Tuesday, October 31, 2006

godmen: promiskeepers with an edge?

hugo has an amazing post on the article in newsweek about a new movement beginning in nashville called godmen. the article, "Real Men Talk About God, A new Christian movement lets guys be guys". it features a glimpse of the first event that hopes to one day grow into a movement within the church as a whole. i was unfamiliar with this group, but i know it won't be under the radar much longer with this article.
When the GodMen band seized the stage again, they tore into an anthem called “Grow A Pair!”: “We’ve been beaten down/ Feminized by the culture crowd,” they sang. “No more nice guy, timid and ashamed/ We’ve had enough, cowboy up/ In the power of Jesus name/ Welcome to the battle/ A million men have got your back/ Jump up in the saddle/ Grab a sword, don’t be scared/ Be a man, grow a pair!” Said Tholstrup, as he surveyed the crowd: “If 200 men are feeling this, other men are feeling it too.” Which ought to provide enough testosterone for plenty of GodMen gatherings to come.
hugo writes:
If there's one thing I loathe above all else it's the appropriation of the language of the oppressed by the oppressors themselves; all the Godmen are adding to this tired mix is the apparent imprimatur of our Savior Himself. According to the Godmen, Jesus didn't come to build a "peaceable Kingdom". He came, it seems, to restore traditional gender roles and act as a Savior to that most noxious of cultural archetypes, the "hen-pecked husband" in danger of drowning in feminist rhetoric.

Scripture calls us to war. But it is not a war to be fought by men only, and it is a war to be fought with prayers, not swords. And war is, in the end, only a metaphor for the intense struggle we all fight on behalf of peace. Paul, in Ephesians 6:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Paul's audience would have known better than any modern one what a shield and a helmet looked and felt like. And the shields and helmets and swords Paul speaks of are entirely spiritual, to be used in congruence with a gospel of peace. Paul and Jesus take classic symbols of masculine aggression and artfully turn them into tools for building a peaceful, just world. For Paul and Christ, means and ends are radically, divinely congruent: peace is built peacefully with the shield of faith and a sword of the Spirit. To mistake the physical sword for the spiritual one is an old and tragic mistake, one that Christians have been making since, oh, the early fourth century.
read the whole post here: Cowboy Up for Christ: the Godmen, muscular Christianity, porn, and saddle imagery

2 comments:

Trudging said...

Yikes!

EW said...

I attended the "GodMen" event as observer. Unfortunately the rediculous caveman-like grunting antics of organizer Brad Stine overshadowed the real content of the event. Two of the speakers gave very useful and edifying talks regarding men's issues and addictions, in what I find to be a very Biblical perspective. Nate Larkin's talk on the need for community in dealing with addictions is associated with the meetings he started called the "Samson Society." After fighting his own addiction for years on his own, he found hope in non-judgemental partners. People who could hear his confession without condescencion or judgement. Likewise Dave Bunker talked about our emotional "father" issues and how they affect our struggles as adults. He also spoke on the destructive nature of sexual sin if not dealt with.