A Report from ‘Act Like Men’

On the day of Act Like Men, I wrote a post suggesting that we Act Like Jesus instead, whether we’re male or female. I had some friends, even my wife, who suggested that I go undercover so I could blog more specifically on what was taught (the good and the bad). I didn’t think I would make it through it, but I’m happy that Preston Steinke, who was an IVCF intern leader while I was at Queen’s, did go and reported back. Here’s a sampling of some of this observations:

Chauvinistic mistreatment of women and pointless insensitive generalities peppered the teaching earlier in the night. Women take forever to get ready. Real men aren’t vegetarians. Women are only helpers. Men don’t follow, they lead. Real men don’t order low fat decaf lattes. Women are the weaker vessel.

In essence, let’s make fun of women and call them weaker; but we were told “it’s ok because women are awesome and we get to go home to them after this conference is done”. Phew….

And the trend continued. Conference organizers drummed up audience support with ‘the most insensitive man ‘ competition, literally celebrating the lack of sensitivity towards others. Judges picked finalists and sat them on thrones about the stadium floor. At first we were laughing at farting jokes, but then we were booing and laughing at the church treasurer who tried to completely cut the women’s ministry budget. Next we were boo-laughing at the man who told a hopeful woman that he doesn’t dance with anyone heavier than him. These men’s stories were insensitive (and sinful), but we failed to talk about how we can repent and be forgiven. Instead we crowned the winner (literally) by boo-cheering and gave him an Ipad.

Abuse your power. Demean women. This is what gives you the prize.

I should make sure to say that he does also reference Matt Chandler as giving some much better teaching, but that is about it that stands out as a positive. Unfortunately the rest seemed to reinforce the incredibly harmful understanding of manhood (and womanhood) that is common among some of these teachers.

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.