Sometimes I wonder if Peter LaBarbera likes to purposely publish items on his Americans for Truth for Homosexuality site that make the professional anti-gay, womb-controlling set seem so absurd and untethered from reality to throw us off track.
Take this piece Peter features, Scott Lively’s “Masculine Christianity,” that is bust-a-gut hilarious. And it starts with LaBarbera’s quite revealing intro.
I’m to the point where I change the radio station out of principle (and aggravation) whenever I hear a wispy male Christian song that sounds like a femmy, religious version of the Bee Gees. Certainly, Christian men should be more jazzed about fighting for Truth in the Culture War than they are about succeeding in business and watching sports.
In other words, Peter wants to bond with a Real Christian Man, who knows how to thrust his manhood around in the name of Christ. Well Scott Lively gets quite specific about what kind of masculinity is honored in the twinkle of God’s eye.
Unfortunately, the modern American church, along with the majority of its leaders, has rejected masculinity in favor of an effeminate Christianity. Too many (though by no means all) of today’s pastors, priests, deacons and elders shrink timidly from the challenge of the world, more interested in decorating the interior of their church buildings than in doing cultural and political battle with the enemies of God. Ravening lions rage unchecked throughout the land, while church leaders hold potlucks and retreats.
Where is the masculine Jesus of the Bible in the life of today’s church? The Jesus who threw down the tables of the moneychangers and drove them out of the temple with a whip? The Jesus who faced down and tamed the Gerasene demoniac? The Jesus who, to their faces, excoriated the cultural and political leaders of the day as a “brood of vipers ” and “whitewashed sepulchers full of dead men ‘ s bones?” This masculine Jesus has been ejected from the American church. In His place is a false and emasculated Christ, as submissive and fearful of controversy as the men who now lead His flock.
Instead, this is vigorous rebuke to both women and men within the church who reject the masculine side of Christianity and have thus abandoned those outside our “church families,” leaving them to fend for themselves against the forces of evil in the world. This is a rebuke to male church leaders, who channel their masculine competitiveness into sports contests in church gymnasiums instead of contending for influence over the community outside the church walls. This is a rebuke to those pastors’ wives who keep their shepherd husbands safely close to the flock when they should be sometimes out hunting the bears and wolves.
Apparently God likes Bears. Or is Scott projecting? Is Alan Chambers, for instance, Exhibit A of the kind of butch “Christian” masculinity Lively and The Peter seek? Just asking.
The defining characteristic of each of these examples is the conquest of evil by God’s people - mostly men. Masculinity is by no means the exclusive domain of men, but it naturally has greater appeal to men in the same way that feminine ministries of the church appeal more to women. Indeed, this explains why the majority of church members today are women or married couples in which the husband attends church at the request of the wife. Where are the men of this generation? Though some are in church, they are significantly outnumbered by women, and they tend to be the least active members of the congregation. Is it any wonder in the light of the de-emphasis of masculinity by the church?