Today, I want to talk about gangs! That’s right…GANGS!
And, I don’t mean the criminal element, but instead, simply – a group of highly bonded men who are working and fighting together toward a common goal.
I want to talk about why men need a brotherhood ~ cause you DO! ~ why you need a fraternity of other men to sharpen you, spur you on to action, and encourage you in the weighty task of taking dominion…”Eric Conn, The Hard Men Podcast on/about 8/9/20
About a week ago, I read an excellent blog post by Eric Conn that left me a bit breathless and pining for more. It was titled Why Men Need A Gang. So much rang true that I immediately had to leave a comment on his blog. I meant to write some thoughts about that post, but was glad I hadn’t when a friend alerted me that Eric had posted a podcast expounding on the topic.
Men! You must read the post and listen to the podcast!! Excellent insight and challenge to take intentional and measurable steps in the direction of creating a gang.
Now, as the above quote states, this isn’t about a criminal element, but about intentionally building a team to make headway for the Kingdom.
I do not want to rehash Eric’s points or analysis, nor do I want to even add to his thoughts on how to go about building a team ~ he covers it quite well ~ so I highly recommend you both read the blog and listen to the podcast previously linked. What I do want to do is add a few thoughts as this material relates to the Messianic/Hebrew root communities.
The obvious main thrust of this blog is the restoration of kol Israel! The author team believes that restoration cannot and will not happen without a solid return to Biblical family structure; men being men! Women being women! And, the man establishing headship in the home and being the physical, mental and spiritual leader of his family/flock. We go back to 1 Corinthians 11:3 (113Restoration…) often!
God => Messiah => man => woman
God and Messiah have their parts right! Man does not. It is Man who has to step up and get his part right if he desires or expects woman to follow.
To do so, demands that men stick together and work together. While I had never thought of this in ‘gang’ terminology or structure, I recognize that I have been a member of several gangs over the course of my life and they have been some of the most fulfilling times of productivity! Some of the ‘gangs I have been a part of include, college fraternity and inter-collegiate athletic teams, military service in a combat zone, Ranger school and specialized training in teams, and now a group of men that I associate with fairly closely for the sake of our vision for Israel and restoration.
Israel, by definition, is a family. Twelve sons of one man, Jacob. Each son became a tribe and the tribes had clan and family divisions. But, in the end, the entire Torah, is structured for how to love God and love neighbor (who was usually near family). The men in a family functioned as a gang or fraternity. They stood guard for each other and pressed forward with the family vision set by the patriarchs. Today, as we seek a restoration of the whole house of Jacob, we should be seeking to bond with and walk in unity with brothers of like, or near-like, mind.
Unfortunately, as we slough off tradition and false doctrines, there is often much division based on attempted doctrinal purity. Conn does a terrific job of popping that balloon, to my deep satisfaction, as he discussed similar within the Reformed Christian circles that he hails from. His main thrust is that to accomplish much, we need to learn to work well with people that we are in 60-80% agreement with. Maybe our smallest/closest circle is exactly in line with our own understanding, but to truly take ground for the Kingdom, we must be less lone wolf and much more team/gang builders.
To that end, several years ago, I began to be much more intentional about refusing to divide over petty stuff like pronunciation of the Name, calendar details, degree of halachic adherence to this, that, or another sect.
Do we need to pursue truth? Absolutely, but not at the price of division that weakens the main message: Messiah + Torah!! Honestly, God’s umbrella often tends to be much larger than our own.
Can we learn to walk at peace with brothers who see things a little differently unlike Gileadites who killed Ephraimites over the pronunciation of a name?!? (Jud. 12:5-6)
While there is much more that I hope to say on this topic in the near future, I hope you will take the time to read/listen to Conn’s message concerning the masculine need for fraternity and bonding for the sake of a higher/larger vision than what we can individually accomplish as lone wolves.
For the sake of Kol Israel and Yeshua Meshicheinu!!