Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard men whinge that the Church is too effeminate and emasculating. To be fair, I agree to a certain extent with that statement but still the objection is often raised that Jesus never advocated that Christians should be doormats.
Men, it is argued, like to fight and feel the significance of a battle. They love to have their egos stroked so that they might feel important and worthwhile. No man wants to feel used or less than a man, and so Christianity can’t mean that. Christianity must empower masculinity. One could quote John 2:13-16, especially v. 15:
“And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.”
Oh yes, Jesus the strong man, the mighty warrior. What man wouldn’t want to emulate that? What strong, masculine figure would not want to be right there in the fight with him?
Yet when the fight became deadly, where were all the men? When the cost was demanded, where were these strong, masculine figures? They ran like scared children (Matthew 26:69-75).
In the victorian era, there was a revival or sorts which became known as ‘Muscular Christianity’, stressing activism and missions. Some argue that the results were seen in the expansion of the British empire, not in the advance of the Heaven-Kingdom. Appealing to masculinity may have gotten more men interested in the Church, but did it advance the Gospel? What of meekness? Does meekness spread empires? Does it subjugate people? Does it esteem the self?
That ‘Muscular Christianity’ is seeing a comeback, often bullying and belittling those who don’t fit the mould. I’m sure I’ve ranted against certain preachers and books on here before.
Meekness, in Christ’s words, is the way to gain the world.
Sometimes I don’t think even the church believes this.
“We’re not supposed to be doormats” they say.
No, we’re supposed to be the part people wipe the grime of their shoes upon.
I don’t need to remind you of Philippians 2:5-11 do I?
The meek shall inherit the earth. That is especially hard for the man to hear. Man wants to grasp and grab and take hold of what he wants. He will stop at nothing, yet the world will escape his grasp for it is promised to the meek. It is a call to deny everything one thinks one knows about how to ‘do life’. Meekness is frowned upon, mistaken for weakness.
Jesus sees it as blessed. Though he may have everything taken from him, the world will be his. What a promise. What a challenge.