Whatever the cause, there appears to be a serious deficit of American manhood today. And by manhood, I don't mean bulging biceps. There is much more to manhood than a buffed physique. There are things such as character, integrity, and leadership. And it is masculine leadership that is sorely lacking in today's society.
The feminist movement of the past half-century has certainly contributed to the problem of poor male leadership. Yet, the truth is, if men were the leaders they should have been, the feminist movement would never have gotten off the ground. The feminist movement was really not a cause, it was an effect.
This lack of masculine leadership is easily seen in modern politics, but that, again, is but a reflection of the true problem. The real problem is men are not the leaders of their homes or of their churches. It is a sad reality that in America today, women are the heads of most families and most churches.
It is an undeniable fact that America has evolved from a patriarchal society to a matriarchal society. Women are the unquestioned authority figures in most homes, and if you ask the children and teenagers, they will confirm it.
Add to the problem of weak-kneed husbands and fathers the problem of spineless preachers, and the deficit of masculine leadership takes on epidemic proportions! Most churches today have an unholy obsession with committees. Virtually every decision in the church is made by a committee. And many, if not most, of these committees are led by women. Hardly ever do we find strong pastoral authority, anymore.
I am reminded of a quotation by a highly respected preacher of the past, A. W. Tozer. He said, "Again, the pastor, when facing his congregation on Sunday morning, dare not think of the effect his sermon may have on his job, his salary, or his future relation to the church. Let him but worry about tomorrow and he becomes a hireling and no true shepherd of the sheep. No man is a good preacher who is not willing to lay his future on the line every time he expounds the Word. He must let his job and his reputation ride on each and every sermon or he has no right to think that he stands in the prophetic tradition."
Unfortunately, such pastors as Tozer described, while at one time plentiful in this country, have all but disappeared. The same is true for strong, masculine leaders in America's families. They, too, have all but vanished.
As I have already suggested, the result of this lack of manhood spills over into all areas of life, including politics. Regardless of their individual political nuances, men such as George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan were manly men. They possessed the kind of manly qualities that were once commonplace in America. Teddy Roosevelt said:
"What we have a right to expect of the American boy is that he shall turn out to be a good American man.
"The boy can best become a good man by being a good boy--not a goody-goody boy, but just a plain good boy.
"I do not mean that he must love only the negative virtues; I mean that he must love the positive virtues also. 'Good,' in the largest sense, should include whatever is fine, straightforward, clean, brave and manly.
"The best boys I know--the best men I know--are good at their studies or their business, fearless and stalwart, hated and feared by all that is wicked and depraved, incapable of submitting to wrongdoing, and equally incapable of being aught but tender to the weak and helpless.
"Of course the effect that a thoroughly manly, thoroughly straight and upright boy can have upon the companions of his own age, and upon those who are younger, is incalculable.
"If he is not thoroughly manly, then they will not respect him, and his good qualities will count for but little; while, of course, if he is mean, cruel, or wicked, then his physical strength and force of mind merely make him so much the more objectionable a member of society.
"He can not do good work if he is not strong and does not try with his whole heart and soul to count in any contest; and his strength will be a curse to himself and to every one else if he does not have a thorough command over himself and over his own evil passions, and if he does not use his strength on the side of decency, justice and fair dealing."
The old Rough Rider was right. The lack of genuine manhood has become a curse. It is a curse to our homes, our churches, our society, and yes, to our political institutions.
For example, how can we expect men to hold their elected representatives accountable to the rule of law and good government if they cannot even hold their own families accountable to decent conduct? How can the principles of self- government prevail on Pennsylvania Avenue, if they do not prevail on Main Street?
© 2004 Chuck Baldwin - All Rights Reserved
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