Tuesday, June 25, 2019

About Me

The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa. 
To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 


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It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ Mt 4:4.



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Aug 17

Written by: Andries
Friday, August 17, 2018 12:49:05 AM  RssIcon

“Serving Christ in a masculine way…”
I do not write this open letter against women or their role and privileges in the church or in society. During this Women’s Month in South Africa, I want to state clearly that I fully and completely support women’s role in the contemporary church and their right to serve in every ministry and that I respect, honour and appreciate their irreplaceable feminine contribution towards serving God’s people as my equal partners. I. believe God wants to use both men and women to accomplish his work amongst us. We must uphold the equality of male and female servants in God’s work and in society.
But although God made men and women equal in value and honour, the Bible is clear that God made us to be different in some ways.
This letter is to say that men should serve God in a masculine way, because this is God’s way for the guys.
Almost a 150 years ago, in speaking on the challenges of being a Christian man, C.H. Spurgeon said, ‘there has got abroad a notion, somehow, that if you become a Christian you must sink your manliness and turn milksop’. (Milksop is bread soaked in milk but it also means someone who is a weak and easily frightened man.)
One of the problems among Christian men is a lack of understanding of what it means to be ‘more like Jesus’, as Christian men. We know that we are to grow to be more like Jesus (Col. 1:28), and to lead like Jesus (Eph. 5:25) in our relationships and responsibilities. The problem is that most Christian men see Jesus more as a feminine than a masculine type, or as I read in “No More Christian Nice Guy”, by Paul Coughlin, that the vast majority of Christian men almost see Jesus as a bearded woman or mother figure, if you want!
Paul Coughlin shows how he learned to say no to the "nice guy" syndrome. After all, Christian nice guys aren't always so nice. In the name of appearing Christian by being agreeable, they sometimes lie to accomplish this goal and they may keep secrets, manipulate, duck responsibility, and much more.
Using the biblical model of Christ as his example of a real man, Coughlin shows men how to become both gentle and bold. This is a powerful challenge and a hopeful message that elevates the true biblical model of manhood and masculine service in God’s work.
If I ask you to describe the ultimate man, what image comes to mind? For too many Christian men, Jesus is not the image that comes to mind.
In his book “The heart of a tender warrior, Stu Weber writes, “Why is it when someone says, picture the archetypal male, the image that comes to mind is not one of Jesus? For years, the picture in my mind would not have been Jesus. Many drawings of Jesus make him look more like a grinning model for shampoo, than of a respected man”.
This is sad, but it is true. Our image of Jesus is often one of a “milksop”, a sissy, who was gentle, meek and mild in a way that did not defend what he knew was right, that he was not a highly motivated provider and would do anything not to offend anyone. This is not a biblical picture of Jesus!
In Jesus you discover a man who spoke the truth without fear and often spoke out publicly against hypocrisy, calling the religious leaders of his day snakes fit for hell, and decomposing corpses that stunk and polluted others (Mat 3:7; 23:27, 33).
In Jesus you discover a man who threatened judgment to those who were spiritually unfruitful (Luke 13:6-9).
You discover a man who knew holy anger when he saw God’s name dishonoured (Mark 11:15-17).
The Bible’s picture of Jesus is one of a man who openly confronted lies, manipulation and deception, who spoke the truth boldly, who spoke out against hypocrisy, who spoke judgment, who wasn’t afraid to embarrass those who deserved it, who jealously acted to guard God’s honour, and who wasn’t trying to please everyone. Jesus was no milksop and he wasn’t a sensitive cosmopolitan Guy. In fact, in the last book of the Bible, Jesus is portrayed as a divine warrior who initiates God’s final salvation and judgment (Rev 19: 11-21).
Yes, we certainly clearly discover that Jesus was tender and gentle. His strength was matched by tenderness and his empathy was made possible by being strong and bold. His power was matched by gentleness. His masculinity was matched by his compassion, grace, love and mercy. His love defended abused and marginalized women and his strength made it possible for him to defy culture and treat women as equally loved and respected disciples.
Jesus is portrayed as a powerful and strong warrior who came to save his people (John 3:17; Luke 19:10).
He was a man who invited those tired and worn out to come and find rest in him (Matt. 11:28).
He was a man who expressed a desire to gather those who were his, under his wings (Matt. 23:37).
He was a man who was truly moved when he saw those who were lost (Matt. 9:36).
He was a man who openly wept with others in their loss (John 11:33-35).
He was a man who got down on his knees and washed the feet of his disciples to teach them how to serve (John 13:1-15).
He was a man who forgave the sins of others (John 8:1-11; Luke 23:34). He did not show his strength through seeking a powerful image and being a chauvinist and male supremacist. He did not display his strength by looking down on women and bullying them.  NEVER.
Yet he was a shepherd who bravely laid down his life to save his flock, his people.
Jesus was a real strong warrior, a protector and provider, and also a gentle, tender man with compassion at the same time. Jesus showed that being truly masculine, also means to care, protect and provide.
To all Christian men, I want to say that God needs both real men and real women to do his work properly.
In my experience most women do not need any encouragement to be strong, nurturing, serving mothers and daughters of the church.
But I am afraid that the guys often seem to need a lot of encouragement to be strong and brave warriors, protectors and providers in God’s work.
Another secret I want to share with you as a man – your lady will find the real, biblical man much more attractive than any milksop!
And in the church – a man according to the image of Jesus will be respected, loved and looked up to by everyone! Brothers, sisters and children will feel safe when the Christ-following man is around.
A real man loves, protects and provides for his wife as if she is his own body!
And a real man will love, protect and provide for the Bride of Christ, the church, according to the example of how Jesus loves, protects and provides for us!
When it comes to taking on evil in the church – let’s stop being sissies!
In the face of any wickedness, slackness, need or threat - be brave and fix it!!!
After all, this is what we do. We fix things.  


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