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Toxic Masculinity? - Doug Wilson


Video from Canon Press


"In this episode of Ask Doug, Pastor Doug Wilson answers the question, "Is there such a thing as toxic masculinity?" Ask Doug is presented by Canon Press." from video introduction.


What Should Christians Know about Toxic Masculinity?

"The Western world has spent the last several years exposing the ways in which rich, powerful, and famous men have oppressed vulnerable individuals, both male and female. One might hear the words “toxic masculinity” and instantly form an image of someone holding a Bible, saying that God has told women to obey men. But is that image accurate, and is the toxic male the norm or the exception?

1. The Toxic Male

A toxic male speaks and/or behaves as though he is entitled to oppress women and the more vulnerable sectors of society generally. In the church, such men take Paul’s words on marriage out of context. “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22).

This man believes that anyone weaker than himself — employee, co-worker, friend, relative, spouse, congregation member, student, or child — could and even should be his subject.

Some versions translate Paul’s words as “be subject to” rather than “submit.” There is a subtle difference in the emphasis. The “to be” is passive; “submit” is active. One is a choice. Decide, to let the man direct you.

Some men want to give women identity according to a supposed (and incorrect) interpretation of Scripture but, more importantly, to help them fulfill their sense of superiority.

Do as he tells you to do, this interpretation would say because the wife is her husband’s subject and property. His instructions are right and good. Iterations of this attitude can be extracted from the Bible itself, such as where Jacob took Leah as his wife after Laban’s deception, and then treated Leah with contempt, although she was good enough for sex; she was successful as a child-bearer.

He never loved or respected her. Another would be David’s abuse of Bathsheba; taking advantage of her while her husband was away at war. Or Amnon, who raped his half-sister Tamar, abandoned her when she begged him to marry her and was not punished by his father (although his brother Absalom, in another toxic move, relieved his anger by murdering Amnon, but did so without restoring his sister’s dignity and spiritual wholeness).

Toxic masculinity says that women are less than men. They do not need to be paid as much as men to do the same work because they are not as good as men. Or, some men would argue, they should not be in the same fields as men anyway.


Their proper place is in the home having babies and looking after their husbands. And typically, “female” jobs (social work, nursing, etc.) come with lower salaries than typical “male” jobs (managers of large companies, CEOs, surgeons, etc.).

2. God’s Answer to Toxicity

The Lord gives each person his or her identity and it is the same for all believers. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

The biblical directive is for a wife to submit to the husband as to the Lord. Submission to God is yielding to the safety and sovereignty of the one true King and Savior.

One can do this safely, male, and female, disciple alike; but if the woman is to submit to the man as to the Lord, God’s expectation is that a man will strive to be like his Savior and lay down his life for his wife..." from the article: What Should Christians Know about Toxic Masculinity?



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