A reader, Nate, emailed me recently about my latest article concerning GodMen and Brad Stine. For some reason, the comments seemed not to be working (if that is still the case, fire me an email), so I received the following from him, and felt it would be beneficial to all of us to read both the questions and the answers.
Seems like youâ€™ve taken two sources — the L.A. Times and Albert Mohler respectively–quite literally. So literally, youâ€™ve completely lost your respect for Brad Stine and his conference simply because of a few quotes by one conference attendee and the fact that he said â€œbull***t,â€ in a style more benefitting of Slice of Laodicea than yourself, methinks.
First of all, I really appreciate the last statement, with respect towards Mrs. Schlueter. I have worked hard on this website to provide a levelheaded, conservative, Christian perspective without yelling â€œheretic!â€ or making ad hominem attacks on one person because a liberal newspaper says something about them (again, with all due respect towards Slice. I am not insinuating that they do so, but some Christians certainly do so or come very close sometimes.) With that being said, this article was not written without research, and without reading everything from the L.A. Times to Albert Mohler to, most importantly, GodMenâ€™s response to the L.A. Times.
I had hoped to write something short, brief, and to the point about the GodMen issue mainly because it sickened me when I read the Times article. I certainly could not link to the article, nor quote from much of it, due the content. I even had doubts about linking directly to Albert Mohlerâ€™s commentary. But I feel that itâ€™s time to go a little deeper since I have learned that one email represents more than one readerâ€™s feelings on the issue.
So, letâ€™s look a little closer at GodMen, from what they say they are to what Albert Mohler and the Times says they are.
First, the Times states that Brad Stine is an â€œâ€œevangelist, on a mission to build up a new Christian man â€” one profanity at a time.â€ Now, the GodMen blog responded to that statement saying that it was â€œa play on words. Unfortunately it was also misleading, though we believe the majority of the story was fair and accurate.â€
â€œWe’re creating a Christian, men’s only event where men are treated like men, with respect, no holds barred, and hit between the eyes. Men are far more likely to make powerful changes in their lives when they come into a setting where there’s absolute freedom in exploring the difficulties we all face on our spiritual journey.
Because of the graphic nature of the topics that accompany this spiritual journey, we decided that there would be no typical church language decorum, but that as long as it was contextual, any use of language to define a point would be accepted.â€
The fact that any use to define a point is accepted really disturbs me. And the rest of their response shows they have a â€œwhatever worksâ€ mentality. Lives were changed, therefore it is acceptable to be crude, curse, etc. Thatâ€™s not always and most often is not the case.
You can read the entire L.A. Times or Newsweek articles and understand what GodMen is all about. I donâ€™t think you will jump on board.
Iâ€™ve covered what the L.A. Times says and what Albert Mohler says in the last article, so I donâ€™t need to go over that again. But I hope these statements from GodMen have cleared some things up.
The fact is, the whole Christian Nice Guy is a crock.
For all those readers who, like me, felt as if they had a IQ of two when they read that statement, I learned a â€œcrockâ€ is a “broken piece of earthenware.â€ Anyway…
Jesus didnâ€™t call us to be nice guys. He called us to be leaders and world changers! In my church, the people I would describe as â€œnice guysâ€ are the ones that never do or say anything. jesus sure wasnâ€™t nice. he was good, but no, he was not nice. He called the leaders of his day as the living dead, vultures, foxes.
It all depends on the definition of â€œnice guy.â€ If itâ€™s some feminine, shy, lazy, hidden-in-a-shell, mediocre, tiny, insignificant, non-leader type of person, sure, Jesus didnâ€™t call us to be that. Yet he called us to be like Him — meek and lowly, repaying evil with good, humble and full of compassion, giving His life for the world.
â€œBlessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,â€ said Jesus in Matthew 5:5. â€œIf someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.â€
Thatâ€™s a real man. A real man is someone who has the power to lash back and destroy, yet has the self-control to keep that anger or rage in check, and continues in holiness. Heâ€™s not being a â€œnice guyâ€ or a wimp. Heâ€™s showing that he has more than the one slapping him on the cheek. The notes in my study Bible say that â€œMeekâ€ means â€œeasy or mild.â€ Not your normal thought when you think of a man. Yet it is what Christ has called us to be.
As Albert Mohler put it, â€œChristian manhood is not about beating chests…it is about showing up and doing what real Christian men do. Real manhood is demonstrated in the fulfillment of a manâ€™s assigned roles as husband, father, leader, servant, teacher, protector, and provider. Real manhood is in doing what men do, not endless talk about how great it is to be a man. Real Christian manhood is evident in taking up leadership in the home and in church, not in crude and facile talk about Jesus using profanity when he called Herod â€œthat fox.â€
I agree and will continue to discuss those roles of the man later on (since this was just somewhat of a teaser, although it may be longer than I thought). Itâ€™s so important to understand this issue.
We need a change.
You said it. The church is feminized. Men are not attending church, theyâ€™re not leading, theyâ€™re not serving, theyâ€™re not protecting, theyâ€™re not providing. All in all, men are not stepping up the plate, but are falling away from a feminized church where the leadership are women. When men give up their God ordained place in the church, itâ€™s hard to get back. And we are struggling to return to Biblical manhood. And GodMen and others like them have seen this problem. The only issue is that they have attempted to solve this problem unbiblically.
And if at first, that change is a little bit drastic, a slight overcorrection, itâ€™s just sigs of growing pains.
I certainly hope that you do not believe that after reading the L.A. Times article, reading the GodMen website, and perhaps listening to some of the GodMen material that you will continue to say a â€œlittleâ€ drastic or a â€œslightâ€ overcorrection. I donâ€™t believe those words serve the issue justice, or rather the conference justice. Itâ€™s not even funny how disgusting this is.
â€œWhatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.â€ –Phillipians 4:8
â€œBut among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Godâ€™s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.â€
Tim, you might be saying as a reader, youâ€™re starting to sound like them ultra-fundamentalists quoting Bible verses and insinuating things. If that’s the case, then call me that. The Bible is my final Word and fundamental teaching, not what I feel like believing, or what I wish the Bible would say. It says not even a hint, and even if the L.A. Times exaggerated, then thereâ€™s a whole lot more than a hint.
And none of this is to say that women arenâ€™t to be respected.
Eric Miller was one guy out of a thousand that the Times chose to quote. (Are we forgetting just how liberal the Times is? They would love to make Christians look stupid.)
Well, first of all, the Times quoted Brad Stine, his wife, supporters of GodMen, and one or two dissenting voices (such as Miller’s wife.) We all know and understand that the Times doesnâ€™t always lie and make up stories. I also decided to quote Albert Mohler as a balancing view. Also, I didnâ€™t just read the L.A. Times. I read the GodMen website — all of it. This wasnâ€™t just a â€œwell, I heard about this GodMen thing and Brad Stine started it and â€˜wow, he says some bad stuffâ€™ so Iâ€™m going to lose a good amount of respect for him.â€ I donâ€™t do that. Maybe it appeared that way, but that wasnâ€™t the case. Itâ€™s important to clearly articulate what you mean, and like most writers, I fail at that every so often.
Women are to be cherished and loved. And true love is an adventure. An adventure most nice guys arenâ€™t willing to take because theyâ€™re scared of ruining their nice, safe image.
Well said Nate. Thank you for your email. I look forward to your response, whether through your blog or email.
Notice the slight change. Nate didn’t say I sounded like a “ultra-fundamentalist.”