You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently decided that men can breastfeed babies. According to the CDC, men can take powerful drugs, lactate, and “chest feed.” This is the same agency that warns women not to smoke while breastfeeding.
The CDC’s website says, “CDC is the nation’s leading science-based, data-driven, service organization that protects the public’s health.” In some way, apparently, the CDC serves to provide scientific solutions to public health problems.
As I read this, two questions shook me from my revulsion. First, for what is men breastfeeding a “science-based, data-driven” solution? And second, as a federal agency and service organization, whose interests do this latest abomination serve?
The Spiritual Battlefield
If I didn’t understand the spiritual battlefield, I might be stumped for answers. Sadly, I’m neither stumped nor surprised. Certainly, this disgrace solves the problems presented to progressive ideology by a biblical worldview. It solves the problems God’s truth offers to secular lies. It solves the problems posed to Marxist ambitions by a strong biblical family. And it solves the problems presented by children raised to know the truth.
On the surface, it may seem that it does not solve any problems which a Christian taxpayer in a nation under God should be funding. On a deeper level, it may.
What if this latest iteration of progressive disinformation, this faux-scientific abomination, solves the problem presented to the public’s health by Christians who don’t believe that they and their children are genuinely under attack on a very real spiritual battlefield?
“Know The Enemy, Know Yourself,” Sun Tzu
For years, I have been talking about how our nation has become a spiritual battlefield. On my radio show, Courageous Christianity with Richard Mendelow, as we look at things like this, I often say, “You just can’t make this stuff up!” With each passing day, the perversity of secular culture seems to assail new heights. It’s almost impressive, but mostly, it’s incredibly sad.
Without a doubt, the enemy has come out into the open. On this battlefield, he’s fighting to overthrow God and to destroy everything good. To do this, he wants to cast our nation into the pit of Marxism, the place where freedom, creativity, critical thinking, hard work, benevolence, charity, and faith go to die. And then his plan is to establish himself as the master of this Marxist work camp where you, me, our children, and the American dream will be enchained.
There is a positive side. He’s come out into the open, and so should we.
What Does the Bible Say?
2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
In addition to solving the problem of Christians not taking spiritual warfare seriously, maybe the CDC’s absurdity also solves the problem of Christians not taking the Word of God seriously.
If it does, that’s great. Maybe we get serious about reading our Bibles and understanding that the context of our faith is a battlefield.
Make no mistake, the Bible provides very real answers to our seemingly modern problems. For example, from a Christian perspective and from a military perspective, on the spiritual battlefield of His day, Jesus relied on two tactics to overcome the enemy. First, He created space. Second, He filled that space with God and with God’s influence.
Think about it. How many times did Jesus walk away from confrontation? How many times did He go to the wilderness to get away, to get clear, and to center Himself? How many times did He take a break from the Apostles? The answer is a lot. He was creating space.
So, why is it so hard for us to push back on the world even when we know how lost, perverse, and dangerous it is? Because, as Aristotle said, “You are what you do repeatedly.”
What makes rejecting the world so hard is the imprinting we’ve received throughout our lives. From elementary school to high school and from college into the workforce, we have been subjected to a persistent, pressing influence which tells us that we need to be liked by the world. This twisted world then uses that perceived need to be liked to push things on us which the Bible says to resist.
If we feel pressure to be liked, as adults, with most of our exams, graduations, first dates, and job interviews behind us, imagine how our kids feel. They’ve grown up with all that we felt plus Facebook likes, thumbs up emojis, bullying by protected classes of people, and all of the other pressures of modern social, political, and educational conformity. It seems to me that one of the best things we could do for ourselves, and our children is to teach them the peace and freedom of being disliked.
You Have the Right To Be You
As I often say on my radio show, “Your right to be you does not supersede my right to be me.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1902 to 1932, put it this way, “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”
I don’t know about you, but as a Christian, patriotic, heterosexual, biblically married male, there are days when I come home from working and walking in this world and I have a bloody nose from all the hypocrisy and perversity that does not respect the end of my nose. In fact, I often marvel at the ways those who want special consideration and compassionate understanding offer none to those who think differently from themselves.
That’s why I think it’s so important to teach our children that they have the right to be who they are. The First Amendment and the Bible ensure that they have that right. God made them “fearfully and wonderfully.” Teach them that, and then let them be non-conforming as they develop their relationship with Jesus and assert their right to push the world back. Don’t punish them when they do this. It might be a bit messy at first, but it’s important training.
Look, Act, and Sound Like Jesus
I was a U.S. Marine border advisor team leader in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. My team’s mission was to teach a battalion of Afghan border policemen to secure the southern border of Helmand Province. We lived with the border police, we trained them, and we fought with them. The hope was that we would teach them to be like us.
One day, I saw one of my young lieutenants wearing a shemagh. A shemagh is an Afghan scarf worn by many desert fighters. They were not permitted for Marines. I asked him, “Lieutenant, what’s that on your neck?”
He told me what I already knew, and I said, “Our mission is to make the Afghan border police look like us. It’s not our job to look like them!”
My point, my fellow Christian warrior, is that our mission as Christians is to make the world look like us. It’s not to look like them. They’re lost. We don’t need to ask them for directions.
We can’t react to the world, we can’t act like the world, we can’t think like the world, and we certainly can’t look like the world. This also goes for our kids.
God and the Father’s Business
As a Christian, if you want to be liked by the world, you’re in the wrong business. To accomplish our mission to reshape this world, Christians need to be comfortable with not being liked. And we need to teach our children to be comfortable with not being liked. The Bible explains this plainly; “Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4). I know it can be difficult to overcome decades of imprinting and influence, but there is a way.
Recently, after reading the Book of Matthew, chapters 10 through 20, and picking out each interaction that Jesus had with the world, I said to my wife, “Jesus was very matter of fact. He engaged when it was profitable for His Father’s kingdom, and He walked away effortlessly when it was not.”
My wife’s response was brilliant and simple. She replied, “It’s not that He was matter of fact, it’s that He was so attached to His Father’s business, He was detached from the world.”
Attaching Yourself to God
Attaching ourselves to God is simple, yet hard. First, we need to read the Bible for ourselves, to find out who God is, to find out what God values, and to understand what He says is right and what He says is wrong. Then we must focus on that with such resolve that the words “like” and “dislike” mean nothing to us.
The closer we are to God, to His Son, to His Word, and to the loving heart behind it all, the further away we are from the world. It’s actually a beautiful thing.
I said recently that I don’t care about the world’s opinion. I realized, in that moment, that I didn’t care about my own opinion either. I just want Jesus’ opinion. The Bible puts it like this; “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2).
Letting go of the need to be liked is cathartic. It allows Christ to renew our minds. By our example, we can show our children how good this looks and feels.
“Put Your Mask on Before Helping Your Children”
To free our children from the chains of this world, we must first free ourselves. To do this, we must cast off the ridiculous idea that we need to be liked, shrug off the weight of conformity that presses down on us, reject the lies that we have unwittingly come to believe, and focus on God. Here’s how we do this:
- Study God’s Word as written in the Bible. It says, “All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- Distance yourselves from those who seek to conform you to the world’s failing perspectives; “Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:5).
- Associate with other believers in and out of church, not in religiosity or pretend piety, but in the genuine pursuit of God and a heartfelt desire to focus your life on the Father’s business.
- Walk out this focus in every area of your life with resolve and integrity.
- Vote for Christian candidates in every election and hold them accountable.
- Attend every school board meeting and promote Christian perspectives.
- Separate your children from the world by resisting the electronic invasion of your home. Turn off devices.
- Then, having regained their attention, teach your children by your example.
My prayer is that Christians understand that we live on a spiritual battlefield. In this context, I pray that not only will Christians “get serious” about our faith, but that we will also act on that seriousness with intention and resolve in the public arena. I pray that we will be more dedicated in our personal relationships with Jesus and then in our commitment to walking out that relationship in every area of our lives. Finally, my prayer is that we recommit ourselves to the biblical family, seeing it as the building block of God’s kingdom, and tolerating absolutely nothing which attempts to beguile us otherwise.