Monthly Archives: September 2012

I suppose I’m a fairly typical guy. I love Top Gear, sport and action movies. I love extreme (ish) endurance challenges, prog rock (cant believe I just admitted that) and nothing more than and banter filled evening with my mates. I’m also madly and deeply in love with my wife of 19 years and I totally adore and love to bits my two daughters Emily and Annie who are 12 and very nearly 14.

I also have a sex drive. I’m a red blooded male, so what do you expect? The fact we don’t talk about it much in churches doesn’t mean that we don’t. However, there’s a problem. The world outside the church is highly sexually driven but they do talk about it. In fact, they don’t just talk about it; they flaunt it and get in everyone’s faces. The church by contrast seems powerless to respond and the sexualised culture we have marches on.

There’s a lot I could say but in a few short words I’ll say it as it is:- I’m pretty sick of the porn peddlers. It drives me mad (anger is a very underrated fruit of the spirit). I walk into a newsagent with my two girls and right in their faces are a bunch of lads mags with bare breasted women and smutty headlines. So what’s that saying to my girls? Its saying something like;

“you are objects of sexual gratification for blokes…that’s all your good for.”

And what’s it saying to men? I guess its something like; “this is what drives you…we know what you’re really all about…we know what you really want…and its smut and sleaze”

Time to take a stand I think fellas.

You want to make a difference? Next time you see lads mags in a newsagent at eye line, either turn them all around or scoop ‘em up and place them on the counter and ask them to be displayed more appropriately. Evil persists when good people do nothing. (Edmund Burke).

It’s also time for blokes to start to speak up and put up. We’re not all driven by sleaze. We can flipping love sex but be monogamous and strictly eyes front. We need to start fighting the porn cancer that’s eating at the hearts of men. Watch this space but I feel like a man at war.

As for page 3? It’s become so culturally ingrained we’ve forgotten how demeaning it is for us all. I’m writing this on the day that the Duchess of Cambridge had a picture taken of her topless on holiday whilst in private. It’s a disgrace. Lets show that we want no more part of this. Take 5 minutes and sign this petition. Time to start demonstrating that ‘real men’ don’t do porn.

Carl Beech

The last time I was interviewed by, it was the most-read article on their website for weeks on end. This interview was written and first published by Sam Hailes here…

Having seen the head of Christian Vision for Men (CVM) give his seminar at New Wine, I waited patiently as a queue of people formed to speak to Carl. He would later reveal, while making a point about lust being a “primary issue” for men, that every conversation he had was about sexual sin.

After half an hour of Carl counseling and praying for people, we made our way to the speaker’s tent to discuss his vision of seeing a million men come to faith in Jesus.

One Million Men

Carl tells me that according to surveys, 75% of British men are antagonistic when it comes to the gospel. “Which leaves 25% who are not…I think we can take a million of that 25%. I think it’s a God given figure actually. I had a prophetic guy contact me recently who said ‘I don’t think a million is enough, you need to up your game’ which is quite interesting.”

Speaking bluntly throughout our interview, Carl keeps his answers to my questions brief and to the point. He’s just explained CVM’s four levels of evangelism. 500 small groups across the UK and beyond aim to: 1) Befriend other men 2) hold an event with a speaker who shares the gospel 3) organise an all male course further explaining the gospel 4) help people find a male friendly church.

Starting a fight

Next, the subject turns to testosterone.

“I’ve got my testosterone for a reason and since I don’t need to hunt a stag for dinner anymore, I might as well use it for something,” Carl says

“I’m trying to call the guys to get involved in a fight with something that’s noble and good.”

“We’ve been given a fighting spirit so I’m trying to call the guys to get involved in a fight with something that’s noble and good. I’m not talking about bar room brawls but the spiritual equivalent of that.”

“Let’s tackle issues like violence against women, seek to become better husbands and fathers or if we’re single keep our sexual integrity. We’re there to make a profound difference and bring men to Christ. So use your testosterone for good.”

The Code

The 12 point honour code Carl developed has resonated with thousands of men across the UK. What is it about?

“It’s like a new monastic order without the celibacy and we can still have a drink,” he says.

“The idea is you read it, are inspired by it and take action because of it. There’s things like ‘Jesus is my captain brother, rescuer and friend’ which is a declaration of faith and the last one is ‘I’ll never give up because he’ll never give on me’ which is a declaration of grace.”

“There’s stuff like ‘I’ll treat all men and women as brothers and sisters.’ If you do that you’re not going to jack off to porn because she’s a potential sister in Christ.”

“We thought about 12 areas of a man’s life that need to be brought into sharp focus. It took two years to work out 12 statements. Normally I do things in half an hour so that was quite challenging,” he admits.

The Manual
Following on from The Code, Carl has just released a series of short snappy devotions for men called The Manual.

“On the basis that most men’s attention span is short and we like things that are blunt and direct we thought we’d pick on the issues that man are facing. They are 200-300 words long and start with a verse and end with a prayer. The idea is everyday a guy can pick them up, read it and get something out of it. It’s not irrelevant fluffy stuff, it’s real stuff that men are facing.”

Although these devotions are hot off the press, feedback has been rolling in already. “I had one guy saying he’s reading it outside of work with two younger men he’s led to Christ before they walk through the office doors. Crucially what we’ve done is we haven’t dated it, we’ve numbered it. If blokes miss the date they won’t look back at it through guilt but if they are looking at number 13 it doesn’t really matter.”

“It’s not irrelevant fluffy stuff, it’s real stuff that men are facing”

‘Why are there tissues everywhere?!’

Those familiar with Carl and his ministry will be unsurprised to hear him complain about what he calls the “romanticisation” of the Church. His seminar at New Wine included a moment where he kicked a box of tissues across the stage asking, “Why are there tissues everywhere!? Do they think we’re all going to cry or something!?”

It was moments like this that made me compare Carl to the controversial US pastor Mark Driscoll. “Yeah people say that,” he replies when I put this to him. “We’re the same age but I’m not as belligerent as he is. I don’t know. I think I’m my own man.”

CVM’s annual event, The Gathering certainly sounds like an event for manly men. “1500 guys together in a field. We burn stuff, eat stuff and talk to people about Jesus. We sing hymns, we don’t sing romantic songs. We make a lot of noise and it’s great fun. We have sports cars and that kind of stuff, it’s good blokey fun.”

Inflicting intimacy

Carl says the women he speaks to hate the romanticisation of the church too. “There’s a really small group of people who are really heavily into some of the intimacy stuff and I wouldn’t want to take that away from them but I would say is ‘don’t inflict that on the rest of us who don’t get it.’”

“A lot of people think you’ve not achieved this revelation of God if you’re not in that zone. They think you’ve got issues because you can’t say ‘Jesus is my lover’ or ‘He is beautiful’. I say ‘if that means I’ve got issues then I’ll keep them! I like those issues!’”

Amusing throughout our short conversation, Carl isn’t afraid to be direct and make important and weighty points. But he isn’t quite as macho as he sometimes comes across. “I drink warm beer in warm pubs with newspapers,” he says as we finish our conversation.

After thanking him for his time, I get up to leave. “Don’t write anything that will make people hate me too much,” he asks. Smiling I reply, “I’ll do my best!”