Christianity and Masculinity

Aside from goofing up UFC (Its Ultimate Fighting Championship, not Club, unless you mean this), Eugene Cho has a post that, from a Christian perspective, offers an alternative view of masculinity to that being espoused by the “masculinity movement”:

While there are clearly stories about Jesus’ “toughness” [Jesus topples tables and whips moneychangers in Mark 11, Matthew 21, and Luke 19/20], I also seem to remember that Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, demonstrates amazing grace to the prostitute woman in John 8, enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey to the shouts of Hosanna, and eventually goes to the Cross to die for humanity.  I live for this Jesus!

You don’t have to be a Christian to appreciate that.  Seeing Jesus as a literary figure, as I do, he is still someone who exemplified grace, humility, and nonviolence.  Non violence is a path that requires inner strength.  Although I would make the point that inner strength is not just the hallmark of true femininity or masculinity, but humanity.  It is part of our potential, a part of what makes our lives a work of art and compassion.

The masculinity movement is more noise on the religious front.  One needn’t look far to find elements of misogyny and homophobia (Christianity Today):

The aspect of church that men find least appealing is its conception of Jesus. Driscoll put this bluntly in his sermon “Death by Love” at the 2006 Resurgence theology conference (available at TheResurgence.com). According to Driscoll, “real men” avoid the church because it projects a “Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ” that “is no one to live for [and] is no one to die for.” Driscoll explains, “Jesus was not a long-haired … effeminate-looking dude”; rather, he had “callused hands and big biceps.” This is the sort of Christ men are drawn to—what Driscoll calls “Ultimate Fighting Jesus.”

and support for some wacky theories(emphasis mine):

The movement’s method of reclaiming the radical nature of the gospel, however, poses a genuine threat to Christian discipleship. These authors see the church’s fixation on morality as part and parcel of the church’s feminization, and they suggest that the solution is to inject the church with a heavy dose of testosterone. In other words, allowing women to create Jesus in their image has emasculated him; thus, regaining a biblical image of Christ is as simple as re-masculating him.

What are they smoking?  Do they really think the notoriously paternalistic culture of Christianity and the Church afforded women control over the perception of Jesus?

Although for the record, “Ultimate Fighting Jesus” is an awesome name.

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