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markdohle

A simple talk on masculine spirituality

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Posted (edited)

A simple talk on masculine spirituality

When a man begins to take his faith seriously, which entails a deepening, personal relationship with Jesus Christ; how will that change, or challenge, how their masculinity is expressed? To be a man of Christ is not an easy task, for when Christ talks about a death to self, he is not speaking lightly, but about a deep healing process that will take a lifetime to grow into. This relationship will have a profound effect on all of ones relationships in life. For when the Gospel becomes alive and the life and sayings of Jesus become ever more central to how the world is experienced and ones relationship with that world is lived out…. it brings about not only deep conversion but also struggle, failure, growth in humility as well as joy. This can bring healing to relationships that were perhaps strained, or even broken, before the process began. For the fire of the Holy Spirit wounds as it heals at ever deeper levels, ones soul.

It is not enough to just seek to understand what Jesus said, but also to delve deeper into how he actually related to those he came in contact with in the Gospels. The bottom line is that human beings are relational creatures. We have relationships of course with everyone we know and love. We relate as well, though at a different level and intensity, to those that we meet perhaps only once, those we even drive by on the highway, the poor man or woman on the corner asking for help, and those who serve us everyday behind counters and in restaurants. Then there is how we ‘see’ and experience those who are different from us, dress differently, believe differently and who may also be on the fringe of society.

In all of these meetings, which are more important that we perhaps realize offer us a way of seeing Christ Jesus in others, in an ever deeper and more profound way. It is easy to objectify others, not only strangers, with whom we just want something from, even if it is as simple as ordering a meal, but more importantly with how we interact with our families and loved ones. It is about allowing the Spirit of Christ Jesus to gives us His eyes to see the world in a different and more profound way. It is part of the healing that the Holy Spirit seeks to instill in us. Slowly allowing us to drop the barriers, the fear and distrust of others, that works instinctually and often to our harm. Perhaps you can say, gradually it allows us as men to step outside of the self destructive cycles that mankind seems to have been tied to for thousands of years, and to bit by bit to be able to love as Jesus Christ loves and loved while he walked this earth.

Whenever a choice is made to begin a new life, it opens up doors of inner perception that bring to consciousness many turns and forks in the road that may not have been noticed, or understood, before the journey began. The deeper in one goes, the more profound the healing of the wounds that allow fear and distrust to rule ones life.

Self-knowledge leads to humility, the ability to accept truth about oneself without becoming defensive. This brings forth compassion for others and deepens our ability to actually see others and to listen and see them on an ever deeper level. Again this is a life long journey, in allowing the Holy Spirit to heal us at ever deeper levels. We let go of becoming victims and instead become healers of those around us.

We each carry our past with us. It is our past that will often dictate how we relate to those around us. Men often carry a great deal of anger and those with whom they relate to, will often be targets of that anger. Anger restricts focus to the point that it becomes the judge, jury and executioner, without recourse to mercy. It is only when another life is possible and desired that this anger can be a force for healing and true justice. When it is understood that we are called by Christ Jesus to see Him and love Him in those before us, it is then that self reflection begins. When failures are encountered, humility grows, and a conscious trust in Jesus Christ is developed. The death to self is a call to move away, to die to, a life that is ‘me against them’ to a life of loving ones neighbor as ones self. This is also true for those who are perhaps very fearful or anxious about life, there is the call to trust and move beyond what was once thought impossible. For inner healing leads to deeper faith and the desire to grow in love and freedom.

The new life that Christ Jesus wants us to experience as men, narrow though it is, is found to be freer, more joyful and filled with love and freedom than thought of before the journey began. As men we are called to love, heal and to be just to those around us. All men of Christ are called to in some way I believe, to lead.

Edited by markdohle
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For the fire of the Holy Spirit wounds as it heals at ever deeper levels, ones soul.

I believe this, but was wondering if you knew of some biblical reference or scripture supporting it.
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I believe this, but was wondering if you knew of some biblical reference or scripture supporting it.

I believe it comes from the imagery from St. John of the Cross, from his book "The living flame of love". I guess you could say St. Peters statment in his 1st book 1:7 that faith is purified like gold in the fire would point to this. The deeper the mercy experienced happens by the understanding of the wrong done I believe.

New Living Translation (©2007)

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

peace

mark

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Posted (edited)

A lot of people have a limited or negative perception of masculinity. This is a social construct of our times. I have always found being masculine a natural part of being male, but more importantly it is only a part of the larger picture of being human.

For example being male (albeit smaller than most ) and hence empowered by testosterone, gives me a responsibility to protect those weaker than my self, because i can. Where being male confers advantage on me because of society, then i must use that advantage to both help and empower others. Being male gives me a perspective i can share with young men and women/children who often lack a male role model in their life and may be struggling with being human.

So, for me, being masculine and spiritual welded together easily. I found no conflict in being a caring, sharing, loving male. I had the role model of my father and others as examples for this. I have certain skills and mental disciplines, in part as a consequence of growing up male, but also in part from growing up as me in that time and place Eg I am not afraid to exppress emotion but my emotion does not control me. Ihave learned physical and mental self discipline from being disciplined in all things as a child.

I have been the single bread winner for my family for 40 years, but also do all the cooking. My wife and I are equal, but different partners in a relationship, bringing skills together to make us more as a team than as individuals.

I agree with the points in your post and they resonate with me. But i would add that both men and women can be leaders. Some men find expressing themselves hard, but that is a skill which can be learned. In recent years men have tended to surrender their roles, especially as leaders. Each one of us should be all that we can be, and then offer what we have to others; as teachers, mentors, carers, healers, lovers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters.

Ps humans do not have to get angry. We chose anger. Males have a greater responsibilty to control or eliminate their anger because, even in today's society, they have the potential to do more harm when they lose control.

But ALL humans must take responsibility for their mental /emotional state of mind. Spiritual understanding and the holy spirit certainly helps in this, but even a dedicated atheist has the responsibilty for learning and applying self control; and is capable, as a human being, of achieving this without recognising the spirit inside them selves or acknowledging the presence of god.

Edited by Mr Walker
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A lot of people have a limited or negative perception of masculinity. This is a social construct of our times. I have always found being masculine a natural part of being male, but more importantly it is only a part of the larger picture of being human.

I have been the single bread winner for my family for 40 years, but also do all the cooking. My wife and I are equal, but different partners in a relationship, bringing skills together to make us more as a team than as individuals.

I agree with the points in your post and they resonate with me. But i would add that both men and women can be leaders.

Thank you for truly recognizing that masculinity does not mean being boss. There areas in the spirutual realm where men and women are equal in the Bible. There is never to be open conflict of opinions in discussions during worship services between a man and wife. (I Cor. 14:34) For the wife is still under the obedience of the law. Christians are not under the law; but are being told here that the women are under the same obedience now as they were when they were under the law.

What was that obedience????? It was that in order to be active and vocal in any area of the Christian world she must ask and get a positive response from her father if she is never married and from her husband if she is. (Law of Obedience - - Numbers 30 Almost the whole chapter.)

There is a chain of command in every organization. Not to boss but to keep the same goals. The Bible says the angels are also under a chain of command. When they see a wife verbally opposite her husband as the Bible says in the above I Cor. 14:34 - - it might influence the angels to not obey their chain or command over them.

Anna the prophetess was a widow and was teaching in the temple when infant Jesus was brought in. She didn't have to ask permission from anyone. Her husband was dead. She was no longer under her father having been married. Also, Phebe was a (diakonos) deaconess of the church of Cenchrea. (Romans 16:1) Women have shed their blood as martyrs as equally as have men.

But in marriage the man should be the loving leader of a two family team and not a boss dictating the wife.

God bless

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One's gender doesn't automatically infer a competency in leadership.

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So Jesus was not a woman then? this is getting all rather confusing.

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Posted (edited)

One's gender doesn't automatically infer a competency in leadership.

I dunno. I train leaders. And I must say in my experience women rise to leadership much quicker than men and gain a high level of proficiency and respect much quicker. These are just observations. They rare male will come through, but ultimately they will have a streak of independent spirit and are only good for a few years in a particular structure and they must branch off on their own.

I think women are better long time leaders while those rare few men are better starters. But ultimately they end up being supported at some point by a female long time leader. ( even the gay ones ;) )

This is just bell curve observation through thousands of people, exceptions always exist.

Edited by Seeker79
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Keep in mind the limits of masculinity and femininity have more to do with social gender roles and constructs than biological determinations. And as such these social gender limiitations or lack of them are not static and change from culture to culture. Our ideas of masculinity and femininity are not shared through time or even cultures that exist at present.

The old nature vs nurture debates creeps its pretty face into the pictue yet again.

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Also wanted to add that males and females both have roles of leadership to play. Leadership is not just for one gender. The roles of elder should not be reserved just for one gender.

Proverbs 31 is a good start. It of course was written describing the cultural and tribal situations as they existed then. If written today I have no doubt women would be elders of the land just as they can be today.

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Protestantism is a man's religion I don't care what anyone says. The masculine holy trinity has a very yang feel to it, even if the holy ghost is neutral in theory (the father and the son technically are too since they transcend all creation including gender) it never the less feels as if it is 'male' with its trinity bedfellows. The Catholics are the only ones (mainstream talking here of course) to have made room for the the feminine element in Christianity.

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Posted (edited)

Protestantism is a man's religion I don't care what anyone says. The masculine holy trinity has a very yang feel to it, even if the holy ghost is neutral in theory (the father and the son technically are too since they transcend all creation including gender) it never the less feels as if it is 'male' with its trinity bedfellows. The Catholics are the only ones (mainstream talking here of course) to have made room for the the feminine element in Christianity.

Are you being funny?

They have deified Mary arguably an anti "christian" thing to do but with many cultural benefits especially in the early days of catholicism when converting pagan groups But apart from that, objectively they have been perhaps the most anti- woman of all christian groups, largely as a product of the times they evolved in..

Originally they had women priests, and priests could be married and have family. But slowly the hierachy became misogynist; the evils of woman hood and the sexual temptation of women became connected to eve, who was blamed for the fall of man. The church didnt want to lose lands and income to women and children, and so stopped priests from marrying and having children.

Today the priesthood is about the last real "all boys club" left on earth. The lack of marriage divorces many priests from a real understanding of family, sexual connection, intimacy, and all the positive feelings associated with these natural expressions of humanity. It maintains that atitude of exclusivity/specialness/superiority, and fosters suspicion of the secular world (the comments of a well known australian catholic priest- not my own) In my local area most non catholic churches have female priests, leaders and organisers. They are, thus, much more inclusive of women and thus representative of women's attitudes values and perspectives Inmy observation, it also tends to foster a more equal and inclusive church community with out the hierachical domination by the male priesthood.

But then non catholic churches are naturally less heirachical and authoritarian in their structure, many being run and funded by local communities or parishes.

yes christianity in a sense is more masculine than some other religions (but also less so than many ) but i do not agree that catholicism represents the feminine aspect of christianity, at all. Although in many cultures it does have a special appeal to women more than men, that speaks more to the nature and role of women in those societies than of the church.

Oh, and which christian church is most particularly opposed to rights of most significance to women such as birth control and the right to abortions.?

Ps where a society/culture and people are male dominated and patriachal, their religions tend to be also. Where women have more equal power, rights and responsibilities, and there is a strong matriachal influence, then religions tend to reflect this.

Edited by Mr Walker
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