How do you believe that a Christian man should behave? If you’ve had a church background it probably mostly comes from the sermon on the mount. You may be thinking things like:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
If that is all you are going on, and that is the only context you have, what kind of picture does that paint? To me it paints the picture of a man who is very soft, never confronts anyone, walks around with his eyes down and his shoulders forward. It paints the picture of a man who does not stand up for himself, who just takes insults with a meek smile, and certainly never tells anyone that they are wrong or need the change. Oh no, that would be judging, and we are not supposed to judge.
But the problem is that this idea of how Christians are supposed to act, is that there are no role models for this behavior in the Bible. There are a lot of good and godly men in the Bible to choose from in the way of picking role models. And yet if this meek, mild mannered, sweet, non-judgmentally soul who always turns the other cheek and never has an unkind word to say to anyone is the ideal, why is there on great man in scripture that we can model ourselves after, including Jesus Christ?
Lets look at some examples in the Bible of how Godly men actually act.
In Genesis 32 Jacob meets a man that is generally considered to have been some manifestation of God. He wrestles with this man for an entire night. Part way through the man touches his thigh which takes it out of joint, and still Jacob continues. I don’t know if you’ve done much wrestling, but my resolves starts to wane after about 10 min of it when going against a good opponent. But Jacob does not stop or give in. He wrestles until daybreak with a dislocated hip. For this God blesses him.
In Numbers 25 the children of Israel were sleeping with Midianitish women, and because of it God sent a plague to destroy them. In verse 7-8 it says:
And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
God’s plague was stopped because a godly man stabbed two sinners through with a mighty thrust of a javelin. God also blessed Phinehas.
We all know the story of David and Goliath, but not what Davids attitude was before the fight.
1 Samual 17:26
And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
1 Samual 17:28-29
And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
First David basically looks down his noes at Goliath, which is an indirect way of calling the Israelites there all cowards for letting it stand. Then when his brother rebukes him, he does not take it for a second. Later in the chapter, after David has already killed Goliath, he takes the sword off the corpse and cuts off his already dead head. God not only blessed David, but he bless Israel for many years for David’s sake.
There is a common thought among Christians that the rules of morality changed somehow from Old to New Testament. This is a very wrong belief, but rather than defending it, I’ll give you some examples from the New Testament as well.
Luke 2:48-49. Mary lost Jesus who was at the temple, and lost 3 days trying to find him.
And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Jesus does not show himself to be meek, or humble or anything like that. He does not even apologize.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Here we see that Jesus just went up to a group of strange men and told them “Follow me”. And they did it. He didn’t ask “Would you like to follow me?” or “If its not too much trouble, could you join with me?”
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not.
He does not say: “Okay guys, I want you to go into the city. Can you do that?”
Jesus insults the scribes and pharasies for almost the whole of Matthew 23.
And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
Jesus comes across people sinning in the temple and his response is to drive them out with whips.
And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?
Paul is being held down, but that does not mean that he will take being struck quietly. He justifies himself and condemns the high priest without hesitation.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
Hopefully in looking at these verses, you can see that the picture of conduct derived from the Sermon on the mount is a false one. One that God never intended for us to emulate. I’m not saying that the Sermon on the Mount is not real or good scripture, merely that some of the common interpretations are wrong.
But, other than saying that the idea of the man that is a push over and just gives into anyone is not what God wants from the men who follow him, what can we say that He does want? The examples given show a lot of different men doing a lot of different things. I believe that there is a common thread that does run through everyone of these. These men are dominant.