Friday, 25 July 2014

Justification by Manliness.

Over on his blog,, Joe Khan has been talking about how many of today's markers for manliness are rooted in things that simply don't matter or are limited to the current cultural climate.  Though there's nothing necessarily wrong with those markers - what it does do is cause men (even Christian men) to justify themselves by being a certain type of man, which may not reflect the true, and timeless, markers the Bible gives for a Godly man.
I am just going to come out and say it... as men we struggle with feelings of insignificance! From the day that the curse of sin entered into humanity men have been struck by the helplessness of working hard but accomplishing nothing. Perhaps for a man there is no more crippling fear than feeling you will never contribute anything, amount to anything or be recognised for anything. So us men are suckers for the cultural markers of manliness... because if you can achieve all the markers it fills your significance tank; it marks you as a true man. And so we will line up to get ink done, grow our beards, fork out for that tailored suit, start benching at the gym and constantly post it all to Facebook so that everyone will know that we are men! This is how we prove ourselves... this is how we feel good about our masculinity... this is how we build our sense of significance... this is how we justify ourselves.
If we, as men, are clinging to that cultural definition of what a real man is, we will find ourselves struggling to find any true identity at all. Justifying ourselves by something subjective is flawed from the start, because the entire notion of a subjective idea is that it can change or be interpreted through each individual's experience.  As Christian men we do have an objective truth found in Scripture - though there are many subjective ideas of a man in Scripture (responsible, sacrificial) - they can only be truly experienced through the objective identity we find when we identify ourselves as IN CHRIST.  Which brings us to the topic of Joe's current blog series, the doctrine of justification by faith.
The doctrine of justification by faith frees you from having to justify yourself with the cultural markers of manliness. It calls us to consider our beards, bacon and badass look as dung compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. See in Jesus we don't have to measure up to the ever changing manly image... in fact only in Jesus can we admit our failings as a man because we don't have to prove ourselves to God or anyone else... Justification by faith means that we can rest in the reality that Jesus lived the life of perfect manliness that we have so often failed at...

Go and read the entirety of Joe's post HERE.

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