Category Archives: family

My Jesus Can Beat Up Your Jesus

There has been an online surfeit of discussions regarding masculinity and Christianity (see here, here, here, or here).  Various evangelicals have been using Mixed Martial Arts and other ultra-violent sports to inject missing machismo into American Evangelical Christian men.

I was first made aware of the connection between Christianity, MMA, and masculinity through Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle.  I am particularly thankful for the ministry of Driscoll and his call for men to stand up and lead their churches and families.  While I do not agree with the faux bravado sometimes created by the hyper-masculine Jesus described by Driscoll and others, I understand their reaction to the hyper-feminized Jesus of modern America.  I, too, am tired of Jesus being portrayed as a “limp-wristed hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair who drank decaf and made pithy zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes.”

The hyper-masculine Christian male is nothing new.  In my denomination, “real men” are often portrayed as big-game hunters who can kill a bear with a Swiss Army knife.  The popular Christian author, John Eldredge, has been marketing Christianity to men for years calling them to find their inner warrior.

As Christians, however, we are called to be Biblical, not reactionary.  Christian men are called to be like Jesus who is neither an effiminate, lamb-snuggling weakling or a Rambo-esque MMA fighter.  As Scot McKnight has said, “The gentle-Jesus-meek-and-mild presentation is every bit as skewed and unbiblical as the Ultimate Fighting Jesus.”

I agree that there is a crisis of masculinity in American churches.  The crisis of masculinity extends to the culture at large (see Al Mohler’s discussion of the gender gap in higher education).  God has chosen men to stand up and lead.  John Piper says it this way, “God calls spiritual, humble, Christlike men to lead the family as husbands and lead the church as elders” (Brothers We Are Not Professionals).  Male leadership is not about weight lifting, bow-staff hunting skills, and bravado but, rather is grounded in the gospel, demonstrated through service, and solidified in confident humility.

Haiti and Heartbreak

This is heartbreaking.  The tragedy of the earthquake was magnified when I read the personal story of Arno’s adoption.  Prior to the earthquake Haiti had some 50,000 orphans.  I can only imagine the number of orphans in the country today.  Read this story for yourself. The article is lengthy but well worth your time.

To My Dad: Thanks

This will be my turn to brag a little about my dad.  He is the most talented musician I have ever met.  However, I have watched him sacrifice personal acclaim for the service of Jesus.  This past Sunday night he taught from Psalm 118 at his church.  If you are familiar with SBC churches you might understand how rare it is to find a “Music Minister” who is genuinely qualified and gifted to be a pastor.

When I was in high school I was tired of “church.”  I was sick of people who called themselves Christians and demonstrated the opposite in their living.  It was only the consistent example of my parents at home and in public that reassured me that Christianity was for more than just “show.”  My dad has always modeled a servant’s heart, a scholar’s mind, and genuine commitment to the Lordship of Christ in all things.

The Bible is clear that the home is an essential component in the discipleship of children.  I once heard a youth pastor say about the role of the church, “we can’t fix in four hours what you screw up in seven days.”  Maybe not the most sensitive statement, but definitely true.  Parents provide the framework for Christianity and the way they live and parent will either affirm or deny the legitimacy of the gospel in the life of their children.