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In an earlier discussion on street evangelists (Is it Love or Not? Street Evangelists Defend Their Method), reader David posted the above video in the comments section. It’s just over two minutes long. Phil is a great speaker and entertaining to this large group of men. Here is David’s comment as it pertained to the street evangelist article:
I will just leave this right here. This kind of manure is not confined just to street preachers with loud speakers.
Debate 101: Strong language does not equate to strong argument. Just look at the press releases from North Korea and Al Queda. If you have strong arguments, you just let them speak for themselves. I know 2+2=4. There is no need to get all worked up about it and employe strident and color language to defend it. The proof is out there. Take it or leave it.
Yesterday was the first time I saw this video. Some of you may remember that I have had a personal connection with Phil Johnson during my lawsuit. We actually had an hour-long phone conversation where he heard my side of the story and he seemed to not only hear me and understand what I was saying, but also he identified with spiritual abuse telling me a personal story. The conversation was positive and I publicly disclosed that. Having that personal background with Phil made the video even more interesting to me.
Now this video intrigues me for a number of reasons. First of all, this is published by the powers that be at Grace Community Church. The video is from Shepherds Conference 2010. It is a conference for pastors and church leaders and for men only. I’m pretty sure my former pastor was in that specific audience. Each year he takes a group of men from his church down to S. California to attend. My husband went several years. The men always came back fired up. We heard glowing comments about the preaching.
One reason this video intrigues me is that it is labeled as “Pulpit Highlights.” It is most likely posted as a teaser to get us interested in Phil Johnson’s full message. Most every day I post a diverse selection of Christian-related articles (some I agree with, some I don’t) on my SSB Facebook page. I post a link and then either add some of my personal words to highlight the article or take quotes from the article. The purpose of that highlight is to draw people in and “sell” the article. So, that thought came to me when I watched the short video – – that Grace Community powers-that-be thought that Phil’s message in that short clip was the selling feature of Phil’s talk. They wanted to use that part of the video to draw us in and encourage us to view the full-length video.
Below this video, we can click on another link to see the full video. I might do that later on to see where he’s going with this clip, but to be clear, this post is discussing specifically the Pulpit Highlights content.
Ok, so here is one of the first key phrases of the teaser that sets the tone for the highlighted video:
I think it’s an incontrovertible fact that the typical evangelical church of this generation has become weak and womanly. Church goers demand that their preachers be soft and dainty – especially when they are dealing with hard-edged truths.
I’m a woman. Weak and womanly? Soft and dainty? Are all women weak and soft? Do I seem weak and soft to you? hahahaha I mean, it’s not that I haven’t tried, but when I’m passionate about something . . . . just sayin’ And in the context, he sure seems to be painting women in a negative light. The church is made up of an awful lot of women. God created women and said it was good, right? I’m pretty sure Adam liked Eve. I highly suspect if all the women in the world tonight left their spouses’ beds tonight, we’d be dealing with some whiney men because it is a known fact that men “need” women to take care of some of their ahem personal needs, yet in this context, being womanly is negative. Ick, Phil. It seems he could have said weak without the womanly part, ya think? But instead it feels so demeaning. Uh-oh, I said “feels.” Yes, women feel. Carry on.
Are there biblical references to the church being masculine or feminine? Do you know of any? Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any. If there aren’t, then why is this an issue?
“Today’s evangelicals favor feminine themes: emotional hurts, our personal relationships, our felt needs, we are hurting people. ” (JA note: Phil says this phrase with an increasingly pathetic helpless tone to exaggerate his point which brings the audience to laughter – – – let me be clear – the all-male audience.)
Did you notice how he seems to equate emotions and relational issues as “feminine”? Once again, Phil is taking something that God made: feelings/emotions, seems to be ridiculing them and connecting them with women in a negative fashion. He didn’t need to add the word feminine and actually when he did so, it seems to imply that only women feel and have emotional hurts, etc. Ok, right there, any of you men who have ever felt emotions, ever had tears come down your cheeks, had personal relationship issues, felt hurt, you were just put in that feminine class. You need to Man Up (whatever that means). Go ahead and take care of that before you continue reading. I’ll wait.
Gary W. had a great response:
Just took a look at the Phil Johnson “manliness” sermonette. Wonder what he does with concepts such as binding up the brokenhearted (Is. 61:1)? Maybe I’ve had this passage wrong along. Maybe it means binding up as in putting them in chains. Yeah, that’s gotta be it. After you’ve driven them to the edge of the abyss emotionally and spiritually, make ‘em confess and repent and, especially, SUBMIT. Still, there’s that pesky passage about our God being the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. 2 Cor. 1:3. Nah, must be reading that one out of context.
Gary is absolutely right. How much of Psalms is David crying out to God in pain and anguish? Are those not emotions and feelings? I think David was a guy/dude, right?
I think Phil’s real message is that pastors should not minimize biblical principles when preaching. I get that. But I think this feminization/emotion/personal relationship message is the wrong message. Sure, it worked for a crowd of men, but was this a conference to build up mens’ masculinity or was it a conference to encourage men to rightly divide the Word? If the real message is to stick to the Bible and not minimize important biblical principles, then say that. How does a man who “waters down” scripture then become a woman, like a figure skater? Fo real, Phil? No, regardless of what you say, he’s still a man. I’m sure if he checked his undies, he’d still find the same male genitalia which means he’s a man, right? I mean, come on – this really does not boil down to a man/woman issue, but an accurate interpretation of scripture. Quit calling men/churches womanly, Phil.
And for the record, this woman thinks a man who can be for real and emotional is a REAL man, whether that is standing up for the truth in a strong way ready to kick someone’s butt or one who sheds tears when seeing injustices or suffering – you know, kind of like Jesus. What a concept. Jesus wept. And he preached authoritatively and lovingly. And he had compassion with shoes on. Men who belittle men by calling them womanly and effeminate are not real men. I salute my male readers who are real men. I salute my male pastor friends who don’t resort to trash-talking specific genders, but respect all.