Last night at our men's group there was much discussion about the state of things with men in the church. (I mean church in the sense of the Body not just our local chapter)It has been troubling to see the assault on all things men in our society. Even more so it is troubling to see the effects that this attack is having on the faith of so many men. The view of men that we are constantly bombarded with is one where the male of the species has just emerged from the primordial ooze. He then wanders off aimlessly scratching himself and looking for the nearest tv and/or porn site so that he can satiate his single cell grey matter.
We are constantly told that we need to be more like women, either directly or subliminally. Women, we are told, are the fount of all wisdom and the wellspring flowing from the center of the goodness of humanity. (I hope you can read the sarcasm between these lines) Men are everything that is wrong with the world these days, we are told. Things that could be considered manly are sidelined as spurious affectations of beer-addled minds. So everytime I go to a worship time I go to a place where only the more feminine emotions are given free reign. This is not entirely wrong because I need that realease of intimacy, but it is also not entirely right, either. As a man there are deep and dangerous emotions and needs that range through my soul and spirit which hunger for expression. Aggression, war, anger; a thirst for adventure, challenge and danger; a desire to protect, and others all find their place in me and in my God. It may be as difficult to read this partial list as it was to write because the training we have recieved tells us these are all bad things. Things which can be eradicated with the right amount of prayer and fasting. These are all things that stem from some sort of root issue or another.
The overall effect of this has been to castrate men at the root of who they are and to withhold their God-given authority. It is the same effect achieved by Jezebel, wife of Ahab, king of Israel. She tore apart his manhood and left behind a simpering bucket of mush that probably could not look you in the eye. Through manipulation, subversion and sex she effectively emasculated this man. Of course he had a role to play as well, because he allowed it to happen. He gave up all God meant him to be and became less than.
I love the picture in 2 Kings 9 where Jehu rides up and sees Jezebel in her window. He then orders the eunuchs to cast her down from her perch. The eunuchs; the emasculated ones. It's not the ones with power who lay hands on her and cast her down. The symbolism is rich because it shows two things. Firstly that one man with the passion of God in his heart can make an incredible difference. (Note: Jehu was annointed and commanded of God to do this, it was not his own whim) Secondly it shows that there is opportunity for those who have faltered to rise against those who have captured them. Eunuchs were of course commonly employed to serve queens and other royal women thus preserving their sexual purity as well so the image here is strictly symbolic.
There is an awakening that will happen amongst men. Not one which has us picking daisies and watching the Sound of Music, but one which will turn our hearts, as men, to our children. One which will release the potency of the Father to our children and return to us the hearts of our children.
Can I hear a RRRROOOOOOOAAAAAARRRRRRRRR!!!??