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November 16, 2023
Session 4: Pastoral Q & A
Philip De Courcy, Mike Fabarez, Owen Strachan, and Andrew Rodgers
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Entrust 2023, The War on Men: Building Biblical Masculinity within the Church, sheds light on the crucial, God-given, biblically defined role men play in society, the home, and the church. We see the detrimental effects of the absence of men retreating within society and abandoning the home. Explore the cultural and general impact of dismissing masculine traits, understand the importance of confident, courageous, and clear-headed men, and delve into the biblical teaching of masculinity.

More From This Series

Transcript

Good afternoon, everybody. Well, we have a few questions. I think to kick it off is simply this. If you cook and eat bacon, is that manly?

Not the cooking part, but the eating of it’s manly.

What if it’s turkey bacon?

Yeah, I eat turkey bacon. So I got to say it’s manly or else I’m not manly. So yeah.

Owen disagrees.

No, turkey bacon is not manly.

Okay. We just need to get that out of the way.

Okay. It’s not bacon. There you go.

All right. Well, seriously, some of the questions that have come in, here’s one, what role does the church have in developing men within our present society? What specific ways can we develop biblical men in our church and in our home? So the role and specific ways.

I’ll kick that off with one way just to make it easy for myself and piggyback off my message. I think one of the primary ways you and I can promote, accelerate, and develop a culture of biblical manhood in the church, which is necessary because we can’t control the culture. We hope to influence it and salt it, but man will wax worse and worse. My eschatology informs me that society will rumble from one mistake to another mistake and even get worse as we bump up against Jesus’ return. But the church is the counterculture and I post of God’s kingdom and as I took my model, I think one of the best ways a church can develop biblical manhood is to make sure that we protect and promote men and leadership. I think that’s the biblical model we’re compliment carrying here at Kindred men only as pastors.

I could make an argument for women deaconesses, but at our church, it’s man. So when someone comes to Kindred at the most basic level, they’re encountering godly man, strong man, a biblical man, men who are unafraid to be a man in the life of the church. And that’s why we have find a good balance in our church. I’ve been the Mike’s church, it’s the same. We are not a women-driven church. We are not a women-dominated church. We have a growing culture of men in our church because they see it from the top down. So for me, one of the primary way, is if everything… If leadership runs downhill and influence runs downhill, I think the best way is to make sure that your church is governed by qualified biblical men and leadership. And that sets the temperature and the tone for the rest of the church. Any other ways, guys?

No, I think in terms of society, you’re right. We don’t control society, but I think the church certainly affects society even on a individual case by case man standing up in an office, being strong, setting the pace. I’ve been a part of secular classrooms where just one Christian standing up for what is right, you find out other people who didn’t have the courage to stand up, others have stood up with him. I remember myself in college at a secular college, just being able to state what is right, to take a leadership role and watch other people come out of the shadows and do the same. So in workplaces, you think about all the workplaces that are represented by the thousands of men representing our churches, if they really take their job seriously and reflect masculinity in a proper biblical way, that is contagious and I think people start to step up to that standard.

I love what these brothers have said. I would just say yeah, a church that is warm. These two men are both convictional pastors, but they’re also warm pastors. They’re genuine shepherds. And so a church that has warm men, not cold men, not men who make you feel weird or unwanted or those kinds of things. But I think what warm men do, whether they’re a pastor or not, whether they ever serve in ministry or not, but in a church, they spread a culture of discipleship, not by virtue of necessarily one program or another, but just by virtue of caring about men and women alike, but in terms of manhood and raising up the next generation training disciples.

And that’s really what’s missing from our society. Our society has no even secular form of discipleship, if you will, but it especially needs Christian discipleship. So here’s an encouraging word in the midst of a lot of darkness. The market is wide open. Lots of young men have no one speaking into their life in a good way, no one training them, no father in the home. So here is an incredible, brothers, an incredible evangelistic and missional moment for the church to reach out to young men.

We just saw that recently here at Kindred where we baptized a man, a Jewish guy who’s the lead psychologist in Orange County who determines in most murder cases or cases of that level, whether the person who’s claiming insanity is insane. He’s been married to a Christian woman for many, many years and just recently got saved and we baptized him and he talked about it in the baptismal testimony that what he loved about this was a culture of man. He came to a church where he didn’t feel awkward in his masculinity. The men were warm, we talked life, we talked family, we talked sports, we talked politics, we talked Christ. He started going to our men’s [inaudible 00:06:02].

He started going to a small group and the men in that small group, again, loved on him. They didn’t come across as weird. They came across as men with their lives together, moving in interaction, things that appealed to him immediately as a man, which Mike is talking about, and then but he saw in our case, it was Christ driving it and Christ defining it. And we find here at Kindred, I’m sure it’s the same elsewhere like Compass, the women of this church love the fact that we’re led by unashamed men because they find that attractive for their own man and they’re not frightened to bring their man to church because, again, they know from just interacting with our guys, their men are not going to feel awkward.

And I would just add to that, if your church, and there’s certain things obviously that are reserved biblically for men, but there are other areas that you could go either way. And yet to put men in those positions, whether it’s ushering or parking lot or MCing or reading scripture, whatever it is, you could make a case where, “Does this have to be a man?” But when it is a man, I think the men not only respond better to that in the congregation, but the women, as you said, particularly regenerate women, that’s a strong, safe place. It’s something that they cherish that. So you feminize your church, you’ll win some blue-haired women that’ll like that, but you masculinize, you make a more masculine church, you’re going to win not only men, but you’ll win a lot of the women too.

The word toxic, it’s… You’re not going to find it in a concordance, by the way. It’s a word that’s been created by a secular world. It’s thrown around a lot. And like with many terms, people throw it around without actually knowing what it means. Matter of fact, one of the definitions is, you’re in a relationship where you give more than you get. So that’s pretty much all of Christians. I mean, that’s just how loose this definition is. But it’s getting thrown around a lot. And so one of the questions is, why do you think the culture always likes to attach the word toxic to the word masculinity?

Well, I mean, theologically, men love darkness more than light. And so just in a general scheme of things, the man is such a defined and important role in creation and then within the church that those who love darkness don’t like the exposure of true masculinity. And so they will attack it. And then I think Owen talked on it, it’s a worldview issue. I mean, there are worldviews from feminism to Marxism that are being unleashed in our society and they… To achieve their ends, they’ve got the steam roller and flattened men. And so whether it’s toxic, it’s just a pejorative term they use to attack that which exposes them, that which opposes them, that which gets in their evil way and fights against God’s rule within society.

Yeah, well said. Satan hates strong manhood. Satan recognizes, I think, that if he can take down strong men, he’s won. Basically game over, at least in societal terms. And so the lie that feminism and wokeness and Marxism and psychotherapy and different forms all say today is that if we do away with strong manhood, the world will heal. Everybody will be nice. There won’t be any imperialism or patriarchy or oppression or injustice. We’ll just be nice to each other. I’m putting this in a slightly humorous form, but honestly this is… For example, in terms of CEOs and leadership and business culture, all the rage, as some of you know, is on the side of inclusivity and group buy-in. This has even infected soccer teams and pro sports where the manager can’t really be a manager anymore. He’s got kind of be the one who shapes and is at the mercy of group consensus.

And what we’ve got to say is, of course, a godly man is open to reason and humble and et cetera and so on. But fundamentally, all of these movements work against strong manhood and that’s because strong men are the ones who stand against the evil men in the world. Strong men are what are keeping the world okay. If you take away strong men, it’s not going to be the case that everybody is now nice. It’s going to be the case that the evil men only are worse and worse and worse. So Satan hates all of that and Satan has good reason to hate it because strong manhood is what crushed his head at the cross.

Yeah, toxic, you used the word pejorative. That’s all it is. And you said it in your session this morning, masculinely manhood is wrong in their eyes. I mean, if I said, “I got something for you to drink here, it’s toxic.” Well, it just means you don’t want it. It’s bad, it’s corrosive. And you’ve said it well, God has set up a structure the world doesn’t like because Satan doesn’t like it. He’s the God of this world. Second Corinthians 4:4, 1 John 5, God rules over this place and we’re living in it as a counterculture. Therefore, we got to get used to the countercultural value of men should lead.

Men have to be decisive, men have to exercise dominion. Men have to be authoritative in several situations. Look at the motifs in scripture. How many of them are about war? How many of them about fighting? I mean, the weapons of our warfare, not weapons of the world, but they’re weapons for the right hand and for the left. Destroying strongholds, tearing down every argument that raises itself up against God, that’s not nice. There’s nothing about… There’s no call in your life to be nice. There’s call in your life to be loving and love often has to make decisions that your family doesn’t like, that your kids don’t like. We just have to get back to what God says and we got to care about that and care a whole lot less about what the culture thinks.

Amen. Now, again, the world is using that term, it’s not a biblical word and it certainly doesn’t have a biblical definition to it. However, at the same time, there are certainly sinful ways in which we can express masculinity and kind of do it under the banner of godly masculinity, but we can express it sinfully. So how do we define that? What might it look like? And then I think that the last thing would be then, how do we guard our hearts from it?

Now, let me take that first. Authority, power, anything muscular, anything strong can be used for self-aggrandizement, for self-service. And that’s why I briefly talked about we’re not dictators in our homes, but we have to be the authoritarian. There has to be an enforcer. There has to be someone that’s going to set the rules and keep them and make sure they’re kept. So I’m either using my masculinity, my strength in my home to promote good and do what’s right and do what’s best both in society and in my household, or I’m using that for self-aggrandizing.

You talk about Tate, that these pictures of the just continual self-promotion and self-satisfaction, that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to do something to better our society. That’s a common grace. Your workplace should be doing something good. It’s gainful employment for the good of society and your leadership in your home is not for your own good. It’s not so you can build your man cave and just hang out and do your own thing. It’s about, “I want to leave my kids better, I want to leave my wife better, leave my church better, I want to leave society better.” And that’s where I think we use the strength of manhood for a better cause. And soon as it turns toward me, I want to serve myself, well, then that obviously is not biblical masculinity.

Yeah, you don’t have to go to secular therapy to find the resources, as Mike just well-said, to coach men into godly manhood. You think about, I’ll just take one text, 1 Peter 3, one to seven, which has admittedly six verses that shape godly women’s behavior and that really matters. And by the way, we can’t only talk to men and we can’t only punch men in the arm. We have to help women understand biblical womanhood and we can’t sugarcoat that. I think actually a lot of younger women in particular want the strong stuff. They want to hear a pastor stand up with some courage and say, “Here’s biblical womanhood. This may sound kind of strongly counter-cultural to you, and it may be that way, but here’s some truth I need to give you.” In the same way, though, men have to understand that God calls us to live with our wives in an understanding way.

So there you go. What a call out of anything that could be called toxicity and into kindness, tenderness, gentleness, love, being a good listener, not being like the guy in the Klondike commercial where his wife starts talking, the ten-second timer starts, his knee starts bouncing, and then when he listens successfully to her for 10 seconds, he gets a Klondike bar. And there’s cheering and people high five him and that sort of thing. No, you have to do a lot of empathizing and a lot of listening and a lot of locking in and not a lot of jumping right to the solution and all the things we all know very well if we’ve been married for longer than six minutes. So the resources to not be toxic are already abundantly laid out in scripture. We men stumble in many ways. The good news is, the spirit’s working in us to make us more like Christ.

I have a lot of questions now about the guy that might come to church with a Klondike shirt, just kind of wonder how he got that. How about this? How do we lead our homes when our wives oppose and in particular godly approaches to parenting?

It’s funny, you used the word understanding from the text. That’s a translation of Ginosko to know I live with your wife in a knowing way, you’re supposed to understand. And I think there’s a lot of understanding we should have even about when our wife is sinning or our children are sinning and they’re not wanting to conform harmoniously to what scripture says, that ought to be my only concern. Am I going to hear well done from God about what I’m demanding in my household? And so I need to understand even when my wife is sinning, not just when she’s the who she is, different than me, and I want to make sure I’m loving her in an understanding and in a insightful way. But why is my wife opposing this? What is her concern? And sometimes you just got to realize, some of your concern is because of your proclivities as a female or maybe just because of who knows what, but we’re going to do what we have to, what we’re supposed to do.

And yeah, is that going to cause disagreement? Of course. Godliness in a household doesn’t mean there’s not disagreement. It can be vehement disagreement about things, but you as the final authority in your home are going to have to impose some standards for how you raise your children. And those, it may come… It may be hard fought, but you have to do that and you have to insist upon it and then let the chips fall. Because all you want is peace, and that’s the problem with a lot of men in their home. “All they want is peace. I want my wife to be happy.” Happy wife, happy life is what they say, and it’s absurd. What I want is a godly home, and sometimes that’s going to take some coaxing, some winning, some discipleship, some pulling along to get my wife to get there. But even if she doesn’t get there, I want to hear well done from God.

So I’m going to have to say, “Well, we’re going to have to do this.” And there’s been a lot of disappointment like that in my marriage and I’m sure in all of our marriages where we have to say, “This is what… We’re going to do this. This is what we’re going to do.” Now, some men are so emasculated in their homes, they would think, “Then I would be moving out tonight because my wife’s not going to have it.” Well, that’s probably the compounding of a lot of other problems and mistakes that led to that.

But I would hope if I went home tonight and said to my wife, “This is what we’re doing, we’re going to do it,” and I know she didn’t want to do it right, she’s going to say, “Okay.” It’ll be an icy evening, but at least she knows if I say, “This is what we’re going to do for our kids,” that’s what we’re going to do for our kids. So there’s a lot just in developing leadership and trust in your wife’s life, but in the end of the day, does this please God, this decision I’m trying to put through as it relates to how I raise my kids?

Yeah, I mean, I think just piggybacking off what Mike said, I mean, her opposition, if we assume in the question that what the guy’s doing is biblical and right, her opposition to it, her dragging her heels on it mustn’t paralyze you from doing what’s right and you trust God to honor you as you honor Him. And ultimately, again, it depends on the level of opposition or disagreement. You’ve got a greater issue than her disagreeing with your parenting. Something’s going on there. If you’ve properly understood the word of God and you’ve properly applied it and you’ve sought to do it with humility and with balance, and she opposes that, you’ve got a bigger issue.

She’s either out of step with the Lord, she’s got an unregenerate heart, and it’s going to show this issue will simply manifest and it’s something bigger that needs to be addressed. And at that point, you redefine what it is, deliver the nonbeliever. Or you maybe flip, 1 Peter 3, where the woman is encouraged in certain ways. Here’s what you’ve got to do when you’re living with a husband that doesn’t obey the word. Well, I don’t know, whatever some of that truth could be to flip, here’s what you’ve got to do when you have a wife that doesn’t obey the word. But the main thing is, you can’t… As Mike said, you can’t surrender the ground. You can’t not do what God has called you to do. And hopefully, as you talk her through that, lead her gently but firmly, you’re uncompromising in what you do, in God’s grace and providence, you would trust that the product of what you’re producing in the life of your child will be a challenge to her as she sees the scripture work and the law of God’s perfect law produce good results.

Is there ever a point that you involve others from the church?

Absolutely. I don’t know exactly what the trigger point is. It wouldn’t be the first thing you would do, but at some point when prayer and patience and providence has unfolded, it could be bringing another woman in that she’s either friendly with or trusts. It could be bringing a church leader in, going to see a pastor, I don’t know. But certainly there’s that growing up in stature together. There’s that leaning on each other. But that would… You’d want to do that in a way that it doesn’t seem you’re tattle tailing and running to get her into trouble, but, “Hey, we can do better than this. We should do better than this. Let’s invite others who can help us do better.”

I hope you’re not insisting on a lot of things with your wife, and I think if this is just another thing you’re insisting on, I think she can be very selective about what she agrees to. But I think most men here probably want to please their wives and we’d like to do what they want. And I think if you’re insisting on what to watch and where to eat and what time you eat, well, then of course when you insist that you’re not going to let your teenage kids stay home from church or you say they’re going to go to church, she sees it’s just another thing you insist upon. I think most of… I think my pattern is, I don’t insist on very much at all, but when I insist on something, that gets her intention. Like, if I say if I save on a 529 plan to send my kid to college and they’re out of my house, but they’re still under my financial support and my college kid says, “I’m not going to church while I’m in college,” and my wife is tempted to say, “Oh, it’s okay,” and I say, “No.”

Parenting principle, I’m not supporting my child, even if they’re out of my house, if my money is paying for their college tuition, he’s going to go to church or I’m going to pull his money. I can see that, and that has been. I just picked that because a counseling situation that we encounter from time to time, I would say you insist on it. And you insist on it, I hope not as a pattern of insisting on everything. There’s very few things you insist, but you’re going to insist on that. And then you pull someone else in on it, that’s going to be a hard situation. But I would say I hope you can settle that as a man in your own home. And I would love to convince my wife. But at the end of the day, if my wife and I disagreed on that, I would have to say, “I insist, we’re not… We’re pulling his money. I guess he’s going to either have to work and put himself through college or he’s coming home.”

Because those are the kinds of principles we knew from the time they were children. Our kids are going to go to church. They’re going to eat out of our refrigerator, they’re going to church. Well, they may be eating out of their refrigerator in a dorm, but I’m paying for everything in his refrigerator. You got to go to church. And I just use one example to put flesh on this problem. To me, that’s a Christian parenting principle, my wife doesn’t agree. And I think she’s always going to tend to, most women, to capitulate toward, “I want to be nice, I want to be kind. I want to be understanding.” And we’re saying, “Well, there is a limit here, and we just stepped over the limit. I insist that we do that.” And at least for my wife, she didn’t hear that very often. But when she does, “Oh, okay, that’s a big deal.”

Yeah, and if the house is an absolute stink fest most of the time and you don’t have good marital dynamics and you’re not trying to win her, there’s not a lot of warmth in the relationship, and yet you’re thinking that your iron decrees are going to be handed down from on high, I don’t know that that’s going to go very well. We all stumble here. You don’t want to be scared of your wife or something like that, but you do need to be a Christ-like husband. I mean, this is a big deal to love your wife as Christ loves the church, love as many facets and dimensions. It doesn’t just mean throw roses in her direction and follow her around the house, cooing in her ear, but it does mean a real warmth. And I’m concerned with the younger generation online and some of the patriarchy movement out there.

There’s some very good voices in that world. I am concerned, though, that I see a generation of young men who are getting a vision for leading in their home. In a lot of cases, they haven’t seen that and it hasn’t been done well, and they’re like, “I want to do the Bible thing. I’m going to lead.” And I give thanks to God for that to a degree, I really do. But I am concerned that they might interpret that call as hand down edicts and then their job is done. When in reality, husband and dad is doing a lot more, I would say, winning his wife, winning his kids.

Your wife is not like your kids, but there is a corollary where you’re trying to shovel a lot of love into that relationship so that when the hard words come in, there’s something in the bank, and that child doesn’t despise you for that. Your wife’s not a child at all, but there is a principle there of, “I’m trying to win this woman’s heart.” You hear the stories about the guys who give their wife a rose every day for 40 years, and we all get shamed by that as husbands because we don’t do that. But whatever we specifically do to love our wife, men, especially young men, we’ve got to make sure we don’t only try to lead, we’ve got to make sure we love her.

Yeah, and I want to underscore this because Owen’s so well-read when he talks about this emergent patriarchy movement, you’ve got to know that nothing we’re saying here from this platform is about that. These young guys are getting turned onto this idea of men as leaders in the home and they’re becoming dictators in their household. That patriarchy movement is bad. So if you don’t even know what he’s talking about, you will hear more and more about it. People from your church will say, “Well, I want to be the man. I need to be the leader.”

And they’re becoming little despots in their home. That is not what we’re talking about when we talk about manning up in our household. We have to make a distinguishing distance from that. That is not what we’re saying. And like I tried to say, I want to please my wife. I hope you want to please your wife. My wife wants to do something different for dinner night, man, let’s have at it. I want her to be happy, but we have limits in terms of what we say. This has to happen because God wants our family to do this. And her tendency’s always going to be toward niceness. Niceness is not the goal. Godliness is the goal.

Owen, could you talk for one minute, what about the patriarchy movement? Who are the leaders? What’s its source? I mean, kick a couple of minutes on that.

Yeah, very quickly, the figure most associated with it is Doug Wilson out of Moscow, Idaho, Canon Press, and Christchurch? I think it’s Christchurch. And Wilson has taken some good stands, and Wilson has said some good things, and I’ve read his manhood book, Future Men, for example, and derived some real wisdom from it. So let us not hear this in a burndown kind of way, but nonetheless, I’m concerned especially with how the rising generation is hearing Wilson and is receiving Wilson, again, out of a context of, in many cases, brokenness and dad out of the home and not strong churches and godly manhood not being balanced in the way that these men have been talking about. And so there can be a situation where the young men hear that call to patriarchal leadership and the young men can arm up in that, but instead of a godly boldness, it can end up being a brashness.

And I honestly fear for women and children in these homes because authority is a very serious thing to have. It needs to be stewarded really well, as Mike said very well just a few minutes ago, and I’m concerned that there are men who think that really what the Bible teaches is patriarchy. And so if I am just kind of the serious leader of this home, that’s the deal. And wife and children just line up wherever I say to line up and I run this home.

And any challenge to my authority, any disagreement on matters, wife wanting to go to a different restaurant than me, that’s open rebellion and I will not tolerate it. That’s going to break the family down where we stand. Again, that’s not where all those men are. That’s not what all of them say. I’m concerned with how it’s being lived out and heard, and I see real problems with that. Last thing I’ll say, I’m going on here. We can’t so react to feminism that we end up overreacting. We can’t so react to woke feminism that we end up genuinely bad men. We’ve got to be balanced men, which is probably the hardest thing to do as a Christian, to be balanced. But we’ve got to be strong, but loving. We can’t be one or the other.

That’s good.

Yeah, finding the biblical middle. So last question. This one is probably the most difficult because it comes with a restriction. Yes or no? Can a man become a woman?

No.

Well, as-

I told you it was going to be difficult.

To quote Philip’s favorite most quotable person, John MacArthur, John MacArthur once said that he was a man trapped in a woman’s body, but then he was born.

That’s good.

I’m going to steal that one.

That’s a good note to end on right there, yeah. So Philip, do you want me to go ahead and close in prayer?

Yeah, sure.

All right, let’s close and prayer. Father God, we come before you, again, we’re needy people. We do depend on you and as men, we need to show that. We need to show that we are dependent on you. We’ve created in your image to bear your image, and to depend on you for all counsel, all wisdom, all strength, all help, and we need it. Help us to be men who lead in prayer. Help us be men who lead and depending on you and depending on one another, and developing community, whether in our homes and within our churches, for the glory of your name.

Father, we are grateful for the calling that you have given to us to be men and to be men of God as children of you. Help us to recognize that as a, not only is it a responsibility, it’s a huge privilege to do that. So help us to lead in the proclamation of your son and help us to lead people into the worship of you as Father, and help us to do it in the ways that you have prescribed for us to do it, striking a balance and being faithful. And as a result, then may you glorify yourself as we continue to abide in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.