Saturday, October 26, 2013

Reflections on THE FIGHT

I just got back from THE FIGHT event, featuring Craig Groeschel, at Cedarbrook. It was a special event for men promoting his new book about Samson. I thought it was good and a lot of guys were challenged in very positive ways. 

But I need to be honest, I had a cringe factor listening to Craig. Craig is a "mans man" kind of guy. I think he plays that card a lot to relate to men. That's fine. It's not my style, but it's an okay approach.

But a common practice with Craig and others' like him is to make fun of women to get a laugh and bond with men. Quick example, the book of Judges talks about how Delilah nagged Samson until he gave in. Insert joke here. You could see that coming for miles. But it only reinforces a negative stereotype of women that subtly gives men the right to ignore women rather than pursue a constructive conversation with them. If he wants us to FIGHT, call us to FIGHT for that. He blew an opportunity in my mind.

Real men, godly men, are sensitive to others. Real men, godly men, honor all people and don't take cheap shots. It merely undermines their integrity, but they don't always realize it because it got them a short term reward (a laugh). 

I feel a strong responsibility to make sure Cedarbrookers follow Jesus in EVERY way. I'm really grateful for Craig Groeschel's heart to challenge men.  He's clearly reached a lot of people. I don't want to take anything away from him. But if he is going to challenge men to step up and radically follow Jesus, then I think he should offer the full challenge. Challenge men to respect everyone and not play the "macho" card to excuse themselves from being sensitive to both people and important issues.

Men, we can do better. A lot of women have thanked me for posting similar thoughts on Facebook. But I'd love for just as many men to thank me too. We should all be concerned about giving dignity to everyone.

Coincidently, I came across a blog post of a man who attended a men's conference who had similar reservations. Check it out. I'm not looking to spark a debate. Just throwing it out there to get you to think. Integrity means "wholeness." Our faith should effect our whole being, not just the parts we want it to.