(Originally published at carlbeech.com)
Being the leader of the largest UK men’s movement, I’ve been asked more than a few times lately where we are with some of the teaching coming from the United States.
I need to take serious time to start to put my thoughts down in a considered manner but as my schedule through to September is extremely heavy, to say the least, I thought I would begin with a few bullet points. Come September I hope to have a series of articles in development. One thing I am convinced of is the need for British men to be speaking to British men…I hope I can deliver that over time.
At this time, my primary concern is not to teach the church on issues of gender but to focus on evangelism. By this I mean words and actions. I believe that by reaching men we can start to tackle some of the issues that men face and the sins they perpetrate upon society. With violence against women “off the chart” and sex trafficking able to thrive because of sex addicted men, the last thing we need is macho posturing. We need men to use their strength and testosterone in pursuit of more noble causes.
That’s why I founded the movement based around “the code”.
So here you go:
1. Unlike some ministries and individuals we don’t criticise another man or woman’s ministry from the pulpit or blog. We have enough to do without worrying about targeting friendly fire on each other. We get on with the job in hand and trust that our own message and teaching will get out there in the end. What follows is not directed at any individual.
2. I believe there is no one-way of being a man. Portraying stereotypes is unhelpful and shallow. Human beings are far more complex than any stereotype. People hear my accent and see my build and assume I’m into everything that’s macho and despise anything that looks weak or wimpy. Assumption is the mother of all catastrophe. I play piano, write poems and don’t like football. I also love to cook and don’t mind watching a chick flick with the girls. However, it is true I also love gadgets, shooting stuff, meat, fire and loud music. Big deal. I have testosterone. Some of my mates who also of course have testosterone like none of these things. Big deal. Lets get on with the real task in hand. Millions are dying without Christ. We need all our talents, eccentricities and personalities on task.
3. Projecting ‘macho” as the only type of man speaks to me of deep inadequacy and insecurity. If you were truly a man (of whatever type) you wouldn’t keep needing to talk about it. You would simply live it, demonstrate you are truly comfortable in your own skin and point beyond yourself to Jesus. We tend to bleat on about what we struggle with most. Be mindful of this next time you get a hobby horse!
4. I believe people should be allowed to be comfortable to be whatever they have been made by God to be, within the framework that the bible gives us. Some men will be artistic, others born to lift heavy weights. One is not superior to the other IMO.
5. Being a husband is a huge privilege. The bible tells us to lay down our lives for our wives. I see myself as the thorn on the rose, protecting the rose so that it can flourish and take the lime light. I am called to apologise first, take the hit and carry the can. I love my wife as Christ loved the church….by dying to myself. Lets talk about that before we talk about anything else. IMO, if you take the ability to do that away from me I don’t have much else. This is where feminism goes wrong. More on this another time.
6. Men should use their strength to protect the weak and stand against the abuse of power. There’s a good use for our testosterone. I can’t think of a better one.
7. Do I think my wife is weaker and more easily deceived and that for this reason I should be in charge? Of course not! In fact I feel that this sort of teaching massively insults my wife and I take issue with it in the strongest possible terms. How dare women be spoken of in this way. In fact, if Genesis is used for that argument we should conclude that men are less intelligent and gullible for eating the fruit offered in the first place. This smacks of culture deeply affecting the reading of scripture and control stemming from fear.
8. Every human being is an amazing and stunning creation. There is no place for bullying, intimidating, harassing, stereotyping or squashing another person or ministry. Taking strong issue with something is a different matter.
9. Jesus exercised power and strength with nails through his skin and bone. Sometimes we need to remember this.
10. My greatest heroes are those who serve humbly, walk diligently before God and lay their lives down. It’s not about following someone with greater physical strength who can handle himself in a dark alleyway.
Hope that helps for now to at least begin to understand where we are at with some issues. Don’t forget to check out the code. Its going ballistic and men are finding faith in Jesus through it.
Grace to you