‘Male christianity’ vs Mother Teresa


I was reading this article (it was linked by Christine Sine on her blog) about ‘cage fighting for Jesus’. And I just don’t know what to think about this… The first reaction is just one of total disconnect. I’m just not the type of man who would ever be interested in violent sports, so I guess I’m not the target audience anyway. All things macho are just something that I can’t take serious I’m affraid… But there are more serious doubts about this kind of stuff that I have on a more theological level.

It’s a problem that I have with the whole movement of ‘male christianity’, especially in the USA. In fact, most of it seems totally intermingled with the American culture too for my european eyes anyway…

Thr first problem is that you cannot push people into exact gender roles. Men can also be totally differen from other men, and women from other women, and sex is only one factor. For example; the difference between me and my wife is a lot smaller than the difference between me and some other man (let’s say driscoll, Eldredge and those Christian fight club dudes), you just cant lump people together because they are of the same sex… You cannot force your own preference and stereotypes on people just because they are male or female. Especially not if those stereotypes are just cultural, and not even part of my culture (sorry Mr. Driscoll, your gender roles are not biblical, just american) when I read the men are from Mars book, I sometimes recognised myself in the men fom Mars, sure, but at other times I did find myself more in the description of women, or I felt like coming from Jupiter or maybe Sedna

When it becomes a male-female dichotomy, and the other sex becomes something bad that can be used as a derogatery word (like Driscolls word ‘chickified’) something is wrong. This is sexism, and there is no place for it in the church. ‘Bad masculinity’ is nothing like femininity…

But there is something more that bothers me about the whole ‘be a man, be violent’ stuff. Let’s take for example the qoute at which I finally stopped reading the book ‘wild at heart’ by John Eldredge, after not recognising myself in it from the beginning on. “Jesus is no pale-faced altar boy with his hair parted in the middle, speaking softly, avoiding confrontation, who at last gets himself killed because he has no way out. He works with wood, commands the loyalty of dockworkers. He is the Lord of hosts, the captain of angel armies. And when Christ returns, he will be at the head of a dreadful company, mounted on a white horse, with a double-edged sword, his robe dipped in blood. Now that sounds a lot more like William Wallace than it does Mother Teresa. No question about it, there is something fierce in the heart of God.” (p 19)

The critique of Mother Teresa was too much to read on through a book that already troubled me. I guess eldredge just uses her as a caricature, but I’m sorry, she may be a woman, but she may be more Christlike than all those Jesus-cavemen lumped together… And if for some autistic reason a woman can’t be an example for you, then take St-Francis, or our belgian St-Damien of Molokai, or Stephen in acts… Jesus was God, the Almighty, who laid of His power, and came as a baby, and suffered with us. When they came to arrest Him, the disciples started fighting, but he rebuked them and healed the ear of the soldier who was wounded by Peter. so if Mark Driscoll says “I cannot worship a guy I can beat up”, he misses the point entirely. He came to be beat up, and worse…

The fighting of the good fight is a methaphor, (just as the double-edged sword) It has nothing to do with our fleshly muscles, and endorphines and adrenaline… No, those are things of the flesh, which are not the core of the Kindom fo God, which comes

Not by might, nor by power,
but by my Spirit says the Lord…

I believe Jesus didn’t came to teach us violence. Hhe didn’t say ‘blessed are the bruise-makers’ (or even the cheesemakers) but blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the Children of God. He doesn’t break the bruised reed or quench the smouldering wick, and we are called to follow in His way.

The Kingdom of God will not come through Martial arts… But through His strength when we are weak. And that may be impopular for us who want to be strong and in control, but in the end, we are to be weak, so He can be strong through us… And if our false idols of so-called manhood have to go in that process, so be it…

Shalom

Bram

6 responses to “‘Male christianity’ vs Mother Teresa

  1. Pingback: ondertussen op mijn engelstalige blogpagina… « ‘blog van Brambonius’

  2. A great response to the article on Cage Fighting. the scary thing is how easy it is to misrepresent God and Jesus in the midst of this

  3. Scot McKnight and the Jesus Creed community are discussing the same topic here= http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2010/02/jesus-and-mma-mixed-martial-ar.html

  4. Pingback: The cultural problem of Mark Driscolls effeminate worship leaders… | Brambonius' blog in english

  5. Pingback: Masculine christianity is a privilege of the English-speaking… | Brambonius' blog in english

  6. Pingback: On similar misandry in Christian fundamentalism and consumer capitalism? | Brambonius' blog in english

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