A biblical idea of masculinity should embrace liberty but not lawlessness. You don’t need to be too discerning to see that we have gone long past the idea of introducing more freedom into our gender roles and have begun dismantling the very idea of gender itself.
There is a movement to radically remove anything that resembles a traditional view of gender or gender roles and instead seeks to remove all sense of an intended order to the human experience.
There is nothing but chaos, no Intelligent design to our universe and therefore our moral order. There is nothing that is determined, ordered or requires one to submit too, we celebrate lawlessness, open instead of closed circles of intimacy and the elimination of language, ideas and values that resist, rebel or renounce these social experiments.
In the past the narrow definitions of masculinity have hurt more than helped many men develop into the people God desired them to be. Now it’s the dangers of the borderless understandings of ethics, biology and sterile scientific materialism that are infecting our hearts and homes with lawlessness.
Lawlessness is moral chaos and it promises freedom but only gives slavery. It acts like an angel of light but is a father of lies. It celebrates everything that agrees with it but seeks to denounce, demonize and devour all that defy it’s vision and values.
A balanced and biblical vision of manhood looks to Christ not Culture to determine who we are and what we are called to do and be in this world.
In order to understand our place in this universe we need a biblical understanding of what God has accomplished in the person of Jesus.
The gospel, the good news of God’s saving work for the cosmos is essential to finding a life of fulfillment and learning how to flourish as God intends as a man.
Speaking of God’s ultimate purpose in Christ Col. 1:15–20 says:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.“
Colossians informs us that Christ is at the center of creation, that all things find their creation and meaning in Him. He was at the beginning and that means the anthropology of Genesis is deeply connected to the Christology of the New Testament. Christ was there making all things and all things find their ultimate meaning and fulfilment living as Christ intends.
In Genesis 1: 21-22 we see a created order that is described with a definitive reproductive phrase “after it’s kind”, it says:
21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
Being fruitful, multiplying and filling the earth is connected to the boundaries of “after their kind”.
Understanding our “kind” is part of flourishing. A fish is not a bird, a cow is not a monkey and if it tries to live as one, it will not flourish. Such basic parameters of life are critical to cultivating a harmony of living as God intended for creation.
When we reject or try to assemble life differently, we will end up with outcomes that reflect abandoning God’s healthy and helpful order. All of creation has an intelligent design, and that design matters for the wellbeing of the kind and the system as a whole. Disrupt the ecosystem and you begin to put into play possible destructions to the very system that keeps you alive.
When humans try to be what they are not, there is a profound dysphoria that leads to complex and debilitating disorders. This has a devastating impact on the soul and the health of the mind, heart and our ability to live meaningful lives of productivity, procreation and pleasure.
The Apostle Paul speaks of this Divine Order in 1 Corinthians chapter 11:2-3
“I am so glad that you always keep me in your thoughts, and that you are following the teachings I passed on to you. But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”
This chapter contains some difficult passages to understand, and many people disagree with how to interpret the various commands in the discussion of authority, headship, head coverings, angels and the background cultural and theological distinctives discussed.
Nevertheless, Paul mentions a number of points that all come to this one conclusion: there is a created order. No matter what your interpretation of how a man or woman is supposed to demonstrate their obedience to the head covering commands, the overall principle is that God is a God of a distinct, Divine Order.
He expects humans to worship and witness to this Divine Order of Creation through their agreement, submission and actions to that natural order. To defy, disregard, dismiss or denigrate this understanding of Created Order as antiquated, sexist or somehow detrimental to human flourishing is to place oneself above the word and ways of God as revealed in Scripture.
According to the Bible gender matters and it matters in worship. Our worship is a sacred act that flows out of a heart and mind aligned with God’s will and ways.
It reflects a beauty and simplicity that the late-modern, secular and religious experiment is deconstructing with a dull cultural hacksaw.
The result is a culture, community, home and heart that no longer fits and functions as God intends and the results are devastatingly clear all around us.
So what is behind these various fronts against the order of creation?
Ultimately it’s about rebellion against the rule of God. Why is there a particularly adversarial and aggressive target of manhood, masculinity and the number one target…the Patriarchy?
Patriarchy literally means “the rule of the father” and comes from the Greek patriarkhēs: father of a race or “chief of a race”. Patriarch is a compound of patria: “lineage, descent” and patēr: “father” and arkhō: “rule”.
Ephesians 3:14-15: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family[*] in heaven and on earth derives its name.”
*The Greek for family (patria) is derived from the Greek for father (pater).
Hierarchy means sacred rule, hieros, for sacred, and arch, for ruler.
The fight against father is manifested in many ways in our culture and in some form or another, almost every argument eventually finds itself boiling down to the Patriarchy, the slavish rule of men, particularly white, western men.
The propaganda for this deconstruction is something most men recognize, feel and face in relationships with women, the workplace, in the courts and in schools as parents or students.
The media in all forms is at work diminishing and demonizing men and has created a cultural narrative that isolates, silences and sours men as they retreat in response and survival from social responsibilities, marital commitments and any other situation that feels like trying to get your balance on quicksand.
Then men are shamed as the sources of our societal ills when they act out the roles written and play out the part assigned by our immersive and conforming culture.
When the late-modern man looks around at our culture, he sees that his role as Protector is not needed, there are police, firemen and soldiers. His role as teacher has been taken over by a public education institution that has his kids more hours than he ever will in life.
His role as Provider is no longer needed in culture that supports people through taxes via Government assistance, social welfare programs and organizations that provide for every niche need.
His role in procreation is growing obsolete if science and porgressive social programing prevail. They face a confusing maze of ever evolving social norms related to dating, sex and realtionships. They are force fed the evils of the traditional ways of manhood in the past with its supposedly rigid morality, sexual prohibitions and life long marital demands.
Today in our enlightened and liberated culture men can indulge in a hook-up culture that provides sexual access without any demands on the man other than navigating the swipe and text jungle. Yet, even still men, who are only one half of such inventions, are often judged as the lead consumers of a shallow, noncommittal and sexually irresponsible relationship landscape.
Then when it comes to the potential ending of a pregancy, men have little to no say in the termination of life through abortion, since the whole system was never designed to lead to marraige. The whole construct is all about quick and easy pleasure, in reality it’s just prostituion without the social stigma.
My point in showing this overview of the battlefield of manhood is to stir, awaken, compel, engage and provoke men and women to see manhood, fatherhood is under attack spiritually, socially, sexually and culturally.