In the last part of our series, Dr. Eric Mason continues to expound upon the question: What killed manhood? He writes:

Sin Experts

Fast-forward to now, and not much has changed. Things are getting worse, not better. In our cities men are becoming more and more inventive in their acts of crime and violence. If Hollywood is a cultural barometer, which it often is, we can see example after example of our capacity for evil. In the movie Seven, two police officers seek to stop a serial killer who justifies his murders by positioning himself as a vigilante creating a murderous masterpiece against those who personified the seven deadly sins: envy, greed, lust, anger, sloth, gluttony, and pride. Each murder is a gory—and creative—depiction of the particular sin of the guilty. The guilty are punished with an even more perverse form of their sin of choice. As you watch the movie, you get a visceral sense at how innovative all of us are at sinning.

The longer creation exists in a state of separation from God, the effects of that separation become more and more clear. First Timothy 3, written thousands of years after the events recorded in Genesis 6, predicts this. And in our world today, two thousand years after Paul penned his letter, the depth of our depravity has come even starker into view. Our separation from God is so embedded that our dysfunction has become the new normal. From music videos to the multibillion dollar porn industry, you see anywhere and everywhere the effects of the disastrous fall. As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 8:11, “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil” (ESV).

Even so, things are not as bad as they could be. God by His grace continues to restrain how comprehensively expressive man’s sin is fleshed out in the world. If the Lord gave all of mankind over to the full extent of our sinfulness, we would totally destroy ourselves. In Romans 1:24–28 Paul speaks of God giving already sinful people over to a deeper level of sinfulness. Inferentially, it seems that the Lord somehow restrains this from being a norm in the lives of all fallen humanity. Second Thessalonians 2:7 infers that the Lord in some way holds back the immensity of how destructive evil becomes on the earth. Accordingly, it is only due to the goodness and patience of the living God that any of us are still here, as He has throughout history acted to place a cap on our wickedness.

Throughout the events recorded in the Bible, we see the Lord revealing Himself, disciplining, judging, preaching, performing miracles, and ultimately sending Jesus to keep the clutches of sin from taking full grip on creation. These intervening acts only serve to highlight the full destructive nature of sin:

As a result of the fall, sin has become universal; except for Jesus Christ no person who ever lived on this earth has been free from sin. This sad fact is acknowledged even by those who are neither adherents of Christianity nor believers of the Bible.

Because the scope of the fall is so great, the solution to the fall must be equally great or greater. Solutions like self-help  community programming, and training groups all have their place, but it’s not at the foundation. These can only help to treat the symptoms, to prolong the inevitable. We need something deeper. We need to be born again. Being born again reverses the polarity of creation (John 3). Because sin was the cause, sin must be eradicated for an end to come to the pervasive depravity in the world. And because sin has not only destroyed humanity but creation as well, all of redeemable creation must be recreated—born again in its own way—for things to finally be as they should.

Unfortunately, not all beings in the universe long for this to happen.

Attempts to Assassinate Godly Manhood

From Genesis 3 to the birth of Jesus, Satan has made it his business to destroy any attempts for manhood to be restored. We see his efforts played out in the birth of Adam and Eve’s children. Abel was the righteous seed of the woman. His brother, Cain, killed him—the unrighteous seeking to destroy the righteous. The pattern continued in Exodus when Pharaoh commanded that the Hebrew boys be killed in order to lower the number of threats of rebellion, since there were more Hebrews than Egyptians.

Even during the times of captivity of the people of God in the Old Testament, it is believed that Jews who served near the kings were eunuchs. Eunuchs during that time might have held power but weren’t considered to be a threat since their peculiar impairment usually rendered them among the most scorned and stigmatized members of society. In a patriarchal culture where honor was tied to male domination, the effeminate, impotent eunuch was viewed with shame and as a threatening social deviant.11

Nehemiah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are thought to have been eunuchs. Even with all of the exaltation that they were experiencing in foreign lands, the enemy wanted to make sure that their power was met with shame and limitation of vision. However, even in these times, God gave glimpses of restoration. Each of these men stand the test of time as exemplary, uncompromising men even in the midst of their possible emasculation.

Male genocide and castrating manhood have consistently been the enemy’s way to tarnish hope with fear. Keep reading into the New Testament, and you’ll see how the knowledge of Jesus’ birth drove Herod to strive after the threat to his throne (Matt. 2). All of these physical attempts to bring the end of righteous men only mirror the greater spiritual battle. As men, we must not become lethargic in our vigilance against things that would attempt to destroy manhood.

Literal genocide is no longer politically correct today, but the enemy’s threats continue in a more covert form. Homosexuality is of great debate in the world and surprisingly in the church. The redefinition of the family calls for a redefinition of God’s intention for the genders. Manhood has to be refined for this ideology to work. This political ideology is a similar tactic to the brutal methods of those biblical rulers. Manhood is under attack. Again. Still. The sooner we realize it’s happening, the sooner we can begin to fight back.

– Eric Mason, Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2013), 14-18.

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