King Herod was a paranoid, mentally unstable monarch. He saw a threat to his power in the birth of Christ, the newborn King. So great was his fear that he massacred every boy under the age of two in the vicinity of Bethlehem. And just as in Newtown today, grief descended over a small, formerly peaceful community:
A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
and she refused to be comforted,
because they were no more.” (Matthew 2:18)
No one knows why Adam Lanza took the lives of 6 schoolteachers, 20 students, his mother and himself. Perhaps we’ll never know.
It seems like every few days a frustrated man picks up a gun and takes the lives of innocent people. In Herod’s day only a monarch held the power to kill scores. Today that power is available to almost anyone.
What do all these tragedies have in common? The perpetrator is a man. He’s often isolated. Friendless. Unloved. Carrying a festering wound from some past hurt. So great is his anger that he lashes out at innocents.
Society teaches men from an early age to keep their true feelings inside. “Big boys don’t cry,” we say. Instead of dealing with their pain, men simply store it up in their hearts. They learn to self-protect. They cannot open up and love because their arms are clutched across their bleeding hearts.
And there are millions of wounded men in our society. I’m not suggesting all these angry men are potential mass murderers – but if a man’s inner wounds go unaddressed someone will get hurt. If not physically, then emotionally.
That was the situation in the home I grew up in. My father was a powder keg – you never knew when he would explode in anger.
One day I took a hard look at myself and I realized I was becoming just like him.
Fortunately I had begun attending church again. It was at that church that I heard a message about the love and forgiveness that Christ offers. I asked God to forgive my sins. And I allowed Jesus to take my wounds onto himself.
I was changed. The anger drained from my heart. For the first time I had the power to forgive “those who had trespassed against me.” Being forgiven and having the power to forgive changed the trajectory of my life.
I am no different than Adam Lanza or King Herod. I am man – capable of immense evil. Yet I’m a beloved man – and a forgiven man. This has made all the difference in my life.
I want more men to know the love and forgiveness of God. Not just for their benefit, but also for the benefit of the world.
This is why I’ve dedicated my life to the simple goal of getting more men into church. Not because church is some magic cure-all for the ills that affect men. But God’s amazing love and forgiveness can help heal a man’s pain – and change the course of his life. And a local church is one of the best places to find that love.
That’s why Church for Men’s mission is “calling churches back to men.”
- Men need the love of God
- One of the best places to find that love is in a local church
- But men won’t attend a church where they feel unwelcome
- Therefore, we help churches become more welcoming to men and boys
In America today five out of six men claim to be Christians, but just one out of six attends church on a given weekend. Imagine how different our world would be if all those men were regularly hearing the message of Christ. If all those men were in community with other men. If all those men found healing for the deep wounds in their hearts. Perhaps there would be fewer tragedies to mourn.