Thursday, December 07, 2006

More Manly Christianity

From the Los Angeles Times:
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 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.

Stine's daylong revival meeting, which he calls "GodMen," is cruder than most. But it's built around the same theory as the other experimental forums: Traditional church worship is emasculating.

Hold hands with strangers? Sing love songs to Jesus? No wonder pews across America hold far more women than men, Stine says. Factor in the pressure to be a "Christian nice guy" — no cussing, no confrontation, in tune with the wife's emotions — and it's amazing men keep the faith at all.
It sounds amusing and innocuous enough until we get to this part:
In fact, men taking charge is a big theme of the GodMen revival. At what he hopes will be the first of many such conferences, in a warehouse-turned-nightclub in downtown Nashville, Stine asks the men: "Are you ready to grab your sword and say, 'OK, family, I'm going to lead you?' " He also distributes a list of a real man's rules for his woman. No. 1: "Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down."
That's just what we need: Christian men who grab their swords to put their women and families in their place. A reading of the whole article makes it sound like much of it is to provide cover for men to cuss, be rude, and leave their wives for weekend retreats with the guys, all in the blessed tough name of Jesus.

1 comment:

ProgressiveChurchlady said...

This Redneck Christian movement GodMen is scarier and scarier each time it gets reported. (I wasn't smiling the first time.) As if Christian Niceguy is an oxymoron!

These guys aren't emulating the Jesus (or his followers) I've come to know and love! Real Christian men, don't use swords--particularly at home!

These guys are missing the point. It's not easy to follow Jesus. Followers, of Jesus, thought perhaps meek and attempting to inherit the earth, are heroes. It is their "meekness" that underlies great power and strength of character. That strength of character is not demonstrated by gratatuitious swearing, dominateing your spouse, or turning away from strangers.