Problems With the Article ‘Tony Evans warns Satan attacking biblical manhood; society on ‘precipice’ of disaster’
(Link): Tony Evans warns Satan attacking biblical manhood; society on ‘precipice’ of disaster
Evans told CP that until manhood is properly defined, culture cannot be saved.
I am a (Link): former gender complementarian, so I understand the outlook of a Tony Evans and guys like him, and many of the assumptions that are made about culture and gender roles, but these are views that I no longer share.
Gender Role malarky aside, one of my biggest problems with the views of Tony Evans brought forth in this article is that he is of the mindset -like many Christians are- that culture can or should be saved.
He further thinks that teaching Christian gender roles is the way to go about it.
As I’ve stated many times previously in other posts, the Bible says that Jesus Christ alone saves, and he saves on the individual level.
He doesn’t save groups or cultures.
Jesus said He will leave the 99 to go find the lost one. He’s not consumed with saving or rescuing the 99, or doing so at the expense of the one.
The Bible does not tell Christians that cultures can be saved. We are now existing in a post-New Testament era.
We are not the nation of Israel in 5,000 B.C. God doesn’t make promises in the Bible that if the United States, called by his name, will return to him and His ways, that he will ‘heal the American land.’
Such promises were given to Israel. The United States is not Israel.
The New Testament charges Christians with presenting the Gospel message to individuals, not with “saving” or “fixing” cultures or nations.
The Apostle Paul actually discourages believers from being obsessed with secular society, or with trying to save secular culture, when he wrote things such as:
But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a verbal abuser, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat
.12 What business of mine is it to judge those outside the church ? Are you not to judge those inside?
13 God will judge those outside.
.… (1 Corinthians 5)
If you are a Christian, most of your time, attention, concern, and money is to be aimed at those who already profess Christ. The New Testament says that Christians are (Link): supposed to help other Christians first, before helping Non-Christians.
The Bible indicates that all people are sinners, which is why cultures rot and fall apart.
The Bible prescribes acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior being the “cure” for the sin aspect. The Bible does not teach that following gender roles will save anyone or clean up a society.
Further, the Bible expects that all Christians, both male and female, are to emulate Jesus Christ, and Jesus displayed the entirety of human characteristics, including ones many of us might classify as being feminine or masculine (e.g, gentleness, assertiveness, meekness, compassion, stoicism, etc.).
The Bible does not say that only women are to display the qualities of gentleness and meekness – Christian men are also expected to have those qualities.
The Bible does not say that only men are to display the qualities of assertiveness and boldness.
Galatians 5:22-23 is not gendered.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The Christian Gender Complementarian views that Evans espouses are not applicable to, or workable for, all people.
Complementarianism only works with or for a very narrow set of cirumstances, namely: married couple where the husband is non-abusive, is in good mental and physical health, and has a salary big enough to support two or more people.
What of families where the husband develops dementia early, must therefore quit his job, which leaves his wife no choice but becoming the “head of household,” making all choices for the couple, and then holding down a job so she can take over the “breadwinner” role and pay the couple’s bills?
Complementarians never, ever address such scenarios that don’t match their teachings.
The best they do is to ignore them and pretend they don’t occur, or pretend as though the wife, who is acting in the “headship role” formerly assigned to the man, is still being “submissive.”
For those who are divorced, widowed, or for any who do not marry and who do not have children (whether by chance or by circumstance), gender roles are a moot point.
In the interview, Evans says,
“What we’re seeing, and will continue to see, is the decimation of the family, because the man is the foundation of the family, and the family is the foundation of society,” Evans, founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, told The Christian Post during a sit-down interview in Anaheim, California.
The Bible does not teach that the family is the “foundation” of a society.
Christians make this assumption because the first humans God created, according to Genesis, were Adam and Eve, who were presumably a married couple.
This does not mean that God intended for a married couple to form the basis of everything about a society – in fact, this cannot happen, because by 1 Corinthians 7, Paul is telling his readers that is is better to remain single than to marry.
By the time we get to the New Testament, Jesus emphasized not the family unit – he pointed to a crowd and said, “Here are my mothers, here are my brothers,” and Jesus also said anyone who puts their flesh and blood family ahead of Him is not worthy to follow Him.
Jesus instead pointed to a spiritual family.
That is, even if you are married with children, Jesus was teaching that your brothers and sisters in Him, in Christ, take priority.
This leaves room for the never married, the childless, the widowed, and the divorced to still have a family of sorts.
In Islam, Muslims who reject Islam are ostracized by their blood relations.
This means that a Muslim who rejects Allah for Jesus will no longer have a flesh and blood family – they will (Link): need to be able to turn to “spiritual” brothers and sisters in Christ.
Evans also states,
“So, if we want to unravel the family and society, the best way is to get rid of men fulfilling their roles.”“In Moses’s day and in Jesus’ day, they killed all the males because they wanted to control what was happening in a community of people among the Jews,” he continued. “So what the enemy is doing is trying to get rid of the males psychologically, emotionally, and functionally, and that’s what culture is currently doing.”
Christianity should be able to work in any kind of society, regardless if the people in that society are all male, all female, all single, all childless, or all married, or some combination of those things.
Christianity is not dependent on marital status or gender.
“Then, you’re on the precipice of disaster as a community,” he said. “Not because the women aren’t great, but you’ve asked them to do more than what they were created to do. So, getting back to the right view of marriage and a right view of family is critical, and that starts with the right view of man.”
Christians complain and complain about single mothers, but they often fail to hold men accountable.
Women do not get pregnant on their own. Sometimes, even in married relationships, the woman may have to leave her husband is he is abusive and raise the children alone.
Christians these days are not defending or promoting celibacy (they are actually alarmed that teens are not fornicating more), and, churches do nothing to provide concrete help for those of us single adults who are over the age of 30, still single, and are virgins (or practicing celibacy).
If churches want to help reduce the amount of single motherhood, one thing of several they can do, is return to teaching the virtues and benefits of remaining a virgin until marriage – for both women and for men. Too often, Christians stress sexual purity for girls (or for women) in churches but not for boys (or men).
From the article:
The secular world, Evans posited, is confused about the true definition of manhood. Popular terms like “toxic masculinity,” he said, is society’s attempt to understand and define the present, poor state of manhood.—-///—
Most Christians and conservatives misunderstand what “toxic masculinity” means. They incorrectly assume that the term means that all men are toxic, or that masculinity is toxic.
Those who use the phrase don’t have a problem with masculinity. Plain, normal, masculinity is fine.
What the phrase “toxic masculinity” delineates are some of the very things Evans is complaining about: the gender stereotypes he promoted, that teach boys and men to behave in negative ways.
Such as, but not limited to- teaching males that it’s acceptable to view women as sexual objects and to “prove” their manhood by impregnating as many girls outside of marriage that they can.
Toxic Masculinity is that range of gender stereotypes that harms men (as well as harms women). The ones that tell boys it’s “wimpy” and “cissy” for them to openly cry when they are sad, or to talk about their feelings.
Evans says:“But then on the other side is men having been given the wrong information about manhood from the television, from the media, from music, so that they’re doing the best that they know how to do,” he said. “So we’ve got to give them new knowledge and new definitions. We’re going to have to ask the opposite sex to encourage that right definition rather than throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”
It’s not just television, media, and music giving boys the wrong idea of what manhood is, but views such as his.
Any church, denomination, or Christian who promotes gender stereotypes under the pretense that they are biblical, are contributing to the problem.
Instead of teaching boys to live up to a macho stereotype that complementarians consider to be “biblical,” just teach boys – and girls – to emulate Jesus of Nazareth and to show humility and kindness to all.
Being kind, honest, gentle, courteous, considerate, and compassionate, are human traits; they are neither male nor female, and the (Link): Bible calls all Christians to have those characteristics.
(Link): How Can Conservatives and Christians Keep Teaching Family is Backbone of Society when there are so many dysfunctional or abusive families
(Link): Family as “The” Backbone of Society? – It’s Not In The Bible
If saving the individual, or saving society, hinged upon people living out “gender roles,” the Bible would’ve taught that the acceptance of gender roles was necessary for salvation. But it does not. The Bible points to Jesus of Nazareth.
Edit. I just came across this, from 2016 – this is the same Tony Evans as discussed above:
(Link): Pastor Tony Evans: Growing Up I Was a Second-Class Citizen Due to My Skin Color
So, Evans understands and appreciates what it feels like for Christians (or for anyone) to treat him as an inferior due to an in-born trait, such as skin color, but he’s willing to turn around and do the same thing to all women of any skin color under the teachings of Gender Complementarianism.
Complementarianism is a lot like those Jim Crow laws of the south: telling people they are “separate but equal.”
Telling someone they have as much worth but that they cannot use the same water fountain isn’t convincing or right, is it?
Yet complementarians pull this sort of rationale on women of all skin colors all the time. They tell women that women are “equal in value to men,” but belie that message by not giving women equal opportunity within the church or marital contexts.
Related Post (off site) that is pertinent here:
(Link): Justifying Injustice with the Bible: Slavery
Complementarians are absolutely convinced that what they teach on the man-woman relationship is what the Bible teaches.
To reject their teaching is to reject the Bible, and because the Bible is literally God’s words, to reject that teaching is to disobey God himself.
After giving a lecture outlining CBE’s position, one Sydney theologian told me publicly, “You reject what Scripture plainly teaches. Those who disobey God go to hell.”
When faced with such weighty opposition, it is helpful to note that we find exactly the same dogmatic, vehement opinion voiced by the best of Reformed theologians in support of slavery in the 19th century and Apartheid in the 20th century. They too appealed to the Bible with enormous confidence, claiming that it unambiguously supported slavery and Apartheid.
However today, virtually all evangelicals believe they were mistaken in their understanding of the Bible, that the Bible condemns slavery and Apartheid, and that these things are not pleasing to God!
(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)
(Link): Christianity Should Be Able To Work Regardless of Culture, Childed or Marital Status / Article: Unlike in the 1950s, there is no ‘typical’ U.S. family today by B. Shulte
(Link): Confronting the Idolatry of Family by Janet Fishburn
(Link): Singles Advocate DePaulo Responds to Right Wing, Conservative Critics of Singlehood, Who Blame Singles For Breakdown of The Family
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site
(Link): If The Family Is Central, Christ Is Not
(Link): Society Has It Wrong: Married People Shouldn’t Get Benefits That Single People do Not by V. Larson
(Link): ‘Marriage Changes When You Don’t Just Need A Warm Body and a Paycheck’: A Talk With R Traister
(Link): Over 10 Million Men of Prime Working Age Are Unemployed in the US and Experts Think It’s Causing Declining Marriage Rates
(Link): Husband-Hunting is the Worst Part of a Christian Upbringing – Christianity Made Me Obsessed with Finding a Husband – by B. Ramos
(Link): Creepy: ‘Barna Study: [Christian] Women Value Family Over Faith’
(Link): The Case Against ‘Saving’ Marriage – Married Nuclear Families Are the Gold Standard Against Which We Are All Judged. by N. Rodgers
(Link): Are Marriage and Family A Woman’s Highest Calling? by Marcia Wolf – and other links that address the Christian fallacy that a woman’s most godly or only proper role is as wife and mother
(Link): Baptists Still Advocating Unbiblical Bedroom Evangelism as Growth Strategy (2015)
(Link): New ‘Christian Swingers’ Dating Site Offers Faithful Couples Chance to ‘Hookup’
(Link): Marriage & Motherhood Are No Longer The Milestones Of Adulthood. Now What? by J. Filipovic
(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If You Want Marriage Bad Enough, Mr. Right Will Magically Appear
(Link): Fewer People Are Getting Married – And That’s A Good Thing by J. Wright