Masculinity is not enough

We live in an age that embraces effeminacy and androgyny. This has led to many men rebelling against this culture and embracing masculinity. We have seen this on the secular Right, and it is good to see our culture recognizing this error. But as Christians we should not be tempted to go from one error to an opposite error. We need Biblical masculinity, not just masculinity.

Now, a necessary disclaimer: This is not saying femininity is bad. Femininity is good, in women. But men should not be effeminate, as women should not be masculine.

We have seen masculinity be abused. Radical Islam admires masculinity, but we as Christians should abhor that version of masculinity. Barbarians throughout history have been admirers of masculinity. But man as conqueror, pillaging and raping is a perversion of God’s good gift of masculinity. Toxic masculinity does exist, and masculinity becomes toxic when it is not constrained by the guardrails set in place by Holy Scripture.

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A few thoughts on the “Deep State”

We have been hearing a lot about the so-called “deep state” since President Donald Trump took office, and conservatives have been very disdainful of it. Some of that disdain is deserved, but we need to think about this and have some charity for these folks. First, a couple caveats:

  • Of course there are some folks in the “deep state” who are corrupt, and people who act in bad faith. Those folks should be removed from their positions and, if appropriate, criminally prosecuted.
  • Of course civil service employees in the federal government should obey lawful orders from the President. They do not set policy. They implement policy, even when they disagree with that policy.

With that said, is everyone in the deep state a bad person, even when they are thwarting lawful orders by the President? Or should we have a different assumption?

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You cannot include by excluding

Beware those who talk of inclusion and tolerance, because these are often buzzwords that used to justify exclusion and intolerance. We see this no more clearly than with “social justice warriors” and political correctness.

A letter to the editor in the Herald-Times recently warned that the Bloomington Farmer’s Market “was not inclusive” and that there are “barriers to access.” What exactly is the source of this? Are blacks or Hispanics not being allowed to shop at the market? Are vendors refusing to sell to people of color? Are black shoppers and vendors assigned to “colored” sections of the market, like would have been done in the 1950’s in the Deep South?

Nope. None of this is happening, and none of this happened. What happened is that a vendor who has peacefully sold vegetables in past years was revealed to have posted some objectionable things on the Internet. Schooner Creek Farms has not discriminated against or refused to serve anyone. They have not threatened or harassed anyone at the market. They have not done one single thing to prevent anyone from shopping or selling at the market. If any of this was attempted, the Bloomington Police Department would quickly shut it down. What happened is that the SCF owners anonymously posted things online, and then were “doxxed” by busybody social justice warriors.

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Christian liberty and the 2020 election

Barring something unexpected over the next ten months, most evangelical Christians will vote for Donald Trump in the general election. There are a few who will not. Since this debate has once again broken out among Christians, I will make this plea again: Please have a sense of proportion and do not judge each other for the choices we make. Look at each other with charity, and assume good will. This applies to both Christians who are pro-Trump and Christians who are anti-Trump.

I anticipate some objections, so let me offer this caveat: There are people who claim the name of Christ who support Trump in bad faith, and some who oppose him in bad faith. I do not believe the vast majority of Christians fall into either category, and we should assume good will and sincerity. And to be clear on something else: The next two paragraphs do not describe the majority of pro-Trump Christians or anti-Trump Christians. Finally, as a reminder of my own position: I did not vote for Trump in 2016 and I plan on voting for him in 2020.

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Happy New Year!

I have made the following three New Years Resolutions:

  1. I resolve to lose more of my hair in 2020.
  2. I resolve to have the hair that remains go more gray in 2020.
  3. I resolve that my beard will be more gray in 2020.

I made these three resolutions in 2019, and was wildly successful in keeping them. I am pretty sure I can repeat that.

Merry Christmas 2019

Today, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. While many church services focus on the glorious birth of Christ with heavenly host singing, it is also important to recognize how much of a sacrifice it was for Jesus to come to earth to be our Redeemer. We often think of the crucifixion as Christ’s main sacrifice, but His entire life was a sacrifice for us.

Isaiah 53:2-3

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Many paintings of Jesus depict Him as a glorious, good looking man. But the prophesy of Him in Isaiah indicates that He was just the opposite. Born in a manger rather than a palace, Jesus humbled Himself to be with the lowly rather than the rich and powerful. Born as a baby, Jesus humbled Himself by being completely dependent on His mother and father for everything aspect of His life: food, shelter and clothing. Think that the Creator of the universe was completely helpless.

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Thanksgiving 2019

A few verses from God’s holy Word for Thanksgiving:

  • Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. — 1 Chronicles 16:8
  • Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. — Psalm 18:49
  • Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. — Psalm 30:4
  • Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. — Psalm 75:1
  • Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. — Psalm 106:1
  • But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. — 1 Corinthians 15:57
  • Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. — 2 Corinthians 2:14
  • Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. — Philippians 4:6
  • And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. — Colossians 3:17
  • In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. — 1 Thessalonians 5:18

May God bless you as you enjoy this holiday.