Saturday, January 7, 2012

Real Men Cry

Mark Driscoll has a lot of good things to say. I'll start with that simple statement.

He isn't stupid, in fact he actually knows quite a lot about theology. It's actually what he's mostly known for.

But credentials alone do not a man make. I was reading a post by a blogger called "Chaplain Mike" about Driscoll which you can read here, which prompted this post...

Now, I've sampled Driscoll's stuff before. I'll tell you right now, it isn't my cup of tea. I like the graphics, and some of the concepts for how to format discussion (like smart boards, text message question sessions, using social networking and such), but I really don't like him, and how he presents himself.

In fact, after initially watching some of his clips I remember thinking; 'This guy seems like a total tool.'

But, he has a heart for Jesus, he has a heart to try to communicate the truth, as he sees it, to young men who haven't been 'churched' if you will, and he's done well, as far as numbers go.

After reading Chaplain Mike's post, I decided to revisit the world of Mark Driscoll, and remembered just why I don't like much of his stuff. Below is a clip of Driscoll talking a bit about real men, and, what he believes they've been replaced with in the church...

Now, I don't begrudge Driscoll for having an opinion on this issue, but I do completely disagree with it. If you know me, or have read any previous posts, you may know that I was raised in an artistic home. My father taught music in public schools. From a young age I learned to appreciate things like, musicals, symphonies and museums. I was never a "jock." When my dad and I would bond we would do so over Culver's concrete shakes, or listening to classic rock.

I grew up in a home where we learned to share, and talk about our feelings. My dad and I feel things deeply. We get sad when animals die or are abused, and shit like that.

I played football for a couple years, and enjoyed it, but I liked music more. I invested all four years of high school in marching band, musicals, and photography classes.

I actually resent Driscoll's disdain for "sensitive" guys. I resent the whole idea that, unless you're some kind of brawler who is obsessed with his car, and how many RPM's you can get out of your engine, that you cannot be an innovator. I resent the idea that true men are at home on Sunday watching football on the couch, rather than being active at their church.

Real men cry.

You know why?

Because real men aren't afraid of their emotions, and feelings.

Because conversation and relation are divine traits.

Because music, art and literature are just as important as sport.

See, as a guy, there's this sort of pressure to subscribe to this "macho man" mentality. To out-lift, out-shoot, out-talk the next guy.

I will not subscribe to this.

I've felt this pressure my whole life to be a "dude." It's something I can't be.

Please don't misunderstand, I love taking opportunities with my friends to learn about things outside my comfort zone (check out my "wilderness man" stories on the blog, and you'll see).

But, I'm not created to be a hunter, a fisher, a "jock", a warrior (at least in the militaristic sense).

It isn't me.

God has created me to write. To love art, film, and music. This is who I am, and I'm not ashamed of it. And if you can relate to this, then you shouldn't be ashamed of who you are either!

If you're a guy who is a "sensitive", there is nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong with you. Just because you aren't a hunter, fisher, or mechanic does not make you less of a man. If you appreciate new clothes, smelling nice, conversing with a woman and learning about her life, you are not any less a man!

Manhood is not something that is attained through credentials.

It isn't attained by doing the "expected" or "typical guy" things.

Jesus, who is my sole inspiration, invested his time in relationships with others. Plain and simple. He wasn't chest bumping with his buddies, and burping, or making pervy jokes. He interacted with women, he loved and had compassion, he wept, he showed emotion.

Do you really think he was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying like: "Yeah, Father God, you know this cross thing? Bring it! I'm not a pussy, I can take it! Can't you think of anything better? I'm up to it!"

Hell no!

He felt fear. He prayed so hard he sweat blood! He wasn't trying to downplay his coming suffering!

Being a real man means feeling something other than constant testosterone.

I like some of the stuff Mark Driscoll has to say, most of it I don't.

Some of it, like his ideas about Christian manhood, are actually quite ridiculous.

Being a man is about more than being a "dude." It's about being real. It's about being true to the person that God has called you to be.

In fact, God has a way of shattering these shallow perceptions we prescribe to, and replacing them with radical realities.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Driscoll. I don't think he meant to be offensive towards guys who are more into church, music, art, or books. Obviously he's a church going guy himself, so his beef isn't with God. He's just saying that guys need to act like guys, and if churches want to grow, they ought to do something to attract guys.

Society has turned testosterone into a bad thing, when in fact it's the key to innovation, imagination, determination, courage, etc. We've feminized our male population so they can be more politically correct and because of that our men are emotional, sensitive, and weak.

I'm not saying that being in touch with your emotions is bad, but basing your life on emotions instead of reality is certainly a stupid move. Being sensitive isn't always a bad thing. Obviously being sensitive during a funeral is important. But having a soft, touchy-feely, kind of reaction to everything in life isn't great either. Men need to be able to NOT be sensitive, brush off the bad parts of life and move on. Weakness... well... come on - physical strength is separate from spiritual strength, but being strong is important, whether it be mental, emotional, spiritual or physical. Strength is never a negative attribute.

Anyways. I don't think he meant to be offensive. He just looks at guys as... well... high testosterone energetic feisty beings that may need something different to attract them to God.

We could definitely have a great conversation about this!

Josh said...

A great point Tim! I will definitely look forward to our conversation about this! We can agree, I'm sure, that intentions do not make up for the reality though. He may have meant to say it as eloquently as you, but he didn't. To me it seemed like he was pushing a stereotype of male, that I really don't want a whole lot to do with. What really makes a man anyway? Is it the sorts of activities he engages in, or is it his character. Driscoll may be insisting that men need to be stronger leaders, and need to use the attributes that are uniquely male that we've been given by God, but the examples of what that would look like that he uses are terrible. You are right though, I do admire the man's passion to reach young men, and create a place where they can feel like...well...guys. But one size doesn't fit all, I don't think. Different men have different strengths. Not all are gunna look the same. It would be a great study though I think...biblical attributes of what it takes to be a godly man... hmmm..

rkaiser said...

Jesus probably burped at some point though, right? lol...One of our Summer Project Bible studies was spent almost entirely on debating Jesus' bodily functions. It was great.

Josh said...

I'm not saying he didn't have typical human bodily functions. lol. :p