Jesus and Masculinity

Jesus and Masculinity January 8, 2012

I both get it and don’t get it … this whole Jesus must be masculine thing. But, as I say in my Blue Parakeet book, we are SOOOO good at making Jesus in our own image. (There’s a little test for this at the back of that book. I give it to my Jesus class every time I teach the class.)

Making Jesus what we want Jesus to be is perhaps the Christian’s biggest temptation, and that is why I like this pushback by Brant Hansen against Mark Driscoll’s masculine-Jesus-image fantasy.

The proper response to Jesus is not to make him in our image, but to watch and listen — to the Gospels. What we often encounter there is that we need to get ready to be deconstructed.

No, Jesus wasn’t a pansy.  Of course.  But, like they say on ESPN’s NFL show:  C’mon, man.

“Latte-sipping Cabriolet drivers do not represent biblical masculinity, because real men — like Jesus, Paul, and John the Baptist — are dudes:  heterosexual, win-a-fight, punch-you-in-the-nose dudes.  In other words, because Jesus is not a limp-wristed, dress-wearing hippie, the men created in his image are not sissified church boys; they are aggressive, assertive, and nonverbal.”

That’s the opinion of Mark Driscoll, who’s a well-hyped pastor, author, opinion-shaper, and rabble-rouser.  I loves me some rabble-rousing, and I really enjoy discussing of who Jesus really is, but… Mark is wrong.  (And if you don’t like it, Mark, bring it on, big boy.  You’ll probably whip me, but I swing a mean accordion.  Plus, and I normally wouldn’t say this, but since we’re being “assertive”:  I’m very likely stronger and fitter than you.  Man, is it ever getting junior high in here.)

We don’t get to make Jesus in our image, or in our favorite image, either, even if we love Ultimate Fighting.  “Nonverbal”?  Jesus?  Really?  Who says?  (Oddly, if Christ-like-ness means “nonverbal”, Driscoll might want to repent of his famous 1.5 hour sermons. And all those books.)

“Punch-you-in-the-nose”…?  Which Biblical book did you find that one in, Rock?  First Ecclesians?…

Yes, Jesus was a man.  The Ultimate Man, with guts.  And we should be men who have guts, too.  Guts!

So let’s have the guts to look at him as he is, rather than our little-boy ideas about what manhood is all about.

Read more of Brant’s piece here.


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