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Jesus was not a hippie or Ned Flanders

" (The Church) has very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah," making him a "fitting household pet for for pale curates and pious old ladies." (Dorothy Sayers, taken from Wild at Heart  pg. 26)

"For after years of living in a cage, a lion no longer even believes it is a lion...and a man no longer believes he is a man." ( Wild at Heart, pg. 41)

First off  during these past, 3 days I have been away at the lovely and breathtaking Truro, Massachusetts, in Cape Cod.  I will be publishing several posts this week about my stay there, complete with pictures, personal anecdotes, and quotes from Henry David Thoreau's book Cape Cod.
Now for the main point of this blog....

Before I parted for my vacation I had been wrestling seriously with the idea of Jesus' masculinity. What spawned this introspection was a disagreement I had with my wife, in which I muttered accidentally, semi heretically that, "Jesus was a wimp!"  After saying this, and weathering the storms of my personal guilt, I began praying for a solution to this painful conflict.  Through this personal prayer I felt that I should re read one of my favorite spiritual works, Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge.


As I poured again through the familiar terrain of this work I realized that the largest stumbling block for me  was my concept of Jesus' masculinity. I tended to view Jesus in a more feminine light, as a sort of hippie, a sort of Ned Flanders type, like that cute old lady who prays all day and mutter prayers very loudly while at mass.  As a man this type of Jesus had no appeal to me,  I needed Jesus to be much tougher, and convincing than Ned Flanders or Ethel  from church.

Here were some of the feminine characteristics that I ascribed to Jesus.
  • He was the perpetual nice and overly polite guy
  • He was a relentless peace advocate, who was against the military and any force
  • He hated rich and unsuccessful people
  • He always turned the "other cheek", accepted and tolerated abuse, did not defend himself   (Crucifixion)
  • He was passive, and over compliant
  • spoke in riddles, in platitudes, never directly
 Now compare these attributes with those of my "ideal" man:

  • A warrior, a fighter a type like King David, Gen. Patton, George Washington
  • Someone who fights against injustice passionately
  • Someone who believes in peace, but through strength
  • Someone who is not afraid to stand up for the truth
  • Someone who is a strong financial provider
  • Someone who is fierce, passionate
  • Someone who speaks confidently, clearly
  • Someone who had a presence
As I was reading Wild at Heart I came upon an understanding that helped me in part to reconcile some of my disagreements with the masculinity of Jesus.

" Now- is Jesus more like Mother Theresa or William Wallace? The answer is...it depends.  If you're leper, an outcast, a pariah of society whom no one has ever touched because you are "unclean," if all you have ever longed for is just one kind word, then Christ is the incarnation of tender mercy.  He reaches out touches you.  On the other hand, if you're a Pharisee, one of those self appointed doctrine police...watch out.  On more than one occasion Jesus "picks a fight" with those notorious hypocrites." (Wild at Heart, pg. 24)
  
 Fortunately through reading this work I am beginning to heal, and bridge the gap of understanding of Jesus' true masculinity. I will be writing more about my personal journey of finding the masculine heart of Jesus in future blogs. So stay tuned!

Comments

  1. My family and I really needed a time out from our work and a friend suggested we go to Cape Cod. When we arrived on Cape Cod, I was surprised that it was a serene place, but there were a lot of fun things to do on Cape Cod! We went sailing in Hyannis Harbor on a sailboat and then we went to Provincetown to watch whales do their thing. The experience was just plain awesome, we all feel energized when we got back to our house.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looking at some of your "best posts" and I really like this. I'm also an Eldredge fan.

    ReplyDelete

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