Confession: @PastorMark, I collected beanie babies.

I also cry when my friends die like Jesus did, and at the movie Beaches which if Christ would see it, I’m pretty sure His eyes would well up too. I mean, He weeped over Jerusalem as a mother. I don’t push around my wife, but try to treat her as an equal and honor her as my wife, not as property or some second class vessel. I don’t ridicule gay and lesbians, well, maybe Robert, but it’s not really ridicule so much as my campaign to straighten him out. Yes, when I was younger, next to my toy guns, Star Trek ships, and other manly figurines, I collected Beanie Babies. As a matter of fact, the pride of my collection is the Princess Diana beanie babies, 2nd generation. Recently, during the Royal Wedding, I watched it with my daughter. I hunt with my son (which generally involves, at this moment, shoot a paper target and the occasional stray cat with a bb-gun).

But, at least I’m not a worship leader, right?

Rachel Held Evans has started what is about to be the internet sensation because of this status:

Although, to be honest, my good friend Christian brought it up first.

Anyway, she quotes another blogger, Tyler Clark, who writes, “When you put out a call on Facebook for people verbally attack ‘effeminate anatomically male’ men, I find myself back in high school—shoved against a locker, with the bullies calling me a faggot.”

But, you know, I cannot help but to think of the Apostle Paul who saw meekness and gentleness, when in a time where those things were not considered manly, something of Christ:

Now I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ–though I realize you think I am timid in person and bold only when I write from far away. (2nd Cor 10.1)

Maybe it’s me, but my anger is not at Mark Driscoll, or the elders of Mars Hill, but at our society which has for a very long time confused manhood with macho bravado. I remember a dear old lady somewhere in my past telling me that a man is not a man because he is 18, married, or the such, but when he accepts his own responsibility. It wasn’t about others things for her, a pastor’s wife who has long since received her rest, but responsibility. I’ve sort of lived by that credo myself. Our society confuses manhood with sex, violence and age.

Don’t be angry at Mark, be angry with ourselves.

Pray for Mark; pray for ourselves.

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Post By Joel Watts (9,925 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, working on the use of Deuteronomy in the Fourth Gospel. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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11 thoughts on Confession: @PastorMark, I collected beanie babies.

  1. Very well put. I have to say that, having survived a LOT of this type of bullying, I *really* want to get all up in Driscoll’s face and challenge him to put the proverbial money where his bravado spouting mouth is.

    I’m actually one of those skinny kids that was a “late bloomer” and packed on a few pounds and the ability to land a punch later in life and sometimes those old wounds and new(ish, I mean, it happened when I was in my 20s and I’m now 36) muscles want to combine in vengeful ways.

    However, I do realize that being a bully to a bully still makes you a bully. So, thankfully, the vengeful parts of my brain take a backseat to logical/reasonable parts that, usually, have served me well throughout my life. So, I take the high road.

    But man, sometimes, the low road is just SOOOO tempting. This would be one of those times, which, I guess, is just another symptom of the societal problems you highlight here. So, thank you for bring the reality back into the picture. My repressed inner, bullied and skinny, kid thanks you as well.

  2. Bullpoop. Be angry at Mark, because Mark’s the dude who said it. Hold him responsible and simultaneously point out the absurdity of extremist gender roles where the man has to be a scratching, spitting NASCAR neanderthal while the woman must be the gentle, domestic flower. These 1950′s constructs looked great on TV then, but are offensive and outmoded in 2011.

    But you’re still kinda gay for the whole beanie babies thing. Also, you left out your silver tea set collection…

    • I didn’t want to appear to effeminate, and besides, Leigh Anne is making me give them away.

      • Leigh Anne is a wise and wonderful person.

        Besides, it’s not the tea sets that make you effeminate…

        Not that there’s anything whatsoever wrong with being feminine, which is at the crux of this whole issue. It’s less the gay/straight thing and more an indication of how our collective consciousness continues to view women and their behavior as something “less-than” and certainly generally undesirable except to meet the base needs of men.

        When men grow to truly respect and appreciate the intrinsic equal value of women, they will be less-inclined to ridicule behaviors expressed by, but certainly not exclusive to women.

  3. Like so many of these discussions, this appears to be a particularly *American* inter-Christian debate . . .

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