Common colds and seasonal flus are not a big threat. But for those with no immune system (as in the case of AIDS), the body cannot fight the mild illnesses and become deadly. When this happens, the initial symptoms are not the problem. The deeper problem, is the problem: a lack of natural defense.
So it is with society, the church, and masculinity. Without the natural, divine design of biblical masculinity (yeah, the kind that punched Arius in the nose), society can die a thousand deaths, and none of them need be very dangerous in themselves.
Welcome to 2022, what is now the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. In truth, the problem is not the supposed problem, the real problem is the inability to deal with the problem, and the pandemic is not the pandemic, the pandemic is the prevalence of beta-males. In other words:
The beta-variant is one of the world’s most deadly viruses.
Let’s examine the faces of this multi-headed COVID beast, and note how a higher incidence of manliness would have proved a simple, yet effective, natural immunity. My hypothesis is simple: had men been real men, a fraction of the Covid mess and hysteria, and damage to human life, would have eventuated.
Fear of Death
The first face of this beastish worldwide phenomenon, and the face that showed itself early in the pandemic, was an utter girlish fear of death.
Think back to March 2020; when the majority of people trawled Social Media and news outlets for fear-porn, following the World-o-Meter Covid death count, taking their temperature every 5 minutes. Still today it is “the new normal” to receive worried looks from people behind their double masks when you cough in a grocery store.
Jesus spoke to his disciples so as to inject steel into their spine: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28). He wasn’t speaking of a health crisis; but wherever his words are heeded, godly men are enabled by the Holy Spirit to make decisions based on what is right, wise, and beneficial, without fear of the final enemy. When men can take the queen “fear of death” off the chessboard, they are able to act from principle and not from self-preservation and fear.
One compares our generation of men in a crisis to the man John Harper. Our generation’s toilet-paper-stockpiling beta-male whimpers in fear as an unmasked child steps into his 1.5m bubble, while 1912s John Harper ran laps of the sinking Titanic crying out, “Women, children, and the unsaved to the lifeboats!” He died in the ice-water while imploring people to trust the Saviour.
Can you imagine how differently our 2020-2021 would have been if the majority response from men (or at least Christian men) was, “I’ve got to die of something; getting sick is not the same as dying, and I refuse to respond in fear to fearful experts”? Our world would be different.
Men who lack the fear of death live differently and give life to society.
Surrender of Rights
The second face of the beast is closely related to the first, so we can say they are Siamese twins, joined at the jaw. When men are fearful, they act like slaves.
Hebrews 2 tells us that Jesus became one of us to “… deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” Whatever you fear the most, you are enslaved to. Fearing sin, Satan and mankind, sinners live as slaves to them. In Christ, the declaration of the Gospel shifts our fear from death, mankind and Satan, to God. And slavery to God marks our lives.
The Covid-19 response has proven that most men are betas who are comfortably enslaved by fear, and thus, they willingly surrendered their rights. It’s as if they like the way their shackles match their purse.
The rights other generations argued to establish and bled to maintain, the fearful men of our society were willing to throw away to avoid a 0.2% mortality rate. Bodily autonomy? Medical inform consent? Freedom of religion? Right to earn a living without relying on government handouts? Take them all and keep me safe, Daddy-Government!
A close relative of mine had decided not to wear a mask to enter a large store (and no, you don’t get to ask them for proof of exemption). At this point, the QLD cases were in the single digits. (Yes, single digits). A man approached my relative, slipped down his mask and whispered, “Did they let you in here without a mask?” Looking around before continuing, he said, “I don’t believe in masks at all! But they told me to put one on as I came in.” To complete the pathetic picture, I can now disclose that this relative of mine is a woman. And a petite woman. She said back to the man something along the lines of “Do what you want, dude. I got told to put one on and I said no. Excuse me….” The “man” (word used loosely), clearly inspired, gave her a slow nod, replaced his mask, and tip-toed away as from an underground meeting (my guess is to try on a bra). Women should not have to lead by example when it comes to principles. They should be able to follow strong men.
NOTE: It is of no consequence to me whether you think masking up is or is not helpful in slowing the spread of Covid. But if a man claims to have principles, and can’t stick to them when a teenage clerk asks him politely to abandon them, we have a beta-male on our hands. And this strain is highly contagious.
Had men acted like they were free from the fear of death, and had they discerned fear-mongering when it was clear as day, the everyday Australian would be in a different place today. Everyone would be more stable for it.
Surrender of Others’ Rights
Thirdly, beta-males willingly and joyfully sacrifice the rights of others.
One of the most common arguments made by evangelical Christians throughout this pandemic, has been to point to Paul giving up his rights for the Gospel (in 1 Corinthians 8-10). Hence, they conclude, giving up your own rights, and pressuring others to do the same is the “gospel-move”.
The problems with this appeal should be glaring.
- Paul first argued virulently for his rights, and that no one ought deny him or his co-workers (1 Corinthians 8:4-8; 9:1-14; 10:29-30).
- Paul then surrenders his rights entirely voluntarily, and with no mandate from the civil magistrates; even stating that if it was involuntary, there would be no merit in it! (1 Cor 9:15-17). Hence, this whole conversation is void when a government mandate is considered.
- Paul also required this sacrifice of his rights of no one else; in fact he considered it tyranny to impose it on others (Rom 14:4). And lastly,
- Paul made these sacrifices explicitly for Great Commission advancement (1 Cor 9:23). Next to no examples can be suggested where this is truly said of Christians over the last 2 years.
Unlike Paul, when the all too prevalent beta-male sees his neighbour’s rights being trampled, he says “it’s about loving your neighbour, give up your rights”. Of course, he doesn’t see that he is failing to do just that.
Had our men loved their neighbours, they would have stood their ground for their neighbour’s rights, even if they are willing to volunteer them up themselves.
Real men don’t fear conflict. While they aren’t quarrelsome (2 Timothy 2:24-26), they are good at ending fights and cleaning up afterwards. A key marker of beta-males is fear and avoidance of conflict. The connection between that trait and tyranny is unmistakable. When men don’t actively defend, tyrants expand their reign.
Think of Jesus. How easy would it have been to simply blush and shrug as the Pharisees reprimanded his disciples for plucking heads of grain on the Sabbath? And yet how gutsy did he have to be to stare that crowd of dogs down the snout and tell them his students were not in the wrong (Mark 2:23-27)? Couldn’t he have just been a little more gentle and lowly? Shouldn’t he have let his disciples be trodden over by the tyranny of unbiblical laws, for meekness’ sake? Couldn’t he have explained to the disciples in private later why he didn’t agree with what the Pharisees said? No; because Jesus wasn’t a beta.
Jesus had no fear of confrontation when it came to loving others by defending them against the tyranny of other people’s enslaving fears, and defending the glory of God.
Paul too, puts to shame our common aversion to conflict. Again, notice that this is in the context of tyranny: His friend Titus is being met with unbiblical regulations, by people who did not have God-given authority over his genitals. Yes, this was about circumcision (always a topic to get the blood pumping when it’s more than just theory).
In Galatians 2:1-5 we see Paul defend Titus’ right to remain uncircumcised. Theological arguments aside, do you notice how he expresses his motivations? He is implementing a right that Titus had to “freedom” in light of the Gospel of Christ (v.4). He notes that tyrants (religious or political), are people who claim authority that God didn’t give them, “so that they might bring us into slavery” (v.4). He says that doing anything other than confronting those “false brothers” (v.4) with force, would have been “yielding in submission” (v.5). And lastly, he sees his defense of Titus as defending the direct implications of Gospel truth (v.5).
I love how Paul paints any option other than clashing for the sake of defending Titus’ liberty of conscience, as effeminate. “Yielding in submission” to “false brethren” who aimed to “bring us into slavery”. With some modern parlance, Paul is saying: I refuse to kiss the rear-end of bullies, by failing to defend my brother’s liberty of conscience. Jesus is Lord, so rack off.”
Had Australian men (Christian and non), been better accustomed to healthy, constructive conflict, surely we would have quelled our communities’ fears, defended our neighbours’ rights, and pushed back on bullying authoritarians a little more.
Men, let me finish pt 1 with the words of Paul. “… act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Cor. 16:13-14).
I’ll return for part two and conclusions.