Where Are All the Strong Men?
A bit of my feminist side must be coming to the fore here, all because of three episodes in the past 24 hours. All have to do with strong, heroic Christian women who are taking a stand, regardless of the cost. My question is: Where are all the gutsy men of faith? Why does it always seem that women are doing our work for us?
I thank God for strong, vibrant women of faith. But I bewail the fact that often there are so few male counterparts to this. Often in the churches today it is the women who are showing up for the prayer meetings, getting involved in the various causes, while men seem to be asleep.
So many Christian men seem far more interested in watching Top Gear than they are in sharing their faith, getting involved in intercessory prayer groups, or getting involved in some of the battles over faith and family. If the culture at large has emasculated our males, that is showing up big time in our churches today.
Where are men with backbone, with guts, with balls, if I can put it that way? Where are the male role models of today? Why are we leaving all the hard work up to our sisters? When will we join them on the frontlines, and show as much zeal, passion and commitment as they have?
I am not alone in these concerns. Many church leaders have noted how it is often the women who get most involved, show up for most prayer meetings, contribute to most church activities, and so on. So many Christian men are sidetracked by all sorts of useless things, be it sport, or making money, or being engaged in various trivial pursuits.
So what were these three events that have motivated me to write this? The first is my daily reading. I am in the book of Judges right now, and have just finished reading about the mighty Deborah (Judges 4-5). She was a prophetess who had a mighty victory over Jabin, a Canaanite king, and Sisera, the commander of his army.
Of interest is Judges 4:8-9: “Barak said to her, ‘If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.’ ‘Certainly I will go with you,’ said Deborah. ‘But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.’ So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.”
And then we read in vv. 17-24 about another brave woman, Jael. What she did to Sisera would be the envy of any Rambo, Terminator, or Jedi Master. Both women showed resolute courage, commitment and dedication. Yet they were surrounded by wimpish men.
Because of these women God’s enemies were defeated. But back in those days that was a matter of great shame. Consider what we read in Judges 9:54: “Hurriedly [Abimelech] called to his armor-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say, “A woman killed him”’.”
It seems like cowardly men are not new in God’s service. And please read of the victorious Song of Deborah in Judges 5. Many other women of valour and courage can be found in Scripture. They put many of us men to shame.
The two other episodes involving fearless women are these. The sister of Kevin Rudd, Loree, is single-handedly taking on her own Labor Party on their acceptance of same-sex marriage. She is doing what countless Labor men should be doing, but do not have the guts to do.
Here is how one press account tells the story: “Loree Rudd is lobbying federal MPs and threatening to quit Labor if the party backs gay marriage at its national conference in December, The Australian reports. The devout Christian recently wrote to every federal MP voicing her opposition to same-sex marriage. Four state ALP conferences have endorsed changes to legalise same-sex marriage under federal law. NSW Labor last week refused to back the proposal and referred the issue to the national conference, The Australian said.
“Ms Rudd, who said she’d embarked on her campaign without her brother’s knowledge, told the paper there was a worldwide gay movement that ‘fed propaganda’ in pursuit of change. ‘I call them the global gay Gestapo: it is the lobbying movement that is brainwashing people, particularly the young in the community that this (homosexuality) is an optional extra in life,’ she said.”
Wow, another Deborah. Another Jael. A woman with backbone and conviction who is willing to tell it like it is. And all around her gutless men are saying nothing, or in fact have caved in to the homosexual agenda. She alone is willing to stand up to the homosexual thugs who are bent on intimidating into silence everyone who dares to oppose their agenda.
What a wonderful, brave and godly woman. We could use another thousand of her. And we could certainly use even a dozen men who acted like men, shrugged off their effeminacy and PC shackles, and started to take a stand for what is right and what is true, regardless of how costly it may be.
If only we could just get a few Christian men off their TV addiction and other time-wasting pursuits, and show some zeal and spine like brave Loree has, we could start turning things around for the Kingdom. Real transformation could take place if our Christian men stopped playing games and started taking their faith seriously for a change.
My final example is someone many of you know. Any fan of MasterChef knows all about Kate Bracks, one of the seven finalists left in the TV cooking competition. What I did not know until today is that she is a committed Christian and a gutsy one at that.
She is willing to stand up for principle, even though it may well cost her winning the title. She would rather be right with God than right with man. This is how today’s press is reporting the story: “Here’s one for Dicko and his Can Of Worms: Should a Christian show respect to the Dalai Lama by calling him ‘Your Holiness’ even if they don’t believe in Buddhism?
“That was the religious test facing MasterChef mum Kate Bracks, who refused to acknowledge the religious leader by his formal title in an episode screening on Sunday. The 36-year-old Christian from Orange was the only contestant who felt ‘uncomfortable’ with the protocol, addressing him only as ‘Dala’. His appearance created an emotion-charged challenge for the other five competitors, who all spoke of his ‘energy’, ‘aura’ and ‘amazing spirit’.
“But Bracks said she did not ‘see the Dalai as a holy man’. ‘My belief is that God is the only one that is perfectly holy,’ she said. ‘So in terms of everybody calling him Your Holiness, that was probably the only aspect of the challenge I was uncomfortable with. I just called him Dalai Lama’.”
Wow, another Christian woman with guts and conviction. There is hope yet for the West. Here is a woman willing to stand up for her Christian principles even though it is unpopular to do so, and it will very well cost her the chance of going all the way in this competition.
I admire a woman like that – greatly. And if you continue reading the press account which I link to below, you can contrast her stance with that of other spineless Christian leaders who prefer to be PC instead of TC (True to Christ). So I am greatly encouraged by these two modern day Deborahs.
God is not finished with Australia yet. But if we could only get some Christian men to take their faith seriously, to stop wasting time and come out swinging as these two brave warriors have. Just imagine how much further the Kingdom could be advanced if Christian men started acting like real disciples of Christ, instead of spineless jellyfish.
I say three cheers to Loree, to Kate, to Deborah, and to Jael. Thanks be to God for raising up brave women to fight the good fight. But when will their lives start shaming our gutless men into some action?
39 Replies to “Where Are All the Strong Men?”
Ok this is the first time I have read a piece of your great works and thought, I’m more than qualified to speak about this.
First I’ve been a Christian for 10 years and have had strong nagging feelings that things are not right with male/woman ratio leadership and the way the churches are run and all sorts of things really.
It could be me of course, but to watch women stand up and pray while all the men just sit there, I won’t give you 50 examples but I could.
The women have taken a stand in the churches but there’s a cost. Oh I hear the woman’s cry, “were not stoping men from doing anything”?
Well I say who wants a yelling match at church. I say women have to learn to be quiet for a moment in time, please.
I belong to a group of Christian men of about 7 who go and visit churches, if they want us that is, and we take the service.
It’s a done with songs-power points-a talk-interaction-and above all, it’s done with a masculine spirit.
And here’s the clincher, Guess who we get the most resistance from? MEN.
You might have missed the point of my article. It was not to argue that it is a bad thing that women are doing things for Christ and the Kingdom. It was to lament the fact that they seem far more active and committed then men are.
It is an altogether different debate as to whether women should be taking leadership positions in the church. That I did not directly address here, and an entire article would be needed to deal with that really quite complex issue.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Indeed. Funny how stories affirming the value of women abound in Scripture, despite feminist types trying to portray Christianity as being strongly patriarchal. And yet Islam gets a free pass from them. You know – the one where women have to go to the back of the room and walk around in mobile tents. Go figure.
Way to go Loree & Kate.
“God is not finished with Australia yet”. I need to hear comments like that sometimes Bill, in the face of so much other stuff that makes me wonder the opposite. I am encouraged by this article. Thank you.
Loree Rudd wouldn’t just put a lot of men to shame but much of the so-called conservative Liberal Party!
Yes quite right Damien.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Thank you Bill.
Actually just re-read my first paragraph. Deborah of course was not a Christian woman, but she was a godly woman – you know what I mean.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
I to have re-read what i said, and yes im sorry i did miss the point. Maybe because im so troubled by my issue but none the less, off i went on a tangent sorry every one.
Most church congregations seem to have more women than men. Without meaning to appear sexist, I think religion appeals more to the female mind because of its emotional aspects. Men are more likely to be drawn to logical/rational explanations for life mysteries.
Harry Robinson, Perth
Many thanks for this article Bill. I often have heard men say that women should not be leaders in the Church, but when they fail to do the job, if the women don’t step in – who will do it? I have also noticed that when there is a time of open prayer that it is the women who take the lead – with the occasional man speaking up. I don’t feel that the ladies intentionally take the lead – they just step in to fill the vacuum.
But you do appear sexist, and rather foolish as well. One simply has to look at some of the great intellects, philosophers and scientists in history: Augustine, Aquinas, Abelard, Erasmus, Descartes, Kant, Kierkegaard, Edwards, Grotius, Pascal, Lewis, Galileo, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday, Mendal, Pasteur, Kelvin, and Clerk-Maxwell to name but a few.
Please note: they are all male Christians.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Bill correct me if I’m wrong, this thread has taken a turn in a different direction, so, i would dearly like to hear what Joan has to say.
I often have heard men say that women should not be leaders in the Church, but when they fail to do the job, if the women don’t step in – who will do it?
I’m just wondering if you have actually experienced this and also was it you who thought, these men are failing? Please tell me your point of view.
Thanks for this Bill. I was talking to a Catholic priest yesterday who told me about Loree Rudd. I think she is also a catholic. The reference to the two Christian leaders in the MasterChef article calling the Dalai lama “His Holiness” does not surprise me, especially as to their identities. Although they do good work within the social sphere, I am afraid that they water down the Gospel in the process. Again Christian leaders without intestinal fortitude.
Bill, I’ve been reading this site for some time now, but have never had the courage to make a comment.
As a female member of a church, I notice that the women are always taking an active role, which is great. However, when a man takes an active role, more people seem to take notice, and actually listen to what the man has to say. It seems that the men who take this role are so passionate about what they are saying, whereas some of the women are “just filling the vacuum”. Time for reflection in prayer time is probably what we need.
Harry is right in one sense. Much of the church is female orientated because modern, western Christianity is emotion based.
And this is a sad departure from the church’s legacy as the intellectual leaders of western progress.
Exactly what I was getting at Damien.
Bill, I used the words “more likely”. I did not say or imply there was a strict dichotomy. I don’t see anything sexist about that.
The Catholic tradition and many of its progeny have always made a big deal about rituals, silk robes and pretty headgear (for the priests and bishops I mean) that appeals to the fashion oriented.
On the other hand, the happy-clapper churches go for rock music, hand waving, dancing and other emotional trappings. Dare I even mention talking gibberish, sorry tongues.
I’m sure many are put off by these entertainment-based sideshows and would like a more intellectual, philosophical approach, but everything in life seems dumbed down these days to cater for the lowest common denominator.
Harry & Damien make a good point. We lack men because we are weak on the logical/rational and tend to the emotional.
How many men avoid church or go only to keep their wives happy or their kids safe? Then they keep quiet because they think that science and rationality show that the Bible can’t be right?
Reminds me of the Uniting Church pastor in Sydney who decided to follow an Alpha course with a Creation series. Much to his delight three men who had previously kept to the sidelines became keenly involved in church life when they realised that Genesis and Christianity made good historical, scientific and logical sense.
OK, I’m on my hobby-horse again – but many Christians do not believe that Genesis 1-11 is real history. Hence, sadly, many churches and denominations major on the emotional and effectively accept atheistic evolution – but have faith that ‘God did it’. They claim that the Bible and Christianity is compatible with millions of years of evolution – a claim that Richard Dawkins describes as ‘barking mad’.
Despite such clear challenges from atheists, many in the church deny the elephant in the room. E.g. I’ve seen a denominational pamphlet (claiming to answer questions atheists ask) dedicate 2 of 7 ‘answers’ to effectively admit that Genesis is wrong historically and scientifically.
Now if Genesis is wrong about history, and we don’t believe God is capable of telling us how, or how long, he took to make the world, then why should we believe the virgin birth or the resurrection? While some Christians can believe such contradictory things; it is not surprising that some people vote with their feet because they agree with Dawkins that believing such contradictions is ‘barking mad’.
Considering that “(m)en are more likely to be drawn to logical/rational explanations”, the churches’ defection from rational apologetics has seen the departure of many men.
Hmm, just realised that I agree that the creation-evolution issue is divisive – it keeps rational thinkers away from churches that accept ‘barking mad’ contradictions.
Harry, Damien, Bill: (Re: Church not for men)
The closest thing I’ve ever had to a church is when I spent 2 years as part of a team building a Bible museum.
For a guy – THAT’S church.
It took me right to the limits of my ability. Loved it. Some huge hours involved just before opening. Great example of utilisation of corporate giftings. (Sorry for the Christian-ese).
Since my engineering, computers, etc has little relevance to what happens in a local church, only a small part of me is useful there.
So tell me again. In church, why do we sit, stand and sing? And the next week it’s the same…(I notice it and I’m an OK singer, fairly musical and quite academic. Far out. I pity the poor Joe Blow tradie truck driver, or the go-get-it businessman who finds himself locked up for an hour)
Lamenting the lack of “real men” goes along with having nothing for them to actually DO.
It feels like we are killing time or “waiting” for something…
Bill – where have you addressed CREATIONISM and EVOLUTION in all this? That’s a big thing for men. A lot of them need answers to the mind before they’ll open their hearts. Women have less a barrier to the spiritual side.
At the risk of generalising, that’s why men fall into distractions about racing cars, and women fall into distractions about horoscopes. (Compare men and women’s magazines).
So – let’s stop talking and do something about it… 😉
I find lots of men have ideas that never get going. Like your blog idea here Bill. It got going. So let’s find and help others to get there thing happening, or join with others who are. Anyone know a network that does this?
Having been ‘churched’ for several decades and troubled by the gender imbalance, I was recently encouraged by David Murrow’s ‘Why men hate going to church’; the general message being that the average church tends to a feminine like ethos. Men, especially new converts or seekers, are often uncomfortable. I have seen men turn into mice in the presence of female leadership. Nevertheless, it’s a time for seeking God’s leading (that hasn’t changed) and being boldly courageous.
I believe that God is not finished with Australia yet and that Christian men will rise up, take their faith seriously as well as their role as head of their families in protecting their wives and children from the assault of secular humanism. I applaud the stories of the strong, heroic, Christian women who are taking a stand – God knows we need strong women – but it is of the utmost importance that strong Godly men rise up and take a stand for righteousness in the land.
We need to see a return to the objective truth of God’s word starting with Genesis 1 and 2. We need to see creation taught in our schools and not evolution. We are not descendants of the animal kingdom but descendants of Adam and Eve in the likeness and image of God.
We need to move from political correctness to God’s perspective. The feminist agenda taught in our educational system needs to be understood, in part, as an attack on the role of men, fatherhood and family.
We are in the midst of a battle of great proportions and it is imperative that we men clad in the full armour of God go to battle – we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Tim mentions “CreationISM and Evolution” (with my emphasis and de-emphasis). That’s a big issue – even without the ‘ISM’. But one of the issues is the widespread bias that denigrates Creation as an ‘ISM’, while Evolution is worshiped as a ‘SCIENCE’. So men, who, more so than women, often consider themselves as rational and ‘scientific’ are brow-beaten by the media to regard religion and creation as unscientific pie in the sky irrational ‘isms’.
But in reality evolution is NOT an objective experimental science. Evolution relies on ‘Science’ being defined as excluding the supernatural. As Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist, a Marxist, and a leader in evolutionary biology, wrote:
“It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
Clearly evolution is ‘ScienceISM” – a belief held DESPITE the evidence. Evolution has faith that the magic wands of time, chance, mutation and natural selection have caused the impossible to happen. But the actual scientific evidence is that neither natural selection nor mutation are capable of causing evolution from molecules to man. On the contrary, natural selection eliminates genes, while mutations damage genes. No amount of time will turn cumulative losses into net gains – rather, species become extinct. That’s devoltion not evolution.
So what should we do? As Tim says: “a lot of (men) need answers to the mind before they’ll open their hearts.” Clearly we need to proclaim “the gospel” – but we often think only of the New Testament. However, we also need to proclaim and defend the Bible as the true history of the real world. This will embolden men to accept Jesus, both emotionally and intellectually, because they will have the truth and confidence to defend the whole of the Gospel from Adam to Jesus as the real history of life.
For relevant resources: On the creation-evolution issue, try http://creation.com; For presenting the gospel with “Firm Foundations – from Creation to Christ” (the title of a syllabus book), try New Tribes Mission; or books such as “By this Name” or “Stranger on the Road to Emmaus” from http://GoodSeed.com. All three organisations produce excellent material that takes Genesis as it is written.
Just read Brad’s post. Agree. But we do need to teach evolution too – warts and all so that truth will out.
If you watched MasterChef tonight, did you notice how these two Christian leaders refused to even mention Jesus Christ in their prayers, although the name of Buddha was bandied about all night? Pretty sad really.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
This is a snippet from “why men hate going to church”
Now you know how men feel. Very few churches offer ministry opportunities that capitalize on men’s skills and experience. Men long to give of their best to the Master, but few churches want what men have got.
I have often loved and been changed by the hard words from pastors like Paul Washer or Leonard Ravenhill, but I am rarely changed or excited by meek, tolerant, nice sermons or programs.
Not saying a feminist touch is bad – there are times where that is needed – but all the time? A balance is certainly desperately needed.
You write, ” Where are the men with backbone, with guts, with ….., if I can put it that way.” Of course you can put it that way, it’s the choice you made. But whatever possessed you to use the gutter language of our common enemy that is both unnecessary and degrading to the men you hope to change? Don’t you realise that your unwarranted comment gets behind the pants of every man and automatically undresses them in front of everybody else? Surely you understand that when people are made naked, they become ashamed. If you have half the perception that I and others credit you with, don’t you realise that this is what happens, consciously and sub-consciously, across society when you and others use these terms and talk like that? If you, for a moment, understand that sexuality or genitalia is not the source of courage, and your article indicates that you do not, then why did you use this language? If you have children, how are you going to justify that kind of speech to them?
When I read I read your article, I was shocked, and realised also that I had unconsciously put you above the people and moral outlooks where these words are common. It was a salutary lesson to realise that you are not faultless, and that certain perspectives are unconsciously and subtilely formed. If this comment agitates you, please consider that I am talking about my incorrect perceptual processes, and that I am not claiming to be morally superior to you.
There are plenty of men and women who have no respect for their sex and sexuality, and speak in a derogative fashion accordingly, and it is a language that is becoming increasingly used in “mainstream” conversation and media. It is the gutter moving from the margins to the centre. Don’t follow them there. Language is the visible tip of the invisible world view iceberg. Please consider that if you want men to be men, you won’t do it by using language that shames them sexually in public.
As to the point of your article itself, yes, I ask the same question too, but I have to ask it of myself before I look at anyone else. Some of the reasons given by your correspondents I think are valid, but what do I think? That it started long ago, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, where women came for whatever reason, to be regarded as the moral guardian of the home, and hence the nation. Then generations of men would have grown up leaving such things to the women, and then came the feminist revolution where men were actively hated, and conditioned from kindergarten accordingly. A change has been wrought in the male psyche where to stand up for anything, except the environment or perhaps “human rights”, is actually almost impossible (at least with out rebirth). You would have noticed via all media forms that women are portrayed as out there, and the male is just a follower. There are no, or few manly male role models. Though males are in positions of visible leadership, they seems prisoners to a view that reduces them as men.
Just as the Christ encounter changes us fundamentally, perhaps we also need to consciously consider that God intends to remake us both Men AND Women, not just “saints”. If both the masculine and feminine are expressions of the Divine, (“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Gen 1:27.) then we need to examine this concept and investigate how this works out in ourselves, and in society etc, and not follow the modern heresy that we are all interchangeable or just a “social construct”.
Yes it is evident that you are passionate, but if I might be allowed to demur. Of the nearly 1000 people who have read this, you are the only one to complain about this one word. If I felt the term was obscene or unacceptable, I would not have used it. But I did use it, so I obviously did not feel it was. It is in fact a common, even mainstream, idiom, referring to whether one has guts or courage. While I am sorry you took offence at it, no offence was intended.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
The derivation of “guts” is from the plural of “gut”, a common medical term used to describe the digestive system. I fully agree with Bill that it not an offensive word.
Thanks for the support Harry, but I believe he was referring to the term I used after that word. It is slang for another medical term, which is an idiom referring to strength, masculinity, etc. But hopefully we won’t get too sidetracked here from the gist of the message in this article.
Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch
Thank you (and Harry) for your comments. My response is this. I didn’t write, and don’t write now, to be argumentative. You claim that the term is common, and even mainstream, but it wasn’t always so. Common perhaps by men among men, but not in mixed company, which is what your readership is.
That the vulgar has become mainstream is the concern, and that Christians are using the same language, when there is no necessity.
Even if a 1000 readers read your site, and none but I have commented, do numbers really have anything to do with the issue? Is not graciousness of speech and respect beyond the numbers game? Perhaps many others didn’t know how to address the subject with you, as often happens when people think highly of others.
You say you did not feel it was obscene or unacceptable, and I understand that this is the reason for your speaking, but that refers to your perception, not the essence of the term, whether is right or wrong.
Yes, it is slang for a medical term, and not a nice one, but it’s not just its crudity that I object to, but what it does to those who hear it. There are lots of other slang terms for bodily and sexual functions, and medical terms, but I’m sure that you wouldn’t use them like ‘mainstream” or in front of your wife and children.
However, as you have gently demurred, I do not wish to continue the matter, so thank you for allowing me the space to speak, and to have this brief conversation with you. I know that you didn’t mean to offend, May God continue to give you courage for the task and life at hand, and ahead. Ps. 29:11a.
Yours more quietly,
Great article, Bill. As a Christian woman and a biological scientist I would like to say that I did find your use of the word “bxxxs” surprising, but NOT offensive. However, I did find very offensive the equation of speaking in tongues with gibberish in one of the above comments. Hopefully on a more helpful note, there are plenty of highly qualified biologists out there who can write very logically and very persuasively that evolution as postulated by Richard Dawson is implausible ie downright wrong! Sadly, none of them appears to be Christian. I have read a very good book on the subject by Michael Behe “The Edge of Evolution” (sorry, I have just discovered that he is a Catholic – so cannot understand his lack of reference to the Fall in the last chapter, – perhaps he does not want it in a scientific book). Of course he is opposed by many scientists including those in the department of which he is Professor – a man with enough “intestinal fortitude” perhaps.
Robert you say this is deeply offensive, I beg to differ. On the contrary, I find it a little on one’s nose for our brethren to be offended by a little word. Heck, isn’t this half the problem the church is having, trying to reaching the common man? Try to keep your eye on the prize.
Personally I liked Bill’s use of balls. It brought a smile to my face. I didn’t mentally undress Bill and picture him naked, though even if I did it wouldn’t have disturbed me but quite the opposite. The human body is God’s most beautiful creation, perfect in every detail. We should not be ashamed of our bodies, only if naked in public.
The male genitalia would only be offensive in the context of vulgarity or rape; activities that could hardly be further from Bill’s ministry.
As for the barking mad types as described, I probably fit into this category. Sorry!!!
I think the discussion this post has generated speaks volumes. I was glad to read of Kate and Loree taking a stand. I must admit I was raised with strong values in a conservative baptist church, but more recently I’ve felt more shy I guess about standing up for what I believe in, though I still do.
Maybe its the church I’ve been involved in as an adult. Its a great church in many ways but lacking in a clear strength of leadership. Church of Christ is non-doctrinal so they don’t really take a position on things like same-sex marriage, creation/ evolution. I’ve always felt like these are important things. I love teaching by Mark Driscoll and Paul Washer for this reason.
Perhaps its the influence of culture also. If you don’t agree with mainstream opinion then you keep it to your self. I really feel like the Church should be strong in countering this, and empowering men in this. But maybe us men just need to stand and be counted.
@angie, well said. I find that @Robert Greggery’s remarks are a classic example of why many men wouldn’t go to church. Yes, Christians should be moderate in their speech, and “balls” may be a little vulgar, but … seriously Robert… you’ll never make a farmer!
How about we get real? Modern Christian men have been turned into a wimps by feminism, the PC movement and the church alike. In church, if men aren’t having to watch their backs due to women manouvering and gossiping in the background to achieve their aims, then they are being bombarded from the front with whoosy preaching and calls to be more SNAG-like. And we wonder why churches aren’t relevant today (apart from the little thing of the lack of Christ in today’s churches)?
Hi Bill. This is an issue that I have been praying into and considering for a while as I have concerns about what has happened to men in the body of Christ also. I believe that men need to be hearing things that will empower them therefore I’ll share something that the Lord showed me a while back when I was asked to share on the topic of “Men’s Issues” in a prayer meeting.
Paul said to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2 v 13: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” So I started looking at what happened between God creating Adam and God creating Eve.
• Genesis 2 v 15: Adam was put in the garden of Eden to keep it and tender it. This gives Adam responsibility and purpose.
• Genesis 2 v 16-17: Adam was given the instruction regarding the trees in the garden. This sets boundaries for Adam.
• Genesis 2 v 19: Adam was given the honour of giving the animals names. This gives Adam achievement.
Look how much is invested in Adam!! Personally, I believe that in the local church, this is how men need to be empowered. Men need something of purpose to do. Men should be responsible for passing on God’s instruction. Men need to see achievement in their roles. I believe that it is important that men are able to see their roles in the church as having purpose, as being done ‘unto God’, rather than just ‘serving the church’. Then it will be meaningful.
Personally, I don’t believe that the issue of women in leadership can be separated from this issue. I believe that when God created Adam and Eve, He created a complementary system; Adam to lead and serve, Eve to submit to that leadership and assist. I believe that the same model applies for the church, which is why Paul links back to Genesis in his instructions to Timothy. This would empower men in the church. When something needs to be done, men would step up and do it as they would see it as their role to take the initiative, take the lead.
Men aren’t being encouraged to take the lead because the principle of leadership and submission is not a popular one in today’s world. Many women seem to see submission as implying that they are second class, or that they are being discriminated against. As a result, they replicate Eve’s attitude in the garden of Eden and decide for themselves what needs to be done. Meanwhile many men, knowing what the Bible teaches in this area are doing what Adam did and are ignoring God’s instruction (sorry, but I don’t agree with your assessment that it is “really quite complex”), instead going along with what women want, in a similar manner to Adam participating in Eve’s taking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
I’ve just discovered your response to my postings, and I am amazed at your comments, and your “well said” to Angie. Obviously, neither of you have understood what I have said. So I’ll make one recommendation and three points. My recommendation to you both is to re-read both of my posts until you get the message. Then you should see that I am in substantial agreement with you (Garth).
The first of the three points is that if you were to attend the church where I co-pastor, you would find that neither I nor my co-pastor preach political correctness in any form that we are aware of. God did not place us in the position of speaking for Him, and then for us to speak lies from the world, or its opinion.
Secondly, some reflection on your part would lead you to realise that there is a vast difference between church, feminist, and PC induced wimpishness, and its opposite of being good mannered because one believes that people, being made in God’s image, deserve respectful and uplifting speech.
Thirdly, I was born, lived and worked on two farms and one orchard, until God called me study and later to go into ordained ministry at the ripe old age of 58. If He had not called me, I’d still be there, and loving it. And if I was there, I wouldn’t be using language which you appear to find necessary to be a farmer. As for my “remarks being a classic example of why many men wouldn’t go to church”, it is precisely the opposite where I minister. The men (and women) know by the language I use, that they are respected, and they appreciate that.
Yours to consider,
Thank you for your article, yes, I`d like you to expand on it. I`m interested in your wisdom and what you can add to encourage men (& women) to be what God created us to be, especially in regards to roles in church.
I`m most of the way through a book called “Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood” edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem published by “Crossway Books” Illinois. and am finding it a well put together read, using Scripture all the way through.
I too look foreward to the day when Christian men in authority are recorded as speaking like the women you mentioned above.
PS. Is it an oxymoron to be a christian-feminist?
I recently listened to Stephen Strang, CEO of Charisma Magazine and publisher of the Modern English Version Bible. He was saying that pastors in the U.S. need to become bolder in their churches speaking up regarding values and so forth. Yet he mentioned many U.S. pastors have become timid in speaking out re political issues/values due to legislation past by President Johnson. This legislation threatened that any non-profit organisation that looked to get involved in politics could loose their non-profit status. This has caused many U.S. pastors to back off in being a bold voice. Yet this did not apply to evaluating political platforms, which pastors can discuss with their people. Only one church ever lost their non-profit status, in that they took out full page advertising to promote a particular party. Happily, though, their non-profit status was later restored. This is certainly not a day nor an hour where we can afford Christian leaders to be timid. Of course, there never was a day nor an hour when we could afford Christian leaders to be timid. 2 Timothy 1:7 still applies to today’s church.