By Coach Dave Daubenmire
November 5, 2009
Is it ok if I vent a little today? I’ve built up a little frustration over the past couple of months and I just need a pressure release. Will you let me do it?
As you may be aware I have started a varsity football program at a local Christian High School. Although I vowed to myself that I would never return to prowling the sidelines when I walked away from public education in 2000, the opportunity to train young males to be men was something I could not, in good conscience, run from.
Not all males are men. I hope you understand that. Especially convincing is the evidence I have garnered recently that Christian males in particular are the least manly.
It is cultural, I guess. Someone, somewhere, determined that trading the old man for the new man meant losing your backbone. Heck, you can’t even pass gas at a “men’s fellowship” without being looked at as if you had just pee-peed on the Decalogue. Pastors are the worst. Any whiff of “Christian testosterone” sends them to their Joyce Meyer collection of sermons in an attempt to “soften” your rough edges.
Well, not for me. My new birth made me more manly, more courageous, and more willing to live life on the edge. I like guys with rough edges. In fact, I’d rather hang out with some of my “lost” buddies than some of the sissified males I meet in Christian circles. I even said “damn it” once when I was golfing. And that was after I was saved. It’s like one acquaintance opined after playing a round of golf with me. He knew my “reputation” but had never had the opportunity to spend any time with me.
“I gotta tell you Coach, I really enjoyed playing with you. I hope you don’t take this wrong, but you are not like most Christian guys I know. You’re more…normal…I guess is the word. So many guys I know who go to church seem phony…too sweet for me, if you know what I mean. I could see myself hangin’ out with you more often.”
“Come on, Tim,” I barked back. “I’m just like Jesus. Jesus was studly. I got something to die for now. How many guys do you know who can say that?”
His look of bewilderment spoke volumes. “So Dude…Coach…where do you go to church?”
Back to my venting. Our football team is driving me nuts. They are great young men, obedient and mannerly, the kind of kid you could trust with your daughter. But as my own high school football coach often said they need a little “piss and vinegar.” They take the “turn the other cheek” attitude with them onto the field. Our Christian-culture has taught them that being “gracious in defeat” is Christ-like. I tell them being “gracious in victory” is more fun.
Maybe it is just me. I want them to be MEN. Our Christian-culture teaches them to be doormats. In Sunday school they are taught to be kind. I want them to be valiant!
Needless to say, I am swimming upstream on this one. All day long they are taught in school to “act like Christians.” That is the problem, I tell them. Stop ACTING like a Christian and start BEING one.
But we don’t even know what that means. WWJL…What Was Jesus Like? I promise you this. He was all MAN. He confronted evil, challenged the status quo, upset some apple-carts, and spoke what was on His mind. He was the original “Braveheart.”
Come on now. Look around at the Christian role models our young men have to look up to. Most don’t even look like men. What is the word that pop culture has given us…metrosexuals…? Modern Christian men are the ultimate metrosexuals.
What is a metrosexual? According to the Urban Dictionary it is a guy who uses mousse on his hair, cream on his skin, wears jewelry, and designer clothes? (Hey Honey…where are my boots and bibs?) Look at the Pastor your son sees every Sunday. Does he ooze testosterone or progesterone? Is he someone who appears to be steadfast and unmovable or someone who is more compromising and nice?
It matters, you know. What a young man thinks a Christian man looks like, matters. I was raising-Cain with our players last week and I told them “You guys make me want to cuss! The Bible says to be angry and sin not. I want you to know that I am angry enough to cuss…but I’m not going to. You guys would do well to get a little ticked off yourselves.”
But, I suppose Christian men aren’t permitted to get mad anymore. It’s not very Christ-like.
(I’m gonna keep riding this stallion a bit farther.) Look at the “Christian-school your child attends. How many women are doing the teaching? How many women know how it feels to be a man…especially a young one? Who do the young men answer to? You got it…women. Who teaches them about Christianity? Bingo…women. Just where is it our young guys go to learn how to be a man?
Can I use myself as an example? I have always been the aggressive type. Arriving fourth out of five children, being small (5’7”) in stature (I was called Baby Dave by my cousins until I was 10), and a natural whipping boy for my older brothers and their friends, I learned early to stand up and fight back. It was that “spunky” attitude that enabled me to be a three sport star in high school, earn varsity letters in football, basketball, and baseball at Otterbein College, and lead the fraternity in weekend drinking binges. “Daubie” was the life of the party…the original “wild and crazy guy.”
In 1987, at the age of 35, I met Jesus. Raised in church as a child, forced by my mother to watch Billy Graham crusades on television, I was religious enough to know right from wrong. Nothing more than a religious pagan, I ran to the altar with fear and trembling when the Gospel was clearly, and uncompromisingly, articulated to me. From that day forward my life has never been the same. Jesus did for me what a phone booth did for Clark Kent; changed me into a brand new man.
Overnight, I had gone from serving the King of Beers to serving the King of Kings and for the next 10 years “men of God” tried to turn me into a sissy… to domesticate me…to conform me to their image of what a “Christian man” should be. Until the ACLU came knocking at my door.
I thank God for the ACLU…they dynamited my sissy hind-end out of the pew. I’ve been on a devil-hunt ever since.
I grew up on John Wayne and Combat, Have-Gun Will-Travel and Paladin. Who can ever forget Matt Dillon and Gunsmoke, Hoss Cartwright and Bonanza, Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, and Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels in The Lone Ranger?
Has there ever been a greater line than the one uttered by Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke, “Calling it your job don’t make it right.”
Today our sons get weenies like Leonardo DiCaprio, Sean Penn, Clay Aiken, and Zac Efron. Our churches get Joel Osteen, Ed Young, and Ted Haggard.
When I was a young boy the good guys were men, they loved women, and they defended the weak. Today, our leaders “come to consensus,” “reach across the aisle,” and are “open-minded.” Well, not me. I’m closed minded and proud of it. I know what I believe and not afraid to defend it. The prissy-pastors don’t know what to do with me.
I wonder, was Jesus open-minded? Did He preach a message of “consensus building?” Did He use mousse, face cream, and wear designer jeans?”
I was reading this week (Matt 16) where folks had trouble differentiating between Jesus and John the Baptist…they were cousins, you know. The establishment wanted nothing to do with The Baptist…he wasn’t polished enough….locusts, camel hair, wild honey…wasn’t in vogue, if you know what I mean.
Jesus flipped over tables, John’s mouth cost him his head. Their paths took them down the same road.
Jesus wasn’t relevant to the world; He overcame it. “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.”
Keep your mousse and jewelry and pass me the locusts and the wild-honey.
Jesus was no sissy. It’s time we stopped representing him as one.
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