Training “Jim Elliots” in a Seinfeld Generation

Jim_ElliotI am totally aware of the fact that Seinfeld is no longer prime time television and that we are a few years now into the show’s reruns.  What I am addressing is the fact that the show’s portrayal of “today’s man” still lingers on. The passive, non-aggressive nice guy mentality seems to have influenced even those in Christian circles. The slightest dogmatism or statement of an exclusive nature can readily be labeled as authoritarian, intolerant, and harsh.  Ecclesiastes 10:12 says the “words of a wise man are gracious” and Proverbs 12:18 “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword.” We must be gracious, recognizing that our demeanor can be very offensive if we are not wise in our speech and conduct.  With that said, I want to quickly insert that we are in a crisis hour standing in need of crisis men.  Continue reading

“Make of Me a Crisis Man”

Jim_ElliotThe last blog post I made introduced the subject of heroes.  I ended the article asking you who your heroes are.  I hope you have some great memories of great lives like I do.  For a few articles I am going to be reflecting on some people God has used to challenge me and inspire me to want to give my all to God.

I can’t remember the first time I heard about Jim Elliot but I know that if he were alive today I would want to be his friend.  He was passionate about seeing God do something with his life, driven to get stuff done, and sold out to whatever God had.  At the time he was just a regular guy with a big dream to see God do something big with people that did not even know there was someone named Jesus.  He, his four friends, and their families moved to Ecuador in 1952 to begin reaching out to the primitive Auca tribe.  The details of their outreach can be read in Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot.  On Sunday January, 8, 1956 the people for whom they had prayed for a total of six years brutally killed Jim and his four friends.  What followed in the years to come can only be described as an incredible work of God.  Jim Elliot and his friends have touched thousands of young people in profound ways in the 50+ years since their deaths.  Why has Jim Elliot become a hero for me?  Because of statements in his journals (Shadow of the Almighty, Elisabeth Elliot) like this:

[He makes] His ministers a flame of fire, Am I ignitible?  God deliver me from the dread asbestos of ‘other things.’ saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame.

Father, make of me a crisis man.  Bring those I contact to decision.  Let me not be a mile post on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.

Probably the single phrase that God has used to stir more young people in the past few generations, “He is no fool to give what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.”

The lives of Jim and his friends confront some core things about modern young adult culture that I would like to explore in another article.  To conclude, I want to just say, “God, raise up more crisis men and women: people who see eternal things more clearly than they see life right now. God, raise up a generation of young radicals who believe that a life in the hand of God is a powerful tool!”

Heroes

006062213X.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_As I have begun the process of moving back into my newly remodeled (and awesome looking) office, I have been hauling books back and forth to be boxed or put on shelves.  The other day, I came across one of my favorites that I had not seen for some time, Shadow Of The Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot.  The book borrows selectively from her husband Jim’s diary which he kept all through college and then took to the mission field.  Shadow is a must read for sure–especially for upper teen through young adults.  There are some stellar statements about sacrifice and making your life count that she pulls from his diary.  What caught my attention afresh this time as I thumbed through the book was her introduction to Jim’s life. She told this story: Continue reading