“Toxic masculinity” is another buzz phrase invented by the Left that allegedly applies to misbehaving men. The discussion is intended to cast a wider net than the unsuspecting may realize. The feminization of America has been a work in progress for decades, and its tentacles have even found their way into the church. Fuzzy, warm, good feeling music has replaced “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” “Hold the Fort,” “Stand Up for Jesus,” and dozens of other hymns that indicate the body of Christ should be an advancing army. It’s not a coincidence that evangelism has suffered because soul winning is not a passive act!
A few years ago I was the guest speaker in a church of several hundred people. It was a Sunday morning service and the usual modern praise songs were being utilized. I occupied a place on the front row in anticipation of being called to the platform to speak. During the song service I indelicately turned around to watch the congregation and could not identify one man over the age of fifty who participated in the music. Many stood with their arms folded, harboring a facial expression of disapproval. When I later made a joke about my curiosity concerning the necessity for the drummer to be enclosed in a Plexiglas cage, the only people that laughed were the old guys –the toxic bunch who have labored in obscurity, paid their taxes, raised families, sent kids to college, coached Little League, and been bedrock members of their community. That group may not always be able to identify every incursion into their traditional masculinity, but they know it is under attack, and they don’t like it.
The word “toxic” shall continue to assume as many shades as necessary to paint a poisonous picture of conventional males. The Bible grants no liberty for vacillating definitions which explains in part why it has its own assailants. Biblical masculinity is demanding, requiring its adherents to be spiritually minded, hard workers, warriors when necessary, protecting families and nation, principled, willing to exercise tough love but with capacity to forgive and be tender and loving toward their wives and kind to the feminine gender in general. That man understands that God made men and women different physically and emotionally for obvious reasons which are thoroughly explained in the Word of God, and he doesn’t resent but only respects the Lord’s wisdom in His creations. His confidence in who and what he is irritates those who want him to be something else.
If the masculinity that inspired seventy-seven Minutemen to face seven hundred Redcoats on the plain of Lexington was toxic, then please Lord, give us more of this concoction of courage. Grand us more preachers like Pastor Clark who as Bancroft states: “Among the most alert was…the minister with gun in hand, his powder-horn and pouch of balls slung over his shoulder. By his sermons and his prayers, he had so hallowed the enthusiasm of his flock that they held the defense of their liberties a part of their covenant with God; his presence with arms strengthened their sense of duty. Under the eye of the minister…Lexington Common was alive with the Minute Men.” It’s difficult to imagine a church full of folks discussing their “feelings” that would arise to such an occasion.
David Avery was one of those many thousands of impressionable youths who went to hear George Whitefield out of curiosity, only to return a born-again believer. Having surrendered to the ministry, he graduated from Yale College and was ordained in 1773. He later moved to Gaysboro, Vermont, and assumed the pastorate of the local Congregational church. When news of Lexington and Concord reached his sleepy community, Pastor Avery shocked his flock by resigning his position to join the army as a chaplain. As he marched out of town for Boston, twenty of his former parishioners, having chosen him as their captain, followed closely with muskets on their shoulders.
On the morning of the battle, Chaplain Avery performed a most unusual service for his country. Headley describes the holy scene: “In the battle of Bunker Hill, this brave, godly man stood on Bunker Hill in full sight of the conflict, and as Moses, who stood on the hill and held up his hands that Joshua might smite the Amalekites, so he, while the adjacent heights and shores were shaking to the thunder of cannon, and the flames of burning Charlestown were rolling heavenward, lifted up his hands and prayed that God would give victory to the Americans. Breed’s Hill (where the battle actually took place), dimly seen through the rolling smoke of battle, amid which flashed the deadly vollies, and gleamed the glittering lines, and in the background this patriotic divine, with upraised hands beseeching Heaven for victory, would make an appropriate picture of that bloody prelude to the revolution.”
This face of fortitude is not a forgery. It is often disdained, mislabeled and the target of scorn, but in times of great adversity and distress it is those men who know how to shoulder the weight of Biblical masculinity who are sought out. They do not need crying rooms, nor are they ever confused about which bathroom to use. They are the Navy Seals and the Army Rangers of society. Those who despise them are the same who need them most to provide protection when they march and protest their own safety net.