Men Stepping Up….women and children disproportionately affected

In 2010 the bold and cutting edge SBC lathered themselves up in a fit of confession and passed a marriage and divorce resolution called, “On the Scandal of Southern Baptist Divorce”. I admit, when that occurred I was pleased with their honesty in admitting the problem. But I was too jaded to expect much from it beyond yet another source of programming aimed at fixing men and thus addressing this problem.

Well, the Men Step Up conference I just wrote about is just one example of the misguided way the church has decided to combat culture’s influence. Its a big one, easy to see and find information about. It is easy to refute and denigrate if it deserves that because its resources are all available online as well as the fact that just before, during, and immediately after the event there will be an onslaught of coverage in the mainstream Christian press about it, not to mention likely a mention or two in lifestyle reporting by print, internet, and even television news. Churches will push it, guiding us to those in our communities where it will be hosted. Van pools will be organized, some will even “send men forth” to travel from smaller towns into larger cities and put these men up in hotels for the duration. The point will be that these men should receive the anointing of the teaching and bring it back to edify the local churches.

Churches large and small will spawn mini seminars, Sunday school classes, and finally mens and couples small groups that draw their teaching material from the Men Step Up seminar. This gives the appearance that we are busy working on the problem doesn’t it?  Since many of the denomination wise unaffiliated mega churches pattern themselves after the SBC, many even led by ex SBC leaders, its not unreasonable to lump all this together in one big evangelical blob of festering action that aims to address divorce, undeniably the largest issue to plague the church today. Should we pause to celebrate that finally, oh finally they are seeing whats happening? Isn’t it just a matter of time now before the course correction begins and marriage and a stable family can once again be placed in the sights of the young Christian male?

Not so fast.

In the SBC resolution we find the following:

WHEREAS, The rampant divorce rate in our culture has come with great social and economic cost, with women and children suffering disproportionately in ways that are incalculable;

It is the collective assumption that this statement is true, and a call to action to support the poor women as this sentient monster called divorce prowls our churches seeking them out to devour, it is this that spawns the Men Step Up conferences. The sheer folly, the utter futility to be found in the intellectual dishonesty here is astounding and is something that large numbers of men could only get behind if they are being deceived. Make so mistake, they are deceived in that they react like amoeba to the stimulus that comes from female approval. It is as engendered a response as actual sexual stimulation, make no mistake.

There was no benefit from the mea culpa the church expressed here regarding divorce because they didn’t accept that divorce is happening because the church has so screwed up its basic teaching on marriage, divorce, sex, and gender order and relations. All they did was write a great big resolution that looked like the risky accepting of responsibility for a major problem while foisting it onto the backs of men, and opening the door for some more big popular-with-the-ladies remediation teaching for the troglodytes.

For a tiny bit of good news there is still Mike McManus. Here, he says:

This is an extraordinary “mea culpa” by a national Christian denomination, which ought to be emulated by other national churches.

However, there is a missing element, a failure to recognize that the marriage culture cannot be restored by a decree from the leaders of a national denomination, or even by well-intentioned churches. For example, many pastors think what a troubled marriage needs is to see a Christian counselor. (I wrote a recent column reporting that couples who do so are two to three times more likely to divorce.)

His program, Marriage Savers, works. And for a moment I want to say that frankly, those in this sphere who would research Mike’s group and find that he isn’t sufficiently pounding on women in his articles and stance need to examine their motives, as I must often do mine. I have had several email conversations with him and he gets the problems. He is not hiding things at all. He is just working a system that has empirical data to show that IT WORKS. But I would expect a great indictment of him as a bad guy, a tradcon dontcha know. And babies and bathwater.

Marriage MUST be saved, and that means biblical marriage, not some sham thing that is a supplicant man content with his Lazy Boy and meat loaf (pun intended). Lets give Mike credit for calling the SBC out on their lame resolution, and for actually doing something for saving marriages the right way.

Men stepping up must start with taking your families out of any church that suipports “men step up”. Men step up needs to mean what it REALLY means, not the wink and nudge version that says “figure out how to be a manly supplicant”.

Men Stepping Up would actually be a very very good thing. If men stepped up per our call, women would, in great numbers, be Googling “how to put the tooth paste back in the tube”



12 thoughts on “Men Stepping Up….women and children disproportionately affected

  1. You know what’s ironic–you’d think that feminists supposedly so eager to instill equality, would be totally behind saying, “Wait! What about the men? Women are not mere victims or helpless creatures–they have agency as well! Men are also victims of divorce and bad marriages!” But of course they don’t.

  2. I’m pragmatic enough to work with anyone who can show me the data. It does not take much to turn things around… (At work, we are researching brief communication skills training to decrease the rate of client assault on caregivers. 4 weekly sessions could be all it takes — but we need to do some controlled trials to nail that down).

    The Church however has two duties.
    1. To exegetically preach, including the currently unpopular parts of the gospel. Not to sugar coat Hosea (Gomer is NOT approved of) and to teach Paul’s advice about family structure and the honour of being single.
    2. To get older women to show younger women how to care for their children and love their wives. In short, what Elspeth does at breathing grace, and a lot of the women in the Catholic Tradosphere like Sunshine Mary do, and Traditional Christianity did.

    And we have failed on both counts.

  3. But see that’s just it. In their world women ARE just victims. Every bad thing in a woman’s life is something that happens to her. The idea that she had any responsibility whatsoever in bringing it about is nonsense to them. The fact that feminists, even a lot of the so called “good” ones sell this line of thinking, is just more proof that feminism isn’t really about equality and never was.

  4. I agree that that’s what needs to happen. The problem is that pretty much any church that actually did that, plainly strongly and clearly would be empty inside of 6 months.

    Also I think there’s a typo. Older women are to show younger women how to love their husbands I think. The other problem is that by and large most older women, at least in the realm of protestantism, have already bought into the wrong way of approaching things. By and large the few women I see who “get it” are in their early to mid twenties. Women in their 40’s to 60’s are for the most part, the biggest part of the problem.

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  6. Not really. Basically there is really only one feminist (and therefore generally female) perspective about men: they are a disposable commodity. Of course there are women who are genuinely accomplished or talented or who just plain love men, but frankly as we’ve discovered they’re not really a factor. Their sisters hate them and are not really influenced by them.

    Again: this should not surprise us. The Bible points out that virtue is rare. It is therefore rare among women as well. What we’re all experiencing is a series of unpleasant shocks at first and then reminders (as in empath’s post above) of the real situation. We’ve been lied to for years about the notion that CHRISTIAN women are good, and about what makes them good. but really, what we’re seeing here is examples of how as Jesus said “there are many who will say to me ‘Lord, Lord’…but I will say ‘I never knew you.'” And this is absolutely true.

    This is one of the main things that feminism’s osmosis into the Church has accomplished, as chaz points out. The idea that women are the victims of men. Now the Bible plainly says that this is untrue; we are all the victims of our own flesh and of temptation by Satan, first and foremost.

    We could spend a lot of time establishing that women need to learn the difference between ‘feeling like they have to be and do too much to be virtuous’ and having false expectations about virtue, but I frankly think that there is no point. What Christian women need to see is that men in the Church can get by perfectly well in our faith without them. They need to see that we are like Christ–we can be scorned and dismissed but we don’t accept it or get defined by it.

    Conferences on Christian manhood need to be about these things:
    1. How to be a proactive leader in your community. Like as in–what are you doing about poverty, ignorance, crime and sickness? These are things the Bible directly commands us to help others with–what are we doing to lead in this? Are we looking to models like Jesus, Elijah, Elisha, and the Apostles or are we being modern version ‘servant leaders’?

    2. How to develop eyes and ears about what is needed. There is a way of learning to see and hear what is around you that provokes the spirit of Christ in you–as again in empath’s example of seeing the family after Church–that we need to develop to be God’s mercy in the world.

    3. Learn how to judge wisely. A lot of people have this mistaken notion that Christians cannot judge others. That’s not what the Bible teaches at all–it teaches about how to judge wisely. We need to learn how to be discerning, how to be wise.

    4. Learn about the difference between virtuous and wicked women. There are specific traits assigned to virtue in the Bible–are our men being taught that when it comes to women, or are they being taught a Christianese sugar coating onto what the world believes?

    5. Learn to develop a genuine prayer life. You can’t help but notice that the most significant prayers in the Bible are not while people are in Temple or Tabernacle but when they’re in the midst of things. We need to see this as shifting our perspective from the worldly one to a Christian one in a flash. I must reiterate, it’s about people’s lives.

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  8. Matthew
    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you
    will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Jesus in this case is talking about not being a hypocrite nor person that seeks to tear the other person down to build yourself up be being judgmental. Jesus at the same time teaching this also verbally lashed the pharisees.

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  10. Not invisible, just entirely unessential except for anything beyond a paycheck and killing spiders. Men are, to a large degree seen and portrayed as a barely necessary evil.

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