One of the many ways in which society vilifies masculinity is through the use of masculine caricatures. These caricatures of masculinity span all the way from the hyper-masculine to the completely emasculated. Yet, they all paint masculinity with a negative brush.
The passive dolt of a father that defers to his wife to avoid incurring her wrath (i.e. her withholding sex from him). The insecure jock that bullies weak nerds to reinforce his superior social status. The guy that drives a big truck and owns lots of guns to compensate for his perceived masculine deficiencies. The charming womanizer that views women as nothing more than pieces of meat to be used for his sexual pleasure.
These are just a few of the caricatures of masculinity perpetuated today. These negative stereotypes are so prevalent that they are now used as the modern plumb line for what it means to be a man. The fact that these depictions of “toxic masculinity” are wildly inaccurate is given little consideration. The media pushes it and the unsuspecting compliant masses take the bait.
With masculinity deemed a toxic liability, femininity has been promoted as the agent needed to detoxify a society reeling from generations of patriarchal dominance.
This perception is ubiquitous. It has even infiltrated the Christian church. Mainstream Christianity has disregarded the clear teachings of scripture regarding the created roles of men and women. They are now subservient to the god of feminism. It’s apostasy. Moreover, men are complicit and suffering under its heavy hand.
Today’s guest on the podcast shares my concern and frustration over the state of masculinity within the church (and outside of it).
Jon Parker is a Christian. Like many young Christian men today, he struggled without positive masculine role models in his life as he was growing up. As a result, he was forced to become resourceful at finding positive masculine influences wherever he could – and he found them in some unexpected places.
Our conversation covers a multitude of topics that place Jon’s relentless pursuit of personal improvement via self-sacrifice on full display. Learning to embrace discomfort is something every man needs reminded of from time to time. This podcast episode provides this reminder in vivid detail. We also cover many more actionable discussion points you won’t want to miss.
- What it was like for Jon growing up without a positive masculine role model and the unexpected places he found masculine influences
- How politics and masculinity inevitably intersect
- What motivated Jon to lose over 30 pounds of fat (and how he did it)
- Jon’s recent experience attempting to complete a 7-day fast
- The unexpected reason Jon is currently unable to actualize his desire to enlist in the U.S. military
- How masculine caricatures have come to define masculinity as something that it isn’t
- How the church – particularly men in the church – has been made impotent by the feminizing of western society
- Jon shares about the novel he’s writing to use fiction as a way of motivating men to embrace their masculinity
Use the media player below to listen in:
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Connect With Jon Parker
- Jon’s Video On Toxic Masculinity
- Jon’s Video Introducing His Novel
- Jon’s Video On His Desire to Join the Army
During the podcast, I make a comment about an article I read that interpreted Christ’s instruction to turn the other cheek as being a means of paying an insult to those that seek to harm us. However, I recently read through this passage in chapter 6 of the Gospel of Luke and it’s clear that this is not what Jesus is communicating to his disciples.
When reading any form of literature we must be ever mindful to interpret a specific text within the context in which it is written. In regards to the command to turn the other cheek, it is given within the specific context of Jesus providing examples of what it means to love one’s enemies. Amidst the exhortation to turn the other cheek to those that slap us are also directives to pray for our persecutors, bless those that mistreat us, and give willingly to those that steal from us.
A man slapping another man on the cheek was considered to be an incredible insult in Jesus’ time and culture. Jesus isn’t teaching that we should return an insult for an insult, but that we should be willing to endure the insult even a second time and suppress the temptation to respond with anger, malice, and vengeance.
Again, the call is for us to be willing to endure shame for the sake of showing love to another. The point that’s being made is that love is a higher calling than defending ourselves against a foul gesture or someone taking a portion of our material wealth.
Notice what Jesus is not saying. He’s not declaring that a man physically defending himself against someone that intends to harm or kill him is always wrong or unjustified. In fact, I’m unaware of any teachings in scripture that prohibit the use of physical force to deter a threat on the life of an innocent person.
Indeed, I would contend that we are morally obligated to defend the innocent from threats made against their life by others. However, when the only stakes involved are our pride and personal comfort we should be willing to endure a hit in these areas for the sake of loving our fellow man. This is what Jesus taught (and exemplified).
There are few things more masculine than a man being willing to sacrifice of himself for the benefit of others. In fact, it’s one of the primary ways we show love to others as men, as I will be writing about in greater detail within an upcoming posting on masculine love.
In case it isn’t obvious, I care about truth. It would have been easier to let my comments go, but I believe it’s my responsibility to my followers to admit when a correction needs to be made and to set the record straight. Masculine men recognize where they have fallen short and they take responsibility by making things right.
– Craig James
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