Do any of you wonder why I use the term “man” or “men” when speaking of corruption within the church and its leadership? Do you suppose that I am among those who want to overthrow the “patriarchy?” I don’t know much about these arguments. I’m not even sure what the “patriarchy” is, but I have noticed a push against the masculine. I do not support this.
You might have also noticed that I refer to all of us Christians as “sons.” I would not do so if I were concerned with the oppression of males in particular. In Christ, there is neither male nor female, as the scriptures say. However, in this world, there is male and female—despite what some might say—and I appreciate the masculine and the feminine. These are according to God’s design and meant to go together in many ways, to strengthen all of us and to bring glory to God. I also appreciate strong men in leadership, both in the world and in the church.
However, I have noticed that the push against the masculine seems to cause some Christian men to be overly sensitive about their masculinity. They boast of their physical strength, intellect, leadership skills, and so on. This can lead to pride and a “unjust scale” that values the physical over the spiritual. In Christ, there is strength in Spirit that is more valuable than strength in the flesh.
Instead of boasting in physical strength or other male characteristics, boast in the fact that you know Jesus is Lord.
All of this is to say that when I refer to “man” I merely mean mankind as a whole with the understanding that in Christ there is no division of this sort that amounts to much, as far as I can tell.
However, I also appreciate the troubles that come with women teaching the things of God, because in this world, there are differences between men and women both psychologically and physically. There is a tendency for women to want to make things overly soft and more palatable for people at the expense of hard truths. There is a tendency for women to shy away from saying things that are difficult emotionally. Women who take a stand in Christ could also find themselves under greater threat of violence because of their physical limitations.
Women in ministry also face problems and accusations just as men do. Men get pegged with accusations about being oppressive and women get pegged with accusations of being a usurper and deceiver comparable to the female villains of the scripture.
I have had some strange things thrown at me in recent years, both those that thought of me too highly and those that made me wonder if I wasn’t a villain and didn’t know it. I don’t like it when this is done to me and I will not do this to anyone else.
All Christians can face difficulties, limitations, and accusations because of gender. However, among the household of the faith, we should help each other and work together so that we can attain a unifying goal that is not gender specific, and that is attaining the Christ-like nature.
I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of explaining my stance here, but I hope I at least make it known that my use of “man” or “men” is not an attack on males.