Pain & Prejudice
- Tuesday, July 05, 2011
I do what I can to help such men, but the bleeding is so great that I can only do so much. I point out during conferences that nowhere in the Bible does it state that men are ultimately to blame for their failed marriages. Or that women are more moral and spiritual and sensitive to the Holy Spirit. These are cultural fabrications put in the mouth of God. And I call this message against men what it is: Bigotry.
The Bible states plainly that though groups have distinctions, they remain equal before God in value. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (I Cor 12:13). “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
I also point out that beating up on Christian men in church is good business in Christian media. The Apostle Paul wrote about this tendency in his second letter to the church in Corinth. “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word.” (IICor 2:17) Some Christian authors and speakers know that they can malign men and get away with it because guys will “suck it up” and keep coming to church. They know that their message plays well with some women. It’s hard to get a person like this to understand the problem when their paycheck depends upon them not understanding the problem.
Christian men don’t like the prejudice against them, they complain--sometimes bitterly--in private, but they keep going, though something happens to many of them beginning in their late thirties. Church becomes a chore. And a bore. They go out of duty, not because they receive much inspiration there as men, or truly helpful instruction regarding marriage and gender differences. They go because they feel they have to.
If you question this prejudice against men, then ask yourself: Why do men have “Accountability Groups,” at church, yet women have “Fellowship Groups”? Men are treated as if they are one step away from committing felonies. So they require constant monitoring, constant “accountability,” as if they are at risk of jumping a form of spiritual bail.
Bigotry robs people of dignity and value. It frustrates common and healthy human desires, creates dark psychic storm clouds, and unless a man is unusually robust, creates spiritual fissures. Bitterness, anger, and resentment seep into men’s souls, as I heard during the question and answer portion of the conference. One man used some words that I can’t restate here regarding his wife’s behavior and how handcuffed he felt defending himself and his children against her wicked tongue. He’s been told that a “good Christian man” does not confront his wife about her behavior. His spiritual training has told him that accepting abuse is synonymous with sacrifice, so he sits there and takes it. He doesn’t feel right protecting his children either.
But the biggest problems aren’t that such bigotry takes place and those who are guilty of it get away with it. The biggest problem is that with enough intensity and duration the group under fire believes the propaganda against them.
Minorities believe they are feckless.
Blondes believe they are stupid.
Christian men believe they’re spiritually deficient.
No wonder they don’t lead as they should. Or they lead, but with the unsure footing that accompanies fear, inspiring confidence in no one. Or they lead, but with ambivalence, inspiring no respect in no one either.
Paul Coughlin is the author of No More Christian Nice Guy, and the upcoming, No More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps: Raising Secure, Assertive Kids in a Tough World (June 2007). He is the co-author along with his wife Sandy of Married But Not Engaged. He's also a founding member of GodMen (www.godmen.com). To have Paul speak at your men's event, contact him at www.christianniceguy.com.
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