Evangelicals & Effeminacy
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 [emphasis mine]
A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 22:5
Be strong and show yourself a man. 1 Kings 2:2b
Definition: ef·fem·i·nate/iˈfemənit/Adjective: derogatory. (of a man) Having or showing characteristics regarded as typical of a woman; unmanly.
As promised, today’s blog post will address the vexing and ever-growing cancer in today’s professing Evangelical Church. I believe this malady to be far more damaging and crippling to the Church than female non-submissiveness could ever be. By God’s design, man always has been the nexus of whether God’s human experiment would fail or succeed.
The fact the entire human race fell into moral corruption because Adam, not Eve, ate in disobedience can not be overstated. I would submit it is wholly defensible to postulate sin does not enter the record if only Eve disobeys the Creator’s command to not eat from the forbidden tree. Yet, the very moment Adam ate, our destiny was etched in stone.
In a very real sense, I would submit that the first materialization of effeminacy came forth when Adam failed to respond in a manner consistent with God’s creative decree. We would come to know later by God’s progressive revelation God created Eve with innate characteristics that made her the weaker vessel (1:Peter 3:7). My choice of words is by no means meant to be a slight or demeaning to the fairer sex; it is just a somber recounting of the condition God reveals the distinction between man and woman to be.
God created Adam with the mandate to lead and protect; God created women to excel as nurturers. By no means am I suggesting women have no leadership tendencies or that men can never be nurturers. History and vast human experience, to include my own, are replete with examples of both exceptions to the norm. No, I am only advocating the normative manner God created each gender to His glory.
Yes, it is accurate to posit that God gave both Adam and Eve dominion over every other created entity. Still, it is indisputable that Adam had a first among equals role and responsibility in this dominion mandate. I submit this it is no coincidence that God reveals the Serpent's character as the most crafty of the field (Genesis 3:1).
Because of his craftiness, the Serpent knew just where to strike. Satan struck at the soft underbelly of the male/female creation dynamic. Yet if Adam exhibited the characteristic that King David exhorted to son Solomon in 1 King 2:2, then you know what we have; we have no harm, no foul because the Word of God indicates:
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus spread to all men, because all sinned. Romans 5:12 [emphasis mine]
If Adam had been strong and shown himself to be a man, Adam would have assumed a leadership posture and corrected Eve’s misconceptions. Sadly, our society has continued on a downward spiral ever since. I submit there is direct line causation to the pathology the African American community is experiencing. The African American community has an outsized pathology in the number of abortions, the number of occupants in the criminal system, the number of homicides, the number of fatherless homes, the number of high school drop-outs, and I am confident the list could go on and on. Simply due to the lack of African American males exhibiting true biblical manhood.
I do not want to contribute or be part of a movement where the Church adopts measures that the Bible never objectively identifies as authentic masculinity. I will have no part of a movement that seeks to stigmatize erroneous and boorish portrayal of masculinity with appeals to allegedly masculine activities like the love of sports, worldly display of aggression, or the affinity for outdoor adventure as just three examples of many that one could artificially classify as truly manly interactions.
So, if it is fair to ask at this point, what does the Bible have in mind when it condemns the practice of effeminacy. I would submit that effeminacy entails more than an inerrant sexual orientation; it materializes when males do not conform to their reality consistent with God’s gender intention.
In The Grace of Shame, Tim and Joseph Bayly and Jurgen Von Hagen comment,
The effeminate or soft men sin not only when they play the women in bed, but also when they play the women in the way they live outside the bedroom. Playing the woman is not something the malakoi take on and off before and after intercourse. It is their lifestyle. It is their character, and this sinful character is condemned by both the ancient world and God in his word. . . . Living contrary to the sex God made him bars the effeminate man from the kingdom of God.
Expositing 1 Corinthians 6:9, Calvin writes, “
By effeminate persons I understand those who, although they do not openly abandon themselves to impurity, discover, nevertheless, their unchastity by blandishments of speech, by lightness of gesture and apparel, and other allurements.”
This author contends that it is more and more difficult to distinguish the social conventions of men and women in everyday life. The Biblical inclination is that when and if wars were fought, its participants would be exclusively male. Tragically, we live in a time of age that females are clamoring to enter the combat arms, all with the blessings and full-throated support of the key stakeholders like none other than our military’s Commander-in-Chief, President Joseph Biden.
How else could one read an Old Testament (Jeremiah 50:37) passage? In the ancient world, effeminacy entailed a moral frailty (acting cowardly or “womanish” in battle). Yet the secular elites are clamoring for the right of our female population full entry into the front lines of the battlefield.
Not surprisingly, the advocates of this sexual revolution are casting the argument as the opportunity for female liberation. The thought is by denying females the opportunity to serve in combat; females are artificially stymied in their pursuit to reach the highest echelon of the military rank structure.
Real, authentic biblical manhood would materialize in this situation just as real authentic biblical manhood would have materialized in the Garden. Real authentic biblical manhood would have witnessed Adam lovingly but firmly put a stop to the foolish naivety of Eve like Job did when he said to his wife, “But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10).
If men were to think and speak as Job spoke to his wife today, society would tar and feather them as toxic men, yet I read from the Word of God, “in all this Job did not sin with his lips.” Yet, I am confident many will retort the Old Testament had a more predominant matriarchy. They would protest, “we do not live under such suppressive and repressive Victorian mores.
I would simply reply, why do we find the following in the New Testament if Job’s mindset was strictly cultural and not timeless? I would point to the Apostle Peter when he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose children ye now are, if ye do well, and are not put in fear by any terror” (1 Peter 3:6).
It is undefinable that Peter asserts Evangelicals are, in fact, displaying evidence of fidelity to Father Abraham when we exhibit the same obedience posture of Sarah. Thus, we see the familial worldview of the Old Testament carried directly into the New Testament command for holy living. Now, how many contemporary households function under this paradigm. Not many at all, I can assure you, and I would submit the sin leads not the door of the female race; no, it lays at the feet of the person God has placed the mantle of leadership: man.
Sadly, we do not see men embracing the strong posture of Abraham nor of Job. More and more, we see nothing more than passivity; we see men, even professing Evangelical men, adopting a posture of getting along so they can fit in.
Instead of taking a strong position and leading the discussion, man has ceded our rightful place and allowed women to take an outsized role in the decision-making in the Church and family, which is biblical malpractice as well as the larger culture, which is only a microcosm of the Church’s failure to be Light and Salt, to be God’s witness upon the Earth.
Just as Israel failed in her chief mission to be a light unto the Gentile (Isaiah 42:6), God’s New Testament covenant people, the Church, is failing miserably to God’s Pillar of the Truth.
I know I will come under instant and fierce opposition for my strong assertion, but I am not writing to win influence with the culture and gain popular acclaim; I am writing because our house is grievously broken, and if there is ever a chance to reverse course, it will only be with men assuming the leadership role.
I must interject that I do not believe the larger culture will reverse its course. Society is hell-bent on moving aggressively to the continual ascension of women and simultaneous descension of men. The adherents of radical feminism and the ardent advocates of the sexual revolution will gleefully endorse this new paradigm, but all genuine and faithful followers of Jesus Christ will rue the day as its trajectory can never lead to human flourishing.
God created me as a man, and thus He created me to lead, lead as a servant-leader, no doubt, but lead nonetheless. God created me with a unique and distinct disposition from His female creation. There was, and there must always be, a clear and undefinable manner in which I govern myself than my female helpmate.
My female helpmate is ontologically my equal in every shape, form, and fashion and retains all of the dignity afforded by one who God created in His Imago Dei. Yet, it is equally true there is and will always be an unalterable difference in functions between the two sexes.
Biblical manhood has not and will never be predicated on cultural markers like dress or speech or brute strength, but it will forever be grounded in men displaying biblical courage to lead and protect. The failure began in the Garden and will continue to see men failing to live up to their biblical mandate. Thankfully, there has been one Man who stood tall and never shied away from what it means to be a Man. That Man, of course, is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
I would commend Him as the quintessential example of biblical manhood. He faced every challenge the Enemy threw His way, and the Bible reports He did so without falling short. If any human male ever struggles with what entails biblical manhood, all they would need to do is look at the ministry and life of Jesus Christ as found in the Gospels.
Jesus Christ was not the God-Man because He had muscles like the Rock or dressed or talked in supposed male mannerisms. Jesus Christ was the God-Man because He did not shrink back and display passivity ever. The Bible reveals Jesus Christ, “and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).
Touching His humanity, the second Adam triumphed in the very test the first Adam failed so miserably. Only amazing and abundant grace allows even a tragic figure as the first Adam a chance for divine reconciliation.
Man and female, the only hope for redemption reside in the Man Jesus Christ. Only through the Spirit of Jesus Christ dwelling in us can we live in total harmony with God’s creative design. Jesus Christ is both the Person who a bruised reed He would not crush [Isaiah 42:3] (female-emphasis) but would enter the Temple and shred it to pieces [Matthew 2:17] (male-emphasis).
The Evangelical Church has no place for effeminate males. As always, let me know what you think. Until then, keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One.