Skip to main content

Aggression and Misogyny

I continue to be perplexed by the (usually American) suggestion that aggression is a male Christian virtue.  Michael Patton seems to think that it is not only a virtue but an essential pastoral character trait. It is worth saying, from my own experience, that aggression is totally not the way to deal with confrontation either in pastoral work or wider life.  I am a naturally aggressive person but I have had to tame that aggression especially in conflict situations.  Aggression always escalates the situation and sends signals to the other party that they too need to become more aggressive.  It is a posture of insecurity and fear rather than confidence and love.  Aggression seeks to persuade through intimidation and vehemence rather than sound argument and compassion.  Aggression closes the heart to the Spirit and fills it with bile towards your opponent.

What Patton, and by implication John Hobbins, need to realise is that aggression and misogyny are both results of the Fall (See Genesis 4 and 3 respectively), and so by definition are to be resisted at every point, not accepted as cultural norms. "Muscular" male dominated Christianity is not worthy of the name Christianity, it is instead a celebration of so much that is wrong with the world.  Inconsistent misogynists around the world need to stop telling everyone they are simply doing what the Bible says and realise that they are working for the enemy. 

Comments

  1. I think that, in our culture today, people have a very dualistic view of what I'd call boundary-marking.

    As a culture we don't seem to understand that it is possible both to set boundaries about what is right and wrong and to be gracious in doing it.

    As I posted on Michael's blog (we'll see if my post makes it past moderation), it's very possible to confront people with their wrong-doing and exert leadership by being a trust-worthy presence. If people genuinely have experienced you as someone who cares about right and wrong and as someone who cares about their well-being, they will stomach a ticking-off when they know they have done wrong. And it is the duty of a Christian leader (and also a parent's duty) to have the guts to set down those boundaries. Aggression not needed.

    I'd go so far as to say that someone who needs to use aggression to lead people is not actually a leader but an insecure follower with pretentions to leadership.

    Jesus was assertive. He knew what was right and what was wrong. But Jesus was not aggressive. If he'd been aggressive he would have called down the legions of angels - as he said - to save him from crucifixion. He would have been the kind of Messiah that flawed human beings wanted him to be rather than the kind of Messiah the Father wanted him to be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely :-)
    Welcome to the blog Pam.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Glad I found it; it looks interesting. Thank you for your welcome.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why Dr Charles Stanley is not a biblical preacher

Unusually for me I was watching the tele early on Sunday morning and I caught an episode of Dr Charles Stanley preaching on his television program. Now I know this guy has come under some criticism for his personal life, and that is not unimportant, but it is also not something i can comment on, not knowing the facts. His preaching is however something I can comment on, at least the one sermon I did watch.

He started off by reading 2 Timothy 1:3-7. Which is a passage from the Bible, so far so good. He then spent the next 30 minutes or so talking about his mum and what a great example of a Christian mother she was. Now nothing he said or suggested was wrong, but none of it actually came from scripture, least of all the scripture he read from at the beginning. It was a lovely talk on how Stanley's mother raised him as a Christian despite considerable difficulties and it contained many useful nuggets of advice on raising Christian kids. All very nice, it might have made a nice…

That one time Jesus got the Bible wrong

It's so typical isn't it? You are preaching all day long, training your disciples, sparring with the Pharisees, encouraging the poor and down trodden, healing the sick and casting out demons, all day, day after day, and even when you go up a mountain to get a rest the crowds hunt you down and follow you up, and then the one time you get a bit muddled up with some of the details of a biblical text . . . that is the one they write down in the first gospel - verbatim. At least Matthew and Luke had the good sense to do some editing. But Mark, he always had his eye on giving the public the "historical Jesus" whoever that is supposed to be . . . warts and all. Thanks a lot Mark!

Some think I made the mistake on purpose, just to show the Pharisees up.

For some there is no mistake worth mentioning, only a slightly ambiguous turn of phrase.

Others think I am doing something tricky with Abiathar's name, getting him to figuratively stand in for the priesthood.

It really has…

The Addictive Power of End Times Speculation

The mighty Rhett Snell has picked up his blog again (I wonder how long he'll last this time), check out his theory on why people get so into annoyingly unbiblical end times nonsense.

I think that where codes-and-calendars end times theology is dangerous, is that it can give a sense of false growth. We read a theory online, or hear it from some bible teacher, and we come to think that we have mastered an area of our faith. A bit like levelling up in a computer game, or Popeye after he’s eaten some spinach. At worst, we begin to believe that we’ve taken a step that other Christians have not; that we’ve entered an elite class of Christianity.