One website that has provoked me to seek manhood and genuine masculinity is Return of Kings. I never fail to walk away from what I read with a renewed sense of the calling to be a man. The struggle is that Return of Kings is a site dedicated to masculinity through personal conquest in terms of achievement and sex. Winning a one night stand with a young college female is simply part and parcel of the site’s focus. As a Christian, I believe male sexuality comes from God and is intended to be contained and expressed within marriage of one man to one woman. On this point, I part company with the thoughts on the site.
The main strength of such sites is the focus on men and solely on men. The writing is about men, who they are, what they naturally possess, and what they are capable of, both good and bad. Missing are compromising considerations to political correctness, feminism, or feminine sensibilities. Being offensive to women is not a goal, but neither is it a hindrance. The feelings of women are simply not a factor.
This sensitivity to women is why churches are succumbing to feminism and why ministry to men are secondary in church efforts. The desire for churches to keep the biblical idea of avoiding fornication has morphed from teaching a strong doctrine of discipline and purpose into a self-help program meant to teach men to be sensitive to women’s feelings on sex and marriage. The benefits of Christian limits on male sexuality for women should be secondary. The benefits apply primarily to men. It takes male potential and focuses into a creative purpose.
Free Northerner covers this idea quite effectively when he writes:
The average male, is generally neutral in his inclination to his choice between hedonism, destruction, and creation … Creation requires the most effort and is the least enjoyable (at least in the short-term), but it creates value for society and meaning for the male human … So, how does society encourage a male human to create? There are really only three ways: force, access to resources, and sex/family … A male human will willingly create and undergo hardships he wouldn’t otherwise for the benefit of his mate and his children, and their futures. He will try to create (or destroy) to attain more resources than he would normally need or want simply to give to his family. The third option is the only stable and reliable option where the majority of males will willingly create rather than engage in leisure or destruction. It is also the only option for society where the male doesn’t have a decent chance of responding with destruction.
The current thinking is that masculinity in men is either destructive or selfish, but it is femininity in women that civilizes men and makes them creative. This idea is encapsulated in the concept of Christian men as apes and Christian women as princesses:
The image of human evolution as a symbol of civilized apes applies primarily to men. The image of God as King with heirs apparent is applied primarily to women. Primitive apes walk down the aisle to marry heavenly princesses who have the right to be doted on and called “beautiful” for their entire lives regardless of how they actually conduct themselves. The primitive apes are told “man-up” and shoulder their duty and enjoy the gracious privilege of actually marrying an evangelical woman. The preachers herald the union in utter ignorance while openly criticizing both evolution and feminism. It is the ultimate culture of male inferiority and female superiority backed by God and scripture, so saith the ape and princess co-pastors of mega-non-denomiational female-oriented churches.
Heralding women as sources of civilization in opposition to male destruction essentially places women on a pedestal and establishes them as morally superior to men. The moral superiority of women is a fundamental, if unspoken, tenant behind the push to advance women into male spheres of life and is the driving force of ministry to men in Evangelical Christianity. In the film Vanilla Sky, this idea is the point of revelation for the main character:
This was a kind woman. An individual. More than your equal. You barely knew in your real life, but in your lucid dream, she was your savior.
A woman as a man’s savior is not totally without fact. However, Christianity and its morals for men are not based on the needs and wants of women. Those morals are derived first from a heavenly Father and scripture. Woman in and of herself cannot save a man, but Christian morals leading a man to be with a woman can.
Fornicating men who live a self-centered life are right in that their being a man is the beginning of who a man is. This goes against the church culture that holds that a woman in relationship with Jesus (another man) is the beginning of who a Christian man is. Given that the Christian God is male, both Father and Son, and that its sacred text is both male-oriented and divinely designed to be so, to make woman as the center of the Christian man’s life is counter to Christianity itself.
Christian men should learn from the male-centered culture where men live for masculinity that being a man is the foundation of their lives. However, their sexuality is governed by marriage, making marriage an institution given by God to men for men.
[Edit: The quote from Vanilla Sky actually said, “More than your equal” and not “More than a woman. Correction made. MM]