Okay – enough is enough. I’m caught up in the Madness like everyone else and was watching Virginia beat Memphis this weekend. No problem there. Suddenly, I saw a manly looking man in the crowd holding up a sign that said, “Man crush on Joe Harris.” There’s the problem. Can we just stop it with the “man crush” thing? And while we’re at it, let’s stop the “bromance” thing, the getting-in-touch-with-your-feminine-side thing, and any other thing that blurs the lines between the sexes, gender identity, and/or heterosexuality vs. homosexuality. Despite where the culture is trending on moral and gender issues (and where the culture is trending on those issues should be our cue to run in the opposite direction), and I mean this in an observational and not derogatory way, when a man says he has a man crush on another man he looks – well – unmanly. There are other words you could insert there.
It’s not just me who notices these things, whether for or agin. I was going from memory concerning the Virginia man’s object of affection and wanted to be sure his name was Joe Harris – so I googled. To my surprise an article popped up entitled: “Virginia’s Joe Harris has NCAA tournament fans swooning.” And right there in the opening lines I read this: “With the game’s outcome all but decided mere minutes into the game and Virginia’s trip to the Sweet 16 secured, there wasn’t much else to do at Sunday’s game besides make deep emotional confessions, apparently. A grown man proudly held a sign high that read “MAN CRUSH ON JOE HARRIS.” Now, I don’t know if Nicole Aeurbach of USA Today is making fun of this guy or not; but you’d have to be asleep to miss her meaning with the adverb “proudly.” She didn’t even have to refer to his sign as a “deep emotional confession” but she obviously wanted to make her meaning clear.
What we’re witnessing is the inexorable feminization and homosexualization of our culture. And while the world scolds those who throw around boorish stereotypes the Scriptures clearly teach that men should look and act like men and women should look and act like women. To blur those lines is to rebel against God and the way He’s made things. Here’s what Paul says for example: “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering” (1 Cor. 11:14-15). Paul’s point is clear: nature teaches us that men and women are different and should act accordingly. And just in case we miss what nature teaches, we have the revealed will of God on the matter in Paul’s words.
The issue of nature, the way God has made things, is huge to say the least. Why do you think Paul refers to homosexuality as against nature?
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due (Rom. 1:26-27).
The point is clear. The reason homosexuality is wrong is because God says it’s wrong; God says it’s wrong because it’s against nature – the way He has made things. And of course the way He has made things is not arbitrary but flows from His righteous character.
Here’s another verse: “Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is confusion” (Lev. 18:23). What does He mean by confusion? The Hebrew word refers to a violation of nature; we’re talking about a confusion of nature – the way God has made things. The word “perversion” is used in other translations: same thing. (By the way, Doug Wilson has a thought-provoking piece on the issue of nature well worth reading).
Aren’t there bigger fish to fry than some guy having a man crush on Joe Harris when it comes to issues of sexual identity? Sure there are, in some sense. But some Christians even speak this way and blur gender lines in other ways and chalk it up to simply having fun with something. But these things are not-so-subtle manifestations of real heart and worldview issues. A simple reading of “man crush” and “bromance” in the urban dictionary reveals that the culture does in fact inject sexual attraction into the meaning of these terms though in some sense they try to downplay it. This downplay is rooted in the conscience that says there is something not quite right about these things though they are perfectly acceptable in our culture. Christians have to decide who they are and who they represent. They have to decide whether they will be guided by revelatory Scripture or rebellious culture. Paul says we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11). Apparently some of us are.
So, yes men; please don’t be unmanly. Don’t talk about having a man crush or a bromance. Don’t carry your wife’s purse; you’re not being a servant, you’re being a woman. And don’t dress like a woman even as a joke. It’s one thing to eat meat without questioning whether it’s been in an idol temple (1 Cor. 10:25). There’s nothing inherently wrong with eating meat. But it’s another thing for a man to dress like a woman; that’s in a different category (1 Cor. 11:14-15). Liberty has to do with things that are lawful, not merely things on which we Christians disagree. If you’re a man, you have liberty to act for a girl but you don’t have liberty to act like a girl.
So, here’s some advice for Christian men as well as for our Virginia fan with the sign: “Man up!”
Check out Dr. Dean’s audio news and worldview commentaries, The Dean’s List as well as his new e-book “Naked and Unashamed: Liberating Sex from Cultural Captivity”. You can also follow him on Twitter: @pauldeanjr.