Observation: men seek other men to identify with. The Gospel puts a twist on this: we are commanded to identify with Christ, both directly and indirectly. By directly, I mean that we’re to present our lives as living sacrifices, being transformed into Christlikeness (Romans 12:1-2). By indirectly, I mean that we’re to mark those who are conforming themselves to Christ, and follow them (Philippians 3:17). But instead, we young men seem far too impressed with those who should only be pointers to Christ.
Think about this idea: if there wasn’t a future for many of us in our given movement (fundamentalism or evangelicalism)… would we still want to pursue the ministry? If we knew that our lot was similar to Jeremiah’s, who knew that Israel would not repent… would we still want to pursue the ministry? If we knew that our peers weren’t going to respect us… would we still want to pursue the ministry?
This desire for respect leads many young men to seek degrees at more prestigious colleges or seminaries… even equating holiness with a degree. It leads young men to look at and seek out the leaders of evangelicalism… instead of looking at and seeking Christ. It leads young men to drop names and speak about who or what they know… instead of looking to learn from Him through others. It leads young men to hypocrisy, knowing that they must appear holy and humble for their peers… instead of God, Who knows how selfish they really are.
It burdens me. It is me. It is you. Are we impressed with Christ in other people… or are we impressed with other people?