Real men ain’t wimps?

July 14, 2011

Real men….

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.

Thats 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

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  1. Peter Grant says:

    Great stuff. I very much appreciate the priority that you give to knowing and folowing Jesus. There is freedom in recognising that we as men are all different, and are called to use our various strengths to stand against the abuse of power. Men and women need to stand together to address the issues that you highlight in our society. Here’s to a generation of men playing our part by living by The Code and transforming the culture around us.

  2. Scott Atkinson says:

    Stirring stuff Brother Beech. V.Inspiring :o)

  3. Steve Double says:

    Great piece Beechy – well said!

  4. Dr David Gorst says:

    Erm, testosterone has nothing to do with it! It may surprise you to know that both men and women produce testosterone. Quick biology lesson:

    Testosterone belongs to a class of hormones called androgens. The ovaries produce both testosterone and oestrogen. Testosterone in women is released into the bloodstream by the ovaries and adrenal glands. In addition to being produced by the ovaries, oestrogen is also produced by fat tissue in the body. These sex hormones are involved in the growth, maintenance, and repair of reproductive tissues. However, that’s not all. They influence other body tissues and bone mass as well.

  5. Iain Hesketh says:

    Brilliant post mate. Look forward to reading the articles later in the year.

  6. Rich Cornfield says:

    Thanks Carl. Your thoughtful and wise response is much needed and appreciated. Keep going.

  7. Dean Gray says:

    Carl, Absolutely spot on. I agree totally and I also believe that ‘one’ has to come to a remarkable understanding to truly know that you are who you are because of what and how God created you to be. Until you find that truth, you will always be in turmoil with your own identity, and amazing as this sounds, your identity will in no doubt be the first to be tested by the enemy. God has given us all we need to accomplish what He wants us to do, lets not forget that God has given us the skills, the talents and the strength to love Him and to love and serve one another.

  8. Jo Parkins says:

    My husband posted this post to his wall on facebook – and I thought it very refreshing. For all the ladies, I thank you!

  9. Fantastic a well written and balanced view. Thank you for this.

  10. Pete says:

    Carl, with respect, I don’t see how refusing to mention the names of those you disagree with does any service to the church whatsoever. It’s not “telling the truth in love” and it leaves people confused. The apostle Paul named certain false teachers, and theologians always name names. This brings clarity and openness.

    It’s obvious who at least one of your comments is directed at. So I am happy to say that just as I disagree with the prosperity gospel as promoted by Benny Hinn, Morris Cerullo, and many others, I also disagree with the sexist views of Mark Driscoll, which have no basis in scripture and are offensive to any right-minded man or woman.

    Yes, if we have to disagree, we must do so in a way that brings honour to God – by avoiding personal insults, using the Bible as our guide, and sticking to facts – but we must never let the challenges of doing this stop us from correcting error when we encounter it.

    • Carl Beech says:

      Yes that’s a good point and I expected a response like this. I actually have/had no specific individual in mind in a focussed way but a rather a raft of teaching that is causing some debate. My intention was that by not focussing on any individual that our own position would be seen. By naming names, it becomes personalized and reactionary, which is not my intention. I was asked what we think about men and women. My mistake was to refer to the United States, as it’s not just
      coming from there. If/when the time came for a specific correction to a specific ministry (I do say its ok to take a strong position on something in the blog) I would not hesitate to do so. At this time however, I do not feel it to be necessary. This blog outlines our position rather than rebuke someone else’s.
      Thanks for the input.

  11. James Lawrence says:

    Thanks for these helpful thoughts. It is SO important that we recognise the diversity of masculinity there is out there. Roy McCloughry helpfully makes the distinction between maleness (a biological given) and masculinity (cultural accretions that are attached to being male). Let’s let men be men in the wondefully diverse range of ways that is expressed within a biblical framework for masculinity, and let’s engage with evangelism among men in a suitably diverse range of ways that we attract all men to Christ!

    • Carl Beech says:

      Thanks James. Yes, we would agreen with the need for diversity at CVM. We have specialists working in areas asndiverse as senior citizens to Asian culture. However, we also need to acknowledge that wen have very much failed to reach builders and dockers etc. A major effort is needed there. Especially in church culture. We are far more geared up in churches for the professional or more gentle class of masculinity… That’s why CVM is occasionally accused of being “blokey.” with limited resources and finances we can do so much. The church default needs marginally less input re out reach to porfessional men. Roy and I have toyed with the idea of a joint book…

  12. Matthew says:

    I appreciate your piece, Carl. Whatever masculinity is, it cannot be found in any better example than Jesus.
    But I do wonder what your thoughts are on the issues that Mark raises. There is, after all, a difference in the number of active Christian men compared to women. Why do you think this is so? Prof. Rodney Stark makes the case that early Christianity (right back to the times of the Apostles) consisted of about twice as many Christian women as Christian men. If that is true, then the lack of Christian men isn’t a modern phenomenon. Anyhow, perhaps you would like to share some thoughts on this?

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