Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The charge and blessing of a modern day knight.

Below is the charge that I brought before my son at his rite of passage into manhood ceremony along with a breif transcript of how the event took place. I do this knowing that there may be some that stumble upon this that will not agree with the content or even the idea of such an event. If you find yourself questioning or offended at anything here or I need to clarify, please let me know and I will do my best to explain further in more detail. It's time we expect men to be real men..

The charge of the father to his son:
My son, you have heard the counsel of real men today, heed their advice.
As these men here, by the grace of the almighty God, I have done the best that I’ve known to raise you. I have failed at times, but I have given you my best. Your grandfather has given me his best. He passed to me this virtue of manhood and today we wish to pass this formally to you. This virtue is not an inalienable right. It is not something that comes to a youth because of attaining a certain age. Manhood comes upon a man when he realizes it is time to begin to live as his own man, accepting the burden of leadership and of responsibility, developing his character, his reputation, realizing he will be the product of his own decisions whether choosing good or evil. We have gathered here to pass onto you the mantle of manhood.
My son, along with this virtue comes the legacy of the Wolfe family. We are men, called to fear the Lord, serve Him, and seek His glory above our own. We are men who endeavor, as elect members of the Church through the blood of the Holy Son, Jesus Christ and by the grace of God the Holy Father to live righteously with honor and integrity according to the Holy Scriptures and wise guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are men, who having done all to stand, will stand therefore, ready to offer our best for the war for our King. You are becoming a man in an age of moral decadence. The world will mock you, hate you, and may even persecute you. It will require of you spiritual, moral and emotional fortitude, it will require honor, strength of character and a sound mind. Do as Colossians 2:8 tells us “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
My son, this war is not only against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. You today are becoming what the men in this room have experienced already; you are becoming a target for Satan to destroy. He will focus his attack on your image and authority because they are God ordained. He will attack your values, your integrity, your wife, and even your children. He will desire to remove you from a close relationship with your Savior and make you ineffectual in your family, your church and the culture you are called to impact. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day.”
There are many responsibilities that come with being a man. My son, as a man you have the responsibility to be a protector. The scriptures are clear that man has a duty, a responsibility to protect the weak; the widow, the orphan, the poor, the destitute, your wife and your children. In over 6000 years of history men have ordinarily accepted the responsibility to protect the weak. Chivalrous men on the HMS Birkenhead and the Titanic gave their lives for this biblical principle. In the last few generations emasculate men and the confused women of the feminist movement have attempted to blur the roles so distinct in scripture. The fallen world in which we live would lead us to believe that there is nothing different between man and woman. That is a lie. Men are protectors and if God has ordained you a wife and children, you are to be the sole protector of family. This protection is not only physical but also spiritual. Women are called the weaker vessel in scripture, this not only refers to physical strength but scripture also teaches that women can be susceptible to spiritual deception. This deception can be through a lust for knowledge, a compulsion to teach others, a desire to have authority over men, or through a naturally emotional and compassionate nature that can be taken advantage of by evil men. Women who expose themselves to false doctrine outside of biblical male leadership subject themselves to deception. Understand, it is not our duty to point out these certain inherit weaknesses in our wives; it is our duty to protect them from this deception. Your children, you are to protect, nurture and train in the admonition of the Lord. You are to protect your children from the harmful influences that will face their generation. You should plan to school your children, teach your children the truths of scripture, and about the glory and grace of God. But remember this; in order to protect you must be willing to take the blows of the attacker.
My son, as a man you have the responsibility to be a provider. The current culture of America has also attempted to blur the roles between man and woman when it comes to providing for the family. The majority of history has always held the man responsible for provision. Many men today abdicate this role for the love of wealth and a selfish ambition that leads them not only to allow their wives to work but to push them to work. I think you see the faulty thinking leading to this and I feel confident you will give your wife industrious duties that support and nurture the home, the children, and the God ordained purposes for family. You are also called to provide your wife her special needs. You are to love her as Christ loved the church, dwell with her with understanding, nurture her, and provide her refuge from the hostile world. This provision is not only physical but also spiritual. You must be the spiritual leader of your family. You must wash your wife with the water of the Word, raise your children up in the training and admonition of the Lord. No one will provide for your family what you can provide. But remember this; in order to provide you must be willing to do without.
My son, as a man you have the responsibility to be a leader. God has delegated to man alone certain authority over creation. We are called to multiply and fill the earth. God sees children as a blessing, like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior. May God bless you with many children. We are to have dominion over the earth, to be responsible, to be resourceful and to impact this world with the glory of God as he empowers us to use resources to grow His kingdom. Biblical leadership requires some essential element. It requires a biblical worldview. You must study to show yourself approved, a workman rightly dividing the word of truth, that you may not be ashamed, know God’s heart. It requires a Godly character. Faithfulness – you must be committed and faithful to your King. Honor – be a man that is honorable. Honor those God has given you, honor the Church and Honor your King always. Self-discipline – the mind is willing but the flesh is weak, you must overcome your flesh and serve God alone. Self-confidence – you must find your self-confidence in God, not only within yourself. Valor – fight for what is right with all humility under the power given you by the Holy Spirit. You’re in a battle for the souls of men, fight to win them to the loyalty of the King. Integrity – you must be personally accountable to do right before God, even when there is no one around to witness your actions. Most in your generation will not stand in integrity and character when times get tough. Real men stand when others falter. Real men make and carry out difficult decisions when others standby in passivity and watch. Reject passivity. Vision – you must be a visionary, a man who sees beyond tomorrow, to cast a vision for multi-generational faithfulness to our Lord and Savior.
Phil Lancaster in Patriarch magazine said this, “What is needed today is nothing less than a return to patriarchy, a society led by strong, godly men. We need family leaders who will also become leaders in the churches and throughout every institution in the nation. Such men must also learn to see beyond today, to see themselves as just the beginning of what will be many generations who will be mighty in the land. Each man should aim to be the founder of a dynasty for God.” But remember this; in order to lead you must first be a servant.
My son, there are many responsibilities of a man. But to those of us who He has called to be His children, He gave a promise. He will never leave us or forsake us. It is the Father who calls us, the Spirit who enables us and Christ who promises His presence and His strength.
Many ceremonies are usually preceded by an ordeal, a temporary trial to test the individual of his worthiness to be accepted into an order. Here, there is no temporary ordeal; the ordeal of life is not a one time challenge, but a lifelong battle against the flesh. But remember this; always take heart we have been given the victory through Christ.

At this point the ceremony went like this:

My son, do you accept the responsibility and sacrifice that is required to join the ranks of true biblical manhood? (He answered correctly)

This stole represents the yoke of manhood that you are to bear on your shoulders, by the symbols of the cross, remember from where your strength comes.

Kneel before me.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

The sword is used in the dubbing of the knight. We will use it to dub today Bret, a modern day knight of the King. I will then equip him with a sword that is far better for our warfare, the Geneva Bible that many of our spiritual fathers died to bring to us. Let us ask blessing on our candidate.

The Blessing:
Grant, we pray, O Lord, our prayers, and see fit to bless with the hand of your servant this sword with which this young servant desires to be girt, to the end that he may be a defender of the Church, of widows, of orphans, and of all the servants of God, against the cruelty of godless heathens, and that he may be the terror and dread of his enemies. O Lord, omnipotent father, eternal God, who alone establish and lawfully rule the order of all things: who to put down the malice of reprobates and to defend justice have permitted men on earth the use of the sword, and have willed to institute a chivalric order of man for the protection of your people and means for the conversion of the elect: and who said by way of the blessed John to the soldiers who came to him in the desert that they should do violence to no man, but be content with their pay: we humbly pray that, just as you granted to your child David the power to vanquish Goliath, so grant, through your heavenly bounty, to this your servant, who comes a new recruit to put his neck under the yoke of manhood, the power and valor to defend the faith and justice, increase him in faith, hope, charity, humility, perseverance, obedience, good patience, the fear as well as the love of God and direct him lawfully in all things, so that he will never injure anyone unjustly with this sword, and so that, just as he is raised from an inferior station to the new honor of manhood, so, putting off the young man with his deeds, he will put on the new man, to fear you and render you just worship, to avoid the society of the wicked, to pour out his charity upon his neighbor, to obey the scriptures lawfully in all things, and to fulfill his office justly at all times. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

(Raise the sword) Let it be known this day that the men of this room will stand behind you. We covenant together to pray for you and to hold you accountable to the highest standards of biblical manhood.

In remembrance of the duties required (strike right shoulder)
In remembrance of your lineage and King (strike left shoulder)
Be thou a good knight (strike head)

Rise, Sir Bret and take your sword. Let this sword be to you a reminder of this ceremony. Let it be your weapon to slay your Kings enemies and win your Kings elect.

In the presence of the boys and men in this room and almighty God, by whose grace we are saved, be thou a true man of valor.

Thus begins the story of Sir Bret, knight of the Almighty King.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The call to Biblical manhood.

Well this weekend has proved to be a very meaningful one. My eldest son Bret is now 16 (as of 6:50 last night) and is now a man of his own. While still under the leadership of dad and under the loving authority of mom, he is a man. As most will already know who reads this post, we had a right of passage / Biblical manhood ceremony yesterday evening. Not a big formal thing but it was a big meaningful thing to me and Bret has told me it was for him also. All the men attending and some that were not able to attend had written a charge for Bret with great advice about the challenges and responsibilities of manhood. It was amazing to me that with everyone involved, each man had a different and very important aspect of manhood to talk about. I think the Lord blessed the evening and the men with the right words to say, so that together it was a very broad challenge to the young man. Thanks to all the men who contributed effort and time to this experience for Bret (Greg, Dennis, Danny, Spencer, Pastor Liddle and my Dad and all the boys in attendance who added to the occasion well with a few uplifting letters to Bret). It will be a lifelong memory for all of us. After the charge was a blessing and a 'knighting' ceremony where the yoke of manhood was placed on his shoulders and he was equipped with a sword (of the Geneva type - Heb. 4:12). I've attached some pictures of the ceremony for you. I will post my charge to Bret and the blessing we prayed over him tomorrow. Although, there were many better words shared. If you can talk Bret into sharing what he learned from the men, I know he'd be glad to let you in on some of the charges from others.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Where's Sherlock?

Sorry for the lack of blogging. Stonewall has been AWOL. Sherlock's lost somewhere. And Mi Esposa es muy bueno at writing but muy busy as well. Anyway I wanted to let everyone that was worried about me being away from home so long know that I'm actually back from England now since the last post (nearly a month ago).
Lately the men of the family have been attending a hunter's education course together and learning about the responsibilities that go along with hunting. It's been informative and interesting. There really is a lot going on behind the scenes to make sure the wildlife in Alabama is taken care of properly. The big test is coming up to get the certificate and then it's off to the store (not Wal-mart by the way) for hunting licenses. It been fun to spend time with the boys together in the class and it's been well worth the time for me. I look forward to spending more time in the woods soon.
Anyway, check back every now and again. There are some things coming up that will be posted soon, with birthdays, holidays and all that. Who knows, someone may even find Sherlock out there somewhere?