Nurturing/ Teaching Courses
Straight Talk to Men about Manly Macho Stuff
Dr Alex Tang
26th October 2002
Holy Light Church (English), JB
[ note: the audience was asked to listen and identify the names of the James Bond movies during the talk]
When someone mention a manly macho man, who would spring to mind. Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Lee, Chow Yun Fatt, Bill Gates? How about James Bond? [ By the way, the talk will include the names of all the James Bond movies. See if you can spot them all ] James Bond for the uninitiated is a British Secret Agent, 007 with a LICENCE TO KILL. He is always ON HER MAJESTRY’S SECRET SERVICE. Which of the actors portrays our image of who James Bond should be? Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan. Of all the Bond actors, Sean Connery stands out by a mile. His portray of Bond, in my opinion, brings out all the characteristics of a macho man.
What are these characteristics?
1.1 Macho man is a hunter and provider
Man’s image has always been tied to his work, requiring some kind of physical agility, muscle and strength. He is the guy who brought home something for the pot. Nowadays, we bring home the paycheck. It was a tough way of life, but that’s the way it is. Nowadays, man did not just bring home the bacon. He does it in style. He drives a Mercedes or BMW. He wears clothes that fit every occasion, belongs to the right clubs, vacations in the right place and knows the right people. His world is filled with the symbols of his success at hunting and providing.
1.2 Macho man is a stud
Macho man attracts women. It implies virility. He will be surrounded by women, young and beautiful; each one an OCTOPUSSY, each seems prepared to do anything to gain his favor. It will be a James Bond lifestyle. Getting involved with girls from every country. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and from Malaysia, Datuk Michelle Yeoh.
1.3 Macho man is a fighter
Man has always been tempted by their culture to define manhood in terms of their ability to fight. In primitive life, it was a simple matter. It’s LIVE AND LET DIE. You know whom your enemies are and your job was to get to them and destroy them. Man as warrior. Man with a VIEW TO A KILL. Man as athlete, Man as protector. The fighter who won was handsomely rewarded. He might win the king’s daughter, the choicest lands, the decorations of honor or promotion to high rank.
All of us men must have fantasized to be a character like James Bond. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond did. He wrote about 5 books about this character including DR.NO and THUNDERBALL. But he did not write the screenplay for THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. Ian Fleming even tried to live like his creation, drinking, womanizing and flirting with danger. At one time, he was even involved with the British secret service. In the end, his flamboyant lifestyle killed him.
Let us now examine these three characteristics of a Macho Man from a Christian perspective:
2. Macho Man is a Hunter and Provider : Seduction of Greed
We all have to work for a living. The capitalistic economy that we are living in is actually built on the ‘Protestant Work Ethics’. Work has value and the biblical teachings have always been to work to support our family and ourselves. Benedict coined the phrase Ora et labora, Pray and work or work is prayer.
2.2 Work, Money and Wealth
When we are faithful and hardworking, God does bless us with prosperity. Although it is not a pre-requisite, all those whom God blesses also become rich. Witness Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Job and Solomon. Whom God blesses, He also makes rich. This is an observation, not a doctrine. We must be careful of teachings like “Believe in Jesus and you shall have health and wealth” or “Give to God and He shall give it back to you sevenfold” (Is that a formula for God’s blessing?). Believing in Jesus doesn’t give you a GOLDFINGER. But God often bless us with material gains.
There are two threads of teaching in the Bible about wealth. Its direction to a rich man is like YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. One seems to condemn the rich. “Woe to you who are rich” (Luke 6:24). “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matt.19:24). The other seems to accept that being rich is okay. When Zacchaeus began to give, Jesus announced, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9). Jesus allowed well-to-do women to support His ministry (Luke 8:1-3), He ate with the rich and famous (Luke 11:37; 14:1) and joined in the lavish wedding feast of Cana (John 2:1). I believe Paul effectively brought these two threads together when he wrote, “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim 6:10). Paul is saying, you master your money or money will be your master. Being rich or poor is not the issue here. Your attitude to money is.
2.3 Money is idolatry.
When Jesus uses the Aramaic term mammon to refer to wealth, he is giving it a personal and spiritual character. When he declares, “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt 6:24), he is personalizing mammon as a personal god. In saying this Jesus is making it clear that money is not some impersonal medium of exchange. Money has power, spiritual power to win our hearts, souls and spirit. Behind our coins and dollars or whatever are spiritual forces. Increasing our wealth is addictive. The more you have, the more you want. There is never enough. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. The more you have, the more you want to hang onto it. The more you have, the more difficult it is to give it away.
3. Macho Man is a Stud : Trivialisation of relationship
In the Bond movies, women are regarded as a sex object and instruments of instant gratification. Men and women are different. Their makeup is different. John Gray wrote a book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, which became an instant bestseller. Women read it and forced their husband or boyfriends to read it. That’s why it is a bestseller. What Gray is saying is that men and women are different. Gray said, men are like rubber bands. Women are like waves. We need to understand that especially in the area of sex.
Men are turned on easily – a view of a shapely body etc. Anything that states FOR YOUR EYES ONLY gains our full attention. The sexual drive is always in a constant ‘defcon’ 1 alert. Once aroused, it demands instant gratification. That’s why erotic magazines, X rated movies and the Internet porno sites are doing a roaring business. The primary drive on the Internet for ecommerce is the porno sites.
§ Pornography and sexual fantasy
Pornography uses the female body as a sex object. It is not a person we see but an object of lust.
Scripture does not forbid masturbation. However, Onan’s act of coitus interruptus (withdrawal before ejaculation) in Gen. 38:6-10 by which he refused to impregnate his sister-in-law, was long taken as a prohibition against masturbation. The sin of Onan is not masturbation but that he refused to provide an heir for his brother as required by the Mosaic Law. Pornography and sexual fantasy often ends with masturbation. It is instant gratification. The problems with masturbation are:
(a) it makes lust our constant companion
(b) it is addictive
(c) it gives gratification without relationship
(d) it devalues the sexual life with our spouses. It is instant gratification. There is no need to deal with foreplay, headaches or intimacy with our mates.
It is said that women run away from temptations while men crawl slowly and hope temptations overtake them. As our sexual drive is on high alert, men are easily tempted into sexual infidelity. Pornography and masturbation weakens our sexual resolve and makes us gives in easily to temptation.
§ Intimacy in marriage – what women wants
In a marriage what women wants is intimacy and what men want is sex.
Ø Women wants an intimate relationship with their spouses, women want to talk about their feelings and wants their spouse to talk about their feelings.
Ø Women want their spouses to affirm them in their love for them.
Ø They want their husband to take them out for a quiet dinner at CASINO ROYALE.
Ø Women want to feel that they are protected and valuable.
Ø Women want their spouse to show them in little ways that their spouse still loves them. Like a diamond for their birthday and not a vacuum cleaner. After all DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER.
And what men want is sex.
4. Macho Man is a Fighter : Corruption of Power
The struggle for powerful is instinctive. This instinct is strong in both men and women but stronger in men. Men fight for power because power dominates. We fight with clubs, swords and armies. If we survive, we can always DIE ANOTHER DAY. Now we use computers and knowledge. Knowledge is power. The sin in the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve committed is the sin of power. They ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen.3:1-7) They wanted to know more, to know more than what is right. They are not contented to be creatures. They want to be gods. We too crave for such power. Power to dominate. Power that says TOMORROW NEVER DIES.
4.1 Pride and Power
There is an intimate connection between pride and power. Pride is the GOLDENEYE. Samson was a man of immense power, power given by God. But pride filled his heart, but not only pride but also arrogance. Samson boasted “With the jawbone of an ass have I slain a thousand men”(Judge 15:16). This combination of power, pride and arrogance led to his downfall.
4.2 Destructive Power
There are also spiritual realities behind power. That is why power corrupts us so easily. Paul wrote “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph.6:12). When we gain power, when we gain control and dominance over corporation, companies, institution, communities, the demonic principalities will try to influence us to their will. Power can be destructive. It is MOONRAKER power. Power of the scud missiles. It is destructive when it treats people as objects or instruments, exploits them, perverts justice, destroy the environment and oppresses the poor. Destructive power is ‘looking after number one’. When one considers that that is people with so much power, it literally scares THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of me.
5. Christian Macho Man: Building a Godly Character.
What are some of the characteristics of a Christian Macho Man?
5.1 A Christian macho man has the right attitude towards money.
He recognises that the love of money is the root of all evil. The best test for him is to give his money away. The more generous he is, the less he is attached to his money.
5.2 A Christian macho man recognises that sexual actions are part of intimate relationships. He reserves the sexual act for his mate. He takes time to build up a relationship with his spouse, learning to be a wave, rather than a rubber band. To become a rubber band, he says NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. He avoids sexual temptations like the plague.
5.3 A Christian macho man recognises that power can be destructive or creative. Creative power encourages, builds relationship, give people dignity and fair justice. Creative power also gives away power. It does not hoard power. Creative power empowers others.
6. Closing Remarks
Being manly macho does not mean that we have to be hairy, foul-mouthed, beer guzzling gorillas. It means we accept who we are, our strengths and our weaknesses. It means coming before the Lord in humility, asking the Holy Spirit to transform us into the correct attitude towards money, sex and power. It also means that if we are blessed with these, we are to use it appropriately.
Soli Deo Gloria
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