Tuesday, May 10, 2005

On manhood and Mother's Day

Doug Mendenhall, writing last week in the Huntsville (Alabama) Times, provides men with "counter-programming" to the "pastel sort of religion" found among many churches on Mother's Day. It's true, Mr. Mendenhall notes, that Jesus welcomes women, and that Paul proclaims that all Christians are "one in Christ Jesus":

But still, guys, look back at the early days and remind yourselves that Christianity is a rough and tumble, guts and muscle undertaking. . . .
Jesus was a carpenter's son, and I've been around enough carpenters to know you don't want to arm wrestle one.

A bunch of His best friends were professional fishermen. Not the kind with endorsement packages and their own TV shows. The kind who smelled like fish year-round. The kind who knew as they hauled in a net that if it was empty they'd have to haul in the next one on empty stomachs. The kind not even the carpenters wanted to arm wrestle.

Mr. Mendenhall reminds men that the other apostles weren't weaklings either, and that the Apostle Paul went through some pretty rough experiences himself--including beatings, floggings, stoning, and shipwreck:

What's my point? Jesus and his followers weren't wimps. You know how Jesus died, and all but one of those rough and rugged apostles died equally horrible deaths that they could have gotten out of just by turning their backs on him. But they didn't because they were real men and they were real Christians.

If we attended church on Mother's Day, we probably heard sermons on the virtues of feminine strength:

Yeah, that's important, but the truth is that the church needs more real men who are really committed to the cause.

Think about that, if you have the guts, because your mothers and wives and daughters are counting on you.



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