“Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. &#@ %$#@ it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War is a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
Tyler Durden, Fight Club
Fight Club is one of my top five movies of all time. Truthfully I thought it was just a mindless movie about guys beating the crap out of each other, but I was pleasantly surprised at the deep impact that it had on me. I watched the movie at the same time God was doing a profound work in my own life. He was gently encouraging me to embrace the warrior within me…the warrior spirit that He had put there. Up until that time, my entire life had basically been peace at all costs. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t make waves. That was how I thought a righteous life was lived. Plain Vanilla. Today I hope I am much more Rocky Road.
John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart was a bittersweet experience that God used in this process. I realized that for years I had been trying to kill off the “wild” side that was actually something I should have been embracing. It was a painful read in that I realized how passive and “nice” I had been all my life. It was sweet in that it freed me up to be the man I was created to be. Looking back over my marriage, I coined a phrase…the only one so far that I can claim completely as my own…
“The bitch comes out in the woman when the man isn’t being the man.”
Due to my “niceness”, my ex wife was put into situations as a woman that she never should have been in. She longed for that passionate warrior to surface when appropriate, but I had expertly killed him off because it didn’t fit the “gentle Jesus meek and mild”, felt-board, Sunday School image of Jesus. How wrong I was! Re-reading the Gospels, I saw firsthand that Jesus was not nice if you define niceness as peace at all costs as I did. He actually picked fights with the Pharisees…the religious folk of His day. He called them names. He made quite a scene in the temple. What intrigues me about that temple scene is that no one stood up to stop Him. No one was like “Dude, we’ve been doing this for years, who in the hell do you think you are turning over all these tables and disrupting our livelihood?” I think it was because Jesus was a big boy. Thirty years as a carpenter will produce some serious shoulders and arms and some strong, rugged, calloused hands.
Unfortunately so much of today’s Christianity focuses on men being nice guys…almost effeminate. I think the church is almost scared of wild-hearted men. Society doesn’t need a bunch of nice, plain vanilla guys but men in a passionate love affair with their Creator who are living the wild adventure He has called them to live. And while a woman might say she wants a nice guy, what she truly wants is a wild-hearted warrior who is yielded to the Savior and is living for His purpose and not his own.
Back to Mr. Durden’s quote. Hopefully our purpose is much bigger than a Great War or Great Depression. Our purpose has to involve daily receiving the truth of His scandalous Gospel, believing it, and out of that truth, living lives of radical, passionate obedience. Anything else will leave us unfulfilled and “pissed off” as Mr. Durden put it.