Wednesday, July 26, 2006


JAMming Church: Journey As Men

"Journey as Men" or JAM is more of what I'd like see in a church.

Background: J2M or Journey to Manhood is a rite of passage program started at our church to get young sons around 12 to prepare for their teenage years by studying manhood principles and Biblical expectations of our moral behaviors. Our men's Bible study is called "JourneyMen" and when I first attended it, it was very moving to see hundreds of men waking up before 6AM to show up at church. I've learned a lot about manhood and Biblical perspectives on man [and woman] over the years.

J2M training was great, too: at first I was uncomfortable not having a pre-written script to follow for my eldest son. Two other fathers and I met several times over the weeks to hash out what we wanted to teach our sons and activities we wanted to do with them. We made things work out in the end [much like a jam session], and I'm pleased with what we got done, considering that all 3 of us were new at it. It also made me aware how little there was as a follow on for my son: we recognized him as a young man but there was no process to get him into a real man beyond attending various classes, including coed Sunday school [which I've pulled my oldest son out of] and lecture based JourneyMen.

Going through J2M, I felt empowered to take charge with my son's manhood and to really own my and my son's spiritual life. We now spend every night reading the Bible out loud and then discuss it, and then talk about the day and pray together.

Anyway, that sense of empowerment is missing in the churches today: we normally sit there and take it all in. Men need action, to challenge conventions and re-ordering things. Things which aren't allowed with the hierarchical churches of today.

Which is why I'm thinking that something like "Journey As Men" or JAM is what's needed: multi-generational men (grand fathers teaching their sons teaching their son, etc.) exploring together what it means to be men in this world today based on what's in the Bible. We've lost the Biblical way since so much is clouded by man-made traditions of the past few centuries. Much as Martin Luther empowered Christians to read Bible on their own, JAM will empower men to be the kind of men God had in mind when He wrote the Bible.

Now I'm not saying that theology degrees are irrelevant but I am saying that the Biblical truths are best left to individuals to read as a group and live out what we can learn from it, as well as being open to Holy Spirit's direct influence. We don't need permissions from pastors (or other authorities) to live out Biblical truths or worship God. But how we live that out depends on the context of given place and people. How elders [bishops] and deacons as well as pastors/teachers fit in to all this is what I'm not sure of right now.

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

P.S. Googling for ' "journey as men" jam ' got only one hit, not related to manhood at all.


Who to obey

Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!
-- Acts 5:29
No government, no church, and certainly no family can usurp that!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Fished Men vs Weakling Pastors

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19
So, Jesus Christ the Son of God went to the local pier and picked some men to become His disciples. And He made clear of what they need to do (follow Him) and the purpose: to save men [at first I typed "other men" but I changed my mind since even His disciples needed saving]. Not only was He commanding [a true leader], He also knew who He Himself was [someone worthy of imitating] and the goal: saving men. And not just any old "preaching" as we tend to view "evangelism" but Jesus uses the metaphor to fish: to require manly effort to grab and draw in other [like minded?] men.

Let's do a thought experiment:

- Think of a pastor [or reverend or minister or priest] you respect highly.
- Place him [or her, if you insist] as he is normally dressed at a working, busy fishing dock.
- As the fishermen are busy running around the dock unloading their catch, imagine your pastor pointing to a pair of brothers and say "Come, follow me."

The fact is, most pastors today would be ignored if not laughed at. Men of action [unlike people like me who have day jobs in front of a computer] know if a person is respectable or not, and a typical pastor just won't cut it at a busy fishing dock.

Since Jesus Christ was a carpenter for a good 17+ years when He called His disciples, I'll bet He had very muscular build that any fisherman would notice and respect. As the perfect Son of God, I won't be surprised if He did extra work in those 17+ years, not to be more in shape but to help out more people around Him [which resulted in more muscles and possibly more money for His mother's retirement].

The other thing to note is that He called such rough, strong men to reach out to other rough, strong men of the world [not just the Jews]. He didn't turn them into intellectual weaklings. He took them and made them into spiritual [Spirit-filled] strong men.

Which is why I'm so sad to see how the churches have become sissy ones, today. Until men [and their sons] start having tailgating breakfast tacos [or pancakes or whatever else people eat for breakfast outside of Texas] in the church parking lot at least 2 hours before worship service starts, I don't think the churches today understand the problem of sissy churches.... Or men camp out in church parking lot the night before and share their favorite videos of the past sermons [on the truck bed's big screen TV or projector running against the church wall]. And miss out on their Sat/Sun sports TV.

That is, if attending church is more consuming than sports, I think then I can say that the church really gets it...

Update 7/26: A friend pointed out that church does not have to exclude or replace sports and I agree that's true. I always think of Sunday sports competing with Sunday worship but sports can be Christianized, too (grin).

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


looking for sissy churches

I just spent few minutes googling for "sissy churches": only 3 hits and one was mine and another one was no longer available other than google cache.

Sad that not many are concerned about future men and men with future.


Update 10:30PM: Reply to comments:

- "emasculated churches" only gets 3 hits but only 1 is related.

- "castrated churches" brings out more hits but pretty much meaningless ones.

- "neutered churches" brings out 0 hits

- "spayed churches" brings out 1 irrelevant hit.

- "feminized churches" seems to do better but it sounds too much along the lines of feminism. Besides, it doesn't address my beef of wanting to kick out women AND children (including boys who haven't been through a rite of passage).

I'm interested knowing how to bring "real" men back to church as well as keeping young men (especially my sons) inside the church. And taking over "sissy" seems like a good way to reuse [bring back] the word and add new meaning to the word/phrase.

Update 7/26:

- "effiminate churches" got one hit. An indirect link to: "Where are God's Warriors and Wild Men?"

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Gangs and men

I saw "Wide Angle: 18 with a bullet" and it raises a lot of issues of what it means to raise sons. The gangsters were largely from fatherless families and gangs do take such boys into their "family." One thing I noticed was how irresponsible, how boyish their attitude was about killing and then getting caught and spending time in prison, even though they had their own children. And the film maker's comments see similar trends and even puts it succinctly: Boys masquerading as men. It kind of reminds me of the book "The Postponed Generation: why American youth are growing up later".

Very sad to see how much US has done to make life worse for other countries. Like El Salvador had civil war supported by US military so at least one gun shown in the TV program was an automatic US made .223 caliber pistol/rifle (rather than your AK "assault" rifle you see in videos from, say, Africa). As well as deporting US trained gang members to their countries which they seem to have been introduced to the US based gang life.

The other issue is if US becomes a lawless country (where police are afraid of the gangs), what then? As we have seen in post-Katrina, it doesn't take much of a disaster to cause a havoc in the U.S., esp. in big cities. I can foresee something like an earthquake in California causing similar chaos and gangs taking over the weaker citizens. Merely being armed, unfortunately, won't be good enough. Physical proximity to those who are like minded would matter, as well, since no man is an island and you can't do everything by your self [and your family]. Something for me to think about as we move to SoCal in few weeks....

Copyright 2006, DannyHSDad, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Church: liberal vs others

I don't normally plug newspaper editorial but I found the following funny: "Liberal Christianity is paying for its sins: Out-of-the-mainstream beliefs about gay marriage and supposedly sexist doctrines are gutting old-line faiths."

The stats in the editorial is very interesting on how mainline churches are seriously in decline. I also love how it ends:
So this is the liberal Christianity that was supposed to be the Christianity of the future: disarray, schism, rapidly falling numbers of adherents, a collapse of Christology and national meetings that rival those of the Modern Language Assn. for their potential for cheap laughs. And they keep telling the Catholic Church that it had better get with the liberal program — ordain women, bless gay unions and so forth — or die. Sure.

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