This World Needs More Masculinity, Not Less
The following is from a Trumpet Brief sent out today. These daily e-mails contain personal messages from the Trumpet staff. Click here to join the nearly 20,000 members of our mailing list, so you don’t miss another message.
Are you aware that traditional masculinity is lethal and is destroying our nations? At least, this is what many people now genuinely believe.
Boston Globe columnist Renée Graham is one of these people. “Literally and figuratively, toxic masculinity is killing us. Mass shootings. Domestic violence. Fatal fraternity hazing. Rape culture. Workplaces and schools turned into cesspools of sexual harassment and assault. This is not consigned to one race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic level. Feral masculinity affirms itself every day through violence and domination” (emphasis added throughout).
“Toxic masculinity” is now so big, it even has its own Wikipedia page. “The concept of toxic masculinity is used in the social sciences to describe traditional norms of behavior among men in contemporary America and European society that are associated with detrimental social and psychological effects. Such ‘toxic’ masculine norms include dominance, devaluation of women, extreme self-reliance, and the suppression of emotions.”
Isn’t this just a little frightening? If you are male and you subscribe to “traditional norms of behavior,” a growing number of people in this world, some in influential positions, consider you toxic. And what does one do with a toxic substance? You eradicate it.
You have no doubt heard about the revolting behavior of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Roger Ailes, and a host of other powerful men. It seems every day there are new allegations of sexual assault, new apologies, and, very often, resignations and firings. Here in the United Kingdom, politicians are resigning so fast one wonders if we’ll have enough left to run the country.
As despicable as all these accounts are (and some of them, let’s not forget, are alleged), doesn’t it feel as though something much more significant is going on here?
The truth is, these scandals are being hijacked by an army of amoral, anti-religious, anti-tradition individuals and institutions, who are using them to redefine, isolate and even eradicate traditional masculinity.
This sudden quest for sexual justice is happening at the same time as a somewhat related movement is taking off: the crusade to normalize transgenderism. This cause has advanced further in the last 10 months than in the last 2,000 years.
When you understand that there is a devil and that he has been cast down to this Earth, as Gerald Flurry has repeatedly explained in recent years, it’s hard to see the convergence of these two trends as simply coincidence. The exploitation of these sex scandals to redefine manhood and the dramatic advance of transgender rights are both part of a larger, coordinated attack on true masculinity!
It’s working too. Today there are various programs, including university courses, designed to help men conquer “toxic masculinity.” Teachers, professors and intellectuals are attacking anything that promotes traditional masculinity, including classic literature and Disney movies. Across the planet, famous males are setting the example in purging themselves of characteristics associated with conventional masculinity.
There’s no doubt about it, traditional masculinity—already in retreat from decades of being undermined and assailed—is quickly being eradicated!
If you consider yourself a traditional man, or if you’re in a relationship with a traditional man, then you are a target. If you’re a male who exhibits “dominance”—perhaps you’re a bit of an extrovert, maybe you occasionally raise your voice, perhaps you are capable of giving an order or two—then you are a target. If you are a male who “suppresses his emotions”—who rarely sheds a tear, who rarely talks about his feelings—then you are a target. If you are a male who practices “extreme self-reliance,” then you are a target.
When you think about Harvey Weinstein and these other men, the fundamental problem is not traditional masculinity. The central issue here isn’t the masculine tendency to exert dominance or to treat women differently from men. At its core, this isn’t even about the abuse of power. The fundamental issue here is acute selfishness and vanity, and a desperate lack of self-discipline.
The Bible says that the male and female heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). One translation of this verse says the human heart, or human nature, is “terminally ill.” The way of human nature is the “the way of vanity, lust and greed—of jealousy and envy—of competition and strife—of rebellion and deceit,” explained Herbert W. Armstrong in The Incredible Human Potential. Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and all the rest of these individuals were walking in the way of human nature.
This doesn’t justify their behavior, but it does explain it. Fundamentally, the cause of these problems is not traditional masculinity, it’s human nature.
Moreover, understanding the truth about human nature makes the solution to these problems patently obvious. Ultimately, the solution isn’t to wage war on traditional masculinity, it’s to wage war on human nature. And for men, this means developing more masculinity—that is, developing more right, proper, biblical masculinity.
What is biblical masculinity? First, traditional masculinity as it’s understood today is not biblical masculinity. To be sure, some aspects of traditional masculinity are rooted in biblical teaching and principles, but these principles have generally been misunderstood and misapplied. Moreover, traditional masculinity does not include the essential knowledge revealed in the Bible about what it means to be a godly man. Traditional masculinity, for all its merits, is not biblical masculinity.
So what exactly is biblical masculinity? Ultimately, being masculine means using the power of God to conquer selfish human nature, to submit to God’s will, and to fulfill the responsibilities that come with being a man. Being male, and particularly a husband and father, comes with various responsibilities. But fundamentally, a man’s job is to love and serve. God first, then family, and then fellow man.
The Bible is loaded with scriptures explaining the conduct of a Christian, all of which apply equally to men and women. Consider the instruction in Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (English Standard Version). This is one biblical passage out of literally hundreds. But think on how radically different Harvey Weinstein’s life would be right now—and the lives of his victims—if he followed the Apostle Paul’s admonition? This one passage would radically improve every human relationship.
The Bible also contains plenty of instruction specifically for men. In Ephesians 5, God says a man’s primary responsibility in marriage is to love his wife. 1 Peter 3:7 tells husbands to protect their wives and to “dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel ….” 1 Timothy 5:8 says a man has a duty as a provider: “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
Love, honor, provide—are these toxic characteristics? These are the characteristics of true, biblical masculinity. These are traits that produce happiness and joy, that build stable, contented, thriving families and communities and nations.
Can you see it? The problem here isn’t toxic masculinity; it’s toxic human nature. And the solution is conquering that human nature! For men who understand this reality, the way to conquer human nature is to embark on the Spirit-led, Spirit-infused crusade to develop biblical masculinity.
If you haven’t done so already, I’d really encourage you to download Joel Hilliker’s fantastic book Biblical Manhood. This book is a field manual for developing biblical masculinity. Seriously, has the need for such a book ever been more acute than it is today? If you’re male, then you really need this book.