Where Have All The Men Gone? by Bruce J. Bartel
The Feminized Christianity
Why is the Church viewed as feminine? Is there something innately feminine about Christianity? God became incarnate as a man, and Jesus’ life follows the classic masculine pattern of development. He even had to place some distance between himself and his mother: he left her as an early adolescent to teach in the temple to do his “Father’s work;” he left her to undertake his public ministry at 30, and then he had to leave her behind when he died.
Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male (masculine) and female (feminine) created he them.” There IS a distinction between male and female; more importantly, between masculine and feminine. Then in Genesis 5:2 God creates divine order: “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name (Adam & Eve together) Adam. . . .”
Ever heard of “the fall of man”? Why is it not called “the fall of woman”? Accountability was made with Adam, the man. Eve was to be submitted to her husband, who should have given correct and proper direction for the family. God was establishing order when He went to the man and held him accountable. I Corinthians 11:8,9: “For man was not [created] from woman, but woman from man; Neither was man created on account of or for the benefit of woman, but woman on account of and for the benefit of man” (AMP). Therefore God says to Adam, “Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you…” Genesis 3:17 (AMP).
God’s divine order is further clarified in I Corinthians 11:3 — “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Paul simplifies things in his letter to Ephesus when he pens, “husbands love,” “wives submit,” and “children obey.” The flow of authority does not begin between the husband and wife, but rather the husband (or man) and his God.
Further revelation came when I heard a statement from a lady missionary at a rally in Washington State: “You can be strong and be a lady. What you can’t be is masculine.”
Masculinity and the Church
Anthropologists and developmental psychologists have come up with a fairly widely agreed upon topology of masculinity. A boy is born of a woman and has an intense relationship with a woman for the first years of his life. At first the child is not even aware of his mother as a separate being. He then starts realizing that his mother differs from him in an extremely important respect: she is what he cannot and should not become—a woman. The boy must break this intense, close relationship with his mother to establish his separate identity – masculine. The boy cannot become masculine by imitating his mother; he must turn from her to other models, usually his father. Thus we have the “teen years” when boys and girls solidify and align themselves with their role models of masculinity or femininity.
Making Men into Christian Fathers
Men can be taught to be men only by other men, and all too many pastors are not real men. This modern day imbalance between female and male congregants is all the more odd because NT Christianity, coming from Judaism, was distinctly a male-centered religion. So how did the church get where it is now?
In “Statistics for Children without Fathers,” 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (U.S. Dept. Of Health/Census) — five times the average, 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes — 14 times the average (Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26), and 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes – 10 times the average (Rainbows for All God’s Children).
There is a spiritual attack on leadership, headship, fathers, and ultimately on men. Characteristics shared by those under attack include fear, fatigue, sluggishness, confusion and anger. These attacks are identified as dealing with witchcraft and the spirit of Jezebel.
The spirit of Jezebel
Jezebel literally means “without cohabitation.” This spirit refuses to live together or co-habit with anyone, unless they can dominate the relationship. Characteristics of this spirit include: hatred of authority (often male authority), rebellious, fiercely independent, ambitious for pre-eminence and control, and female, in that it seeks to manipulate without physical force.
The spirit of Jezebel has two aims: to gain glory, power, and satisfy the need for the “praises of men.” This is a consequence of the desire for love and self-worth focused on self. Secondly, the Jezebel spirit seeks to emasculate (to deprive of strength or vigor; weaken) all men, stripping them of their authority. The “Jezebel spirit” is in a constant agitation, terribly aggressive, controlling, selfish, manipulative, unrepentant, deceitful spirit.
There are two main types of the Jezebel spirit
The “high-profile” type is generally gregarious, outspoken and highly visible. She is often seen as the “woman who wears the pants in the family.” The second is the “low-profile” type, soft-spoken, giving the illusion of being concerned, motherly, protective, even appearing very submissive. The low-profile type may be the most dangerous, as she is the most difficult to discern. She relies heavily on manipulation for her power in extremely subtle performances.
Jezebel’s attacks are the power demons of fear and discouragement, leading to self-doubt and confusion and distracting from warfare and victory. The Jezebel spirit will: run you down causing spiritual fatigue, confuse you causing self-doubt, and/or cause you to question your own calling and destiny. The essence of the Jezebel spirit is that of the feminine becoming masculine.
What about Ahab?
You can’t have a Jezebel without an Ahab. By his nature, Ahab means one who gives his authority to another. This not only appeals to high tolerance within a man’s mind but to becoming “feminine” (submissive). To win against Jezebel (the feminine becoming masculine), one must conquer the spirit or nature of Ahab (the masculine becoming feminine).
The spirit of Ahab is an emasculated figure. Indeed the majority of modern men are under that spirit, enslaved to their women. This “Ahab and Jezebel” are represented very well in our present society.
Ahab chose not to notice when his wife worked behind the scenes. Many men turn their heads when they see their wives stepping out of their God-given role. Jezebel knew that she was not the rightful head, so she invoked her husband’s name to give her word authority. It was a way for her to maintain control and stop those who would question her.
Jezebel was deeply concerned about spiritual matters and took steps to help promote her spiritual leaders. In the process, she provoked her husband to destroy those in spiritual authority she did not like. Have you ever seen women influencing their husbands to think evil of those in authority because she did not like something about them? When a woman comes to this place she is sliding toward the Jezebel spirit.
How do we defeat the spirit of Jezebel?
To win against this spirit of Jezebel, one must conquer the nature of Ahab. Jesus tells us not to even tolerate Jezebel (Rev. 2:20). Therefore “no” is the operative word against Jezebel. When those in spiritual authority say “no” to her, she is ready for war. Remember, Jezebel is a warring spirit who is always dressed for battle. We must learn the prophetic power of the word “no!” We must give no ground.
Although Elijah was Jezebel’s enemy, it took Jehu to trample and destroy her. Jehu showed no mercy to Jezebel. As he approached Jezebel, those who saw his chariot noted he “drives furiously” (2 Kings 9:20). When others offered peace and compromise, Jehu responded, “How can there be peace as long as the harlotries and witchcrafts of Jezebel are many?” (2 Kings 9:22).
Divine order and the family began to change when Satan blurred the lines of masculinity and femininity with Adam and Eve. Through this temptation, the devil was saying to women, “You do not need man as your authority; you can be your own authority – though created female, you can act masculine.” When she bi-passed the man and stepped out of her place as the feminine, she became deceived and sin entered the world.
Whatever happened to chivalry? Who do you think is behind this unisex movement and the obscurity and distinction of the sexes? If God made you a man, be a man! Be masculine. If God made you a female, be all feminine and believe me, your example will have an impact.
Women are a required asset, invaluable in the church and in leadership. The issue is one’s ability to function within his or her place and calling. God created BOTH the masculine and feminine. He would never reject half the population just because they were born female. ALL are needed in the Kingdom. Hath God made you male? Then embrace your masculinity. Hath God made you female? Then accentuate your femininity to the glory of God. Be all you can be in Jesus, under God’s divine order and blessings.
What can you do, as a man, to counter this Ahab spirit? The biggest part of the solution is knowing there’s a problem. Admit that you may have some Ahab in you. It’s counterproductive to sit back and wait for your wife to act outside her calling, thus encouraging the masculine. Nothing will happen till you move out, take action and lead.
So be the man God called you to be. Stop pushing your wife to do your God-given responsibilities. Provide that umbrella of protection for your wife and family. That is why the devil tempts the man to let his wife handle problems that he should be taking care of. The transferring and transgression of responsibilities by the man only causes the masculine to become weaker and weaker to the point of obscurity. Step up to the plate and be a leader in all areas.
Lead by taking the headship in your home. Lead by saying the blessing at the table. Lead by having the family hear you read the Bible out loud. Lead by being the first to raise your hands in public worship. Lead by example in integrity. Be masculine. Embrace your place in Jesus and fulfill your destiny.
transcribed by Christina Li