Monday, 16 February 2009

Menly men and all that stuff...

I don't think I've blogged about gender yet, but it's a fairly unavoidable issue, and this post in particular got me thinking.

I don't want to make this all about Mark Driscoll, but he often becomes the focus of a lot of critisicm because of his rants about the church needing to be more masculine, and how this should involve the slaying of many beasts and the pressing of many benches, or something like that.

Basically, Mark is a macho kind of guy, and expresses his macho-Christianity with statements like: We are deadly serious about the great commission and loading all guns to storm hell with the gospel of grace.

I can see that people object to this kind of talk because it can seem to promote violence. Violence against people is bad - I agree. However, there are lots of guys who like the idea of blowin' up stuff and setting fire to things and wreaking havoc with a sledgehammer etc. One of the highlights of my gap year, when I worked for my church, was getting to destroy an unwanted (and very sturdy) high-chair with my bare hands.

I had to act in a violent way towards the high-chair, and I enjoyed it. Was this wrong? (There was no child in it at the time)

If I came across a shrine to Baal in my garden (a tad unlikely) I would destroy it, and most probably enjoy it. Surely this is not wrong.

Even when pacifists agree that Mark Driscoll's violent language is metaphorical, they still don't seem to understand that it's not actually condoning physical violence against people. What it is condoning is a violent attitude towards sin.

For example;
Mark sees apathy
Mark wants to destroy apathy
Mark decides to attack apathy with an enormous mace (metaphor)
i.e. Mark sets his alarm clock for 6am so he can get up and pray

I have no problem with violent metaphors as long as the outworking is the destruction of strongholds etc. However, I don't think men should need violent metphors to incite them, they should rely on the Holy Spirit. And why not let women enjoy a little violence as well?

Apart from that last bit there wasn't actually much about gender there...

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