What is a Man?
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Bring It On
In our last newsletter, we discussed the history of church and masculinity. In this newsletter, I’d like to address what the Bible has to say about manhood.
I would start by stating the obvious. What the Bible has to say about manhood is NOT what the world is saying about it. Of course, that should not be a surprise. The world is our enemy. Not only is culture our enemy, but the world is ruled by the Prince of the Air, who is Satan. (Ephesians 2:22) The world says that men are tyrannical and their damnable selfish ambitions have led to an oppressive patriarchal culture. Deconstructionists in the 21st Century have taken dead aim at upending the so-called ‘privileges’ associated with manhood and masculinity and have made it their goal to minimize, marginalize, demonize, and demoralize men until every impulse and reaction of the masculine nature is decimated. There can be no mistaking that there is an all-out assault on masculinity in western culture.
And to that, we say, “bring it on.”
In the Beginning…
So, what does the Bible, a document that traces its origins back to the days of Moses, that we believe is inerrant and inspired by God, have to say about being a man?
The beginning is always a good place to start. In the beginning….
Genesis 1:26-33 tells the story of when God created mankind. There is much to infer from this account about the nature of mankind. The Bible further expounds upon the creation of and women in Genesis 2. This is a complimentary account and not a contradictory account. Genesis 2 goes back and fills in the details of the much larger story of creation in Genesis 1. But we can begin with the idea that God made them male and female. Now, in the days of Moses and for all human history since then until 2020 that would have been simple enough to understand. But NOW, there is an old deception that has crept back into culture that says God is NOT good. Apparently, the Intelligent Designer of the Universe isn’t so intelligent because He makes mistakes. People are actually women caught in men’s bodies and visa versa. Gender fluidity is a made up notion in these latter days that masks the deeper issue of how sin separates us from God and HIS order. Labels can do that. They excuse sin. So, while Ketanji Brown Jackson, Supreme Court Justice, can’t define a female, the Creator of the Universe can. You might also want to back that up by the fact that Genesis 1 states that God created male and female differently for a reason. In part, that included repopulating the earth. Two men alone or two women alone can’t do that and God would have never given man and a woman that job without equipping them for it, which He did.
Pittsburgh native, Mr. Rogers, is on trial these days for teaching his “neighborhood” a song back in the day:
“Boys are boys from the beginning. Girls are girls right from the start…”
“Only girls can grow up to be the mommy. Only boys can grow up to be the daddy.”
I’m sure they’ll be ripping his name out of the pages of history soon.
Senior Pastor Heath Lambert, from FBC Jackson, MS, said members will be required to sign a document affirming that people are "either male or female and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice’. You can imagine the uproar THAT has created…IN THE CHURCH.
Is God Good?
Let’s take a quick theological rabbit trail through the origins of being male according to the Bible. The disinformation campaign against being male has its origins in a similar lie that Satan used in the Garden to wreak havoc and confusion. Do you remember his response to Eve’s reasoning for not eating the apple from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in Genesis 3?
“Did God really say that?”
The inference is that God is NOT good. He’s keeping something from His creation. Why WOULDN’T He want them to eat from this particular tree? He must be up to something. And the proverbial ‘seed’ was planted in Eve’s mind: God is NOT good. That one accusation against God cuts through every other attribute. Likewise, to say that God made a mistake when he put YOU in YOUR body impugns His goodness. It’s the same lie with the same result: CONFUSION.
1 Cor 14:33, “For God is not a god of confusion but peace.”
So, God created MALE and FEMALE. By the way, he said that all of his creation was Good. Indeed, it was VERY good, according to God, Himself (Gen 1:31) The created always bears likeness to its creator. Ask any artist.
In closing this first point, we believe that God makes a person male by design. It is NOT an accident and gender is connected to God’s purposes for that life. Also, it should be noted that God created man first and from the man, he created a woman. This has nothing to do with inequality. All people created in HIS image are equal in every regard. But, it is to be noted now for later in this discussion.
Secondly, we are masculine through nature. When John Gray wrote his best-seller, “Men are From Mars. Women are From Venus”, he had this idea in mind. It comes down to one thing: CHROMOSOMES. Men have X and Y Chromosomes and Women have 2 X Chromosomes. Chromosomes are microorganisms from that carry our DNA and from there it’s all science. The difference between X and Y in the alphabet is one letter. The difference between men and women is Mars and Venus. There is no biblical reference for this. And yet, everyone knows it. But, it’s very much within the purview of God and his creation.
Third, we are men by the sacrifices we make. Obviously, women make many sacrifices too. But, it’s the nature of sacrifice that matters here. Men have made this harder for themselves by casting a long shadow of abuse and misuse over the designed order God created. Jesus clearly states that anyone who wants to rule over others in the Kingdom of God must be their servant here in this world. Those that want to be first must be last here. (Matthew 20:26) Jesus describes himself only once in the gospel and it is ‘gentle and lowly of heart/(Humble). That’s the example Jesus set for all men. He rode into Jerusalem as the coming Messiah….ON A DONKEY! Hardly the macho image of a Redeemer that Israel was hoping for. He was the LAMB that takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29) At every turn, Jesus showed the power of meekness. And then…
I think every Christian should see Mel Gibson’s, “The Passion of the Christ”; the horror and humiliation; the torture and the terror of the Praetorium scourging; the beating, punching, dragging, hitting that accompanied his trial; carrying that heinous cross on his back through the streets of Jerusalem and all the way to Golgotha; then the brutality of Roman crucifixion. At any point along the way, he could have turned it all upside down. He was carrying my cross. He was carrying your cross. But he CHOSE to sacrifice himself because it was the only way to reconcile us to God. That is strength. That is power. That is what sacrifice looks like and it’s not easy.
He did it for us, His bride. That’s an interesting metaphor that I’ve discussed in the last article. The church is the bride of Christ. He is the Groom. The Bible says that His bride will be presented unto him spotless and white (Ephesians 5:27) at the Rapture of the church. We will feast at the Wedding Banquet for seven years and then return with HIM triumphant to do exactly what He planned for us to from the beginning of time: REIGN. Here’s the point. Jesus was the GROOM. Jesus was a man. Everything he came to do was for HIS BRIDE. The church is HIS BRIDE. The differences between men and women matter.
And this is the order of things. Ephesians 5 is the definitive passage on this matter. It’s an explosive verse in today’s culture because of all the things we have discussed early on in these newsletters. Jesus is over the man. The man is over the woman. It’s not about equality. It’s order and spiritual realms have order. Everything in the natural realm reflects the order of the spiritual realm. That is the nature of the physical world we live in.
We see this in the angelic realms. We see it in demonic realms. We see it in heavenly places. We see it all throughout creation. For Goodness sakes, we see it in the TRINITY. The Father, Son, and Spirit are equal. They are the same. And yet, the Spirit submits to the Son and the Son to the Father. The future Millennial Kingdom will have hierarchies. Get used to it. It’s the way of spiritual things. And don’t think it’s any different in Hell. Do you believe everyone is equal there? In the creation, God created the man first. Was that a mistake? (Well, you may think that, but it wasn’t!) Was it random or arbitrary? There is NOTHING random about God. He's his very nature to bring order out of chaos.
But in all of this, the nature of leadership is a servant’s heart. It’s not power, prestige, placement, etc. It’s servant leadership. As his last act of service on earth, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, something which Peter vehemently resisted until Jesus told him that unless he submitted to it, then Peter would have no part in him. To which Peter replied, “Then wash all of me.” (John 13:8)
Godly men by Discipleship. The terms ‘Godly men’ and ‘biblical manhood’ can be used interchangeably. This is the last of the four tenants of Treign Up. In regards to our topic of men and the Bible, there are little to no differentiations between men and women on this subject. We are all called to pursue the process of becoming more Christ-like in this world.
When David, “a MAN after God’s own heart”, was dying, he passed these words onto his son, Solomon:
“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.”
Act like a man. Outside of courage, the only reference that David makes to what that may look like is following God and all His ways. But the Bible does say more. 1 Timothy 3:2-7 gives a list of criteria for an ‘overseer’ of the church. I’ve already made reference above that the church and the home are both spiritual models of God’s order in heavenly realms. So, the criteria for being a good elder, leader, or pastor in the church is the same for being a good father and husband in the home.
“Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”
There isn’t a woman I know that wouldn’t want a man like that. Biblical manhood is good. It’s good for women. It’s good for the home. It’s good for the church. It’s very good.