Have you ever considered what shapes your value system, or how you form your understanding of right and wrong?
More so, have you wondered how you can graciously stand firm in those values when you’re pressured to do otherwise?
In a culture that elevates the right opinion over the right character, Australian pastor and author Jon Tyson told the UNDISTRACTED podcast we need a recommitment to discipleship, and “radical Christian community” where groups of people who share a common goal in becoming more Christlike champion each other’s pursuit of that.
Church planting in America for the last 25 years, Jon said, “The typical person is isolated, lonely, depressed and has life habits that look nothing like the book of Acts in the New Testament”.
“I’ve been at war with that, and [I’m] trying to enjoy and create a biblical alternative that is rich and provocative and appealing to the world,” Jon said.
In his latest books, Beautiful Resistance and The Intentional Father – both written during the pandemic – Jon stressed the need for discernment in choosing what ideologies we align with, how to hold to them, and why healthy masculinity can help society thrive.
“Healthy manhood looks like Christlikeness,” Jon said.
“The question is, how do you help your sons become more like Jesus?
“Jesus had a tender heart: He wept when His friends died. His heart went our repeatedly: He was often moved with compassion.
“Jesus created space for outsiders: He crossed cultural boundaries [but] Jesus also had courage to turn over the tables and turn away His followers who were half committed.
“Jesus had a tender heart… Jesus created space for outsiders: He crossed cultural boundaries… Jesus also had courage to turn over the tables…” – Australian pastor and author Jon Tyson
“That connection of conviction and compassion, tenderness and strength is missing in our world today.”
Reflecting on the political divisions in the US, and why many countries look at their leaders and ask, “are these best candidates we have?”, Jon said what we’re seeing is a void of character.
“Character is the foundation of any good society,” he said.
“If you can’t trust your leaders and the social fabric disintegrates, what do you have?”
One reason Jon thinks character has gone by the wayside in some instances is because “our society is basically interested in keeping people happy, and happiness is not a value for society it’s a by-product of virtue”.
“Our society is basically interested in keeping people happy, and happiness is not a value for society it’s a by-product of virtue,” – Australian pastor and author Jon Tyson
For virtues to rise to the top again, Jon said parents need to be more intentional in passing them on their children, and if not parents, wise Christian mentors.
“Without intentionality we default to having our kids deeply formed by the culture,” he said.
“And at this moment in history, it’s not leaning toward godliness, and in many ways, it’s destroying young people.
“Nobody can take the place of an intentional adult in a young person’s life that pulls them into their future, that sees value in them [and creates] space where they can learn and fail and grow.”
Listen to the full episode of UNDISTRACTED with guest Jon Tyson via the player above and wherever you get your podcasts.