The other day I went and thoughtlessly typed something vile on social media that amounted to, “Happy Father’s Day.” I know I am completely without excuse for the violence of my words, but honestly I was so busy ignoring Pride Month and Juneteenth that I just went and forgot to exercise any sensitivity towards the infertile, heroic single moms, disenfranchised sperm donors, and men who are not quite settled on which gender they wish to be.
How could I be so heartless as to promote a day that excludes so many people?? Let that one sink in for a moment. If there’s one bit of common ground we “should” be able to collectively claim, it’s the fact that we all had fathers.
All in good humor here, the backlash was real enough but quite tiny, and so incredibly boring and predictable, that I simply lost interest and wandered off the internets to go spend time with some genuinely good men.
God is so funny sometimes! While feminism says “men are pigs, cancel culture them all,” God is more like, yes, you’ve encountered some real swine, here, let me show you what I intended for good men to be. Then he just backs up with a truck full of them and dumps them out all over your lawn. It often involves several varieties of smoked meat and a good fire too, so truly blessed indeed.
I so appreciated Night Wind’s post, “Why Father’s Day,” a rather dark, rather gloomy, rather disparaging look at the state of post modern fatherhood. I’m grateful someone understands what I am often thinking and trying so hard to say. I am not saying “men are pigs,” I am saying, is it possible we should examine some of our cultural notions, perhaps make some adjustments, some changes?? Not sure if you can hear the twinge of panic, of quiet desperation, but like, hello people, I think our world is really broken and something needs to give!
Many who were raised in what might be called traditional Christian homes, have now fled as far away as humanly possible. Two famous ones are actually Francis Schaffer’s son, Frank, and John Piper’s son, Abraham. Now we can just dismiss this as “meh, it’s just the age of apostasy,” or we can wise up and observe that there seems to be these huge father fractures going on all over our culture, and an entire political movement that now wants to just drown fatherhood itself in the bathtub.
What could have led up to this sad state of affairs??
People are complicated, relationships are challenging, wounds are not always black and white, but to me it seems like there is enough evidence here to suggest that perhaps some of our cultural perceptions of masculinity have been perverted within the church and some of our Judeo-Christian values around fatherhood are deeply flawed???
Somebody smart, yet another spiritual father of mine, once taught me that theology is always circular. That means it affirms and reaffirms itself. The truth doesn’t have to be proven, it simply demonstrates itself. Does it work? If it works, it’s good theology! That might sound a bit simplistic, but God has always been really patient and answered all my “whys,” as to how His word works, and so this has proven to be a good rule for me.
If it doesn’t produce good fruit, it’s not working. Bad fruit means something has gone awry in your understanding.
If your child grows up, leaves the church, leaves the faith entirely, and proceeds to join up with the farthest far left organization he can find hoping to “smash the patriarchy,” well, something has gone all awry. Doubly true if they all wrote books explaining exactly what the problem was! Something about your theology was not circular. It did not pan out. Well, a whole lot of these people happen to mention harsh fathers with a perverse view of masculinity who did not always treat their mothers very well.
It’s such a critical piece of the puzzle that the Bible actually says, “honor your wife that your prayers will not be hindered.” If your father was unyielding, unkind, and unforgiving, a bully, chances are good you will just remake God in his image…..and then proceed to reject him outright. As you should! We all have a God given, innate sense of what is good, what is just.
The problem isn’t the nature of God, the problem is our often false perceptions of Him.
Actually teaching men that they should cultivate becoming an emotionally avoidant, unyielding, unkind, unforgiving, self absorbed tyrant, who has emotionally stunted relationships with women, is downright misguided and evil. And yes, that is exactly what is happening in many protestant churches today. Just stop it.
So you see, when I see men like Tomassi, Benjamin, Day, the old Dalrock, Pastor Wilson, Pastor Piper, out promoting red pill ideas about men and women, many based on long since debunked evolutionary psychology, it’s enough to make me wail in despair. Shoot people, these are not Christian values at all and this isn’t even good theology. I want to see people out leading the way, lighting the path before us, not sticking their fingers in their ears and doubling down on the stupid.
Our culture right now reminds me of this beautiful but tragic bird I once saw that had been so abused he just plucked all his feathers out. He was a completely neurotic and naked bird just hopping about on a post and clucking sporadically. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or someone skilled in empathy to observe, sheesh, I think something is all wrong with this bird!
I see a whole world full of naked birds with their feathers half plucked out and a church at large that just seems so woefully unprepared to become part of the solution.