06 March 2010

Brothers, We Are Not Figure-Skaters

by Phil Johnson

Pulpit Highlights - Phil Johnson from Grace Community Church on Vimeo.



Phil's signature

101 comments:

Frank Turk said...

Most people can't pull off a message like that, Phil. They don't have the spiritual gifts.

Richie said...

Phil, great message. This was my first SC and it was a blessing to hear such great men in person and be around like-minded men. My Bible study class sponsored a young pastor to attend with me who is struggling with difficult pastoral resistance at a church in Georgia. It was such an encouragement for him to be around you all and be exposed to such high-view worship and expository preaching. Thank you and all the staff/speakers at GCC for a great week. The investment in young preachers lives will not be realized this side of heaven.

DJP said...

So, yo, Frank-IE.

Would you have the nerve (or cred) to do a post here, and simply tag it, "masculinity, Frank Turk"?

Me neither.

John Doe said...

Phil,

this is a very timely word for the church.

I fail to see, however, how any of what you said could be a laughing matter for anyone, particularly a flock of ministers.

Should we not rather be in mourning for the state of His church? Be grieved in our hearts and prompted to prayer and intercession?

Caleb Kolstad said...

Thanks for this. When can we download the entire sermon?

Phil Johnson said...

The full message can be downloaded here.

Barbara said...

John Doe,

If you listen to the message in its entirety, you'll find that these moments in this particular clip are a kind of a moment of relief in the midst of a very strong message. The laughter in this portion is not a reflection on the message as a whole, nor - at least according to the audio - of the reaction to the whole message. It is a skillful wielding of the sword.

Phil Johnson said...

John Doe:

In light of God's wrath against sin and the reality of hell, how could ANYTHING ever be funny? And yet Scripture doesn't condemn humor. In fact, the most pointed kinds of humor in Scripture are juxtaposed against references to divine wrath: see Psalm 2:4-5; Matthew 19:24.

I don't know about you, but I'm perfectly capable of both heart-grief and laughter simultaneously. If that weren't the case I would probably never agree to officiate at a funeral. I think your suggestion that laughter and grief are always totally incompatible rests on an artificial distinction.

Strong Tower said...

Five golden emerods...

That's funny even for the serious.

During a time of Israel's shame, that is, they were idolatrous, Eli was Judge over Israel and his wicked sons were in charge of the Ark, God's humorous warning to Israel is serious. (Interestingly, Phil, the Philistine encouraged themselves by saying "be men and fight.")

Now the fact is that God not only performed a jocular sign to put the fear of God back in Israel, but further made the Philistines make representations of them and place them on the cart with the Ark. The humor seems to get a little more stark in that God juxtaposes Israel's shameful treatment of the Covenant by characterizing it as piles of piles. I don't even want to think of what that looked like. In Deuteronomy 28:27, the Lord threatens Israel with this very plague if they turn to the ways of those around them. Added to that, Eli in his neglect had allowed the blasphemies of his sons to persist.

Not to get all Driscolli or any thing, the emesis from a severe case, for the word means running blood, would have made the men like women during their time and by that would have made them unclean and unable to engage in most of the communal and all the ceremonial life of Israel. Now that is serious and a dark kind of humor.

As Phil mentioned: He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.

And why? So that: The righteous shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, “See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!”

Amazing that we are both to fear God's wrath and laugh... but there it is.

donsands said...

I wish our pulpits had more men with courage like Phil. Of course humility and compassion, and meekness and gentleness, but confidence in the truth, and in the Word is lacking big time.

What would our Church, and nation for that matter, look like if every pulpit had the fullness of the Word being preached in the power of the Holy Spirit?

I believe there would converts like crazy, within the Church, and then the Lord would be adding to the Church daily, those who are being saved, in our cities and neighborhoods.

Have a blessed Sunday. Now off to worship and to hear the Word.

dac said...

If your men were half as tough as high school female figure skaters, you would have real men.

First, they either would be up early or up late, or both, working hard. Practice starting at 6am or 10pm is not uncommon because of ice time demand.

Second, they would actually listen to you, because figure skaters learn one thing early - you do what the coach says, when they say it. And unlike churches, coaches enforce discipline.

Third, they will pay attention - nothing builds concentration like skating very fast with 19 other skaters, all doing different things, waving really sharp blades in your face. Someday go down to your local rink when the Senior girls are skating - walk out on the ice, stand in the middle of the rink. Having your head on a swivel takes on a whole new meaning when 19 people are running as fast as they can in random directions swinging machetes around.

Third, they would be tough. Try this - take a run down your drive way, leap up, spinning (two full rotations please) and land on your big toe (oh, and someone greased your concrete landing spot). Pick your self up, repeat. 12-15 times. And no pads or helmets please - that's for sissy football players. When your coach relents, move onto to other things that involve hurling your body around and landing on very hard surfaces. The next day, do it again. Eventually you will be able to land correctly. Your reward will be an even harder jump (try three full rotations before landing on your big toe)

The real problem with your analogy is that by using it, the rest of your message is judged by how the audience relates to it - if they agree, they are more likely to agree with your biblical points. But when the analogy is a fail, the question in the audience is then which of your biblical points are fail?

Sign me - someone not tough enough to be a figure skater. But my daughter is. Or was - in college she moved onto a less dangerous sport - Lacrosse.

Phil Johnson said...

dac:

Thanks for providing a classic example of the exact point I was making--which, BTW, had nothing to do with fitness, flexibility, or female skaters.

Here.

Barbara said...

Richie, I'm in Georgia. There is much resistance here. Would be more than happy to pray for the young man that your class is sponsoring, and if he's anywhere in the southeastern portion of the state I can put him in touch with a brotherhood that includes my own pastor who meet weekly and nourish each other. And if not, there are folks in other areas of the state who are fighting the same battles. If he needs networking and prayer and encouragement in the battle to bring his church to a biblical and doctrinally sound foundation, there are those who will embrace him here. My email is in my profile.

The Doulos said...

Phil, appreciate your points in this message (toughness of figure skaters notwithstanding). Your comments regarding the expectations of postmodern evangelicals of their pastors is right on. In fact, I recently saw this in our church as we searched for a new sr pastor. Many in the congregation wanted a man who was "relational", while others were most concerned with finding a strong Biblical leader. Not to imply there was division over this issue, but definitely some difference of opinions. Praise God that He brought us a man (a friend of yours I believe) who is a solid Biblical shepherd leader and expositor, as well as a man of compassion and who cares for the flock. Too often these are seen as mutually exclusive traits, when in fact they are the picture of the complete man of God.

Tom said...

Based on the response from the audience, I thought I was listening to a sermon from Hammond, Indiana.

Sad.

DJP said...

I'm unclear as to what's "sad," no-profile guy.

Is it "sad" that an obscure allusion to a midwestern city should be passed off as a comment? (Was it a toss-up between saying that, or writing "Aye, but what of the Kraffnarok of Yaardwün?")

Is it "sad" that this is the most contentful response you could muster to Phil's razor-sharp, dead-on-target observation?

Some clarification might be helpful.

Or maybe not.

Tom said...

DJP,

For the more obtuse, allow me to clarify my allusion: http://www.fbchammond.com/

I don't necessarily disagree with the content of Phil's entire Shepherds Conference message or his 2007 message, "Time to Act Like a Man in the Church." What is sad is that these same men (pastors) who will whoop it up during Phil's message and in the presence of other pastors will lack the manhood to actually live out this truth in their homes and churches.

Tom
a.k.a. "No-profile Guy"

Habitans in Sicco said...

Hammond, IN, is where Jack Hyles preached. Your commenter is expressing disapproval for the hooting and hollering from the fundamentalists and other out-of-control Baptist types who were in the audience.

Always happy to translate.

You're welcome.

Habitans in Sicco said...

Oh. I see "no profile guy" beat me to it. I guess I lingered too long trying to figure out the word verification.

Anyway, you see? I'm right.


Again.

DJP said...

So, NPG... you can tell, just by the fact that they laughed at Phil's acerbic humor, that they're all just a bunch of spineless hypocrites? To the point of having an emotional reaction based on the certitude of your extrasensory perception?

Tom said...

DJP,

Look at their churches. Even Phil admits that he and MacArthur have been drumming this "manhood" drum for quite a while with little success.

Instead of whooping it up, these pastors should repent.

So, yes, on this issue, many of these pastors are a bunch of spineless hypocrites.

LeeC said...

Making accusations against elders is a serious matter not to be done lightly. And I would say far more serious than say laughing at a humorous point during a sermon.

I wish Pastor James Spurgeon still posted here so that he could address the "Hammond" comment. Which is seriously funny considering I cannot imagine anyone who supports the teaching at the church alluded to willingly attending the Shepherds conference.

In fact most that I have met consider Dr. MacArthur to be something of a heretic sadly.

My word verification is "Storm"

DJP said...

...and you can tell that, just by looking at them?

Whereas a Real Man would not have laughed when Phil said it sounded more like rules for figure skaters? He would have... what, bit a chunk out of a tree stump, or something?

Because, you know, otherwise you just slandered a bunch of doing-their-best brothers who took off a week to be taught, trained, challenged, built up, and sent back into battle a bit encouraged — all just because they laughed at a telling,, on-target, humorous line.

Phil Johnson said...

I'd be hesitant to judge them all hypocrites. There are lots of good, faithful, battle-scarred pastors in that audience. Some of them are too sober-minded for Hyles-style fundamentalism but not metrosexual enough to fit in with the Young and Restless Reformed clique.

I suspect a few guys from that battle-scarred category were the ones doing the shouting, and while usually I'm not thrilled to cause that kind verbal, demonstrative feedback, my sense was that a lot of what you were hearing really did come from the heart.

Including the Arminian who punctuated one of my comments with a shockingly loud AMEN (when I scolded the Young, Restless, Refomed guys in a remark not included in the above clip)! I saw him afterward, and he assured me he wasn't doing that just to be funny.

Tom said...

DJP,

I can tell that by looking at the state of most evangelical (even fundamentalist) churches.

If what Phil said about these churches is correct, who's mostly to blame (read Hosea 4)?

BTW, the term is not slander but libel. However, I did neither based on the state of evangelical and fundamentalist churches on this issue.

Tom said...

Phil,

I respect what you had to say in both this message and your earlier message (2007).

I would have hoped these men, battle-scarred or not, would have repented over this issue instead of whooping it up.

Isn't that the example we see from real mean like Daniel and Nehemiah?

trogdor said...

So you're upset at men for acknowledging a problem and being trained to fight it? Truly you have a dizzying intellect. You keep using the term "hypocrite". I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Tom said...

Trogdor,

The training is needed. My concern is that many of these men receive this training, express their approval at what they're taught by hooting and hollering, and go back to their families and churches and do nothing.

Phil Johnson said...

Tom:

Actually Daniel and Nehemiah seem very different from one another, and both of them were markedly different from Elijah. I rather suspect you would not approve if some 21st-century pastor imitated Nehemiah's expression of machismo in Nehemiah 13:25.

Anyway, I don't think it's fair or right to insist that there's an ideal personality and everyone should be like that. Black churches are well known for lots of shouting and verbal feedback directed at the preacher. I love that--as long as it's natural and sincere, and not merely motivated by wanting to be seen of men.

So again, I think you are making an unnecessarily harsh judgment. Having witnessed some of those Hammond Conferences where sheer tomfoolery was met with similar kinds of demonstrative outbursts, I understand why you might recoil, especially if you have been overexposed to that kind of thing. But I'd be careful about reading too much into the motives of pastors whom you don't really know.

ndmb said...

So you and Mark Driscoll have more in common than you think. :)

Tom said...

Phil,

I recoil not from the laughter but from the lack of repentance on this issue.

When faced with the gross sin of their people, both Nehemiah and Daniel repented. If these pastors want to be credible, their affirmation at the conference needs to result in repentance and change in their families and churches.

So far, that repentance and change haven't happened within evangelicalism or fundamentalism (a point that you make repeatedly).

LeeC said...

And if you accuse one man unjustly what does that make you?

For that matter not all there are pastors either.


Are you saying that you are without blemish? Or that you know each of these mens hearts?

I fear that you are taking a grave responsibility upon yourself in making such blanket accusations Tom.

LeeC said...

My point being the church will never fully be the spotless bride of Christ in this age, but it is a constant struggle moving forward.

Calling us all to be warned and aware of a situation is one thing, or even specifically confronting a specific brother that you have knowledge of an error that they are in.

But this is something completely different.

Brendt said...

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual laugh your glutes off at them.

Yeah, that'll get 'em to straighten up and fly right.

Tom said...

LeeC,

You'll note I said many, not all, pastors.

If this isssue is as rampant in evangelicalism (and fundamentalism) as Phil and MacArthur have repeatedly pointed out, what other conclusion should we draw?

Am I the perfect husband and father? No. That is why after I heard the clip provided, I went and listened to Phil's entire message as well as his 2007 address. I want to be the type of husband and father the Bible calls me to be. However, I realize that voicing my affirmation to what Phil said doesn't amount to much if my life and family are not changed.

trogdor said...

Please forgive me if I don't share your outrage over what people you don't know have yet to not do.

LeeC said...

Tom,
I think you need to actively visit some of these churches.

There are many fine men the Lord has raised up as elders. I would be very careful about disparaging even one of them while they are fighting such hard struggles.

Are they the majority?

Sadly no, but the Bible tells us not to expect that.

If there is clear sin then point it out in a biblical fashion.
If not then Philippians 4:8-9 would seem to apply.

David Rudd said...

i was watching it live (via the interweb). i thought the figure skating thing was funny, well delivered and appropriate.

i thought phil was, for the most part, spot on.

i have no idea what the hearts of those men are like. judging the motives of others is a really dangerous road to go down.

i just hope we can ALL agree that figure skating just isn't a sport...

Tom said...

Trogdor,

Given the repeated failure of many pastors to actually address this issue and make a change in their families, churches, and evangelical (and fundamentalist) culture, you should be concerned.

Oh wait, is this where we're suppossed to agree to disagree? I thought Phil addressed this problem too...

Tom said...

LeeC,

You wrote, "Are they the majority?

Sadly no, but the Bible tells us not to expect that."


Then my use of the "many" qualifier is correct, is it not? Is it too much to expect pastors to live and lead based on God's Word? No.

Was there something wrong with Phil's remarks? No. Is there something wrong when pastors who affirm Phil's remarks in the safety of the Shepherd's Conference go back home and don't actually live it out in their families and churches? Yes.

Am I prejudging many of these pastors? I say no based on the current state of evangelicalism and fundamentalism on this particular issue. Phil and MacArthur have been voicing this concern for YEARS if not decades. This isn't something new these pastors just heard last week.

DJP said...

Oh wait, is this where we're suppossed to agree to disagree? I thought Phil addressed this problem too...

Correct, Tom. Instead, this is the part where you should acknowledge that you shot your mouth off about a bunch of guys you didn't know, in violation of (what) Matthew 7:1 (actually does say), and you should apologize and withdraw your comment.

Now, if you want to say, "I sure pray all those brothers take it to heart" — no problem.

And see, you don't even need to be "sad" about them. Because you don't know them. In fact, all you know about them is good — they took the time and expense to go hear Phil Johnson lay it down straight.

Sounds like a win-win.

Tom said...

DJP,

Until many of these men repent and change their families and churches (instead of just hooting and hollering), there is nothing for which to apologize or withdrawl.

Or, is Phil's and MacArthur's repeated warnings and observations on this issue simply not valid?

Now, if they are valid, many of these men share the responsibility, especially if LeeC is correct that the majority of pastors are the reason for this problem.

Pooka said...

I suspect that the whole conference, in no uncertain terms, laid out the facts of what the attendees were supposed to do and be like.

So they're going home with a LOT of good instruction.

I suspect that leaving the judgement of the fruit to the Lord, who gets to judge and to whom these pastors are accountable, is just about where things should lie.

Sheesh.
word verification: fidis. (faithful)

DJP said...

At this point, Tom, suspicion turns to stubborn refusal to face the obvious on your part.

That's easily tested, thankfully.

So, to what you just said, you tell me. Those exact points have been responded to numerous times. What is the response to your attempted evasion?

LeeC said...

Please do not put words in my mouth.

Have you been to a Shepherds Conference?

I was talking about in the world.

And yes, I think you need to repent on the grounds of 1 Timothy 5:19 on as you are far short so far in meeting those requirements.

Eric said...

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual (eg: Brendt) post a snide and inaccurate comment on an blog.

Yeah, that'll get 'em to straighten up and fly right.

Eric said...

"Until many of these men repent and change their families and churches..."

Tom,

Do you personally know a single one of these men of whom you speak? Or their families? Or their churches? Do you have personal knowledge that they haven't repented and aren't even now repenting to the extent that they have been guilty of a sin? My guess is that you don't know these things, and really can't know these things except your generalization that since Phil Johnson has previously exhorted such and now exhorts again on the same topic, this audience must indeed mostly be hyprocrites. Wow!

Brendt said...

Eric, I'll grant you "snide", and I'll even ignore the fact that you implied that I was claiming to be spiritual.

But I'd be very interested to know what you deem to be inaccurate. Phil pointed out a genuine problem in much of the church, and his listeners were laughing uproariously.

trogdor said...

"Oh wait, is this where we're suppossed to agree to disagree?"

By no means. Of course, if you wish to persist in such tomfoolery, I cannot stop you, despite what you apparently believe (see point 3 below). But I would be much happier if you would see your folly and stop it. Perhaps I'll spell out a few points more fully, since the barb approach doesn't seem to be cutting it.

1) You have repeatedly thrown a blanket accusation at a group of men you don't know enough about to know whether it's even remotely true. Your reasoning appears to be: (a) The issue is a problem in many churches. (b) These specific men are in some way associated with churches. (c) Therefore, these specific men are the problem. Oooooooooookay.......

2) Your flamethrowing is largely based on the future. You claim that these men "will lack the manhood to actually live out this truth in their homes and churches". And you know this... how? Did you hop in your DeLorean to see what these men are live some time in the future? You are accusing them based on what you assume they won't do, which is awful enough before we remember point 1, that you don't even know who these people are or anything about them.

3) As if your case weren't absurd enough already, you've invoked the argument that the pastor is necessarily to fault for the sins of the people, as though it's not possible for a pastor to be faithful to his calling yet have a problematic congregation. You seem to be claiming that failure to bring about a change in the congregation/culture necessarily means the pastor isn't even trying, and he is therefore a future-hypocrite for acknowledging the problem. Has it not occurred to you that a pastor may fervently address an issue, yet people may stubbornly cling to their sin?

Eric said...

Brendt,

What is inaccurate is your insinuation that their laughter was their stated or chosen method to provide correction to a brother in Christ. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The greater point is, you were actually more guilty of the very thing you were decrying.

And I'll ignore the fact that you implied that they were claiming to be spiritual.

Stefan said...

Tom:

No matter how many people attended the Shepherd's Conference, it has to be a small fraction of the total number of pastors in North America, numbers for numbers.

Most of these men are probably serving Christ in small churches you and I have never heard of, who are being salt and light to their communities, but don't necessarily have the visibility a big-name pastor, reformed or otherwise.

If we give these men the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are trying to living up the biblical calling to leadership and manhood—whether they were laughing to let off steam, or some were convicted and repented—it will still just be a tiny ripple in the tidal current of the evangelical mainstream.

Elijah despaired that anyone was left in Israel who had not bowed his knee to Baal, but he was wrong—he just hadn't personally known that there were others who remained faithful to the Lord their God.

Just because we can't see these men's influence in the wider church doesn't mean they aren't trying to live up to their biblical calling in their local churches—but again, for every convicted pastor who attended the Shepherd's conference, there are going to be a hundred or a thousand who didn't go, or who aren't reached by any aspect of MacArthur's ministry—even among pastors with national reach, he himself is just one among many. (That's not to say that in the wider church, there aren't pastors who are fulfilling their biblical calling.)

It's the same as when detractors claim that evangelicals (generally) or Calvinists (specifically) aren't really doing anything for the lost or for social justice, etc.: just because there are a few loud voices who claim the name of Christ who contribute to a distorted public image of the Church doesn't mean that there aren't thousands of bondservants of Christ who are making a difference in the world.

Kay said...

I can't quite believe that one can read this blog and not see that it's possibly to be humourous and serious at the same time.

DJP said...

Kay shoots, she scores, the crowd goes wild...

...but not, you know, in a laughing way.

Tom said...

DJP,

What is the obvious that I refuse to face or am trying to evade? I thought the obvious was this is a major issue w/in evangelicalism. I take it, you agree with Phil and MacArthur on this.

My point is that because this issue is so pervasive within evangelicalism and fundamentalism many of the pastors that attended Shepherd's Conference bare some responsibility for it and should repent. Those who share in this responsibility, hoot and holler, and yet don't repent are, in your words, "a bunch of spineless hypocrites." To this, you and others seem to disagree.

Why?

Are you suggesting my use of "many" is too broad? If I used the adjective "several" or "few" would you then agree?

Or, is your argument that none of these pastors are responsible for contributing to the issue Phil addressed? If that is truly the case, then I apologize and retract my statements.

...but, if this issue is as pervasive as Phil has described, a retraction won't be forthcoming.

So, DJP, instruct me, Sensei. Where has this young grasshopper gone wrong?

Brendt said...

What is inaccurate is your insinuation that their laughter was their stated or chosen method to provide correction to a brother in Christ.

I insinuated no such thing. Please do not tell me what I meant.

The greater point is, you were actually more guilty of the very thing you were decrying.

Yeah, pointing to scriptural precedent of "what's wrong with this picture" is much worse than laughing at error. (insert eye roll here)

And I'll ignore the fact that you implied that they were claiming to be spiritual.

Hey, I'm not a pastor attending the Shepherd's Conference. As Phil has defined me before, I'm just "some guy named Brendt Waters".

Scott said...

Amen and amen.... a major reason why in this town there are many social clubs and precious few bodies of Christ.

DJP said...

First, answer mine, Tom.

Tom said...

DJP,

What am I answering?

Alen Basic said...

Interesting snippet. I personally love the title of the post. It definitely grabbed my attention when I was going through the posts here via my RSS reader :)

Thanks for the great posts guys!

DJP said...

OK Tom, now I'm pulling admin power. This is a directive.

Start at the start of the comment thread. Read every comment until this one. Then answer my question.

Any comment by you other than that will be deleted.

donsands said...

Phil's way of sharing the problem we have in the Church pulpits, to me, was excellent.

Why all these men laughed, I don't know.

I guess they have come together to hear the truth; to be edified, and to also have a uplifting and good time as grace redeemed sinners, who have been called to worship God in Spirit and truth, and serve Him.

Laughter is fine. Sometimes it can be wrong.

I remember watching a video of John Piper preaching seriously about himself, and the congregation began to laugh. It seemed awkward. But hey, we are humans.

I do wish the pastors in our churches would be bolder though. Have a backbone. Preahc the truth of the Bible, without apology.

Yes we need to guard against pride, but I would think the men at this conference understand that.

My 2 pennies worth.

Stefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phil Johnson said...

I think we can call a halt to the discussion over whether it was sinful for pastors to shout or laugh in the midst of a serious point. Surely at least 90 per cent of regular Pyro readers understand (as Kay pointed out) and agree that it's quite possible to be serious and humorous at the same time. That's the point I was trying to make in the above comment where I cited Psalm 2:4-5 and Matthew 19:24.

What intrigues me is that three commenters (John Doe, Tom, and Brendt), apparently representing three divergent points of view, all objected to the laughter rather than 1) the point that was being made or 2) the fact that I myself made a cultural reference that was clearly intended for some humorous effect.

If anyone deserves condemnation for the injection of humor into a serious point, it's the speaker, not the audience. Lloyd-Jones would not approve of my injection of humor, either. Let's not blow off the concerns lightly. It is at least a point worth pondering. I'll agree to disagree on SOME things, and this is one of them.

But I'm curious about the comment left by ndmb, which seemed to lack context:

What were you saying MD and I have in common that I didn't know about? We certainly don't agree on the solution to the feminization of the church, and I think I made that point in an ever-so-subtle way in the message.

Liza said...

Nice way to equate something being "womanly" with being weak and worthy of contempt.

Ha ha ha...that is so hilarious...as the entire male audience can have a laugh at the expense of women.

yuck

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stefan said...

(Self-deleted my last comment because it was getting off topic.)

DJP said...

Who knew we had so many circus knife-throwers among our readers?

Phil Johnson said...

Liza: Nice way to equate something being "womanly" with being weak and worthy of contempt.

Yes, well, let's be clear about this:

Men should act like men, and when they act womanly or willfully weak, particularly when duty calls them to be warriors, they are worthy of the utmost contempt. Feminine women are wonderful. Effeminacy in men is abominable (1 Corinthians 6:9).

Phil Johnson said...

DJP: Who knew we had so many circus knife-throwers among our readers?

Come on--you have known that for years. The knife-throwing exhibition is the scheduled act just before the clown car drives in and starts to empty out.

So brace yourself.

Liza said...

Men should act like men, and when they act womanly or willfully weak, particularly when duty calls them to be warriors, they are worthy of the utmost contempt. Feminine women are wonderful.

Not being a jerk is not the same thing as being effeminate, and praising "womanly" virtues as good and wonderful while trying to use those traits in a shaming, derisive manner only shows the level at which women are held in your opinion.

Brendt said...

What intrigues me is that three commenters (John Doe, Tom, and Brendt), apparently representing three divergent points of view, all objected to the laughter rather than 1) the point that was being made

As to my part, I really don't see what's intriguing about it. I agree with the point you were making -- not the method in which it was made, but the point was spot on. I am quite thankful that my pastor is not like what you were describing, but I recognize the fact that he seems to be in the minority in modern-day evangelicalism.

or 2) the fact that I myself made a cultural reference that was clearly intended for some humorous effect.

If anyone deserves condemnation for the injection of humor into a serious point, it's the speaker, not the audience.


While the speaker may bear some responsibility, I would disagree with the statement that the audience bears none. If I may employ an overused psychological term, they were "enabling" your use of humor. Had the first joke bombed (no laughter, maybe a look or two of disdain), would you have continued down that path? (Honest question, that's not rhetorical.)

And frankly, I don't even have a problem with injecting humor/levity into a serious situation. (I'd have to turn in my Driscoll fan club card if I did.) ;-)

But when the humor is specifically at the expense of those in error, and a few thousand listeners seem to be in perfect sync with that idea, I worry a bit.

Brendt said...

The knife-throwing exhibition is the scheduled act just before the clown car drives in and starts to empty out.

Heck, even if I was implied by any of that, it's still very funny! ;-)

Bravo!

Phil Johnson said...

Liza: "Not being a jerk is not the same thing as being effeminate"

Well, that depends on who is defining what's necessary to avoid jerkishness. A lot of the feminist propaganda, unisex fads, and "sensitivity" training that is popular today does in fact give one the impression that effeminacy is the only way to avoid being a jerk.

Liza: "and praising "womanly" virtues as good and wonderful while trying to use those traits in a shaming, derisive manner only shows the level at which women are held in your opinion."

Well, I can't quite see any logic in that assertion, either. My wife looks great in a dress. None of my sons does. If you can soak up the over-the-top flamboyance of Johnny Weir and not think that sort of demonstrative effeminacy is worthy of contempt in someone who is supposed to have a Y chromosome, perhaps your concept of manhood and womanhood needs a biblical overhaul.

Liza said...

Your comparison is ridiculous because no one is talking about men dressing up like women and you, yourself, were not referring to that in this clip

You are talking about men relating to feelings and are also directly relating what you see as the demise of the church with "womanly" traits.

You are using what you view as traits representative of women as a club to hit men with.

In the effort you do women a great disservice.

DJP said...

I've never yet found a way to dissuade someone who is absolutely dead-set on being offended, no matter what.

LeeC said...

What does the phrase "gird yourself up like a man" mean Liza?

I am honestly curious how you see it.

Liza said...

Lee

Explain how that phrase has any relevance to my points or to the clip featured on the post and I would be happy to give my view.

As it is, it is a non-sequitur.

DJP said...

So, just to be clear: you're here to be offended, not to move the discussion forward in any way?

Liza said...

How is defining my view of what God means when speaking to Job moving the discussion forward?

It is completely out of context to the discussion and to the post itself.

DJP said...

What is the harm in answering his question?

Are you mainly here to be offended, not to move the discussion forward in any way?

Liza said...

The harm in answering his question?

There is no harm. It just seems like a thinly veiled attempt to take the conversation in a completely different direction.

Much like the Johnny Weir reference, which has nothing to do with what I am talking about, it's a sidestep of what I am saying.

JPG said...

Enjoyed the clip. It was excellent, I've listened to it several times.

Thanks for posting the link to the full message. I was going to ask, but fortunately someone asked and the link was posted. Excellent message!

The only thing I don't understand is the term "Young, Restless, Reformed guys." Can someone explain that to me?

LeeC said...

Until shown otherwise I am of what seems to me the obvious opinion that Phil is using a very similar if not the same literary technique here.

"gird yourself up like a man" as opposed to what may I ask?

DJP said...

So what is your answer to his question, Liza?

Phil Johnson said...

Liza: "You are talking about men relating to feelings and are also directly relating what you see as the demise of the church with 'womanly' traits"

Well, to be a little more specific, I was talking about the contemporary evangelical tendency to tone down hard truths because we're more concerned about how people "feel" about a biblical truth than we are with proclaiming the truth itself. We want everything to be soft. That's what the Greek word translated "effeminate" in 1 Corinthians 6 means.

Would a pastor actually have to come to church in a skirt and high heels before you would say he has gone over the top?

See: I'll grant you that Johnny Weir's skating costumes are just about the most extreme example of our culture's obsession with feminizing everything, but the same principle is in play in the church's fear of proclaiming hard truths lest we hurt some poor wounded soul's feelings. The difference is merely a matter of degrees.

Liza said...

How big of an answer do you want?

Short and sweet?--Job has male genitalia that needs to be girded up.

Bigger Picture?--God is asking Job to prepare himself for the round of unanswerable questions he's about to ask.

UFC style?--God's getting ready to lay down the smackdown on Job.

Ok.

And what does that have to do with the fact that women, and what are assumed to be "womanly" traits, are being used as the most unfavorable contrast by which to explain the demise of the church?

LeeC said...

Really?

Liza said...

Phil,

What you are saying is simply outlandish.

You are taking the most extreme example and trying to draw a connection to things which are a million light years away from it.

I have said nothing about how men should act and you immediately make comments about men in skirts and high heels.

Your hyperbole can't hide what I am getting at.

You, either purposely or unwittingly, make women the whipping boy for your issues with the church.

Isn't it possible to make all the same points about "hard" truths without calling men sissies, or calling them womanly?

Of course, it's possible.

The fact that women so easily get to be the model of what's wrong in the way that the church works only shows how little you have thought about your words.

Sir Brass said...

Okay, I'll play captain (now promoted to major) obvious:

Who let the egalitarian feminist into the room?

Insisting on being offended no matter how reasonable the response from Dan or Phil is hardly the way to get meaningful interaction.

Oh wait, who wants that these days? Meaningful interaction is so passe and pre-modern these days.

Raulemir said...

Phil's message was electric, enlightening, and edifying.

This comment thread?

Not so much.

Liza said...

How is talking about men in high heels reasonable? Really?

I know it's easy to slap a label on me and wash away the substance of what I am saying.

I have yet to hear a genuine response to my questions or an acknowledgement that Phil's points only score at the cost of how these men in the audience view women and their "womanly" traits.

Phil Johnson said...

Liza: "what does that have to do with the fact that women, and what are assumed to be "womanly" traits, are being used as the most unfavorable contrast by which to explain the demise of the church?"

Actually, that part of the message was a short segment from a longer exposition of 1 Corinthians 16:13, which says, "act like men" (and uses a Greek word, ανδριζεσθε, which signifies masculinity as opposed to girlishness. You ought to listen to the larger context, and then if you're still angry about it, come back and we'll discuss it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xi49gnI1hA

Brendt said...

For all those who ever wondered what "juxtaposition" meant, here's a good example:

Asking "who let XYZ into the room?" followed immediately by the praise of "meaningful interaction".

Jugulum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

So Jugulum, did you let kids copy your test answers in school?

Liza said...

Phil,

Fair enough, but keep in mind that you are the one who chose this part of the clip to highlight.

Hardly seems fair to cry "out of context" as a defense when it is how you have chosen to present yourself and your message.

This "egalitarian feminist" has other things to do right now. I know that my comments will largely be ignored by this crowd, or maligned and made fun of.

It makes me sad only because this blog and its commenters represent a large swath of Christian demographic.

A demographic OK with that clip and all that it represents.

Sir Brass said...

A BIG part of being feminine is that the woman is the weaker vessel. Thus why God's instruction to godly men and husbands in relation to women is to treat them gently, with purity, and with self-sacraficial love. Women are the weaker vessel. When the one who is supposed to protect and care for and love that weaker vessel acts like the weaker vessel, he is reprehensible because he is 1) disobeying what God has commanded, and 2) being weak himself and thus unable to protect and care for the one (or ones, if one has more than one important woman in his life, like sisters, daughters, etc.) he is supposed to guard and protect. Thus him being weak himself is doing NO ONE any good.

Women being feminite is good. Men being so is reprehensible. Going against God's created order is wrong and worthy of condemnation.

Phil, I agree with the other commentator here who said, "Phil's message was electric, enlightening, and edifying.

This comment thread?

Not so much."

So, I think I speak for the majority (who are silent, or doing other things) when I say that you did well and it was a God-honoring message. I listened to the whole thing and it was helpful.

Now, Phil, get better from that sickness and go enjoy your grandkids some more :). You've earned a week off to just be grandpa, I think.

Jugulum said...

Dan,

No, but I do like to help people understand the question so they can answer it.

As part of seeking edification/growth/learning/sanctification, it wouldn't have occurred to me to do otherwise.

Eric said...

Brendt,

I didn't tell you what you meant, I stated what you insinuated. By substituting "restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness" from Gal. 6:1 with "laugh your glutes off at them" you were suggesting in an indirect way (the definition of insinuate) that they were laughing at them instead of restoring them gently. In trying to make your point, you yourself failed to try to restore anyone gently, resorting to snide comments instead.

Frank Turk said...

I can't believe Phil preached something controversial. That has never happened to him before.