes time and attention.  Foster cautions us with one word: distraction.  “We need,” he maintains, “a discerning, life-giving ascetism.”  We need practices to help us “unplug” so we can listen and learn to just be.

Second, the loss of Christian consciousness.  The Christian story and culture are being lost in the collective consciousness of our nation.  How do we minister to people who have no roots in Christianity?  We need to focus on spiritual formation and the growth of the soul.  The inner life of many is an empty, confused spiritual space that needs to be addressed.

Third,  learning to live courageously through dark times.  We live in what Foster calls, “a wilderness of cultural unbelief.”  We may be witnessing “the beginnings of a new dark age.”  Evangelicals in our day are considered “hypocrites.”  How are we to sing the songs of Zion in a strange land?  Foster’s advice is stark: “Shut up” and “listen.” Talk less. Listen more.

Fourth, narcissism is the spirit of the age.  Culture has changed in this regard over the last 40 years.   We live in the age of “expressive individualism” (Carl Trueman).  It is the very air that we breathe.  Only inner transformation of the soul can help us to be “other-centered” rather than “self-centered.”  Jesus is our model in a life of surrender. 

Recently I came across a review written by Foster.  He mentioned a prayer that he was using in his devotional life.  I have memorized it and use it both in prayer and during the day.  “Lord Jesus, please/Purify my heart/Renew my mind/Sanctify my imagination/Enlarge my soul/Amen.”  This is a prayer that helps us focus on our inner life.  

Notice: a purified heart comes first, then the renewal of the mind.  I continue to need much sanctifying of my imagination.  Recently, I have become aware of the Spirit enlarging my soul as I focus on Jesus at the center.  May the Lord help us all to do this (Hebrews 12:1-3).

 

 

Jeremey’s Razors

Recently, I got an e-mail from my number one son in North Carolina that included an ad for Jeremy’s Razors.  When Mark wrote, “This advertising is causing more conversations in my world here than anything in the last few years,” I knew I had to see it.  Then Kurt, my second son, responded to the e-mail string, saying, “One of my favorites.  Some of my buddies have bought these razors.”

The company and the ad are both “old school.” See the ad on YouTube: “Jeremy’s Razors: the greatest commercial ever.” I consider the ad “slapstick” comedy, the kind that I enjoyed in the 70’s and 80’s (like I Love Lucy or Red Skeleton), when we were less concerned about being offensive and hurting people’s feelings.  But in our day of “cancel culture” many would deem it offensive.  The ad was a little too “edgy” for me as a more seasoned guy, who has stuck with an electric shaver all these years and doesn’t really prefer to see all the flesh.  But it still carries some insights for us.

Jeremy’s Razors started as a protest against a woke culture in which ads are pulled or walkouts are staged simply because the ads are deemed “offensive.”  Jeremey Boering launched his company on April first as a protest to the woke culture in advertising. In the first month, the firm already had 60,000 subscribers wanting razors.  The brand attracted more Twitter followers in the first month than Gillette has gained since it went on Twitter in 2009.  The ad has been watched over 15 million times.

With tongue in cheek, the ad asks, “Stop giving your money to people who hate you. Give it to me instead.”  Boering acknowledges in the ad that his company’s values are misaligned with a culture which sees anything masculine as “toxic.”  He wants to celebrate manliness.  He had no idea that he would be an immediate success.

Why?  Here is part of what I wrote back to Mark: “What impresses me about the ad and the response you are experiencing from other guys is the opportunity to identify with someone who says, ‘Enough is enough.’  It shows me there is a lot of pent-up emotion and frustration in men.  Together, guys are able to celebrate and ‘let off some masculine steam.’  Young men feel mistreated and misunderstood by a culture that wants to put them in a box.”  They see the ad as an act of rebellion against the dominant media that gives credence to social engineers who are committed to blending the genders. 

Men respond to the candor in this ad.  As I wrote to Mark, “Each man is unique, but he needs to have his soul renewed and made alive by the Spirit of the living God,  who enables each man to function as a man, not like a “shadow” based on the “broken” rhetoric of the feminine which has lost its God-given uniqueness.”  

My suggestion is for younger men to find male mentors to walk with them.  Along with that, find a band of brothers who are trying to understand manhood from a biblical perspective.  I, for one, have lived through the sexual revolution.  Many younger men only hear part of the story (a bent feminine) and not a strong masculine (tough but tender).  Healthy men, integrated in their masculine identity,  need to come alongside confused younger men who are in danger of losing their masculine soul.  If we don’t, men can easily become weak pushovers who cannot stand against the lies and illusions  of a woke culture.  Pray God guides us in that.

 

 

 

 

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