Let’s Just Stop Singing These Worship Songs

Corrie Mitchell from faithstreet complains about the superficial meaninglessness of modern worship songs; constructing her own Letterman Top Ten List. Terry Mattingly from GetReligion complains about the horrid quality of Christian movies. To which, one can only say, the vacuity of modern cultural products are a direct barometer of the vacuity of modern “believers”.

The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is no evangelical mind.
Mark Noll complained in “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” (1995) that an Evangelical mind is an oxymoron. Atheists and agnostics know more about religion than Evangelicals. Even the theologians are in on the act. Evangelical theological journals claim that “Evangelical theology has accepted the collapse of classical foundationalism—the notion that there are, or should be, logical or rational grounds for belief.” Surely, one cannot really blame the pupils, if they have idiots for teachers!

Itinerant preacher Paul Washer, made itinerant because most cannot bear his message more than once, complains of the flag waving and tee shirt brandishing level of commitment. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, once deemed heterodoxical, if not heretical, is now consequently celebrated for his “The Cost of Discipleship” (1937).

One observes in horrid amazement, that despite all the travesties and atrocities committed in the name of torture in the last decade or so, over 80% of self-identified Evangelicals still support the practice in the future, including that “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S.”, Southern Baptist Albert Mohler and the egghead of the New Calvinist movement, Wayne Grudem. The divorce rate amongst self-identified Evangelicals barely differs from those without religious identification.

Genie of the Cross preacher Joel Osteen is now the teeth of Evangelicalism.

What is the reason(s) why the heartland of Evangelicalism has become such a scandalous vacuity?

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The true Christian walk requires the use of both legs; one “rationalistic”, so to speak, concerned with truth and coherence; one “pietistic”, so to speak, concerned with ethics and ethos, principle and passion, in the outer and inner man. One needs both legs to briskly walk to the Celestial City. Most Christians have been prone historically to lean rather heavily on the one or the other leg; and thereby are either limping or hopping arduously on one leg.

So although most of my writings might come across as ‘rationalistic’, there exists another element in me, which has become too acquainted with the motions of the heart and mind and has often heard that small soft voice.

After escaping from decades in various degrees of spiritual warfare and psychosis, I grieved and raged at the bankruptcy of the counsel that could be found in Evangelical circles. I did know not then what I know now. It was not that the help was worthless. The help was worse than worthless.

Having come to some conclusions about how to approach my personal demons, I was dissuaded in the most kindest firmness that I was sadly mistaken by the most reputable preacher in the environs of Orangeville. I was crestfallen, to say the least. More so, it put enough doubt to prevent me from doing the right thing. And thus for another 2.5 years, I returned to an interminable, unmitigated psychic hell, until I found sufficient backing from Scriptures and Evangelical greats of the past to confirm my original conclusions.

Recollecting that deepest pall of horrid imagery, verbalizations and sensations, insanity, paralysis of will, grief and hopeless despair; I wailed on my regular walk to a small creek in Amaranth, how I despised the church. Although I might be the third worst of sinners after Apostle Paul and John Bunyan, I felt that hateful rage of the Four Horsemen of the Atheistic Apocalypse.

The still wee voice neither condemned nor rebuked me. Nay. As clear as the day was, I heard “they do not believe Me”. The third person response was spooky in itself. However, it was the perspicuity of the insightful response that confirmed its source. These flag wavers and tee shirt wavers do not actually believe.

They do not even know what the essence and nature of faith is; namely conducting oneself, internally and externally, upon the premises that one claims to believe. The premises are like passive routers. The person must will to be redirected by those routers.

Most do not even know what is contained in the Bible. And those who do, syncretize whatever assertions, promises, counsels and commands found therein with assertions and counsels found without. In this, they make their rational faculties their true God and arbitrator.

Others await for their psychological state of mind to conform with that which is written before acting on it. In this, they make their psychological and sensory faculties (a.k.a. instincts and moral sense) their true God and arbitrator.

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And they wonder why are the millennials leaving the Evangelical church?

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

Evangelicals have lost their saltiness. And when the world rains down on them, what they will think as persecution and martyrdom, will be found to rightful judgment from Above through means of the Assyrians.

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. (Matthew 5:13)

Reforming the songs sung in vacuous worship services is akin to deploying a Barbie doll’s nurse kit to perform heart surgery.

Southern Baptist Albert Mohler and Torture

A clever piece of American conservative propaganda, under the veil of Evangelical Christianity, was recently furnished by Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and “reigning intellectual of the evangelical movement in the U.S.”; at least according to Time Magazine. If I admire the ingenuity of the piece and its author; it is of the same order of admiration, I have for (St.) Jerome’s ingenuity in his treatise “Against Jovinianus” (393 A.D.) It furnishes an excellent artifact in the art of sophistry.

Blowing Purple Haze

Continue reading “Southern Baptist Albert Mohler and Torture”

‘Snowden Broke the Law’

I confess to being somewhat astonished and perturbed, perhaps even contemptuous, by the lack of committed Evangelical comment on the NSA leaks, particularly by its leadership. On the days after the initial leads (June 5/6, 2013), Albert Mohler dutifully reported the incidents with studied neutrality. Etobicoke (Toronto) pastor and Evangelical-approved book reviewer fashions a pietistic homily1 on the matter; only obliquely giving indication of his sentiments in an emphatic denial of approving NSA actions in his comment section. There is Lutheran theologian of some note on the Patheos Evangelical channel (Gene Edward Veith) and a few bloggers. The only other Evangelical of note with an intelligent and intelligible opinion on the matter is John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute2, who is currently representing a Marine, Brandon Baub, who was taken into psychiatric custody without justifiable cause, based on domestic surveillance of his rantings on his Facebook pages.

Otherwise; na-da!

There are many reasons to explain this dearth of publicly expressed concern about the ramifications of Edward Snowden’s revelations. And many of those reasons, I can think of, would appear as quite mean-spirited toward Gospel-of-Niceness-Truth-Be-Damned ‘evangelicals’ in this era of EVANGELICALISM STUPID and EVANGELICALISM IRRELEVANT and EVANGELICALISM TAINTED WITH CO-OPTION and EVANGELICALISM TIMID and EVANGELICALISM TEPID.

It is not as if the Evangelical leadership is averse to voicing specific opinions to highly complicated political issues. I observe that Rev. Franklin Graham is fast off the mark to opine to Obama about his intervention into Syria, having written an open letter on June 14, 2013.3 And Evangelical pastors are roaming the countryside like Constantinian bishops, rustling up support for an Immigration Reform Bill, googling up 40 Scriptural proof-text verses which have nothing to do with this specific policy initiative. 4 Political non-involvement and comment is not for most Evangelical theologians, an issue it would seem.

But for those who earnestly seek to avoid needlessly alienating the general public on secondary matters from considering the Christian message, the global omniscient surveillance state poses a threat to the unimpeded promulgation of the Gospel and Full Counsel of God. If religious liberty has now become a chief sociopolitical concern of Evangelicals; how much more so general liberty? Have we forgotten the logic of the altar and the gift on the altar?

You fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Whoever therefore shall swear by the altar, swears by it, and by all things thereon. And whoever shall swear by the temple, swears by it, and by him that dwells therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by him that sits thereon.5

However, a full discourse on a nuanced approach to Christian involvement with secular society and politics is beyond the scope of this essay (and is a work in progress).

Of the few comments garnered from evangelical sites, there is evident and understandable conflict about the actions of Edward Snowden and its ramifications, which needs to be fairly addressed. And perhaps, it is time for Evangelicals to go back to school with regard to Christian political thought; revisiting the same sort of issues that Reformers, Anabaptists, Puritans etc of the 16th, 17th and 18th Century needed to deal with in order to promote the Gospel and Full Counsel of God in their time. (This is not to suggest that there exists a legitimate, coherent and consistent Christian political theory on this side of Judgment Day. However, there is much counsel to be ascertained and promulgated from the Protestant/Evangelical thinkers of those times; whose ideas were adopted by more secular-minded writers and founded on more naturalist underpinnings.)

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If a man steals an item from the thief, which had stolen that item from the legitimate owner, in order to restore the item to that original owner, is that theft? What if that thief was a government agent, who used the organs of government to expropriate that item? What if that civic expropriation required a secretive contortionism of interpretation of applicable laws in order to utilize the organs of the state to nick that item?

Perhaps, by the standards of legal niceties and procedural rectitude, the man who steals from a thief, is a thief. But is that natural justice? Common folklore celebrates the mythical Robin Hood; less because his roguery appeals to the baser angels of our natures, although that element certainly exists. It is in recognition that criminality remains criminality, even if a civic official or even a President does it. (Do we not remember Nixon’s Napoleonic complex moment6: “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”7 Sorry Mr. President. Even if state depredations do not quite show up in FBI statistics, they nevertheless remain a crime.

If a man violates a law or judicial interpretation of a law, which itself violates the plain (and common) understanding of the articles of a Constitution, via deft judicial sophistry and casuistry, is that man a traitor to the Constitution; to the Higher Law? Are laws and constitutions written in pig Latin, such that only credentialed legal priests have capacity to decipher them? But if the understandings of laws and articles of Constitutions become so contorted and distorted as to be inscrutable by the persons for whom they are to apply, is that lawfulness and justice? Have we not entered into Kafka’s version of the Twilight Zone?

If Edward Snowden broke the law and is a traitor to the Constitution, it is only in the sense argued by 21st Century American administrations and the toads who croak in choreographed unison. Theirs is a lawfulness and constitutionality of procedural rectitude.

We’ve got congressional oversight and judicial oversight…And if people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.8

A cadre of duly elected and appointed civic officials has conspired to concoct this “architecture of oppression”. Because this elite priesthood has deemed legal, violations to the Constitution and the plain understanding of the letter and spirit of its Articles, it must be legal. Two and two is equal to five because the duly elected and appointed overseers have all concurred with this madness. It seems incredible and unbelievable! For, even ‘checks and balances’ government is no guarantee against tyranny, wholesale injustice and lawlessness by its civic officials; especially when deft sleight of hand maneuvers were utilized to circumvent the Constitution. 

America (and other modern states) has approached the full fruition and reckoning of that judicial coup d’état of 1803 (Marbury v. Madison), which laid the groundwork for the undermining and overthrow of a written constitution and reversal of the American Revolution through the interpretative duplicity of sophists. “The Constitution on this hypothesis is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”9 Ultimately, the blame for the clear cut violations of Constitutional articles rests with the long and winding road of judicial interpretative contortionism, which allows the present President and his Pips, in their superior wisdom and comprehension of pig Latin, to deem wholesale overthrow of civil rights as “modest encroachments on privacy”.

The Administration’s argument is the same argument as that of the medieval Romanist Magisterium against Martin Luther and the Reformers. Over the centuries since Christ, the labyrinth of “proper” Magisterial interpretation of Scriptures became at wide variance and dissonance to common rendering and understanding of the original text. And like in Luther’s time, the duly appointed authorities deemed submission to authorities to be the only lawfulness, regardless of the virtue, wisdom and lawfulness of that authority and its rendering of the Biblical Constitution.

If Jesus of Nazareth had abided to this principle of lawfulness, He would have been a sinner. For, Christ defied the prevailing interpretation of Mosaic Law in regard to Sabbath Laws, the fourth article of the Decalogue, defined by the duly appointed Jewish religious authorities. He did not submit to their duly appointed authoritative interpretation of Mosaic Law. And as Christ pointed out by the deft hermeneutics of Jewish religious scholars in regard to Corban10, the interpretative traditions of religious jurists had construed to violate the fifth article of the Decalogue (“Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long on the land which the LORD your God gives you”11)

Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.12

If Luther had capitulated to the Vatican demand that he submit to the duly self-appointed apostolic succession with its accumulation of hermeneutical contortionism which left Scriptures beyond all recognition, the Reformation would not have happened. (To underline the level of contortionism, this Roman Magisterium made the gift of conjugal sex, inherently imbued with evil and made conjugal relations that occurred on 67% or more of the days of the year, a venial sin requiring penitentials of various kinds.)

Without the fundamentally necessary principle of soul competence, the right and requirement that a doctrine, whether religious or secular, requires to be incontrovertibly proven to the subjective faculties of the beholder; the rise of Western Civilization would not have occurred. Yes. An individual may not, through disuse of intellectual faculties, intellectual dishonesty, lack of knowledge and understanding of proper principles of hermeneutics, reason and judgment of artifacts, find the truth. But knowledge of the truth is still a potential. This is a lesser ‘evil’ than the return to a medieval dark age; where cadre of priests, whether religious or secular, is able to pontificate assertions, without being perpetually subjected to scrutiny of any and every kind. It is for this reason; this modern dependence on ‘expert texperts’ and authoritative credentialism, that bullshit reigns in every intellectual discipline and sociopolitical endeavour.

Likewise, the same dynamics and principles that required an overthrow of duly appointed and credentialed authority in religious matters, requires a same application to secular political constitutions. The current understandings and practices by the civic agents of the state are at a great dissonance to the plain scrutable rendering of a Constitution that has neither been legally abrogated nor amended to justify such strange understandings of its wording. Just because the incompetent and compromised buffoons in Congress, the arrogant Pretender in the White House, kowtowing to the military-industrial complex, and judicial deceit have incestuously conspired to fashion a Kafkaesque lawlessness that blatantly contradicts reasonable understanding of the Constitution; their practicable interpretations of constitutions are no more legal than the ways that the Nazi regime contorted the non-abrogated Constitution of the Weimar Republic. It was through clear violations of a common understanding of the Weimar Constitution that German war criminals were convicted at Nuremberg.

Martin Luther repudiated the vow of celibacy that was insisted upon all Romanist theologians. His argument was that it was not an oath that was justified by the plain rendering of Scriptures but was that coerced through magisterial contortionism by a religious judicial tradition that had contorted the original and reasonable understanding of Biblical text. Edward Snowden’s oath, which he has violated, can be deemed similarly to be more valid, if by that oath he is required to do nothing while lawlessness and evil is perpetuated. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke) If Snowden violated laws, which themselves violated the Higher Law; in this case, the plain rendering of the Constitution, he is no more a criminal and traitor to the American Constitution than Jesus Christ or Martin Luther was to the Law of God. 

Something is constitutional or lawful, when the plain and scrutable rendering of the constitution or law allows for it; not when some judicial priest contorts and distorts the meaning of said constitution or law beyond all recognition!

Christians are a People of the Book. We have a long history of contending with those many deceitful persons and artifices which have construed to make the Biblical Constitution state what it does not state, and to not state what it does state. We ought to inherently understand the dangers of a political establishment which has done much the same and in which the Constitution is becoming thoroughly unrecognizable in its practicable application by the duly elected and appointed.

 ©Copyright Johnny Hutchinson

 

 


NOTES

  1. Tim Challies, “Fear God More Than the NSA”, …Informing the Reforming, June 12, 2013, Accessed http://www.challies.com/articles/fear-god-more-than-the-nsa on June 18, 2013.
  2. John Whitehead is a Christian civil rights lawyer, having represented Paula Jones against Bill Clinton. There was a write up by Ted Olsen of Christianity Today “The Dragon Slayer” (December 7, 1998). Otherwise, his perspective can be found at https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/.
  3. Franklin Graham, “Letter to President Obam”, Samaritan’s Purse, June 14, 2013, Accessed http://www.scribd.com/doc/148384711/Rev-Franklin-Graham-urges-President-Obama-to-keep-America-out-of-Syrian-conflict on June 18, 2013.
  4. It should be understood that I have conflicted thoughts on this matter. I am not a citizen of the jurisdiction in which this issue is being debated. My contempt is for the unjustified conscription of Scriptures to support a political issue. See “Evangelical Support for Immigration Reform is Biblical, Not Political” reblogged on Timothy Dalrymple’s Patheos Philosophical Fragments blog, March 13, 2013, Accessed  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/philosophicalfragments/2013/03/13/evangelical-support-immigration-reform-biblical-not-political-soerens/ on June 18, 2013.
  5. Matthew 23:19-22
  6. As understood by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment, (1866) as beyond above the laws of God and men.
  7. David Frost, Interview with Richard Nixon, Part 3, May 19, 1977.
  8. President Barack Obama, “Speech in San Jose, California”, June 7, 2013.
  9. Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Spencer Roane, 1819.
  10. Mark 7:7-13
  11. Exodus 20:12
  12. Mark 7:13

 

 

 

Betrayal of Men by the Evangelical Mind (Part 2)

In the first segment, I suggested that the man-up rants, being deployed by Neo-Calvinists, are not necessarily symptomatic of effeminization of the church; but are leftovers and corollaries from a conservative patriarchal perspective that sees men as leaders and women as flotsam; the latter, to be directed by the programming expertise of the male leader. I do not dispute that an effeminization of the church is occurring. However, if we misconstrue the diagnosis, our prescriptions will also be askew.

Recovering from a long sojourn in spiritual warfare and psychosis, familiar to both John Bunyan and Charles Spurgeon; I began recollecting the abusive behaviour of a wife during my period of weakness. I vented my pains and frustrations to a male Christian colleague, leader of our small group.

In similar manner, after the Golden Calf incident, Jehovah vented His anger about the Hebrews to Moses; even threatening to eradicate the nation and produce the promised seed of Abraham through Moses loins. Although His Will might be set on saving these incorrigible people (as a sociopolitical entity), it did not stop Him from confiding His justified feelings. This suggests that it is OK to confide one’s justified feelings, even against one’s spouse, to a confidential source in order to seek psychic validation and vindication, although one has no intention of pursuing the ramifications of such feelings. It clears the air and clarifies the mind before being able to determine how one ought to proceed in the face of such circumstances.

However, the small group leader set upon me for ragging about the wife, even in confidentiality. This is consistent with this conservative value that men ought only to be concerned about their own conduct in the marriage. If the husband leader is wise and virtuous, he will know the right buttons to push so that his woman will respond in positive fashion to his manipulative craftsmanship. The man initiates; the woman responds; in sex and everything else. It is daft! And it is largely unbiblical and unchristian.

I had heard this perennial nonsense from a spouse who excused her every vice and viciousness as being a response to some failing on my or some other person’s part. But it becomes highly incredible when the husband, following the example and admonitions of Christ, refused to rail against the wayward and vitriol railings of the spouse. For, failing to react to the railings in like manner, that same small group leader set upon me. I no longer have contact with the man or his ex-church.

Husbands are to initiate sex and wives respond. Husbands are to lead in setting the tone of the marriage and women will follow if that vision is good; at least in the subjective eyes of the wife. (That is the nub! The wife becomes final arbiter of the Good and therefore the de facto leader.) Husbands are to lead in reparations of marital breaches.

And indeed, this propensity has validity; especially if one isolates all the admonitions geared toward spouses from the admonitions given to general Christian humanity.

However, wives behaving in conditionally to the virtuous initiations of the husband bumps up against this piece of counsel.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.1

One can find similar admonitions to servants/employees (and there are many obtuse Evangelicals who differentiate admonitions to servants from those of employees) about acting as faithful stewards, despite the harshness and vileness of their employers. The general tone of the NT ethos of grace promotes conduct and attitude that transcends merely responding to the actions and attitudes of peers and adversaries.

That a husband should lead in promoting the general welfare of the marriage and spouse is not disputed. But it is the endemic tendency for Evangelical churchmen to blame the husband if the wife fails to respond in kind. If the wife is a natural shrew, the unstated tenor of this conservative mind in Evangelical circles, is that the husband must have made her so. That mindset simply betrays what the Scriptures say about human nature. It might be true that many, if not most people, will respond in kindness to kindness. But there are many who exploit the good will of others or whose mind is so corrupted that they misconstrue the virtue of the virtue of others’ conduct. Furthermore, Christians, whether husband or wife or whatever category of humanity, are to differ from general humanity by transcending knee-jerk reactions to the behaviour of others.

Scriptures speaks about rebellious and contentious women in equal measure as about abusive men. To his credit, Mark Driscoll will not draw back from re-iterating the many proverbs of Solomon concerning such women; despite the many modern Evangelical banshees2, who lop off in selective isolation these admonitions against nagging wives from the rest of his Driscoll’s sermon, which addressed the concerns of both sexes. However, the general emphasis of Mark Driscoll’s sermons and articles tends to be directed more towards male irresponsibility as in this video.

 

 In another sermon turned into Washington Post article3, Driscoll complains about the extended male adolescence, the whining evangellyfish without backbone; these unproductive males still living with their mamas. In a more recent and truly stupid article, Driscoll whines about the unwillingness of modern young males to marry and be responsible. 4 Under the present marital legal regime, such calls to man-up sends men into that, which is potentially hazardous to the material and psychological welfare of the male. A modern legal marriage is not a private contract between spouses alone. In the current sociopolitical environment, a husband marries a wife and the family court apparatus, manned by unjust feminist judges, who favor her. Even male feminists acknowledge the litany of evils that males face in this day5, even if they try to suggest that even more self-centered feminism would resolve it.

Driscollesque admonitions to enter an unjust and hostile legal regime is an invitation for masochistic martyrdom. Males are responding somewhat rationally to the circumstances on the ground. Covenantal marriage, in and of itself, is a virtue and benefit for both spouses. However, in the current sociopolitical climate, a conscientious male must ensure beyond shadow of doubt that the potential spouse will not take advantage of the inequitable family law system that currently reigns and holds the male hostage.

And this is a problem with Evangelical conservativism, which concentrates on private ethics but eschews and ignores public ethics that impinge on private behaviour. Conservative Evangelicals assume that the almighty male can privately overcome the legal impediments and imbalances, no matter how tilted the field of play. For Driscoll to preach marriage but not equally condemn these public impediments and call for sociopolitical reform, discredits the Christian gospel.

And there are other impediments for the young male. They include the imbalance of female to male primary and high school teachers.  And even male public teachers will be largely feminized in these secular liberal public schools. The best three teachers that I remember are all male. This is not a product of misogyny, (or mere misogyny). It is simply that males speak a similar dialect of language of thought. It is simply that males tend to learn more by more kinetic methods; the son who litters his father’s driveway with parts from a disassemble car in order to reassemble another.

In the unjust legal regime, where child support from fathers, even those who are not biological fathers, are scrupulously and relentlessly pursued, while mothers are permitted to play custody games and invent sexual and physical abuse charges with legal impunity; the young male with absentee father has no true solid psychic ground upon to land in order to soar. It is a psychological reality that feminists cannot grasp; at least until the empirical evidence becomes overwhelming after a couple of generations. But even then and there…

It is true that a large element of males do not contest for custody. But why is this?? Custody becomes a weapon, wielded by self-centered and spiteful shrews, to extort more money from their ex-spouses and ex-boyfriends.

It is true that young males are staying with ‘mama’ for longer periods of time. However, consider the economic times, in which we live. There has not only been a socioeconomic and legal war waged against the male through the organs of government, there has been war waged by the older generation against their children. The real minimum wage is 1/3 less than it was in the late 1970s. I could live in a one-bedroom Toronto apartment at the age of 17 and still save a little money. There is no calculable way for my youngest son to live in such splendour even fifty miles from a metropolitan center. Existing union members voted to protect their own wages while damning future employees to a second class wage scale. Indebtedness; through money printing (private indebtedness) and public deficit and debt incursion, which has been addictively continuing for decades; front loads an economy for the benefit of generations prior. Later generations must face an economic drag in the deleveraging and paying back the debt. That is, unless they likewise ‘pay it forward’ until it can no longer be paid forward. And in this dragged-down economy, the youth also faces the public debts of their parents’ and grandparents’ generation. Is it any wonder why the younger generation wants to climb off this boat?

Globalization has strengthened the natural economic power and leverage of management at the expense of labour. Job prospects and wage rates/incomes have become increasingly dismal, especially in job categories traditionally held by males because those jobs, more than the service-oriented jobs preferred by women is more subject to globalization.

And a maturing sclerotic corporatism impedes economic growth and opportunity. The small entrepreneurial startup is often less threatened by innovative competition than by business and legal maneuvers by larger corporations with deep pockets (i.e. Microsoft versus Netscape). This affects more the type of businesses started by males more than females.

Anecdotal evidence abounds of deliberate, if furtive, hiring practices against Caucasian heterosexual males. And males are less adept at navigating the socioeconomic climate of corporate and bureaucracies, whose political correctness is reflective of the quilting bee than the rough and tumble of the boxing match.

Young males are staying with ‘mama’ for longer periods of time? I wonder why.

If women are now complaining where all the men have gone, I remember complaining to my best friend in the late 1970s about how silly and self-centered, North American girls were. Some of my disparagement of the opposite sex in those days stemmed from an ignorant lack of appreciation of the radical differences in approach to life between the sexes. This was consistent with the prevailing winds of thought sweeping those times; whereby gender differences were thought to be a product of social constructions. And thus if women did not meet standards of a supposed innate commonality, it must be less because female proclivities naturally differed, but that the current batch of females were unworthy.

However, hypergamy was just as prevalent then as it is now. I observed in mildly bemused and contemptuous detachment as girls chased the so-called alpha-boys who would express contempt towards them in “locker room” discourse.

If I had the authority of an old Roman paterfamilias, I would probably send away for mail order brides from the developing world for the other two sons that I have. However, this is just as unfair a blanket condemnation of the other sex as that conducted by modern women and theologians. There will always be a remnant of tender-hearted but tough Christian women, in amongst the American Evangelical (and other) Princesses out there.

And thus, if men don’t man up in career, marriage and children; it is equally prudent to question whether there is anything out there worth manning up to!

This is not an excuse for young males to wallow in despair and self-pity. There remains a problem with the porn and gaming culture that predominates the young male culture. However, preaching man-up sermons, without empathetic regard to the general and larger circumstances that males face, invariably and justifiably invites scorn and detestation for such a message. For obtuse evangelical preachers, to thunder without empathetic recognition of an increasingly overwhelming tilting of the field against males, their pontifications will lack resonance in the hearts and minds of future generations of young lads.

Another Note

One of the observations, emanating from the above incident with the small group leader or the Evangelical church in general (and their men’s groups); is the myopia that impedes marriage, through this modern conservative atomistic (individualistic) perspective that pollutes Christianity. We, as men, are to seek how to be better men and let women seek how to better women. In other words, each is to weed their own side of the conjugal garden.

However, analyzing only one’s own side of the garden, prevents a totality of vision as to the social dynamics of the conjugal relationship. The weeds on one’s spouses’ side can spread onto the other. The Scriptures speaks of marriage as one entity (“one-flesh”); in which the issues on both sides of the garden are of common concern between spouses. There are natural responses to the behaviours of the other. The wife, who incessantly places herself on the self-righteous Moses seat, finds a husband that withdraws from intimate confiding of his dreams, fantasies, fears, anxieties and shortcomings with her.

The Puritans envisioned marriage, society and church as a whole and total organism; a commonwealth. The actions and attitudes of one component of the commonwealth of marriage or society etc could not be readily isolated in its consequences. However, current atomistic conservative evangelical mentality is prone to conceive marriage in its individual, isolated ‘roles’. And according to Tim Keller, marriage’s purpose is ultimately to improve our individual sanctification. The onus is misplaced and it hurts the ability to see the total picture and true purpose. The marriage is the thing.

It is true that each party of a conjugal union must ultimately and personally do in order to improve the overall relationship. But understanding the social dynamics enables us to understand why we behave in the way that we do, and against what we are contending.

 


NOTES

1.        1 Peter 3:1

2.        Darlene (Dee) Parsons, “Mark Driscoll is a Nagging Clanging Cymbal”, The Wartburg Watch 2013, May 1, 2013, accessed http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/05/01/mark-driscoll-is-a-nagging-clanging-cymbal/ as of June 1, 2013.

3.        Mark Driscoll, “The world is filled with boys who can shave”, Washington Post – On Faith, August 22, 2010, accessed http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/mark_driscoll/2010/08/the_world_is_filled_with_boys_who_can_shave.html on June 1, 2013.

4.        Mark Driscoll, “Why men need marriage”, Washington Post – Guest Voices, January 11, 2012, accessed http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/why-men-need-marriage/2012/01/11/gIQALubyqP_blog.html?wprss=guest-voices on June 1, 2013.

5.        Noah Berlatsky, “When Men Experience Sexism”, The Atlantic, May 29, 2013, accessed http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/05/when-men-experience-sexism/276355/ on June 1, 2013.

 

Betrayal of Men by the Evangelical Mind (Part 1)

Dipping into the man-o-sphere, of both secular and religious varieties, they argue that there is an evidential propensity for even the “New Calvinists” (Driscoll, Mohler, Kevin DeYoung) to place unbalanced blame for the current state of gender relations and of marriage and ‘extended male adolescence’ upon the [young] males themselves.Men, already suffering under a legal regime that is deliberately tilted against them, and recent an economic downturn that initially hit them more, will only respond with contempt toward the Gospel and Full Counsel of God because of these obtuse pontifications without empathetic understanding. Perhaps with  tinge of self-pity, it will feel like obtuse preachers blaming the ‘victim’.

The man-o-sphere is inclined to blame this male shaming on the effeminization of the Evangelical Church. This must seem terribly ironic to “New Calvinists”. Certainly, Mark Driscoll deems himself, the epitome of rugged American manliness. And “New Calvinists” have received more than a fair shake of castigation, often vitriolic, from feminists and Evangelical egalitarians, who exalt the things of WOMAN above the things of God. Stung by prior misstatements, some of these theologians have deliberately bent over backwards to appear fair-minded; thereby kowtowing to modern cultural sensitivities at the expense of spiritual fidelity.

However, the critique that such man-up rants emanate from compromises to endemic and insidious feminism is unfounded. They derive from a different source. They reflect symptomatic excesses and perversities of a conservative ‘patriarchal’ mindset, unjustified by Scriptures; of ‘males as leader, female as flotsam’ attitude. ‘If only the man knew how to wind the woman doll up properly, she would obey his every whim.’

Continue reading “Betrayal of Men by the Evangelical Mind (Part 1)”