Here’s what an uprising looks and feels like: Deeply felt issues and injustices produce pain, creating emotion and energy. It cooks and simmers over a period of time. That time could be months. It could be years or centuries.
Then, just as with a dormant volcano or roadside bomb, there is a trigger. There is a flashpoint. That flashpoint happens, and corporately the people say, “It ends here.”
Uprisings are powerful. They are recognized by the power they threaten. Those who are threatened need it to be crushed immediately. Think about our Jewish heritage. I am thinking about Masada, when the Romans crushed a revolt. Think about China: Tiananmen Square.
Uprisings are often crushed immediately because, if allowed to thrive and be fueled by emotion and energy, they could change the course of history. Historically, we’ve seen these uprisings. Some were crushed while others succeeded, like the French and American Revolutions.
Is this not the essence of famous “man” movies like Braveheart? Remember the famous speech in Mel Gibson’s portrayal of William Wallace at the battle of Sterling? What you see is an army of free men standing in defiance of tyranny. They had deeply felt issues, deeply felt injustices placed upon Scotland by the English. You had a flashpoint. There is a pressure point of energy, emotion and courage. Then into the scene comes the man with blue paint on his face, and he speaks into that moment of decision:
What will you do with the freedom you’ve been given to face issues and injustices? Are you going to retreat and feel small in the face of towering situations? Years from now, are you going to experience the regrets of not seizing the moment to fight?
Or will you fight?
I think Braveheart is No. 1 or 2 on the “man movie list” exactly because we realize the truth of what he said. Fight, and you may die. Run, and you live. But many years from now, lying in your bed, if you’ve chosen to retreat, how much regret would you have and what would you give to go back to that moment in time and do it over again and risk spilling blood—because there was a cost at that moment that was greater than your own self-preservation and your own self-protection?
You see, that is the issue. Masculinity through the centuries has abandoned self-protection, self-indulgence and self-preservation, instead fighting for a cause—something bigger than ourselves.
Gibson’s Wallace speech focuses his men on seizing the moment at the plane of hesitation, bleaching the bones of millions of men throughout history who, on the threshold of victory, sat down and waited, and in waiting, they died. They didn’t die physically. They died in manhood because they didn’t step up. They didn’t seize the moment. They hesitated. They died as a man. They became small. They went soft. They retreated. They missed the flashpoint. They did not risk fighting. Instead, they ran and retreated.
The William Wallace of Braveheart is a Hollywood version of manhood. My face is not painted blue and white. I don’t have blood on me. I am not holding a claymore in my hands. I am not going to jump up and down, riding on a horse. I don’t have a cavalry across the battlefield.
However, in the world today, we do have deeply felt, deeply personal, deeply impactful issues that are connected to you and me—issues and injustices that are active in the world at this very moment and that have been simmering for centuries. We have reached the worldwide flashpoint.
That flashpoint is men.
The broken male culture has infected every social, political, economic and religious infrastructure worldwide. The export of broken male culture throughout our world today is suffering. Our broken male culture produces suffering.
The reaction to this has been called the justice movement. The justice movement is a compassion movement for all the people in the blast zone of the suffering created by male culture. The justice movement is the compassion movement that takes care of the people who suffering at the hands of the broken male culture.
It is a reaction. Causes have sprung up to fight for orphans, against prostitution, to stop human trafficking, to help domestically abused women and more. All of these are under the umbrella of the justice movement. They are all reactions to us.
These are reaction movements to the broken male culture cooperating with evil, where both men and women are saying, “Hey, we are done with that way of being. We are done with that way of living. We are done with supporting and enabling and not standing up to the way men around the world are creating suffering.”
While caring for the victims is certainly noble and right, it’s like cleaning up the oil rig spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Skimming the surface of the water to clean up the oil is akin to the reactions of the justice movement.
What if we could cap the well instead of cleaning up the oil?
Capping the well involves men who are changed from the inside out, who then, because of changes on the inside, begin to produce actions on the outside that are responsible.
Instead of creating suffering, they create life. Instead of enslaving, they liberate in all of its various forms.
The solution that we are talking about in this series called “Uprising” caps the broken well of broken male characters spewing for suffering. Not reacting but releasing men spiritually. When you free a man spiritually, you ignite health worldwide.
In Acts 2, we see the uprising of the church being born and how the first justice movement was birthed via God, through the Holy Spirit, invading the lives of a group of men. He freed them spiritually, released them spiritually, and out of that, they got a new identity, a new allegiance, a new mission.
It transcended cultural masculinity. It marginalized synthetic manhood, the kind of manhood that is fostered in cultures that promote men finding significance in attitudes and actions that produce suffering.
In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit gave these guys the power to say no to synthetic manhood—self-protection, self-indulgence and self-preservation—and yes to being a champion of good and an agent of justice.
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This is the first in a series Every Man Ministries is calling “Uprising, Part 2.” We discover that a rebellion is taking place against the suffering created by broken masculinity. This article—and the others that follow—take us on a journey into the broken male culture, showing us that God is our Father and He wants us to return home to His family, and, like any loving Father, He expects His sons to behave accordingly.
Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. His 20th book, Sleeping Giant: No Movement of God Without Men of God, is the proven blueprint for men’s ministries and was recently released through B&H Publishing. Watch and read more of Kenny’s teaching at EveryManMinistries.com. Follow Every Man Ministries now on Facebook, Twitter (@everymm) and YouTube.