Tuesday, December 21, 2010

If You Want to Change the World...

...Change the men. If you want to change the world, change the men who run it, work it, till it, and move it.

If you want to create a consumeristic society, delight men's eyes with pornography and children's games, forcing them to remain in a perpetual state of arrested development of juvenile maturity and interests. These grown boys will have no idea how to produce goods or create anything of quality; they will only know how to buy, use, and throw away.

If you want to create a ruthless society, abuse the men when they are boys and teach them that only the strong, heartless, cruel ones survive and get to the top of the food chain.

If you want to create a tolerant society, emasculate the men and shame them into neglecting their strength by telling stories of abuse and bullying. Use education to turn little boys into little girls and create a generation of feminized males that is more in touch with their emotions and more interested in the flighty fair of fashion culture than with strength, honor, and accountability.

If you want to change the world, change the men. That's the truth, and it's time for the church to stop ignoring it. It's time for the church to stop coddling men and idolizing women. God desperately wants to be the Father this generation so desperately needs, but he needs the church to step up and start producing men--real men--who build families where wives and children flourish, businesses where employees excel, governments where justice prevails. God will Father this fatherless generation through godly fathers raised up by the church.

If you want to change the world, change the men. Men, if you want to change the world, be changed.


Preston said...

I'm not sure what to make of this post. After a first reading it left a bit of a misogynistic/homophobic aftertaste, but the more I read it the more I agree with the key points. Strong godly men = good.

I admit that I'm having trouble with the part about idolizing women though. I can read the post as half of the story (the male half) except that the inclusion of that part makes it appear to be an attempt at the whole story. Are you saying that women have no part in changing the world? Are men hopelessly lost and women fine the way they are? Or are women, as men's complement in our flawed representation of the image of God, in this with us? On our team, so to speak?

Anonymous said...

"If you want to create a consumeristic society..."

All you have to do is idolize the free market with religious reverence. Better yet, have a media outlet that does this as well, and shouts down any dissenting voices and open inquiry (to make it feel more like a religion) and then, to top it all off, have an annual religious holiday that worships consumerism in a more direct manner, with an orgy of retail purchases. In fact, up until then you can have people talking nonstop about how much shopping they've done and how much they have yet to do, and where the best prices are...

Oh wait.

"If you want to create a ruthless society, abuse the men when they are boys and teach them that only the strong, heartless, cruel ones survive and get to the top of the food chain."

Well, if I wanted to create a society where the strong, heartless, cruel ones survive and get to the top of the food chain, I would set a precedent of 3.5 billion years of biological evolution in which the weaker organisms fail to reproduce and pass on their genes, therefore punishing the weak and awarding the "alpha males" and "alpha females" (depending on the organism) with passing on their characteristics to the next generation and so on. So not only is this attitude ingrained in the society, but in every other living thing that surrounds them.

Oh wait.

"Use education to turn little boys into little girls and create a generation of feminized males that is more in touch with their emotions and more interested in the flighty fair of fashion culture than with strength, honor, and accountability."

Really, education does this? Is that why Christian churches always seem so anti-intellectual, then? Because education will turn them into little girls, or gay as seems to be the implication?

Such an implication reminds me of the Mike Judge film "Idiocracy"

andy said...

Preston, what I mean by "idolizing women" is that churches have tended to take the "Everybody Loves Raymond" approach to gender in recent years, perhaps as an overcorrection to past abuses. In other words, I hear a lot of "men are idiots and women just roll their eyes and put up with us". We rail against typically male sins, but leave typically female sins untouched. I don't think this does anybody any good. ...You're right to read this as half the story, as I was only interested in talking about and to men. As far as any homophobia, I was really thinking more about the metrosexual trend than homosexuality.

Preston said...

Andy -

Thanks for the response. The clarification of what you meant by idolizing women was helpful. I thought perhaps a better word would have been "objectifying" women (worshiping the idol of sexuality), but I know exactly what you mean by idolization given the "Everybody Loves Raymond" reference.

There's a lot to be said for strong women. Some of the most interesting and important people in the Bible are women... but these women's husbands are generally not painted as buffoons (though Esther's husband was kind of easy to trick...).

There's also a lot to be said for a man being in touch with his feelings... understanding the feelings designed by God makes it much easier for me to relate to my wife and children in a loving manner. But a godly man mustn't be ruled by his feelings; he must have a well-developed sense of responsibility, duty, and honor if he is to reliably lead a strong family.

And for the record, I don't think you're a homophobe... is there such a thing as a metrophobe? ;-)

Regarding typically female sins, perhaps the church's neglect of the topic is more a function of the Church's typically male leadership. A male pastor railing against female sins would be instantly branded a misogynist and both men and women would leave the church in droves (likely during the sermon). Perhaps a teaching series where men are addressed one week (by a male pastor) and women the next (by a female pastor)? We did a whole month about sex a short while back, so it's not too much of a stretch. Do it just before the weather gets warm in the summer and take that opportunity to address the "tube tops and short shorts in church" phenomenon.


Chad Jackson said...

I wonder if "Anonymous" is anyone we know... hmmm... Demonizing consumerism is as much of a mistake as deifying government. But what should we expect from someone who wouldn't take responsibility for their own post... (snicker)

You know that overall I agree, so I want to take the occasion of this post to nitpick something that has been kicking around for a while.

I think your use of the term "consumerist(ic)" is misguided. We all consume, and some of that consumption is very important... consumption is not the problem. Consumerism is only a problem if you are a socialist, like our friend "anonymous".

What IS the problem is a culture of gratification, and the idolization of the things in which we find gratification. In many cases the gratification is so instantaneous it doesn't even give us a moment to consider the consequences of their actions. Now, you may say that this is nitpicking, but in this era of emboldened socialists in our churches, language is more important than ever.

Philip said...

Andy, I completely identify with most of things you said in this post, thanks for speaking your thoughts and please continue to do so. 'Being changed' is something that I chose to do a while back, and in retrospect, I wanted the change because I knew that so many of my perspectives in my own life were simply not good, or correct. Through His abundant Grace, he's given me a healed and expanded view of Him, which after receiving, has changed me forever. Anyways, I guess what disappoints me in our culture, that relates to everything you said, is that men have become too independent. Its gotten to the point that not having other men around (in community) has feminized us and ingrained us with our culture's viewpoints and expectations. I don't care who you are, you will become whom you surround yourself with. Environment is everything, and although I love the church, the church doesn't call men out to be the David-esc type men we are called to be. But at the same time, its about choice. We choose to be changed. We choose to Hope. We choose to chase Him. We choose to fulfill our dreams, and become the men we've always dreamed of being. We choose to not be our own source or rely on our own strength and might, but we choose to rely on Him, seeking his heart in constant communion, constant dependency. It's my Hope that men that you and I speak of dare to take a risk, and go after Him. For me, if I don't live a life that's chasing after him, his heart, and the dreams he's planted inside me to fulfill, I rather go home. If we aren't here to be a part of a worldwide movement, to make history, why are we here? He's brought all of us here of a reason - it's our choice to accept the challenge of figuring it out. Men, let's choose to be like Moses, David, and Daniel, committed to Him entirely. Doing so will heal our hearts and expand our view of Him. Thanks again Andy, keep it coming.

andy said...

Preston, I am DEFINITELY a metrophobe. ...I hear what you're saying about the male pastor speaking to men and female pastor speaking to women, and I think that would work really, really well...but something in me grates against that because the prophets didn't seem to care whether their messages were palatable or not. But tact is a good thing.

Chad, I thought you were Anonymous! I agree that gratification is a better word than consumerism. I was thinking of consumerism along the lines of consuming without producing, taking without adding. I'm thinking of the grown boys who live in their parents' basement, which really is more about gratification than consumption.

Phil, thanks for your thoughts. Keep chasing God and growing into your redeemed masculinity!

Chad Jackson said...

You had better be joking that you thought I was "anonymous"... this wounds me.

andy said...

Chad, of course I was kidding. I forgot to add the ";)", the universally recognized emoticon for jk...because jk is too hard to type.