Walking on the path God is guiding me down, I find that I am still a soldier. Eleven years ago I shipped off to basic training. It was 9 years later when I received my discharge. Now, just 2 years later, I find that I am in the middle of a different kind of battle. It is not a battle with bullets and blood like the one I saw in Iraq, but one fought with God’s Word against temptations and self control. This is a battle that some fight daily, while some stay in the rear. The battle I’m talking about is the battle with Satan.

I always laugh at some point when talking about this. We know how this war ends, God wins. It is written, and the inspired word is infallible, so that tells me that God already told us. So, Satan already knows that he loses, but he still fights? Why aren’t we all fighting him back? We call ourselves Christians, Followers of Jesus, Disciples of the Lord, or one of a hundred other names, but so many of us are not fighting. Why not?

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, and Muslim men are not only not afraid to show their faith, they are proud. And they are fighting… for the enemy. Not only are they fighting, they are winning souls. Souls are lost everyday to the master of deceit. And he is using our members against us.

Now you are thinking, “How is he using me against us?” I’ll tell you how, as Christians, we are under a microscope. For every one of us that does right among other Christians, one of us stumbles in front of unbelievers. I’m not griping about those of us that stumble, Romans 3:23 reminds us that everyone stumbles. I’m griping about those of us who never try. I remember a quote from DC Talk’s “What if I Stumble”, it originates from Brennan Manning. “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge  Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle,” Manning has said. “That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”

How many times do you hang around with the guys at work talking about sports, guns, and girls? Or to be a little more blunt, sex. In 9 years of service, I had plenty of these conversations. Plenty of chances to talk about God. I had been a Christian for about 3 or 4 months when in Iraq, I helped with a Bible study… and I read Easyrider and talked about sex with the guys. I can be honest about it, I was reading Easyrider for the bikes… and the girls. I shouldn’t have been looking lustfully at those girls. I shouldn’t have been talking that way about sex. I was a new Christian and I didn’t know that I was wrong.

New Muslim men know if they are doing wrong, one of their brothers tells them. Not only do they let them know, they also tell other brothers so that they’ll hold the wrong one accountable as well. This is accountability at it’s simplest. This is what is used in gangs. This is what is used by Police, EMTs, and Firemen. This is used by fraternities. This is used by every male friendly organization in the world. Why aren’t we doing something like this as Christians? Why are we not holding each other accountable. I’m not saying we need to be legalistic, I’m saying that we need to admit fault to brothers and ask brothers to help us with temptations. I’m saying we need to help our brothers with temptation. We need to help our brothers maintain self control. We all slip, that is when we need a brother with us to help prop us up.

As long as we don’t stand up and help each other, we will see more men join up on the other side. As long as we refuse to stand up and show the world that we are Christian and we are Men, we will lose more to the enemy.

Are you willing to tell the world?

Until the Whole World Knows,

Paul

Comments
  1. Bob Balkcom says:

    Man, talk about a “big box of nails of spiritual truth” and huge hammer!

    Proud to call you my brother, man! Amen!

    Now, let’s discuss “rubber meeting the road” type examples….real examples. It won’t be easy on some of them. We blow by them everyday.

    Thanks for the post –

    • Paul S says:

      I’ll get some rubber meets the road examples for future posts. may take a little extra research, but it’s worth it for this. I invite you to throw any you have up as well, comments can give us so much more insight than just one person’s opinions.

    • Paul S says:

      Actually, just had one hit me. I know a guy who is a leader in the Church who is also the definition of passive aggressive. I’m trying to show him how to change and be truly supportive and honest, but it’s hard to figure out. The biggest issue is that I am not a peer of his, and it seems his peers don’t see this side of him.

  2. Great post Paul and I couldn’t agree with you more. Everyday we are in a battle and I need my brothers to speak truth into my life, accountability helps me stay free.

    Good men are bound by conscience and liberated by accountability. ~ Wes Fessle

    BTW…thanks for serving our country!

    • Paul S says:

      I’m happy to have served, and happier to be serving now God now. Accountability is the key to everything I talk about and I’d venture to say that any of us are saying. If you don’t have other men to hold you accountable, who will?

  3. Brandan Isaacs says:

    great post…I just wanna tell you that everything that you have posted has really impacted me, and thanks for taking time to do these posts!!

    • Paul S says:

      Thank you, Brandan. It means a lot to know we are helping even one guy. To get all of these responses reassures me even more. If you ever see us slacking, let me know at paul@hardcore-christian.com and I’ll shape up. I’m praying for all of our readers daily.

  4. Mike says:

    I agree completely! There is nothing like accountability. One problem I have is that I have friends that I can talk to, but those friends are not Christians. My Christian friends I do not feel free to talk to. Sometimes it is hard to find a good accountability partner that can give you good advice. I am always encouraging my teens to get an accountability group together, but I struggle with it myself.

    • Paul S says:

      Mike, why don’t you feel comfortable talking to your Christian friends about these issues? Are you worried about judgement? This is one of the things that we as men and leaders have to drive from the Church. Judgement is legalism. Jesus does not teach us to judge, he tells us to remove the plank from our own eye before worrying about the toothpick in our brother’s. I encourage you to take the risk. Look for other believers that are uncomfortable with the status quo and shake it up. You may have to be the one to step out front and lead on this.

      I encourage you to start by finding one man to meet with weekly that you can share with. This should be a believer that is of similar spiritual maturity as you. I’ll happily give you more info if you need it.

  5. Mike says:

    Paul,
    Thanks. I am going to pray about stepping out and doing that. Yes I am afraid of judgment I have been burned before. I appreciate all your posts and always welcome more info!

  6. Gary Taylor says:

    Interesting and worthy comparison, Muslim “brotherhood” to Christian brotherhood. Yes, the accountability involved is keenly different, like Grace is from Law. For Muslim men, at least in public, not so saintly in locker rooms, it is accountability by way of control as authorized by a) the Koran (not many know it that well), b) the local community and family, c) the patriarchs and imams, d) the guy with the hammer (knife, gun, cut-throat uncle).

    Then there is the extremist “brotherhood” counterpart. Us. Trust comes first. It, as you say, Paul, is a war supreme. Hardcores are foxhole comrades. Less “be like me,” or “be like the preacher says,” but “be like Jesus…alongside me.” Mohammed was not such a leader.

    It may seem a little tiresome to blast “UuuuuRAH!” as Christian soldiers. Beyond the chest thumping (right after Bible thumping), is the relationship of trusted brothers that marks the march and the success of our HardCore sort of brotherhood over mere extremist brotherhoods.

  7. Paul S says:

    I hate to call us extremist. Radical yes, but extremist may be a bit far, as we aren’t twisting the meaning of the words, we are simply interpreting them as they were written not twisted by a new culture’s meanings.

    But I will say this, as an Army guy… Hooah!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s