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The Enemy behind the Lines-The Lie

March 2, 2009

While watching the trilogy of Lord of the Rings this weekend, I was struck by several allusions to Scripture.  Sure, I am always looking for how God speaks, even in movies.  Every once in a while, there are times I feel Christ throws me a “slow pitch” and this was one of them.

In the second movie in the trilogy, The Two Towers, the story speaks of the Riders of Rohan who were known for their cavalry and once great king.  There should be an emphasis on the word “once.”  King Théoden, king of the riders, had taken counsel from one known as Wormtongue.  Under this demonic counsel, the king had become old and a shadow of man he was, depending on counsel of Wormtongue for everything.  As Wormtongue’s grip on the king grew, the king began to lose life, growing old and weary.  With every word out of the deceitful one’s mouth, the king’s once valiant kingdom becomes more prone and vulnerable to the attack of impending enemy.  Many of the king’s once loyal riders had decided to go on their own, no longer able to follow their king.

So what relation does this have to Christian Men and Christian Warriors? Unfortunately, it has a lot to do with the plight of many men, even Christian men today.  As years have passed, we have begun believing the lies told to us by the “Wormtongue” in our lives.  What are some of the lies we have begun believing?

  • We cannot protect our families from the evil one, instead, we must settle for merely running for cover.
    • This is one of the worst lies to believe. “So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7 We are to stand firm against the devil and watch him flee, flee from our homes, flee from our wives, children… We are to take ownership of our homes and pray against the enemy.
  • Our success is to be judged by the number of possessions we have and the number of hours we spend at work, not the number of hours we spend with our families.
    • “Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.” – Ephesians 5:28 I am not seeing anything about working numerous hours to achieve success. In fact, Scripture defines success as those victories in Christ. Rather than spending countless hours at the office or out relaxing from the troubles of the day, men, Christian men, should be with their families. I would dare say, if many of the men of our nation would invest in their families as much as they invest in their jobs, financial endeavors, and other distractions, we would not have nearly the number of divorces, teen pregnancies, young men looking for a home in gangs, and other prolific “social issues” of today. In fact, if many more Christian men focused more on the investments with their families rather than the investments on Wall Street, there would hardly be such a “panic” today for the loss of the treasures that can fade away.
  • It is in man’s nature to be promiscuous; monogamy is only something created by civilization.
    • Again, Ephesians 5:28 tells us to love our wives as we love ourselves. Earlier verses also tell husbands to love and protect their wives as Christ loves and protects the church. Christ’s love binds him to the church and we too should be bound by our love for our wives. We should honor and respect them by holding to our commitment to them. I like the quote from Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle with reference to a man’s “affair” on his wife. Unfortunately, the truthful word, adultery, has been replaced by a grandiose word undermining the detriment such an action has on those involved.
  • Men are not to be the heads of the household and women are not to submit to a man’s authority in the home.
    • Despite the negative connotation placed on this verse of Scripture by many feminists groups, this is still a truthful statement to be not only believed, but put into practice. My wife was one of the first to explain this verse to me in a way I could grasp it. If I, as a Christian man and head of the household, submit to Christ in prayer and trust him with my household and decisions, then essentially, my wife is submitting to Christ and not just me. I could understand where many of those who do not have Christ as the center of their marriage could get confused by this verse. Without Christ in the marriage, this verse becomes a battle line for a war centered around power and selfish desires.

Take a good look at the picture with King Théoden and Wormtongue. This is the picture of the “manhood” of the nation. Although looking at some of the men in the marketplace who are at the “top of their game,” you would not necessarily see them as being so old and decrepit. If you were to take one of their cars, houses, or investment balances away from these men at the “top of their game,” you would see them simply wither away like a plant away from the vine. Many of them have Wormtongue, or Satan, whispering in their ear various lies of today. “Step on whomever to get to the top.” “You don’t need to be at home with your family, you have to be at work to take care of your family.” “No one will ever know…” “Church is for weak men who need an excuse.” Need we go on?

In the movie, the wizard releases the king from the grip of Wormtongue. Of course, one could see the correlation between this and Christ releasing us from our Wormtongue. Once Christ has reached down to change the heart of a man, you find how this new man no longer values the things of old. Rather than spending all of his time investing in his occupation, he invests his time in his destination… the Kingdom. It is not the easiest of experiences for some of us, however, the freedom is more than worth it.

The final part of this scene that I want to share is what happens once the king has been released from the grip of Wormtongue. Although his strength has come back and his face resembles more that of the king than the old shell of a man, he does not truly regain his identity until he has grasped his sword. There’s something about when his fingers touch the sword that reminds him of who he was… a warrior. He was not a man to be manipulated by a pitiful creature like Wormtongue, just as we are not to be men manipulated by Satan. We are warriors and we too need to take our sword, also referred to as the Word of God, and grasp a hold of it. Just as we talked about in the Post, Christian Sword-The Handle, we must spend time in the Word daily, regain our strength and remember our true identity. Once we have our strength from it, we are to wield our weapon decisively at our enemy.

One word of caution is to be careful of your company and counsel. If you find yourself feeling more like the king in the picture above, chances are, you might have a “Wormtongue” feeding you lies. Whether it be Satan using your own voice, or the voice of your chosen circle, remember to grasp your sword and remember who you truly are in Christ. A warrior…

If you liked this post, you might want to check out the others in this series:

Unforgiveness

Self-Reliance

The Lie

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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9 comments

  1. Good stuff as always


  2. Trent – you have hit the nail on the head. I am part of an organisation in Queensland Australia setting up a program to help business people recognise that if they can care for their staff, with Godly principles, and the staff care for their bosses the same way, then the customer can only be treated in the same manner and will be loyal to the business, and a lot of businesses would continue to prosper even in hard times. While it is dog eat dog no one wins. We all need to have the Word of God in our lives, and we would find it harder to be uncaring of others, as it would be against that word.


    • Great point Ian. Thank you for sharing! Trent Cotton


  3. Well done Trent. A good piece. i was at a mens meeting two weeks ago and we were discussing the same issues. Also what sort of example are we giving the up and coming generation of young men.

    Especially pertinent as I have a 16 year old son.

    Although the Ring films leave me cold I understand your reference to Wormtongue.

    can I direct you (and any other readers to: http://www.cbmw.org/
    This is the Council of Biblical manhood and Womanhood. An excellent resource.
    Mores the pity we do not have the same over here in the UK.

    regards

    LAURIE


  4. [...] Comments Laurie St.Lyon on The Enemy behind the Lines-The Liewtrentcotton on The Enemy behind the Lines-The LieIan King on The Enemy behind the [...]


  5. Mr. Cotton, this is so true! Isn’t it a blessing how God will meet us where we are with “slow pitches” to speak to us so we won’t miss it?


  6. While these lies are indeed a problem, a far greater problem exists with Christians in general. We believe things to be Biblical that simply are not. They cannot be found in Scripture whatsoever. Yet we believe, them, teach them, and preach them. This is highly destructive to the name and honor of our LORD and HIs Church. C’mon over to my blog when you have a moment to read up on some of these things. It is my calling to the Church to expose these things and help bring the Bride back to a ready state of righteous waiting for Jesus’ return.


  7. Nice use of a movie… the medium of choice for story telling in our culture! Good reminder… like the frog placed in water that is slowly heated until boiling… he dies because he doesn’t notice the heat…it is so subtle. Keep it up!



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