Archive for December, 2009

Here is a link to a good post by Men’s Rights Activist Novaseeker, who as it happens is an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

Here’s some music to fire up on youtube to listen to while you read it.

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Credo #72: The pay is the same

Posted: December 4, 2009 in Credo, For brothers

John Wimber, a figure who played a prominent role in the formation of the Vineyard Association of Churches, is credited with this phrase: ‘The pay is the same.” The idea is that a “lay” person walking before God in integrity and doing whatever he was called to do — say, working at the local lumber yard and looking after those things he should — has the same “pay” as a person who, say, was a Mega-minister who helped pastor a church of thousands – who was called into this position.

There are many believers who would think more highly of the person who walked in the latter position poorly than they would a person in the former position who walked with integrity.

Edit: Check out this essay at Breakpoint.

Here I offer my own novel take on the “Gay Marriage” controversy. I think conservative Christian commentators here in the States who have a bug in their ear about this are barking up the wrong tree.

I have a solution that I think is very practical and workable; though lawyers I have spoken to suggest there may be State’s Rights issues to slog through were it to be attempted at a Federal level.

Basically, they should stop worrying about what gay couples do in their bedrooms and also – gasp! about what “marriage” means in meta-societal terms and start being concerned about the fact that Marriage 2.0 is not the “marriage” they think they are defending.

Here’s my solution: At the state level, agitate for domestic partnership contracts between two people of any gender that are a) legally enforceable and b) have the same legal standing as marriage. People can write the terms of their contract as they see fit within broad legislatively defined parameters, which could include provisions for “no divorce except for x reasons.” Social conservatives get to have what they want — Marriage 1.0 – and social libertines get what they want — all the legal benefits of marriage. Let society sort out wether “marriage” and “domestic partnership” are seen in the same light and esteem. Let Christians show their light on a hill if they have light to show.

Now, I doubt that this would ever see the light of day, given political realities. My point is to make you think about Marriage 2.0 and what risks a man is taking upon himself in the modern male-hostile legal environment of Family Law as it stands today. I also tend to doubt that conventionally thinking Christians would see the wisdom inherent in this; since they are often trying to move “backwards” to some better day in the past rather than see to the heart of the problems in the Courts, and in the suppositions of some fellowships as to why marriages fail. Many Christian ladies might not think this “romantic,” but a few, I think, will be happy to demonstrate their good will by putting their interests on the block, so to speak.

If she thinks that the attraction that men have for women is by itself sinful – say, “part of the fall” or some such, just pay the bill and never look back after you see her safely to her car. Ask her about this straight up on the first date.

Credo #73: A woman is desirable

Posted: December 3, 2009 in Credo, For brothers

I hadn’t thought of making this a Credo, or even that there was a need to for that matter, since I’ve never bought into the shame-inducing notion that there was something “wrong” with one for being attracted to women. I have, however, like many young men brought up in church, been exposed to this guilt-by-osmosis crapola.

It so happens that conversations between myself and Genuinerisk and seeing a comment over at Amir’s suggests to me that this idea needs to be elevated to a Credo. Pastors who guilt-monger about this need to be walked up to with a supersoaker and given the business; or at least hit with a big nerf bat.

Again, it is not humorous to molest God’s young men with corrupted teaching. It is not a small matter at all.

In Credo #89 I wrote what looks to me to be real-life biblical common sense: The idea that purity is delivery from your old nature, not from your masculine nature. Elsewhere I have commented that Christ’s teaching that a man who looks at a woman lustfully has committed adultery with her “in his heart” is to be parsed out properly as an explication of the nature of the law and the human heart rather than a grid for describing adultery.*

I have been troubled to hear some preachers act and speak as if the God-given, God-created, and God blessed nature He has put within us – both men and women — is “the problem.” That desire to seek out one of the other gender for a life of companionship and physical and emotional intimacy is not “the problem.” No one will come out and say this very directly, though. In extreme examples singles will be pressured to not interact outside of church “authority” — even in ’08 I have heard a date talk to me about “authority” to be dating, and in other benign forms there will simply be confusion about what the official “script” is about all this. It is both amusing and horrifying to come across speakers – they exist – who simultaneously are able to condemn in across-the-board fashion the kind of socializing the leads to romance, and as well, the single Christian man for not being in a relationship headed towards marriage.^ And yet in other, healthy fellowships it is recognized for the gift He has put in us.

I have ventured to put my foot into the bit about “adultery” not to “soften” the idea of “purity” but rather to attempt to make the reader think. Sister: Do you want to be married to a man who is not interested in women by definition because the only approach his teachers and pastors have had towards his masculinity is to make him feel guilty for being attracted to them; and by extension to you?

*If you are willing to say publicly that a man can divorce his wife, or a woman can divorce her husband for a “lustful look” then you have the standing to rattle your gums at me for this. If you can’t, won’t, or don’t, put a cork in it while you reflect on this awhile. We are so used to using this as a “club” rather than “an explanation” that it seems we balk at thinking about this.

^It is noteworthy that they tend to lean Calvinist.