Those may remember that I referred to something banal when it came to ideas. That thing is Red Pill movie reviews. There’s a few of them I’ve run across in going through movies, but one that was too good to pass up as an illustration in describing this issue of “just being a man”. In 1986, a movie called Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released. In going through that one, a Red Pill passage came about, one that’s so concentrated that it’s like being hit by a bag of door knobs:
Cameron’s never been in love. At least no one’s ever been in love with him. He’s gonna marry the first girl he lays. And she’s gonna treat him like [bleep] because he’s gonna kiss her ass for giving him what he’s built-up in his mind as the end-all, be-all of human existance. She won’t respect him because you can’t respect someone who kisses your ass. It just doesn’t work.
-Ferris Bueller (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
In studying the character and development of Cameron Frye (that’s Ferris’ friend that goes along with him and his girlfriend), it presents a good example of the so-called Christian Nice Guy, if you replace “first girl he lays” with “first girl that shows interest in him for marriage”. Ferris even uses the phrase “be a man” towards him, so it’s obvious what the author intended.
While there are a couple of other points that have been dealt with recently about “being a man”, the main points of interest:
Know Who You Are
This point involves correctly knowing who you are. In the most general sense, it involves loving yourself, and not debasing/hating yourself. There is nothing wrong with this Scripturally as the second Great Commandment is “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This is correctly noted as self-respect. The overarching thing is to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
For the Christian, there is nothing prideful in defining yourself in God’s light and ways. In fact, one measure of faith is whether a man believes what God tells them of themselves. “We are free indeed” (John 8:36) “We are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14), among numerous other things. Even in light of God, He didn’t make garbage. You are worthy enough that He gave Jesus for your salvation. You are worthy of His grace. You are worthy of His mercy.
But there are those that will try to tear others down. Self-doubt will do that. Others will do that. Parents and other people that will put themselves in places of authority will do that. The Enemy will do that. Those things will try to put other labels on you. “Weak.” “Evil.” “Victim.” “Potential rapist.” “Bitter.” “Angry.” “Helpless.” And a number of other things. They’re trying to get you to believe these things. They’re trying to get you to compromise these things, by being “nice” and “tolerant”. This is where guarding your heart becomes important, along with strength and courageousness. Remember, no one can tear you down in this way without your consent. There is nothing new under the sun with this.
Worry about what others think of you will tear this down too. Part of self-respect and loving yourself is standing up for yourself. The last thing any of these agents want is to have men being their own men, determining their own values, and their own destiny. They want dependency. They want you to care what they think. This pattern will persist to the point that it is in yourself, if you keep it going. You have to stand up for yourself. If you don’t define who you are for yourself, others will. Where Cameron finally realizes this:
Seventeen years and I’ve never taken a stand. Now, I’m gonna do it. I’m taking a stand against my father, against my family, against myself, against my past, my present and my future. I will not sit idly by as events that affect me unfold to change the course of my life. I will take a stand and I will defend it. When my father comes home tonight, he’s finally going to have to deal with me. Good or bad, I’m taking a stand. – Cameron
To move to our example from the movie, “no one’s ever been in love with him”. How is that? He’s so worried and afraid of what others will think of him and his choices (one moment is described as “wimpishness”) that he doesn’t let himself be known. There’s nothing that a woman can see that she can fall in love with. In the movie, Ferris describes Cameron as being “wound tight”. In the latest effort of defining “Christian masculinity”, this is perhaps the most illuminating thing they’ve come up with. (See also, also this) It’s a good rule that people will see you based on how you define yourself to them. If you are confident, you will come off well, if you are ashamed, then the result will be much different.
Ironically, the best advice I’ve ever gotten for my public speaking appearances is along these lines. Don’t worry about what others think of you. In fact, make the biggest fool out of yourself as you can (within societal norms). It’s counter-intuitive to those who have their minds set on impressing people, but you really have to not care and not worry what others think of you. (Ironically, the movie intends Cameron and Ferris to be polar opposites. Ferris is the one that does stuff and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him. But there are many more men out there literally like Cameron)
Know who you are and be confident in it. If people are going to judge you (and they will), let it be for who you really are. Be open and honest with others and with yourself. If you don’t like something you can change, by all means do it. Not for a woman, not for others, for you.
Know Whose You Are
This has been discussed much on the blog previously, but is pretty simply defined. One will naturally focus their life into a specific place, thing, or person. This is discussed at length in Your Legacy. One can put their focus on a number of things, but for the Christian, there is only one right answer to this question: Christ.
As Mr. Tippin sings about, this is about being “your own man, not a puppet on a string”. Or another way to say this, who do you answer to? The problem with the average man in general is that they accepted the framing of the feminists in that their purpose or mission is a woman. In looking at our example, he is like most weak-willed men: He accepted the definition of others which states that his lot in life is to find a woman that approves of him enough to marry. Moreover, since he is weak-willed and conditioned well in basing his worth in the approval of others, he will kiss her ass. No one (man or woman) will respect anyone that kisses their ass.
Concentration on a man’s mission (“Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” – Ecc 12:13) is what is important. As with anything, there are those that set out to change it, and to success because a man doesn’t have the fortitude to know who he should serve. A man serves Christ, not a woman or a woman’s tingles. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. A man can not serve both God and a woman. A man can not serve both God and a woman’s tingles.
Related: You Are What You Follow – You Serve What You Follow (Part 1) – You Serve What You Follow (Part 2)
These things are just like true Christianity, in the sense that it can not be taught. All you can do is be these things, as all you can do is nosce te ipsum. Simple to be, but hard to master. There’s a difference between doing something and being something.
These themes come out again and again through the Scriptures, to the point that it seems that any lapse of faith seems to be a violation of one of these two points. Next, I’ll go through some of those.
One of the things that’s fascinated me is the new attempt to define “Christian masculinity” by a number of others, which has turned out much like the old ones – an attempt to adapt PUA Gamey Game into Christian ideals, when none such thing exists. They’ve been interesting reading in terms of their attempts to define Godly virtue, some very good, some into the heresy territory. However, as any false ideology holds water because it holds some degree of truth to it as any good lie does, trying to adapt or consider chasing of the flesh as something that is God-honoring doesn’t serve God (Point #4 in the camp along with GBFM). As it is written:
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)
It’s disappointing how so many claim to worship Christ, but either worship and supplicate to women directly or worship and supplicate to their tingles. Inevitably, you get feminism when you define what a man is in terms of his utility or value to women, no matter what frame you use. Then, they all can not agree on a definition of Game, so this is a good sign that there is trouble. Since they can not agree on a definition of Game, they must say that it can not be discussed.
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
“Why are people blowing it so much out of proportion?”
As you can gather from the two posts I linked to from this blog, the issue isn’t learning to be what you were born to be, just be what God made you to be. A dog has no choice but to be a dog to the glory of God, and do dog things. A bird has no choice but to be a bird to the glory of God, and do bird things. If you are a man, do not define, do not grouse about learning something artificial, just be a man. Men, however, have the choice to sin against God, which means being something other than what he was innately written to be. Unfortunately, with the influence of others (especially women), men are drawn away from what they were meant to be into something they weren’t. Instead of being a man, you become something different. So, the issue becomes repenting and restoring what was lost, not learning an artificial construct.
The answer for being a man is just to be a man – to “just get it”. The next post or three will discuss what “it” is.
I’ll admit everything that has gone on in my life the last few months has kept me busy enough that I haven’t been able to post at times. There’s also my perceptions of what is blog-worthy and what isn’t, which honestly enough is colored by what I’m about to write about. But there’s another thing that’s kept me from posting, as well.
In thinking on what this blog is about, it always comes back to one thing, something that probably keeps me from a good about page, since it’s so simply expressed:
That idea, most noticeably voiced through the Scripture quoted in the by-line, along with the name of the blog, is something that’s urged me in my walk with Christ and my ministry efforts up to this time. It seems for some reason that I have a certain uneasiness and sometimes even an anger when I witness such things in my own life and around me. Then I pray and God grants me wisdom regarding why the uneasiness and anger exists.
I’ll admit, too, that I had a big scathing post in mind with the title “In Search of Godly Virtue” hitting most of the blogs that I read for one reason or another. Something not Christian from a “Christian blog”. Posts that are feminist-leaning from supposedly anti-feminist manosphere blogs. Posts that are both anti and pro an issue. The general avocation of Game that gets more and more grating on me from a Christian standpoint. I know from the Spirit and my prior sin that saying too much the times I get angry really isn’t productive for a number of reasons, most notably it can tend to temptation to words that are counterproductive. As it is written, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” (Ephesians 4:26).
Of course, the big danger is bitterness, and more over a lack of love, which leads to a lack of recognition of mercy and grace. As it is written:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
I find it interesting that the KJV uses the word “charity” there as a translation for the Greek word “agape”, as it perhaps encompasses the matter much better than simply using the word “love” as most modern translations do. Language is lost on the word as we confine it to terms of physical giving today, but if we dig into the definitions, we can find that charity and bitterness are opposites (we can also use the words “kindness” and “animosity” there). Quoting Webster’s Dictionary of 1828:
Charity (n): Candor; liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to think and judge favorably, and to put the best construction on words and actions which the case will admit. The highest exercise of charity, is charity towards the uncharitable.
bitterness (n): . In a figurative sense, extreme enmity, grudge, hatred; or rather an excessive degree or implacableness of passions and emotions; as the bitterness of anger. Eph 4.
People can have this tendency to be positive and see the good in people, or see the negative and evil in people. I observe continually in my writing about Churchianity that people can swing so far to looking for good in themselves that they cease to see the evil out there that the Lord very much wants us to repent of in life and stand against. This almost always occurs in the person of the Personal Jesus. Be mindful of 1 Corinthians 13:6 – “[Charity] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;” Love without God’s truth is no love at all – this is missed by many who run to this Scripture.
However, I find in myself a certain pessimism that seems to pervade everything, seeing the bad in all things and all people to the point that the good is very hard to see. I’m very hard on myself, to the point that it can be hard for me to see good in me or good in the things I’ve done, to the point that I’ve offended people who have tried to compliment me. It tends to lead to a certain drive for perfection, where I’ve probably passed on writing many things that would be received well. Of course, I know I probably beat myself up for things that are acceptable and good.
One thing I’ve witnessed over the last two weeks in person in my Bible studies is the same thing I’ve witnessed in myself in this blog and in myself, which lead me to rebuke it with some anger (albeit quite correctly, given the peace in my conscience and the Spirit giving me all of this). It seems I can observe as well that like seems to attract like in these regard, and in that sense I’ll probably have to seriously pray about the company I keep, for it is written “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”. It seems people are whatever way they are for the people growing up around them or how their circumstances shape them in the absence of willful resistance. That willful resistance seems necessary, as it is written:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Most of this is stream of consciousness, and not as well thought out as I would like, but I pray that I can learn to accept less than perfect. I’m not perfect, and no one else is perfect, for only one Person has walked the earth that was perfect, for we are told that “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). We continue and get by with the grace and mercy of Christ alone, and we are told to recognize those things. For:
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:1-2)
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)
It is good to be mindful of these things when dealing with other people. What angered me more about this person was the lack of mercy expressed in the standards they described. All I could say at the time before the Lord is “may his exact words be used against him.”
I am thankful that the Lord has graced me by working on my heart in this matter. I praise Him for His goodness in helping me to be thankful for what I do have. The Lord’s grace and mercy abounds, though. I can tell myself a lot of times now to remember that the Lord is long-suffering, and it turns into a praise. Praise be that He is so much more long-suffering and merciful than me! And I definitely pray that He may teach me to be able to see the good things in people, that He encourages me with the good He has put in me, and that I may not lose sight of the truth. While there is no love without truth, the truth is useless if it is in hate, especially if it is without recognition of the failings of self.
While there’s some confession, some prayer, some teaching, a hodge-podge of things, and more personal than I really intended this blog to be, I was prompted to post it in the sense that there are people that have swung too far in both directions regarding their polarity. I pray it be edifying and convicting (if need be), as I pray all of the things written on this blog have been, albeit as imperfect as it is. I hope that I may be able to continue the journey of seeking Godly virtue on this blog soon, and thanks for all the comments, and well-wishes that have been offered.
In “Men are Logical And Women Are Emotional”, Deep Strength made the attempt to explain the differences between men and women. There is really much to say that is problematic in this. In the comments, Bobbye focused on the unitive aspect of marriage in the Scriptures involved. Marriage is a physical representation of the spiritual reality of community in Christ with His Church. This is reflected in the reality that “a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh”.
Literally, traditional feminism has done a lot of damage in the Church, and one of those things is the concept of community. Community was the primary unit of consideration in most cultures, and is the primary common language of Scripture. Understanding this is literally one of the “Red Pills” behind Scripture since there is so much that is misunderstood when the individual is paramount over the community. Judas killed himself literally because he made himself a man without a community. This “oneness” behind both Christ and His Church and the husband and wife is literally considered to be self-evident when it comes to Scripture and those cultures, but it’s been literally eliminated in modern understanding. People in the West don’t understand why the societies of the Middle East hold centuries-long grudges for this reason: The community was slighted and not the individual. The individual is subsumed into the community, and the identity is the community. This idea comes out in Scriptures such as this:
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
While there is much more to say on the topic in general of the unitive function of community, a summary is suitable for now. Suffice it to say, the destruction of community and the creation of division is Satan’s master work. Unity in Christ, and lack of division is stressed time and again and the opposite of these things is warned of time and again:
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17)
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
This all said, the problem behind the post (and traditional feminism as a whole) is that the culture of differentiation is there. Bobbye brought out a good culturally feminist example of it: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. I consider the two together because the post functions as a good foundation *for* traditional feminism. As Deep Strength writes:
“Churchianity is feminized precisely because they believe that men and women are the same (they believe the lies of feminism).”.
One of the reasons why I have tried to be very fastidious about definitions of terms on my blog is that these kind of misunderstandings lead to very false conclusions. As I wrote here, using Podles as a source, feminism is really female-supremacism.
To be able to distinguish one group as superior to another and create biases, you have to start assigning qualities to each of them, and then judging the values behind those qualities as superior or inferior.
While men can experience emotions, men have a blind spot in that they don’t have that straight off emotional filter or “sensibility.” . . . Therefore, to make up for this blind spot God created women to have that capacity to be a helpmeet to her husband in that regard. This agrees heavily with traditional sex roles.
This could be construed as a pro-feminist statement: Men lack the ability of “emotional filtering” or “sensitivity” that women have, therefore women are superior and men are inferior. This is not inconsistent with other typical feminist literature:
Many feel that women are poised to take over leadership roles in the workplace because of their superior social skills and emotional intelligence [the popular buzzterm used behind what Deep Strength describes].
All of the groups listed in Galatians 3:28 and more have similar biases behind them. As described, traditional feminism got its start via false doctrine, which women more naturally fit to. As Podles states (1), “innate or quasi- innate differences between the sexes cannot by themselves account for the increase in women’s interest in Christianity or the decrease in men’s interest.” More accurately, the creation of false doctrine breaking the community up into individuals, and the preference of certain qualities over others:
In the New Testament, the bride is the Church. Even worse, this allegory was taken up into the increasing humanization
of the relationship of the Christian and Christ, and the individual Christian person, body and soul, came to be seen as the bride of Christ. Thus, sensuality and spirituality joined hands. (2)
As described before, the individualization of the Christian, coupled with eroticism (replacement of the Spiritual with the flesh) led the woman to be considered more favored, and considered more morally upright and closer to God. This, coupled with the incorrect view of what is man or woman, has led to the model of feminism that stays with us through to today.
So what becomes the answer? Let us ponder the nature of the individual and community. What does it take to subsume one’s self into community? Dying to self. The theme is all throughout Scripture:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24-25)
This is especially insightful when it comes to marriage. I am not anything special because I am a man. Any woman out there isn’t anything special because she is a woman. To think different is pride and arrogance. It’s not about your spouse or you, it’s about Christ and submitting to Him. This is the model both for the Church and for a marriage. No one is better than anyone else because they are different. The Father is not better than the Son and the Son is not better than the Holy Spirit. All the same value, yet different in roles. The flesh will always see differences and create division and the resulting conflict, hence the drive of feminists to be seen as equal in role. Those that live in the Spirit will crucify the flesh. To truly give God glory in a marriage (or in the Church), it is literally required to be one flesh. To do that requires putting away of self.
May God get the glory in all things!
(1) The Church Impotent, by Leon J Podles p 102.
(2) ibid p 104-105.
One of these things I find about the so-called “Christmas season” is this almost irrational clamor over giving gifts. You have the commercialism that’s crept into things and the greed that comes from there. The Christmas shopping season starts earlier and earlier. After all, the majority of the sales of all retail businesses occur in December. Then there are these “holidays” like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Pushing all of these things. And, by and large, we buy into it. People crush each other running after things in the stores. People camp out waiting for the stores to open in the hope that they get a thing they lust after in the ads. More to fill the house, yet nothing is ever satisfied.
I’m not going to pretend that Christ Mass ever had anything to do with Christ to begin with, but the one thing it has done that’s praise-worthy is that it softens the hearts of people in the name of giving these gifts. Once upon a time, these gifts had a certain meaning. But do these gifts have any meaning today? We go after these “gifts” for ourselves we’ve been pining for all year, and then get puzzled on what specifically to get others. It’s even awkward to know what to do sometimes. Cards? Gifts? What?
Unfortunately, with this society that’s decreased personal contact, relationship, and (face it) community, it’s been made impossible to know what would be meaningful and heart-felt to another. So it turns into an occasion to make yourself look good, getting whatever you would like in your own mind, not knowing what they would like or need. What they would like or need might be cheaper, even, but (*gasp*) it might require actual time and involvement! Or the eternal cop-out, gift cards or cash. There’s nothing more telling of a lack of community when a whole group exchanges cash or gift cards. Or nothing at all. For example, the two people that I saw exchange gift cards for Amazon. So what was really accomplished?
Then there’s one more season: Gift-Return Day, where all the attempts at “thoughtful” gifts are returned for the cash anyway. Yet another crush in the store, which gets very interesting to compare to church attendance when Sunday happens to fall on the 26th. Then there’s the crushing results on the checkbook and credit cards after the fact which will take many more days to address, but back to it again the next year. After all, our community is tied up in our things now and not people. What’s true connections with family, friends, and the greater community when you can have a house full of stuff anyway?