Emasculated Men & Church

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The blog world is a fascinating place to explore. It’s amazing the useful information that you can find out there. It’s also a great way to learn from people who have similar passions and thoughts. One such person is a gal by the name of Bridget. I don’t know who she is or even where she is, but I know where she stands. I ran across an article posted on her blog . The article is from worldnetdaily and addresses a subject we have been talking about for a couple of years now. Here are some of the key thoughts:

How the church has emasculated men

Posted: January 31, 2008
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Ever wonder why Christian men are so emasculated? Or why most normal red-blooded men find it absolutely impossible to relate to today’s clergy?You’re not alone. I use to think the problem was me, that I was old fashioned – at least that’s what I was told.But then I had an epiphany.God didn’t send girly-men to preach the Gospel, build churches and reform society back in the days of the early church. And He certainly won’t do that today either.J. Grant Dys argues on his blog that the spinoff effects of this reality can be seen in our families (or at least what’s left of them), our schools, our clubs and in the prisons of our society. And ironically, with the death of genuine masculinity, an increasing number of young men are seeking to reclaim their manhood in homosexuality.

On a cultural level, we all know that the idea of a “real man” has almost been beaten out of our social consciousness.

Men are objects of scorn and vilification. Watch any TV commercial or sitcom and you’ll witness a barrage of attacks, all designed to assault the dignity of real masculinity and the historic male role model as provider and protector.

I’m not saying anything new here. Many have already made this point, some much better than I. But what concerns me isn’t that broader culture has rejected masculinity, it is that the church has aided and abetted this concept of manhood as a pariah. And it’s not just the liberal churches that are guilty on this score.

All too often the pastoral “role model” in evangelical circles mirrors that “Simpson’s” character, the Rev. Love Joy. Our pastors are either quaint, odd, harmless pushovers, or they are slick metrosexual types who can cry at the drop of a dime – literally – but have absolutely no courage to stand up against real evil or teach the unequivocal truth with authority.

They’ve suppressed godly male assertiveness, opting instead to “be nice.” They have abdicated their calling to “speak the truth” in the interest of political correctness. And they have decided that manipulating people with emotional self-help books and anecdotal sermonizing is better for the bottom line than training and teaching the men in their congregations to be leaders and warriors for Christ. And as a result, the evangelical church is suffering from a dearth of real men.

Is feminism to blame?

No doubt feminism is a force of evil in North American society. It is evil not because it has tried to establish equality. Rather it is precisely because it hasn’t established equality that it is guilty of perpetrating a fraud. What feminism has succeeded in doing is to convince both sexes that the only masculine identity that is valuable is an effeminate male. That in fact, the only way for equality to exist is for men to be like women, or simply not to exist.

Now, we can blame the feminist movement all we want – but it won’t change a thing because in the end, men have embraced their own feminization. As Dys points out, men have done this to themselves because they have become soft and lazy.

Men are far more interested in accommodating the women’s movement than in asserting their masculinity. And whether that’s because we want to be “popular with the girls,” because we are too insecure and unsure about leading, or if it comes out of sheer exasperation – “You want to take over the leadership? Go ahead, I just don’t want to argue anymore” – we’ve conceded our role in family, church and the state.

But let’s be clear about one thing: We had no right to abdicate that responsibility. (Emphasis mine)

The solution is very simple: Men need to be men again. They need to take up their responsibility the way God intended them to behave. And the church needs to re-learn how to help them do that again.

Since The Grove began, we’ve had a particular desire to reach out and connect men and their faith. To build them up to take their biblical role of leadership in the home and in the church. Surprisingly, we haven’t caught a lot of flack for that yet, but I sense that the prevailing view of the culture is going to start nipping at our heels this year.

This has not been an easy task to figure out. Men have been beaten up so badly in the culture and in most churches that they have lost their way. We certainly haven’t figured out the button to push to turn this problem around yet, but we’re trying.

I would love to hear some thoughts from the rest of you:

  • Grovers – I would love any comments from you on the article itself
  • Church Leaders – If there are any church leaders out there reading this, is your church working on anything in particular to reach men? Have you had any successes to share?
  • Non-Church Leaders – Have you had frustrations with men and the church? Either as a man or as a woman who would like to see men rise up into biblical manhood?

3 Responses

  1. Came across this today! Found it very interesting!

    Raising Bold Sons
    Vicki Courtney
    Author, Your Boy
    “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (Thess. 5:14).

    When Ryan was in kindergarten at a private Christian school, the headmaster would take the time to train the boys on the mechanics of a proper greeting. If he approached Ryan, he would extend his hand and say, “Well, hello Mr. Courtney. How are you today?” If Ryan looked down at the ground (like the average five-year-old), the headmaster would patiently and gently tell Ryan to extend his hand, look him directly in the eye, shake his hand firmly, and with confidence say, “Fine, thank you.” When Ryan would do so, he would say, “Atta boy, Ryan — good firm handshake.” It was a great example to me and proof that boys as young as five can learn to greet adults respectfully.

    Keith and I continued to enforce this school rule of etiquette in our home, and to this day our boys are generally at ease when greeting and conversing with adults. Had we not remained vigilant in training our boys in basic communication etiquette, they probably would be like the many boys who stare at the ground and grunt disrespectfully when adults speak to them. While I realize that many boys may be justifiably “bashful,” this does not mean we should allow it to be an excuse to respond to others with silence.

    Ryan was my bashful child, and we had to work with him to overcome it. I recall a time when we came to a standoff over his bashfulness. He was about ten years old, and I had told him we could rent a particular movie he had wanted to see. When we pulled up in front of the video rental store, I told him that I would wait in the car while he went in to ask if they had the movie in stock. He begged and pleaded for me to go in and would not budge from the car. I stood firm and told him, “Ryan, you have to learn to take care of things like this. This person behind the counter does not even know you. You have nothing to lose.” Finally, he gave up, faced his fear, and went into the store.

    I realized that because of his bashfulness, I had grown accustomed to communicating for him over the years, and now it had become an expectation on his part. I had effectively prevented him from learning necessary communication skills that were vital to his future. It was now or never. From that day forward, if he was looking for a particular item to buy with his allowance, I would have him take the initiative to call stores and find out the basic information. He was hesitant at first, but if he wanted the item badly enough, he would eventually break down and call. Today you would never know that Ryan ever had a bashful/shy side to him. Had we not recognized his bashful tendencies early on and made a concentrated effort to help him overcome them, I doubt he would have had the skills to go out and find his first summer job this past year.

    If timidity is allowed and even cultivated in our sons’ lives, it can breed a spiritual timidity over the years. If our sons are allowed to shy away from uncertainties, what will keep them from shying away from matters that require faith?

    Do you recall the story of Gideon sending out his messengers to summon the warriors for a battle to deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Midianites? In order to make sure that there is no question that the Israelites would be delivered by the hand of God, Gideon is told by God to pare down his force of warriors so they will have fewer men than the Midianites when they go into battle. To make the first cut of men, God tells Gideon this in Judges 7:3: “Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave and go home.’ Twenty-two thousand of them went home, leaving only ten thousand who were willing to fight” (NLT).

    No doubt, it would take a great amount of faith for the warriors to believe that they would prevail in the end, especially with fewer men. If your son were of fighting age, would he be among the remaining ten thousand who were willing to fight, or would he be among the twenty-two thousand who wimped out and went home? Without intervention by parents or others, timid boys almost always grow up to be timid men. Warriors have no reason to be timid and afraid; they know whom they serve.

    It is my belief that our culture has hijacked many of the components of biblical manhood. They have blurred the lines of what defines a man, leaving our boys and men confused and suffering from an identity crisis of sorts. Many men have abandoned their roles as providers, protectors, and spiritual leaders. Families are falling apart, marriages are in shambles, and gender roles have been redefined. The fallout is great, and today we are experiencing a shortage of real men. If our sons are to be real men, we must first help them cultivate the warrior spirit within. We must prepare them for the battlefields of life and groom them to be warriors, not wimps.

    Excerpted from Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World (Broadman & Holman Publishers). Copyright © 2006 by Vicki Courtney. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

  2. I’m sure it comes as a surprise to anyone who knows me , but I wholeheartedly agree with the article Coach Mark posted. I grew up oblivious to it, but this is one of those things that, once you see it, you can’t UNsee it. I get so disgusted with most of the things on television. I abhor the fact that so many of the networks and cable tv stations have feminist agendas that are becoming less and less hidden. Commercials are downright degrading to men, as are many sitcoms. It infuriates me!! And it scares me–I’m raising a boy, and with all that is in me, I want him to grow up proud of the fact that he is a MAN. I think the root of that is teaching him to see a true picture of our Savior, as he is presented in Scripture. Not just the warm, fluffy, sweet guy that wouldn’t hurt a flea (which is the picture most people have of Jesus), but as the strong, outspoken, bold man of God that he was.

    I could go on and on about this… so I’ll stop here for now. 🙂

  3. I don’t remember if Paul Coughlin mentioned this specifically at The Grove last April, but as he was working on one of his books, a discussion with a single Christian female working at a Christian publishing house shared that her and her friends (also single Christian females) agreed that…

    “an ideal man has been a Christian less than two years – then they still have some masculinity left.”

    How scary is that? Even women in the church aren’t attracted to the males created by modern Christianity!

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