Friday, March 16, 2007

Promise Keepers on 'Roids?

While readying for work yesterday I caught an interesting segment on Good Morning America about the latest effort to beef up Christianity to make it more appealing to men. The group is called GodMen and is the brainchild of comic Brad Stine who states that the day-long sessions held around the country are intended to toughen up Christian men. "It's about men stepping up and being strong again," he said.

Here's an excerpt from the group's web site:
We have committed to see what would happen if, for one day, our faith and its struggles would be discussed with absolute honesty, transparency and openness - not sugar coated or framed in church language but instead spoken in frankness and maturity where men can see their innermost fears, shames, and secrets brought to light in a safe environment. Not for judgment but instead to reveal a commonality of unique male struggles shared with their own tribe, a band of brothers who promise to walk this journey with them to the end. The GodMen event is:
  • More powerful, raw, and real than any other men's event you know.
  • A place to explore issues like fear, isolation, numbness, aimlessness, pornography, passivity and more.
  • An opportunity to discuss sensitive subjects without using sugar coated or safe church language.
  • Speakers who speak honestly about their struggles through short messages.
  • Hosted by comedian, actor and author Brad Stine. Other speakers include Paul Coughlin (author of No More Christian Nice Guy), Dave Bunker, Illusionist Ken Sands and more, plus the GodMen Band.
  • A place to ask questions and receive honest answers.
  • A chance to celebrate the masculine spirit.
I share GodMen's concern that many expressions of American Christianity have been feminized as evidenced by contemporary worship songs which Stine refers to as "prom songs to Jesus." I'm also in agreement with the group's encouraging of Christian men to talk openly about our common temptations. That said, I'm not sure how bending frying pans with bare hands and other such stunts contribute to the formation of godliness.

Based on what I saw I fear that GodMen might be in danger of repeating Promise Keepers' errors. In their desire to be entertaining, ecumenical, and accommodating to the attention-span challenged (note the promise of short messages), doctrine and theology may get short shrift with the end result being a more muscular biblical and theological illiteracy.

1 comment:

Dahn said...

Keith,
I went to their site. It is a mess. It is poorly written and designed. It also has a reactionary feel to it that would lead me to believe that it will fade rapidly.