Wait a minute. That was supposed to be The Flesh, wasn’t it?
Yes, Virginia, but we are trying to make a point here.
Vash, in her easily amused post, was commenting on the role of Masculinity in the Church. Sort of, per this post. I read it, and see it as a new incarnation of an old problem within the Church ( as in the historical Church ). The evangelistic missions of the nineteenth and early twentieth century often mixed cultural mandates with Gospel Truth. It probably came from the highly imperialistic vision of creating colonies that often accompanied the apostolic work of missions in lands other than those which were English/Western based.
One of the first to break from that mold was Hudson Taylor. He recognized that it was not the English way of life, but the Way, the Life, and the Truth that was important for the Chinese.
I think it is this same idea, in a different form that calls for Christians to show their “manliness” by “Put an end to preaching by cheesy, whiny, quiche eating, preening Nancy Boys … right now! It freaks us meat eaters out” 1.
There has been, oftentimes, an abandonment of responsibility by men in much of Christendom of the West, I will admit that. But my experience is that it is for a different reason.
So long as the Church is nothing but a social gathering club and coffee klatsch on Sunday mornings, it disintegrates to largely female interests. And the sixties showed that much of what was called feminine interest -itself- changed and left the Churches diminishing.
What people need, whether man or woman, is meaning. And men, further, are more impatient with what gives meaning to their lives. They want to feel that they are using their time connecting into God, primarily, and people, secondarily, in church. Woman are more satisfied with simply having points of connection. We find our own with each other and with God. Men need help with that. So the Church has to be more to the point in its commitment to the reality of relating to God to keep men’s interest. Otherwise, the world holds far more draw. In the world they can be respected for being as mean as they wanna to be ( well, sort of, -I stumbled into being facetious here).
A church social club is mired in fake smiles and insincere ploys. It doesn’t have much payoff for many men. But lots of women have learned to like that …still. Sadly enough.
But you get something real, and something effective spiritually, and the Church revives on all accounts, including the commitment of the men. And the satisfaction of the women. The younger generations get something to aspire to, and the elderly get something to be excited about.
Without going overboard here, the relationship of Christ and the Church is compared to that of marriage between a man and woman. Paul says that is a mystery, so I’ll leave it at that. Mysteries are for you to explore personally.
I will say that life that reverberates with the reality of Jesus is definitely a technicolor experience. It becomes something highly attractive to all who catch a view.
But the cocooning of deathly social hypocrisies has got to go….. there’s no technicolor spreading of ones wings with that.
oh. and one more thing. Cleanliness is not next to godliness.
We Americans just like stuff sanitized. Our way.
Did I digress enough yet?
Let’s just say I see what Doug is saying, but I just don’t agree with either his analysis or his remedy.
2 thoughts on “The Church, the World, and The Devil”
It’s an interesting point. If I understand you correctly, you’re saying that the presence of a type of masculinised Christianity revitalises the church. It prevents a “disintegration” of the church into a meeting place and place for gossips by injecting the sense of a more personal connection into it. I think that’s a quite valid observation, IF men behave as a catalyst. My quotee doesn’t seem to see them as a catalyst for change – more as a flood or a shock battalion destroying what’s before it.
I had problems with not only his mode of expression, which made him come across as a bit of a chest-beating a*sehole, but also his assumptions about masculinity, which belong in “The Surrendered Wife” or some crappy 50’s novel. He pours scorn on a type of man which he feels to be “not manly enough” with the further implication that this man is either “one of the women” (effectively asexual), or gay.
So keep the women out for intimidating men, and then the unmanly men out for not being proper men, and then I start to think that here we have a man less concerned with what you believe is the Word of God, and more with cultural assumptions in HIS culture of “what it means to be a man”. I think it’s a kind of damaging myth, or stereotype.
(Nice to see you commenting, BTW. I hope I’ll make a proper go of it this time as long as 20six don’t start charging.)
I think my understanding of the order is that there is revival of true relationship with God first, and then a right sort of masculinity would follow. But, in all actuality, there is no male or female in Christ. Being in Christ is a spiritual state that affects everything else. It affects the physical and the expression of ones sexuality. It is a totally different expression of strength.
I do not believe there is a duality in ones Christian life. There is a permeation and integration. Without homogenization. Because in Christ we not only retain our individuality, we grow it properly.
It is a hard issue to address simply because modern thinking wants to filter it through the tension of power pulls between the sexes. And that is not what this is about. Christianity is about proper expression of what God has made. It is an expression very foreign to our normal way of doing things.
That is why it is revolutionary….. to everyone.
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