Friday, April 25, 2008

Speechless ...

Everyone's favourite Mahaney seems to be developing slightly odd markers for "what makes a man". He told us that no "true man" would use emoticons on the internet. I am guessing that he would figure that every "true man" would play sports and now ...

"Like any man’s man, I relish being out of style".

Speak for yourself C. J. I guess it is a good thing he places all these "markers for true manhood" in the context of this disclaimer: "Now I am no academic". No kidding. I need hardly point out that if a book on manhood is next on C. J's list ... I won't be racing to reserve a copy.
Er .... am I missing something here? Is this just his idea of humour? Again? I need hardly state that I am not in favour of fashion obsession to the detriment of anything else. But why oh why is it necessary to make objective, unarguable statements (because no one seems to argue with Mahaney) that logically therefore suggest that if (like myself) you DO enjoy wearing stylish clothes then you are NOT a man's man?! Well ... good job I don't look to C J Mahaney as my role model for manhood eh?! :-) (that's a manly emoticon).

"Real men are those who weep before the Lord, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, who are passionate for the glory of God. Real men pray without ceasing. Real men serve - their wives and children if they have them, if not, the people who God brings into their path. Real men will go the extra mile - and yes, will resucitate a child through the night.

We have this terrible distortion of Christian manhood. Manhood is not measured by humour, nor by interest in sport, nor by an enjoyment of beer. Manhood is not about being macho. Manhood is about growing in likeness to our Lord Jesus".

It's time to get that distortion of manhood back to biblical standards not the opinions of a man. That's why I recommend again Pete Day's website; "After God's Own Heart". Why should the world be interested in Christian men who dress unstylishly?! That's what they think of Christian men anyway (dare I mention socks and sandals?!). Why should the world be interested in Christian men who are obsessed with sports?! Most men are obsessed with sports! Ah - but when the world sees a Christian husband metaphorically laying down his life for his wife, when the world sees a Christian man weeping with arms raised in worship of his Lord - then they will begin to ask questions. Something is different. Something SHOULD be different! And something MUST be different in the way we live (not just what we say) if the lost are to be reached.


Anonymous said...

If as men we are to be Christ-like and follow after Him then we must be moved and soft hearted towards the things of God, to be worshippers, and not be filled with the pride of life and the world, the flesh and the devils moulds of masculinity.
We are also to be mighty men of valour - remember the kingdom heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.
Zeal for His house must eat us up.

We don't need oatmeal man reading his bible, saying his prayers with no power, no authority, just faithful religion, emotional songs and an expression of faith governed by the heart which is deceitful above all things. This is the path of self-indulgence where self is at the centre, and this cripples many brothers, no matter how spiritual their language may be. No souls are touched and broken lives remain un-mended.

What we are not to do as a people of God is merge into some homogenous mass where the men aren't priests in the house and the women have to play a role that they shouldn't have to, because the men are self-indulgent and a drain on the church.
I thank God for all the spiritual mothers and handmaidens in the church, and in the hands of God these sisters compliment the biblical role of men to devestating affect.
Men whose hearts are after God are strong, steadfast yet pliable in the hands of the Potter. Be wary of a brother who doesn't cry at the things of God.

It's time for Brothers to dig their own wells as this should be a Joshua generation.

The agenda of the enemy of our souls is to compromise men into machismo behaviour, religiosity (normally marked by an emphasis on theology rather than life in the Spirit) or through a homosexual spirit of rebellion.
The heart of God for His sons is that they are whole men of God walking softly before Him with hearts after Him, warring against the devil's war.

Incidentally, Mahaney's humour is just that - humour (same as Mark Driscoll's) in one sense as long as it is not interpreted as dogma.

Eutychus, who is thanking God today for His faithfulness which reaches to the clouds

jul said...

Eutiychus, where is the Scriptural support for men being priests of their household, do you know? I keep hearing this idea but have not seen/heard any solid teaching on it, and am wondering how it fits with the priesthood of all believers... If the man is priest of his home, is he also then a mediator for his wife and children that they must go through to get to God?

I know that was not the whole point of your comment, but if you can shed any light on some of these things (or anyone else) I would really appreciate it! Thanks.

Anonymous said...


That's fine - it's an important question.

Very true that there is not a scripture that uses the exact phrase "priest in his own house" pertaining to men that I am aware of. I am very happy to be corrected if anyone else is aware of one.
And yes there is the priesthood of all believers. We are all - male and female - kings and priests unto our God.

There is of course a joint priesthood in a household between husband and wife but I don't hold the view that they have identical roles.

I thank God that my wife walks in the Spirit and she ushers in the presence of God by her prayers. I respect her spirituality and I esteem her for her stature in God.
She has equal standing with me before God.
Proverbs says something like he who finds a good wife finds what is good.

However - our roles are different.

It is not about position. For too long the church (males) have made it about position. It's not about position - it is about function. Our position is the same - we are both joint heirs with Christ.

Our function, however, is different.
1 Corinthians 11:3 says "I want you to realise that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."
Too much men run away with the notion that this is positional and it's not.
Submission of some kind is the key in the functioning of any relationship and God has ordered submission amongst equals. And the submission of a wife to a husband is one of choice. It must not be through force. From when you're using force, you're no longer a priest but you're a bully and you violate the 1 Corinthians 13 thread that should shape your conduct.

And lets be honest - Paul seems to spend more time telling husbands to love their wives than telling wives to submit to their husbands. But he does mention it and we need to understand that this is God's intention.
And abuse of Truth does not negate the Truth.

If marraige is to represent the relationship between Christ and His bridge the church, then it is to be one of pure, sincere love but also one of order. God has placed order and government into His church.
He has also placed a structure into marraige and that's what I'm getting at really.

For a man to be whole he needs to be priest in his house - i.e. be walking before the Lord.
Equally for a woman to be whole she needs to be a priest in her house walking before the Lord.
My emphasis on the male role was because of the post being about "real men."

Apologies if this is all over the place. I'm not a preacher or teacher and I don't have all the knowledge of others who write on here but I hope I have adequately explained my understanding and I hope it;s in some way helpful.


jul said...

Thanks Eutiychus, I think that's one of the best and most gracious explanations on this matter I've ever heard. I especially appreciated your point about men being too focused on position sometimes. That has been my experience in some churches, to the point where women were inferior to men, and greatly suppressed.

I can wholeheartedly agree that men and women function differently, I would add, as two equal parts of one whole (in marriage that is). Just as God is head of Christ and yet Christ is God and equal to the Father in every way. This is a different kind of submission than is generally understood in our fallen world, and too often the church has followed worldy 'wisdom' rather than submitting to the wisdom of God which is beyond their intellectual grasp...

Thanks again for your thoughtful response.

DonB said...

I appreciate the commentary above.

About the original post, however, I say: heh heh heh

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jul for being so gracious. Bless God for anything that has been helpful to you.

It would be great to hear from Dan how he feels our dialogue fits with Mahaney's potentially distracting humour and the heart of God for whole men and whole women functioning distinctly yet equally as God ordained. The overall context of this blog in our discussions would be helpful and I don't feel qualified to bring it, if that makes sense.


thebluefish said...

... i'd chill out, i think the comments you cite (emoticons) are mostly just humour.

Having read the introduction to the book being extracted from it looks good to me, with strong gospel-context on a subject few people think about today. That said, you don't have to buy or read the book. For someone who isn't a fan of Mahaney you sure give him a lot of attention... :)

jul said...

Hi bluefish, I'm not Dan, but speaking as one who spent 8 years in a SGM church, C.J.'s stuff may look good, but it's riddled with legalism. It nearly destroyed our marriage, and has destroyed the lives of many people I love, good trusting people. And it may seem funny to you, these macho jokes, but it isn't funny when there's truth to it. Women in SGM are pretty much slaves, I'm speaking strongly, and it varies from person to person, but there is a major problem. C.J. is a public figure and anything he puts out there publicly should be open to discernment. That's my opinion anyway...not to say we shouldn't love and pray for him and other misguided leaders, and I do just that. Meanwhile though, we should speak the truth so the that the thousands in bondage under that ministry of death can be set free.

Peter Day said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Bowen said...

Hi all,

Great discussion and very helpful. Eutychus, I think I would say that I would absolutely see eye-eye with your comments and they are indeed helpful. My concerns with the whole "Biblical Manhood and Womanhood" thing was that the discussions and the debates have been focussed on combatting extremes. I/e the Grudem/Piper camp are combatting the feminist movement and I guess vice versa.

So there hasn't been a chance to explore biblical normality. I may be wrong - that's just my perception. It seems that in apologetics it is always extremes and excesses that provoke responses and that is how the Church progresses throughout history. That can be good! For example Azusa Street began the century of discussion about spiritual gifts and the role of the Holy Spirit - and were it not for the Pentecostal Movement and Charismatic Movement, we may not have had excellent scholars such as Gordon Fee or Wayne Grudem bringing insights.

I would agree with both Eutychus
and Julie in that what I am hoping and longing for is to see a return of the order and the structure within marriage, as well as the church! Because I do think that is what the Song of Solomon is getting at - the picture of the Bride of Christ and our Husband Jesus Christ is played out in human marriage ... or should be.

Therefore male dominance and overbearing abuse in Christian marriage to me seems to reflect how Romans describes the Law and it's relationship to the non-Christian rather than how Song of Solomon describes Jesus Christ. And surely that is no good!

As for Bluefish's comment: well if you have ever met me in person, you would realise that the odds of me "chilling out" are highly unlikely. I feel and think in extremes. That's why I like Rob Rufus so much I think! ;)

And as for your comment:

"For someone who isn't a fan of Mahaney you sure give him a lot of attention... :)" (was THAT an emoticon!?)

Well for starters like Julie I am an ex-SGM-er and spent 2 years there and have seen how this stuff works in practice and it's not great. In my personal opinion and that's just me. My family are still there and so I am going to give him a lot of attention because his "humour" affects them. And worse - my relationship with them. So as much as I would prefer otherwise, I will always have a vested interest in him and in SGM as long as my family stay there.

Hope that clears up any misunderstanding that I may be a "closet fan" of Mahaney or anything. ;)

Dan Bowen said...

Amen Pete - didn't realise we were both commenting at same time!! ;) You are right. There's a lost world out there to be won! There's signs and wonders and miracles coming to the Church accompanied by a move of His manifest Presence ...

I would say in my defence, that my concern is that of Julies;

"C.J. is a public figure and anything he puts out there publicly should be open to discernment".

These "jokes" that he makes may be mis-interpreted and actually cause men who don't play sports or who do have an interest in fashion and dressing well (such as myself) serious problems with their self-image and worry about their identity. The areas I work in, the statistics of suicide and of self-harm among the age ranges of the kind of men who may read Mahaney is worrying. I know if I was still in SGM, I would find his remarks upsetting.

I think a short blog stating that you don't have to fit Mahaney's criteria to be a real man and you can still most definately be a "real man" and cry, and have emotions and NOT play sports and have an interest in fashion isn't criminal.

Peter Day said...

Just to clarify what Dan is responding to above. I made a comment (which I'm not going to repeat here) which I feel on reflection I shouldn't have made. I'm sorry - so I have deleted it!!

thebluefish said...

I'm not suggesting you're a closet fan by any means... more a matter that there are plenty of teachers out there that I would have substantial issues with, but I find it generally better to not devote too much of my time to them. That's just me tho.

You guys have your experience of churches and I have mine. Plenty of problems out there and in me. Hopefully there are positive roads forward for each of us. Yours, failingly trying to work out what it means to do gospel-life in my local church.


Dan Bowen said...

Well I am sure there are plenty of teachers that you would take issue with - just as with me. For instance I was sick to the back teeth with John MacArthur and his "Charismatic Chaos" in my home church because he was quoted far too frequently for my liking with his anti-charismatic ramblings as an apologist for why my church felt it necessary to boot out the Holy Spirit. Now ... thank God ... I have very little contact with what he says or teaches.

So I guess it is all a case of personal involvement isn't it. Is what this particular teacher having personal effect on my life, or the lives of my nearest and dearest?

I have interestingly had a pretty similar discussion and disagreement with Pete Day yesterday on the phone because he was asking the same question. His words were; "Is it your call to answer Mahaney back?". No - I don't see it as my call to answer Mahaney back. But if my suspicions are right, then there are hundreds maybe thousands of young guys particularly who are maybe within SGM, maybe not and are being directly affected by these kind of comments.

I am not even in SGM (also thank God) and I felt condemned when I read a comment like;

"Like any man’s man, I relish being out of style".

I don't judge those who do relish being out of style. That's fine and their personal choice! But I actually do like being in style. And that's my personal choice. I don't think it reflects on whether I am a "man's man" at all!

And the more that Mahaney goes around making these types of comments, the more my suspicion grows that there are young men who may be worrying that they are not fitting into a role of manhood that he is outlining that is extra-biblical.

I'm glad you feel that the book in it's broader context is gospel-centred (whatever that means). And maybe I should read it all - rather than snatch a phrase and focus on it. But WHERE on earth does the Bible have anything to say about an interest in fashion or not having any reflection on one's manhood?

To me just because Christian men traditionally seem to indeed relish being out of style doesn't make it right. And I've seen thousands of Mobilise guys in Brighton who would also be judged by this statement as falling short.

What public persona's say MATTERS. Whether it's meant to be flippant and "amusing" or not. Because let's face it - we really can't tell whether he meant it as a joke or not.

And I will say the same thing as I said to Peter on the phone. As for devoting my time to Mahaney - that whole blog took me about 5 minutes. The brief skim-through Mahaney's blog, a couple of minutes to digest what he was saying, and a couple of minutes to type it. In the grand scheme of my day - it's really not much, and I wouldn't dream of devoting any more to C J Mahaney.

We do indeed have our own individual experiences of church, and it's great Bluefish that you have the opportunity to hang around with my parent's pastors and go to conferences such as TG4 as their guest. You're privilidged. Wish I could have had that experience when I lived in Bristol - maybe the story would have been quite different in the end. :)

thebluefish said...

:) fair enough, i'm thankful undeserved blessings as i'm sure you are in your context.

it was unnecessary of me to stick my oar in to this thread, hopefully some good as come of it, if not my apologies.

Dan Bowen said...

No apologies necessary Bluefish, I always welcome your opinions and your thoughts - you are a far wiser guy than I am, and one of the blessings of blogging is that you can learn from others.

All oars welcome in all threads! ;) I probably got the closest to disagreement and argument with Pete Day yesterday than I ever have in the seven years we have been friends. But I insisted to him that disagreement is okay! Because surely we learn more from hearing other views than our own, than always spending time with "clones" of ourselves, our churches and our views.