December 14, 2006

More on wimpy Christians--SIGH

Natalie addresses the War on Christmas and the War on Wimpy Churches in her post: panta ta ethne: Something's not quite right...
"In the LA Times, I came across an article, “Manliness is next to Godliness,” about a trend in evangelicalism to de-feminize the church. Men are put off by the touchy-feely, “girly” tone of church services, so groups have begun—along the same lines as John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart—to highlight the rough-and-tumble, testosterone-charged Jesus. One man who attended a manly-Christian conference decided to put his new tough-guy faith into practice. This is a real excerpt from the article, I kid you not:

“[H]e has ditched the nice-guy reflex of always turning the other cheek. When he spots a Wal-Mart clerk writing ‘Happy Holidays’ on a window, he boldly complains: It should say ‘Merry Christmas.’

The clerk erases the offending greeting. Chalk one up for Christian testosterone.

‘I wouldn't have done that before,’ Stephenson says proudly. ‘I am no longer a doormat.’”"
Yeah, that is really what Jesus would do, right?

The entire article is here, and it is really an interesting article. And there are some really unintentionally funny parts (or at least I think they are unintentional). I like the sword part here:
"In fact, men taking charge is a big theme of the GodMen revival. At what he hopes will be the first of many such conferences, in a warehouse-turned-nightclub in downtown Nashville, Stine asks the men: 'Are you ready to grab your sword and say, 'OK, family, I'm going to lead you?' ' He also distributes a list of a real man's rules for his woman. No. 1: 'Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down.'
Heh. Grab your sword. Or in the next graph, this dude's wife says something about that being cool--and that "when the rubber hits the bat, I want to know my husband will protect me."

But in the meantime, petty little female concerns need to be ignored because the men have to be men. Dammit.
But some men at the conference run into trouble when they debut their new attitudes at home. Eric Miller, a construction worker, admits his wife is none too pleased when he takes off, alone, on a weekend camping trip a few weeks after the GodMen conference this fall.

'She was a little bit leery of it, as we have an infant,' he reports. 'She said, 'I need your help around here.' '

Miller, 26, refuses to yield: 'I am supposed to be the leader of the family.'

He's pretty sure his wife will come around once she recognizes he's modeling his life after Jesus', like a good Christian should. It'll just take a little explaining, because the Jesus he has in mind is the guy on the wanted poster: 'confrontational and sarcastic when he needed to be,' Miller says, and determined to use 'whatever means was necessary to achieve his goal.'"
Yeah, kids are women's work. And Jesus did whatever was necessary. Sigh.

I hate this trend. I remember arguing with Les about something related to this, but I hate this trend. I hate stupid masculinity movements. We have had a few hundred over the years from Teddy Roosevelt's concerns that city dwellers were not masculine enough, to the Boy Scouts, to the people playing Indian, to the Militia movements and the guys beating on drums and the Promise Keepers and now this.

Real men don't have fall into some masculine stereotype.

Natalie also included this, and I think she nails it here:
I usually ignore those who make noise about the Christmas vs. Holiday debate. These two snippets really bothered me, though, since I am reading Shane Claiborne’s book, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical. You want to know what it really means to be a “tough,” “masculine” Christian, and live out your faith as our “manly” Jesus did? Well, Shane went to Iraq when the U.S. decided to invade in 2003. He went on a peacekeeping mission, hung out with Iraqi families and Christians, and very well could have lost his life. And turning the other cheek? Shane turns to Walter Wink’s description the “turn the other cheek” verses:

“Jesus is not just suggesting that we masochistically let people step all over us. Instead, Jesus is pointing us toward something that imaginatively disarms others. When hit on the cheek, turn and look the person in the eye. Do not cower and do not punch them back.”

Now that seems like it would take a lot more strength to do!



Cold In Laramie said...

Streak, It seems to me that there is a disconnect between what some evangelicals say. For instance, many want a literal translation of the Bible on some issues (i.e. homosexuality) but a selective reading for other things (i.e. selecting Bible passages that illustrate Jesus as ubermasculine).

Streak said...

CIL, great point. And that is why it is so problematic for someone to say that they hold a "Biblical worldview" or that they even hold to a literal Bible, because there is no one Biblical view or one literal reading.

volfan007 said...

Jesus was a man's man. he grew up as a carpenter. back in that day, that meant that you had to be pretty strong and rugged. and, the bible does not teach that Jesus was wimpy, nor does it teach men to be wimpy. it teaches us to be real men....Godly men.

look at the apostle paul. my goodness, when you read how much he endured to get the gospel out to the world...the shipwrecks, the beatings, etc. and, when you look at how he stood up to heretics and to philosophers of his day. he was a man.

you know, the paintings of Jesus that show Him as some kind of limp wristed, anemic sissy were painted by people who never saw him, and they obviously didnt understand the bible.


Streak said...

volfan, this is where you risk being called ignorant. When you say stuff like this it annoys me. Are you saying that women aren't tough? Or gays (since you used the code words for gay--limp wristed)? It is a ridiculous construct and a waste of time--just like the War on Christmas.

You can't turn Jesus into John Wayne or some other stupid stereotype of masculinity, and Jesus would not be rude to the woman at Walmart and then pat himself on teh back.

volfan007 said...

merry Christmas, streak


Cold In Laramie said...

Streak, Regarding your point about the "literal" Bible, I believe (if I can recall my intro level Theology class I took oh those many years ago at that place you like to mock), Biblical scholars have identified at least five or six different authors for the OT alone. Too, there is more than one Genesis story - how can it be literal if there are multiple interpretations embedded in the text.

BTW, I would ignore volfan. He seems to be contrarian for the sake of being argumentative. His comments really do not merit rebuttal.

volfan007 said...


there is only one author of genesis. his name is moses. in fact, he wrote the first five books of the bible.

you have been given some bad info.


volfan007 said...


i am back...had to do something. there are many, many authors of the ot. moses, jeremiah, isaiah, king david, solomon, ezra, and many more. the incredible thing is that they all agree completely while coming from all different walks of life, and from different times in history. you see, God was really the author of the ot, and the new testament. He just used men to write it.


JoeG said...

Volfan -
In Genesis and Deuteronomy alone, there are two different creation stories. They may be similar, but there are stark differences between the two. So no, they aren't all in agreement.

Streak said...

CIL, nice comments. You are right about Volfan. I am not sure why I respond as it does not seem to accomplish anything, but it is hard to avoid. Plus, I have more patience than you.

His response to you is funny, though. Guess you got some bad info at that place--you know, where I mock you.