A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Thursday, December 31, 2009



Monday, December 28, 2009

The Semantics of Realmannspracht

About a year ago, I came across a lengthy paragraph in a book that I thought was quite illuminating. I am glad to have rediscovered it just recently. Consider what it has to say and how it might pertain to our ideas about manhood ...
The word gentleman originally meant something recognizable; one who had a coat of arms and some landed property. When you called someone "a gentleman" you were not paying him a compliment, but merely stating a fact. If you said he was not "a gentleman" you were not insulting him, but giving information. There was no contradiction in saying that John was a liar and a gentleman; any more than there is in saying that James is a fool and an M.A. But then came people who said--so rightly, charitably, spiritually, sensitively, so anything but usefully--"Ah, but surely the important thing about a gentleman is not the coat of arms and the land, but the behavior? Surely he is the true gentleman who behaves as a gentleman should? Surely in that sense Edward is far more truly a gentleman than John?" They meant well. To be honourable and courteous and brave is of course a far better thing than to have a coat of arms. But it is not the same thing. Worse still, it is not a thing everyone will agree about. To call a man "a gentleman" in this new, refined sense, becomes, in fact, not a way of giving information about him, but a way of praising him: to deny that he is a "gentleman" becomes simply a way of insulting him. When a word ceases to be a term of description and becomes merely a term of praise, it no longer tells you facts about the object: it only tells you about the speaker's attitude to that object. (A "nice" meal only means a meal the speaker likes.) A gentleman, once it has been spiritualized and refined out of its old coarse, objective sense, means hardly more than a man whom the speaker likes. As a result, gentleman is now a useless word. We had lots of terms of approval already, so it was not needed for that use; on the other hand if anyone (say, in a historical work) wants to use it in its old sense, he cannot do so without explanations. It has been spoiled for that purpose. [C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (Macmillan, 1973), pp. 10-11] [emphasis mine]
Yes, C. S. Lewis said that. It's not much of a leap to take a page from the good professor and level a similar charge against realmannspracht (that term I have coined for any talk or discussion about "real men" and the such like). I submit that the words "man," "manhood," etc. have suffered pretty much the same fate as the word "gentleman." These terms are often employed in an imprecise, highly subjective manner. They have become essentially meaningless. While the term "woman" remains sacrosanct in what it conveys to the modern ear, the term "man" has been reduced to a fashion statement, covering everything from Axe body spray to Browning Buckmark decals on pickup trucks. Bastardization of our language is the price we pay to further the stupidity of gynocentrism and misandry.

Let me close by saying this: People are in the habit of asking, "What makes a man?" That's the wrong question to ask. The better question is, "Who makes a man?" The answer to that question has already been determined. God makes a man, and we have no choice but to accept the fact of the matter (Gen. 1:27; Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 11:12). In sum, realmannspracht is not only anti-male, it's linguistic rubbish.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Three Wise Folks

In the spirit of the holidays, I present three people bearing nuggets of wisdom on men's issues:

1. The conservative blogger "Playful Walrus" has a good summary of what's bothering a lot of us men. [Of course, it's also nice that he has given me some kudos. ;-) ]

2. Here's a 25-point reality check for how modern women treat men. Written by a bitter bachelor living in his parent's basement? Nope. It's written by a female clinical psychologist. We men are all too familiar with the nagging laundry list of "to-do's" written by relationship experts. It refreshing to see the shoe on the other foot for a change.

3. Here's an article by Paul Coughlin on abusive religious leaders (HT: Singlextianman). Churchgoing men might want to check this out. I am somewhat tempted to see much of the dynamics between male congregants and their church leaders through the lens of "Game" theory. In other words, some "pastors" act like insecure Alpha-wannabees given to religious "AMOGing," browbeating men into obsequious "betatude" (quite contrary to Ephesians 5:21; Mark 10:35-45; Matthew 23:1-11).

Happy holidays.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Psalm 127:1 and the Sexes

Over at MarkyMark's blog, there is a post about a show called Jersey Shore that is of particular interest to me. MM writes:
In far too many modern relationships, the only glue holding them together is the physical. There is little or no mental connection made between the man and the woman. There is little or no emotional connection made. Finally, there is little or no spiritual connection made. In order for a relationship to last-REALLY LAST-it has to have all four elements present; there have to be mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bindings holding it together. Only then will a relationship have what it takes to last. When there's only one binding (especially when it's the physical, as is usually the case in modern relationships) holding it together, the relationship simply doesn't have the strength to withstand any serious stress.
A show like Jersey Shore confirms what MM is saying. The show is sickening and sad, and yet it points to the existence of God. How so? Well, when I read MM's reaction, I notice that he mentions the "spiritual" component. Human beings can't get away from this. Jersey Shore illustrates what happens when God is not present in people's lives. The young people of that show are following verses 20 to 32 of Romans, chapter 1 to the script; and they most likely don't even know it.

God creates human beings. We create things. It's no surprise, then, that in a godless culture, we reduce people to the status of things--from the impersonal, dehumanizing environment of the workplace to the pornification of our sexual relationships. Even "love" becomes a product to be sold, negotiated for, and consumed.

Around Thanksgiving, I said the following at MM's blog in response to a post about "Game" ...
There has been a lot of talk about LTR Game but frankly I think it is overrated. The bottom line is that people are more materialistic, self-centered, into instant gratification, etc. than ever before. Young men may learn about seduction the way young women learn about dressing to the nines. But, today, the youth of either sex have extremely poor relationship skills that doom any chance of monogamy. That's why cohabitation is on the rise and marriage is in decline.

Relationships are just another form of recreation, a hobby, a drug, an appliance, what have you. When people get bored or dissatisfied, they just trade in their partner for a new one. The values of integrity, loyalty, industriousness, sacrifice, compromise, humility, patience, longsuffering, and selflessness that are needed for marriage are nonexistent among a huge swath of young people. That's why LTR Game is a nice theory, but in practice, it has no remedial effect in stemming the mass decay.

When people mention LTR Game, I sometimes think what they are really saying is: "I hope to get a hottie to love me forever" or "I hope to get married one day after I have all my fun." They don't realize that sleeping around is a strong predictor for relationship failures down the road.

The people of today are wanting the quick fix. And I'm afraid they see "Game" as the solution. But secret to relationship success is not "Game" per se. It's a nice component. I certainly am not against men and women making themselves sexier in the eyes of each other (within the bounds of reason, morality, and good taste). But, like I said, "Game" is not the fix.

This is the 300-pound gorilla in the room. This is what some "Game" advocates are failing to address. Relationship success in the past depended not so much on "Game" as it did on character. Today, a lot of people have an insufficient amount of character. They break their promises and think only of themselves.

In terms of male-female relationships, society especially encourages women to be completely devoid of any sense of responsibility for how their relationships turn out. The whole woman=good, man=bad paradigm has resulted in a whole generation of self-absorbed harridans that have no business getting within 100 feet of a bridal shop. So the question needs to be asked by men interested in LTRs and marriage: Why practice "Game" to attract the attention of a female demographic that is pretty sorry in the first place? And if you are a man from one of the more recent Media Saturated Generations, then you may need to consider if you are all that mature and selfless yourself. [quote edited for typos and layout]
Why do I bring up what I wrote? Not to criticize "Game." That's not my point. If a man wants to practice "consergame," there nothing is wrong with that, per se. I suppose it works for some people. Moreover, I am not pinning the blame entirely on women, although I believe society is arguably more lenient about their peccadilloes than those of their male counterparts. What I'm saying is that a lot of people are missing the big picture--the spiritual aspect of relationships, as God intended. When it comes to heterosexual relationships, hookups represent the bottom of the food chain. It's diving for rotting leftovers in a dixie dumpster. A God-honoring marriage is what men and women must pursue if they are thinking about intimate relationships. I do not apologize for saying that.

"Love" is an abused word in this society. I'll tell you what love entails. It entails forgiving the faults and failures of a person because you made a vow "for better or for worse." You see, when you recognize the personhood of another human being, you have to recognize the whole package. You embrace that person, not just what that person can do for you. Love will demand you to sacrifice for that human being even when you are not thanked for it. Love can be a painful, thankless task, and it makes no apologies for that. This kind of love is pretty much impossible without a meaningful relationship with God, who helps us to love others (Galatians 5:22-53). It's no surprise to me. God loves those who have been constantly thankless towards him--that includes you and me (Romans 5:6-8). At some point or another, we have acted or are acting in a thankless manner towards him. So now you know what the scoop is. Read 1 Corinthians, chapter 13 and it will tell you what love is all about. Does that describe your relationships?

When someone belittles a single man as a loser, etc., the charge is usually hollow and effete. Why? Because the ones who sleep around, get into shallow relationships primarily based on status or infatuation, etc. can be just as relationship-starved and deprived of love as the man sitting at home alone on a Saturday night eating cold pizza. Don't tell me how well-fed you are if your idea of nourishment is eating Skittles all day long. Day after day, socially unattractive people fall in love and have deeper relationships than the Hollywood celebs that hop from one bed to another. Why do we envy the latter group's sad existence, then?

I daresay the kind of love I've been talking about is the kind most of my readers want, regardless of their background or whether or not they agree with my posts. But it costs something--your selfishness and your ego. When I hear the talk of some people who fancy themselves as winners in the relationship game, I can tell they are not ready for love and that they are doomed to failure if they don't clean up their act. The men and women who have been consistent, who have stuck with it for the long haul, who have gone through the peaks and valleys with their spouses, etc. do not talk so loud about their conquests. They do not gloat so much in front of others who have been unlucky in love. They usually don't yammer on about "losers who can't get laid." These men and women who have stuck it out understand the price. Love has humbled them. It makes them thankful, not arrogant. As for the ones who continue to be arrogant about their social value in eyes of the opposite sex, poetic justice will find them out and kick them in the posterior (Proverbs 16:18).

Is the heterosexual love I'm talking about worth it? Sure it is (Proverbs 18:22). Furthermore, if you are trying to live up to the vows you have taken before the Lord even when it gives no paybacks, it is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). But having said that, you should think before you leap in the first place. That's my take, folks. This culture has all sorts of ideas about love and how to get it, but like Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" (NASB).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blaming the Barometers

I am linking back to a post by Single Christian Man and plugging him while I'm at it. From time to time, he offers his comments here. Though he doesn't agree with everything I say, I find him to be a straight shooter on a lot of points. Anyone who is concerned about the issues men face in churches (especially religious misandry) needs to be reading SCM's blog regularly.

SCM's post in question is a good take on how the churches are driving single men away even as they vilify them. I think these churches are blaming the barometers. With respect to the church atmosphere, the needle is clearly pointing to FEMINIZED.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christian Women Are Easy?

Christian women are easy ... or, uh, at least this guy thinks so. Needless to say, his message is disturbing to me as a Christian man. And yet I see his point. Take his post like you would take one of the Screwtape Letters. He might be correct in a lot of cases. The Church in the West ain't what it used to be.

It takes two to tango, ladies. So I won't be blaming the PUAs who bed you as much as I will be blaming you, who claim to follow Christ and claim to know better than those "worldy women" that I can't date. Although I believe in second chances, you'll might end up being one of these (especially the one that says "Project"). Don't say you haven't been warned.
"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Cor. 10:12-13, NIV)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Prom King and Prom Queen Syndrome

We live in a status-obsessed society, especially here in America. The infamous question that gets asked all the time is, "So what do you do?" I wonder if some people actually believe questions like this have been asked since the dawn of time. As it is, the dynamics between men and women today is often not so much about love as it is about status--who wants it and who confers it. The obsession with status figures largely in what I call Prom Queen Syndrome and Prom King Syndrome. Remember when everyone wanted to be the king or queen at the high school prom? What did such status confer? Simple ...

  1. You were paired off with the most desirable member of the opposite sex.
  2. Other members of the opposite sex regarded you as the most desirable person of your sex.
  3. You were the envy of those of your own sex--your competition.
The coronation, of course, requires an audience--the chaperoning adults, the kids who didn't make the cut, etc. Not only do the others need to be deprived of status, they need to desire what they don't have. They need to play the part of the Envious Onlookers. If enough people didn't care to go to the prom, or it was sparsely attended, the coronation would be a bit anticlimactic, wouldn't it? It's all a massive ego boost wrapped up in adolescent hormones and sexuality, if you ask me. Quite intoxicating if you think about it.

We have left high school behind, haven't we? Well, not really. I think for older adults, the yearning or desire typified by the antics of high school only gets subdued to a degree. Hence, we have the pandemic of Prom Queen Syndrome and Prom King Syndrome in our society.

How does Prom Queen Syndrome play out? Women only look at men who have status in the eyes of other women. It also explains why women get upset if an undesirable man finds a desirable woman elsewhere. You think it would be logical that if a woman is not attracted to a certain man, she would not viciously attack him when he is successful in another venue. But it happens nonetheless. Just witness the vitriol launched against men with foreign wives or girlfriends. Why does this happen even though a given woman doesn't want a man in such a circumstance? Simple, the man is undermining her status as an attractive woman.

A woman wants attention from men even though she will never reward them. That's how she amps her up "game." You undermine the "game" when you find a woman of comparable social status who makes less demands, or when you don't bother with the dating scene or whatever. This is why I think men who stay home on weekends to play video games are viewed in the same light as men who take candy from toddlers or kick puppies.

Then there's the Prom King Syndrome. If you opt out of the game or find a woman abroad, you can tick off some other men, as well. Men may thrive on your envy of their situation. That's why they say, "Living well is the best revenge." Men can't have that revenge if you are not really intimidated by their success. A lot of men want you to notice how important they are, where they live, what woman is beside them. They want you to notice them when they walk into the room. If you are indifferent to their self-importance, then you become a threat to them.

I think that explains why some guys get so vicious and hot-headed about MGTOWers and MRAs. "You guys are losers! There's something wrong with you! You're cowards and you need to face up to your faults! You need to fix what's wrong with you. You need to be a man and risk rejection!" Why do the MRAs and MGTOWers need to do this? Because it validates what other men are doing?

A lot of men were the ones who lost out in high school. They didn't get picked. Some of them are probably licking their wounds about that and trying to drop their emotional baggage on you and me. While society goes down the toilet and treats men like feces, these guys are still worried about trying to be the Prom King with the Anglosphere girl of their dreams. If you are a man, would your ego be a little stung if not too many other men found your wife or girlfriend attractive? You wouldn't be sitting next to the Prom Queen, then, would you? If my words are hitting you right now, then you are probably suffering from Prom King Syndrome.

I thinks this may partially explain why religious leaders and Christian women are ticked off at bachelors. They want to come up with all sorts of religious psychobable and accuse single men of being selfish and unspiritual. I don't think it has to do with finding good women for these men as much as it has to do with validation of the status quo. If anything, a man needs to try to find a wife, fail, and be miserable so he can play the part of the Envious Onlooker for the Church Mafia. Even though he may not have any of the qualities that confer status and which others value, he can't be the Envious Onlooker if he doesn't really care about said qualities, can't he?

You can accuse men of having psychological defenses for loserdom, but your harping on it may betray a little of your own insecurity. If a group of men are so weak, pathetic, and unenviable in your eyes, why does it concern you so much that they've latched on to a narrative that makes them feel better about themselves? The question needs to be answered. Why do they need to change themselves to be what you want them to be? Are they involved in something immoral? No? Are they unhappy? No? Then what on earth is your problem? Why are you personally threatened by their choices? Why have you suddenly decided to become an informant for the Bureau of Fashion, Taste, and Social Custom (BFTSC)? I'll tell you why. Your brain is still in high school and you're just a tool for peer pressure. You're like the twelve-year-old girl that liked a boy until her friends told her she "deserved better" and that being seen with "that wierdo" wouldn't look too good. You get initiated into the gang when you knock off some innocent soul.

Here's a revelation: Unless you have some control over my physical welfare, I don't need you to like or respect me (Galatians 1:10). Usually, exercising this independence of social approval is the prerogative of people with status. However, when someone with no status exercises this power, people get upset. The apple cart is turned over. "How dare you go your own way! You selfish, immature, creepy bastard!" I ask, "Why?"

Why should I care what anyone thinks about my romantic potential if they are not genuinely concerned about me as a person? Can you tell me that? Oh, I know. So I can be the water boy at the prom and serve you cake and punch while you chat up with the cheerleaders. Or if you are the cheerleader, maybe you want me to hand you some punch and notice the curves of your body in your sequined halter gown. "Look, but don't touch, dweeb." It all would be rather amusing if it weren't so sad and didn't have serious spiritual repercussions (1 John 2:15-17).

If nothing I said has penetrated your thick skull then I want you to riddle me this: What is it going to matter to you when they pull the feeding tubs from your shriveled body and you go to meet your Maker? Hmm? Your promming me doesn't work anymore. Life is too short for me to be the Envious Onlooker or even to stay home and be miserable about not going to the Prom. If you are blessed with the good things of this life, be humbled that you have been favored by God who gives to both the "just" and the "unjust" (Matthew 5:45). But don't expect me to grovel. Have fun at the dance.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Sleeping Beauty Fallacy

There is a dangerous myth permeating our society, a myth which I suspect has been around for a long time. It has to do with what men can reasonably expect from women in terms of romance, marriage, and sex. Men are led to believe that if they overcome all sorts of difficulties and trials set up for them by an implacable woman, her heart will melt and she will be become fully theirs. We see this theme played out over and over again in our arts, literature, popular media, and culture as a whole: "Oh, what she needs is a good man who knows how to unlock her heart!"

Baloney. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for people to get a clue. A man can battle the dragon, struggle through the thorns, kiss the unresponsive girl, and still not have her wake up to his love. What people don't understand is the brutal reality of human nature. Let me point out some things to my male readers:

1. If the woman you are attracted to is spiteful and disagreeable (to others, if not you) before she is committed to you, she will likely be so afterwards.

2. If you have to jump through endless hoops to prove yourself before she marries you, be certain you will have to jump through endless hoops after you are married.

3. If a woman has a low conception of who men are, don't think that your being attractive and appealing to her will change the fundamental problem she has with men. At first sign of hardship or your being vulnerable, don't be surprised if she turns on you. Remember, a snake charmer can only play his pungi for so long.

Like my grandfather said, "You breed hound, you get a hound." If a woman is self-centered and emotionally immature, it's not your job to fix her, nor should you be under the illusion that you can. That's her responsibility. She needs to get her life right with the Lord. And heaven forbid if her emotional problems are severe. Don't get the idea that your folk theories on how to manipulate women can do something for your sweetheart what professional psychotherapy cannot do.**

Happily Ever After?

Another aspect of the Sleeping Beauty Fallacy is the idea that obtaining a beautiful woman = happily ever after. I am concerned about people who just assume that getting in bed with the best-looking ladies is the goal of every sensible man. Oh, yes it is!! Just like it's the goal of little kids to eat ice cream all day long. Come on, folks. This is not high school. This is adulthood and there are serious life-changing ramifications to the messages we embrace about relationships.

Some must live in a parallel universe, because they apparently have never heard of the adage that beauty is only skin deep. I have something to say to those who are skeptical of my message: Um, beauty really is only skin deep. Why even the Word of God echoes this sentiment: "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised" (Prov. 31:30, NASB). Imagine that! Given this very elementary observation, don't you think it is utterly stupid and ridiculous to approach men's problems on the basis of who and who isn't getting laid with beautiful women?

Men shouldn't be afraid of rejection from beautiful women. They should be afraid of being committed to the wrong person. Do you a think good waist-hip ratio and facial symmetry automatically translates into a woman being a good mother to your children or a good wife to you? Yes? Then take your pick of the bat-crazy, crack-smoking narcissists that fit that description. No? Then why are you wasting your time focusing on attracting these women? And why is your self-image wrapped up in such a pursuit?

The Two Fishing Ponds

Let me leave behind Sleeping Beauty for a little bit and take you on a fishing trip. There are two ponds you can fish. One is stocked entirely with prize fish you like, but the pond has unacceptable levels of mercury in it. Not all of the fish have mercury, if that makes you feel better. The other pond has edible fish, too, and there are various kinds in it. There are reputedly some you like in the second pond, but mostly it's others you like a little less and some that you can't acquire a taste for.

Now, there are men like you with their boats in the second pond and a handful are snapping up the rare kind you like the most (and the fish you like are indeed rare in the second pond). The rest of the men in the second pond are taking home other kinds of fish, but are generally content with what their going to have for dinner. What about that first pond? Yes, there are guys in it, hauling in the prize fish. But they are playing catch-and-release. So let's review your choices: you can play catch-and-release, hazard eating a prize fish full of mercury, spend all day trying to catch a prize fish in the second pond and probably not come home with anything, settle for something less than your favorite but which is still palatable just the same, or just refuse to fish in either pond.

You say, "I'll use my special lure and catch an edible prize fish in the second pond." But you're missing the point. Your fishing strategy doesn't begin with the tackle, but with the pond that you're going to put your boat in. That's my question to you. Don't tell me about your tackle gear and your custom fishing pole. Where is your boat at, dude? Because if you are focused entirely on prize fish without any concern about the safety of taking such home, then I know what pond you are in.

But if indeed you are in the second pond, then I gotta' say your special tackle gear will only take you so far. You may have a special lure to throw in the pond that attracts the prize fish like a magnet, but if there is only so many of those fish around, then you may be waiting a long time. That is especially the case if the other fisherman have lures as good as yours. And don't forget this: Some fisherman may not have a top-dollar lure, but they show up early when there are more prize fish. Since they are in the second pond, they don't play catch-and-release. Don't expect them to share their catch with you. The day is getting on and the sun is setting. What are you going to do?

Yes, Sleeping Beauty is like the prize fish. But you need to ask yourself is she worth it. Let's put things into perspective. A woman's physical attractiveness only lasts for a minor portion of her lifespan. It's maybe thirty years out of eighty plus years of living, if we are being generous. If you are going to be monogamous and honor God's law on marriage (as opposed to playing the catch-and-release game of bed-hopping), then think about what life will be like with your hypothetical beauty queen after she goes through menopause. Could you stand to be around her with her looks gone and your sex drive barely functioning? Maybe you could; maybe you couldn't. You need to be honest with yourself and look down the road, beyond the short-term perspective of our ADHD culture.


I come to the close of my discussion by revisiting my first concern: men thinking women will magically change for the better. I fear some people assume the problems men face boil down to the type of tackle and gear they have, as if the right tackle can turn a Pond 1 fish into a Pond 2 fish. Such an attitude shows no concern for the environment the fish was swimming in. It's total. Utter. Nonsense. It ties in with the Sleeping Beauty Fallacy. A leopard can't change it spots and you can't turn a slattern into a church girl by pulling a Svengali on her. Your are not Pygmalion.

We laugh at women who think they can change their men. But I guess some men are now drinking the same Kool-Aid and are thinking, "If I act a certain way, she'll respond in certain way." It ain't necessarily so, compadres. Women are not robots. They have a mind of their own and a lot depends on their personality, their life's experiences, their internalized values, their goals, what they want from you, and what they don't want from you. Men who confuse what it takes to attract women with what it takes to change a woman's fundamental character do so at their own peril. You've been warned. Don't be a dead guinea pig for a shaky theory. A lot of times, the sleeping beauties are like sleeping dogs--it's best to let them lie (and not with you).

**Note: Since the time of completing the draft of this piece, I have come across an informative website (shrink4men.wordpress.com). It's the blog of a trained psychotherapist and offers a male-friendly perspective on dealing with difficult women in relationships. A lot of the content reinforces what I am saying here. The key to change for an abusive person of either sex lies with that person, not you. There's something else to consider: the pathological views about men that are prevalent in our society. It's a pathology that feeds itself and escalates into the breakdown of relationships between men and women. I daresay it results in the proliferation of the kind of women mentioned in the following links. For my male readers, carefully consider these links:

1. Why Men Are Attracted to Crazy, Emotionally Abusive Women

2. 10 Reasons You Can’t Communicate with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman

3. Why Couples Counseling Rarely Works with Narcissistic and Borderline Women

4. Will My Emotionally Abusive Girlfriend or Wife Be Different With the New Guy?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Biological Gynocentrism

When our mainstream media broaches the issues of gender in whatever context (law, medicine, or even biology), it often does not favor the male point of view. So, I am not surprised when so-called "academics" talk about the disappearing Y chromosome, reproductive technologies that favor women, studies that underscore some supposed cognitive edge women have over men, etc. There is a clear anti-male bias in our public narrative about the science of gender. That's why Larry Summers gets fired for going against the tide. What then? Obviously, men need to take note how discussions about gender and sex usually get framed in this regard.

One thing that concerns me about men's issues advocates is that men whose writings I often agree with and support are falling down in the matter of scrutinizing mainstream ideas about gender and are inadvertently supporting a woman-firster mentality. How so? By coopting popular discourses about the science of mate selection, etc. These discourses may be framed in ways that support biological gynocentrism. I especially see this as a concern with respect to some of the men who champion "Game."

What does biological gynocentrism (or biogynism, as I am going to call it for the sake of convenience) often entail? At least three beliefs: (1) Women are biologically designed to choose among men who compete for female affection; (2) men who don't have sex are losers; and (3) women, biologically speaking, are the more valuable sex in general. Evolutionary Psychology is usually invoked to support these assertions. I am calling "foul" on all of them, though. First, let me state up front that as a Christian, I don't even believe in evolution. But I shall, for the sake of argument, approach the above issues on the basis of practicality, if not morality or spirituality.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

First, let's deal with the matter of sexual selection. If the Law of Jungle is true, then do women have a choice about mates? If they do have a choice, then why on earth do we have to have laws on the books protecting that choice? In the wild, females are often weak and vulnerable (that includes human beings). They are no match against males. "Females choose dominant males." What a stellar observation. What other choice do they have!? If I am a hairy male animal that just kicked the stew out of a rival male and I approach a female, what is she going to say to me? "Sorry Mr. Bull, but you're not my type"? Yeah, and I'd honor that opinion about five seconds after I overpowered her and mated with her. That's why some female primates have to travel in herds to ward off male aggression. Of course, males can cooperate, too, rendering the whole matrilocal defense shtick meaningless.

But honestly, when we start looking to animals to understand human behavior, we open a can of worms with faulty assumptions, hasty generalizations, and bad analogies. At the end of the day mice are mice, chimps are chimps, and humans are humans. They ain't the same. If you want to understand human behavior, you have to understand humans. Otherwise you're likely to get ideological spin and biased nonsense like this article from a feminist.

Evolution or no evolution, take a good look at the whole of human history instead of myopically focusing on what's going on in our own culture. How have women fared in the game of love with respect to arranged marriages, being punished more severely than men for adultery, sexual slavery, war, mass rape, etc.? How are they faring outside of the Anglosphere now? Do you think Westernized Chivalry is hardwired in the men of Sudan? Do you think the Ferragamo-pumping sisterhood of New York City would want to trade places with the women of North Africa in the dating game? If women are hardwired to possess some sort of "reproductive choice" then I'd like know what feminists have been fighting for all these years. The truth is that in the natural order of things, women don't have reproductive choice. They have often been the property of their fathers and the men who paid some money (dowry, etc.) for them. The only reason women have the choices they have now is because of the goodwill of men, not because of some evolutionary form of supremacy.

Mate or Die

Another aspect of biogynism is the belief that one's manhood and life is based upon sexual success with women. And why do biogynists believe this? Because if you don't pass on your genes, you are a supposedly fundamental failure. Laying aside the conflict such a sentiment has with Christianity (Isa. 56:3-5), there are other problems with the assertion. People are conflating reproductive success with sexual attractiveness. The two, of necessity, have been separated since the advent of birth control.

Let me tell you something: You could be handsome, intelligent, rich, have "Game", and bed the most attractive women in the world, but the moment you slip on a condom or the moment your paramour takes the pill is the moment you opted out of the race. If you are a biogynist and tie your worth to reproductive success, then you are a loser by your own definition unless the reproductive community of which you and your descendants are a part are having kids above the 2.10 replacement level. I highly doubt that many of the folks into Evo-Psych are part of such a demographic. I highly doubt the women they are chasing are part of said demographic, either. Why? Because rearing a house full of kids would cramp their lifestyle.

Let's face it. Sex is fun, but raising three or more children is not. And of course, rearing children in order for your descendants to have a chance in life puts a leash on your sex life, too. Do you want to be in a strict sect that demands that you have children and ties you to a rigid code of behavior (Amish, Mormon, Hasidic Jew)? How about living like the folks in the third world? They're having children! You see, in our modern world, there is a necessary trade off between quality of life and "reproductive success." That's why when women pursue education and other forms of advancement where they don't have to depend on men, they tend not to have many children. In short, the Lotharios and the women they are chasing are, to use a popular secular phrase, "Darwinizing themselves." Westernized cultures are dying out because they want to.

Here's something else to think about: We are all descendants from the same genetic family. Both the Bible and science hold to this view. So if you don't believe as I do in the scriptural Adam or Eve (whose is called the "mother of all living" in the Bible), then what will you do with Y-chromosomal Adam or Eurasian Adam? There is something Obi-Wan did not tell you. I am your cousin! Search your feelings. You know it to be true! And so is Cupcake that you've been kissing and smootching with, fellas.

If one looks at things from a naturalistic viewpoint, then "reproductive success" is a value neutral enterprise. The indifferent universe, in such a case, does not care about your genes. Therefore, for non-religious Darwinists to talk about "winners" and "losers" in some judgmental, value-laden way is ludicrous. When you tell me you are winning the game because you had a child, I can reply, "Thanks for being my surrogate." Hope your descendants don't break your patrilineal or matrilineal line. Of course, with the coming depopulation, that's a very real possibility.

Still obsessed with your pedigree? The world is full of people who have children and grandchildren that didn't turn out the way everyone expected. Most people do not live the kind of lives that are immortalized in history books and on monuments. Abraham Lincoln's descendants are no longer around and there's no guarantee that yours will be in a few generations either (if it they are not absorbed in some longer pool of humanity, making whatever contribution you made unrecognizable).

Look, love for women and family is not rational. It's emotional. That's the way love is, and there's nothing wrong with that. One can hope that your love is realistic and reigned in by sound judgment, but at the end of the day, it's emotion that impels you into marriage, sex, and family. If you try to make a rational case for why men should want to have sex, get married, or have children, then you will lose your case. It's like to trying make an argument for why I ought to like sunrises, peppermint ice cream, or fluffy kittens. I either like these things or I don't. Barring obvious considerations of morality and wisdom, it is utterly stupid to force your emotional preferences on other people. That's why the term "evolutionary mating strategy" is such a misnomer. Bacteria don't sit around at a mahogany table deliberating on how to take over the biosphere. Neither do birds, bees, fish, elephants, or fluffy kittens. Well, maybe the HBD crowd, but I jest.

She's One in a Million

Another idea floated by biogynists is that men are more disposable than women because "eggs are expensive and sperm is cheap." This is nothing more than a classical case of the Fallacy of Composition. Pray tell, which gender tends to draw the short end of the stick in sex selective abortions? Which gender typically inherits the property of the parents? Do we know something traditional cultures closer to margins of survival than we are today didn't know for thousands for years?

Somebody has brought up the matter about men, as opposed to women, being sent into battle. What about that? I think the reason women have not often been sent into battle is because they generally can’t fight and kill as well as men. Which, by the way, is the real reason why men are called upon to “sacrifice” and “be protectors.” Not because there is something inherently valiant about killing other people. That’s just a bunch of psychobabble to motivate young men to do dangerous things that no one in their right mind would do. No, it is about who is the most effective killer–and that’s men. Who makes killers out of men? That’s right--the big men at the top. War is young blood for old money.

Anyway, have women been valued more than men? Probably for the same reason that donkeys, coconuts, and seashells have been valued more than men. That’s what men in power do--cherish things and use men. They dehumanize others. Ogg the Barbarian may have valued his gold, donkeys, and women more than his hostile neighbour Uluk, but he didn't necessarily value them more than himself or his sons. He certainly didn't value his daughters more than his sons. So why are women esteemed so highly today, even over their male counterparts? Like I said, it has to do with the goodwill of men, not some evolutionary edge.

Anyway, Novaseeker delivers the coup de grâce to the "disposable male" meme:
As men, we should never, ever, buy in to the idea that we are disposable or of lesser value than women. Disposable? If all men went on strike for 48 hours in North America, we would soon see just how silly it is to view men as the disposable sex.
In closing, if we are going to dispose of something, let's dispose of the mentality that makes men out be a bunch of bulls and steers paraded before female auctioneers at a cattle show. This kind of thinking is detrimental to men, period. As men, we can do better than this. And when it comes to a Christian context for all of this, don't try to argue with me on that (1 Cor. 11:3, 7, 8-9). Both sexes have equal value before God (Gal. 3:28)!

Addendum: This recent article at Mensnewsdaily.com makes some good points about biogynism. See also this excellent post by a reader at Ferdinand Bardamu's blog.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Amir Alerts Yours Truly to a Stupid Post

Amir gets the hat tip for this: Motte Brown has posted a video of "cussing pastor" Mark Driscoll talking about manhood. I wanted to make a response to the post but Boundless' website would not accept my comments. Motte obliquely mentions "niceguys" in his post. I wonder who he had in mind.

A couple of problems with Driscoll's rant:

1. Driscoll needs to stop using "Lord" and OMG as interjections. Such indifferent uses of the designations for Deity are irreverent and possibly a violation of the prohibition against taking the Lord's name in vain.

2. The realmannspracht, anti-male cheap shots, shaming language, and extrabiblical, cultural understandings of manhood. Sorry, but contrary to Driscoll's functionalism and misuse of 1 Cor. 11:7, manhood is not dependent on "producing" (just as God's deity is not dependent on Creation).

3. Throwing the bit in about being married. Getting married is not necessary to be an adult. Did you see anything in the Bible about John the Baptist getting married? I rest my case.

4. Belittling the serious issues men have with the modern church. Thank you, Mr. Driscoll. Keep it up, and men will be sure to stay even further away from church.

5. Belittling Christian men. See #4, buddy.

Granted, Driscoll had a lot of good points (myth of adolescence, men to need to be responsible, men need to be resolute and bold for Christ, etc.). Even my readers from the Roissysphere will love his mention of "Game." Sadly, his good points were derailed by his overall lack of insight not only into lives of men but into other truths in the Word of God.

The overarching problem here is the spread of what Michael Horton calls "Christless Christanity." Who is Driscoll's target audience? Probably women who want stereotypical tough guys instead of the socially awkward men that God can use (1 Cor. 1:26-28). Or maybe nominal Christian men who are too clueless to read and study their Bibles in-depth, and would rather listen to some glorified motivational speaker spoon-feed the exegetical equivalent of Crystal Light(tm) to them. Look at Driscoll's presentation again. One or two Scriptures quoted out of context and misapplied, at best, and a shoot-from-hip, street smart rhetoric. I'm not impressed.

Edit: Mark Driscoll's Garth Brooks style, contemporary worship shtick is just as hopelessly culture bound as a church full of blue hairs singing the hymn "What Shall It Be" to the drone of a Wurlizter.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Defining "Game" and Consergame

I think one of the most frustrating aspects about debating the pros and cons of "Game" is the loose way the term is defined. Why, even looking up information on the internet is daunting, given all the other ways the word is used in our post-Nintendo culture. And a lot of the people in the "Game" community are conflicted in the ways they use the word themselves. One has a basic definition of the word here:
Game is the sum total of the attitudes and behaviors that women find attractive in men. Practice and perfect game and women will be attracted to you. - Ferdinand Bardamu
Sounds good enough, but then one gets into arguments about who has "Game" and who doesn't, what's necessarily a part of "Game" and what isn't, etc. The one yapping in your face about you not having "Game" may be less attractive to many women than you are. When one thinks about it, there are a lot of miserable guys who have "Game" by the above definition. After all, they got married. They must have some relationship value for a woman to want to be with them.

So, does "Game" mean something more? Does it mean using your attractiveness to get women to comply with your demands? Does it mean being attractive to the woman you find attractive? But what if she's below a "6" on the looks scale? Does that make you a "Herb" or a "beta"? Does "Game" mean being attractive to women other men generally find to be physically attractive? But what if you're a stereotypical "Nice Guy" ("beta"/"loser"/"AFC"/whatever) that managed to marry a pretty girl from Laos, all without having to "learn game"? Confused yet? I think these are valid questions to ask, nonetheless. Someone can accuse me of being "anti-game" but then I could ask, "What game are you taking about?"


I myself have been blindsided by some socially conservative and religious men telling me that "Game" is good, moral, Apple Pie, and that stuff. But when I was talking about "Game" some time ago, I mainly had in mind "Game" as many PUAs embrace it (viz., for recreational sex). So maybe I should distinguish between PUAism and consergame, the latter being "Game" as practiced by guys who just want to find and keep a "good woman" for the sake of marriage, family, hearth, and home. Consergame is "Game" for the wholesome boy-next-door who goes to church every Sunday.

I don't have a problem with consergame in and of itself. Any religious guy that wants to be happily married should learn some form of Biblically sound consergame. The problem I have is that some fellows who are into consergame also seemed to have dipped their cups into the brackish waters of sexual nihilism and the naturalistic, atheistic system of Evolutionary Psychology. Or at least, that's the vibe I'm getting from some of things they are saying. If these guys really believe that Suzy Cupcake will turn on the them the very second they show any signs of weakness, lack of dominance, lack of confidence, lack of status, or overall "Betatude," then I've gotta' ask, "Cui bono, compadres?"

If the relationship between the sexes boils down to raw biological tokens of looks, status, power, etc. then why on earth would you even bother with marriage?! Let me figure this out. Supposedly, Cupcake doesn't love me for the "special snowflake" that I am, but only loves me to the extent that I can play Top Alpha Dog and do the DHV thingy. So if agape is passé in the New Era of Things then, um, what exactly am *I* getting out of the deal if my dearly beloved is going to age like cottage cheese? It's like Ferdinand said, "I’m no economist, but a commodity that gets more expensive as it becomes increasingly worthless sounds like one only a sucker would buy – and make no mistake, when you get married, you’re effectively 'buying' a woman."

I don't get it. I don't get how men can preach consergame and yet accept the brutal claims of Evolutionary Psychology (viz., that we are nothing more than naked apes with mercenary mating strategies). If I wasn't a Christian, if I didn't believe in agape, if I didn't care about sexual morality, if I accepted Evolutionary Psychology, then I would run straight past the Chapel and the wedding going on there for me, go to the nearest college pub where the co-eds are, and round them up like there was no tomorrow. Or maybe not. Maybe the thought of STDs and mindless conversation might drive me to porn instead. But the bottom line is this: If women are entitled to chase Alpha boys, then I am entitled to chase women who are young and physically attractive. Evolutionary Psychology says so, don't-cha know, so let's be consistent!

Let me put it to you another way. If I am not the "special snowflake" that will be loved "as I am" in my weakest moments, and if women in this culture act in a way that supports Evolutionary Psychology, I'd rather stay celibate than be married. No, don't bristle. Think about the balance sheet, folks. I rather live alone than be stuck with a female Evo-Psych specimen who will still hold the marriage bond over my head, test me, and demand Alpha performance from me while she goes through menopause and turns into a old crone. That's not Biblical matrimony, that's not living a life, that's not "Game." That's a rip-off! There's no ROI there, fellas! I say, "Ladies, either love me for real or go find another sucker." Life is easier without having to be under the gun of someone who is not doing much for you.

For the Christian man who thinks about this, marriage makes sense ... but only in the context where husbands and wives live according to the Law of Agape, not the Law of the Jungle. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense ... especially if a Christian man keeps running into "Christian" women who want to act like the "naked ape" and not like they are created in the image of God. Hmmm. Maybe that partially explains why some of us are not so sanguine about dating and marriage.

Postcript (A Morality Play)

Anglosphere Chick: "Anakin, your bitter for writing a post for like that. You just need to accept the fact that women are attracted to certain traits, blah, blah, de blah, blah."

Anakin: "Well, men are attracted to good looking women. So what happens when you hit forty and your looks go south? What exactly do I get at that time for being the Alpha husband to you?"

Anglosphere Chick: "You're so shallow and cold. Can't you love a woman for her character?"

Anakin: "Well, there were a lot of unassuming guys with character that you passed by in your youth, hypocrite."

(Overcome by frustration and impotent rage, Anglosphere Chick spontaneously combusts in a puff of smoke.)

The End.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Men Are Like Jars

Men are like jars. Why do I say this? Well, some men who are older are getting a "second look" from women, but oftentimes the connections are still elusive. You see, a goodly number of men eventually go through the Awakening. It's the time of their life when the increase in their good sense catches up with the decrease in their hormonal urges. A man looks around and notices that all the women of his generation who were so intimidatingly beautiful have disappeared for some reason. They have been replaced by aging women. The wrapper is pulled off, the playing field leveled, and the essence of what these women are is clearly seen by the men around them. For better or for worse, these women basically have their "wonderful personalities" as their main draw, and not much more than that.

Anyway, there is a lot of talk about the "problems" with older, unmarried men. They are accused of "having issues," "being inflexible," and "having bad habits." I think it is good for men to parse these accusations flung out by media and the culture at large. Consider the following ...

1. Sure, a man may "have issues" ... or he may have a tempered outlook on women, life, etc. He may not be so gullible about human nature as when he was younger. He may have some notable concerns and criticisms about what's going on around him. He has issues? Indeed. Valid issues with how so many others act.

2. Sure, a man may be "inflexible" .... or he may have legitimate standards and expectations. Maybe it's just that he's not so desperate, after all. He may not feel a need to wear a mask and remake himself in order to curry favor with people of dubious character. He may not feel the need to grovel or compromise on the important things, such as his dignity and his sense of justice.

3. Sure, a man may have "bad habits" .... or he may have his legitimate hobbies, tastes, pursuits, idiosyncrasies, and expressions of his individuality. He may understand what so many people do not: that God didn't make us like dandelions (each one looking the same). He may look around and see all the things some married men have had to give up in order to be ... what? Not much happier than him? Maybe living single with his beloved Kawasaki is not so bad, after all.

So, unmarried men, watch out. First you will be invisible. Then, when you reach a stage where you don't have much invested in the Game, you will be seen as "the problem." Most likely, though, you are not the problem. Rather, some people coming down hard on men have created their own problems and don't have the maturity to face up to them. Some people simply fail to understand what men are like.

Ladies, understand this: men are like jars. The bigger rocks are easier to cram into a jar at the beginning when it's being filled than later on. When men are younger, there is often space in their lives for the woman of their dreams and the things that come with her. But as the years pass, other important things may take up that space (including some nuggets of wisdom and experience). If you don't come into a man's life early on, don't expect it to be an easy thing when he is older and he is more sure of himself. He will probably have very little time, inclination, and patience for glam, glitz, games, hype, and nonsense. What will you have to offer then? Indeed, it's a question you need to ask yourself--before you start to remove the rocks and put in your bouquet of dandelions.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Realmannspracht Is Still Stupid

Once again, it's time for me to drive a spear Phinehas-style through the fat, greasy body of realmannspracht. I notice the men who talk the loudest about who is a "real man" and who is not a "real man" tend to define manhood in ways that square nicely with their interests and agendas. How strange that the self-appointed "experts" on manhood contradict each other on some very fundamental points. I guess it's all a sophisticated version of what the Seduction Community would call DHVing. However, I prefer to dig deeper and ask some questions about the motivations of these "experts," who just happen to live in a status-obsessed age. For indeed, too many are attempting to connect manhood to some form of external attribute or token of importance. I guess in their hunt for "markers" of "manhood" they are not content with (or even appreciative of) the primacy of character or spirituality. Contrast their attitude with what the Bible says in 1 Samuel 16:7 ...
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Of course, I believe non-biological "markers of manhood" in and of themselves are problematic. A man is a man by virtue of the fact that he is created in the image of God. We don't have the right to destroy that image either through deed or word. I want people to think about what Genesis 9:9 says:
"Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man."
Some only look at this passage as their go-to text for capital punishment and don't really think about the premise behind it--there is something sacred about humanity. If you don't believe that someone who is male is really a man, why don't you kill him? That's where such thinking leads. It starts with a thought and ends in the act (1 John 3:15).

The men who founded this country believed in the following proposition:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
But if a male is not really a man, then I guess the above statement doesn't really apply. In short, realmannspracht is inconsistent with Christianity and with the concepts of liberty and freedom that have made Western Civilization great. In the past, there were all sorts of classes of men who were deemed as being of less worth than others. Christianity transformed the world by challenging such nonsense. Over time, the vestiges of the nonsense has lingered in various forms such as murderous statism and racial prejudice, for example. But the sacredness of man's humanity has refused to be denied. Today, the lingering challenges to the sacredness of man's humanity take such forms as legal misandry, woman-firsterism, and status-based conceptions of manhood (physical strength, money, success with women, etc.). I defy the nonsense. I am not a utopian. I am a follower of Christ--not of Nietzsche, Darwin, or Oriental warlords. There are a lot of people who claim they care about men's issues. But the reality of the situation is clear: You can't claim to care for men if you deny them the right to be exactly that---men.

And for those who still don't get it, spare me 30 minutes of your time and watch the following video ...

"The Obsolete Man"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Marriage, Merit, and Manhood

Recently I penned two posts that talked about marriage as an indicator of emotional and spiritual maturity. These were entitled "Is Marriage a Marker of Adulthood?" and "Your Marriage Is Not a Ministry." You should read them, if you haven't already done so, to gauge my thoughts on the matter. Also read "Selfish Singles? (An Exegetical Challenge)," while you're at it.

Anyway, I wanted to say a few more things about the issues at hand, especially as they relate to men. Let me first restate something I wrote a little while ago in response to a reader [with a few grammar corrections]:
I am not trying to minimize the heavy sacrifices parents make. They need our acknowledgment and support in that matter. What I am questioning is whether or not they have a right to use their sacrifices to cast aspersions on single people who don't want the hardships of the married life. Because if we are going to open that can of worms, then I can work a similar angle on exceptional people who sacrificed a lot more than most married Christians in order to cast aspersions on married people.

What I am saying is let's not throw stones in glass houses. This fracas got started because some marriage mandate folks decided that casual singleness was unspiritual and that people need to get married to be on a higher spiritual plane. The marriage mandators also seem to indicate that men who are single for casual reasons are deficient in their manhood. At least that's how I take their statements. And I say in response that marriage should be entered into voluntarily and not out of some weird sense of religious duty, per se. I find so scriptural support for the latter sentiment.

When Paul gave the Corinthians a reason for not marrying, it wasn't "some of you are gifted for exceptional service." It was, "I want you to be free from concern" (1 Cor. 7:32). It's a very basic, mundane reason for not getting married. No talk of a high-falutin' irrevocable calling. No talk of being marked for marriage or for singleness. Just some practical pastoral advice that was non-binding (1 Cor. 7:27-28).
I stand by what I said. Marriage is not a call to ministry. It's a gift (Prov. 19:14) and it comes with responsibilities.

I want to clarify and perhaps tweak some thoughts, though, in case I'm giving the wrong impression on a matter. I do think that married people deserve special recognition, especially for raising children. We need to give them praise, encouragement and support to keep their family bonds strong. I retract any other statements of mine to the contrary. However, what we should not do is encourage a mindset where marriage and family is based on some selfish desire for status and recognition. If you want to be a spouse and have children to boost your self-esteem, you need to stay a mile away from the opposite sex. Other people's lives are not your stepping stone. Your actions need to be motivated by godly love and the desire to give it.

Moreover, to touch upon what I've already said, we should not diminish the spirituality, maturity, and manhood of those men who chose not to marry for mundane reasons. Not wanting the hassles of the married life is not a spiritual problem. Someone may retort, "Singles are lazy and disconnected from others." Which singles are you talking about? If you are talking about a 24-year-old who is not looking for a job, lives in his parent's basement, doesn't help around the house, and plays the Xbox all day long, then yes, you have a point. But that's a shopworn stereotype. There are plenty of bachelors who are earning their keep, active in their churches, etc. They may not be giving as much of their time and money as others, but they are staying in the game. If you want to engage in spiritual one-upmanship with the bachelors, then watch out. The measure you use will be you used against you.

If you are a married man, do you want to compare your sacrifices and your manhood to the Apostle Paul, who turned down marriage so that Gentiles you like you could hear the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:5)? The desire for female companionship must have meant something to the Apostle, after all, or else why would he have mentioned it? What about those thousands of young, unmarried men that died on battlefields for your freedom? They never had a chance of finding a good woman and raising a family. Or .... what about One who was a man like you, never knew the love of a woman, and yet hung on a cross for your sins? Are you a better man than He was when He was on earth because you're married and He wasn't? It's because of His sacrifice that people are even able to have the privilege of lifting their heads up with any dignity.

Nobody's knocking you because you chose the good life with a pretty spouse, smart kids, and a nice house. Nobody is saying you're less of a man for it. If you're walking in humility with God and in kindness towards others, you'll get no flak from me on that matter. But if you want to hang the "Kick Me" sign on the single man's back, then I'm calling you out on your nonsense. Yeah, you sacrifice, but rest assured, you ain't about to make the new edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs anytime soon. It's something to think about, dear readers.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Boundless Shenanigans

Albert Mohler, Steve and Candice Watters, and the Boundless staff in general no longer surprise me with their behaviors. In the last couple of weeks or so, they have been ramping up their predictable marriage mandate nonsense, gynocentrism, and misandry. Some developments ...

1. Candice skewers a young man who is going to be a pastor because he is not committing to a female friend. Read this excellent analysis from Puritan Calvinist on the matter.

2. Boundless staff showcase a series of posts by Tim Challies that excoriate men about pornography but downplay the problem of "female porn" (romantic novels, chick lit, and the such like). Ted Slater makes a point of telling everyone that he even deleted an article on "female porn" from the Boundless site. Well, fortunately we need not depend on Mr. Slater to find out the truth about how "female porn" is ruining relationships between men and women. Thank you, Ted, for being oh-so marriage-friendly that you've turned the other way while women indulge in destructive fantasies about men and relationships. This Boundless reader gets it. Ted doesn't.

3. Candice comes unglued when a Boundless fan writes in about a boyfriend not wanting to have children (see 33:55 of this broadcast). According to Candice, the lack of desire for children is right up there with being unequally yoked with non-believers as a "deal breaker." Of course, when I tried to make the Boundless folks and their readers aware about this post of mine, my comments didn't get published. Needless to say, Candice's rabid pro-natalist dogma is clearly an unscriptural addition to God's word.

4. Ok, this one takes the prize: Albert Mohler along with Steve Waters and Lisa Anderson of Boundless beat the drum about marriage on a radio broadcast. They claim marriage brings people back to Christ in a way that age "cannot." Also, receiving marriage, among other gifts from God, supposedly brings other issues of life into "alignment," giving people a "wholeness" they will never "find anywhere else." Listen to 31:30 onward in the broadcast. If I was standing next to Mohler and the others on a golf course while they said this, I would run for the sand pit and duck so I wouldn't get hit by the lightning. It borders on sacrilege. Marriage is necessary for a wholeness I can't find anywhere else? Marriage brings people back to Christ? Hey, folks! What about the plain preaching of the gospel (Rom. 1:16)? Or the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11)? Or Christ giving us "wholeness" through our relationship with Him (Col. 2:10)? I fear some people are really going off the deep end.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When She Asks About Your Past

In response to a recent Boundless post about recovering porn users, I wrote basically the following:
To any Christian man who has turned from using pornography ...

Don't count on forgiveness or trust from Christian women. If it is such a problem for them, they are better off not wasting their time or your time. They should find a man who hasn't struggled with pornography.

Men, work on being happy with your life. Your freedom from pornography is proof that you don't need women (because if you are practicing self-control over that, then you are practicing self-control, period). You'll be much happier by yourself than with someone who is going to hang your past over your head anyway.
I don't know if they'll publish my post, but I was thinking at lunch yesterday: It's hypocritical for me to come down hard on Christian women who slept around in younger years if I, as a man, was doing the same thing or championing men who do it. If a woman has a problem with me not being a virgin and/or using porn, that's her right.

Men, if and when the subject of your past comes up with a Christian woman, be honest and ask her if she is going to hang it over your head. Because if she is not resolute about letting the past be the past, then you and her are going to be miserable together. Cut it off right there and go your own way. You don't need women to play back your sins to you. If a woman thinks she's alright with it, then she needs to promise to not let it get between the two of you. If she does it later, call her out on her lying and broken promises. Remind her that fidelity is more than just the sexual part. She needs to be good as her word. If you are married to her and she is still pulling this garbage on you, she is sinning against you and the marriage bond. You probably need to take the matter to a church leader you can confide in. And men, you need to swallow the pill on this one: the rules of forgiveness work the other way, too, if you chose to marry the reformed bad girl.

I believe God can bring good out of a bad situation. Look it at this way, if you are a man and you messed up in your past, then your past sexual sins can help you separate those who really are caring from those who just warm pews. As a bachelor, if you got the nerve to be direct about this with people at church, you can find out quickly who is the real McCoy. The women, in particular, who have hang-ups about sex and won't put out in marriage are probably the ones that will freak when they find out your looked at porn or slept with a woman. Congratulate yourself on dodging the bullet. The woman who lovingly embraces you with a spirit of charity is only one you need to bother thinking about pursuing, if anyone at all.

There's another benefit if you are not in any hurry to get married. Marriage mandators and other anti-bachelor zealots won't have much of a comeback if you tell them, "Look, Christian women will probably have doubts about dating me because of my past. So why beat a dead horse, here? We should be considerate of their feelings." Your inquisitors will probably love the part about being considerate of the feelings Christian women have. Turn their own chivalrous impulses against them. Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove (Matthew 10:16). Escalate the game. And, again, congratulate yourself on dodging the bullet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Defining Manhood (The Illogic of Socons)

Over a year ago, I wrote a post critical of something Albert Mohler said on the definition of manhood and masculinity. Like some of my readers, he tried to slip "father" and "husband" into the definition. I called him out on his illogical thinking, however. He wanted to make an exception for the Apostle Paul that he wouldn't make for ordinary men. Yet something is either essential to the definition of a certain class of entities or it isn't (e.g., the class of those we call men). It's has to do with the "law of the excluded middle" (and there is definitely no false dichotomy on this point). If you read the Wikipedia entry on the "law of the excluded middle" it has a quote from Aristotle the I find to be apropos to this discussion:
It is impossible, then, that 'being a man' should mean precisely 'not being a man', if 'man' not only signifies something about one subject but also has one significance. … And it will not be possible to be and not to be the same thing, except in virtue of an ambiguity, just as if one whom we call 'man', and others were to call 'not-man'; but the point in question is not this, whether the same thing can at the same time be and not be a man in name, but whether it can be in fact. (Metaphysics 4.4, W.D. Ross (trans.), GBWW 8, 525–526).
You see, language is a powerful tool, and there those who want to abuse it to create falsehoods in the minds of others. I have to hand it to the feminists in particular for their acumen in twisting language to create imposed realities for social discourse. We most assuredly need to exercise due diligence to cut through the demagoguery, rhetorical legerdemain, and sloppy and imprecise thinking of others.

Anyway, I am revisiting Mohler's writings because of recent comments made by my readers on the subject of manhood and its relationship to marriage. Socons need to make up their minds about a few things when discussing this subject. In Mohler's post about manhood, he wrote:
In a biblical perspective, manhood is defined in these roles and responsibilities ["the role of father/protector/provider"]. A man is defined in terms of who he is and what he does in obedience to God. A society that rejects or sidelines these roles and responsibilities -- that does not honor fatherhood and hold it out as expectation -- will sow seeds of disastrous confusion. The damage to our language is among the least of our problems.

While the Bible clearly honors men who forfeit the blessings of wife and children for the sake of the Gospel (see, for example, 1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 32-28), the history of the Christian church indicates that these represent a minority. The normative expectation is that a young man will mature to take on the role of "father/protector/provider" that Peters correctly sees as "not considered as necessary or desirable as it once was" within the secular culture. Those men who are faithfully living out these responsibilities are not likely to be too concerned about finding true masculinity. They are living it.
So, Mohler wants to define men in sociological terms.** It's akin to something one of my readers said: "'Manhood' is a qualitative judgement." Ironically, this same reader of mine compared the ideas of another reader to something a "liberal feminist" would come up with. Why do I say "ironically"? Read on.

Consider what Albert Mohler wrote in two other posts about transexuality. First this quote ...
Goodman's writing is crisp and concise, but she runs right over some basic issues that are hard to miss. The first is the assumption that "sexual realignment surgery" can actually change a person's sex. The other (and obvious fact) is that Thomas Beatie is still functioning as a woman, even to the extent of retaining her reproductive capacity.

In other words, she had her physical characteristics changed -- at least some visible markers of gender -- so that she would appear as a man rather than as a woman. But -- and this is crucial -- the baby did not emerge from a man's womb. There is no such thing. The baby, we might summarize, was not fooled.
So, a man is a man and woman is a woman, eh? But wait, there is this quote ...
Well, it is one inescapable question. After all, Boylan resists "binary" categories, yet when it comes to gender she offers only two options -- male and female. She changed her own legal gender from one to the other, but there remain only two designations. She is as "binary" as the rest of us. We cannot make sense of any conversation without using terms like he/she, man/woman, male/female, father/mother, son/daughter, and his/her's. We live in a stubbornly binary world.

Armed with this realization, we face a clear choice: We will see this binary understanding of gender as a gift from God revealed throughout creation, or we will see it as a socially-constructed reality that we can (and should) deconstruct. Are we bound to these categories by a Creator? Or did we do this to ourselves?

The Christian worldview is clear at this point. The Bible presents gender as part of the goodness of creation. God reveals his glory in every aspect of creation, and this is abundantly true with respect to the two sexes. God glorifies himself in creating humanity in his own image, both male and female. To deny or confuse this distinction is to deny God the glory that is his due. And, that which brings God's greatest glory will also bring us greatest joy.
How strange that the last two paragraphs sound a lot like something I wrote recently about realmannspracht! It's just too bad that Mohler and others socons are so incredibly inconsistent on this matter.

What happens when a feminist or other liberal suggests that concept of "man" and "woman" is sociologically determined? The socons throw a fit and shout, "No! The concept of 'man' and 'woman' is rooted in creation, dummies!" Indeed. There have even been all sorts of arguments to show how biology drives behavioral differences between the sexes. You'll get no disagreement from me on that, folks!

But what happens when the socons want to shame a man into taking on certain social roles? Well, suddenly we get into talk about how being a "man," "manhood," and "masculinity" are driven by the expectations of others. In other words, people start resorting to the intellectually compromised language of realmannspracht. It's simply a case of socons talking out both sides of their mouths, a trait they have in common with the feminists.

Look, either the biological markers of manhood are sufficient to identify a man or they are not. If they're not, then it's open game on the concepts of manhood and womanhood! The feminists would just love that! Someone might say, "You're not really man because you have failed to do [xyz]." Well, the other person could retort, "Yeah. I decided to be a woman instead or embrace a fluid understanding of my gender." What are you going to say then, Einstein?

So where does that leaves us? Well, earlier this year, I wrote:
Manhood is the birthright of every adult, male human being, whether we respect that man or not. Biblical manhood is rooted in a relationship with God. This relationship is effected through the atoning work of Christ, not through performing duties and rituals (Eph. 2:8). Biblical manhood is a male state of being, which manifests itself in good works as God gives ability and opportunity to a man.
By the way, this quote answers the baseless charge that I have never defined "biblical manhood" on this blog.

Feminists want to destroy the differences between men and women. Socons want to impose the differences. I say let nature decide what the differences are. Adulthood and masculinity are biological; ergo, manhood is biological. Biblical manhood, consequently, is adult people with XY chromosomes living like Christ wants them to live. What about men who fail to live up to our expectations? Well, it's like I said in recent posts. You may not like what a man is doing, but he is still a man. If he's not doing something he should do or is doing something he shouldn't do, then tell him. But don't resort to realmannspracht. Leave that kind of talk to the misandrists, because now I've shown that such talk is not only unchristian, it's patently absurd, as well.

** Note: I take it that Albert Mohler is not discussing "biblical manhood" as one expression of masculinity, per se, but the definition of manhood in general from what he thinks is the proper perspective.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Your Marriage is Not a Ministry

Are you planning on getting married? What if I told you that a mate was already picked out for you? The mate picked out for you is physically unattractive and mean-spirited. What if I also told you that you cannot have kids but must instead adopt some children with severe behavioral problems? Do you still want to go for it? Why not?

For the married men reading this, what was the primary motivation that caused you to choose your wife? Did you think, "I am marrying this woman because she will help me teach alien sinners the Gospel"? Or did you think she would help you feed the hungry in Africa? Or was it something along the lines of, "She makes me very happy and I want to spend the rest of my life with her"?

You see, there is a very popular notion among Evangelicals that marriage represents some type of ministry or "kingdom work." We are told that unless you have a special gift as a single person for some notable work for Christ, you should get married. Marriage is your "vocation" or "calling" in this respect. Well, I've been wanting to write on this matter for some time because it is Pure. Utter. Poppycock. Your marriage is not a ministry. Period. Where did this idea come from? Luther? Calvin? I don't know, but it didn't come from the Bible. It's not there.

I covered some ground on this matter before in my book-length review of Debbie Maken's work Getting Serious About Getting Married, but let me repeat some things, if need be. The word "calling," "called," etc. is used in the Bible to refer to the Gospel invitation (Ephesians 4:1) or to a particular role in the Church (Romans 1:1). A "calling" is always made explicitly through a theophany or through the revealed Word of God. It is never used to describe a marital status.

Moreover, I want you to consider carefully the following verses because they most assuredly show some tension between our earthly loyalties (such as marriage and family) and our work in the kingdom of God ...

1. Luke 6:32 - "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." (NASB)

The Lord asks a rhetorical question here. We need to answer it. What credit is it to you to love those that love you? Sounds like the marriage and family bond to me.

2. 1 Tim. 5:18 - "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (NASB)

Why is the neglect of your family worse than what unbelievers do? Because even unbelievers take care of their own. Tell me, are unbelievers engaged in "kingdom work" or ministry for Christ simply because they got married and had kids? You may say, "But I'm raising my children up in the Lord." I certainly hope you are doing that, but teaching others the gospel and encouraging others to be Christlike is something incumbent upon all believers anyway. As it is, there are lots of single Christians who have probably had a hand in "raising your children in the Lord."

3. 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 - "But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided." (NASB)

Note what this verse says. It doesn't say the married man has less time for church work than the single man. It says the married man's interests are divided. Between what? One type of "kingdom work" and another? No. Between "the things of Lord," on one hand, and "things of the world, how may please his wife" on the other. Okay, class, which category does married life fall into in this passage? "The things of the Lord" or "the things of the world"? This is not hard.

Or maybe a preceding passage might help you ...

4. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 - "But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away."

Look at the vocabulary of that passage. It all has to do with the things of this life. And where do you find marriage? Right smack dab in middle of it, along with such things as buying and selling.

So, if marriage is not a ministry or "kingdom work," then what is it? Simple, it is a gift from God (Prov. 18:22, 19:14). It is an optional gift (1 Cor. 7:27). Rejoice in your gift if it's yours (Prov. 5:18)! I am happy for men and women who shower one another with love in marriage. I surely hope there will be more unions like that. Marriage is God's idea and it is a good thing. He is compassionate and generous to many, even though they don't deserve the good gifts they get. He is also understanding about the demands and troubles people face as a result of the gift of marriage (1 Cor. 7:28). There is nothing wrong with wanting to be married. If you're scripturally eligible to marry, you want to marry, and you found someone good to marry, then go ahead and receive God's gift to humanity.

"But," you might retort, "marriage is not just a gift. It's not a lifestyle option! It's a labor of love! It's tough being married with children! You have to sacrifice! It's a lot of hard work!" Indeed it is, but that's the price tag, my friend. You see, you get something back from the transaction. A high-profile lawyer can say, "I work so many more hours that clerk in the front office" but if the lawyer spends his money on a McMansion, a yacht, and "many luxury vacations" with his svelte trophy wife, then why he is whining?

You married men have to sacrifice? Well, the Christian bachelor has to sacrifice. He can't sit in a sofa with a wife he doesn't have and laugh about things. He can't go out with her. He can't share his sorrows and tears with her. He can't make passionate love with her. He can't turn to her in the night to take away his solitude. He can't look into the eyes of any children and call them his own. He can't dream about what his children will become. There will be no Christmas photographs with a multigenerational clan of people surrounding him in his old age. It's uncertain if anyone who cares will show up at his funeral.

Do you want his life, married man? Well, look at the divorced man without his wife and kids. Is he happy he's unattached? No? Then maybe you got a good thing. I don't know; you'll have to speak to that. But please don't make yourself out to be religious martyr because your kid threw up and you had to take her to the hospital. Life is hard for you, but hopefully you are getting something worthwhile and it's for .... you.

The notion that married people can prance around like a bunch of star-bellied sneetches and assume they are more sanctified then your ordinary Christian bachelor is the biggest crock of elephant dung to be dropped in the Cleveland Zoo. Let's look at it another way ... I'll tell you what all the parallel talk about Christian bachelors being "selfish" and "immature" suggests to me. It suggests some people are less than happy with their married lives and think the grass is greener on the other side. It makes me think that some people are speaking out of bitter envy. Why don't these people just come right out and say it: "You bachelors have too many freedoms. You have to be miserable like us!" It's like H. G. Wells said, "Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo."

When people say, "Marriage doesn't make you happy, it makes you holy," they ought to be slapped. God makes us holy, folks! That's what the Holy Spirit and the Christian life is for! If you don't think the Christian life is tough enough and sanctifying as it is, marriage or no marriage, then you got another thing coming (Luke 14:26). If marriage is not making you happy, don't construct some goofball theology around it and write books about your beliefs. If God didn't design marriage for people's happiness, then Proverbs 5:18-19 doesn't make sense:
Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. (NASB)
If marriage is not making you happy, then it's because you live in a fallen world, not because your marriage is functioning according to God's perfect plan. In the Garden of Eden, God did not say, "It's not good for the man to be alone. He is having too much fun. I'll give him a life of tedious responsibilities instead. I will a create someone suitable for not helping him." God made marriage to be a good thing, not a punishment.

When religious leaders talk about marriage as a "sanctifying work," basically spinning it as some arduous initiation into adulthood or a higher level of spirituality, it sounds a lot like a band-aid. That is, it's a band-aid to cover over the abysmal failures of marriages in the church. The whole "sanctifying" bit may be just some pep talk to make people feel better about their sorry lot. So instead of churches facing the epidemic of loveless marriages in their midst and asking what are the causes of the mess, we have the pseudo-spiritual psychobabble of positive thinking and semi-asceticism. "Is your married life a drag? Oh, but move beyond the thoughts of your happiness and realize this is the way the Lord is refining you!" Yeah, don't look at the underlying causes: wives with a post-feminist entitlement mentality, husbands who are insensitive ne'er-do-wells, children who are materialistic brats, employers who are tyrants, the lack of communal support for marriages, or a combination of these and other related factors. And whatever you do, don't look at the fact that some people just shut down their brains, think they need to marry no matter what, drink the Kool-Aid, and fall right into a Marriage 2.0 situation.

So is the married man's life harder than the Christian bachelor's? I don't know if that's necessarily true in all respects (Eccles. 4:9-12). Does the husband and father have to sacrifice and care for others? Yeah ... and the poor man can boast how he is being sanctified in his adversity the way a rich man isn't. But if the poor man's station in life is partially his own fault, then his boast sounds a little hollow. That's the way I view the boasting of some religious people about marriage.

"Oh, you just have no idea! The hassle of balancing work and family! The bills! The worry about what little Brittney and Carson are doing!" Yeah, the bachelor has no idea. Why should he? Does hardship give you a license to turn up your nose and look down on those who have it easier than you in some respects? What are you? Mother Theresa? The Patron Saint of Self-Mortifying Charity? Someone may tell me that married people care for others the way single people usually don't. Well, I can just as easily point out that single people can draw close to God in a way married people usually don't have to, especially in terms of dealing with rejection, isolation, alienation, loneliness, feelings of being unvalued and unloved, etc. What is this? A spiritual tobacco spitting contest? Anyway, it's not like a lot of people considering marriage have thought about doing without a spouse and living in some dirt poor country to carry on mission work. "Oh, but I don't feel a calling to do that." Yeah, you don't feel a calling, because you don't want to. Spare us the cloaking of your desires with prettified theology.

Granted, singleness has it privileges. The freedom. The choices. The fun things. The lack of worry. On it goes. Do you begrudge the carefree bachelor the perks and privileges of his station? What does that say about you? He picked door #2. You picked door #3. Everyone should be cool with the good things they got, and stop provoking and envying one another (Gal. 5:26). What's the problem? Why do we have to be anti-bachelor Nazis? Needless to say, it's time for people to get real. Some of the ones who embrace marriage, that is.