BreakPoint Blog

Banner
Confessions re: Man Post


Allen, I need to confess the overwhelming desire I have to comment on your Man Post just to see if it would cause an uproar. I think part of this desire is linked to the fact that every time I stumble across the latest comment on the post I can't help but visualize an explosion of confetti while "Macho, Macho Man" is blaring in the background.

But as you're all pumping iron, I wonder if you might share your thoughts on what some have called the "wuss-fication" of Christianity. I randomly came across this blogpost on Christian masculinty the other day and wondered what you would think of it.


Comments:

My thanks to these very manly men for taking up this cause. This week is shaping up such that it will be a few days before I can touch it, I'm afraid. But - just to set expectations - I am working through all of this just like anyone else. I think there a couple or a few things we can say about "manliness" beyond a shadow of a doubt. For those, I'll most likely point to the excellent works of others (especially Anthony Esolen). About the rest, we can only speculate based upon Natural Law, I suspect. Anyhow... till then... But keep the great comments coming, gents. Perhaps they're won't be anything for me to add!
Faith, Manly men can certainly handle your provactive pokes. As you read this you can probably hear the "men" song hummed to a marching tune in the background. I've haven't fully put my finger on this feminzation of the church issue and it's loaded with landmines, but I think it has a lot to do with leadership and gender roles. Plenty of men are fine to lead in the workplace even if they report to seniors who are women. But church is not seen as a workplace and neither is the home (execept for home improvement of course). So men abdicate (not manly) their leader roles as husbands and fathers and they coast at church too. It takes great energy to fulfill one's God-given role and men (like women) find ways to justify their lack of fulfillment. How many men after a long day at work, gear up to do fatherly things with children and engage their wives? I think the primary culprit is pure selfishness. I'm tired, I want to relax and be entertained. I want a little respect before I do anything more . . . And there is always the valid problem that many men never had true manliness modeled to them. They grasp at the cultural counterfeits of mooks or Navy SEALs for clues none of which play a role in families or church life. Again, a study of Jesus really puts a lot of questions to rest on how he fulfilled his unique role as God in not just human form, but that of a man. He had it all going in the way he worked, related to women and children and displayed the virtues he created in a manly way. Clearing the temple is a striking example of power under control. Mission accomplished without overkill (no animals were harmed in this sequence).
Faith, us manly men don't respond to such provocation from the distaff side. :-) Seriously, Mark Driscoll might go too far - but he might not, since men are flocking to his church and bolting from others. (What are the stats on church membership, by gender?) I still think the best description of the ideal Christian man is found in the "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" excerpt on the Greek word "arete", where an "excellent" Hellenistic warrior is not only fearless on the battlefield and capable in any manly situation, but also gentle with children, appropriate with women, able to weep shamelessly when overcome with passion - in short, a complete human being. I think this goes for women, too - able to do manly things without becoming manly. I personally believe this is the thrust of Paul's comment in Galatians 3:28 - both men and women who are in Christ Jesus are such complete, free human beings that each is able to do what the other does, without reservation, while still maintaining their gender identity. They would likewise recognize that each gender has certain inherent strengths and weaknesses (e.g., men can focus better, women can multitask better), and would be comfortable relinquishing roles as needed. But this comment is now way too long to qualify as a grunted, animalistic response. Gotta go eat some raw steak.