By Cindy McGarvie
This book was given to me by Bron, one of my incredible homeschooling mothers. I was keen to read it and after watching an online discussion with the author, Cindy McGarvie, I have re-read the book and given you a short summary of what the book contains.
To read the full book, go to https://www.yfc.org.au/offer and as you make a donation to Youth For Christ you will receive a free book. All money will go to help Youth For Christ.
I believe this book is essential reading for all parents, educators and those in the ministry. Having young men read this would also open their eyes to what is happening in our culture and what God is calling us to do in response. By reading this book you will become more aware of what the enemy is up to, what weapons you have been given and currently what the people standing for Christ are doing. Pray for the younger generation and see how you can encourage or even mentor younger people and refuse to pretend that everything is ok. If a soldier is in a battle and does not fight............. how can they be expected to win? You are in an intense battle ...... rise up and fight with all you have been given so we can rescue our young men and boys!
I pray that this fires you up to stand up and fight ….... and defeat this giant. Just remember to seek God and He will give you the strategy that will defeat the evil one. Once you understand who God is, who you are and the weapons God has given you, you cannot lose!
The Battle Has Been Lost? The War Is Still Raging!
By Tim Peden
Boys without fathers
Men without responsibility
Both, eyes fixed on screens....
Being filled with excitement and a constant rush..
That is slowly killing
Deadening the mind
Destroying any belief that life has meaning
Decimating who they have been made to be
The next generation …. has been stolen
Because the boys have been captured by the enemy
The insidious and hidden warfare
Of the evil one
Has caught our boys, our men
In their desire for
Meaning outside God
And.... Satan had almost won
God is calling forth His generals.
Not only to call us into battle
But to show us the gospel
Who the enemy is
And equip us for war
We will overcome the evil one
The blood of the Lamb
The word of our testimonies
And as we are now living for eternity
We will not fear anything
Satan throws up against us
The battle might have been lost
But we are still in a mighty war
Take your eyes off your screens
All the things the enemy has been using
It is time to repent
Become part of the family of God
Men, this is a call to war!
Rise up to assume your place
On the front line
Of the greatest battle in history.
God has made you for such a time as this.
And live the gospel.
Stand up to become
God has made you be.
Walking in integrity
Full of courage
Boldly standing for righteousness,
Share what God has done and the hope
That your creator has given you!
It is time to reclaim our boys
To be part of the great army
God is raising
To win this war … One boy at a time.
We are in a huge battle for our boys and men. The church has not understood the battle that has been raging for our boys and men. It is time to see the battle for what it is and take up the weapons God has given us to win back our lost boys.
God purposefully created men and women to take different roles in the world and work together to cause the world to operate as God intended. Satan has been working to destroy boys and men and thus cut off the plans God has for His creation. The Christian church is finally waking up to what Satan is doing and there is now a huge task to turn things around and restore the boys, and men, back to being who God intended. This is to stand with the women to take dominion over the earth and prepare the world for the return of Jesus. The enemy has been underestimated and we have been blinded to what he has been doing. It is time to take the momentum back and turn this battle around with fierce courage and determination … key characteristics God has given men so they can step up and win this battle.
God is calling us to take up the supernatural power of the gospel and fight with the spiritual weapons we have been given. This involves training, the re-establishment of purpose and meaning in the lives of men and showing them that they are on the frontline of this battle.
Chapter 1: Peace For Our Time Or Not
When God led His people into the Promise Land, He did not leave the land empty. He left enough enemies to ensure that each generation did not become soft, but knew how to fight, to know the enemy and to be prepared. If they did not continue to know the art of war they would be destroyed or taken captive. The church is also in a huge spiritual war, with victory only possible through understanding the enemy and the training of every part of the body of Christ.
When a soldier is on the battlefield but do not fight, they cannot expect to win. We have been losing our children and have both lost the art of spiritual warfare and have not taught our children. To live a life of victory, we need to understand the battle and step up to win. With the Israelites in the Promise Land, the country was exceedingly rich but they were surrounded by enemies. They could not afford to just enjoy the fruits of the land, but had to know hardships so they could enjoy the blessings. War is learnt through experience which is taught through martial discipline. Living in luxury causes people to become weak, delicate and effeminate. "Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times".
Chapter 2: The Centre of Gravity
Satan wants to attack and destroy Christians, God's people, around the world. Satan knows that if he removes the young, vibrant, fighting-age men he will have victory over the church. Satan's goal is to remove men at the youngest age possible, which is when they are most vulnerable. By the time they are old enough to fight, Satan wants them to have no strength, purpose, understanding of who they are and their full potential.
God has created men to forge, conquer, invent, build and take risks. Men are made to protect, provide, serve, lead with integrity and righteousness. A man who lives out who God made him to be is a powerful force to be reckoned with.
When we look at what we are happening with our men we can see majority have lost their way. Suicide is the leading cause of death of males from ages 15-44 in Australia. This trend is worldwide.
A major cause of this suicide crisis is the lack of fathers in our society. In biblical times, a child without a father was called an orphan. These children have an orphan spirit which leads to a lowering of IQ, increasing the risk of drugs, porn, depression, anxiety and many other issues. A second major cause is the rise of toxic feminism, which has intentionally attacked and undermined men. The goal of Women's Liberation is to "wear each female down to losing all empathy for boys, men or babies" (Farrell and Gray, The Boy Crisis) They teach that marriage is a form of slavery and forced prostitution and must be destroyed. This intentional social engineering has the goal of destroying men who are designed by God to take the lead in marriage and society and therefore dismantle traditional family structures.
Chapter 3: The Changing Character of War - Cyber Warfare.
This chapter is quite confronting. The attack on our boys and men is not with guns and the battle is not clear if we are not looking. Satan is using cyber warfare. This is the use of computer technology that disrupt and destroy the activities of our families, churches and children. This fight is through the use of soundless and formless computer technologies. The way we think, see the world and respond is being manipulated everywhere we go through our internet devices. The war is being raged without a shot being fired.
The deadliest strategy used in this cyber warfare is pornography, which has affected men and boys of all ages. It is even reaching our little girls. 1 in 10 visits to porn sites is by children under 10. Over 68% of children from 3-17 has a smart phone and the average time spent using them is nearly 22 hours a week. (This does not include time spent on computers and other digital devices). When children view porn, it is around 100 times more addictive than heroin, can be viewed in the privacy of their own homes and is injected directly to the brain through the eyes.
A side effect of pornography is a growing epidemic of men with depression, as viewing porn is a depressing demeaning, self-loathing kind of experience. There is a link between an increase in porn use in boys and an increase in suicide. Porn also destroys and weakens relationships. It was reported that 56% of divorces in America cite the use of porn as a reason for separation. Porn also fuels toxic masculinity, where women are treated callously and as sexual objects.
Another side effect of porn is the way it stops a person thinking which opens the door for them to be overpowered. Watching porn has influenced many children to want to change gender or pursue sexual relationships with people of the same sex.
So what is the strategy of the enemy? It is to make the protectors of families and communities, the men, impotent mentally, physically and spiritually. It is to cause them to act in a toxic way as males. This is done through the sexualization of young boys through porn and then cripple them with shame, guild and depression. To cause them to lose their identity given by God and to neutralise their power. This strategy has been so effective, and has been done without any fighting. It is now time to realise this is a war and it is time to fight back.
Chapter 4: Training Soldiers For War
When soldiers are trained, they not only are prepared for the battle, but anticipate, look forward to and are ready to fight. In Nehemiah 4:14 we read:-
And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
It is time to fight for our families, our children and our wives and our homes. God has given us spiritual weapons. It is time to learn to use them and start to turn the tables so we push back the kingdom of darkness. This is a battle we are in, whether we like it or not. Lets be fully prepared so we fight to win!
The best role model on how to fight is Jesus. He was fully victorious not only for His Father, but for us. We have access to the same spirit to guide us and empower us so we can advance God's Kingdom on earth. We have to decide to not only recognise the battle, but choose to fight it!
The way we prepare people for this battle is through discipleship. Discipleship is similar to joining an army to fight in war. There are a number of things you must go through to be an effective fighter:-
Resocialisation - This is a process of learning to putting ourselves second, and learning to put the needs of others and the team first. The groups needs and objectives become the most important thing. We also need to obey orders as soon as they are given. This process involves tearing down and then building up the individual as a soldier, stripping away the old identity and developing the new identity. In the army of God, we all are grafted into the body and learn to walk together.
Gaining new values, attitudes and skills - Each soldier needs to have core values, attitudes and skills and then with this foundation move on to become specialised in the field we are given. Drills and ways of working must become second nature and they must be continually training and growing skills. If war can break out at any time, we need to be ready at any time to fight.
Self Confidence - A soldier must be fully trained so they are self-confident so they can be successful in battle. This does not come through anything other than experience. When they have experienced battle and have been successful they can have an assurance in their abilities or values. This is earnt not learnt. He learnt he can through his hard work and training.
What does this mean for training boys and men?
Discipleship is about taking a new recruit and taking them through the resocialisation process where old habits, values and attitudes that controlled their life are stripped away. What they think about themselves is changed, and as they get to know their Commander they learn to obey immediately. The military manual, the Bible, is taught to be used and understood to help. Learning about spiritual warfare and training using these weapons must be continual, using mentors and gifted teachers and instructors. They also need to learn to live a life where spiritual warfare is life-long and continual.
God is calling us to treat new Christians in a new way. Instead of allowing them to stay as spiritual babies, they need to be re-socialized and know their identity in Christ. They must fully know the Bible and how to use it effectively and be trained in spiritual warfare and use it in battle. Through this they must grow in confidence and self esteem. Before parents can disciple their children, they need to be properly discipled themselves. Discipleship grows structures so the teaching can be received and acted upon. It also means being able to admonish and teach each other. (Col 3:16). This means to rebuke, warn, instruct through warning and critique.
One of the key things we need to do is teach about what warfare is. Warfare is dynamic and constantly changing so we must be continually adapting and modifying strategies in light of the different way the enemy attacks. How we fought before is not the way we can win victory now. For example, the use of technology by young people is something we did not experience 20 years ago. This battle with porn and new gender theory is new. A planning template is used by the military and has the acronym SMEAC. (Situation, execution, administration, command and communications)
To plan a mission, the military leader must look first at the situation, gathering intelligence to know where the enemy is, what weapons they are using and their strength. It also involves knowing the people on your side including who they are, where they are located, their movements and capabilities for example.
God is calling us to go into battle fully trained AND knowing who our allies are and what the enemy is doing!
Chapter 5: Weapon Training
Training soldiers on how to use their weapons and how to maintain them is one of the most important things to do. When in an army, the soldiers are continually checking their weapons to ensure they are working properly. If they are not, then they could mean that the battle and even lives could be lost. Through training and practice, using the weapons must become effortless and without a second thought. Soldiers need to be confident, stand and not run and look out for each other. In the heat of battle they can rely on their muscle memory to fight and not flee when fighting is fierce.
On model of fighting was given based on how the Spartans fought. The best soldiers were in the front fighting and in the middle were the inexperienced youth. At the back were the experienced but aged soldiers. This formation provided safety and protection in battle, and stopped the young warriors from running away in the head of battle while being taught how to fight by the men up the front. The older men kept the morale and helped the young soldiers to stand firm.
Many Christians today do not know we are at war and are not even aware of the weapons we have at our disposal. Others who have weapons keep the safety catch on permanently. Discipleship is essential in preparing spiritual warriors to stand firm, fight offensively and work to take back ground.
Chapter 6: Feminisation Stifles Masculinity
This was one of the most engaging chapters in the book. It has been a source of concern from my observations in schools and in the classroom and now Cindy addresses it from a church perspective.
The big issue is the overall, men dislike going to church. In Australia 60% of church goers are female ad 20% of men that attend church go because they want to please their wife. A finding from researchers is that church no longer relates to men's sense of duty, sacrifice, challenge, risk taking, fighting for noble cause, chivalry etc. Men live to do battle with the conquering king not to cuddle with Him. Also, the idea that the individual pursuit of the individualistic spiritual journey does not have an impact with what is burning in the hearts of men.
The huge issue in our churches is that young boys are missing heroes. Superheroes in the past have been masculine champions who have fought for good and have saved the world. Boys are getting ready for life's adventure and must learn to go forth and conquer. They must have adventure, change the world, conquer and advance God's kingdom on earth. Young boys and men are designed to suffer, struggle and sacrifice for the gospel and others.
In 2 Samuel 11 we read of King David, instead of going out to war as Kings meant to, stayed at home and was idle. When men become idle, they become vulnerable and easy targets. God is calling men to be part of His plan to advance His kingdom on earth. Men have been designed to be on a mission!
Outside the church, masculinity is being distinguished at a rapid rate. Sex and gender have been separated and it is time to stand up for our boys and men, and in doing so protect our women. God is calling us to fight for the masculinity of men so noble and manly aspirations will be birthed and flourish. Strong male guidance is needed for our children. In our schools, many children will not encounter any male teachers through their educational journeys.
Another important part of the socialisation process is boys learning heroic intelligence while girls learn emotional intelligence. Heroic intelligence is what is needed in boys to grow up to be respected as men who both lead and protect their families. Heroic intelligence has been missing from any teaching in the schools and churches.
God is calling us to tell our boys stories of men who have bravely overcome odds to protect, save and provide for others. They need to see men standing up in the heat of battle for the good of others. Boys need to be inspired by the stories of others. The church, the world, families all need these heroes.
The church MUST stop feminising boys. God is calling our boys to reach their full masculine potential. Churches must defeminise their expression of faith and equip and release young men into the adventure they were made for. This adventure is following the conquering Kin, Jesus, out to war!
God is calling us to make Christianity masculine again!
Chapter 7: Engaging The Intellect
Young men are extremely keen to learn and debate deep topics of meaning. Is religion in society today still legitimate and are the ideas in religion beneficial for the flourishing of mankind are key questions. Because this intellectual debate is so important for young men, a man called Jordan Peterson has become very popular. He has written a book to young men that encourages accountability and individual responsibility, which is quite different to what the culture is teaching. He is also a father figure that speaks frankly and non-judgementally to young men. Peterson is successful due to two characteristics:-
He engages the mind and intellect. This is lacking in schools and churches.
He gives real answers for life. He does not gloss over the truth of life and how hard it is, but encourages young people to keep moving forward through the difficulty.
Engaging the mind and intellect of young people is essential. In the past, the church was the place where the intellect was challenged, but this has changed. Church has been accused of becoming too emotional, lacking intellectual rigour and not providing deep and real reasoning for values and principals men have needed to be taught to live by. The evangelising of people has become less intellectual and more reliant on things such as personal devotion, moral living and social reform. The cognitive element has been sorely missed.
As people have not had the theological teaching they have missed a rigorous intellectual process needed to instil the foundations of the faith. As a result, many issues have occurred. In the world they have encountered secular and nihilistic arguments which have not only stumped them, but have caused many to leave the faith. When God moves in our soul, He releases a hunger for us to know more, including spiritual and theological knowledge. This becomes a foundation on which we develop culture and live our lives. Sadly, from the revivalists, the move has been to define religion as an emotional pursuit, leading to the reduction of biblical teaching and the condensing of biblical teaching that is expressed corporately through statements of faith, creeds and confessions written by prominent theologians.
In the church today, speakers, evangelists and musicians in the church have become celebrities. A trend has been the leaving of many as the emotion and passion wear away and people and seduced by the pleasures of the world. They do not have a rational anchor to keep them grounded in their faith.
So what are the real answers for navigating life? Peterson gives real life answers on how to navigate life and does not gloss over the fact that lives we live will constantly be filled with suffering and unfairness. His response is to not complain, but find reasons to make life worth it despite the suffereing. Choose to find someone or something who will make life meaningful. Life is a struggle, chaotic and difficult. Enduring and being victorious through these tough times makes you a man. The current nihilistic view of the world does not give the young boys meaning nor has it prepared them to be men. Young men have been designed to crave adventure and to be heroes. Tough times draw out the hero in a man.
A key point made by Peterson is that young men need to have courage, nobility and responsibility because all young boys want to grow up to be heroic men. They are craving to have intellectual discussions to understand what this looks like and how to get there. God is calling young men to rise up for the adventure of their lives. They are being called to live for a greater purpose outside themselves, which requires them to be fully equipped and armed for life's battles.
Chapter 8: Peter Pan and Ecstasies Innumerable
This chapter is a very interesting look at architypes through the story of Peter Pan. Architypes are patterns of universally shared knowledge about behaviours, people and personalities that every person in society is believed to know innately. When I was writing this summary, I was very sad that the understanding of right and wrong, good and bad have become very grey and often turned around. When a child is reading or being read a book, they should subconsciously know who the heroes are in the book, the way heroes act and who the villain is and how they should act. Cindy looks at a number of things about the Peter Pan story that should make the readers sit up and take note.
To begin with, the Lost Boys in the story are truly lost and long to have parents, especially a loving mother. In the story they have been convinced that their parents do not love them and have been forgotten. Peter wants to control the children and keep them with him so he continually re-enforces his idea that they no longer have access to their families and have been forgotten. Wendy and her brothers, though, are not deceived and continued to hang on to hope. Tinker Bell is Peter's fairy who is common and displays two different sides. She both is rude and insulting, wants Wendy romoved and dead through her intense jealousy, but is loyal and saves Peter by drinking poison intended for him.
The story ends with Wendy being returned home with her brothers and Mrs Darling and Wendy try to convince Peter to stay. Peter desperately wants the warmth of a family but is not only unwilling but undable to enter to become part of the family. Wendy does go back every year with Peter to spring clean, but in the end she becomes a mother and can no longer go with him.
This is where the interesting study of the archetypes begins. Peterson explains the different characters and how we could view them:-
Adolescence - This is a time where children shed their childish ways and grow up.
Peter - He is horrified about growing up. Peter cannot develop a true relationship with Wendy because he refuses to mature. He is not willing to make this sacrifice to make a connection.
Wendy is a real girl - She wants to live a real, adult life and accepts her mortality and her maturity.
Tinker Bell - She is not real. Peterson suggests that in today's society she could represent pornography. This means she represents fantasy relationships with girls and is a substitute for the real thing.
The crocodile - Represents death and time - it already has a piece of Captain Hook!
Captain Hook - Stands for authority
It is important for all adults to realise they are finite and limited so they do not turn into tyrants trying to control everyone around them. Peter is fearful of ending up like Hook, his only role model. Peterson sees the lost boys as losers and being their leader is really not a big achievement. Sadly, if a child does not grow up they will remain a Lost Boy. There are a huge number of men who have not left home and are still boys. This is extremely sad.
Our society is full of Lost Boys who have "ecstasies innumerable" but deep down long for what they have been forever barred from.
Chapter 9: Counterinsurgency - Fighting Back
The truth is far more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction - Mahatma Gandhi
Even though our western civilisation was built on the values of the Judeo-Christian world view, there has been a shift to the Marxist ideology through education, media etc.. This is the now accepted orthodoxy. The teaching of this orthodoxy comes from our schools through the National Curriculum, and is re-enforced as young people go through university. Children are taught to detest their nation and despise their past. Also, the religion that has provided the values Australia has been built on has been not only tossed out of our society but scripture has been labelled at "hate speech!"
One of the reasons this has happened, is because over the past Christians have removed themselves from the political scene, and so the Chrisitian voice for political direction has been too weak to have any real influence, thus allowing abortion, same sex marriage, gender theories etc.. Christians must stand up and engage intelligently in the public square to ensure the opposing ideas do not win.
There has been a positive trend happening with young Christians. There is an active counterinsurgency movement that is engaging young people with debates on ideas using cyberspace. Alternative views are being discussed and young people are being challenged with their views in s space they feel comfortable. This is a great change to the one sided views given by the mainstream media. Young people love debating and are finding their nihilistic arguments are not easily defended, so are looking for other answers. They are wanted to be challenged intellectually and find the truth.
We are finding that the education system does have an agenda and our children are coming out of the system as a clear product of this agenda. As the views and ways of thinking are given to children are not from sound reasoning, children come out seeking real answers to their questions.
When Jesus walked the earth, he challenged the view of the people. He challenged their attitudes towards others, business, money, women etc. These boulders needed to be removed before the gospel could be received. Maybe that is what is required again, today!
Chapter 10: A New Battlefront
This battlefront is one that we need to be aware of and purposefully seek God in understanding and learning how to fight in this battle so we can win. Our young people are connected to the internet. It is a platform that can be used for much good, but Satan has been using it to trap many of our young men.
One of the places young people see as a powerful place to both give their message but receive from many people is the YouTube platform. This has been a place for young Christians to interact, speak about political issues outside the mainstream media with their peers. They are very smart, brave in the way they present contraversial issues and speak the language of their generation. Not only do they not force their beliefs on others, but cleverly and intelligently present different perspectives from the nihilistic culture they have been living in. They are doing what we must do, which is to engage in this battlefield of ideas and challenge the status quo.
There is an interesting new way of socially engineering known through the term "woke". This term means to be elert and able to detect any form of injustice (eg: White privilege) and to call them out and punish them through social media. Being woke is said to be "cool!". The disturbing thing about this "wokeness" is that even dumb ideas are being accepted as this prevents any challenging of ideas and behaviours. As you are introduced to being more enlightened, you are taught to hate those with different beliefs and as a result you are closed to hearing anything that they say. It also creates a generation who are self righteous and persecute the ones who do the wrong thing ….. just like the Pharisees in the days when Jesus walked on the earth.
The new warriors who are going against the ideas of this generation are using cyber warfare on social media to remove the lies that have stopped young people from receiving the truth. They are using videos and memes that debunk the nihilistic and Marxist ideology and the woke commandments.
There are a number of people who are doing this. Ben Shapiro is a young Jewish man who uses logic and fact to blow away the false thinking and ideology of the "woke" society. This is very appealing to young men who want to be intellectually engaged and challenged. It is exciting to see young people demolishing arguments and pretentions and young people are giving their peers a narrative that there is a creator, purpose, a moral code and their life has value.
Chapter 11: And That's How It's Done – Insights Into Spiritual Warfare
Spiritual warfare needs trained and disciplined soldiers who are trained to execute effective missions and can stand no matter what the enemy throws against them. God is calling us into the Promise Land, whree warefare is needed to take the land that we have been promised and to keep the ground that has been won.
When we are serious about spiritual warfare, we start to see the need to read the Word of God and learn to both stand firm in the truth of who God says He is AND who God says we are. God is calling us to learn to pray the scripture and to expose anything that is wrong and hidden in our hearts. As God uncovers and deals with these things, we remove the places where Satan can attack us.