If this is your first visit to this blog it might be best to read the short edition right below this one to get some perspective. The topic at hand is how we are unwittingly driving away or emasculating our true male heroes from the modern church. To start with I want to clearly point out that this is not an attack or even a hint of disrespect leveled at our “women folk.” They have historically been the ones to carry the weight of actual church ministry and have always outnumbered their bearded counterparts. They were the only ones to show up at the most important grave side gathering! We are indebted to them and this is not an attack on their contributions or their value to the church. The person of the Lord Jesus was unique in that He perfectly represented the natural strengths found in both sexes. My point here is that He demonstrated a complete picture, both necessary elements for a healthy church – (1) the caring, accepting, forgiving Nurturer, and (2) a confident, strong, disciplining, masculine Leader.
Today, we only have half of that combination in most of our churches. Church life has become very emotive, feeling, and nurturing with strong emphasis on deeds over creeds. Yes, we all know Jesus was “meek and mild, gentle and kind,” but He also cleared the Temple, making a whip out of cords and driving out the money changers, overturning tables, and notice, no one stood up to Him! He called one of his best friends “the devil,” and don’t forget the 30 years of grueling carpentry work! He did NOT look like those Renaissance pictures of some girlie-man with long hair, frail and effeminate. That image is not the Son of God that was beaten and bloodied, whipped and crucified on a rugged tree, hanging for three long hours. When you compare those classic paintings with the description of Him in Revelation 19:11-16 you just have to scratch your head.
Have you noticed the current move in our society to render real men impotent? Owning guns is now considered a Neanderthal practice, hunting is viewed even worse, and contact sports is doing all it can to lower the aggressiveness so to eradicate any possible injury although the very nature of the activity is to crash wildly into each other in an effort to win. The word I’m looking for here is RISK! The most content men alive are those that have been given a larger-than-life challenge and the opportunity to achieve that impossibility (a definition of risk). However, when men are not challenged at home, at work, or at church they can easily slide into taking other “secret” risks. These can develop into aberrant behavior and suck the very “hero-style” life out of them leaving them disillusioned and in their wake destroyed sons, daughters, and families.
A key ingredient in the development of a hero is a nebulous “something”- it’s this larger than life quality that he is willing to die for as well as live for, and it requires a large dose of risk before it clicks. This, of course, is melded with godly fear. Without it, men go back on the shelf, living out their “manliness” vicariously through some fictional TV character or worse, some professional sports icon. The bottom line is without this hero mentality they DO nothing. You may have unknowingly shelved heroes, not to mention overlooked the supermen that are in your community, men that will never darken the door of your church because they believe “stallions go to bars and geldings go to church,” and you give them no reason to think otherwise!
Here is my first observation that points the finger at how the church has contributed to the “emasculated men syndrome.” Some of you are NOT going to like this! Just try to critically observe the “worship” music that has become very popular in many of our contemporary settings. This is NOT a rant on contemporary music; however some of the lyrics are extremely feminine, speaking of love affairs with Jesus in words that no real man would ever consider using with another man. Just stop and read some of those lines. You need to realize that men visualize Christ as our Commander and Chief, our King, our Lord, and believe it or not ladies, this is a type of male intimacy. But when almost every song is touchy, touchy, feely, feely we are unable to sing those words with any self-respect. To us, those words come out as forced, disingenuous, and it’s like an affront to how He created us as men. There are plenty of contemporary songs that appeal to men (i.e., the “Promise Keepers” litany of albums) but they are rarely used, opting for the more “emotionally charged” songs. I’m just asking for some consideration, a balance, more songs on His character, nature, holiness and less on how we feel about Him.This phenomena in music is completely unintentional, but with men making up less than 34 % of the average church membership, and even less of them actively involved, it’s time for us to start contemplating what is keeping away those “mighty men of David.” We desperately need strong, biblically-seasoned, male heroes. This is observation number one, and there are several more to follow. Stay tuned!