"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:Yeah, that is really what Jesus would do, right?
“[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.’”"
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.Yeah, kids are women's work. And Jesus did whatever was necessary. Sigh.
'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.'"
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!