The Meek

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.[1] 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.

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  1. Numbers 12 v 3(KJV) tells us that ……. Now the man Moses [was] very meek, above all the men which [were] upon the face of the earth.) Hmm interesting – especially because Moses wrote this about himself!! When I think of Meek – Moses isn’t the first person who springs to my mind.

    Just maybe Meek in God’s eyes doesn’t quite mean what we think it means. Maybe Meek just means humbling accepting and using your God given giftings. Knowing and accepting what God thinks of you, rather than what you think of yourself. Yes self-efacing but also yes being confident to do exactly what you have been skilled to do.

    Meekness is maybe saying – without Christ I can do nothing – but hallelujah I am not without Christ – through Christ I can do ANYTHING – Praise the Lord Philippians 4 v 13

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  2. Very good Ian. Particularly about the whole ‘man and church’ thing.

    For me, I think this verse has a future tense about it…..I’m no original language scholar but my amplified bible clarifies meek with {mild, patient, long-suffering} which suggests to me a looking to the future. Maybe someone else you know can shed light on the original language?

    I’d suggest the 6 beatitudes which end in “…shall….” are more forward looking; although also encompassing the here and now.
    eg in verse 8, “….shall see God!”. Well, my hope is in a final day when I shall see God – not to say I haven’t seen Him at all so far – but in a complete way, if you like not through a mirror darkly but face to face. Quite a scary thought actually. I’d probably be face down on the ground.

    Back to Paradoxes…..if you have the (power of the) kingdom in you, you also have the power to be meek. In the face of things that need you to be long-suffering.

    If you try to be meek without God, well, you’re going to fail.
    without God: nice, yes, meek, maybe sometimes……but meekness like Christ’s – no chance.

    Once or twice I have come close to true meekness and it both challenges and worries ‘agressors’. Not big words, not shows of power or strength – just meekness.
    Christ before Pilate springs to mind, where Pilate becomes alarmed by Jesus refusing to defend Himself. To the point of Pilate explaining the obvious (don’t you know I have the power to crucify you) and Jesus still remaining meek. Now that is a hard act to follow…..

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