When addressing the issue of manhood, or what it means to be a man, Critical Race Theory has had a powerful sway and influence over all of our society. (Please read my article, “Social Justice and Manhood” dated March 19, 2021. For most of us in the Christian community, we do not view manhood through this corrupt lens…praise God. The world around us, however, is rapidly endorsing a distorted view of masculinity and what it means to be a man. This unbiblical view is also creeping into the Church where more and more pastors, at least here in the Northwest, have the markings of Social Justice Masculinity.
One of my favorite masculine men in the Bible is Jephthah. Consider his rejection, strength, and leadership as it’s seen in the following verses:
1 “Now Jephthah of Gilead was a great warrior. He was the son of Gilead, but his mother was a prostitute. 2 Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half-brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.” 3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Soon he had a band of worthless rebels following him. 4 At about this time, the Ammonites began their war against Israel. 5 When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob. 8 … we need you,” the elders replied.” If you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you ruler over all the people of Gilead” 11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him their ruler and commander of the army. At Mizpah, in the presence of the LORD, Jephthah repeated what he had said to the elders” – Judges 11:1-5, 8, 11 NLT
Different Times Dictate Different Actions
I am sure Jephthah never imagined that his stepbrothers would ask him back and that he would be leading the Israelite army into action!
Below are 19 descriptions, as well as some applications, of what I believe are masculine traits. Of course, these are not the only characteristics that describe a man, but they are ones that I think ought to be operative in our churches and in Christian men in general in view of the days in which we are living.
19 Masculine Traits
Which will you develop?
• COURAGE 1to address, that is, speak the truth in love with regard to the tough issues of our day. Do you have the courage to biblically address homosexuality, lesbianism, abortion, and gender distortions?
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church”– Ephesians 4:15
This will take UN-INTIMIDATED COURAGE2to exegete (textually interpret) Genesis 19:1-13; Ezekiel 16:49-50; Leviticus 17:22-28; Mark 7:20-23; Romans 1:18-32, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and communicate these truths to our spheres of influence.
As an aside, I have heard more non-Christians address the above verses inaccurately than Christians explaining them accurately. What does that tell you?
• BRAVERY 3AND UNDAUNTED CONFIDENCE4 to embrace the SJM with counter answers based on Scripture. The SJM has captured our society with un-truths and now pretty much dominates social media, institutions, and organizations. A fantastic YouTube titled: “Morgan Freeman, Lil’Wayne, Denzel Washington, and others on Racism” is worth checking out and passing on to everyone who loves you… and perhaps even those who don’t love you! ☺
“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense [a reasonable and logical argument] to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” – 1 Peter 3:15 ESV
“Do not follow the masses in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd,” – Exodus 23:2 NIV
• TENACITY5 AND DETERMINATION6 to keep fighting for the life of the unborn.
“For God created both me and my servants. He created us both in the womb” – Job 31:15 NLT
I realize that the abortion issue is pretty much off the radar for most of the public, and even in our local churches, but it still breaks the heart of our Lord God. As Abraham Lincoln believed that the civil war to end slavery was a judgment of God on our nation, perhaps God will (and is) judging the United States for allowing such grievous immoral behavior, which has been sanctioned by our own judicial law—(Roe vs. Wade).
In the Bible, civil penalties were enacted on actions that caused a mother or her un-born child be harmed. Why? Because an infant in the womb was considered an innocent victim, and the shedding of innocent of blood is resoundingly condemned throughout the Bible. Exodus 21:22-25 is very precise about the nature of the child in the womb:
“Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process, they accidentally strike a pregnant woman, so she gives birth prematurely. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve.” – Exodus 21:22 NLT
The justice meted out with regard to retaliation applied if injury occurred to either mother or child. This justice was expressed through the legal process being guided by the principle of “an eye for an eye.” The punishment matched, but did not exceed the damage done to the victim. Think about this my friends, if the child or mother were killed, death would have followed the perpetrator:
“23 But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life, 24 an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, 26 a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.” – Exodus 21:23-26
Gandhi’s comment “an eye for an eye” will make the whole world blind” is repeated many times and accepted in social media and the broader culture. Gandhi was saying, if we keep punishing those we deem cruel then we’re no better than the bad guys. He was simply wrong! He was missing the point and the power of the principle, which actually ensures justice, especially when carried out through the legal process. In addition, this principle powerfully reduces crime! As for me, I will side with God and the Torah anytime!
We are hearing so much about Justice these days, but my question is:“ Where is the Justice for the unborn? My how easily we pick and choose!
The so-called “Social Justice churches” that I hear about in Portland do not champion or fight for the unborn. Why? Probably because it’s not the fad, they will get kick back, and the “rights of women” have over-shadowed the right of a defenseless child. Even more staggering is that we don’t even “blush” for our sin anymore.
“Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all–they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them,” says the LORD” – Jeremiah 6:15 NLT
A Redemptive Story
I remember one young woman who visited our church (the very first church she ever went to if you can believe it) came on Right-To-Life Sunday. In the past she had had an abortion, but the Holy Spirit drew her to Christ that Sunday and she responded to our invitation to follow Christ. After her decision to trust Christ, she actually held a little memorial service for her aborted baby boy and went on to write a book about her experience! Hello, that is what I call redemption through Christ!
About Compromising Stories
The Greenhouse For Change is Evaluation
When I communicate these stories, I am attempting to clarify that it takes resilience to stand up for the truth and that, as Christ-followers, we have formidable challenges if we desire to effect change. Many of these challenges do not originate from outside the church but from the inside and, to my dismay, even from the leadership. These stories are not meant to be derogatory or condemnatory, but rather, instructive so that the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ might be pure and spotless.
Look to Ephesians 5:25, 26
One Sunday I taught from Psalm 139:13-16 about the miracle of a baby being formed in the womb and that life begins at conception. A doctor in the congregation confronted me after the service with “informed anger” raising his voice and said, “it is not a human baby! It is a fetus!” We had a wonderfully heated discussion☺! Even though he was aggressive, forceful, highly intelligent and intimidating I didn’t back down! You can see why I listed tenacity and determination as traits that are not for the faint of heart!
In the last days of my ministry at Rolling Hills, a lead Elder asked me with a dismissive spirit: “Dale, why are you so concerned about the life of the unborn?” Need I say more?
• INTELLECTUAL FORTITUDE7 to interpret the first three chapters of Genesis with a literal, historical, grammatical, cultural, contextual and common-sense approach. The most attacked chapters in the Bible by atheists and so-called Christians are Genesis 1-3. Why? Because it all rests on origins. I taught an 18-week series on the first 11 chapters of Genesis. If you would like a set of the 18 CD’S (that dates me☺), simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the set with a booklet that outlines the teachings. (The cost $30.00 including shipping.)
A Redemptive Story
People tell me even to this today that they became followers of Christ through my teaching series on Genesis 1-11. I was in Clackamas Town Center here in Oregon and a newly married couple came up to me and the husband said with a smile on his face, “I placed by faith in Jesus Christ during your Genesis series and my life has never been the same.”
A Literal and Grammatical Explanation of Genesis 1:5
“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” The word day is “Yom,” in Hebrew and it is defined and explained in simple language with qualifiers— the light portion of the day and the night portion of the day. The rest of the verse says, “evening and morning,”which is a 24-hour period of time, or a solar day as we know it. To make sure we understand this, God says, “the first day!” It is really that simple unless you are indoctrinated and believe the Darwinian theory of evolution.
“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work” – Genesis 2:2 NLTs
The laws of thermodynamics are the most universal and best-proved generalizations of science, applicable to every process and system of any kind. The First Law stating that no matter or energy is now being created or destroyed. This is what verse 2 is stating. The Second Law stating that all existing matter and energy is proceeding irreversibly toward ultimate equilibrium and cessation of all processes. (See Romans 8:20,21)
We are in the throws of entropy (energy becomes less available) and, therefore, we are moving downhill. If you don’t believe this, simply take a look in the mirror every 6 months or so ☺!
A young father came up to me after one of the services and stated, “I received Christ today! I realize now that I can be a follower of Christ and not have to put my mind on the shelf.” He went on to teach young boys in our congregation the foundations of our faith from Genesis. Isn’t that thrilling!?
A mother approached me after one of my teachings asking for material on Genesis. She said “my daughter asks me so many questions from the Bible… like about dinosaurs, and where did all the races come from? She asks me what the age of the earth is, and I simply tell her we have to trust Jesus.” Christian friends, this will not cut it! I gave her one of the books we sold during the series and she gave it to her daughter who did a report on several aspects of the creation account from a scientific framework. The teacher was so impressed with the report that she asked for the student’s resources. The young student gave her the book and she kept it for three months. Upon returning it the teacher said “I was never taught anything like this.” The book was “In The Beginning” by Walter Brown. “Thank you”, she said. The teacher was not a professing Christian. In all truthfulness, I could recount a litany of redemptive stories, but these specifically came to mind.
“For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy” – Exodus 20:11 NLT
Moses never understood a “day” to mean millions of years. Textually there is no indication that God changed the meaning of the word “yom” as meaning nothing else other than a 24 hour period of time. If he did, I guess God rested and ceased from creative work and sustaining power for millions of years… really?
I had an Elder ask me to stop teaching Genesis because it was offending the Christian science teachers in the congregation. If I had stopped when the Elder asked, the last redemptive story about the daughter writing the paper would not have taken place. This is why it takes intellectual fortitude to keep teaching what the Bible says even when we face difficult subjects or forceful individuals.
I was also challenged by some of the influential leaders to re-adjust my interpretation of Genesis to accommodate the evolutionary hypothesis and acquiesce to the “millions of years” doctrine. I was so disappointed and shocked that such “men of God” would consider me not to be intelligent because I explained the text grammatically and contextually.
• THE STRENGTH8to confront the false theory of evolution with UN-SHRINKING VALOR9.
“3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” – 2 Peter 3:3-4
The foundational principle of evolution—uniformitarianism, is found in this passage. Uniformitarianism means that the same slow geological processes that have gone on in millions of years past are continuing today. This means that creation has been proceeding so slowly over long ages as to be quite unobservable in the mere few thousand years of human records.
5 They deliberately forget [willfully ignorant KJV] that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water” – 2 Peter 3:5 NLT
The phrase “willfully ignorant” in Hebrew also means “choosing with delight and gladness” while embracing this intellectually stimulating idea. They choose to suppress the Truth and find it satisfying to be unaware of the true Creation account as revealed in the first two chapters of Genesis.
A Compromising Story
I remember an Elder at Rolling Hills who was so eager to approach me with great delight and joy, and to introduce me to a Christian author who believed in the day-age theory, (understanding a day means millions of years in Genesis 1). He said, “now I do not have to believe the literal 6-day creation account” that I have been taught over all these years. By the way, he was greatly influenced by his extremely intelligent son who was educated in the sciences.
Friends, Darwinism was never meant to stay in the biological field only but was intended to influence politics, like an evolving constitution, social mores, and sexual identities. As a result, we are constantly evolving in our personal identities and our cultural maturity to keep in step with the times, etc. This Darwinian ideology is now becoming more and more commonplace in our churches. This is manifested in the mentality that we must adjust to the culture by re-adjusting Scripture with regard to gender blending, abortion, and the perverse reversal of what is normal in regard to sexuality.
• THE BOLDNESS10 to clearly define the distortions of the gender movement
A Compromising Story
I have discovered that many pastors believe that the behaviors of the people involved in the gender movement are wrong. Praise God! However, they will not teach what the Bible says from the pulpit for fear of the negative consequences. This is a huge reality for many pastors.
• THE FEARLESSNESS11 to expand the message of the kingdom of God to the public square. This will involve teaching the whole counsel of God, both the Old and the New Testaments. When both are taught, we can intelligently, and confidently, address relevant issues we face.
Here are five of those topics:
1. The Biblical Purpose for Sanctuary Cities —which was for unintentional Homicide (Exodus 21:13, Numbers 35:11) Unlike in other cultures, there is no Sanctuary for Murderers in the Bible (See Exodus 12:14)
2. Is American Slavery supported in the Bible?
No! American Slavery, as well as slavery by Muslims and other countries of the world was called kidnapping in the Bible (See Exodus 21:16)
There is a vast need to clarify the difference for our culture, including the Christian Community who seem to understand slavery (American style) as “biblical”. The Bible describes indentured servitude not forced abuse and mistreatment of humans.
Because of the raging arguments and misunderstandings of what the Bible teaches about American Slavery, I will take the space to write a few salient points here, but I am following up with a more expansive explanation in my next article posted, Does the Bible Condone American Slavery?
Even people in the Christian Community have been taught incorrectly that “American Slavery” is supported from the text of Scripture, especially now with all the attention given to racism. When you hear people say this, politely ask them to show you in the Bible where it justifies slavery? Wait for an intelligent response. If they provide none then ask them to research the Scripture with you and invite them into a discussion.
If the Bible was to support “American Slavery” it would go against the basic tenets found throughout the whole of Scripture that speaks of God’s righteous judgment, justice, morality, and righteousness in general. A Holy Loving God would never condone American Slavery and like Exodus 21 teaches, kidnapping is the equivalent to American Slavery and the perpetrators were to receive the death penalty under Torah Law. Torah is the only ancient law code that includes a punishment for mistreating a slave (Exodus 21:26). That surely does not indicate that God or the Bible condones American slavery!
For a most thorough treatment of this huge issue, along with an explanation of “an eye for an eye,” justice I recommend Dennis Prager’s Commentary Exodus: God, Slavery, and Freedom, pages 279-310. Our second oldest grandson and I have spent hours discussing the contents of his commentary. Simply profound!
Some points about people in the past misusing the Bible to justify slavery
Because people in the past misinterpreted the Bible, or misapplied it with regard to race, does not mean that people today are systemically racist. It also clearly does not mean that the Bible must be condoning something like slavery.
In addition, not all people in the past have misused the Bible or taught the Bible incorrectly. We simply hear this over and over again without clear historical records of such behavior. What happened in the past without original sources can and does lead to ideologues propounding they’re dogma to a modern generation that is becoming woefully ignorant.
It seems like much of the Social Justice Movement relishes looking at the past sins of America in order to justify their outrage. The proponents immediately conclude that racism is happening today without objective, verifiable and ‘proven until found guilty’ facts. Look to my article Social Justice and Manhood, and the definitions of Diffusion and Cognitive Dissonance. It is easy for all of us to let the past determine our behaviors and ideologies in the present. I think whether you are supporting or opposing the SJM, we all must live and make decisions in the here and now, and learn from the past but not to be held hostage for past evil actions.
In addition, because someone misused the Bible in the past does not make me guilty today, or that society today is guilty and white people in particular are culpable (deserving blame). We are simply not responsible for past atrocities like slavery, the holocaust, the Civil War, etc. However, I am responsible when I see injustices and I make efforts to bring biblical equality to the table. This is why verifying the facts is crucial, and allowing judicial justice to determine guilt or innocence is essential. Unfortunately, we now live in an era of ‘media justice.’
3. Equal justice meted out in criminal cases. “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly” – Leviticus 19:15 NLT
4. Sanitary principles that are still applicable today: (Look to my article, March 5, 2020, Coronavirus: Is cleanliness Really next to Godliness?)
In Torah, God gave sanitation instructions like washing one’s hands in running water (Numbers 19), burying one’s excrement outside the city (Deuteronomy 23:12, 13), digging wells so they would have their own water supply, (Proverbs 6:15,16), quarantining people when they were sick (Numbers 5:1-4), and burying the dead by night fall so as not to be contaminated (Deuteronomy 21:23).
I just listened to a presentation by the founder of charitywater.org and the profound effect clean water has on the lives of tens of millions of people. Check it out and perhaps you will give to this powerful organization. By the way, the provision of clean water is coming from the water from the wells they dig. Hello, they are following a biblical principle without even knowing it, and realizing it is saving millions of lives. Don’t you love the wisdom found in Torah?
5. The moral success of a society does not depend on children loving parents; it does depend on children honoring parents (Exodus 20:12), “Honor your father and mother.” The breakdown of the biblical family structure is a major tactic of the enemy and what better place than to ravish the hearts and minds of parents and their children.
The answers that the whole Bible provides are positively staggering in regard to the relevance to our present-day culture.
• THE BACKBONE12 to move against the tide of cultural opinion.
There is a general malaise (a general feeling of discomfort) in regard to being distinct from the culture.
• the role of women in the church (1 Timothy 2:12)
• teaching from the pulpits God’s view of deviant lifestyles (Romans 1:18-26; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
• the vital instructions to exercise discipline in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:1-13)
• to produce verifiable disciples that are reproducers, (2 Timothy 2:2)
• to explain the prophetic (future prophecies and signs) portions of Scripture
3 God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church,
and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.” – Revelation 1:3 NLT
• THE METTLE13 to speak up and define what biblical masculinity looks like and not be swayed by the feminist culture in and outside the church.
A Redemptive Story
A first-time single mother with three girls came to me after one of the services while standing in the atrium and asked: “Dale, will this church teach about biblical masculinity? I want my girls to marry strong men. I am not into all this feminized Christianity.” Is that refreshing or what?!
• THE MORAL FIBER14 to teach the whole counsel of God
• THE GUTS15to teach the rough side of Christ, as well as the tender dispositions of Jesus Christ. Most of the general public and even the evangelical church camp on the sensitive side of Christ instead of the tough side of Jesus Christ and His teachings. It makes me wonder what New Testament they are reading.
• THE AUDACITY16 to take risks by moving into situations of liminality (disorientations from established security) that call for leadership and the NERVE17to influence one’s friends, the leadership to change the ethos of an organization—a church or institution. Also, the Pioneer Spirit18 to forge something new out of which the old has gone astray from biblical truth. I call this SPIRITUAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP19! We are missing this, by and large in Christendom, and thus have lost our voice in the public square. We have institutionalized, or completely marginalized the apostolic, the prophetic, and the evangelistic functions. We have made them offices rather than Spirit led dynamic tasks. I believe our congregations are replete with these godly influencers, but we don’t teach these truths and we do not release people to accomplish these God ordained responsibilities. I have written on these functions found in Ephesians 4:7-16.
An example of an Apostolic idea:
While at Rolling Hills I suggested to the youth pastors and the executive pastor that we stop our youth group after students’ sophomore year in school. We would then start a two-year training and teaching ministry on how to prepare them for the ideological challenges they would be facing in college or the marketplace. I suggested we inform their parents of our intentions and ask them to participate. I also said in one year we would have kids and parents standing in line to participate in the Rolling Hills Youth Group! But it will take some moral fiber to stay committed and strong when things don’t look like they are succeeding.
Without equivocation (no reservation) they said NO. The reason? We will lose our youth group, kids won’t show up, that would be too difficult for the youth, and what about the non-Christian kid?
By the way 70% of our youths in our churches today will never set foot in the church again after they go to college. It is an old adage but still true:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.
I was the second to oldest staff member presenting an apostolic idea that was resoundingly rejected. By the way, in a matter of two years the youth group dwindled to virtually nothing.
When I was a youth pastor in San Clemente, after 5 years of ministry, over 109 students went on to full-time ministry. It takes nerve to go against the norm, but the results tip the scale for righteousness!
There are many more character traits that I could identify as masculine but let me revisit one from above—”mettle.” One of my favorite verses on leadership is found in Luke 9:51 “As the time approached for Him to be taken to heaven, Jesus resolutely ‘set his face like a flint’ toward Jerusalem.” This was a dramatic turning point in Christ’s ministry where He demonstrates tenacious fortitude, the unflinching “mettle” with a face as hard as flint, (look to Isaiah 50:7) focused on Mt. Zion! His base of operation was no longer Galilee, now his sights were set on Jerusalem, the cross, the resurrection and His ascension. Nothing would dissuade Him. This is the God-Man Jesus Christ our LORD. Oh, may His tribe increase in modern evangelicalism —this is Almighty masculinity on display!
1. Go back over the 19-Character Traits and decide the top five that you purpose to take ground in by integrating them in your growth with Christ.
2. A variety of people are using my teaching articles in their small groups as well as sending them out to people. Would you please consider doing this also?
3. Write articles and post them on your blog or via your email lists, etc. about Biblical concepts that are germane to the challenges we face. You will discover that you will “be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke (convince KJV) those who contradict it” – Titus 1:9 ESV
Here are more churches that I am aware of in the Portland Area that are not compromising the Word of God in regard to the SJM and teach the Word of God.
• Eastridge Church, 14100 SE Sunnyside Rd, Clackamas, OR 97015. 503-855-3970.
Please send me the names of other Churches in the area that are teaching “sound doctrine.”
In the Strong Name of Christ,