Hard Men in a World of Softness Because soft is not what God called men to be.

Several years ago, I was at a gathering with a group of church leaders who hailed from around the country, many of them from major metropolitan areas. As an elder from a town of only a few thousand, and at the time an editor at a gun magazine, I felt a little bit like the crazy uncle someone brought for show-and-tell.

They’d seen my Facebook profile, and were astounded by all the wilderness exploits, firearms and, most of all, dead animals that regularly appear in my feed. Like the Tasmanian Devil, they’d read about specimens like me in books and knew we existed, but many of them had never seen one in person. You could feel the mixture of boyish awe and a tinge of disgust. 

One church leader asked me, incredulously, “When you go hunting, and you kill this animal, do you, you know, take its skin off and remove the organs?” When I answered in the affirmative, a little bit shocked at the question, you could hear the collective gasp. 

I found this mostly amusing, but at the same time wondered where exactly they thought their steaks and hamburgers came from. It really was a clash of cultures—their conversations revealed a world of high-thread count shirts, expensive private school tuition, and obscure theatrical performances I’d never heard of, while my world collided as one of diesel exhaust, coal miners, calloused hands, and the often bloody work of ranching and hunting.

But it was a conversation I had shortly thereafter, with a different pastor who didn’t last very long in the small town he was serving, that has lodged in my mind. He confided that he had a hard time connecting with the people of the rural community, and had a particular disdain for country music, lifted trucks and the sea of blaze orange covered hunters that showed up every fall. It wasn’t just that those weren’t his interests, it was that he actively disdained them. Something more than tastes and preferences was in play. 

“I just think hunting is so gross and stupid,” he said. “Why can’t you just buy your food at the grocery store like everyone else? I’ll never do it. It’s almost as dumb as country music.”

You could hear the revulsion and effeminate range in his voice. He’d rather be in his office, vaping and listening to esoteric music, meditating on obscure and grandiose theology, than standing on the fence line straightening barbwire with one of his people. Soft men despise those who are hard. 

How is it that our seminaries and churches in much of Christendom are somehow attracting and training effeminate pastors? Why is this happening at such an alarmingly high rate? Why are our Christian institutions so skilled at turning out theologically precise men with softness as their crowning virtue?

They speak softly, play softly, and avoid hardness at all costs. They don’t initiate in leadership, take responsibility, or confront hard cases of church discipline. Little wonder our people are effeminate when so many of our shepherds lack the stones to model biblical masculinity. 

Those who preen and obsess over their appearance like women, who know more about pastel dress shirts and overpriced macchiatos than a hard day of physical labor, and pit bookishness against a pair of Carhartt overalls, as though learning and labor were mutually exclusive. Why has the limp-wristed, poetry-writing therapist in a sweater vest replaced the flesh-and-blood shepherding ranch hand upon which Christ actually modeled our ministry? And why can’t we even talk about these things in the church without being called bigoted or insensitive?

And how is it that those pastors then come to despise men like myself—the blue collared, splintered in the hand, bleary eyed from the graveyard shift, slightly overweight and farm strong, men who know what it is to give and take a life? Little wonder real men are repulsed by what they find in the church. Little wonder we attract hard women and repel biblically feminine softness.  

Surely it can’t be any surprise that this sissified pastoral model so often fails in the places where real-life shepherds and ranchers actually exist. For them, it’s pretty easy to spot an imposter. We shouldn’t be shocked that, having shaped our ministers in the hands of effeminate potters who preside over seminaries, they come out of the kiln looking soft and, most of all, repulsive to real men. But at least they know how to dress and strut like a peacock in the pulpit. 

But consider the biblical pattern for God’s pastors: 

Prophets don’t dress themselves soft. They don’t have an effeminate bearing. They don’t dress and talk and carry themselves like women. Prophets aren’t gay. John the Baptist was a man’s man, and men who want to enter the kingdom of God will imitate him. Like John the Baptist, violent men will take the kingdom of heaven by force. — The Grace of Shame 

At a recent pastor’s conference hosted by Clearnote Fellowship, I sat down with Tim Bayly, who made an interesting observation about rural life, animal husbandry, hunting and pastoral work. 

“Give me a man that knows how to take a life, who understands the seriousness of it, and can pull the trigger without sentimentality,” Tim said. “We need more of that from our pastors and in our churches.” 

A shepherd’s work, he pointed out, requires both the gentle arms of a man and fierceness toward the wolves in our midst. It’s bloody, messy, manly work. Completely unsentimental or pretty. Something many in our skinny jeans culture can’t stomach.

It was the same with David, the shepherd king, who said killing bears and lions with his bare hands in defense of the sheep prepared him for the larger battles against God’s enemies. The manner of David’s shepherding is hardly the stuff of our video game generation of boys with beards:  

“Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” (1 Samuel 17:34-36) 

What the church needs is hard men, men of principle who pursue their own godliness with a holy violence. Men who run into burning buildings when everyone else, like a Broward County sheriff’s deputy, is running out. What we especially need in the pastorate are men who act like it, who actively repent of their softness and embrace the kind of biblical hardness God has called us to. 

Soft is not what God made man to be. Look at man’s sexual organ and consider the simple truth that godliness for man means living in obedience to his body. His body is hard in taking initiative and bearing responsibility, and this is the reason soft men will not enter the kingdom of God. They are in rebellion against God and who He made them to be. — The Grace of Shame 

econn

206 comments

  • Eric is a good writer. I liked this part… “Like the Tasmanian Devil, they’d read about specimens like me in books and knew we existed, but many of them had never seen one in person.”

    It reminded me of the reaction the New York media as fashion people had to “Crocodile Dundee” when they meet him in the movie.

    So besides having a great point to assert, Eric wins with eloquence as well.

    • Thanks, Graham, glad you enjoyed!

      Crocodile Dundee…the best. I don’t know about the new version, but the original was great.

      • WHEN the women outlawed guns in australia they had to send the australian army to take Crocodile Dundees guns and they had to kill him to get them,NOW OUR FATHER WILL SEND THE CHINESE MILITARY TO TAKE AUSTRALIA,and all thos stupid women will be taken back to china as slaves,seeing as how they didn’t want any men there,NOW they’ll lose everything,and most of them will lose their life if the can’t work a hard days work…

        • Plenty of people in Australia have guns.
          I’m an Australian woman and your opinion is flawed and weird.

          • Rachel, thanks for the comment. Care to elaborate how the article is flawed and weird? God bless.

          • She was talking about ARIZONA, NOT your article. I’ve seen said ARIZONA on the blogs for years now, and she (?) is a dyed-in-the-wool CRACKPOT. No ifs, ands or buts. Just factless ravings and condemnatory doomy judgments that ring hollow and narcissistic …..

          • I think Rachel is saying that the comment by “Arizona” is weird.

        • Yes, and the same will happen to American women. Men tolerated feminism even though they knew it was wrong and they made the same mistake that Adam made in the Garden of Eden. They listened to the advice and counsel of a woman.

          • You go too far, perhaps, in your comment about listening to women. Eve was made as Adam’s helper, not slave or servant. As such, should we not take their counsel, bearing in mind the true sin of Adam in allowing his wife to rule him instead of God, and not allowing them to “rule over man” as she is tempted? I could be wrong. The article seems to be an over reaction at times , albeit needed, to the softer leaning males of today, ignoring Jesus’ own examples of kindness. Jesus wept. How unmanly! No, Jesus both wept AND sat there braiding a rope to beat the cheaters from His Father’s temple, turning over tables and whipping those who would dare turn it into a den of thieves. Hat tip to the author’s reference to the giving and taking of life, however, that may be his meaning.

          • “… and they made the same mistake that Adam made in the Garden of Eden. They listened to the advice and counsel of a woman.”
            >cough<
            Let's clarify a little bit. Adam stood there while an enemy deceived his wife.
            He waited until she succumbed to an enemy's deception and took the fruit… Adam waited to see what would happen to her before he tried it. The Word very clearly says Eve was deceived but Adam knew better. So, when Eve took the fruit and ate of it and turned to her husband, WHO WAS WITH HER, he had the greater guilt.
            Also, where did Eve get the idea that even touching the tree was forbidden? God very clearly said they should not eat of it, but it seems as though Adam embellished that and tried to expand the perimeter a bit…looks like he didn't treat Eve as an equal, but as a child.

  • I found this article interesting. Thanks for your comments! I recognize your concerns about softness among men and I appreciate them as well. I’m interested in more of your thoughts on internal “hardness”. I have found that many men who find their identity in their hardness, work ethic, physical strength, lack strength when it comes treating their daughters and wives with kindness and exhibiting the strength of self-control in debate and repentance. Obviously I have seen many more “hard men” raise godly daughters and sons. If I were a young man who grew up seeing and observing external strength and internal weakness among men, I might be at the same point as other young men who veg by their video games, and retreat from the same manly expressions as other men in their lives. I grew up with a father (who is a pastor) who grew up throwing hay bales and milking cows who taught and exemplified for me that kindness and hardness that come together within Christian masculinity. So I am able to follow your arguments and see your points (and agree with many of them), but I’m interested in how you would respond to those who might have a more visceral reaction to wrong forms of external masculinity, such as the young man who veges on the couch in front of his video games? Thanks! Nathan

    • Nathan,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and interact. Some good questions. Ultimately I think biblical masculinity works this way: Whatever a man’s exterior, it is a reflection of his heart. That’s what Jesus said to the Pharisees, and what is in play in the principle of a tree and its fruit (Luke 6). If what dominates the heart is self-giving and taking responsibility in Christ-like fashion, then the external manifestations are generally going to be in line with biblical masculinity. A man’s hardness will be a function of his godliness and love for Jesus.

      What drives false masculinity is not this Christ-like attitude of sacrifice and responsibility bearing, but trying to impress or control others. It is hypocrisy. Thus, two men may be driving a pickup for two very different reasons—one is in it for the ego trip, the other because it’s a vehicle well-suited for the service of others.

      There’s a lot to say about this. If you haven’t read it, I recommend Doug Wilson’s “Future Men,” as well as “Father Hunger.”

      Thanks,

      Eric

      • Thanks!

        This took me a long time to see your response. Sometimes blogs don’t send me any link to people’s response.

        I’m glad that you are a fan of Doug Wilson as well, he definitely has a lot to teach about masculinity as well. It was a lot of fun to take economics with him at New Saint Andrew’s almost 5 years ago now.

        Blessings,
        Nathan

      • Endocrine disrupters in the food and water supply lower testosterone. Research it. YouTube has many doctors and accredited scientists that verify this insidious fact. Glyphosate, atrazine and many others. Vaccines contain these same ingredients. Also, geoengineering and climate manipulation via aircraft spraying aerosols of aluminum and other heavy metals is very real. Let’s stand together against this assault instead of wasting time ‘identifying’ men.
        http://Www.geoengineeringwatch.org

        • I don’t disagree that environmental factors play a role, but it is not the whole story. The sociological changes (feminization, LGBT agendas) have been well documented and pose a serious threat to masculinity.

        • Man, you hit the nail right on the head! Soft drinks and energy drinks also promote chemical castrations. Most people do not realize that their burger meat in all fast food outlets (except for Dairy Queen and A&W) is aborted babies. Cannibalism is a leading cause of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and a host of other medical conditions. It’s the human form of “mad cow” disease! How did they get it? From eating blood, guts, and bone meal of their own kind and that of others! It’s not natural for cattle to consume that, nor is it natural or normal for humans to eat their own! Try to convince these zombie of this, and they’ll look at YOU like you’re the crazy one! Try to show the majority of pastors and others that they’re using satanic and counterfeit bibles, and the biblical version of the Holy Spirit flies right out the door, with you right behind Him! Nobody aint seen nasty until they have that conversation! They lose it, and refuse to look at one shred of evidence! “The blind lead the blind and they fall into the ditch together.”

      • I appreciate your article, but in this reply you state that the exterior reflects the interior, and you say that this is what Jesus said to the pharisees. What i find is Him telling the pharisees they are a facade. The outside looks clean but the inside is filthy. Luke 11:39. I do totally agree that culture and even church culture tends to say that you need to be a pansy in order to be worthy. And, i do agree this makes church often very difficult and unappealing to masculine men, and something needs to change. However, the direct correlation you seem to draw between the exterior and interior is not as direct as you make it sound. I have seen some very bookish, non men’s men, who are very strong godly men and leaders. I have also seen some very masculine, hunter, fisher, outdoorsy, men’s men, who call themselves christians, but who can’t find the gumption to stand for the truth, for their families, or much of anything. The issue is a heart issue, and the men and pastors you talk about in the article appear to have a heart issue. And if this is the general mindset of the pastorate, we are in trouble. I do not see that extent of attitude in my area, however, i do see that church does not tend address, feed into and disciple men’s men, and as a mother of 4 boys, that is a problem.

        • I see some points on this. There are tell tell things that will allow you to discern the internal by their words/actions. BUT it is possible to masquerade, not showing your true self (all the time). It is certainly a heart issue. Being a man of God is no easy task and is not for the faint of heart but while the term softness is used, it closely coincides to gentleness (needless to point out those implications). Now, Eric Ludy in a video called ‘The Gospel’ made a great comment, “If you try and imitate in your own strength, you will be a miserable replica. But if you allow the impartation of Jesus Christ to over take you, suddenly it all works. Because it’s him imitating himself and he’s very good at being God.” Bearing in mind that Christ-like is all of our ultimate goals.
          So I can see how who-you-are internally does impact the external. Here some examples of the “foolish/evil” heart pouring out of a man. Mat 12:34 …How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Psalm 95:10 …and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.” Mat 15:18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. Mat 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
          Frankly I do not believe everyone viewed the Pharisees, scribes, religious elite as just some A class men of God. There is nothing new under the sun. I’m sure there were complaints and rumors all over about the priests and drama around the temple. It is not a stretch for Christ to appear on the scene and criticize them so easily in front of the masses. That being said, deception is a very real active thing. Possibly at times something we do not realize we are doing. 2 Cor 11:13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. Psalms 43:1 …Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. Romans 3:13 …their tongues practice deceit. “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 2 Tim 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
          All of that for sure but I’d like to know more about ECONN’s thoughts on the comparison of softness and gentleness (and kindness). I’m not saying I think they are the same but there should be lines drawn, Biblically, and I’m just a bit curious.
          *Side note, it would be interesting to read historical details about “small town” living and carpentry from the old rural Israel.*

      • Hi Eric,
        A good friend and fellow minister share this article with me. I have been involved in Ministry to men for over 30 years. I am now focused on helping pastors and leaders establish discipleship pathways for all the men of their churches.
        While I agree with the majority of the statements made in this piece, I do have some reservations. I see where there is a need for men on both sides of this issue to stop separating from each other based on their own personalities and biases. I feel that there is room at the table for both the men who gravitate towards the understanding of the need to be manly in the hard sense and those who are less drawn to the side of manhood that is exhibited in your article. The reason I feel this way is because I see where both sides of the equation can benefit from each other. I think we do a disservice to our selves , our families, our churches and the need for a total understanding of biblical manhood by being too rigid and not tolerating the differences of one another.
        I adhere to the understanding of the word meekness as used in regard to the Lord Jesus. Meekness does not mean that you’re a sissy. It means that you have your strength under control. Jesus was the ultimate man in my regard. He was strong and courageous enough to stand up against the evil that was in the world and the religious hypocrisy that he faced. He was strong enough to submit himself ultimately to death on the cross for the sake of those who would benefit from his sacrifice. He was also gentle enough to serve those who are not just fishermen but those who not so rough cut. This is why he is able to draw all people to himself. I believe that there is a balance in true masculinity. We err when we think that other men need to be exactly as we are. Just so you know I’m not the type to wear skinny jeans. I served in the Marine Corps, spent over 20 plus years in law enforcement in a very violent city and I’m an Outdoorsman. I know what it’s like to have to face overt evil and take decisive action. I know what it’s like to have to make hard choices and not quail in the face of these things. Having said that I also am learning how to be more compassionate, more understanding towards other lifestyles and submitted to living my life as Jesus did. I think that’s the key and the only way that we can continue to improve and be more understanding towards one another is by being a student of God’s word and being discipled and discipling others in the way the truth and the life which is Jesus. God bless your brother.

        • Very good points! I’m the mother of 8 sons and know a little bit about how different good men can be

  • I think you are missing a crucial issue with video games. The ugly truth is that most young men barely know their fathers. They grow up in a society where few men are in their lives to show biblical masculinity. They still have masculine instincts, but they really have no role models. Their instinct to fight the beast has to go somewhere. Look at comic book stores sometime. You will find a large group of young men and boys who spend hours destroying dragons. Second to salvation, they need men to teach them how to be men.

    • Robert,

      I don’t disagree. Two great books—”Father Hunger,” by Doug Wilson, and “Daddy Tried,” by Tim Bayly. Also, “Future Men,” also by Wilson.

      Thanks,

      Eric

  • I enjoy carpentry, the outdoors, and challenges that test my strength, but I find this article to be scornful and Scripturally imbalanced. You seem to make a gospel of “manliness” rather than of Jesus, and define discipleship as hardness rather than as trusting and following Jesus no matter the cost. Yes, there is a deadly reticence (among many Christians) to confront one another in love, but although some don’t confront because of a lack of courage and love, there are also others who do so with a lack of gentleness that makes their confrontation simply obnoxious and ungodly. You rightly point out the danger of being unwilling to take a stand, speak out, act decisively, and risk safety for God’s kingdom—but you seem to answer scorn with scorn, reacting to (wrong) attitudes on the part of many towards you, but then just turning it around and answering them in the same way. I appreciate the cautions against timidity and the call for courage in following Christ (and have been convicted of my own tendencies towards people-pleasing instead of God-pleasing), but this seems reactionary rather than wise and instructive.

    • Completely agree! Where is the humility and servant-heartedness in this type of “godly manhood?” There has to be balance. Men can be strong in character, courage and physical qualities, as well as soft and tender in heart. Jesus rebuked hardness of heart, was soft in his response to Peter’s betrayal as well as soft in his heart toward sinners, but he also flipped over tables and harshly rebuked the Pharisees. We see softness and boldness in Christ. The difference is, having the wisdom to know how to respond in any given situation.

    • Your post was spot on, Jonathan. I felt uncomfortable reading his manly-man ideas about others. It sounded like he has a hidden anger towards other guys who aren’t just like he is. Everyone isn’t a cookie cutter version of the manly-man, and he doesn’t accept that very well. I have a husband, a son, and three grandsons. Everyone is a little different, but all are fearfully and wonderfully made.

  • I love hearing country boys talk about how great they are and then you see them in an urban area and they are terrified to cross the street. When you meet them on a job site after they just left BFE Kansas and the tell you they are the shit and they can’t do anything right because in the country there are no codes and standards. You don’t have to live in the country to have hard calloused hands and hunt. You also don’t have to have a fashon beard to be cool in the city. Get your head out of your ass. There are enough fake people in the church who want to be more awesome than everyone else.

    • Thank you Roland. You are the only sane voice I’ve heard I’ve this discussion so far.

    • “There are enough fake people in the church who want to be more awesome than everyone else.”

      Sounds like you’re one of them. Get over yourself.

      • Ken, there are enough fake people in the church who want to be more lofty and sophisticated than everyone else. Sounds like you’re one of them. Get over yourself.

      • Ken, if you were addressing Roland, I retract my comment to you. If you were addressing Eric and his article, then my comment stands.

  • Roland,

    How did you do in reading comprehension during your grade school years. I never saw anything about some country boy saying he was superior. Different? Certainly but superior or “how great they are”… I can’t find. Don’t reduce everything you run across into an “us vs them” contest. The article discusses hardness and softness, not city vs country. And nobody is calling the other “fake” either. They sure have some fine schools where you are from. I see evidence of it.

  • Eric, IDK if we met in Bloomington but I found your blog through you post on Warhorn. I have found your posts (those I have read) both helpful and enjoyable. Perhaps we will meet sometime. May God grant you perseverance in His work.

    Tim W

    • Tim, thanks! I look forward to meeting…Lord willing, next year’s conference.

    • I started out shooting birds with a BB gun when I was a kid and I have loved hunting ever since. But I hate country music. It’s not cultural snobbery, I just dislike twang. I find that real people are drawn to those who are genuine. I grew up amidst people who loved country music. If they, knowing me as they did, thought I was trying to patronize them by pretending to like it, they would see right through that. They also had broad enough shoulders to take a little teasing about their musical tastes. They knew I respected them and they respected me. We shouldn’t embrace a certain style of music (or any other cultural preference) simply because we want to adopt a certain cultural identity – whether that be because we want to be a cool Carhart-wearin country boy or a prep in skinny jeans. Some people are born computer nerds. Don’t denigrate their manhood because they don’t like manual labor. God didn’t design them for that (their body type sometimes gives evidence of that), he gave them a brain geared to technology instead. Some guys are musicians, artists or designers. That is what God equipped them to do. Don’t mock them because they can’t build a shed. Celebrate their use of their God-given gifts. What I hear in your article is a defensive reaction. I also loathe the scorn I see in the mainstream media and academia toward the middle-America culture I grew up in. But I’ve also seen a lot of bone-headed reaction to it that does nothing but validate the stereotype. In the body of Christ (of all places), we should be able to appreciate one another for who we are. I do not mean we should affirm sin, God forbid. But we should recognize that God created many types of men – farmers, jocks, nerds, artists, etc. Lets drop our stereotypes, our prejudices and our defensiveness.

  • Interesting, I’m not sure it’s entirely Biblical, but interesting. I think it oversimplifies manhood a bit, and sense it contains some deadly strains of pride, which are (admittedly) hard to keep out of any article written on manhood. Not saying all of the principles are wrong – we are, after all, a fairly pampered generation who doesn’t know how to “suck it up” and get things done, our grit and determination pale in comparison to our WWII counterparts, and we’ve become soft. But I don’t think manhood has much to do with bagging a dear, taking a life, etc. Whether you’re a “man’s man” or skinny jean afficianodo (if you have balls) your still a man. Men are called to be both sensitive and strong (which you said), and when we choose to be the one at the wrong time, we destroy our families and communities. Problem is we tend to embrace whatever we are best at. So “manly men” (of course) say “getting it done” and punching the bad guy in the face is really what manhood is all about (and throw in something about sensitivity), while “sensitive” men argue that pride and brutality are to thank for the majority of the world’s woes (and throw in something about picking up the sword if necessary). Both are right (in a sense, though maybe inadvertently). God calls us to be both “hard” and “soft” depending on the circumstance, but all of us, as sinful men, tend to get this wrong. But I would not readily make the case that a gun-toting, deer-killing, fence-driving man, is any more a man than the latte-sipping vegetarian Doctor who saves people’s lives on a daily basis. They are both men, but their professions and cultural influences, no doubt, determine, in large part, the mainstay of their daily activities. To argue one’s manhood over the other, is to suggest that seasoning determines whether a steak is “really” a steak. It’s steak, maybe not flavored the way you prefer, but it’s steak. But (in closing) I will reiterate once again, all of us, as men, seem to be so easily seduced by that particular vice which (perhaps) is most responsible for the downfall of our very race, pride. And while cowardice should not be masked as “humility”, neither should pride be given refuge in the idea of Christian Manhood. Perhaps the best thing we may do is attempt to fulfill God’s calling in OUR lives, and to run OUR race. I (personally) am not a vegetarian, and will never wear skinny jeans. But I am also not as tech savvy as some of my Christian brothers who eat nothing but beans and lettuce (couldn’t do it). Both of us men, but different flavoring – and they will no doubt be able to reach some for the kingdom that I cannot, and vice versa. We must be careful lest pride seeps in and make of our manhood a hellish thing.

    • Thanks for your comments and for taking the time to share, Pete. I think we have to draw a distinction about what is biblical mandate for masculinity versus preference and difference in gifting, sure. My article wasn’t aimed at setting forth an exhaustive discourse on masculinity, only to point out one issue, from one vantage point. One of the biggest issues I’ve seen is that men stand up and identify a problem (which I’m trying to do), and the first card that gets played is to label it as pride. Either way, we have to talk about real issues regarding masculinity, which is badly compromised in our culture today. I am convinced there’s an issue with effeminacy in the church, and it isn’t (primarily) about deer, guns, or skinny jeans. Those just happen to be a few arenas in which the main issue creeps in, and which I chose to talk about it. At some level, what we do externally, what we wear, our mannerisms, are a reflection of an internal reality. So what we wear, do, etc., does reflect how poorly (or well) we’re embracing biblical masculinity.

      There’s obviously a lot to say. For now, thank you for taking the time to write.

      Eric

  • Rick Philips, when commenting on this current trend. “Culture says we men need to get in touch with our feminine side. I have a feminine side. Her nsme is Sharon!”

    • Unfortunately for men, and the women who desire a manly male,
      the urban water supplies in our US cities are laced with Estrogen.
      I can see that men are becoming soft and feminized and this
      is a culprit in the expansion of many gay male agendas. This
      is a criminal effect that makes the current male a victim of
      the Darwin effect. Not likely to procreate, marry, or survive.
      I have met many European males in my life, who are still
      very much men, to admire. I am a female, who can tell the
      difference, and one who enjoys being a God fearing woman.

  • You make some solid points. (I do, however, think there is some missing balance and perspective on some items.) Still, you raise an key issue that merits widespread attention. There is too much male effeminacy in the church, and some believers strongly defend male effeminacy as positive. Within the church, some conversations on the topic can be entirely demoralizing and frustrating.

  • I think Military Service should be required of all Bible college students. It is both a test of and a validation of manhood.

    • Maybe an easier but more demanding role for these students is to put
      them to work on farms and ranches. The men and their offspring here
      in Nebraska are great examples of the men, produced by testing
      themselves with all the elements in this region, and achieving the
      balance of life so required to succeed in these roles. These men
      also fall to their knees in gratitude, and in need, from our Creator.
      Praying comes naturally.

      • Thanks for your comment. In a post-industrial world of cubicles and technology, I still think it’s vital, as you said, for men to get their hands dirty and bloody. For one, I think it speaks to our creation: God made man FROM THE DUST OF THE EARTH, to work and keep it (Gen. 2:15). I think it’s vital to get experience working with our hands (for men and women). When America was founded, 90% of Americans had direct exposure to agriculture in some form; today it’s less than 10%. I think that has been detrimental overall.

  • Excellent article. Important issues. And, the comments after are excellent.

    Our society and our children desperately need godly roll models.

    So many families are frayed as the parents struggle to make a living and children are often neglected and the pursuit of making a living.

    Parents are playing musical chairs as they choose new partners that make them happy for the moment selfishly choosing their immediate needs over the long-term needs of their children.

    And, somehow, it seems that we are and have been raising generations of victims.

    We definitely need an international revival and international examples for the role of men and women, mothers and fathers. We need local and international examples.

    We are definitely in a place where that which is good is called evil and that which is evil is called good.

    We are also in a place, most of us, that Andrew Murray would call the “wicked sin of prayerlessness”.

    • So many families are frayed as the parents struggle to make a living and children are often neglected in the pursuit of making a living.

      And, much of what we see in people that is outside the bounds of what most would call “normal” is simply defiance and rebellion. Rebellion against their upbringing. Rebellion against norms. Rebellion against God. Purely a heart condition. Rebellion and a desperate need for attention.

  • I often see people equate cruelty with hunting. Those lucky enough to have opened their minds to respecting Gods creation and natural resources know this is not the case. Strength and hardness are not the same thing. Finding the space in your life to be empathetic and caring with out being effeminate is difficult in the world today. I find many church leaders whom have never heard or met a Tasmanian devil like yourself,let alone ever experienced for them selves.I have to confess to being guilty of the flip side of this problem-not speaking up, doing the politically correct- instead of arguing. Your articles are encouraging thanks keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Lloyd, appreciate the insight. Empathy is necessary, you are right.

  • We pray that more men will awaken and take this beast system by the horns and remove it from this earth! You are blessed with this knowledge, please continue to tell the world! Bless you

  • “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

    George Orwell.

  • To preface, I drive a truck, own multiple guns, don’t hunt-don’t have a beard, couldn’t wear skinny jeans if I wanted, drink an occasional latte, like an occasional cigar with a glass of bourbon. So in the aspect of hunting, I think many see hunting in only one facet. Even though I don’t hunt, I can support and appreciate men who do hunt for making provisions for their families or others. What I can’t support from a “hunting” perspective is the wanton disregard for the creature God created and the life it represents. If you are hunting for the only purpose to hang the head of a ten-pointer on your wall and brag about the kill then I’m sorry that’s not hard manliness, that borders on sociopathic, weakness. It’s killing because you can pull a trigger not killing to feed your children. There’s a huge difference. One is hard manliness that God intended for men to do the other is cowardly, self-edification through taking a life.

    Nothing sickens me more than to see someone standing proudly over a kill, knowing the only thing that is produced is a trophy. When I see you butchering the animal for Zebra steaks or Tiger burgers then I’ll support you.

    • Thanks for the comment, Tyson. To be fair, hunting can be both a trophy endeavor AND for meat. In fact, Teddy Roosevelt’s model for producing trophies (as embodied by the Boone & Crockett club) has led to healthy conservation and more meat for the rest of us. I’m sure people do it for the wrong reason. But I thoroughly enjoy the process of turning a game animal into food for the table. It’s by far my favorite part. I also proudly display horns if there are horns to display; I honor the life of the animal who fed my family.

  • The photo on this article post was just beautiful. It led me to give my time to reading the article. Only to find out that the best part of the article was the photo. You used words to condemn and divide. That is kind of a problem for me when you call yourself a church leader. This article will appeal to a lot of people, but it is a call to division that I am sad to see from a “church leader”. Most men who are fishers of men have to be more thoughtful. You used ridiculing and name calling in order to tilt the reader in the direction of agreeing with you. You assume that the preacher who did not like country life was vaping. The point of including that was to discredit him and frame him in the light that would best suit your own opinion. You describe men who do not fit into your “hard men” category as”Those who preen and obsess over their appearance like women” and ” limp wrist-ed poetry writers who are therapist” for the same reason, to belittle them and in order to speak to the reader who might have your same aptitude for being closed minded, men, like yourself, who have a tendency to use words and actions to bully and make fun of others in an attempt to sway them to believe what you believe. It seems you want every man to act the way you do. It seems that you attempt to separate yourself from the men you view as soft as though they do not measure up, while you believe that you do. I understand that you are obviously proud of who you believe you are, but your article was divisive and not becoming for a “church leader”.

    • Mr.Conn, thou doest protest too much.In essence this cliche means that someone who denies something very strongly is hiding the truth. To name call,humiliate,belittle and berate another human being can also be hatred for what is a part of one’s self. Your rhetoric was nothing less than hate speech and I’am stunned at your juvenile and cruel words. Introspection and prayer might help you discern who you really are.

      • I agree, Barb. I was shocked and dismayed by this article. It actually made me happy that I’m not a Christian.
        My gut feeling was that the author is deep in the closet, and full of self loathing and fear of his feminine side. Why else would someone be so concerned about the perceived masculinity/femininity of others? I have several married gay friends that are ten times the decent human being that this guy is.

        • Rene, saying that Econn is a closet Sodomite or effeminate male Would be like calling you and Barb closet Christians, which you just told us you are glad you’re not.

          • And Jay proves, once again, that religion is the main source of insanity.
            No matter how much you want society to regress, Jay, it ain’t gonna to happen.

        • I literally just sit and observe the foolishness of your and other people’s comments and take 0 offence from even the most outrageous things you say, cause I know you are worthless in heart.

          • All we have to do is outnumber them and speak out, tell them this behaviour makes them worthless, and the same way they believe whatever group think tells them on the other side, they will come to ours simply if they think there is more safety and security here. They may never admit this is how their brains works and it’s why they believe what the say they believe. What it comes down to is they believe in and stand for nothing except for what makes them feel good. They enemy has edge in providing them that, but the more we speak out, the more chance the smart ones open their eyes in time to change. This one seems too old so it doesn’t matter, we need to reach younger females in the realm of early twenties before the regressive (Yes, I said regressive left, Rene) left ruin their lives for good. Older females often times cannot give younger females good advice because they themselves cannot humble themselves and admit their own mistakes.

  • ERIC,america has been lost,and I’am not guessing about it,They’ve gone to far to the left,america has made so many mistakes they have lost sight of who anyone is,BUT ONE thing is for sure ,America is NOT A GODLY NATION ,and I don’t know if it ever was,I’ve been here for thirty maybe foury years yelling at the men to stand up and take their country back from the women, or they would lose it to some foreign country,OUR FATHER told me america has crossed the RUBICON,and now its gone off the cliff and its headed to the rocks below,(HELL)..THE actual number of real christians is so low their unnoticed by the crowd,OUR FATHER HAS HAD IT WITH AMERICA,he going to wipe your country off the map forever,and this can be laided at the feet of the government,media,banks,military and the women,the mess is so bad its beyond fixing,AND not just america ,ITS world wide,their ALL in bed together to destroy the planet,I could really carry on about this,BUT EVERYONE needs to get ready to meet the LORD,the end of this planet is NOW on the horizon,OUR FATHER is going to restore it back the way it was in the begining,IT won’t look nothing like it does now when its finished being restored,everyone has to go,THE big question is where will they be going..I hope they chose wisely,their SOUL depends on it…TAKE CARE MY FRIEND….

  • “Soft is not what God made man to be. Look at man’s sexual organ and consider the simple truth that godliness for man means living in obedience to his body.”

    HUH?

    No such thing as soft porn either.

  • There are a lot of interesting points in this piece, but I feel like the author is not quite seeing as much of the picture as he believes. For one thing the big question never gets answered: WHY are so many pastors girly-men?

    I can identify with the writer much more than the effeminate men he complains about. His observations about preening sissies typifying urban men is a source of daily amusement to me, as well as a fair amount of concern for my nation’s future. I don’t know how we’ll fight the next war. On-line or something, I hope.

    But the reason so many pastors are so soft seems pretty obvious to me. The vast majority of traits which we are implored by Christ to develop come naturally to more effeminate men. The author tries to portray the Bible as urging men to be as masculine as possible. And in parts it does. But every one of those parts are in the old testament. That’s why most Biblical references here are to old testament scripture.

    But Christians know that the rules changed where Jesus came. Like it or not, caring and compassion are what it’s about. Tenderness and empathy, not hardness and strength, are the qualities the Savior implored us to embody. Clearly and unequivocally.

    Which is not to discount the obvious need for real men in the real world. The Lord created this place and He knew he was making it unhospitable for those trying to live without tough guys. You don’t negotiate with tigers, and crying won’t make harsh weather change.

    A society of all-wimps will not survive. The Lord knew this. There was no need to urge us to stay tough. On the other hand, a society without tenderness will, and has, survived. It simply will not serve the Lord. So the messaging that is required must center around softness, simply because the world already taught the value of masculinity.

    So seminaries are merely adhering to the scriptures, primarily the Gospel, which they should do. It’s not their job to make manly men. That’s the job of another group: fathers. Except half the time they’re not around. In light of this trend, maybe Christian organizations should put more focus on helping boys become men. But it would require expanding their responsibility to cover a job that wasn’t supposed to be theirs. God made men to be, among other things, fathers. I think they should start doing their jobs. And maybe, when their sons become pastors, they won’t be scared of bugs so much.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Cormac. I appreciate it very much.

      I agree, the primary formation of men comes from fathers. And we’re agreed that wimpyness must go.

      I disagree that the NT is somehow speaking a different message about masculinity than the OT. John the Baptist was not malakos (soft), but hard (that’s how Jesus describes him and commends him). That’s a NT text. Paul calls us to “act like men,” “fight the good fight,” and “be a good soldier.” He tells us to put on the armor of God. This is all NT masculinity. For a more thorough treatment of meekness, see another article of mine: https://ericconn.com/dangerous-men/

      If Jesus is the man, par excellence, then we ought to be teaching our sons and churchmen to model our lives after him. He was not only compassionate but violent (He violently drove charlatans from the temple with a whip).

      Again, deeply appreciate your thoughts. Very helpful.

      • You’re welcome and thank you very much for the reply.
        You kind of won the debate with the whipping reference alone. Good one. But I still say Christ Himself was far more dove than hawk.
        But to the degree which I am wrong returns the question unanswered: why are so many pastors such wimps?
        I have noticed a tendency toward a low-T profile among church leaders. Men with lower levels of male sex hormone almost always tend to be more calm and patient, but also less confident and bold. Not that I am saying one can not be patient and calm as well as confident and bold. But most people with high or low levels of Testosterone display a fairly full set of characteristics associated with their particular endocrinology.
        (And, as you know, T levels among American men have been dropping significantly for decades. There are numerous theories as to why.)
        I believe that could also, at least partly, explain the correlation.

  • Initially my reaction was “Heck, Yeah!” but as I read I felt the author reflecting some of the disdain as the “soft” minister. Don’t get me wrong, I want a “real” man — one I can count on to pull me out of the fire, that has my back (and my front), and makes me feel like a beloved princess. Today, my father would be considered as leaning towards effeminate. He was tall, thin, bookish, and had flame red hair with glasses. But he could rope a steer, build stuff, take apart and put back together an entire engine (a 1962 Impala’s to be exact) and do math to dance rings around most mortals. He was instrumental in designing the bar code reader known as the “Wand.” So, “Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover;” but DO encourage guys to be, well, GUYS!
    Eric, sir, keep the great articles coming!

    • Leslei, good points and thanks for commenting. I do think we have to be careful not to label as effeminate things which God doesn’t. For example, as you mentioned, being learned IS manly, not effeminate. Being thin (which may well be a physiological reality for many manly men) isn’t effeminate. Doing math or being good in school isn’t effeminate. Your father sounds to me like a real man. Again, I appreciate your feedback.

  • er…I thought Jesus was humble, meek and submissive to both his mother and father on earth, and in Heaven. I thought Jesus was compassionate and sensitive to other’s needs. He was also strong and skilled. In my opinion, a well developed, grown man has a range of sensitivities, skills, interests and matrix of toughness and tenderness, not unlike a well broiled steak. Not too tough, not too soft, but appropriately developed in all of the different areas of his intellect, psyche, spirit and heart, as God intended. God is not one dimensional, nor are His children.

    • Maria, thanks for your comment. I agree, God is not one-dimensional. I think the one dimension that’s been lost is the hard masculinity God calls us to; I think it’s important, however, not to pit one virtue against another. Jesus, the man par excellence, both showed compassion to sinners and drove others out of the temple with violence. If you haven’t read it, I recommend another post of mine, which discusses the biblical meaning of meekness—it doesn’t mean soft, weak, or sensitive: https://ericconn.com/dangerous-men/

      I appreciate the feedback.

  • Frontier preachers in the Old West in America had to face a tough crowd. There was not much entertainment and the traveling preacher attracted people of all kinds–some came to just make fun. One preacher, I think his name was Peter Cartwright, would walk up to the pulpit, pull out two six shooters and place them on each side of the pulpit, and then shout, Let us pray. And they did.

    • Very true, Jim. I love the image of setting the pistols on the pulpit. It certainly would take a man’s man to preach in that environment.

  • As a U.S. Marine, 1969-1973, I still encounter people who are bewildered as to why someone would willing submit themselves to 13 weeks of that kind of intense training. Few get it. I felt it was preparing me for the real world as well as for combat.

    I explain that I still have a duty to G-D, my Country, and my family to protect them. Interestingly enough, I had a pastor turn white and never treat me the same after he gave me a hug at the conclusion of an elders’ meeting and happened to rest his arm on my legally holstered Colt Commander .45 under my suit coat (I was an attorney and had to rush straight from the office that evening and didn’t take it off).

    People don’t get it. They read The Bible and really do not understand that it is TRUE. The battles were bloody messes. The First Passover involved the killing, probable cleaning and butchering, and preparation of a lamb. Even the Temple was a scene of intense, incredible bloodshed thanks to the sacrifices.

    Thank you for setting the record straight.

  • Is there a way that I only get one notice when there has been new activity and not a notice for every new comment?

    • I’m not sure Graham, but great question. I’ll look into that. Thanks for following the post and discussion.

      • There actually is a way Eric, if that option is presented to us. “Notify me of replies to my comments.” I use it on other blog sites to get responses to my comments only. I’d greatly appreciate that “service” on this site also.

        I never realized just how many snowflakes follow your site; they’re very irrational and quick to melt down, eh!

  • Oh, how I enjoy reading commentary like this! My late husband is (no past tense, he’s with Jesus) a real man. Praise God, my daughters both married real men. My grandsons, 18 and almost 20, have followed suit. Flickers of hope are out there. But time is short.
    Maranatha!

    • Rita, thanks for sharing. I’m grateful that, like your husband, there are real men out there to leave a godly legacy. May the Lord be pleased to raise up more godly men.

  • was at a church meeting recently , I became a bit troubled by the ‘ wuv ‘ and ‘ pweety butterfly ‘ version of Jesus Christ the pastor seemed to express . I had to raise my hand .
    when called upon I congratulated him on the fact there were no pictures posted anywhere in the building of Jesus Christ . Or should I say , ‘ I’m grateful to not see any pictures of the effeminate wanna-be glam rockstar whose afraid to get his robe dirty ‘ imposter .

  • Everyone knows why but everyone is also loathed to speak of it as you have in this great article. One of Christianity’s greatest rules is to “Turn the Other Cheek”, which means to become subservient to those who want to slap you down. AND, now your ranks are full of those Beta Males who don’t understand anything about life but yet profess to know God’s wishes and God’s mind. If you have intellect without the strength to back up your point of view, you will always be thought of as the likes of Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory”, A man without a SET who proposes to know everything.

    Even though I am a died in the wool Atheist I still understand just who your Gods are, and they certainly not Beta Males.

    • This NEEDS to be debated. Was Christianity infiltrated and altered? Or was Christianity a way to gut our self worth from the beginning?

      There is a lot of these “not Beta males” that have claimed and boasted that they stripped us of our old Pagan religions, and replaced it with this “religion from the middle east”. Others say that Christianity was stripped of its occult spiritual knowledge. Would be nice to know whats what as much as possible. Not everything is black and white.

      It makes perfect sense to me that to enslave a large group of people, you must weaken them and make them think those things that weaken them is actually their strength. A story of a rebel who goes against the “not Beta males” group, gets the consequence tortured to death by being bled out on a cross. The sheeple are told all they need to do is believe in Jesus died for our sins to be accepted as a Christian and be granted eternal life. The symbol of Christianity is that rebel being punished brutally for going against the wrong group. Sounds like a clever game of trauma based mind control. After all, who in their right mind wants to be bled out on a cross? Better do as your told.

      I myself consider myself culturally Christian, have not read the bible to the end yet although I intend to. I am still open ended here. Maybe somebody can help “save” me?

      I really would like a response from the Author. I feel like this is the most challenging comment I’ve read yet on this article, am interested to see if he can defeat it.

    • RUMPLESTILTSKIN, There is an improper view of “turning the other cheek” which is prevalent and not coincidentally it is the interpretation that the world wants you to comply with. And then there is a proper view which the Lord has in mind for His children. The same with “going the extra mile”. When a man yields to wickedness he is “like a city with broken down walls and a polluted cistern”. That’s what the world would have you do. However Christ wants you to do much differently. If I go one mile forbearing the abuse of someone, I have become his slave. But when I go the second mile I have become his master since it is me calling the shots and not him. The same with “turning the other cheek”. When I endure one’s abuse, I am their servant in that I am forbearing their folly. This is NOT agreeing with their folly. But once I have forborne their folly then I have “earned their ear”and present to them the clear truth in a way that invites them to abuse it openly and embrace shame. This is giving them the other cheek to smite. For example….

      When they say: “Homosexuals were born that way and who are we to deny them their unique sexual expression?” You accept that abuse and say: “OK, I can accept that thinking. That means you must also believe pedophiles, necrophiliacs and practitioners of bestiality were born that way and who are we to deny them their unique sexual expression?” You are asking them to smite the other cheek after smiting the first. In this manner, just like the “extra mile” example, you accept the first abuse but you become their master by inviting them to complete the second abuse.

      “Turning the other cheek” is NOT agreeing with wickedness and becoming like a city with broken down walls and a polluted cistern. It is NOT surrendering biblical convictions to the wicked. It IS powerfully asserting biblical truth in a manner that Christ used to confound his adversaries. Get them to commit to a standard of their judgement. Then get them to own it. Examples of this would be the parable of the Good Samaritan when he pins them to the wall and asks them to apply their stated standard to the question: “who is my neighbor?” Another example that comes to mind is the parable of two sons found in Matt Chapter 21….

      28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
      29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
      30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
      31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

      Here Jesus gets them to commit to a simply criteria. Then he applies it directly to them. It’s the classic “if, then” formula and it is divine. Accept their abuse on one cheek, get them to commit to it, then apply it to them and invite them to do to the second cheek as they did to the first. They will go away confounded saying: “never before has a man spoken as this man has spoken”. At which time you will rejoice greatly in the Holy Spirit at the wisdom of God.

  • Once men decided that is was OK to let women have the right to vote, men abrogated their responsibility as head of the household in favor of having a woman dominated decision making model in the house instead under the guise of equality.
    It’s just not survivable. Either the man is in charge or else the woman is. Men know that they don’t stand a chance against a woman in a court of modern law. And they aren’t even going to try. Most just become gay or take some other course in life, but Biblical marriage is no longer a viable option. It is against the law.

  • I very much take issue with this article. Whatever it is the writer is trying to express, he has painted himself into a corner in semantically chasing his own tail. And there is a bunch of dull-witted oversimplification happening here as well. He needs to identify a precise biblical definition and example for the word, “soft”, he is here misusing.

    Jesus came as a tender-hearted spiritual warrior who, in dealing with the special needs of all sorts of different hearts, would “…not break a bruised reed nor suffocate a smoking flax”. (Matt 12:20 originally taken from Isaiah 42:3 in describing Jesus’ TENDERNESS)

    Of course, the idea that our Lord Jesus was a wimp or some sort of peacenik is a lie going in the other direction. But he essentially is, just as his disciples would be, “…all things to all men” (which of course doesn’t include the reprobate). His singular and quite special disciple, John, was an extremely gentle-hearted man who loved his master beyond description. John’s gospel and letters – comprising a lot of the “milk of the word” – were written to help repair damaged lives and coax wounded believers back from their fear and into fellowship with the sweet shepherd who goes searching for his lost sheep.

    God loves the poser (who drives a pickup truck hoping to look like a cowboy) just as much as he loves the real cowboy.

    And the comparison that was made to spiritual men and a hardened penis was absolutely a loveless and gross oversimplification of true manliness. He butchered that analogy.

    The devil has indeed worked hard to create feminine men in this twenty-first century hell we are wading through. Nevertheless, not all men are are called to be rednecks. And video game-playing males are not all disgusting perverts (which IS the unmistakable implication of the author of this ‘manly’ article). Don’t get me started.

    Bottom line, this world is one screwed-up place because of our sinful rebellion against our maker. But in addressing that problem, God gave us twelve distinctively different disciples to reach out to all the DIFFERENT personalities of lost sheep roaming around out there. He did not send a lone, masked rider to herd in all the strays, wholesale. He meets every one of us right where we live. And if we have a problem shooting deers for food (I don’t), he won’t castigate somebody because they would prefer to buy their meat at a supermarket – whether that decision is made out of ignorance or simply personal preference. (1 Corinth. 8, 10, 11, etc., etc.)

    At the very least, this article gives ignorant men an excuse to judge people by what they interpret their behavior or outward appearance is saying to their own stunted shallowness.

    The Lord has abundantly informed us that we cannot know another person’s heart. It is not my job to judge people in the manner that this man may be advocating. It is my job to prayerfully present the gospel to all men and women, and allow them to decide for themselves. Whether or not they wear denim or drive a truck is strictly between them and the all-knowing God who made them.

    And how we behave or dress as Christians should not be governed by our “stones” as much as by the Holy Spirit in agreement with the word he has already given us. God will perfect that which concerns his own people. And he will complete the job. What the spiritually dead world does is not too much of my business, beyond how it may affect those people in my charge. (Psalm 138:8, Phil. 1:6)

  • I’ll just say this, once a nation is touched by homosexuality and effeminate men, it is all over but the kicking and the screaming. You can hear the very argument you have made in your article from the women and the homosexuals in the comments above. And they use Jesus Himself to make the argument that Jesus submitted to everybody and so we should just let the devil have free reign as we men submit to him like Jesus supposedly did. And you are right, this is coming straight from our pulpits and seminaries. Even is it started with the communists who brought the feminists.

    • Jay … were your two comments, following my remarks, made in response to what I wrote? If so, have the “stones” to come forward and address me by my name. I am as ‘anti-queer’ as the Lord can make a man. And if you dared to even suggest that, “And they use Jesus Himself to make the argument that Jesus submitted to everybody and so we should just let the devil have free reign as we men submit to him like Jesus supposedly did.” in some manner applies to anything that I have here said, I am calling you out. If you lack understanding in how to read or use the English language, I will school you as it pertains to imposing your own interpretation to my words. Please clarify. And if the ‘Econn Author’ would care to challenge me on any point I’ve put forth, I will be more than delighted to defend what I’ve said.

      • Dave, I don’t think I am the only one here who thinks what you have written is incoherent and rambling. Perhaps it makes sense to you when you say it but in the written form it is hard to decipher. Regarding that offer to “school” Jay in “how to read or use the English language”… well I would kindly decline that offer if I was him. Maybe you should consider a course is coherency, pedagogy and basic communication.

        I’m still trying to decipher some of the things you wrote. For instance… when you wrote: “And there is a bunch of dull-witted oversimplification happening here as well. He [Eric] needs to identify a precise biblical definition and example for the word, “soft”, he is here misusing.”… this whole statement commits the logical fallacy of “assuming the conclusion in the premise”. You start out with the accusation that Eric’s article engages in “dull-witted oversimplification” without making any effort to support this characterization. Then you move on to say: Eric “needs to identify a precise biblical definition and example for the word, ‘soft’, he is here misusing.” You have offered no contrary definition to the word “soft”, so how can you accuse Eric of misusing the word? Eric is using the word as it is commonly understood and used in such passages as 1Cor 6:11. And regarding “not putting out a smoldering flax or breaking a bruised reed”… Well first off I say: Bravo! for bringing up that passage. But FAIL for interpreting it. Look at how Christ dealt with someone who He was extending mercy to. Not how he was rebuking the pharisees or driving out the money-changers. But someone who was a candidate for mercy… look at how he engaged the Syrophoenecian woman in Mark 7:27. He gave her the brush off and called her a dog. “Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.” What are we to make of this? How do we reconcile that with not quenching a smoldering wick? Perhaps it might be that there is a time in ministering to others where we talk directly, firmly and in such a way that reinforces their absolute NEED for divine mercy and favor and to draw out from them a confession of their utter spiritual poverty and desperate condition. The pharisee prayed how good he was but the publican “would no so much as lift his eyes to heaven and beak his breast pleading “God be merciful to me a sinner”, and we know which one the Lord had regard to. All this contemporary mushy easy believism is from the pit of hell. We are so eager to get to the part where we pronounce forgiveness and absolution that we zoom past the part where we bid them to come to the cross and die. Thus I hold that being “tender” does not always mean being soft. Sometimes surgery looks harmful, cutting, blood, pain, but it is all part of the way things work. Being soft when firmness is called for can have the opposite of the desired effect if we pronounce them forgiven before the proper time. “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” is a far cry for “surrender to Christ, bow before Him, repent and follow Him denying yourself”. The first is ‘soft” and false, the second is “hard” and true. Pruning seems harsh but it leads to fruitfulness. I think I will stick with the way Eric and 1Cor 6:11 use the word “soft” rather than the way Keller or Piper use the word.

        • Graham! I am exhausted, so I will just ramble on here…

          You are at least Eric’s champion “author in residence” who regularly (it appears) defuses the troublemakers through a few tricks you might have gleaned in an intro logic or writing course. But I won’t follow your entire voluminous and distracting rabbit trail. You understood precisely what I had written, Graham. Jay had no trouble tracking with me enough to return with his single question about the voting women. In any case, I will let my remarks stand. [And, Jay, I completely agree with your ‘aerial view’ of the catholic church you gave earlier in this thread. Since we are bros in Christ, I’m sure we have a lot more in common.]

          Nevertheless, Graham, ‘how did YOU do in reading comprehension during your grade school years? Don’t reduce everything you run across into an “us vs them” contest.’ (ibid) I couldn’t have said it better, Graham, so I borrowed a little from your own barbs. Oh, you have left your tracks in many different venues. And there are other budding authors who need your sort of encouragement. But, seriously … are you actually maybe Eric’s dad using a pen name? …
          “Eric is a good writer. I liked this part… “Like the Tasmanian Devil, they’d read about specimens like me in books and knew we existed, but many of them had never seen one in person.”
          It reminded me of the reaction the New York media as fashion people had to “Crocodile Dundee” when they meet him in the movie.
          So besides having a great point to assert, Eric wins with eloquence as well.” So I know you will defend Eric at all costs. But you get worse as you weave your own web in doing that.

          When I accused Eric of some oversimplification, I was addressing what you even may want to tweak in Jay’s oversimplification. After Jay’s attempt at qualifying me with his voting thing and headship query, I couldn’t help but notice your asking Eric for Jay’s contact info … “I’d like to communicate with (Jay) directly on the voting thing, headship etc.” Presentation is important. And some people tend to sort of steamroll right through important minutia and details by not thinking things through. That was the bulk of my complaint (first with Eric, then Jay, and now you!). Everybody is guilty of that. Some less than others. In my initial criticism I wrote what I did because I was somewhat exercised and I didn’t stop and think about the usual pedantic editor in the comment crowd. But there you are. Any first-year law student will tell you, “You lose your temper … you’ll lose your argument.” I’ll never be a lawyer, for sure.

          In my 45+ years with Jesus, I have nearly died a couple of times, been paralyzed from the waist down, endured a very painful divorce, and so on. And through some of that, by God’s grace, I know that the Holy Spirit is just a whole lot bigger in his dealings with fallen men (and women) than is expressed in anything I have read on this site so far. And Christians have the responsibility of highlighting error rather than participating in it (Eph. 5:11). And that is certainly part of the adversarial nature, some of the “hardness”, you have been trying to open my eyes to. And so we argue a bit. I realize that any personal testimony that I may have dose not take any precedence over Scripture.

          But, I am at least conversant enough with Scripture and the heart of my Lord to know that Jesus’ rugged exchange with the Syrophoenecian woman (which you mentioned, Mark 7:27) was entirely about Jesus shaming the listening Jews who looked upon that woman as a dog (or “חזיר יוון”) Jesus (who certainly did not see her as a dog or pig) fully intended to give her what she had tenderly pled for. He just wanted the stone-hearted Jews, who didn’t care about her or her daughter’s demon possession, to see their own HARDNESS. And we both know that the general public is Bible-stupid, and most are unaware of what ultimately happened with that woman.

          I was completely amazed, however, that you actually ended your personally invented “hardness” example by telling me only that he “gave her the brush off and called her a dog”. And you then dashed on to further drive home JESUS’ HARDNESS by conveniently offering up with the only remaining quote from that passage that best served your intentions: “Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.” I said to myself, “Surely he’s NOT going to stop there in order to make his point!” But you did STOP right there. I sincerely thought you were bigger than that – but you very deliberately left out the punchline, the fact that Jesus indeed did give that brokenhearted woman some of the “children’s bread”! We both know, he had every intention of doing what she’d asked of him, before she ever approached him. But, because you wanted me silenced under the probable weight of my not knowing that story’s outcome, you let it lay exactly as you did. You KNEW the WHOLE truth would have dented your stand. And even at the risk of deceiving the readers who don’t know how Jesus ended that deal up, you went tip-toeing lightly on, leaving them uninformed in order to let your anemic point stand. I couldn’t believe it.

          Well, I will happily add what you omitted: That same Jesus, in his SOFTNESS … [In response to her tearfully and tenderly reminding him that the dogs at least qualify to get the crumbs] He lovingly told her, “Perfectly said! Go your way! The devil is gone out of your daughter!” (Mark 7:28-30, with my exclamatory paraphrase). The IMPLICATION of her canine status came purely from the stone-hearted Jews who historically regarded certain outsiders as dogs and PIGS. And those powerful, priestly ‘chosen ones’ abandoned her and her daughter to the devil! Jesus, who was unflinching in his criticism of the hypocrisy of the self-righteous Jews, allowed his soft heart to be broken for that perfectly broken woman. But he referred to the woman in the manner ‘he there did’, hoping to awaken the Jews to the attitude of her CORRECT (compared to their rotten LACK OF) humility and faith. This was very similar to the story of the Roman centurion whose servant needed healing. I’m sure you know it. After Jesus’ telling him he would come along with him to his home, that officer, accustomed to the power of his own authority, informed our Lord to ”Simply say the word …” and his servant would be healed. And Jesus there likewise shamed his Jewish listeners by telling them he had not seen that sort of faith in all of Israel (Matt 8:5-18, Luke7:1-10). Humble faith is the requisite of engaging the mercies of our God in EVERY instance. AND ILLUSTRATING THAT POINT WAS JESUS’ TARGETED OBJECTIVE. You knew that her pleading would be answered, BECAUSE OF HER HUMILITY AND FAITH, but said nothing toward clarifying that outcome. AGAIN, TO SERVE YOUR PURPOSE, YOU ELECTED NOT TO TELL THE WHOLE STORY. That omission was neither honest nor Godly. Butin your leaving things the way you did, you proved your point – while doing real violence to the TRUTH of God’s underlying and BOTTOMLESS MERCIES to those who truly cry out for them (Psalm 136, etc., etc.). Because, you know what, Graham? I have lived MUCH of my life ONLY BEING ABLE to sincerely cry out for his mercies.

          And as far as your mentioning the two men you hauled up from Luke 18, I am the guy who can’t look up toward God. And that has nothing to do with my physical handicap.

          Toward the end of your rant, you also said, “Being soft when firmness is called for can have the opposite of the desired effect if we pronounce them forgiven before the proper time.” What a really lofty yet fumbling and hugely presumptuous thing to say. If I am leaning on anything less than God’s Spirit to guide me in administering forgiveness, I am no more a Christian than a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon, etc. I may as well rely upon a Kingdom Hall’s board of elders in doling out God’s grace to the lost. Only God forgives sin. Only God best referees his own grace and forgiveness (unless you are a catholic or mormon, carrying on in such a warped doctrinal bent. But I don’t think you are either). And while I can’t very much disagree with simply the aggravating premise of your buddy’s book, after my years of walking with Jesus, I know that, contextually, your statement which you tied up with the words, “The first is ‘soft” and false, the second is “hard” and true.” , is such a blurry and dangerous OVERSIMPLIFICATION, it takes my breath away. To make such an arbitrary ruling concerning such a weighty subject is floating somewhere around naïve at best.

          And, especially if you are basing your judgments upon arguments as loosely packed (and, frankly, dishonest) as I have seen from you, to this point, you and the rest of Eric’s faithful fans are headed toward official “cult” status in no time at all. Just because a group of ‘manly’ guys are sick and tired of today’s sin-infected/corrupted world and all the excrement that comes with it, doesn’t give those men the license to impose their own suppositions upon people whose hearts are hidden from us. And neither are we free to circumvent the deadly-serious and prayerful care needed to rightly divide God’s word – AND TO WORK IN HARMONY WITH OTHER REAL BELIEVERS. Jesus didn’t give any of his children a corner on the market of his TRUTH. And he abundantly warned us to righteously judge apart from whatever influence we might embrace that could bend his words into corroborating our own pet opinions. And such freedom from bias is something only he can control. I think it was Lewis who said something about not wanting a God he could understand. Well, that is what we are left with if we are worshiping the true God.

          I will back out of here. I was late in responding to your own oversimplifications, simply because I apparently can’t get notifications when the responses are posted. So I eventually will go looking for your rejoinder. But it will take a while for me to think of that, I’m certain.

      • Ok Dave. I can settle this with you in just one question.
        Do you believe that God meant for women to have the right to go around their own husband as the political head of their household by voting?

        If you do in fact believe that women should have the right to vote, that is the very essence of male/female role reversal and homosexuality. It is in fact the government telling men that they are not the head of their wives as God said, rather that the man is just another vote.

        • Jay, you really have a problem with women voting, don’t you? You seem to think it was the beginning of all that is wrong with men today. I’m just a woman here, so perhaps you could condescend to explain where the Bible lays out exactly how the “head of household” should control every aspect of a woman’s life in society. I see spiritual authority, of course, and overall discipline of the children and household, but did God not make women with a mind and conscience of their own with which to make good judgments on many issues–like voting?

  • Simply put, homosexuality is a crime that God commanded the death penalty for. Our government and America’s people decided that they knew more than God and refused to do it. Now our blood supply is killing people with the AIDS virus, our children are being taught by drag queens in school that they are supposed to submit to sodomy and kids are mostly confused about the difference between a man and a woman even as they are subject to brutal sex change operations and chemical castration.

    • Here is a secular paper on sodomy laws. The second page in the document [page #278] states that sodomy was a capital offense in England from 1563 until 1861. That’s three centuries. That’s something we can shove down the throats of the effeminate anti-theonomy bunch. This whole secular paper cites colonial documents without editorializing. About 85% of the paper is large citing of original script. The Brits, the Scots and even the Dutch were endeavoring to be theonomic. These modern seminary folks are clearly seen to be revisionist liars, mockers and scoffers with an anti-christ agenda. This evidence is ubiquitous in colonial legal documents and it is available for anyone to view should they so desire.

      https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l__wvMIjPoDmKlRWibgIA0C08UekeRR8

      • Thanks for the article Mr. Dugas.
        Those Quakers have always been a bunch of leftists and liberals.

        Homosexuality is such a heinous and despicable crime that most of it in colonial days was dealt with in a way such that the public never witnessed the execution. Only a few judges lawyers and clergy were aware that it existed for the most part. You just didn’t even speak of such evil back then because most people didn’t even know that such evil existed. For the most part you didn’t even speak of any type of illicit heterosexual activity either. It was best kept that way in order for humanity not to be brought under its curse.

        Something I find really interesting though is that in our modern era where every kind of sexual perversion imaginable is celebrated, the one thing that is looked down upon is a man having multiple wives as it was done in the Old Testament. But That same man could commit all kinds of adultery with those same women if they were married to another man and our society would say “judge not lest ye be judged.” Well, that’s what happens when a nation slouches toward Sodom right before God destroys it.

        • Just think of it, THREE CENTURIES of the death penalty for sodomy in the English speaking world, not Islamic nations, but in the English speaking nations! As recently as 1861, not in the patristic period, or the medieval period but in times leading up to and including the industrial revolution. We have been LIED to about OUR true history and the theology of the Church regarding society and law. These things happened recently.

          • Yes indeed Graham, we have been lied to in so many diabolical ways. The devil does not want us to know the old ways or the ways of the forefathers. That’s why we have the revisionists of history attacking our school children and their text books. That’s why entire sections of our libraries are turning up missing and many websites are inaccessible or come with a warning that you shouldn’t access it.

        • Jay,

          Neanderthals unite…

          EConn… Eric, I’m asking you to pass along my email address to Jay so he can reach out to me directly. I’d like to communicate with him directly on the voting thing, headship etc.

          • Hey, Graham.
            I got your message.
            Just a heads up. Heterosexual societies will not allow women to rule over men in any way, shape or form, including the right to vote and hold public office. Only a nation of homosexuals will allow women to have the right to vote and rule over men. Women voting and being in charge over men is an unnatural and perverted act, just act like homosexuality. And there will always be more women than men so not only does God disapprove of it, but the policies made by women voting will always lean toward the destructive left. Isaiah 3:12.

          • Jay, I agree that women should not vote. I thought the word “not” was in that comment I made about reading comprehension and homos. This forum doesn’t provide a way to edit typos or make corrections. Women suffrage undermines the principle of headship. A wife should never be in a position to nullify her husband’s vote. And unmarried women are still under headship, their father, the elders of the church or the civic leaders are all heads over her in their spheres. And the first place we should forbid it is in our presbyterian and Reformed churches. Then we can apply it to the civic realm.

            email me

  • I have made it to the bottom of the comments :), great conversation overall. I think that there is something rising up in the people that fear the Lord. G-d is looking for men obedient to him. Able to wipe a tear and defend.

    Fathers that read this need to realize that your daughters are going to marry someone like you and your sons are going to treat women like you. Of course they are their own person and can make changes as they see fit. I would say default though you have that influence. Keep in mind generational sins and patterns that need to stop now. You as a priest or your home can lead your family in renouncing some of these sin patterns and repent before God. Ask the Lord to lead you and walk you in this. Life doesn’t have to happen they way it always has. We have the armor of God and every spiritual blessing don’t let the enemy win.

    I am not much of a hunter but you start putting Harry Potter in front of my kids or telling them Holloween is ok you and I are having a conversation. We have a spiritual apathy in America where we celebrate holidays Jesus never did pacify sorcery in games and movies as entertainment and enjoy any food we want. I think regardless of hunting or if you get squeamish at the thought of blood our battle is against flesh and blood but against principalities.

    Keep in mind we have a spiritual unseen battle to be aware of and fighting against in the power of the living G-d through Jesus Just some thoughts I had.

  • Cotton Candy Christians are the ones who “Love Everyone”, “Accept Everything” & Believe if they just Pray to Jesus they can become Millionaires. That’s Bullshit. I Enjoy reading The Old Testament & if more Men were to Read The Original Truth: GOD said Let There Be Light & the void Became Light & that was the 1st Day! Read about the Suffering & Hardships of Real People & Grow a Pair of Balls & realize that Modern “Christianity” is Communist Crap. If you Love Everyone & Accept Everything then you are a Disciple of Satan. I find that Scrutinizing, Being Intolerant & Rejecting Most Modern “Morals” is Very Refreshing & helps one to steer clear of Demonic Degradation, LGBTQFUKU, Transfaggotry, Pedophilia, Vile Destruction of Human Beings, Men, Women, Children & Family that GOD placed on this Earth. Christianity Only Works if you get to Know GOD Your Father from the Beginning: GENESIS.

  • Thank you for this article, except for your comments about the male private area. Did you know that when the bible says that the effeminate will not enter Heaven, it means the unchaste? The unchaste include those who have relations outside of marriage (fornication and adultery), dress immodestly (yes, that goes for men, too!), and practice the sin of Sodom and masturbation, and contraception. As you may recall, God killed Onan for practicing contraception.

    It is a fact that unchastity weakens both sexes. St. Alphonsus says that unchastity leads to stubbornness and moral blindness. St. Thomas Aquinas said that unchastity leads to selfishness, weakening of the will, darkening of the intellect and a host of other ills.

    He also noted that impurity leads to violence. That men have made barely a peep about the relentless slaughter of their own children at abortion mills shows you that the great Saint was right.

    Let us pray the rosary that God will save us from impurity, abortion, and the war that is well on its way.

    • Christine, while it is true that society cannot last long without morality, it is also true that false doctrine and false religion is what leads to immorality since ones view of God is the primary determining factor in ones moral behavior. We witness this first hand in the behavior of the Pope who long ago proved that he was never a man of God. And praying the rosary is definitely not in the Bible anymore than Santa Claus or the word Christmas are in the Bible. The real issue here though is your eternal destiny which the Roman Catholic Church has already attempted to seal in the lake of fire with their false doctrine and attempts to keep you and generations before you from reading Gods Word. Mary cannot intercede to God on your behalf and it is blasphemy to teach such lies. Roman Catholicism has murdered the saints since it’s very inception.

  • This is everything my husband has been saying since shortly after he became a Christian. He is constantly being made to feel as if he is too
    manly or too hard. I just read
    This to him and he loved it!

    – The Snipers Wife

  • Genesis 25:27-28
    So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

    Romans 9:13
    As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

    Esau was the big, hairy, hunter of a man, raising livestock in the field, loved by the ladies. Jacob cooked, cleaned, loved his mother. His stew was so good, Esau gave him his birthright for it. His thoughts were cunning, rather than simple. Jacob became God’s chosen, and God literally hated Esau.

    Maybe God “calls people where they are”, and likes and dislikes all kinds of people based on their hearts and minds, not their rodeo capabilities?

    • True about Jacob and Esau. That’s about the best verse there is concerning Calvinism, predestination and election. But let’s not forget that Jacob was a fighter too. He wrestled with an angel all night long until the angel finally had to break his hip to get him to turn loose. He wasn’t a wimp by any means just because he knew how to cook. And if he hadn’t cooked, he and his brother both could have starved. And no, Jacob wasn’t trying to have homosexual relations with that angel all night either. He had 2 wives and 2 concubines that bore the 12 sons who now represent the twelve tribes of Israel. When he decided to move, they moved with him. Not the other way around. Mark my words, Jacob played hardball. We don’t have any Biblical record of Jacob ever riding a bull, but we know he had lots of cattle. A man who can handle 4 women in a family way doesn’t need to ride a bull to prove anything.

    • Romans chapter 9 is a great verse on election and predestination about God loving Jacob and hating Esau. But let’s not forget that Jacob played hardball and he fought with an angel all night until the angel of the Lord dislocated Jacobs hip. No, that was not homosexual relations he was having with the angel, it was real wrestling. And If he hadn’t been cooking the day Esau sold his birthright, they both might have starved to death. Jacob had 2 wives and 2 concubines and his twelve sons became the fathers of the nation of Israel. A man who can handle 4 women like that doesn’t need to ride a bull to prove anything, but the Bible tells us he had lots of cattle. By today’s standards Jacob was a man, far beyond tooltime a Time Taylor.

      • And when Jacob decided it was time to move, his wives and concubines along with all of his family, his servants and his cattle moved with him. He didn’t chase his wives and concubines all over the Middle East in pursuit of their careers. Jacob was their career.

  • What an excellent article! A man after my own heart! Finally, someone who is bold enough to stand up and to call it like it is! Thank you, Eric, for taking the time and thought to lay it all out on the line as you did! You’re a very gifted writer, and I look forward to seeing much more!!!

    Another brother in Christ sent me your link today, and I’m so glad he introduced me to you! I’m going to do the same and pass you around!

    I was raised on a farm; both of my grandfathers were farmers, and what a life! One was a small mixed farmer, whom I lived with for a few years, and the other was a major agriculturalist, raising millions and millions of pigs and chickens and hundreds of acres of tree fruit. He raised the day old chicks to egg-laying age, and the little pigs he bought from other breeders to market size. I learned more about God and life on the farm and in the forest than I could anywhere else! I was also blessed with a pastor who loved to hunt and to fish also! I lived for both, and any other outdoor adventure or discovery that came my way.

    The city folks are to be seriously pitied because they have no idea what they’re missing! They’re nice folk and all, but dumb as hammers in so many areas. Most don’t even know where eggs or pork chops come from, and when the hard times hit in the very near future, they won’t be able to survive. Most haven’t had a real pork chop (home grown) in their lives, and they think that glob of whatever is pork! Different as night is from day! The same with genuine free-range eggs, which I raise myself! Ummmm…time for supper!

    I’ve rambled on too long, and I apologize. I’m so excited! Ya gotta love me; I’ve been a child of God for almost 57 years, and He’s done so much for me in that short period of time! I just want you to know, I’ve connected with you, and soon and very soon, we’re going to see our King, and all this other stuff will be a thing of the past. Hard men know how to get by when times get hard! God bless you, as you continue to faithfully serve Him in this way.

  • I agree with everything in this post except for the author’s hypocritical resentment of men who have not had the opportunity to be exposed to the “rough and tumble” life he espouses. While speaking ill of the soft-man’s disdain for the strenuous life he speaks the same against the cultured life out of the other side of his mouth. Men must not be only hard nor only soft. They must be both. The author makes fun of men who know about lofty theology or write poetry. Yet, does he forget that King David was not just a man’s man but a poet? That King Solomon was hard and shrewd but also a magnificent gardener? That Christ Himself was Blue Collar and yet learned? That God-in-Christ was a human man and yet acquainted Himself with the softness and compassion of a mother hen and was an emotional man? Yes, men ought to be hard, but they cannot ONLY be hard. If they are, that’s how you get tyrants that beat their wives and sadists who torture animals. Lest we forget it was Christ’s sentimentality for wretched sinners that sent Him to the Cross.

    • I hear you loud and clear, and I don’t think Eric was “making fun”; he was pinning the tail quite nicely on the donkey. However, I believe Eric was aiming for a balance, while showing the stark differences between the two cultures. He already alluded to the fact that there are times when we must be willing to take responsibility for taking a life (hunting) and for bringing life into the world. Let us not forget…Eric was present in a conference, rubbing shoulders with the soft and floppy pastors he was describing. I went to Bible college with some of the same types, and there was a major undeniable difference between the city students and the ruralites. When a city slicker had the opportunity to minister in a rural area, and were billeted at a farm, the evidence was there that they couldn’t figure out a lot of basic things in life. That’s just how it is. One wouldn’t expect a lobster fisherman to know how to raise cattle or vice versa.

  • Hmm, he has some points, but this was written from a sense of bitterness. So what is his plan to work with Pastors who need to be shown the type of hardness he talks about? I know several who don’t hunt and fish or work outdoors, but I wouldn’t call them soft by any means. I’ve seen them roll up their sleeves, engage in hard labor, and stand firm against attacks against them that were unwarranted because either society didn’t like what they stood for, or other Christians came after them out of jealousy.

    He’s an elder. Does he think its easy sitting next to someone who’s on the brink of death while the family is gathered in grief?

    Does he think it’s easy to talk to a parent that lost their child through suicide?

    I know of 2 young pastors he might call “soft” if he met them because of the clothes they wear and the things they haven’t done. Yet, they purposely went into gang territory, have been attacked multiple times, and yet still go back to the same places and have turned the lives around of men that were considered beyond saving.

    I know of another evangelist / pastor who has been to Pakistan and other muslim countries. he’s had machine guns pointed at his head, he’s been arrested only to be miraculously released. And he’s done this for years under constant pain from a broken back. Every time he goes back, the locals, and government officials who know he’s there, tell him his life is on the line. He’s never worked hard outdoors, never hunted, never fished, loves his Starbucks. Dresses business casual most of the time. Soft? Seriously?

    • Given the number of pastors on the planet, Sam, the ones you cite in your comment truly are a rare breed these days. I guess it depends upon where one lives; each community/city is different.

    • Sam, where do you get the “written from a sense of bitterness” idea from? This is the typical “offended liberal” method in action. Slur and impugn those with whom you disagree. Just psychologize them and their motives and then you can dismiss their message. Look, we all know what Eric is saying even if you pretend you don’t. He’s talking about the Keller clones who cry when they break a fingernail or spill some latte on their skinny jeans.

      I’d venture to say that Eric would carry more respect when he ventured into gang territory that your soft buddies. I’d venture that they would pay more attention to the gospel he preached because it is incarnated into a manly man and not into a marshmallow. I’d venture that they might not mess with him at all because they can tell when someone knows how to take care of themselves. And I’d venture that your evangelist that goes into Pakistan would want Eric by his side when traveling rather than Tim Keller. Dressing “business casual” is just the clothes. When Eric wears “business casual” it is entirely different that when a Kellerite wears his sweater-vest. It’s the man beneath the cloths.

      The biblical term for glory is “weight”. People intuitively detect the difference between a man and a lightweight. One they will respect, the other they will scoff at. Greg Bahnsen was very sickly most of his short-lived life but no one would say that he was a lightweight. A man’s true stature is in being resolute, assured, confident, composed and assertive. And often this is done in a very quiet understated manner, but when such a man speaks, people listen. He doesn’t need to use many words or superlatives to communicate. He has “weight” and “presence”. A lightweight is just a “tinkling brass and sounding cymbal”, just like a mouse. Someone to be disregarded entirely. Eric’s article is not a boasting of country boys against city slickers. It is a lament that manliness is in short supply. It a comparison between weighty men with presence and soft girly men with girly passive manners that eschew being dogmatic about anything. They never assert forcefully, they never proclaim confidently. They couch everything in disclaimers and apologies. They are just soft and timid. Even if they are 6’8″, 315lbs and buff. “Hardness” is a spiritual quality of manhood. Most often the outer corresponds to the inner, but there are cases like Greg Bahnsen, whose entire life was a battle against evil, when the outer looks weak but you always sense that you are in the presence of a man because such are resolute, firm and assured, even if they are reserved. The soft man in never resolute, or assured. Such men are lightweights, they are essentially women.

      • That was a fantastic response! Well-worded and fitting the subject. Unfortunately, in this day and age, the “lightweights” (snowflakes) outnumber the men (hailstones). I believe a problem is that when a person grows up with either a snowflake or a hailstone pastor, they become “in sync” with them, and adapt their characteristics. Hence, they don’t know any different until they get to rub shoulders with those who they least emulate.

        There are some very huge snowbanks (collection of snowflakes) in the liberal theological camps, for very obvious reasons… They may be the basis for Eric’s essay.

  • Sorry I can’t be more positive and enthusiastic about this piece. You’ve got some problems in your theology (and perhaps in your psychology). Here’s my evaluation as written for a friend of mine who was impressed by this article:

    This article is so atrocious and obnoxious and ridiculous that I would almost think it was an attempt at satire from the Babylon Bee. Unfortunately, it’s quite obvious how sincere this dude is in his ignorance and narrowmindedness.
    Given that he uses the word effeminate 17 times, it seems safe to say that he’s dealing with some sort of internal issues of his own. Not sure what they might be. Perhaps he was beaten up by an effeminate man when he was a child, or maybe he sees effeminate traits in himself, which, in his insecurity, frightens him? He reminds me of when Jimmy Swaggart was screaming his head off about the immorality of Jim Bakker, only for the world to find out that Swaggart himself was practicing his own particular types of immorality behind closed doors.

    This guy seems to be of the type whose thinking is so limited, and whose world view is so narrow, that he’s threatened by anyone who might be different and/or who might see things differently than he does. Why else would he be so insulting of men who live their masculinity in different ways than he does? Why else would he be so outraged by men who choose to read and study rather than hike and fish?

    He is certainly right when he identifies “a clash of cultures,” but he is certainly wrong in his obvious assessment that his culture is better and more biblical/godly/whatever. The Bible is filled with men and women who are rough and rugged (John the Baptist, the apostle/fishermen, etc). But it’s also filled with the intellectual and well-educated (Paul, Luke, Matthew, etc). The Bible NEVER indicates that one is more valuable than the other. EVER.

    And there’s an irony in this little section: “He confided that he had a hard time connecting with the people of the rural community, and had a particular disdain for country music, lifted trucks and the sea of blaze orange covered hunters that showed up every fall. It wasn’t just that those weren’t his interests, it was that he actively disdained them.” Isn’t the author himself expressing his own disdain for men who are more urban and intellectual -and- who enjoy classical music and obscure theatrical performances? Of course he is. This article oozes disdain for men who aren’t like him…who aren’t manly men who hunt and work on engines and put up fencing with their bare hands.

    Here’s another tidbit: “Soft men despise those who are hard.” What total b.s. If he’s a “hard man,” and we only have his word on it (keeping in mind my grandfather’s adage that a man who talks about what it’s like to be a “real man” is most likely not a “real man” himself), he’s creating his own definition of what a “hard man” is like AND at the same time he OBVIOUSLY despises “soft men” (and again, he’s creating his own definition of what constitutes a “soft man.”

    I have two questions:

    First…This turn of phrase intrigues me: “Why has the limp-wristed, poetry-writing therapist in a sweater vest replaced the flesh-and-blood shepherding ranch hand upon which Christ actually modeled our ministry?” My question: WHERE did Christ do this, as the author claims? Because he calls himself the Good Shephard doesn’t mean he disdains all professions except shepherding. (Similarly, just because he says that he’ll make his followers “fishers of men” doesn’t mean that only fishermen have his respect and blessing.)

    Second…Could someone please explain this: “Soft is not what God made man to be. Look at man’s sexual organ and consider the simple truth that godliness for man means living in obedience to his body. His body is hard in taking initiative and bearing responsibility, and this is the reason soft men will not enter the kingdom of God.” What the actual f*** is going through this dude’s head?!? What does a hard penis have to do with living as a Christian man? And does he REALLY believe that “soft men” won’t enter the Kingdom? So men who aren’t country-fit go to hell? Men who don’t hunt and fish and work with their hands are condemned to perdition? Men who can’t work on an engine or disassemble and reassemble a firearm are destined for outer darkness?

    If he’s right, then I’m screwed.

    • Effeminate men are one of the groups that Romans 1 says will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    • I’m 100% in agreement with you Ragan. When I first read this I thought it was satire, it was so…weird. Then I read the comments from the author’s fawning little fan-boys, and became horrified instead. There is something fundamentally wrong with a man who is SO obsessed with the masculinity, (or lack thereof) of other men. It reeks of self-loathing and over compensation for his own shortcomings. Of course I was called out for saying as much, lol, by men who actually seem to think that LGBTQ people should be put to death, and that women shouldn’t vote. Maybe it really IS just satire…one can hope.

      • Thank you Rene for having passed your reading comprehension test. Yup, womyn should be allowed to vote and homos should suffer capital punishment. Two for two. Good job.

      • Actually Rene there is something fundamentally wrong with women who think they should have the right to vote and sit around criticizing men. Surely you had to know that this level of perversion and injustice in the legal system could not go on forever without a severe pendulum swing back toward sanity and family values. At some point in time nature itself becomes furious and indignant with the perversion of LGBTQP feminism and industrial grade Pelosi style Communist stupidity mixed with Democratic cronyism. How could you be surprised unless you’re been hiding out in a gay commune or the likes thereof.

        • Jay, if you married a Godly woman, wouldn’t you want your wife to vote, as she would vote for the same candidate?

      • Rene, for what it is worth, I’m sure Jay is just as disgusted with “the perversion of LGBTQP feminism and industrial grade Paul Ryan style Communist stupidity mixed with Republican cronyism” as he is with the Democrat version of the same. It’s not about which Party label you wear. It is about which policies you advocate.

  • As I was shoveling snow this morning, I had a stark and strong realization. Yep! All the women on here who are striking out at Eric for this article are snowflakes who encourage their men to be “soft” and pliable. The reason is so that they can have control over their effeminate counterparts, wear the pants, so to speak. They don’t want real men for husbands because real men would show no interest in them. The few who might would put them in their rightful place…by their side and not under them, as they wrongly presuppose.

    They want men who will say, “Yes, Dear”, “No, Dear”, “Whatever you say, Dear.” “How high did you want me to jump?” “I can’t have _____ unless I do _____ for you?” “I cleaned the toilets, made the beds, did the dishes, and washed your car, Dear. Can I have something to eat now?” That’s the long and thick of it.

    They don’t want real men for husbands; they want children they can boss around. I’ve seen it way too often, and I agree with Eric and others…it needs to stop but it won’t.

    • Oh yes it will stop skywatcher60. It will come to a screeching halt and there will be nothing anyone can do to stop it. Nature itself will see to it. God Himself will see to it in ways that most cannot even begin to comprehend. Modern women have made an art form out of mocking and ridiculing men to the point that men will not have anything to do with women and their proud arrogant attitudes. The few that do spend much of their time just trying to avoid these arrogant, whining, complaining, bossy, female witches they live with in a state of unholy matrimony. But make no mistake about it. The tide is turning. Men have had it with today’s women, and even some women are waking up and realizing just how awful modern womanhood has become as they have to deal with these she devils that have spent their entire life dominating everything and everyone around them.

      • Yes, Jay, you are correct; in due time, when Jesus sets up His millennial reign, everything will be righted. I agree with your comments, but thankfully, all women are not as you described. There are still very sweet, demure, godly, and lovable women left for the Christian male. From the comments we’ve been reading, and some you’ve been battling, it’s very plain to see why the saints are commanded not to be unequally yoked (believers with unbelievers). It can’t work, and it doesn’t.

        I know two young men (one in mid-30’s and the other in mid-20’s who are having a difficult time finding a righteous and holy woman, committed to God. The times are not kind to Christian males, but even non-Christian males are having a difficult time finding “a good woman like Mom.” So many women have been poisoned by feminism, trading their character and female culture in for something hateful, bitter, and undesirable. Part of this stems back to not having a loving, nurturing, and strong dad in their lives when they were growing up. Another part of this for older women, is that when their home was hit with divorce. their mother’s followed the lead of the soap operas. They bashed their ex’s with vehemence and disdain in front of their children, poisoning them against all men. These women are best left to stew alone in their bitterness and misery, as they would make it their mission to take it out on a really great man who sees their need and wants to fill that void, but isn’t allowed to. They would turn him off, and sour, and everything else negative in very short order. As the old saying goes, “If mama aint happy, aint nobody happy.” That’s too bad because often times, the women don’t know why they’re so angry (they’ve forgotten why) or they’ve been so brainwashed against men by their mothers. They become bitter and malicious and unless they get counseling and deal with the root of the issue, they will “pay it forward” to any unlucky children they will bring into the world, and the demonic cycle continues.

        This is one of the signs of the last days that Jesus gave us, “The love of many will wax cold.” From some of the comments on here, it has grown beyond “cold”; it’s downright icy. However, it’s one of the signs that alert us that our “redemption draws nigh”. Blessings!

        • Skywatcher60, today’s women are angry at men because they have been trained from birth to ridicule, mock, scorn and show disrespect for all things masculine. My Mom is in a nursing home and I’m the only one who cared enough about her to take care of her. My sisters just want her money. Do I want a wife that’s just like Mom? No way. She’s the one that trained my sisters to disrespect me and my Dad. But my Dad told me to take care of Mom each and every time the ambulance came for him before he died and God says to honor my parents and I have honored both to the point of spoiling them and will continue to do so until The Lord says otherwise. It’s been 25 years and 4 job losses later now so far to take care of my parents. Remember, today’s women were trained by previous generations of women. I love my Mom, but there’s no way I want to spend the rest of my life married to a disrespectful woman who regards a man as just another part of her life to be pushed around and angry at all the time. The physical illness that comes with it just isn’t worth what little good comes from modern women. The feminist culture has ruined women for the purposes of marriage.

          • So sorry to hear of your experience with women. I was growing close to one this summer, and when she showed her true colors after a few weeks, I was reminded why I so appreciate being single again! Thankfully, she scared me away before I totally fell head-over-heels in love with her; we’re still friends. She doesn’t know I felt this way, and she doesn’t need to know.

            Sadly, your overview of women is the case for a great many of them, Brother Jay, but thankfully, God has saved a few righteous women for the right guy! Sometimes we have to travel outside our daily circle to find one of those beauties, and sometimes, they’re right under our nose the whole time.

            Unfortunately, it appears that a vast majority of men and women have been abused in one way or another while growing up, and it has badly scarred and soured them against the opposite sex, and sometimes the same sex. It’s a sign of the sinful times in which we live. For most, the days of virtue and chivalry are a thing of the past…like Truth and genuine biblical Christianity.

            It is true that men look for women that carry many of our mom’s traits and abilities, and that can be scary for men like yourself. That’s why courtship in most cases needs to be lengthy, so both can thoroughly get to know each other before making the commitment. If you find such a woman who appeals to your sensitivities, if possible, PLEASE watch to see how she treats her parents, especially her father. Most girls idolize their dads; son’s usually idolize their moms. The way she treats her father is what you can also expect.

            Your dad placed your mom into your very capable hands to care for because he knew you were the correct person for the task…love for her and not for her money would be your motive. He knew you would undertake to honor her, and he probably knew more about your sisters than even you knew.

            The best part of all this is that God has kept a record of how you honored your parents, and He will reward you accordingly in due time. In the meantime, be wise, cautious, and watchful. God does have a “Miss Right” out there for you, but make sure she (and you) put God first in her / your life if you want a life of happiness, Mt. 6: 33. Blessings!

          • Well skywatcher60, while I appreciate your kind words and promises of Gods favor for faithfully taking care of my parents, I can tell you that I am thankful that God has already been kind in giving me sisters that act like the devil and a Mom who taught them disrespect for men.
            He was even more kind to give me a Dad who was wise enough to highlight and accentuate the problem in a way that even a young boy could recognize. As boys grow into men and their desires blind them to the real issues and obvious problems that infest modern liberated women, those lessons need to be learned all over again in a different light.. As they say, puppy love leads to a dogs life. I think that the greatest issue for men who wish to avoid the marriage trap that modern women bring is the legal status that modern law gives to women which once belonged only to men. All it takes is a a few probing questions to a lawyer in a family law practice about who owns what and who has which rights and any man should be able to quickly see that modern marriage is not just unfair to the man, it is in fact dangerous to his very life as he gets zero support from the law. It’s one thing for a man to have to set a woman aside once a month or more and it is quite another for the law to be on her side, especially when society in general hates all traditional forms of masculinity.
            But thanks again for your kind words skywatcher60. Keep looking up.

  • To correlate killing with hardness, and hardness with holiness, is unfathomable to me. I grew up with this kind of farming, spitting, hunting, Christian through and through, masculinity, and it didn’t free me up as a woman, it beat me down as the weaker sex. To be in the presence of a man, an honest to goodness as God intended man, is a majestic experience. However, to define a true man so narrowly and in such a knee jerk response to the “effeminate” culture of manhood that you think you see today, is a mistake. I could write my own essay on the ignorance and destruction caused by the very caricature you use to paint genuine masculinity. In fact, one of these “men’s men” that you speak so highly of shared this very article with my nephew, an unbelievably gifted musician that lives on a farm in Georgia, but who speaks just a little too softly, shakes hands a little too gently, and wears his hair a little too long for his tough guy uncle. Your words were used to shame and degrade a self-conscious 19 year old young man who is trying to find his place in this world without a father. Your words were used to condemn one of the toughest young men I know as “effiminate” and “ungodly”. I wonder if you ever considered that your words might be used in that way, without mercy, and without even a shred of the truth I’m sure you hoped to convey?

    Genuine masculinity, just like genuine femininity, exists in the heart of a man (or a woman), and we all know what a toll this world has taken on both. Don’t degrade the majesty of what God has made by defining it with such detailed insignificance. I have no doubt that there’s a way to combat the loss of the God-designed beauty of male and female, and that such an endeavor is noble and right, but this is not the way.

    • Boo hoo. It sounds like this kid is much better off listening to his uncle than he is listening to you.

      • Graham, I’ll try one more time. Your reply is rude, and made in ignorance ( I mean that in it’s truest sense: you know nothing about this situation) and without even a hint of humility or civility. It was uncalled for.

        • Actually April I know plenty about you from your views as you presented them. That alone is enough to warrant my making the comment that I did. You just don’t get it. It’s an example of toxic femininity.

          • Graham, you really need to stop being rude to April when she calls you rude and ignorant. You know that you’re not supposed to tell women that they are rude when they are rude.

            And You do realize that when the stagecoach and horses don’t show up to pamper the princess on the way home from the ball, bad things begin to happen. Even before midnight.

          • Graham, I know I might kick myself for even trying, especially after I said last night that I was done, but I can’t leave things this way. I care about truth, and nothing irks me more than being misrepresented by a person that is unwilling to see how much they don’t know. Sometimes my relentless pursuit of truth is a flaw, a way for me to justify myself and force others to conform to my understanding of a situation. Sometimes it’s a virtue, a dogged resolve to stand up under injustice and lies and to point back to what is true, regardless of how much crap gets slung my way. I hope this is one of those latter times, and I hope that we can find a place of resolve and respect. Yesterday morning you were a stranger to me. Now you’re on my radar, and I’m on yours. That means we matter to one another, even if it’s just in a tiny way. This is my pursuit of you in truth.

            1) I am about the furthest thing from a modern feminist, and whatever it is that you call “toxic femininity” that you can imagine, and I’ve raised my daughter in that same truth. I stay at home, I homeschooled my kids, I make homemade bread and I voted for Trump (at the instruction of my husband, by the way. I usually prefer just to let him vote for us both. I don’t like politics. They make me grumpy.) I wore a headcovering and nothing but dresses and skirts for over a year, until I realized that it was kind of against the whole idea of submission since my husband hated it and didn’t want me to do it. I read “Created to Be His Helpmeet” at least three times as a young woman, and the bible cover to cover at least twice, seeking the truth of what it is to be a woman and a wife and a mother from the inside out. I am still in the pursuit of that truth.

            2) I am married to a man, a real man, and I am better for it, and he thinks he’s pretty darn lucky to have found me as well, even though I was just about the most unruly young woman and wife you can imagine. He jokingly calls me his second wife, because the change in me has been so drastic I am completely unrecognizable from our early years together. We have lived and loved and learned together, and I think God had a majestic idea when he made us male and female. I hate the assault I see on this most foundational truth.

            3) I have been fighting the lie of modern feminism my entire adult life, and at great personal cost. My daughter fights this same battle now, and you have no idea what it is to be a real woman in a modern world. Trust me, nice Christian boys aren’t lining up to marry her. Her softness and sweetness are too powerful, too pure, for these poor young guys that are still only boys. They don’t know what to do with a young woman that won’t chase and preen and expose. They don’t know what to do with a young woman who has a heart that loves her Creator, but who also has a brain.

            4) The only views I presented were regarding the assault on masculinity and femininity by this world. I think we’re in agreement on that. I think you would also agree that male and female is not merely an anatomical thing, though it is definitely that, but also a heart thing that has been very distorted and broken by all sorts of untruth. What part of that justifies your, “Boo hoo” comment? Is a fatherless young man something to scoff at?

            5) You know nothing other than a few external facts about my nephew. You know zero about his uncle. You know nothing of the counsel I have given my nephew or of the desires I have for him, and nothing about the brokenness, actually complete absence, of the relationship with the uncle that this article came from. This is a hard article. I understand the heart that it comes from. I understand the battle that is being fought. I also think it’s a battle that can only be won if it is fought in relationship. Without relationship, words, even true words, can be very misunderstood. People, especially young people, need to know that our criticism comes out of genuine love. No good change comes from a hit and run.

            Graham, I understood you. However, just because I understood you doesn’t mean that I have to agree with you. I don’t. All I’m asking is for you to acknowledge that maybe you don’t have enough information to make that first comment. Humility isn’t softness. Humility is being absolutely confident in your resolve, but still having the awareness that you could be wrong, and accepting responsibility when you are. I’m all for men and masculinity. This is a hard world for men and women that want to embody the truth of what it is to be created male and female. I’m not your enemy. I’m fighting for the same cause, just in a uniquely female way, and that’s right. Only a fool runs his bayonet through a comrade. I’m hoping that is not what you are. You couldn’t have known before whether I was friend or foe. I’ve tried to share enough with you that you can actually make that judgement. This is my pursuit of peace.

            -April

          • OK April, I will be very direct. I will do so in a charitable manner and with the honest goal of our mutually “pursuing truth”.

            Now that you have placed your credentials out there it is fair to ask, how does what you [April] claim [godly Christian, submissive yet resolute, husband honoring etc.] square with what you said in your initial comment. Please reconcile these conflicting things…

            You said [about Eric’s article]: “To correlate killing with hardness, and hardness with holiness, is unfathomable to me. I grew up with this kind of farming, spitting, hunting, Christian through and through, masculinity, and it didn’t free me up as a woman, it beat me down as the weaker sex.” Does Eric really CORRELATE those things? Or perhaps are you reading something into the article that isn’t there? Since you “grew up with THIS kind” of thing, why don’t you show how the things Eric said “beat you down”?

            You [April] also said: “To be in the presence of a man, an honest to goodness as God intended man, is a majestic experience.” Great and true but how does this square with the whole substance of what you are taking Eric to task for in the things brought out in his article. This statement of yours stands in contrast with much of the things you assert elsewhere in your [initial] comment to Eric’s article.

            April continues in her comment: “However, to define a true man so narrowly and in such a knee jerk response to the ‘effeminate’ culture of manhood that you think you see today, is a mistake.” Sure, we get it. Things that are “narrow” and “knee jerk” are usually “mistakes”. Please show how Eric’s article is “narrow” and “knee jerk”. In other words, don’t think you can get away with just characterizing something in a hit and run fashion. This is what rubbed Jay the wrong way. It is a typical female tactic to assert something that is 100% unsupported, or perhaps supported ONLY by your “feelings”, as a certainty and then proceed to judgement. Well, we disagree. We challenge your characterizations of “narrow” and “knee jerk”. If you can show that, we would certainly agree with judging it as a “mistake”.

            April continues in the same spirit, being wholly convinced that her characterizations are factual, “I could write my own essay on the ignorance and destruction caused by the very caricature you use to paint genuine masculinity.” Please do April. Perhaps the gals at the HuffPo will print it. Or perhaps, upon godly reflection, you might want to retract just about everything you wrote in your initial comment thus far.

            It continues: “In fact, one of these ‘men’s men’ that you speak so highly of shared this very article with my nephew, an unbelievably gifted musician that lives on a farm in Georgia, but who speaks just a little too softly, shakes hands a little too gently, and wears his hair a little too long for his tough guy uncle.” OK, here it comes. Perhaps if the kids had a Christian father he would have been taken aside and taught to speak with more “command” in his voice, with more assertiveness. Perhaps he would have been instructed to have a firm handshake. A godly father would so instruct him if he saw these things or perhaps he would have never developed these “flaws of weakness” in the first place because he had a manly example before his eyes. Long hair for a man is plainly condemned in the scripture as Jay pointed out. But why? “Does not nature show you…” is the apostle’s reason. And if you are deaf and blind to this you are displaying more than rebellion but a dullness and inability to perceive things revealed to us in the created order. And also, if you are this “godly submissive wife” that you claim to be, why don’t you let this boy’s uncle teach him how to be a man? He’s not going to learn it from a woman. And so far this uncle’s only crime is that he shared Eric’s article with him. The very article we are affirming and the very article you are assailing without any stated merit besides the fact that you don’t like it.

            Since her case is based upon a vapor of false correlation and mischaracterization, unsupported by any sound rationale other than her strongly held “feelings”, April continues with her comment in the same tone ramping up the emotional appeal to “persuade” listeners…. “Your words were used to shame and degrade a self-conscious 19 year old young man who is trying to find his place in this world without a father. Your words were used to condemn one of the toughest young men I know as ‘effiminate’ and ‘ungodly’.” Boo hoo. Cry me a river. Eric’s article is sound and you certainly have offered nothing of substance to challenge it.

            “I wonder if you ever considered that your words might be used in that way, without mercy, and without even a shred of the truth I’m sure you hoped to convey?” April, please look at this statement in honest examination. If you are what you claim to be, a clear thinking adult, please tell me what this has to do with anything? This is a classic “non sequitur”. Anything can be abused. Food and drink, medicine, guns, cars, phones, a keyboard etc. can all be abused. Even the scriptures can be twisted and abused. So what? So what if Eric’s “words might be used in that way, without mercy, and without even a shred of the truth I’m sure you hoped to convey”. All that means is that they were abused. Should Eric retract them? Should God retract the scriptures because people might abuse them?

            And finally April closes her unsupported case with summary judgement: “Genuine masculinity, just like genuine femininity, exists in the heart of a man (or a woman), and we all know what a toll this world has taken on both.” True. We agree but so what. Does your making this statement that “water is wet” fit in to your logic chain somehow? Or is it designed to butter us up for your cinching conclusion by trying to catch us off guard so that we might swallow this whopper…. “Don’t degrade the majesty of what God has made by defining it with such detailed insignificance [an unsupported characterization]. I have no doubt that there’s a way to combat the loss of the God-designed beauty of male and female, and that such an endeavor is noble and right, but THIS IS NOT THE WAY.” Wow, powerful, conclusive, and final! We should all bow the knee and obey. Or perhaps we should take it as what it is, pure 100% unsupported emotionalism, and we should dismiss it as such.

            There April, thou great and noble pursuer of truth, take that to your husband to whom you claim to bee in loving submission to, have him look it over and let us hear from him. No more unsupported assertions, no more mischaracterizations, no more false correlations. And no more emotional knee jerking reactions. If you want to take issue with Eric’s article, do so in a substantive manner. And, failing that, let the kid’s uncle have manly influence over his fatherless nephew without gainsaying.

          • Graham, I once walked into a motorcycle shop and I was still in uniform after work. An effeminate male standing at the counter looked at me like he was flirting with me or something and said, “what are you supposed to be?” You have to understand that to homosexuals the whole world is just one big make believe costume party. And the people you meet on the internet pushing whatever feminist or gay agenda they are pushing will say whatever they think they can get you to believe.

          • Jay, whether April and her fatherless child story are a real people or not, I’m still not buying her argument. And in formal logic, anecdotal accounts are never to be accepted as the basis for an argument. They may attest and exemplify an argument but they may never serve as the basis for an argument. Should we, on the basis of David’s example, abolish all laws against adultery that are in the bible? Should we, on the basis of David’s example, abolish all laws against murder [Uriah]?…. “I knew a man who murdered someone and he went on to be a great song writer, a great king so therefore we should rethink criminalizing adultery and murder.” So the logic of making an anecdote the basis of our argumentation goes. Cain was providentially spared execution. So was David, so was the apostle Paul. Therefore we all should be spared penalties and we should wipe these laws off the books and just wuv one another. And all poor Uzzah did was try to lend a helping hand. God is so harsh. All Ananiah and Sapphira did was tell a white lie and hold back a few pennies. What’s the big deal? Where is the wuv? And what did Lot’s wife do to deserve death? All she did was to look back at her old house going up in flames. But don’t tell April that I “rejoice when I see the vengeance and I wash my feet in the blood of the wicked”. That was the OLD Testament God you know.

          • Graham,
            I copied your post so it would be easy to reply to. I hope that’s ok, and I hope you really are pursuing genuine conversation with me. I’m thinking that maybe you aren’t, but on the off chance that your questions are sincere I’ve done my best to answer them. My responses will be preceded by two asterisks (**).

            OK April, I will be very direct. I will do so in a charitable manner and with the honest goal of our mutually “pursuing truth”.

            Now that you have placed your credentials out there it is fair to ask, how does what you [April] claim [godly Christian, submissive yet resolute, husband honoring etc.] square with what you said in your initial comment. Please reconcile these conflicting things…

            You said [about Eric’s article]: “To correlate killing with hardness, and hardness with holiness, is unfathomable to me. I grew up with this kind of farming, spitting, hunting, Christian through and through, masculinity, and it didn’t free me up as a woman, it beat me down as the weaker sex.” Does Eric really CORRELATE those things? Or perhaps are you reading something into the article that isn’t there? Since you “grew up with THIS kind” of thing, why don’t you show how the things Eric said “beat you down”?

            **I really did, and do, think that he correlated killing with hardness and hardness with holiness. That’s the funny thing about words: they can come across differently to different people. I grew up under an abusive deviance of these very things. I won’t share more of my personal story with you, because I don’t think it would be wise to bare myself further to someone who hasn’t shown they can be respectful or kind. I can see how my comment did not differentiate between the wonderful, strong men in my life that are exactly as Eric describes, and the abusive men that look the same on the outside but are clearly not the same on the inside, and the men that look very differently from what Eric describes but still exude true masculinity. I should have been more precise in my words. Less is not always more, but I was trying to get my concerns across without being too wordy.

            You [April] also said: “To be in the presence of a man, an honest to goodness as God intended man, is a majestic experience.” Great and true but how does this square with the whole substance of what you are taking Eric to task for in the things brought out in his article. This statement of yours stands in contrast with much of the things you assert elsewhere in your [initial] comment to Eric’s article.

            **I don’t believe that this statement is in contrast to the things I assert, and I also didn’t think I was “taking Eric to task”. I thought I was asking an honest question of whether or not he had considered how his words could be used in the wrong hands. My point is that being a hunter, fisherman, bearded, “manly” man does not make you a real man. A real man is something that comes from the inside out, and no man’s masculinity should be judged purely on an external examination of his preferences and hobbies.

            April continues in her comment: “However, to define a true man so narrowly and in such a knee jerk response to the ‘effeminate’ culture of manhood that you think you see today, is a mistake.” Sure, we get it. Things that are “narrow” and “knee jerk” are usually “mistakes”. Please show how Eric’s article is “narrow” and “knee jerk”. In other words, don’t think you can get away with just characterizing something in a hit and run fashion. This is what rubbed Jay the wrong way. It is a typical female tactic to assert something that is 100% unsupported, or perhaps supported ONLY by your “feelings”, as a certainty and then proceed to judgement. Well, we disagree. We challenge your characterizations of “narrow” and “knee jerk”. If you can show that, we would certainly agree with judging it as a “mistake”.

            **I apologize for the phrase “knee jerk”. As is so often the case, I am guilty of that which I accuse of. I did not think I was being a “knee jerker” when I initially commented, but upon further reflection I can see that I was. I do not revoke my statement that his characterization of men is narrow in this article. After reading some of Eric’s replies to comments on this post, I don’t think that he intended to be narrow. He sees a problem and is passionate to call it out. I still think he could have done a better job at addressing the heart of things, but we can always do better in our communication.

            April continues in the same spirit, being wholly convinced that her characterizations are factual, “I could write my own essay on the ignorance and destruction caused by the very caricature you use to paint genuine masculinity.” Please do April. Perhaps the gals at the HuffPo will print it. Or perhaps, upon godly reflection, you might want to retract just about everything you wrote in your initial comment thus far.

            **Have you ever been held against your will by a violent man, and then had to sit by that man in church on Sunday? Have you ever been ignored, mocked, shamed, abused, or degraded by someone just because you don’t happen to have an XY chromosome? Just because a man is a hunter and a farmer doesn’t mean that he is a good man. Just because a man says he is a Christian doesn’t mean he is a good man. That was my point, and I apologize if it was not expressed clearly enough to be understood. Again, you cannot judge the substance of man by his surface. When I read this article I felt that it was too focused on the external characteristics of a man. I still think that, and if you go by the comments I’m not the only person who voiced that concern. I wish I would have expressed my views more accurately in my initial post, that I would have been less “knee jerky”, but I would not retract them.

            It continues: “In fact, one of these ‘men’s men’ that you speak so highly of shared this very article with my nephew, an unbelievably gifted musician that lives on a farm in Georgia, but who speaks just a little too softly, shakes hands a little too gently, and wears his hair a little too long for his tough guy uncle.” OK, here it comes. Perhaps if the kids had a Christian father he would have been taken aside and taught to speak with more “command” in his voice, with more assertiveness. Perhaps he would have been instructed to have a firm handshake. A godly father would so instruct him if he saw these things or perhaps he would have never developed these “flaws of weakness” in the first place because he had a manly example before his eyes. Long hair for a man is plainly condemned in the scripture as Jay pointed out. But why? “Does not nature show you…” is the apostle’s reason. And if you are deaf and blind to this you are displaying more than rebellion but a dullness and inability to perceive things revealed to us in the created order. And also, if you are this “godly submissive wife” that you claim to be, why don’t you let this boy’s uncle teach him how to be a man? He’s not going to learn it from a woman. And so far this uncle’s only crime is that he shared Eric’s article with him. The very article we are affirming and the very article you are assailing without any stated merit besides the fact that you don’t like it.

            **Again, you make an assumption about who and what the uncle is and his past and present “crimes”, and who and what I am in my nephew’s life. Your refusal to acknowledge how limited your knowledge is on this subject is apparently not going to change, so I will refrain from a wasted call for you to see your limitations and curb your opinion accordingly. You are absolutely right that a young man cannot learn to be a man from a woman. That’s the tragedy of fatherlessness. You are unwise to assume that a male that you do not know would be fit to teach a young man about manhood just because he’s a farmer and a hunter. When I said, “one of these ‘men’s men’ that you speak so highly of” I should have made it clear that meant only in the external sense. Again, I should have taken more time in writing my initial comment and made sure that I clearly spoke what I intended to say. I do not dislike this article by the way. I think it is flawed, and that it is too focused on external characteristics, but I don’t dislike it.

            Since her case is based upon a vapor of false correlation and mischaracterization, unsupported by any sound rationale other than her strongly held “feelings”, April continues with her comment in the same tone ramping up the emotional appeal to “persuade” listeners…. “Your words were used to shame and degrade a self-conscious 19 year old young man who is trying to find his place in this world without a father. Your words were used to condemn one of the toughest young men I know as ‘effiminate’ and ‘ungodly’.” Boo hoo. Cry me a river. Eric’s article is sound and you certainly have offered nothing of substance to challenge it.

            **Again, Eric’s article is thought provoking but too focused on external characteristics. The uncle in question would not have been nearly as eager to share it if it would have clearly and appropriately addressed the true source and substance of a man, because that would have challenged his own character instead of supporting his skewed view of manhood. Is my nephew more acceptable to you if you know that he is not only an extremely gifted concert pianist, but also a young man that raises free range poultry on a family farm, and that he helps to slaughter and process all the birds? What if I told you that his family lives on meat that they hunt, and that he helps process all that meat? What if I told you that his soft speech was born out of years of emotional abuse, and that it has taken him years to find the voice he currently has? Perspective. The thing you don’t have. The thing you refuse to acknowledge as important and necessary to make the assertions you insist on. And just for the record, do you really think that Jesus and John the Baptist and all the other men spoken about in the bible had crew cuts? Samson was a bad mamma jamma, and he was forbidden to cut his hair. Does your wife, if you have one, wear a head covering, maybe not all the time but for sure when she’s praying or prophesying? Do you make sure she keeps her hair long, and would you shave her head if she refused to wear a head cover? Or are you like so many men that want to use that verse to condemn a long haired man while ignoring the implications of taking that literally for women? After all, the argument, created order, is the same for both scenarios. If you are consistent in that, good for you. I can handle someone I disagree with as long as they are consistent. What I can’t handle is your arrogance. It makes you blind to the limitations of your understanding of this particular situation, and your opinions about what would be best for my nephew could only be given by someone that cares nothing for knowing the full truth of a matter.

            “I wonder if you ever considered that your words might be used in that way, without mercy, and without even a shred of the truth I’m sure you hoped to convey?” April, please look at this statement in honest examination. If you are what you claim to be, a clear thinking adult, please tell me what this has to do with anything? This is a classic “non sequitur”. Anything can be abused. Food and drink, medicine, guns, cars, phones, a keyboard etc. can all be abused. Even the scriptures can be twisted and abused. So what? So what if Eric’s “words might be used in that way, without mercy, and without even a shred of the truth I’m sure you hoped to convey”. All that means is that they were abused. Should Eric retract them? Should God retract the scriptures because people might abuse them?

            **Eric should, as all who decide their words should go out onto the world wide web (myself included), be sure that he has done his best to present a clear and accurate defense of the truth in the greatest degree of fullness possible. I think there was a greater defense of this if you take Eric’s later responses into account, but this article by itself is not sufficient, and as such it is more easily abused. You are correct. People abuse all sorts of things. That’s why we should be very careful about where and with whom we share our words. Our current conversation is further proof of that. When Eric decided to put his words out there he took on a risk and a responsibility. When I chose to engage with you I took on that same risk and responsibility. I can honestly say that I wish I hadn’t, but apparently I haven’t fully internalized this lesson yet. I really hope it will be settled in me after this.

            And finally April closes her unsupported case with summary judgement: “Genuine masculinity, just like genuine femininity, exists in the heart of a man (or a woman), and we all know what a toll this world has taken on both.” True. We agree but so what. Does your making this statement that “water is wet” fit in to your logic chain somehow? Or is it designed to butter us up for your cinching conclusion by trying to catch us off guard so that we might swallow this whopper…. “Don’t degrade the majesty of what God has made by defining it with such detailed insignificance [an unsupported characterization]. I have no doubt that there’s a way to combat the loss of the God-designed beauty of male and female, and that such an endeavor is noble and right, but THIS IS NOT THE WAY.” Wow, powerful, conclusive, and final! We should all bow the knee and obey. Or perhaps we should take it as what it is, pure 100% unsupported emotionalism, and we should dismiss it as such.

            **I can honestly say that there was no attempt at emotionalism on my part, and there was no edict that required obedience. I require no man, or woman for that matter, to bend his (or her) knee to my will. I understand that you disagreed with me. I understand that you found my comment to be unsupported. That’s fine. I can take the criticism. But why resort to such disrespect and hostility towards someone that is a complete stranger? Why do you think you know me enough to treat me with such disdain based on a two paragraph comment on a blog post? Anytime we try to define the minutiae of what God has made we err. The more detailed we try to get, the smaller we make God’s truth. I call that detailed insignificance. A focus on the least important but greatest volume aspects of truth. Not every man in the bible was as this article describes. There is room for differentiation.

            There April, thou great and noble pursuer of truth, take that to your husband to whom you claim to bee in loving submission to, have him look it over and let us hear from him. No more unsupported assertions, no more mischaracterizations, no more false correlations. And no more emotional knee jerking reactions. If you want to take issue with Eric’s article, do so in a substantive manner. And, failing that, let the kid’s uncle have manly influence over his fatherless nephew without gainsaying.

            **Again with the disdain. It wasn’t until I read this last paragraph that I understood your primary complaint with me. I am a woman, and I questioned a man. This is the cardinal sin of women according to many men. It doesn’t matter that I honestly tried to question in a respectful manner, or that I have repeatedly offered respect to you even though you have consistently denied it to me. All that matters is that you are a man, and I fall short of what you think a woman ought to be. My husband won’t be responding to you, because unlike me he is unwilling to offer up himself or his time to a stranger that is obviously not interested in any respectful resolution. He would box with you if you were a face to be seen instead of words on a computer screen, and then he would shake your hand and invite you in to eat a dinner that I prepared. But you’re not a face at my door, so here we are. I’ve done my best to express myself, to take your criticism with humility, and to admit my failings. If that isn’t sufficient for you, so be it. I’m not going to lose sleep over your thoughts about me, and I’m certain you aren’t going to lose sleep over me. If we can’t pursue one another in love, maybe it’s just best not to pursue one another at all.

          • April, you admit that you read things with the colored lenses of your upbringing. “I grew up under an abusive deviance of these very things.”

            Very directly and in a dispassionate clinical sense, this is know age “baggage”. It is affecting your perceptions and your judgement.

            Eric’s article was very good. Period. If you want to quarrel, characterize, correlate and whatever, you are free to do so. We simply look at what Eric wrote and what you take it to mean and see two very different things and that you are plainly reading a whole bunch into it that just isn’t there.

            “Have you ever been held against your will by a violent man, and then had to sit by that man in church on Sunday? Have you ever been ignored, mocked, shamed, abused, or degraded by someone just because you don’t happen to have an XY chromosome?” Nope. That is very sad. The counterpart to this is some gold-digging seductress marrying a man to fleece his riches, divide his family into factions and affect several generations. Now that we have established that the abuse works both ways, can we get past the emotion of it all and deal with the substance of Eric’s article.

            “I apologize for the phrase ‘knee jerk’. As is so often the case, I am guilty of that which I accuse of. I did not think I was being a ‘knee jerker’ when I initially commented, but upon further reflection I can see that I was. [Good, at least some good is coming from all this. Perhaps in the future you won’t be so hasty to hurl the accusations.] I do not revoke my statement that his characterization of men is narrow in this article. [Keep reading it until you do revoke your statement.] After reading some of Eric’s replies to comments on this post, I don’t think that he intended to be narrow. [Or perhaps the light is breaking through the darkness of your baggage.] He sees a problem and is passionate to call it out. I still think he could have done a better job at addressing the heart of things, but we can always do better in our communication. [So why do you quarrel, if you think you can offer a better way to express it, then offer helpful suggestions.]

            Clearly your abusive experience is affecting your judgement. I don’t say that to put you down or to invalidate you as a woman of God. I say it in hope that you will be more watchful on future occasions and learn to recognize when your past is distorting your perceptions.

            Remember, all this happened because I said: “It sounds like this kid is much better off listening to his uncle than he is listening to you.” From the evidence that you presented, I still stand by this assertion. Get some others to aid you. Ask the husband God has provided you for this purpose to help you discern when your personal history is getting in the way of you seeing things clearly. And then, crucify the flesh. Resolve that you will not quarrel with what he says. Offer no resistance to it, let him speak freely and fully so that you can hear what is in the recesses of his heart. Resolve to JUST ACCEPT his words for one full week. Let them percolate, do not stew on them but bring them before the Lord in prayer and scriptural meditation. You goal is to try and gain insight into he matter and into yourself. God grant us all aid in becoming those who put no confidence in the flesh and worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus.

          • Graham, you can waste your time arguing with April if you want, but I can tell you that your long, well considere arguments from reason, logic, Godliness, law, intellect, the Bible and wisdom just go right over April’s head. These kinds of things never even cross April’s mind. The best you can do with April is 5 to 10 second sound bites. Beyond that, you are wasting your breath. If it helps you collect your thoughts to write about it, I guess that’s ok. But your thought and grammatical skills are so far advanced beyond most of those you deal with that they can’t even comprehend what you are saying.

          • Perhaps Jay. I thought about it as I was writing the long response. Was I dealing with a real person or just a flame thrower? It crossed my mind. But I sometimes write out the arguments for posterity and for those who are following along. Even if it is only one or two. Plus people need to know they can’t just come along and smear Eric on his own page without at least having their ducks in a row. Added to that, I did get her to confess to having acted in a knee-jerk manner and that she views everything regarding men and manhood through the distorting lenses of her personal baggage. So maybe it wasn’t a total waste of time.

    • Yes April, I agree that a 19 year old boy is easily influenced and it is that much harder when he doesn’t have a masculine Dad to teach him how to be a man. My Dad taught me from an early age that it is a shame for a man to have long hair. Right out of the book of Corinthians, which means that God says so. Nothing wrong with a young man who is not sure of himself showing deference to older men who can and should teach him, that is if they themselves were not raised as if they were sissies. And I would much rather deal with a 19 year old young man who is quiet and respectful while trying to learn than a young loud modern woman who enters the room mouth first, trying to garner all the attention she can in order display her stupidity. But it seems that is what the feminists want our women to be and they have trained them as such.
      Which gets back to the other point you made as to why the boy does not have a father. Men have just had it with today’s arrogant, loud, sniveling, scheming, fighting, abusive hateful women. Maybe that’s not why he doesn’t have a Dad, but if it’s not, then he is the rare exception.

      • Jay,
        Even though my comment to Graham has apparently been moderated out, I will make the same call to you. You know nothing about me. You know nothing about my family. Show some civility, and maybe just a little humility. I’m not in any way opposed to hard and respectful conversation, but please don’t assume that you know things that you can’t possibly know about a stranger. My comment was directed specifically to the author of this blog post. It was written with a respectful tone and gave him the benefit of assuming that he had good intentions in writing it while still asking a valid question of whether or not he had considered how his words might be used by others.

        At the end of the day, this is my bad. I know better than to engage on social media platforms. Consider my question repealed. God knows I would erase it if I could.

        • No, you’re right April, I don’t know you. And I probably should not assume that what you said about your family is true either. I’ve been dealing with women far too long to fall into the trap of believing them, especially when they are arguing for leftist causes.
          My apologies.

          • Jay & Graham,
            I don’t know what happened to the two of you, but it must have been really bad. That stinks. The relationship between men and women was made to be something life-giving, and that is so often not the case.

            I’m choosing not to be offended by you guys. I’m choosing to believe that if you saw me, if you knew me, if you saw the kind of young woman I’ve taught my daughter to be and the young man that is my son, if you saw how deeply my husband loves and respects me and how mutual that love and respect is in my heart and actions for him, and if you really knew my nephew’s story, that you would both be sorry for your assumptions and your rudeness. But that’s the weakness of these kinds of exchanges. It’s just words without any real context, devoid of the reality of the humanity of the person you’re criticizing or mocking.

            I hope you’re both better men than you’ve shown yourselves to be this evening. I’m betting that you are. I’m not going to be back on here, but there are no hard feelings on my part. I hope you both pursue the truth of all things with your whole hearts.

            -April

          • That was a really sweet thing for you to say April.
            So does that mean that you no longer consider me and Graham to be rude and ignorant, or was that ignorant and rude?
            Well, either way, I’m glad that you are not offended.

          • Jay, I know I said I was done, and I know you’re mocking me, but I just have to say that I got a good laugh out of your response. Not a mocking laugh, a genuine, I think I would like this guy and he would like me, I’d like to have you over for dinner and send you home with a bag of fresh ginger cookies after we have a knock down drag out debate, kind of laugh. I’m glad you’re now on my radar. I’m certain you’ll be on my mind lots, and I make it a habit to pray for every soul that crosses my mind. Maybe social media isn’t a complete waste. Without it I never would have crossed paths with you.

            Here’s to a random meeting of strangers from rural northwest New Mexico and wherever the heck it is you’re from! And just a little advice, don’t be so grumpy. It’s bad for your heart.

            -April

          • Well April, that sounded down right flirty, you know, dinner and a random meeting of strangers and all. I just didn’t realize that you being so submissive and virtuous and everything would cheat on your husband like that with another man. But I can tell you that I would not be interested, even if you were a woman. You Be sure and watch out for those men angels when you make your moves in Sodom. I heard it’s a really blinding experience.

          • April writes: “Jay & Graham,
            I don’t know what happened to the two of you, but it must have been really bad.”

            Ah yes, the old psycho-analyze your opponent strategy. And it is further augmented by the expression of empathy. Oh my, how caring. I feeeeeel the wuv.

            April continues: “I’m choosing not to be offended by you guys. I’m choosing to believe that if you saw me, if you knew me, if you saw the kind of young woman I’ve taught my daughter to be and the young man that is my son, if you saw how deeply my husband loves and respects me and how mutual that love and respect is in my heart and actions for him, and if you really knew my nephew’s story, that you would both be sorry for your assumptions and your rudeness.” Oh my. How noble of her! What magnanimity! She is CHOOSING, by an act of her gracious will, to believe better things of Jay and I. We should be thankful.

            In addition to all this wuv, it gets better. April cannot contain her charitable feelings and lets us see her concern for us. “I hope you’re both better men than you’ve shown yourselves to be this evening. I’m betting that you are.” In other words, we are “rude” to dare question her.

            April is blind to her condescending attitude. She characterizes her initial reply to Eric with these words: “My comment was directed specifically to the author of this blog post. It was written with a respectful tone and gave him the benefit of assuming that he had good intentions in writing it while still asking a valid question of whether or not he had considered how his words might be used by others.” I have pointed out that she gave him no such “benefit” and accused him of making false correlations, mischaracterized his article and quarreled with him without establishing a sound and substantive basis for her dispute. And her “valid question” about how someone might about his [Eric’s] words is without merit. She might as well ask God if He ever considered how His words of scripture might be abused by others. Perhaps God would change His mind after considering April’s wisdom.

          • Well, that was…interesting. I asked my husband the other day what a troll was. Now I know.

            In all sincerity, genuinely not mocking you, you might want to get some help. I apologize for whatever I said that made you think I was propositioning you. I’m pretty sure that weirdness is all coming from your end, but just in case I erred in some way, I truly am sorry. Consider my dinner invitation revoked, and I’m going to pass on the field trip to Sodom. Happy trails, and glad to see the parting of our ways.

          • I have not read all the comments here, but I am not seeing much of anything about true humility (as in Philippians 2) in many of the definitions of “godly masculinity”. And if there is no true, deep humility, it is not truly godly masculinity–because it is not godly.

  • I can really relate to this article. A man was built to work. Anytime I do something physical like split firewood, drag a deer out of the woods, or build something with my bare hands. Whatever the task I just completed and i’m worn out from it, I feel a warmness and have a sense of accomplishment. Like that’s what I was made to do.
    Nowadays most people don’t know what a hard day of work is and a lot the generations coming forth don’t believe in a higher power. They believe everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. Some the most respectful and giving people that I have met in my lifetime are hunters and fisherman.

  • Anyone who denigrates men as a whole OR women as a whole is denigrating God’s image–as God has made both men and women in His image. Many of the comments under this article seem to be identifying a real problem (denigration of certain “masculine” qualities that are actually reflections of His character when transformed by the Holy Spirit), but lash back as they/you fall into the opposite pitfall (denigrating women, and beginning with an idea of masculinity instead of beginning with God’s character). Whenever you begin with a certain concept of “masculinity” or “femininity” instead of beginning with God as He has revealed Himself, you will end up idolizing certain personal characteristics and will (try) to create God in your own image. There is no room in Christianity for hatred of men or hatred of women. This is obvious when we see that a husband-wife relationship is just a glimpse of Christ’s relationship with the Church. That leaves no room for hatred of men, because that would naturally extend to hatred of Jesus as the Savior of the Church (of Whom a husband is a glimpse in his relationship with his wife). And that leaves no room for hatred of women, because EVERY SINGLE Christian is a member of the Church (which is in a sense the bride of Christ…as a wife/bride is a glimpse of the Church’s relationship with Jesus). (Does that mean that hatred of women is in effect self-hatred?) God, as He reveals Himself, transcends and shatters all hyper-feminist ideas that turn womanhood into its own religion, AND God, as He reveals Himself, transcends and shatters all hyper-chauvinist ideas that turn manhood into its own religion. We must begin with Him, not with “manhood” or “womanhood”.

    • Very well stated Jonathan.

      And for clarification, please note that I do see think Eric begins with God in the conceptions he portrays in his article. Nor do I think you suggest otherwise.

      • Graham,

        I actually am concerned that Eric may be subtly falling into beginning with certain conceptions of masculinity, rather than beginning with God Himself–with the result of implicitly scorning men who are truly living well as Christian men but who don’t fit within his definition of masculinity. Certainly I don’t see this in Eric’s article as much as in some of the comments, but I get the impression it may still be there. Perhaps Eric is simply correcting an ungodly scorn of “rough men” and just not guarding against the opposite pitfall. I agree wholeheartedly with him that this attitude he encountered is ungodly:

        “He confided that he had a hard time connecting with the people of the rural community, and had a particular disdain for country music, lifted trucks and the sea of blaze orange covered hunters that showed up every fall. It wasn’t just that those weren’t his interests, it was that he actively disdained them. Something more than tastes and preferences was in play.”

        I also completely agree that it is a grave problem when men “don’t initiate in leadership, take responsibility, or confront hard cases of church discipline.” This reticence calls for repentance.

        However, I get the sense that Eric (and especially some other comments below the article) may return disdain with disdain: Where is the affirmation of men who are godly, take responsibility, lead well, face danger with courage, and yet work a desk job and don’t enjoy hunting? The last two indicate “tastes and preferences” rather than ungodliness or emasculation.

        God reveals Himself as both warrior and lover (this is not in any way condoning homosexual activity; this is Scriptural), as both mighty judge and gentle Savior.
        If our view of men and women is not conformed to God’s, we are in error. Particularly in some of the comments here, there is a scorn of women that is very disturbing. “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18, ESV) The NET Bible textual note explains, “The English word “helper,” because it can connote so many different ideas, does not accurately convey the connotation of the Hebrew word עֵזֶר (’ezer). Usage of the Hebrew term does not suggest a subordinate role, a connotation which English “helper” can have. In the Bible God is frequently described as the “helper,” the one who does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, the one who meets our needs. In this context the word seems to express the idea of an “indispensable companion.” The woman would supply what the man was lacking in the design of creation and logically it would follow that the man would supply what she was lacking, although that is not stated here. See further M. L. Rosenzweig, “A Helper Equal to Him,” Jud 139 (1986): 277–80.” Does how we relate to women conform to who God created women to be?

    • And so Jonathan, now that you have told us that men and women are made in Gods image, are you going to tell us that men and women are equal as the homosexuals have been telling us for decades?

      • Jay, What that I wrote is unscriptural? Are you actually explicitly saying that men and women are not equal? If so, how can you support this from God’s word? It seems you are conflating “equality” with “sameness”, or “equality” with an interchangeability of roles. God created man and women equal but distinct–and marriage (and sex within marriage) is to be only between and man and a woman, not two men or two women.

  • Interesting article. Too many ‘men’ in this modern world are not men. They have sired offspring; they have lived a bit, and, thusly, call themselves men. Most are inward actual cowards, little boys trying to prove their manliness. Most of the ‘brave’ men are nothing more than punks and bullies who do stupid things to prove they are ‘brave’ men, and most of their ‘admirers’ are overwhelmed by the ‘awesomeness’ of the stupidity perpetrated — this includes our military ‘men/women’ and our so-called ‘police’ forces.
    It’s like everybody’s hero Chris Kyle – a psychopathic killer (see ‘American Monster – Chris Kyle: The American Sniper’, Veterans Today, Aug 2019) praised for his unlawful actions and made a hero so the amerikan populace would/will continue funding illegal conflicts. Cowards worship such people, and our society has become that sick.
    People wonder why the suicide rate in the military is so high — it is a lack of GOD in the society, and you no longer raise men but little boys, thanks to feminism. It’s simple – a woman cannot raise a ‘man’. A male child must have a man in his life to teach him how to be a man, or what to strive for to be one.
    Yes, I can make these statements on the military for I am a veteran of 20 years service and have seen most all of them, and all sorts – too many of the females are more male than the males are in this new military.
    As far as our ministers go – 99% of them are not men of GOD, but of god, that god being money. I’ve heard them whisper from the pulpits how they think the Bible teaches it is wrong to be homo, but they can’t say it to loud. I’ve heard them admit in their pulpits how they really are cowards and that’s why they sit in a tree stand to hunt, etc. Or you can just watch and listen to them and tell they are just *ussywhipped little mama boys. None preach the Bible the way they are instructed by GOD to preach. They pussyfoot around and talk in circles and dance around the pulpit putting on a show to make people think they are preaching, and sins are forbidden to be spoken of. WHY? Because, they might upset that deacon or his wife and lose their paycheck. That is all that matters anymore – that paycheck – not GOD.
    RUMPLESTILTSKIN, you definitely know nothing of scripture. It says to ‘turn the other cheek’, it doesn’t say let the other person beat you down. BUT, that is what you lying athiest believe and have pushed onto the wussies who now fill our pulpits. The men are gone.
    Furthermore, RUMPLESTILTSKIN, there really is no such thing as an ‘alpha male’ – that is some more sh*t that psychologist have come up with to destroy our society. Those so-called ‘alpha’ males are nothing more than psychopaths/sociopaths and such ilk – likely you are one of then from your comment.
    AND, RUMPLESTILTSKIN, we don’t worship gods, we worship one GOD, and it ain’t allah! It’s the one true GOD. The GOD of Abraham, the I AM. and there are no others. So. I truly hope you find hell worth it and to your liking. You being an atheist means you worship Satan, whether you admit to it or not – you have a god you have given your life and soul to.
    Jay is correct. All empires have fallen due to females and sexual perversion.
    GOD put man before woman for a reason. Females who claim to believe the Bible and put themselves above men are also putting themselves above and before GOD, worshiping themselves – ie, idolaters. These modern females have forgotten the Bible even while spouting it – see I Corinthians 6: 9-10; I Corinthians 14:34,35; I Timothy 2:11-15 (All highly misinterpreted for the benefit of ungodly feminist. Females do not like being reminded that feminism is just another word for communism).
    There is a religious movement in the world which was put into action by the catholic & enforced by the masons – no they aren’t supposedly the same, yet a true study shows they work hand in hand – around the turn of the 20th century. It has finally caught on and is growing by leaps and bounds. It has done more to destroy true Christianity than the catholic have in the last 1000yrs – it is called pentecostalism. AND, thanks to this movement our nation has become divided and corrupted by sheeple who follow those who love money. They pretend to teach scripture while perverting it.
    NO, look around how our society has lost its men to little boys in men’s bodies, and little girls who think it is ok to be a whore as long as she can justify it being ok and then perverted mommy & daddy accept it – no, it ain’t ok! That’s is what has happened to the perversion of scripture – just a little at a time.
    NO more men. NO more good girls. Everything is perverted.
    GOD clearly states what a man is to do and be. GOD clearly states how a woman should conduct herself.
    Tatooes don’t do it for GOD, but perverted kristianity says it is ok
    Whoring, both male and female, don’t do it for GOD but perverted kristianity says it’s ok just to keep the numbers up in the ‘church’.
    ETC.

    Woe unto those that call evil good and good evil. (something to that effect) –Isaiah 8.

    PS– there’s an old Native American proverb, so to speak, I learned as a kid and have attempted to live by it, for it shows the true depth of a man outside of what scripture teaches – ‘Nothing so strong as gentleness; nothing as gentle as real strength.’

  • LOVE this brother! God rescued me from a prison cell for being in rebellion as a drug trafficker. Through repentance, He turned me into an author over 18 years ago. By His Grace over 70 books published since. I have begged local churches to let me preach. Instead, I have watched addiction flourish in these churches. I would love to give you one of my books to review and read one of your books to review. Maybe interview each other on video. God bless your boldness brother.

  • *please do not reply as I will not be back to look*

    Just wanted y’all to know my husband is quite masculine; works as a mechanic, y’all, strong, and ruggedly handsome. By all other definition he is a “manly” man. And you know what makes me just gush? He is a feminist! He believes women are EQUAL counterparts to men- that women should be revered, their opinions cherished and their rights (including voting) protected. So in all reality he is more of a man because he is not threatened by women, nor the lgbtq because he is so comfortable in his own masculinity. Damn, I’m wet just thinking of it. Thank god I have a real man to hold my hand through this life. I feel sorry for your significant (or in your case just) others.

    Amen

  • Does this all apply outside the US? I know a few missionaries and other faithful Christians who live in very hard circumstances. Some hunt; some drive trucks and SUVs through rutted roads and gunfire; some don’t. They would all reject “hard” or “soft” as irrelevant at best and more likely insulting comments on their lives. But they would relish being called “gentle.” They tend to recognize that world is not actually soft, once you let your eyes really adjust to it. Come to think of it, I know Christians like this in the US, too. Some live in rural areas. Some live in urban areas. They’re actually pretty different, but they sure have Jesus in common.

    • Give it a rest “John”, if you are a real person and not a troll. We all know what Eric is writing about. If you wish to challenge that, please say whether you are pretending to be too stupid to understand or too dishonest to tell us that you understand. After all, we all know some pantywaist that wuvs Jesus. Therefore being a pantywaist is suitable. Yeah, right. 1Cor 6:9

  • I agree Eric! Men need to be hard to be most useful to us in this day and age. Estrogen in our water and even our burgers now!!1 It’s outrageous. The liberal left agenda has gone too far, and we all know who’s behind that!!! We should all prefer a Hard Jesus , it makes Him easier to take inside of each of us.

    • Sierra,

      When you wrote: “We should all prefer a Hard Jesus , it makes Him easier to take inside of each of us” it made it seem as if our embrace of Jesus is dependent on our cognition, our perception or some use of human faculty. This is NOT the case. Our embrace of Jesus as Lord and Savior is entirely a work of God. “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:29) And again the scripture says: “When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26) “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.” (Rom 9:16)

      Thus, it is our job not to present Christ in a “seeker friendly” way but rather we are to learn of Him and present Him as He is. “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (1Cor 1:23-24)

      And He is NOT a girly man who turns away when the going gets tough, neither is He callous hearted. He is acquainted with grief and bids us to “the fellowship of His suffering”. He is compassionate, merciful, faithful and full of lovingkindness, yet He uncompromisingly demands of us to “be ye perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect” and “faithful is He who began a good work in you, He shall complete it” until we ALL are “conformed to the image of His dear Son”, “that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 24, 25)

  • Great read, I love it! Men do indeed need to be less soft. Incidentally, this article was sent to me by a woman. Not sure if this is good or bad lol!

  • To be frank, I resent the fact that as a Christian woman, I am supposed to be such a soft and gentle being. I am supposed to be this obedient thing to be told what I should and should not do. This whole article was so judgmental. No wonder young people avoid the church. We are expected to be people that we aren’t. I am a soldier and definitely not one to do menial tasks that are expected of women in the Bible. I would rather fight alongside men and get my hands dirty. My family wonders why I have pulled away from church…THIS kind of stuff is why. Were we not called to come as we are? The effeminate men you so easily talk down about are loved the same as the hard men you speak of. I have no problem with hunting and hard work, but I would never judge someone who wasn’t into it. Yes it was absolutely wrong for that pastor to disdain them and I absolutely do not condone his feelings on that. Honestly I hate this whole idea that men have to be always tough and impenetrable. It just perpetuates this loneliness in men. Could that be part of the reason young Christian men are committing suicide left and right?? They don’t want to be judged the way you have done in your article. They don’t want to be looked down upon because they are not the ideal pastor. They are human the same as the rest of us. I wish the church would stop perpetuating this idea that we aren’t supposed to struggle and if we are it’s because our walk with God isn’t right. This is why I avoid anything but biker churches.

        • Are you a believer Callie? Have you bowed the knee to Christ? Do you desire Him to be your Master, your Commander? Will you obey Christ if He says: “Go take that hill” knowing that your company all die painful deaths but you will serve as a needed diversion to make the entire mission victorious? Will you obey Him if he says: “Clean those toilets”? Will you obey if He says: “Clean the mess hall so that food bits don’t attract rats with their unsanitary germs and infect the whole platoon and take them out of action”?

          • I am a believer, but I don’t see what that has to do with being a soldier.

          • Is Christ your Commander? Do you take orders from Him or do you ignore what He says? These are not a trick questions. Would you obey Christ if He says: “Go take that hill” knowing that your company all die painful deaths but you will serve as a needed diversion to make the entire mission victorious? Will you obey Him if he says: “Clean those toilets”? Will you obey if He says: “Clean the mess hall so that food bits don’t attract rats with their unsanitary germs and infect the whole platoon and take them out of action”?

  • Eric, I am concerned that you may be subtly falling into beginning with certain conceptions of masculinity, rather than beginning with the nature of God Himself–with the result of implicitly scorning men who are truly living well as Christian men but who don’t fit within your definition of masculinity. Certainly I don’t see this in your article as much as in some of the comments, but I get the impression it may still be there. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) Perhaps you are simply correcting an ungodly scorn of “rough men” and just not guarding against the opposite pitfall–scorn of those whom “rough men” would label as “soft men” with overly-specific definitions of what godly masculinity means. I agree wholeheartedly with you that this attitude you encountered is ungodly:

    “He confided that he had a hard time connecting with the people of the rural community, and had a particular disdain for country music, lifted trucks and the sea of blaze orange covered hunters that showed up every fall. It wasn’t just that those weren’t his interests, it was that he actively disdained them. Something more than tastes and preferences was in play.”

    I also completely agree that it is a grave problem when men “don’t initiate in leadership, take responsibility, or confront hard cases of church discipline.” This reticence calls for repentance.

    However, I get the sense that you (and especially some other comments below the article) may return disdain with disdain: Where is the affirmation of men who are godly, take responsibility, lead well, face danger with courage, and yet work a desk job and don’t enjoy hunting? The last two indicate “tastes and preferences” rather than ungodliness or emasculation.

    God reveals Himself as both warrior and lover (this is not in any way condoning homosexual activity; this is Scriptural), as both mighty judge and gentle Savior.

    If our view of men and women is not conformed to God’s, we are in error. In some of the comments here, there is a scorn of women that is very disturbing. Does it match with God’s creation of women? “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18, ESV) The NET Bible textual note explains, “The English word “helper,” because it can connote so many different ideas, does not accurately convey the connotation of the Hebrew word עֵזֶר (’ezer). Usage of the Hebrew term does not suggest a subordinate role, a connotation which English “helper” can have. In the Bible God is frequently described as the “helper,” the one who does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, the one who meets our needs. In this context the word seems to express the idea of an “indispensable companion.” The woman would supply what the man was lacking in the design of creation and logically it would follow that the man would supply what she was lacking, although that is not stated here. See further M. L. Rosenzweig, “A Helper Equal to Him,” Jud 139 (1986): 277–80.”

    By citing this I am not implying that there is complete interchangeability in men and women’s roles in the Church. I believe that Scripture reveals that the roles of elder and pastor are for men–not because of any inferiority on the part of women, but because of God’s good design. I also am not implying that men and women are interchangeable in terms of marriage: God designed marriage to be only between a man and a woman, and forbids homosexual sex. But distinction does not mean inequality.

    Does how we relate to women conform to who God created women to be? Many of the comments here indicate an attitude that is far from the mark.

  • I am sorry this is the dumbest blog on biblical manhood I have ever read. Your vision is more to do with Hollywood then true biblical manhood. I don’t know where to start and frankly not worth the effort to try and convenience Rambo men they need to be better men. Look to Christ as you archetype not John “Rambo” Baptist.

  • Great read! It’s about time someone said this. Biblical women also find effeminate men revolting; especially those in leadership positions. It seems so many are more concerned with political correctness than Biblical correctness, as if somehow they have progressed into a realm of understanding we old timers have missed. God doesn’t make men wimps he makes conquerors.

  • I’m 62, and 22 years ago, I entered the Eastern Orthodox Church (fighting words on here, I’m sure, based on some of the usual vitriol and anti-Roman Catholic Church commentary I’ve seen by some posters). In recent years, we’ve seen a sharp increase in younger men, younger couples, and military men coming into the different Orthodox jurisdictions (I’m in an Antiochian parish). I’m currently a godfather for two young catechumen men (both age 23) who fled evangelicalism. The majority of the adult catechumens in my parish are young men. Among reasons given for their journey into Orthodoxy, one common thread is they are weary of what they deem are feminized evangelical churches, irreverent Jesus lover praise and worship music, fads and entertainment (while our motto is ancient and unchanging faith), and clergy in skinny jeans preaching women’s empowerment and social justice sermons, while marginalizing young men from the pulpit. I commend men like Mr. Conn and others pushing back on popular culture and political correctness encroaching into their evangelical churches. One need only look at mainline Protestantism to see how this can easily play out.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful response. Very interesting. It’s worth noting that while Western churches have been feminized, Eastern Orthodox is predominately male in participation, as is Judaism and Islam. No question the western traditions (reformed, baptist, etc) have become effeminate.

      I wonder, what is so different in orthodox churches? Why are they more attractive to masculine men?

      • Mr. Conn, Frederica Matthews-Green answers these questions in an excellent article titled “Men and Church”. It’s on Frederica.com. Frederica and her husband were formerly Episcopalian, in fact her husband was an Episcopalian priest, who fled due to liberalism. Their journey led them into Orthodoxy. When you enter an Orthodox temple, you’ll see an icon of Christ in the Narthex. Under the icon you’ll see the Greek letters “IC-XC-NI-KA” “Jesus Christ Conqueror” (conquers over death and hades). Christ is a warrior, not the all inclusive Berkenstock wearing hippie Jesus portrayed in our culture. Many men relate to this.

      • Your questions are valid, and I once asked the same questions, as well as many other men I’ve encountered with their journey into Orthodoxy. There’s an excellent article that concisely answers why masculine men are drawn to the Eastern Orthodox Church in large numbers called “Men and Church” written by an Eastern Orthodox laywoman named Frederica Matthews-Green (@ Frederica.com). Frederica and her husband fled the Episcopalian Church due to liberalism. Her husband is now an Orthodox priest. In the article she sites Leon Podles (from BIOLA) who wrote the book “The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity”. Podles goes into great depth about “Bridal Mysticism” that cropped up in the Western Church in the high Middle Ages. Men began fleeing churches in droves as women began to fill churches, a trend that continues in the Western Church to this very day. He sites one major reason the Eastern Church was spared this was due to the Great Schism in 1054 A.D., and that the churches in the Middle East, the Balkans, Greece, Asia Minor, Eastern Europe, and Africa retained the early practices of the Christian faith.

  • I think Mr. Conn makes an excellent point in a previous post about men getting their hands dirty in lieu of working in a cube farm. When did it become such a stigma for a man to have a trade, be an entrepreneur, or make a comfortable living? Everyday I deal with industrial accounts in my job who are desperate for skilled welders and machinists. Most offer good competitive wages and benefits. Community colleges offer very affordable trade training programs ranging from 9-18 months. An entire generation of young men have been indoctrinated and ruined by educators (and helicopter parents) to believe that the trades are for knuckle walkers, and that a piece of paper in a useless degree from a left leaning university, coupled with insurmountable debt, is the only way to go. Talk about a scam! A few years back, I wrote an article about the need for welders (which I now regret) for the infamous and now defunct “Return of Kings” site (evidently, Roosh V has recanted and found his road to Damascus). The animus and personal attacks responses from most of the young male readers was mind numbing to say the least. It’s no wonder the sad fate of many young men today to a life of computer games, minimum wage, and basement dwelling.

    • Excellent points. Putting a greater emphasis on the trades would help balance out the lack of hand work present in the current generation. It was common when I was working construction or excavation for the old men to examine your hands for calluses—the lack of them revealed a lack of hard work. We could use more callus-handed men.

  • This is one of the more idiotic things that I have read in a long time. News flash Eric…not everyone wants to know how to hunt. There are some boys who want to be artists. There are some men who don’t care how many cattle are allowed to graze on 100 acres of grassland. There are men who don’t know the difference between a chainsaw and a crosscut saw. And guess what…they are no less a man than you. And the way you use the term ‘feminize’ as a pejorative shows what you really think of any woman that may be a part of your life. The things that are said in this article then wrapped in the cloth of religion boggles the mind. It’s why I walked away from the church a long time ago.

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