I was brought up in a home where religion was much more than just something we believed; it was a way of life. As an adult, I have chosen to hold to those beliefs after a brief time of questioning and doubt, and have never looked back. As a man who feels strongly that all things masculine are under fierce attack in our culture, I do not see manliness and spirituality as being at all in conflict, at least, not within the relm of Christianity. I kind of get what you're saying about Christ being portrayed as a pasafist, but I don't believe he was. He encouraged people to get along with and love their neighbors to be sure, but he also stood up for what he believed and absolutely never backed down. I believe the greatest weakness that many who call themselves Christians around the world have is that we do not stand up and fight harder for what we believe. Many of us are far, far too passive when it comes to defending what we see as right and moral and good and just, perhaps believing that the conflict that is usually the result of us taking a stand is not in harmony with the teachings of Christ. Obviously, I do not subscribe to that way of thinking. But that, in my view, does not at all mean that spirituality and masculinity are at odds. I see Christ as one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) example of manhood that there has ever been. He loved little children and blessed them, he treated women with respect, charished his mother until the very last, yet he stood up to the political and spiritual leaders of his day and boldly told them how it was and pointed out the hipocracy of their teachings and beliefs, he rid the holy temple of all that defiled it, and he was willing to pay the ultimate price, not only for our sins, but also for angering the leaders, as well as many of the people, of his generation. That, to me, is a man I want to model my life after.
^ this guy nailed it right on the money. I couldn't have said it better myself.
Absolutely. I hate how He is traditionally portrayed by Hollywood. This was a strong and masculine man.
And lets not forget, his ministry didn't start until he was 30. Up until that time he was a carpenter. Mostly likely he was fit and strong. All those Chuck Norris jokes should be changed to Jesus. I think Chuck would agreee.
How many people are manly enough to carry their own cross up a massive hill and then be nailed to it without making a massive scene? I think Jesus was pretty manly, 'turning the other cheek' can be manly in the right context. He certainly held himself (at least in my mind's eye) with poise and power. If you look collectively at the stories of Christ he exemplified manliness pretty well.
Don't try and separate your spirituality and manliness, it is in-congruent, instead try to look at Jesus as the embodiment of manliness. I think when you do you'll see him in a different light. When asking the question 'Was that manly?' at the end of the various stories of Christ I think the answer will normally be yes.
...not to mention Christian martyrs, saints and most holy men from other religions who endured sacrifices and pain way beyond those any normal 'man' would ever do. In truth we mistake meekness for weakness. Inner strength is what makes a true man, any a fool can just be physically strong as even the beasts of burden are.
This isn't the main forum.
It most certainly is.
You are certainly right. I stand corrected.
It's a fair question. Manliness is at least partly a set of virtues focused around being big: confident (bigger than the problem), generous ("that's mighty big of you"), brave (bigger than your fears), etc. There are also virtues about being small: humility, servanthood.
The last shall be first. There is paradox.
I have not resolved the paradox. I do remember thinking: what I *am* is a man, and that includes power, confidence, daring. And God can have all of it. If we kept only one side of that paradox, what would we have? A man who is powerful in taking care of number one; or a weakling. Neither is a destiny I want.
One important thought here is how to reconcile opposites.
I do not believe Aristotle's view (and I think the Stoics followed this) is that virtue consists of being in the middle. For this issue, consider whether you should be half as strong as you can and half as humble. Better to be at 100% strength and 100% humility.
And here are a couple of other perspectives on manliness, bravery, &c., and God.
"Ballad of the Goodly Fere" by Ezra Pound
"Tired of Speaking Sweetly" by Sufi poet Hafiz
This discussion may get closed eventually if we don't behave ourselves. The purpose of rule 4 is to stop arguments from dominating the forum, but not to prevent us from talking about life as men in all its aspects.