Archive for November 22, 2009

An Encore…

Posted: November 22, 2009 in Commentary, For brothers

I offer here a post from Single Christian Man Blog I, which is still, unfortunately, appropro:

Bass Awkwards, and the Sledgehammer

July 26, 2007 by singlechristianman

This morning while showering before my ‘blading work out (yes, it’s bass awkward, but a really hot shower loosens up the mind and muscles) I was struck by something that had been right in front of me.

I’ve commented more than I care to have about the folly of ideas like those in the faddish “Marriage Mandate” movement; and have also commented here and there in little bits about those on the other side* of the spectrum — those who have gone to such diligence as to hammer out a “biblical” framework for courtship, which at the end of the day boils down to the faulty assumption that I can’t or won’t keep my pants on. To thus prevent the wardrobe malfunction, someone may need to go through a church elder to date someone (I’ve actually done that) or may have some other kind of pressure of a formal or informal nature either not to date, to date only in pairs, or only men may approach women and not the other way around, blah blah blah whatever their idea of “biblical” is. I’ve even been told by an assistant pastor at a hip sort of Vineyard Church that they didn’t like to see men going to kinships and asking women out (though I speedily note that there wasn’t any “biblical” label slapped on that idea). Now, I’m all for effective pastoring, and I am aware that hormones being what they are that some people, particularly teens who are just discovering their freedom, may need structure and help while they are forming good understandings and good habits — but when you slap the “biblical” bumper sticker on an idea you are in effect saying “God says so, and this is universally applicable.” You might in fact only mean to say something like “this is good advice” — in which case the thought should be labeled as such.

Anyway, my moment of enlightenment: Both extremes essentially boil down to the idea that men are in need of control and management. It’s as simple as that.

And that, single christian man, is Bass Awkwards. You are purchased with the coin of His intervention in human history in the time of Pontious Pilate, as the Creed says — that was put in there to root Him in human history, like your failed relationship of last year is part of history — and you are a Son of Adam. As Aslan told the Prince about to assume his kingship, that is enough to raise the head of any beggar or lower the head of any king — and it applies to you. And you have been provided with such power as you need to walk your life, and I think, wisdom as well. If you aren’t getting it where you are, then leave. You aren’t sinning by seeking help in rooting yourself in Him. Find a place where you find help in this, and move on again if that is what seems to be exigent to your need to do this. If you feel His leading to put down roots, then do that; neither is sinning. If you are on the move, you are learning. If you are putting down roots at His command, remember that you are commanded to be joined to the Head, not to a Pahstah. And remember that no one has been scripturally empowered to put you down for your maleness.

What do the scriptures say about relating to women?….. “treat the younger women with holiness, as sisters in the Lord.” There in a nutshell is all you need to dwell on. Shame based teaching can only bear fruit after its own kind — more shame. Actually finding your strength in Him to walk in Holiness will bear other kinds of fruit. Good fruit. Maybe even the insight to recognize the love of your life and how to relate to her in all ways — that scope of “holiness” doesn’t go away when you’re married, it just accommodates an expanded range of fun things to do.

What prompted my musings? A favorable commentary on Debbie Maken’s book on the website of an author who is on the other side of the ideological spectrum; it can be found at Credenda. Since they articulate different viewpoints, it was a mystery to me how they found ideological comity. But then it hit me … they both start at the same Bass Awkwards assumption.

And men who give in to the feminizing of the church are the subject of my musing at the moment…..

*they are “opposite” in the sense that while the one mandates marriage, the other throws up barriers to even good-faith attempts to socialize – date – on the way to the altar.

Pastor Frangipane offers us wise counsel. Some would have us run away from our circumstance – to bible school, religious activity, marriage, etc.. I do not say that you should not better your circumstance if you can – whatever it is that binds you; I only say that His grace is sufficient for you; acknowledging that I struggle with this as well.