"When Faith Gets Dangerous"
"A lot of guys out there wouldn't have the balls to be here. Are you ready to be a man? Are you ready to kick ass? Are you ready to grab your sword and say, `OK family, I'm going to lead you?' Buckle up. This is GodMen!"
As reported by Newsweek's Eileen Finan, "This wasn't your Daddy's religious revival."
We don't force men, Christian or otherwise, to wear "spiritual bras."
[T]he more dangerous parts of our faith are not well represented, the very parts that are most attractive to men.
This is our sacred place where women are not invited. We have a society where men are often demeaned for the sake of a joke. When boys or men behave consistent to their male nature, our society has a knee-jerk reaction and says men must tone it down. ... In GodMen NONE of our maleness is toned down because we believe, as the Bible states, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
We believe Jesus was in fact THE God Man: fully God and fully human simultaneously. He told us to emulate him, knowing that in our sinful and fallen condition we will never do so perfectly. Not to mention... we thought the name sounded cool.
Their Jesus isn't anybody's idea of a "nice" guy. Their Jesus is made in their own image. Their Jesus has balls.
"We connect men to their spiritual masculinity -- making them dangerous in a righteous way."
The church has been "feminized," and godly men -- GodMen -- are pushing back, ready to Grow a Pair!" [photo/audio link] for Jesus.
We've been beaten down
Feminized by the culture crowd,
No more nice guy, timid and ashamed
We've had enough, cowboy up
In the power of Jesus name
Welcome to the battle
A million men have got your back
Jump up in the saddle
Grab a sword, don't be scared
Be a man, grow a pair!
GodMen tells us that it "reflects a fresh movement among Christian men, a return to biblical patterns of masculinity. Its purpose is to create better disciples, citizens, husbands, and fathers." With the limited perspective afforded to them from down in the cheap seats, their manifesto for biblical patriarchy might sound like a groundbreaking approach. Were they to squint up at the sky boxes, Doug Phillips and his friends might claim primacy . . . but I digress.
The Los Angeles Times takes us inside the GodMen revival in Nashville.
The strobe lights pulse and the air vibrates to a killer rock beat. Giant screens show mayhem and gross-out pranks: a car wreck, a sucker punch, a flabby (and naked) rear end, sealed with duct tape.
Brad Stine runs onstage [video link] in ripped blue jeans, his shirt untucked, his long hair shaggy. He's a stand-up comic by trade, but he's here today as an evangelist, on a mission to build up a new Christian man -- one profanity at a time. "It's the wuss-ification of America that's getting us!" screeches Stine, 46.
A moment later he adds a fervent: "Thank you, Lord, for our testosterone!"
It's an apt anthem for a contrarian movement gaining momentum on the fringes of Christianity. In daybreak fraternity meetings and weekend paintball wars, in wilderness retreats and X-rated chats about lust, thousands of Christian men are reaching for more forceful, more rugged expressions of their faith.
They're reaching for what Jesus meant for them to have -- a Testosterone High [video link].
Forget the yin and the yang
I'll take the boom and the bang....
Don't need in touch with my feminine side!
All I want is my testosterone high.
The GodMen philosophy is a simple one:
- Men need a battle.
- Men need weapons/tools to fight with
- Men need to be taught how to use the weapons
- The most neglected element: Men need to be told "Ok guys, lets go fight."
Christian radio host Paul Coughlin, author of "No More Christian Nice Guy," takes the stage. His backdrop: a series of wanted posters featuring one Jesus of Nazareth.
"Jesus was a very bad Christian," Coughlin declares. After all, he says, the Son of God trashed a temple and even used profanity -- or the New Testament equivalent -- when he called Herod "that fox."
"The idea of Jesus as meek and mild is as fictitious as anything in Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code,' " says Coughlin, 40.
Yep -- no more Christian nice guy. Coughlin's Jesus is another breed of cat entirely.
I was told for decades to emulate this naïve and Gumby-like Jesus. And unfortunately for me and others, I succeeded. My life and ability to bless and lead my family suffered for lack of insight, power, and wisdom, among other profound virtues.
I'm encouraging ministers across the globe to give guys what we really need so we can really follow God into the dark corners of their hearts and the mysterious land of their faith: The shrewdness of serpents and all this ominous phrase represents.
Jesus commends shrewd behavior as found in the Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:8). The Message provides a clearer insight into this challenging parable: "Now here's a surprise: the master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way -- but for what is right -- using every adversity to stimulate you in creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you'll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior."
We can be grateful that contemporaries like Dr. James Dobson, Chuck Colson, and John Eldredge among others, did haven't fallen into the Christian Nice Guy fallacy and mistake niceness for wise goodness.
Roland Martinson is a professor of ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, who agrees that Jesus has been "domesticated" and that the "rough-hewn edges and courage ... got lopped off." He even concurs in the importance of engaging men's interest in the church, while worrying that testosterone-based worship will result in the usual, and entirely predictable, outcome: "Too often, it turns into the man being in charge of the woman. ... Christianity has been there before, and we learned how wrong it was."
But it looks as if the GodMen are going there again, just as fast as their dirt bikes can travel.
One new aficionado of "Macho Jesus" Christianity is 29 year-old Seth Kalb, who likens GodMen to "Promise Keepers on crack." Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but Dr. Freud would have a field day with Kalb's description of what attracts him to GodMen: "I wanted the real meat. ... They touch on real things here, like masturbation. That's something that would never be discussed in church, where you are supposed to keep your shame quiet."
No-holds-barred discussions about masturbation and porn addiction are probably a big part of the reason for the "No Girls Allowed" rule at GodMen rallies, where Brad Stine lays out his list of a real man's rules for his woman, beginning with "Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down."
Stine's wife, Desiree, says she supports manly leadership; it seems to her the natural and God-ordained order of things. As she puts it: "When the rubber hits the bat, I want to know my husband will protect me."
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.
"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."
Apparently, being the leader of his family doesn't require Miller's actual presence, not when his camping buddies need him more. Writing at the GodMen blog, Brad Stine chides women who didn't understand why they weren't welcome at a Pennsylvania event.
Now folks, the last thing I am is anti-woman. I love women, need women, and respect women. Heck, my mom's one! But it really ticked me off that they would think it ok to enter our man cave. Men have very few events that the are allowed to have just for themselves w/o women feeling we are being insensitive. Women want to get into everything that used to be exclusively male including our sports. From little league, to fireMEN, women want in.
Women want to get into Augusta which is a private golf course where the Masters is held. ( I know you guys know this but this is for any women who have sneaked onto our site and are reading this. )
Funny how in our culture even that pragmatic, documented, truth, is
supposed to be censored for the sake of not hurting someones feelings. Saying
men are superior than women in certain areas isn't insensitive...it's true. Just like women are better at some things then men. You would have to be a tenured professor of sociology at Berkley to be too stupid to grasp that.
So all I am saying is women, do your best in everything you choose, rise as high as you can and shoot for the stars but please leave some things just for men. Godmen is such a sacred space. We'll even reciprocate. I hereby promise that no Godmen will EVER sneak into a Women of Faith conference. Trust me, we would rather be shopping for shoes at the mall on super bowl Sunday.
Nope, nothing insensitive about that. Still, if their wives and mothers were present, some men might feel a tad inhibited about full participation in GodMen discussion groups.
One forum, titled "Training the Penis," addressed struggles with masturbation and pornography. ... In another talk, Nate Larkin, a former pastor, told the crowd how he picked up his first prostitute on the way to preach at a candlelight service on Christmas Eve. Larkin says that he only began to overcome his sex addiction when he stopped pretending to be a perfect Christian. "This group targets the guys who went to Promise Keepers once and didn't go back, the guys who believe in God, but relationships in church to them seem forced and fake," he says. "There is an underserved market and I think it is a rising tide."
A rising tide or lost at sea? Either way, GodMen probably shouldn't try to crash Vision Forum's Eleventh Annual Titanic Dinner to Remember the Doctrine of 'Women and Children First.'
Unlike any dinners that actually took place aboard the Titanic, no females are allowed at the Vision Forum event, either -- first, second or last -- but Doug Phillips most likely still wouldn't permit any "Training the Penis" talk at the dinner table.
[Title image: GodMen.org]
"When Faith Gets Dangerous" | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
"When Faith Gets Dangerous" | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)