March 2003

A Call to Biblical Manhood: The March 2003 Men's Retreat

by John Donovan

A number of men from St. Paul's attended the March 7-9 men's retreat at the Mohonk Mountain House. It was hosted by the New Canaan Society, a regular Christian fellowship co-founded by the Rev. Mark Brown.

Becoming "dangerous" for God
The main presenter for the weekend was a Texan named Dudley Hall, who sounded a clarion call to Biblical manhood. He dwelt chiefly on two arresting themes: first, that we should have a new vision of God the Father and second, that a call of the Father is going out for us to be about His business. And His business isn't about becoming a nice guy; in fact, it's about becoming "dangerous" for God.

The New Vision
We settle for very little, said Hall. Instead of our usual pittance, why don't we wake up to what He's offering -- the Resurrection life of Jesus Christ? The great narrative of human existence the "meta-narrative" -- is the story of God's persevering love for us. In one of the parables, it is said that "A king gave a feast." That is what God is doing, inviting us to His feast.

Naturally, there is still the cost of repentance and relinquishment. We must repent from our old selfish ways and relinquish all for Him. But we're always trading up, as Hall put it, that is, exchanging a partial life for a fuller life.

What is the nature of that fuller life? You now have the freedom of being no longer the focus of your own mind. It's the freedom of giving your life away. It's a life of satisfaction, because we're continually "seeing" the Father, as Jesus did, and enjoying the relationship.

The Call Going Out
How, then, do we realize this fuller life? The Father is issuing some commands and, remember, all His commands are miracles waiting to happen. Get up! the Father commands. Be real, and be released! Be a world-changer! Be "unintimidatable"!

So many are clinging to one hope, a hope of escape. By contrast, Jesus offers us engagement and victory. If you're discouraged, remind yourself that you serve a God who created something out of nothing and raised the dead.

So when should this begin? Now. The kingdom is now; it is the "nowness" of God that confronts us. Act on the fact that Christ has already come. Seek fellowship with the Father, so that you may know your assigned responsibilities and then take immediate action. He speaks to you as He spoke to Jesus: "This is my son in whom I am well pleased."

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