If you read the initial post on #ABetterMan, then you know that Part 1 was the culmination of the big journey of fathers, men, spiritual men, and the uprising of a new style of manhood that truly lies in discovering “the distance between man and God.” It was a long story of men wrapped up in a simple ending message. In this line of conversation, “man and God” truly means a male and God means the fullness of God, both God the Mother and Father. There is no exception, God is not just a Father and we cannot ignore the Mother because the Mother gave birth to a man while God the Father helps to give man life.
We know that certain brands of Christianity only pay attention to God the Father, so they pay attention to half of a God and expect big results. This concept confused me for a long time, and I got in trouble for asking questions about it, only later to find out that it’s pretty clearly in the bible. Most of the people who had issues with my questions were men. Those men then caused harm. So, Part #2 of #ABetterMan is now going to go deeper and talk about the “Godzilla state,” how to identify it, how to cope with it, and how to be a better human. This one is for both men and women, because the “Godzilla state” has affected both genders, but we have some direct evidence that some men are not so happy to see women succeeding, and we need to get at that.
For the most part we can know that the majority of Christian churches have it wrong by dismissing and not talking about some really key points about God and Christ, and therefore are influencing children and generations incorrectly. It makes women confused, wondering why God left them out of the big plan (when God didn’t), and men fumbling to figure out why God made them superior (when God didn’t). Some churches are making changes, some are being forced to make changes, some are now becoming quite aware of the illegal discrimination grounds of their actions. We know, in heart, that the Christian church has been generations behind and they struggle with the idea of really grappling with the depth of Jesus’ work in the name of their business formulas, but to get the true story out there means that God isn’t so small anymore. It just means that humans have a serious amount of work to do to catch up to God’s plans. It’s a growth opportunity.
We have a hurting society, a seemingly bipolor and schizophrenic world that has quite a bit to say but little spaciousness to get the message across. I won’t be apart of the incorrect teachings of the patriarchal Christian church though, because they are anti-thesis to what Christ and God truly stood for and it feeds a violent culture. In order to transcend the walk that Jesus took to the cross, we have to understand the culture in which made it so, and why we have perpetuated it for so long.
After I published Part 1, I soon realized the need for Part 2 for #ABetterMan because resistance is part of cultural change, and so is stubbornness. In the last few weeks, I’ve seen more and more of the ways in which men struggle in a world that is pressurized by what is inauthentic. They’ve hit up against their own weaknesses when confronted with the limitations of their own routines of competing, placating, manipulating, and needing everything yesterday. I’ve watched the arcs of this gaslighting behavior for weeks now and it’s not always landing well. I’ve seen men and women in the mess, so I know personally that this is more reflective of a certain cult of behavior than a particular gender.
Nevertheless though, we are certainly still dealing with a deep gender war, one that is ripe with as much male drama, PMS, and intolerance as the women’s side can be.
I know this might be hard to hear, but men are not always logical, not always right, and not always patient and kind. Men like to complain about women and their drama, but men have it too. They are certainly not always like God created them to be, but the problem more than gender right now, is the “Godzilla state.” It has affected both genders, and it’s ripe in the males right now due to essence of masculine toxicity in our culture. This state is full of whatever attitude or mood that reflects impatience, intolerance, inability to cope, high stress, control, fear, threat, hate, and harm. People are having panic attacks often. There is constant pressure. There are conflicting wants and desires. It’s in the church, government, workplace, schools, and home. It’s not tender. It’s evoking PTSD, worry, doubt, fear, and panic. It’s a state that reflects when something else other than God has taken over and has become the ruler.
In Part #1, I shared the song, “Fear Is A Liar” by Zach Williams, because it is the crux of the problem. Our competitive culture is not helping, which is why I teach yoga. My classes these days are packed because people are looking for ways to feel better, and it’s a constant reminder not to do the things that our culture does but instead do what God does. People need to heal.
In Part #1 of #ABetterMan, we talked about Christ being that human form to help show us as humans (because sometimes we need a visual) of what it really means to understand God and what God is about. There has always been contemplation of why God chose a man to be that “human form of God,” and I discuss many of the more obvious reasons why (to give a stark contrast between toxic masculinity and the feminist male). At that time, there was likely no other way in which to show the depth of the “toxic male” than to show how violent, against God, and harmful they can be against another man of God who wasn’t. It was important to see how deep and extreme men can be, how deeply disturbed they can be, and yet see a vision of how right and good they can be.
Men need that visual in Jesus. By the fact that Jesus was beaten in such a horrific way to render him nearly unrecognizable, it reminds men, that deep inside, as part of their evolution, their gender has been responsible for some of the greatest war, some of the greatest harm and violence that our humanity has ever known. That harm and violence has been committed against men and against women. So, if we talk about Jesus, we have to talk about the state of men and why they harm in the deep degree they do. It is quite evident that this deep state of harm and violence does not reflect a superior gender, but at times, a very broken one. Because this gender is often in leadership, we are weary, wary, and cautious—and wisdom calls us to be so.
We know, that even in today’s times, that men are still reflecting the darkness of the time of Jesus, and that toxic masculinity has not been erased from our culture, even with the constant reminder of what Christ has done for humanity. People don’t remember, don’t listen, or don’t evolve. That behavior is not just a male behavior because I have seen it in women too. It takes us back to the conversation about the “Godzilla state,” which is that state that reflects our distance between ourselves and God. We are all holy children, but only some take that on and own it. Christ in the form of Jesus, a man, did. Jesus became the zero distance between a man and God, the visual needed for a hurting humanity.
We talked about why Jesus had to deal with the toxic state of men, or what we have come to know as toxic masculinity. Jesus might be a little miffed that we have taken so long to understand this connection, since of course, he was the anti-thesis of toxic masculinity. To our knowledge, he didn’t use weapons, but he did use tools in carpentry. He wasn’t violent. He tested through words, but he didn’t pick up guns and swords, and he didn’t abuse people. He didn’t kill people. He was a teacher, healer, miracle maker, but he started off as baby, explored as a child, was taught by his parents, and became a carpenter just as his father was.
With the Holy Spirit and the prophecy that Jesus was God’s child with a specific purpose, he chose to align with his ultimate purpose. It was not a purpose that Jesus chose for himself, and it is clear that he did not want to die on the cross in the way he did. He prayed, just as anyone might, to be released from this walk, struggle, and death. We know what happened.
There simply was no human form in power who changed their mind about Jesus and acted upon it rationally to prevent his untimely death. There was no one, including Jesus’ disciples or his enemies, who made a choice to release him from this path. In other words, no one stood up against the toxic masculinity. There were those who knew Jesus to be innocent, and there were those who thought about releasing Jesus, but ultimately, no one did. It wasn’t a God mistake, it was a human mistake, since God was there all along, waiting.
So, over 2000 years later, we are having this conversation about toxic masculinity, and essentially we know it’s not the first time. It’s just the catch word or phrase because of its deep essence in our culture, in leadership, in churches, in workplaces, in violent events. We are starting to grapple with the fact that the patriarchal church has decently played a role in this problem. Our culture has been taught, because the bible was written by men, that men are the head of women, men are more, and men are in charge. We even forget that God the Mother is clearly mentioned in the bible and God is not just a “He.”
We trace back gender roles and remember that the men hunted and that the mothers stayed at home to protect and raise the kids, until that didn’t happen because of injury or death to a man, or whatever circumstances arose. After all, there was war, there are many animals, and there is survival. We KNOW that women had to do things that men did, and we also know that men had to do things women did, but for the life of our humanity, we can’t believe and honor the fact that God made women and men equal. For some reason, we just can’t, and we wonder why we struggle so much. It is the heart of the “Godzilla state.” Rather than helping one another, it’s a competition. It’s one that God did not intend nor create.
God tells us what to do many times (“put your swords down,” “love one another,”), but we do not trust because our human form forgets our God form. It’s not that we die to Christ. Remember, Jesus only pointed us to God by showing us the capacity of God. Our work is to bring God closer.
Christ didn’t want to die. It’s that he died because humans couldn’t put on their God form and act in time to prevent horrific acts. Men simply could not put down their toxic masculinity. The greatest gift we can do for Jesus is to continue to walk where he had to stop and continue to do something about this toxic male and human forms. The second coming of Christ is that walk.
To get close to God, we don’t become a man, we don’t get confused in our gender because we want to be like Christ, we do what Christ did, which was to put on God’s form. God’s form is love. God’s form shuts down the “Godzilla state” before it causes harm, or further harm. When you see culture look like the culture that killed Jesus, you know that it’s time to put on God’s form verses Godzilla’s form.
The painting of the male and female roles simply are not perfect. We know, without looking far, that men and women do a blend of each other’s “gender” roles depending on the day, circumstance, or skill. We also know that men and women have their weaknesses, and we also know that men and women can be protectors. We also know that both men and women can be abusive, manipulative, or difficult. We kind of know the nature of human form, and we know it transcends the traditions of religion. We know it because we live it.
Jesus chose a certain way of doing things, but that certain way of doing things ultimately killed him due to the nature of a toxic and ego driven masculine culture that didn’t change much, wasn’t very receptive, and didn’t fully understand the concept of God, only a form of human rule or leadership. This is why we’ve seen dictators take hold in human times verses God. Obviously, we know where this goes wrong because Jesus was beaten until he was unrecognizable and then was put up on a cross in front of a pretty large group of people, any of whom had the ability to recheck themselves, their actions, and cognitively stop it, especially those who knew he was innocent.
The human force of fear, though, was too great. The force of toxicity was too great. The lower rise of the soul, verses the higher rise, was too great. The temptation to harm was too great. This goes back to Jesus’ time when there was a certain way of understanding authority, and we haven’t truly escaped it. The fear that humans can cause can make people vulnerable and afraid, and so humans don’t remember that God is bigger. Now, we’re doing to do something about it.
GODZILLA: WHAT TO DO?