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Take The Hill: Part 2

May 09, 2023

Boy, my recent article created some buzz. I heard a lot of feedback about it, and most of the feedback was very similar. The biggest question that came out of it was “What does it actually look like to take the hill?”. As I pressed further it seemed there was still some clarity that lacked about what I mean when I use that term.

So I knew it was necessary to write part 2 and unpack things further.

For starters, let’s talk about what I do not mean when I say ‘Take the hill”.

‘Take the hill’ is not a mantra for politically conservative Christians, and rest assured it has zero connection to ideas like storming the capital building. In fact, the root of it isn’t political at all - even though I believe it does eventually have political implications.

‘Take the hill’ is not a call to physical violence. It’s not a call to physical force in the sense that most might visualize when they hear the phrase. (Although, I recommend every person be prepared to defend themselves, their family, and their community should the need arise)

It doesn’t relate to the Seven Mountain mandate and doesn’t necessarily mean you need to vote the right kinds of people into offices - although there’s wisdom in voting well.

‘Take the hill’ is an unavoidable reality when specifically the men in the Church, by the grace of God, grow in courage, strength, and boldness and influence their spheres through obedience to God’s ways and gospel saturation.

Thus, I believe taking the hill can only begin with the redemption and restoration of Biblical masculinity and femininity.

Before I get too far into that topic, it’s worth noting the depth and riches we find in Genesis. Everything we see mentioned and outlined in Genesis 1 & 2 gives us this beautiful picture of what a good and perfect God would do with a blank slate in a pre-fall world.

God could create anything He wanted, how He wanted, and he could bring his glory into all the earth in whichever ways he wanted. He chose to create man. Then create woman. This has to be our foundation and backdrop for this discussion.

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. This was the whole point behind Genesis 1:28’s cultural mandate which we’ll discuss further in a moment. But we cannot glorify God when the Church doesn’t have a strong handle on gender and sexuality because so much of life is lived downstream of this topic.

If we get this wrong, we get most things wrong.

We glorify God when His created order, distinctions, ways, and truths are seen and heard across the world. Where his kingdom comes and His will is done.

In Genesis 1:28 “Be fruitful and multiply” are the first stages or steps given to man in the cultural mandate where he is commanded to take ground and infiltrate the earth. Man was called to bear spiritual fruit (obey) and have children, and do this as we go into all the world bringing God’s order, process, and distinction with us. Gender and sexuality are some of the tools given to man so that he can accomplish the mission God gave him. And Satan has been in pursuit of destroying the correct definition and view of man and woman since the beginning, for this very reason.

Satan thinks that if he can distort and pervert gender, gender roles, and sexuality - then he can derail God’s redemptive plans.

His goal is to destroy distinction and difference. To make everyone the same.

If a male can be female and a female can be male, if men can now have a vagina and everything is androgynous and homogenous, Satan can be disruptive. He can put the brakes on this glorifying of God that is supposed to be done by his people.

I can’t stress enough, that the main purpose of gender, gender roles, marriage, sex, and reproduction, was to fill the earth with more of God’s fruitful people because when people honor, obey, and multiply, then His image and glory are seen throughout the earth.

Michael Foster says “The divisions between things are how God orders them all toward the ultimate goal of glorifying Him. A creation without distinctions is a world that is waste and void, formless and empty, chaotic and futile. Creation is not and should not be a homogeneous mass. It can only glorify God when everything is in its place—not when all things are mushed together.”1

When the distinction between men and women is destroyed, then masculinity is swept away in the process. Culture says fathers can be primary stay-at-home nurturers like mothers, and mothers can be the providers, fighters, and home leaders like fathers, and when this happens suddenly the home doesn’t look like a Biblical household at all.

This has even become common in the Church as we look more and more like culture. Homes have become egalitarian and women are taking the lead and men are hiding in the shadows hoping no one calls on them to teach their children anything faith-related or pray out loud in a group.

This is a massive problem. From the opening days of humanity, men have had a problem taking responsibility and leading, and women have had a problem with taking over. You see this as Adam stands idly by as his wife is deceived, breaking the commands God gave him directly to steward and enforce, and then him, in turn, taking part with her.

In Genesis 3 God says after the Fall, that a woman’s desire would be for her husband, yet he would rule over her. Perhaps a full discussion for another article altogether, but the word desire here implies that she will desire to overtake, usurp, to rule in his place, but that God’s order is what it is, and man is responsible for leading his wife, children, and home. He will rule. (ref. the same Hebrew words for ‘desire’ and ‘rule’ used in Genesis 4 pertaining to Cain and sin.)

This is where the term patriarchy gets its origin. It means “father rule”. And God created the idea of earthly fatherhood and father rule so that His image bearers would reflect attributes of His rule to the world. Although done imperfectly, through our own life, actions, and rule as fathers, we highlight the attributes and the mind of God.

As the heavenly eternal Father, He thought it would be right and good to create a distinction between fathers and mothers so that we might know more about Him and see His goodness.

Of course, this breaks down when we take our cues from culture, or let our broken earthly experiences influence our reading of scripture. We end up throwing out distinction and gender roles, and with it goes healthy masculinity.

When we do away with distinction, roles, and unique responsibilities given to men and women in the family, we invite men to fall back into passivity and stand idly by as observers as their wives take charge.

By and large, when men become passive and women step in, the masculine soul is hindered, wounded, and subdued. Then the family is weakened. And a weakened Church follows closely. Dysfunctional families will only create a dysfunctional Church.

We see how this correlates with adult Church attendance in the US approaching 70% women and the fact that our children are leaving the Church in massive droves.

Church research shows a direct indisputable connection between the father’s spiritual leadership in the home and a massive statistical increase in children continuing in the faith of the family.

Even when you look at secular research, most of the issues we have in society stem from failed masculinity and fatherhood. As a father is absent, passive, or abusive, it creates the conditions for almost every known problem we face. Whether directly, or downstream.

So, why does all of this matter so much to this topic of taking the hill, and breaking down the gates of hell?

Because men are designed to take ground. Not women.

When women lead and men shrink back, the ground is not taken.

Taking ground is hardwired into each man - although sin, the world, experiences, preferences, and our flesh have suffocated or twisted it.

The mission of the Church is to disciple the nations and teach them to obey God’s commands (Matthew 28:19-20). Not to stand idly by as people are drawn more into deception and destruction.

As I mentioned in the last article, Jesus tells us in Matthew 16 that the defensive gates of Hades will not overpower the offense of the Church in Christ. The gates won’t be able to hold captive God’s people or the land. The Church, by the power of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit, will prevail in breaking open the prison of the enemy...

If, and only if, men will step up, act like men, and take action. (1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV)

Edmund Burke said:

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing.”

When we get roles right, we’re more likely to see men cultivate their masculine souls, and as a result, take action, stand firm, act like men, and take ground.

The challenges don’t stop with sexuality, gender, and gender role distortions. The other issues we’re faced with are downstream of it. One of them is this insatiable appetite for immediate gratification and a complete lack of ability to think beyond our own short lives.

With the cultural mandate, true fatherhood, multiplication, and such being missing from regular discussions and teachings, most men don’t have a multi-generational view. They don’t have a perspective that points them towards doing things today that create positive advancement for the Church and the Kingdom of God for years to come. They don’t have a category for building things for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

An old Greek proverb articulated it this way:

“A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.”

We have been hardwired by culture to place self as the central gravitational force in our life. Meaning what matters most is here and now. Not the future.

This is contrary to the way our fathers in the faith, like Abraham, would have thought.

Short-term thinking is an issue when evil begins to lurk and take root. If evil isn’t directly impeding a man’s comforts today, then he often doesn’t see a good reason to take a hard stand and push back. It’s much easier to do nothing. Short-term thinking breeds comfort which breeds the pervasive issue of passivity we’ve talked so much about.

The cycle that emerges here is an easy one to predict once you look back on human history.

It goes like this: Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.

G. Michael Hopf first wrote this in one of his postapocalyptic novels and eloquently sums up the cycle.

Comfort is a massive problem as it breeds soft, complacent men.

I might sum it up this way: When a man lacks a deep understanding of the cultural mandate and the great commission, Biblical masculinity, fatherhood, and other gender-related topics, then he will naturally lose his vision for future generations. When he loses his vision for the generations he will focus on himself. When he focuses on himself he overindulges in comfort. When he becomes too comfortable, he becomes complacent. When he becomes complacent he becomes weak and passive.

Weak and passive men simply do not take ground the way Jesus discusses in Matthew 16.

Since I’m an Army veteran, you might be wondering in light of all of this masculinity/strength/courage talk if I’m the type also that believes that men need to have big muscles, love hunting, chop their own firewood, drive big trucks, drink whiskey, grow beards, smoke cigars, or any other caricature of masculinity that comes to mind? No. I’m not.

Courage, rejecting passivity, and honoring God’s design and role of men and women can display themselves in a lot of ways. It’s more about a posture and heart of boldness in your inner man than it is anything on the outside.

That being said though, I do find that the more a man seeks the Lord’s will for Biblical masculinity, the more they will find themselves pursuing gospel saturation, the health of their body, thinking multi-generationally, being in nature, getting dirty and working with their hands, being active in their church community, leading their family intentionally, and boldly engaging in the public square as they defend their home, town, city, county, or country from evil.

There’s a reason for caricatures and stereotypes - they’re often indicative of what’s normal and expected.

Give it some thought. Then go take the hill.