Thus spake John Piper, the wise. It makes me sad. There is a new religion that has entered through the American revivalists over the decades, and it isn’t Christianity. It is a religion of power, authority, money, influence and control. Its ugly babies are abuse, rape, violence, racism, and oppression.
This “religion” has a “masculine feel” – which is now defined as Christians taking dominion, conquering wives, controlling children, taking over counties, states, and eventually countries. (I believe that masculinity is a gift of God that can be used for much good, but that is another subject.)
It snuck in stealthily and some of us didn’t really wake up to it recently. And many, like me, have asked since “What happened to Christianity? How did it turn in to power and politics and hatred and blustering. How did it turn into abuse and oppression and coverup? How did the dynamic of authority and submission come to take the place of the gospel? What happened to the good news that the church was commissioned to proclaim?”
How could we have gotten it so wrong? Many have written on it and have done well. Most of them have been cast out of their churches, received death threats and suffered all sorts of abuse. All that does is prove the validity of the question. “When did Christianity turn into something so unlike itself?”
This is a blog. It isn’t a book. It is a short commentary designed to encourage thought. So I would like to simply modify Piper’s statement to something a little more Biblical, and leave it at that. If you like, you can compare these statements to Piper’s statement and determine for yourself, if you are willing to do so. Perhaps the answer to the question, “How did we get here?” might spring up in your mind.
Instead of saying, “Christianity has a masculine feel”, look at these nine more biblical alternatives:
“Christianity has a lover’s embrace feel” (Song of Songs)
“Christianity has a mothering hen and sheltering chicks feel” (Matthew 23:37)
“Christianity has a begging widow feel” (Luke 18:1-8)
“Christianity has a dying beggar feel” (Luke 16:20-21)
“Christianity has a babies and nursing infants feel” (Matthew 11:25; Matthew 21:16)
“Christianity has a big, warm, lying in each other’s arms feel” (Luke 15:20; John 13:23)
“Christianity has a desperate, helpless sinner feel” (Luke 18:13)
“Christianity has a hopeless prisoner, outcast, despised, mourning, fringe kind of feel” (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-19).
“Christianity has a safe, belonging, peaceful, nourishing, apron-wearing, serving one another kind of feel” (so, so, so many passages John 13; Romans 8; Revelation 20-21; Isaiah 2; Zephaniah 3)
There are probably many more, and the difference is crucial. There are those who have power, who are masculine in every cultural sense of the word; there are those who are in charge, who have money, who sit on thrones, who rule their houses, who have resources, time, authority and status…
But that isn’t Christianity. If you have those things, you must consider them all to be dung, be willing to give them all away, learn to wear an apron, become as a nursing child or begging widow, or you are, quite honestly, not worthy of Christ’s name. Nor are you worthy to use any of the power that God has given you until you first learn to lay it aside and take up an apron.
But on the other hand, those on the fringes, those who are unclean, those who are weak, beggars, cast-aways, despised, hated, thirsty, longing for love and for embrace and for belonging and safety, Jesus is speaking to YOU.
“Come unto me, and I will give you rest.”
Not “and I will teach you to be manly”
Not “and I will teach you how to have power over people”
Not “and I will teach you what you have to do to earn favor with God”
But “I will give you rest.”
I have heard that according to Babylonian mythology, the gods created humans because they needed workers.
God did not create us because he needed workers in his kingdom. He created us to rest in his bosom. He created us free to create, to plant, to reap, to sing, to dance, to rejoice in the love of the Holy Trinity, into which we have been sweetly drawn in by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When we turn it into a “masculine feel” of conquest, authority, power, control, we always end up in some truly ugly places.
Stop the idolatry of Babel, resurrected as Christian nationalism. Learn to rest in the bosom of the shepherd.
James 3:17–18 (NKJV)
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
That can only happen when we learn how to rest in God’s love and stop trying to control everyone or make them our servants. Learn to wear the apron. Learn to rest in the embrace. Long for the lover’s voice. This is Christianity.
14 responses to ““Christianity has a masculine feel…””
Thank you. So. Much.
Sweet, Sam. Well said.
Also really sad, what is a “masculine feel?” Well for me, it’s safety, peace, comfort, nurturing, kindness, and the ability to fix stuff. That’s not only an aspect of God’s nature, that’s a reflection of Him you can see in actual men all over the world! Alas, none of that is even related to how so many of these pastors try to define “masculine.” That’s not what they mean.
I agree completely
Many of these Christian Nationalist type also teach Post Millenialism. When you are literally looking for heaven on earth you are looking for Christianity to be in charge. Then you must make Christianity about dominion and power and control. When we realize that God’s Kingdom is heavenly we stop looking for it here on this earth but instead pray “come Lord Jesus Come Quickly” and look forward to the perfect fellowship in heaven with our Savior and the Bride of Christ.
I was brought up with Post Mil theonomy, and I know how it poisons the soul.
Your words are a healing balm to me today. Thank you.
Tell me what you make of this verse: Matthew 25:32 (MCV) And before Him shall be gathered ALL NATIONS: and He shall separate them, one nation from another, as a Shepherd divideth His Sheep from the goats:
It’s a fairly poor translation, but other than that, I’m not sure what your question has to do with my post. Could you explain?
Well the politically switched on lefties of this evil world would immediately classify that verse as national segregation, some might even call it Apartheid.
Likewise the passage of the Canaanite woman referred to as a dog, could easily be classified as racism on Yashua Messiah’s part. What say you?
Oh and the translation is fine.
It sounds like you already have your opinion set. If you are comfortable with it, who am I to offer an alternative.
Thanks for the comment.
The translation is a little out there and not quite accurate. But I won’t comment further. It’s a weird rabbit trail and I’m far safer on the proven paths
“When did Christianity turn into something so unlike itself?”
“Babylonian mythology, the gods created humans because they needed workers.”
Both of those statements stood out super starkly and strongly to me for different reasons. My reaction to what Christianity should feel like will probably sound like silly meaninglessness, but it is seriously meaningful.
Christianity has a “wet hands” sort of feeling.
I once read a wonderful insight about Christ: next to dying on the cross for us, His washing of our feet was the second greatest act of love for us. The text reads that He knew that He had been given ALL the power and authority there is to be had, and then what did He subsequently do? Stripped down, got down His knees, and got to dealing with dirty feet. It gives new meaning to the phrase “getting down and dirty.”
Even in cultural history, the way a person’s hands looked determined how they would be treated. If your hands are soft and smooth, those are the hands of someone who does not serve, but is served. You can afford to be taken are of, so you are likely to be taken care of as if you are royalty.
None of this would make sense in His kingdom. You don’t have to literally have bruised and battered hands to be considered His servant! But He will look at the hands of your heart. Do they reflect getting wet to serve others, or did they never get wet because others served you?
The beauty of the 2nd statement, I hope, rang with truth that removed any and al lies. Scripture does not shy away from laboring in His grace, that faith without works is dead. But you were not created to work. Things you do are not to be equalized with who you are. You were created to love Him and to be loved by Him. While that IS “work” (expending energy in abiding, maturing and bearing His fruit), it is always, always all about He who loved you first, and He who gives you His grace to labor in.
A wonderful brother in Christ once said that there is no such thing as “masculine” and “feminine” fruits of the Spirit. The denying of this truth, however, however, is destroying persons left and right. It is imperative to never stop fighting the good fight. Never stop getting your hands wet.
So, I get your point, but I think that it’s kind of said a little upside down. I think you meant to say the Song of Solomon, and The Song of Solomon could not have had anything Christian in it because Christianity wasn’t even a thing back then. The Song of Solomon was written way before even some of the prophecies of Jesus were made. I think it was even made before Crucifixion was a thing in the Roman empire, so there’s no way that Christianity was in the Song of Solomon.
But I get it, you believe that the humble should be the ones in charge of the power and authority. Well let’s examine this.
Power over money or people only comes to you if God gives it to you.
That’s a fact.
Therefore, we ought to honor the authority as much as we can because God has placed them in our lives.
Now I get what you’re saying that they might not deserve it, However, Do you know those people? Do you know what they’ve been through? Have you been with them when they were in their lowest of the lows? Because the bible is clear when he states that First comes humility and then honor. that’s Proverbs 18:12.
So I know that it may look like those people who are in power shouldn’t have that power, But that’s like directly saying to God that he was wrong! haha! I know, Because God knows who is in power at all times and he is the one who appoints kings, princes, governors, senators, presidents, soldiers, armies, and everyone else.
I will admit though, Everyone needs to learn to put on the apron at one point. Because that is God’s will in all of our lives. Regardless of if you were born a king or servant, it’s God’s will that everyone should be humbled at one point in their life. Humility is something that God loves. and it is good to be a humbled person. It is a good thing.
The Song is also Christian Scripture, for Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
It has about 3000 years of history interpreting it as the love of God for his people.
Thanks for the comment
Also, I’m not trying to down you or anything because I love the fact that you want to talk about God. And I Encourage you too! I really encourage you to keep talking about God, BUT.. do you know what the book the Song of Solomon is? It’s what Solomon wrote to his lovers man