Former Atlanta Fire Chief: ‘There Are Kingdom Consequences for Standing on God’s Word’
The FRC Stand Courageous Men’s Ministry Team was on the road again this past weekend in Houston, Texas. Hosted by Pastor Gregg Matte and his team at Houston’s First Baptist Church, over 800 men came to hear our stable of speakers as well as attend a number of packed-out breakouts. Based on Family Research Council’s executive vice president and retired Lt. General Jerry Boykin’s most recent book, “Strong and Courageous: A Call to Biblical Manhood,” each of the main stage speakers unpacked the five facets of what it means to be a biblical man: Provider, Battle Buddy, Instructor, Defender, and Chaplain.
After a conversation between FRC President Tony Perkins and General Boykin on the state of men in America, Bishop Larry Jackson challenged the men to step up as providers in the home. However, he urged men to go beyond merely providing material resources and checking that box. Bishop Jackson brought an encouraging word to provide our presence, and how that makes a huge difference as borne out by research. He concluded with a rousing call to be the servant leader in the family, out-serving our wives “by a mile” or “B.A.M!” for short.
Dr. Stu Weber, General Boykin’s close friend and battle buddy, spoke on that very topic, pointing out that in the Bible: “Alone is not good,” using the biblical example of David and Jonathan as the model for masculine friendship. He then challenged the men to find and develop such a relationship with a battle buddy, which is a military term for men who have joined themselves together to support each other in conflict, to have each other’s back.
Kelvin Cochran, former Atlanta Fire Chief and now a vice president with Alliance Defending Freedom, spoke on men serving as an instructor, who will not only teach the truth but also model it. Cochran urged men to walk with the Lord and be taught by Him before they can instruct others. He related his ordeal of being fired for his biblical convictions and declared: “There are kingdom consequences for standing on God’s Word.” Consequently, Cochran warned that a moment of decision is coming for all of us: “It’s not a matter of if, but when you have to decide to stand or not, stand for God!”
Rev. Rafael Cruz challenged the men to be Defenders of our families — and especially our children and grandchildren against attacks that invariably come against us from Satan and those doing his bidding. He especially focused on the war being waged on impressionable children and teens, pushing them to participate in sexual anarchy and especially transgenderism. He gave a strong call for the men to take a stand as Defenders.
Tony Perkins spoke on the final role, that of Chaplain, challenging the men to step forward as spiritual leaders. He argued: “Biblical masculinity calls men and prepares men to be the provider, the defender, the battle buddy, and the instructor in their home. But the foundational role of the biblical man is that of chaplain, the spiritual leader of their home: the one who educates, exhorts, and provides an earnest example of how to stand courageously for the Lord in every situation.” Sharing compelling statistics of a father’s pivotal role in the spiritual formation and future of children, he summed up the results: “Simply put, no father, no family, no faith.” He called the men to the biblical example of Joshua, the biblical model set forth in “Strong and Courageous,” and his timeless challenge: “As for me and for my house, we will serve the Lord.”
One of the highlights for the men at every Stand Courageous Conference is to hear General Boykin’s riveting testimony, which is chronicled in his book “Never Surrender.” When Boykin offered an invitation, scores of men came forward to make spiritual decisions, a number of whom professed faith in Christ for the first time. Even more men came forward at the end of the conference at the General’s invitation to receive the “Father’s Blessing” and confer a blessing on their sons and other men around them. It was incredible to see a church full of men empty the pews and crowd the altar for that time of blessing.
Randy Wilson, director of FRC’s Men’s Ministry, commented: “No matter the age, when the men are given an opportunity to receive a blessing from another man of authority, they come to get that blessing.” Boykin reflected on the conference: “It was truly powerful. The speakers were anointed. There was a great deal of spiritual warfare in the lead up to this conference, but God intervened mightily, and we witnessed many men experience spiritual breakthroughs.” In fact, one participant wholeheartedly agreed: “I believe I can say probably the most powerful life-changing event I’ve ever experienced personally.”
Eric Reed, a minister at FBC Houston, commented, “In a culture that has been thrown into chaos and confusion, Stand Courageous inspired our men with a clear and compelling call to manhood rooted and grounded in the Word of God. The power of God was evident to every man involved in Stand Courageous from our staff to our volunteers. At our ministry team dinner, one of our staff was so convicted that he drove five hours to reconcile with his earthly father. Truly, revivals are evidenced by such quick repentance and restoration!”
Reed continued, “I stood amazed and in awe as I watched Malachi 4:6 get lived out in front of my eyes — hundreds of fathers and sons united in a time of kingdom blessing!”
Tim Throckmorton, one of the conference leaders, commented, “One young man came forward and his tears began to fall like rain on my hands that were holding his. Through sobs he said that he needed to be the husband and father God had created him to be. After prayer, he said to me through tear filled eyes, ‘With God’s help, I will be that man!’”
He continued, “A pastor and two of his leaders traveling from Ohio shared that they had never experienced the presence of the Lord so powerfully and that they would never be the same. ‘When and where is the next one?’ one asked. ‘We’re coming and we are bringing a bus load!’”
Stay tuned to our Men’s Ministry website, StandCourageous.com or download the Stand Courageous app for access to a growing arsenal of resources and tools for men. We aspire to equip men across America to take the next steps toward becoming a biblical man. In a culture that is increasingly hostile toward masculinity, our mission is to help men “Stand Courageous” for Christ, their families, and the values that made this nation great.