Opinions on faith and life

The Emasculate Conception

2008-02-11

I know, bizarre title. But hopefully you’ll see why I chose it, even though it’s really about a misconception.

I refer to the often-heard whine that the churches/ Bibles/ Christianity has become “emasculated”. A rather pathetic example of this “manly-man” mentality is found Here. It would be comical if it were not someone’s actual view. But such misconceptions are common and need to be addressed.

Let’s address it with scripture:

2 Cor. 11:2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.

Eph. 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Revelation 21:2, 9 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

Neither Jerusalem nor the Church is ever portrayed in masculine terms, but instead in feminine terms as these scriptures show.

Tell me, manly men, how you can “emasculate” a bride.

You don’t like “church”? Neither do I. But my reasons have to do with the whole pagan paradigm that tradition has called “church”. On the other hand, the “manly man” objection is how “effeminate” the churches are. Yet incredibly, the vast majority of these churches are run by men who refuse to give up their positions. So we have men running clubs for ladies, and the men don’t like it. They want the Bride of Christ to be manly!

Whatever, Bubba. Start your own men’s club and call it church. Put spittoons in the aisles and leather on the pews. Hang some deer heads on the wall and never plan services on Sundays during game time. Then drag your women to “church” by the hair and make them smell your manly cologne. Or just leave them in the kitchen to make snacks for game time. I really don’t care.

All I care is that Jesus loves me, no matter how that phrase irritates your manhood. I am part of this Bride of Christ. If you have a problem with how the Bible portrays believers, then you have a problem with pride in maleness, and you need to get over it. We are people, all of one Body, and you still can’t say to the other parts, “I have no need of you!”.

For the umpteenth time, females accepting the Bible’s clear teachings of equality is just that: equality. It is not a quest for power or position; those are things male supremacists crave. Jesus died for us as well as for you, and proclaimed freedom for us as well as for you. “Not so among you” is an indictment against both male supremacism and the clergy/laity class distinctions of tradition and history.

8 Comments

Lin

Tell me, manly men, how you can “emasculate” a bride.

Ok, I am cracking up. But then, I heard this everyday at the super duper entertainment mega I attended for years until I got saved.

Come to think of it, one way they could deal with this is to actually teach the full gospel message. Not that it is manly...but because it gets our focus off these silly worldly things.

Paula Fether

I’m happy to have brightened your day, Lin. :-)

You’re right of course, the churches are for entertainment, as they really always have been. Mega or mini, people wouldn’t come without the familiar hymns or bands or worship team.

I wonder if these manly men ever think about what kind of guy King David was, writing all that gushy poetry, or Solomon and that steamy romance "song", or what Jesus meant about gathering children under his wings like a mother hen. Methinks they protesteth too loudly!

Lin

You know, John Eldridge has made a fortune on this topic. As has Doug Phillips, and many others. Maybe that has more to do with it than anything. "Create a problem then sell stuff to fix it"

Paula Fether

You may be on to something there, Lin. Kinda like the pharmaceuticals industry. Or CBMW. But shoot, we preach egalitarianism for free. Now if we could just think of a problem it causes...

Irma

I love this article. The men in my church have gone on and on about this. Like more men to step up to the plate (eating or baseball?) Men are leaders and women are followers ( if our church had good leadership it wouldn’t have split so many times). Women can’t be elders but they can run the Sunday School and of course the kitchen and the nursery and the women’s ministry. Men are priests of the home , men are women’s covering, men are women’s spiritual leaders. All of it and more. I have taken a break from church for about a month. However my pastor had given me a project to do and told me that I had a gift for study and research (I had told him that he was the first pastor who asked me to use my brain) I am glad that these things are being addressed!

Paula Fether

Hi Irma, thanks for your kind remarks. And I like that "step up to the plate (eating or baseball?)" :-) God bless you in using your gift for study and research; He knows we need more women "stepping up to the plate"-- and not to wash it!

DB

Tell me why does emasculate and efemanate (sp) mean the same instead of the opposite thing as though being woman-like is the worst thing in the world.

There is no English word for something that is disturbingly masculine.

Paula Fether

I can think of some words, but I probably shouldn’t post them. ;-)