Reclaiming Masculine Christianity Pt. 8

One of my biggest struggles with Christianity of the last few hundred years has been how hyper-rational it has become. We build and fight for absolute and concrete answers. As finite beings, our answers will always fall incomplete to the answers of the infinite, because of their finitude. I have heard leaders talk about masculinity and what that looks like in Christianity, it has concerned me. As the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “As soon as you label me, you negate me.” All humans are spiritual beings and are made in divine DNA. How can you label anyone who is made in eternal subjective matter? Masculinity cannot be defined in an either/another manor. Rather, we ought to respect the subjectivity that we are all created in.

I have heard of some men say that they could never believe in a God they could beat up, to which I must respond, didn’t you already do that on the Cross? Then I see Christianity producing these perfect little good boys who follow the rules of their church or tradition, looking to avoid pushing the social order. As Shane Claiborne rightly said, “The more I get to know Jesus, the more trouble he seems to get me into.” Because of the personal subjectivity, the cultural context, and communal influence, true masculinity can as readily be found in a modern day hipster as it can a Hell’s Angel motorcyclist. Masculinity can come from someone who reads poetry over coffee, as much as it can come from someone who drinks hard liquor over a UFC fight. The question of Christianity, is not what it looks like, but what it produces.

If what Christianity is producing in men doesn’t produce the virtues of what it means to be a Christian (faith, hope, love), then we ought to question what we are placing our faith, hope, and love in. If Christianity doesn’t produce better friends, brothers, fathers, and members of society, then we ought to question the means that is producing the end.

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4 thoughts on “Reclaiming Masculine Christianity Pt. 8

  1. Can anything that is eternal be subjective? I have a lot of issues with this post. The biggest is that you hint at what we should be placing our faith, hope and love in but never say it. So, I will. Our faith, hope and love need to be placed in God first and foremost…everything else will stem from that.

    • Its the difference between who you are and what you are. Labelling reduces your who to a what. Your “whoness” is unreachable, ungraspable. Your “whatness” is graspable, by speaking the word (the descriptor), I’ve appropriated something of you. That is, again, reduced your who to a what. Your subjectivity to an object. The subjective is, at least, infinite. It always transcends our understanding. It can never be talked about without negating what is said. It is an eternal mystery…to the self and to the other who tries to see the “who” of the other person. But of course, we are also objects. Finite. “The self is a synthesis between the infinite and the finite” (more Kierkegaard).

      God, you would say, probably, is eternal. Is God not the subject par excellence? “‘Who shall I say sent me?’ ‘Tell them I Am sent you.'” God’s “whoness” always transcends God’s “whatness”…there is…little evidence really, of “whatness” or “thingliness” anyway. And then, it is said that humans are created in the image of God. This other, infinite, eternal maybe, world-the subjective side-is maybe the meaning of that phrase, in the image of God.

  2. Great post Mike. I have enjoyed this series of posts

  3. […] Reclaiming Masculine Christianity Pt. 8 (mikefriesen05.wordpress.com) […]

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