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Is Toxic Masculinity In The Bible?

“Toxic Masculinity” is a feminist idea that has made many people angry. Some people hate the idea and others are angry at toxic males, now that they can describe their “toxic” behavior. It’s a love / hate thing. One side believes we need to change the way men act, and a good place to start is with the way we raise boys, and the things we teach them. The other side thinks this idea demonizes men, and abuses them just for being who they are.

One definition is:

“Adherence to traditional male gender roles that consequently stigmatize and limit the emotions boys and men may comfortably express while statusing other emotions such as anger.”

That’s an accepted definition, and I think it’s not clear, and “statusing” is not a word. Maybe that’s why this argument is mostly emotional; it’s not well defined in a way we can understand. That might be why the idea divides people. People were divided, and angry, when the Gillette Corporation made commercials about Toxic Masculinity. Gillette sells shaving products for men, and they decided to preach a social message with their advertising.

The reaction was so strong, and so negative, that the company cancelled the ads immediately. Those ads are saved for us on the Internet, like an interesting display in a museum.

And then we have the Bible. This holy book is read and respected by billions of people, and it gives advice and direction about many things. The Bible was with us thousands of years before “Toxic Masculinity” was named. There are many stories in the Bible about bad people, doing bad things, and these are warnings for us. We are not supposed to do what they did.

We might define that as ‘toxic humanity’ also known as ‘sin.’ Men or males are not separated from women or females in the Bible, where we are told “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23).

Many Bible stories about people behaving badly are stories about men. One example is the story of King David and Bathsheba. The king was at home, when his army was working hard in a war, without him. One evening he saw a woman bathing on the roof of her house, and he had her brought to his palace, where he spent the night with her. She went home, and later told David that she was pregnant. That woman, Bathsheba also had a husband, Uriah the Hittite, who was a military hero. When the king could not make the baby seem like a child of Uriah, he arranged to have that brave soldier killed on a battlefield, and then he married the widow Bathsheba.

That’s what kings did in those days, but the God of the Bible told King David that his actions were toxic, “you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own” (2 Samuel 12: 10).

King David was toxic, and he was a man, so that might add up to Toxic Masculinity. We could wonder why Bathsheba was on that roof when her husband was away; ‘If you advertise you get business.’ She seemed to cooperate without protesting and she never told her husband the truth. There might be some ‘Toxic Femininity’ in the story too.

We might be offended that feminists only criticize men, but that only makes them half wrong, and fifty percent is a good start. The message of the Bible is that we humans are corrupt, male and female. We are toxic sinners until we let God make us right. Every man needs to be saved from himself, just like every woman.

So yes, Toxic Masculinity is in the Bible.

We should also know that we humans hate to see our own corruption, and we push back. Gillette lost millions when they had to cancel those commercials. Feminists who condemn ‘toxic’ men, don’t dare criticize women, their support base. Jesus drove corrupt people out of the holy temple, and He was arrested, beaten, and executed on a cross.

Moral reformers have a short life span.

In my life, I learned that I needed to see ‘toxic me’ and I needed to be so sorry, that I asked God to forgive me and make me right. My morals needed to be reformed. I’m a man, so I saw toxic masculinity in me.

I needed Jesus.

Everyone of us is a ‘me’ and the Bible tells us we are each toxic until we are forgiven and made right. I live that every day and I recommend it for you, man or woman.

The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53: 5 and 6

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