This is the introduction to the book Men of Valor, by D. Michl Lowe.
I have sat back and waited. Waited on the church. Waited on my friends. Waited on society. Waited for them to start moving, to wake up and see that our world is dying. The earth itself seems to be groaning. There is a palpable tension in the air. Evil is no longer allowed to be called evil and even those who prey upon children are starting to no longer be vilified. Not to mention the devastation of abortion. There is a great need in our culture to begin unraveling the problems that most of society no longer calls sin. It must start with Christian men. It must start with them standing up to be counted.
Creating a new way of living. Showing the love and truth of Christ to the dying world, but also working to show that men are culturally here to stay. That masculinity is not something shameful, but a prideful way of expressing gender that sets us apart from our wonderful ladies. We are strong, resolute in our faith, and gentle in our demeanor. We are silken iron.
The sad truth of today’s culture is that it has become normal to understand that men are stupid, clumsy, fat, lazy, and just useless. We see characters like Chandler and Joey from the sitcom Friends who are bumbling idiots only really interested in sex. The women of the show manipulate them constantly using sexual innuendo to get what they want. In one episode, the boys have rightly won the right to live in an apartment from the girls, only to have the two girls kiss each other in front of the boys in payment for the apartment. The boys leave the apartment saying, “Totally worth it! Then go into their separate rooms giving the impression they are going to go masturbate with the memory of what they have seen. These types of scenarios play out constantly in this show.
Or we see the characters Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin from The Simpsons and Family Guy, who are always doing stupid things. Countless times in shows like these, men are nearly always seen as the idiots and women seen as the voice of reason. I understand that this is done for comedic purposes, but men are the butt of jokes nearly all the time. It is rare to see a woman portrayed in this manner. Sitcom comedies do this so often, that the idea of masculinity is now seen as negative or even wrong. This is sad because masculinity is needed. Yes, that is a bold statement to make, but one that needs to be made. Masculinity is seen as unintelligent and even crass and uncouth. To some degree, men have not helped this stereotype with our sometimes-stupid antics, but this does nothing to degrade the need for masculine men.
Matt Walsh a popular online blogger and conservative commentator said it well;
“Disrespect for men is a joke to us now. A little while ago I stopped on the way home from work to buy my wife some flowers. As she rang me up, the cashier quipped: ‘Uh-oh, what’d you do?’ I wasn’t particularly amused, but I chuckled. She continued. ‘I don’t know if that’ll be enough to get you off the couch tonight!’ Ah, yes, the old “husband is punished by his wife and sent to the couch” meme. I’m not sure if this actually happens in real life, or if it’s an invention of 90’s ‘all men are fat, witless, oafs’ sitcoms, but the popularity of the stereotype is telling. Is this how we see husbands now? A man gets ‘in trouble’ with his wife, she scolds him and puts him in time-out on the couch. Now he must placate his alpha-bride by showering her with flowers and jewelry. Men are painted like children or dogs. They can be shooed off their own beds by their wives and sent to cower in the living room until she permits him to return. This is only slightly less offensive than the cliché of the sadistic wife who punitively withholds sex from her husband. ‘You didn’t clean the garage like I told you. No sex for you, mister! Next time, follow my instructions!’”
In our schools, typical male childish behavior is seen as deviant and a problem. Psychologist Michael Thompson has famously said that girl behavior is the gold standard in schools and boys are treated like defective girls. It is sad that boy behavior is so misunderstood and hated. Our young boys are treated with disdain and are misunderstood, recently in the news, I saw where a young boy in grade school bit a pop tart into a gun shape and started playing with it. He was promptly expelled from school. This type of intolerance isn’t right. Our teachers are hamstrung in being able to implement discipline for actual negative behaviors and mandated paperwork for oversight has made it difficult to even teach what needs to be taught, so time afforded for simple physical play (an important need for young boys to exert energy) has become a secondary thought even though it’s also a mandated requirement.
This is not to say that women are less than men in any respect, but the idea that the sexes are both the same is not just silly, it’s dangerous. We are different right down to our chromosomes. Men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome while women have two X chromosomes. Chromosomes are basically the fundamental building blocks of humanity. They contain DNA, which is the pattern by which humans are created and built. Within every human DNA is what makes a person an individual. The combining of their mother and father’s DNA has created each person; those patterns are used to create a completely new human being. Men and women are not the same and to pretend otherwise is honestly just silly.
I feel as though men are lost in our culture today. There isn’t a place for men to truly be men and embrace our masculinity. They search for meaning and purpose. One of the biggest forms of entertainment in the modern age is video games. It is estimated that by 2019 videogame yearly sales revenue would be around 41 billion dollars, not a small industry to be sure. It is a well-known fact that men tend to be consumers of the higher-end video game industry. While many women have broken into casual gaming, which accounts for many of the skewed statistics stating that women make up more than 50% of gamers, they continue to be underrepresented in the mainstream gaming market.
We would refer to most male gamers as “core” gamers in this respect, not players of Candy Crush or Angry Birds, as fun as those are. Some of this trend is changing with games that are marketed directly to women, but now it’s just the way things are. Why do so many men flock to video games? Besides the sports genre (which I believe is popular for different reasons), many of the games we see men playing involve stories and situations in which the player may assume the “role” of a hero of some kind.
Within the role of the male hero is the question, “What does it mean to be masculine?”. This idea of masculinity is idealized in the role of the male hero. Most men have a desire to be the hero of their own existence. In many PC games, one takes on the role of a hero that starts off as mostly a normal person, but through adventures and fulfilling quests begins to gain great power and becomes a leader in the vast world in which the game takes place.
In first-person shooter games on consoles and PCs alike, players often take on the role of a super soldier in a world of the future where aliens are trying to basically end all life in the universe. Through these super-soldiers, players can become the hero of the entire universe, saving humanity. It is often as if the player can save their game, sealing themselves away for a time when humanity might even need them again in the future. Self-sacrifice is a very pure form that often rises in these storylines.
While not a videogame, pen and paper role-playing games like the classic Dungeons and Dragons present a very solid argument that men are gravitating towards the realm of role-playing for a reason. In these games, you choose a “role” to play and through a form of guided storytelling, you can become the hero of your own story. Now there are a lot of reasons why all genders play these games, but for men, it often has to do with this innate desire to gain significance. God gave men this desire for significance and heroic inspiration. In Psalms 57:2 David says, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose in me.” God calls all his people into glorious purpose. For men, this is often a desire to achieve significance and meaning. This isn’t a bad thing. In the realm of working towards achieving Christ’s purpose and meaning for our lives, men can find a true significance, but when we look past God to the world for significance, something is lost.
A while back, I sat in a very questionable chair in the back of a dirty and rundown shop in a very bad part of town. My wife was worried that I was going to this place; a day before, someone had been shot only one block from this store. There were about eight of us and the unkempt appearance of the other men around me might have off-put many (along with the smell), but I was comfortable in this place. Dungeons and Dragons had a way of bringing people together. However, on this day, the man on my left was not very happy. He had failed in several rolls of the dice and his character was on the verge of death. He angrily shouted at the Dungeon Master (the leader of the game) that it wasn’t fair, letting multiple expletives leave his person.
After the game was over, he was packing up all his books and little plastic figurines he angrily threw his pack on and stormed from the table, leaving the shop. His manhood, his meaning for life was so wrapped up in the fictional character he had created, that losing it was like losing part of who he was. It was sad to see. Shouldn’t there be more for men in this life? Shouldn’t there be more for them to strive for than just a fictional monument of meaning?
The men of this generation are lost, children. Society has taken away the villains and often even denies that such a thing exists. It is no longer good or evil, there are only differing opinions and cultures. No one is wrong, and everyone is right. There isn’t an outlet for masculinity in American society that is not in some way shunned. Men are now the aborted children of society and it is time for them to take a stand and become something more than just a joke. It’s time for true purpose to come back into the darkened hearts of men.
The truth of the issue is, there is evil in the world. Some issues are not questions, but facts. There is a great need for men to be willing to stand up and be accountable to the society they live in. It is time for us to step onto the dais of history once again and take a stand for what is right. There are certain truths in this world that should be observed and should be written in stone. There are ways of viewing the world that is right. The way men treat their fellow human beings matters. One of the greatest tragedies in this life is that evil prevails because Christian men choose to do nothing. The children of God have set on the sidelines for too long and allowed the truth to be kidnaped.
The truth has a nasty way of being unpopular. No one wants to hear the truth; people want you to agree with them and validate that what they have already decided is okay in their minds. There are no real attempts to understand the other side; there is only the manipulation and deceit of tolerance. It is this idea of tolerance that’s only there to convince you that this other person is on a higher moral level. Do not be deceived into the idea that tolerance and understanding are right because “everyone is okay”; that every idea is right and moral. Acceptance is only possible if you don’t disagree and don’t speak out. According to society, the status quo of tolerance and acceptance must be maintained above all other ideals. Understand the spiritual and intellectual warfare that is going on and continue to speak the truth regardless. This is a verbal war that will not stay in that realm for long, violence and death are already in the streets.
The stance of moral and Christian truth will only be allowed for so long. Freedom as an idea is slowly moving towards being parallel with the status quo. This isn’t a call to rebellion in the sense of militaristic action, but it is a call to a rebellion of conscience and behavior. Within a framework of honor and Christian faith, men can begin to unravel the current culture of compliance and tolerance. Standing for Christian truth is not hard, but it will cost you. In fact, at some point in the future, it could cost you everything. Still, what is your soul worth?
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36.
Men are becoming what society has wanted them to become, pitiful creatures that are ashamed of their own masculinity. The men make a case to dismiss God so that they can ignore his law and live their lives in selfish admission. Distractions and sin have led to a willingness to live a blinded life; a life ignorant to their own destruction. Hedonism is the new vogue and it is the greatest lie that men believe to be true. Brief moments of pleasure and fun are constantly sought out and chased after. Downtime is filled with small screens, meaningless memes, and videos of cats with bread on their heads. What are men doing with their lives? What purpose is there? What meaningful significance is there to this existence if we pass into history without changing anything for God’s better plan?
As Paul Bois said in his Oct. 17th, 2017 Daily Wire article,
“…when knights surrender their swords, beasts shall devour maidens.” In a country and culture ruled over by Harvey Weinsteins, one can only raise the question; as Paul asks, “Are there any knights left”?
This has been the Introduction to Men of Valor, by D. Michl Lowe. Available now in full from this website. or at the link here: https://amzn.to/3PiWUoz
D. Michl Lowe