Denial of Biblical Manhood
In this podcast, we will look at the third (and final) reason that boys are lost in today’s culture:
Distortion and denial around biblical manhood leading to the demonization of masculinity.
Biblical Manhood Defined
What is ‘biblical’ manhood? What does God say about being male?
We began our treatise on this subject in Episode I by saying that we are:
Male by design
Masculine by nature
Men through loving sacrifice
And Godly men by Christ’s example.
Each one of these points incorporates several important biblical principles about manhood.
1. Male by design
We are created male by God’s design. Gender is assigned and decided by God at birth. It is physiological and easily identifiable. God did not make a mistake when he formed you.
Psalm 139: 13, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Ephesians 2:10, “You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.”
Genesis 2:7, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Isaiah 14:24, “The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.”
Psalm 33:11, “The plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”
The verses above demonstrate that God has a plan. He is sovereign and HIS WILL shall be done on earth and in heaven. (Isaiah 12:24; Psalm 33:11) His purposes and plans extend to everything He has created. (Psalm 139: 4, 13; Ephesians 2:10) This includes mankind, whom he created in his image. (Genesis 1:27; 2:7) And so, it is biblically reasonable and right to say that God’s plans for us begin upon our conception in the womb, which includes the DNA that makes us male or female. That part of us is uniquely and expressly tied into the will of God for our lives. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He does not make mistakes.
2. Masculine by nature
We develop into our physical forms throughout our life. But the differences in gender can be traced to chemicals in our bodies that are strategically released throughout our gestation, birth, childhood, adolescence, etc. These timely excretions of hormones are in our DNA, which we have at conception. And while there may be modifications and adjustments with higher or lower levels of hormones, they have operated the same throughout the observable (scientific) history of mankind. In other words, try as they might, feminists, atheists, radical educators, and other liberals can not explain away the nature of being masculine or feminine to anything other than how God created us.
Does the term “made in the image of God” have anything to do with gender differences? No. The original text of the Imago Deo in Genesis 1:27 is very clearly bestowed on all of mankind including the woman, even though she had not been ‘created’ yet. She was still very much a part of man and in the mind of God. There is a long philosophical discussion as to what it means to be an image-bearer. But for our purposes here, it does not differentiate between the genders and has nothing to do with being male or female.
3. Men through loving sacrifice
Now, we get more into some of the things God had in mind when he created the men.
It’s hard to know where to begin this subject as it has become such a hot-button issue in culture. Let me say, that God’s purposes for men versus women has nothing to do with equity, talent, ability, intelligence, dominion, etc. It has everything to do with ORDER. You may want to refer to it as AUTHORITY. There is no way to look at the Bible as a whole without a clear understanding that the kingdom of GOD runs in hierarchy, order, and submission to authority(ies) Nothing is happenstance. Nothing is a coincidence. Everything is designed with a place and a purpose to include the roles of men and women.
Later on, in these newsletters, we will get into what I believe the Bible says is the whole duty of mankind and God’s reason for creating them. And it has to do with these very issues of order, hierarchy, and creation mandates. But for now, let me just say, there is a definite and clear ORDER of things in the kingdom of God including the roles of men and women.
Let me interject here that I have worked for women. My BEST boss was a woman. Also, the best soldier I ever worked with was a woman. I’ve worked alongside women who were exceptional in every way. But these are spiritual matters we are talking about now. It’s about order.
These three responsibilities seem to be distinctive to men in Scripture:
Head over creation
Head over the family
Head over the church.
Head over creation
And so, we become men by taking on the responsibilities that God gave to men from the beginning. In Genesis 1:28 God gives the creation mandate to work the land and have dominion to both men and women:
God blessed THEM and said to THEM, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
While there does seem to be some discrepancy on Eve’s birth certificate (Gen 1:27 and the creation of the woman in Genesis 2), Answers in Genesis explains that there is no confusion at all and that Genesis 2 is just an elaboration of the sixth day of Creation. This doesn’t change the fact that the man was born first and placed in the garden to work and tend to it. As the sixth day went on and he was giving names to the animals, it was then that God decided he needed a suitable helpmate and created Eve from Adam’s side (rib). This would still allow for the creation mandate in Gen 1:28 to be given to both of them. (Note: I believe that Answers in Genesis with Dr. Ken Hamm is one of the most trusted sources for answers on anything having to do with origins.)
In any event, the notion of work and or dominion is clearly a part of man’s responsibility on earth. Then there’s the role of the husbandman.
Head over the family
Ephesians 5:23 states, “the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.”
There is a clear order of the household. But it is followed by another distinctive directive on how men should carry out this responsibility.
Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself (sacrificially) up for her.”
Head over the church
My boys recently asked me about this subject in regard to spiritual headship. I told them that I believe God has always used women in spiritual ways, but not in matters of authority and order. God is using women in the church even now, but is that because men have become irresponsible? Remember, we are not of the world and we can’t assume that the world is our friend in regard to the current climate of anti-male sentiment. We must hold on to the clear teaching of the Bible.
Listen to what Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2: 11-15:
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man, she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love, and holiness with propriety.
Those are tough words in a politically correct culture.
Elsewhere Paul wrote about women praying and prophesying (1 Corinthians 11:5) and teaching younger women (Titus 2:3-5); therefore, it is clear he didn’t expect them to “be in silence” all the time. Instead, when the church has both men and women present, women should take on the role of silent learner (versus teacher). Again, this has to do with authority—a woman is not to usurp the role of a male leader and put herself in a position over a man. (Sometimes referred to as a Spirit of Jezebel.)
The pattern of male leadership established at creation is maintained throughout the Old Testament and carried into the New Testament. The 12 disciples were men. Jesus could have chosen six men and six women, but He chose all men for these leadership positions. The 70 evangelists sent out after the 12 were all men (Luke 10:1). Again, though Jesus could have chosen 35 men and 35 women, we see he chose all men.
In the New Testament, church elders are identified as men. Consider the qualifications for elders as stated in 1 Timothy 3:1-5:
“If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work…the husband of one wife…one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission.”
We see the same when Paul discusses elders in Titus 1:6, 9:
“If a man is blameless, the husband of one wife…holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught.”
In summary, men are called to headship of these three areas, but not lordship. Ultimately, all three come with clear and distinct warnings to carry out these duties sacrificially.
Ephesians 6:7 says,
“Serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord NOT men.”
We’re excited to go into more detail on the role of men and women in the following newsletter.
4. Godly Men by Christ’s example
I love the new television series, “The Chosen”. I’m a huge fan. The primary reason is that Jesus is portrayed as a man who I would like to follow and be with. For the first time in the film, I see Jesus as a man’s man. Remember, “Jesus grew in stature, wisdom, and favor with men.” Luke 2:52. Growing up in church, he was always presented to me (visually)as a model. I mean, his pictures….they were always glam shots! Genteel. Meek. And that beautiful hair. STOP!!! In ‘The Chosen”, he’s smart, funny, quick-witted, strong, hands-on, friendly, and everything I would like to have in a friend. I would follow THIS GUY. It's Jesus’ example in these films that I’m drawn to. I want to be more like HIM. Well, that is the ultimate goal. In his book “The Divine Conspiracy”, Dallas Willard writes, “Stated in other words, the intention of God is that we should each become the kind of person whom he can set free in his universe, empowered to do what we want to do. Just as we desire and intend this, so far as possible, for our children and others we love, so God desires and intends it for his children. But character, the inner directedness of the self must develop to the point where that is possible.” In other words, we must become more and more like Christ so that we can be released into the fullness of all God has called us to be. Obviously, this is not for men alone. It is God’s intention for all people. It was the purpose He created us for.
The two greatest gifts God has given to us then, are His Son, Jesus, and His Word, the Bible. These two become the standard for setting our sights on the prize. They give us the tools we need and the power to do what we’ve been called to do. And we CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)
And so, we go back to Root Cause #3 of the boy crisis: Distortion and denial around biblical manhood leading to the demonization of masculinity.
Distortion, Denial, and Demonization
Now that we have taken a moment to present ‘biblical manhood’, let’s discuss the distortion and denial of it.
Post-Modern Culture (Denial)
We should note that the movement to denigrate what the Bible has to say about biblical manhood is consistent with the movement to denigrate what the Bible has to say about anything. Post-modern culture is a post-Christian culture that seeks to marginalize Christianity and its an antiquated belief system to the fringes of society. One might even go as far as to say ‘criminalize it’. The issue is NOT just about the biblical view of manhood. It’s the biblical view of ANYTHING.
“Modern” and “post-modern” were terms that were developed in the 20th century. “Modern” is the term that describes the period from the 1890s to 1945, and “post-modern” refers to the period after the Second World War, mainly after 1968. Postmodernism can be defined in many ways, but it is certainly centered in moral relativism. It is a post-Christian culture because it believes no one (NO ONE) has the right to tell anyone else what is right or wrong. The book “I’m Okay. You’re Okay” released in 1967 captured this notion and catapulted society into the post-modern era. This philosophy completely tosses the Bible as a source of morality. Rather, truth doesn’t exist at all. Therein lies a huge part of our problem today. When a huge cultural shift comes along, like the shift from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age (Information Age), we have no moral bearings on how to navigate the seismic shift like the ones in labor and education. Many would say, ‘we don’t need morality to navigate social transition’. And yet, here we are in the mass confusion that has ensued. Gender identity? Fluidity? Sexual confusion? School districts are having to institute litter boxes in school bathrooms because kids are identifying as cats. We have lost a moral compass. Tolerance is our god and endorses anything EXCEPT a Christian worldview.
Hollywood (Distortion & Demonization)
One of the great culprits perpetrating male-bashing is the entertainment industry. Movies like Brave are a female empowerment twist on an age-old princess plot. Oddly enough, every male character around her is absurd. No wonder she looks strong. They try and oversell their propaganda by placing their protagonist around a bunch of useless, stupid, dunces who are around for comic relief only. It’s part of the façade to empower women but it’s at the expense of men.
These contrived characters are in most movies made today. She is the ‘all-conquering female”. She is underestimated by men and then proves herself more intelligent, clever, courageous, and more skilled than any man. And she has to show up in a domineering way over and against men. For her to appear strong, they have to appear weak. Does anyone wonder why the last three Star Wars movies didn’t have the compelling storylines of the first six? Then there’s the new movie, “The Woman King”. The new Amazon feature based on Tolkein’s writings has mostly combative and conquering women. I’m seeing more and more women LITERALLY kick men’s butts at the movies. And yet something doesn’t ring true, does it? And don’t even get me started on the superheroes.
It seems to be a reflection of the narrative to exalt women by denigrating men.
That’s because, more often than not, they have just watched something in which the female lead is the smart and capable hero, and the male lead is the bumbling idiot who must be rescued by his female companion. For the sake of their self-esteem, I find myself having to clarify that what they are witnessing is a systematic effort to denigrate men for the sake of exalting women, all in the name of “equity”.
And the male protagonists in movies are worse: Knocked Up, Old School, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Pineapple Express, Super Bad, The Hangover, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and I Love You, Man What man would walk away from these movies saying, “I want to be like him?” Certainly, our boys shouldn’t even be watching this type of trash. But any intentional father is looking for role models in film to point to as examples. Instead, we find ourselves having to clarify what they are witnessing on the screen as a systematic effort to denigrate men for the sake of exalting women and all in the name of equity.
The movie Titanic was the largest-grossing movie ever for a time. One of the main characters, Cal (Caledon Hockley) was (and was portrayed) as an arrogant, narcissistic aristocrat. In the movie and in real life, he survives the shipwreck in the most cowardly way imaginable. What you don’t learn is that 1339 men died on that ship compared to 114 women and 56 boys and girls. Do you know why? Because hundreds of fathers gave their lives to save their wives and children that night. That storyline, however, was not highlighted.
Television is worse. Starting in the 70s with shows like All In the Family, men have consistently been portrayed as bumbling idiots with the giddy mentality of a 14-year-old. A show like ABC’s “Man Up” would have undoubtedly had a different feel in the 1960s. But in 2011, it was a show that portrayed men as infantile, incapable, uncultured, weak, pathetic, and flat-out moronic. Thank God it only lasted one season.
Even the commercials buy the line and sinker…
The stupid guy is so taken with a beautiful woman that he spills his drink down his front.
The stupid guy is too afraid to go talk to a woman at the bar and so another guy writes stupid things for him to say.
The stupid guy is flabby and looking at himself in the mirror. Then he puts his wife’s bra on…
The stupid guy is trying to impress the girl with lies
Three stupid guys are standing together at a cocktail bar…
The stupid guy is pouring a beer in his glass when a beautiful woman comes over to talk to him. You’ll never guess what happens next…
A beautiful Jane Goodall type is behind a tree studying the behavior of three stupid guys.
A stupid guy is trying to show a girl in the gym how to strengthen her abs so he cracks a walnut between his butt cheeks. Really?
Male bashing is apparently the way to sell your products.
It almost feels orchestrated, doesn’t it? You see, as we mentioned above, Satan is in full-assault mode and his purpose is to upend God’s order of things. That he is ‘succeeding’ is not be confused with ‘succeeding’. We know how the story ends. But for now, the order is being turned into chaos and the results that ensue are confusion.
Transgenderism. Gender Fluidity. Sexual Perversion. Role Reversals. Toxic Masculinity. Tyrannical Patriarchal Societies. Radical Feminism. Dangerous ideologies. Phallogocentrism. Medical Labels.
History is portrayed as the dominion of men with unbridled ambition and tyrannical intent. Oppressive patriarchy is responsible for everything that’s wrong in the world. What do we tell our boys? “Just be good. Oh, you can’t. It’s not in you to be good. Be responsible. Wait. No one wants you to take your (biblical) place in society. Perhaps you can be harmless?”
Isn’t that a pathetic call to life?
We Need Men
Men fix our cars with their permanently stained oily hands.
Men clean out the portable toilets we all use. They mop our floors and pick up our trash.
Men manage and maintain sewage plants.
Men make sure roadkill on our highways disappear.
Men drive the taxis that take us where we need to go.
Men don’t think twice about running toward danger to rescue people from burning buildings and gruesome accidents.
Men chase down very bad guys on an hourly basis in every major city around the world, risking their very lives.
Men plant, grow, and harvest our food in the hot sun, they work steel construction hundreds of feet in the air, and rescue those lost at sea and in the wilderness.
Men repair the airplanes we fly in and drive the trains and trucks that bring us our stuff.
Men mine the oil, natural gas, and coal we all depend on.
Good men happily and dutifully do all the jobs most women never want to do. And they do them faithfully with little complaint. Men are necessary and we should be thankful for them.
Of course, some men do rape and beat up their partners and make excuses for rude behavior. To stigmatize masculinity on the strengths of some bad attitudes among teenage boys and some men is simplistic, counter-productive, and unfair. Labeling masculinity itself as toxic is hardly going to change attitudes, particularly among teenage boys, or enlist the help of men who can make a difference.
Suggesting men confess a crime they didn’t commit, or confess to a crime that’s not even a crime (being a man) is progressive virtue-signaling in overdrive. Such a scheme is framed in such a way to deliberately hurt young men and thus our society at large, which benefits most from men meeting their masculine potential.
Did you know that there is a White House Council for Women and Girls but no such council exist for the issues faced by men and boys. Maybe it’s time. No. The last thing we need is help from the government. But help….is on the way.