The movie Courageous sparked another fad driven product. Fireproof's Love Dare diary is so yesterday. Now it's all about the Courageous Resolution. You may even be thinking that I'm late to post information on this. See? If you are, then it's a fad.
The Courageous movie had a scene in which several of the fathers gathered in a living room with a pastor and made a resolution (swore an oath) which emphasized fatherhood, fidelity, and the man as head of the home. The Christian version of 'man up!'
Like its previous movie, Fireproof, which came with a 40-day love dare diary or some such thing, now this movie has the Resolution For Men or whatever it is called.
It is supposed to mark the moment and celebrate the commitment being made to God and family. Here is the text of the resolution--
I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.
I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.
I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.
There are a few things to ponder. First, the positive:
I see nothing wrong on the face of it for any of the above statements, because they do not seem to vary with what God told us in the bible. That's it. I can't think of any other positive.
Now the negative:
--I see no bible verse addresses with them. Therefore they are man-made.
--At some point we have to take these fads that emerge from Christian movies and put them on the same level as the product fads that emerge from any other movie, like Star Wars light sabers or the Avengers dolls.
--Where is the Love Dare book now? Does anyone still do it? Where will The Courageous Resolution be in 2 years? Will anyone be doing it? Or will they be trailing after the next big thing?
I am a bare bones gal. I think the bible is all we need. Why make a man-made vow and swear on that? Don't we make a resolution when we repent? Don't we make a vow when we get married? Don't we make an oath when we get Baptised? Don't we make a vow when we present our children on Dedication day? Don't we make a vow when we partake of the Lord's Supper? How many vows do we need? How many ordinances? How many resolutions?
Here is the main point: Aren't men already doing the things that are in the resolution? If not, then they need church discipline. If so, then abandon any man-made vow as unnecessary and extra-biblical.
The New Testament speaks to this oath taking: (from Got Questions)
"[The Jephthah account] shows us is the foolishness of rash vows. Perhaps this is why Jesus gave a new commandment concerning vows. "Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No ,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:33-37)."
"The principle here is clear for Christians: do not make vows, either to the Lord or to one another. First, we are unable to know for sure whether we will be able to keep vows. The fact that we are prone to the errors in judgment which are part of our fallen nature means that we may make vows foolishly or out of immaturity. Further, we don’t know what the future will bring—only God does. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:14), so to make a vow that we will do or not do something is foolish".
"God is the one in control, not us, and He “works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Knowing this, we can see that it is unnecessary to make vows and that it indicates a lack of trust in Him."
"Finally, Jesus commands that our word be sufficient without making vows. When we say “yes” or “no,” that’s exactly what we should mean. Adding vows or oaths to our words opens us up to the influence of Satan whose desire is to trap us and compromise our Christian testimony. If we have made a vow foolishly and realized we cannot or should not keep it, we should confess it to God, knowing that He is “faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
"A broken vow, while serious, is not an unforgivable matter if taken to the Lord in true confession. God will not hold us to vows made imprudently, but He expects us to obey Jesus and refrain from making vows in the future."
God made it simple and wrote it down for us. We keep editing it... I just think it is better to live by the bible rather than take what is in the bible, mix it with man's words, and swear an oath by it. To me that seems idolatrous. Submit to the Lord, live by His word, and get on with it, men!! For heaven's sakes, stop talking about being men and just be men!
If a contract to be honorable fathers was such a good thing then why haven't we been doing it for 2000 years?