When ‘Masculine Christianity’ Becomes Unhealthy and Even Dangerous

When ‘Masculine Christianity’ Becomes Unhealthy and Even Dangerous by Michael L. Brown for Ask Dr Brown

There is a great need in the Church today for men to be men, to exhibit courage and conviction, to lead well and to serve well, to provide and to cover. In fact, the Greek verb translated “be courageous” in modern English versions of 1 Corinthians 16:13 is literally, “act like men.” Let the Christian men rise up and fulfill their unique calling, even as Christian women rise up and fulfill their unique calling as well. Both will need courage to stand.

But that is a far cry from the machismo version of the gospel, let alone the militarized gospel. To the contrary, those are striking examples of Christians creating a Jesus in their own image, a Jesus who caters to their flesh rather than calls them to crucify their flesh.

Of course, the wimpy Jesus, the always apologizing Jesus, the toothless Jesus, is not the Jesus of the Bible either. And we are certainly not called to follow that man-made version of the Lord.

The last thing we need is what missionary C. T. Studd (1860-1931) called “chocolate soldiers” who melt in the heat when the going gets rough.

According to Studd, their song sounds like this:

I must be carried to the skies

On a flowery bed of ease

Let others fight to win the prize,

Or sail thro bloody seas

Mark time, Christian heroes,

Never go to war;

Stop and mind the babies

Playing on the floor.

Wash and dress and feed them

Forty times a week.

Till they’re roly poly

Puddings so to speak.

Round and round the nursery

Let us ambulate

Sugar and spice and all that’s nice

Must be on our slate.

In contrast, said Studd, “Every true Christian is a soldier – of Christ – a hero par excellence! Braver than the bravest, scorning the soft seductions of peace and her oft-repeated warnings against hardship, disease, danger and death, whom he counts among his bosom friends.”

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