To the Man Who Tries: You are not a “Fraud”

As I say under “purposes,” I hate most men’s (so-called) “ministries.” They place notions of duty and expectations upon men without compassion–that is, a thorough investigation of their real, actual situations so as to offer an actually pertinent ministry.
 
I have heard that it’s supposed to be a typical male angst to wonder whether he’s either “good enough” or a “fraud.” And I’ve been horrified to see that reinforced within Christian culture.

I’ve seen ministry to men enforce this. I’ve often wondered, with all of the alarm in the world about men’s sexual struggles, why I never hear anyone quote Proverbs 6:26:For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

In both the first and second parts of this verse, men (and women in equivalent situations, no doubt) are essentially alerted to the illusion of one who loves you, when in reality the prostitute sees you as an object–a loaf of bread–and the wayward wife seeks to destroy you. It is an excellent motivator for men to avoid sexual immorality, along with the teaching that our bodies are sacred temples to be treated with reverence (hence Paul points out the atrocity of defiling that temple with a prostitute in 1 Corinthians 6:15).

I wonder no more: because the culture is actively TRYING to reduce men to pieces of bread; trying to convince them that men’s character is correlated to their material output.

Where was the wrath of God on Lazarus the beggar, and where was God’s approval of the rich man? (Luke 12:19-31) 
Where was God’s approval of the one who was blessed with reward for his labor and stored up what he had? (Luke 12:16-21)
Luke 12:15:”life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
1 Timothy 6:17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. (James 1:9-10)

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

What in Scripture tells you that you ought to feel like a fraud for a lack of success? These sorts of passages could go on for pages. In today’s world, about 50% of recent college graduates cannot find full-time work; the AVERAGE salary for a man today in the United States is $32,000. It’s a frustrating situation, a figure that absolutely ensures that a very small proportion of men could possibly be a sole-income earner for their families, whether they want the situation or not. But why not just go to the injured and lay insult upon insult? Men are just always there to be society’s punching bags.

Moreover, men must struggle against the works of feminism which strictly examine comparisons between the successes of male and female, and women (real or fabricated) performing at less than men means deliberate, manipulative, tax-payer funded efforts in schools, job quotas, and propaganda to force the results to be “equal”; as surely as feminism is funded by taxdollars, they represent the attitude of the majority: men’s success is, somehow, simultaneously demanded yet not wanted.

My conclusion, simply, is to ignore the hatred, serve the Lord who loves you. If you’re struggling to be successful, forget the complaints of those who do nothing but complain about men. And think about this: if you ARE successful, are you observing 1 Timothy 6:17, or listening to the approval of the loveless? If we serve the Lord with our whole hearts neither bank accounts or others’ opinions can make us “frauds.”
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God Did not give Adam a “male-specific” curse

Genesis 3

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

First and foremost, let’s look at how this passage ends: “for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Yes, Scripture specifies that God was speaking to Adam when He said this, but we can agree that this statement–by itself, at least–applies equally to Eve, right? Now, then, why assume that everything before this statement only applies to Adam? Similarly, verses 22-24 repeatedly refer to “Adam” when they were being applied to both Adam and Eve.

If you insist that “and God said to Adam” is evidence enough that God was speaking ONLY to him, then you have to assert that women never return to dust, since that was “only” said to Adam; women must all be immortal, since God never told Eve that she would die as he did Adam, in that case. That is truly evidence enough that Adam was not given a “male-specific” curse; women’s bodies die and return to dust in a manner that is absolutely no different than the way a man’s body does. There is no way to assert God’s prior statements to Adam only applied to men; quite the contrary, every curse spoken to Adam applies equally to Eve, despite Eve’s punishment being distinctly female-specific.

Secondly, let’s try to apply this very, very literally for a moment, with the assumption that this curse only applies to Adam (except, again, for the comment about “for you are dust, and to dust you shall return”): that would mean that every single male, regardless of age, only eats by literally by working the fields and a woman cannot possibly experience the same pain for her food.

But if a woman is left alone without a man to provide, does the ground yield food for Eve any more nicely than it does for Adam? No. Does EVERY man who eats literally plow the fields to get food? No. Is it completely unheard of for women to work out in the fields in any culture in the history of the world? No (see the book of Ruth if you somehow need a biblical depiction for proof).

If this curse has no effect on women, then what is it, exactly, that causes the Proverbs 31 woman of noble character to be so busy?

Let’s back up this discussion a little bit and try and interpret this passage less literally but insist that it still, somehow, only applies to men. Modern Christianity asserts that this is merely symbolic of a paycheck. But let’s really think about how we made that jump in logic for a moment–and we’ll find that it is but circular logic.

Once again, it is abundantly clear that a good portion of men “work” in various forms–working very hard and productively–to buy food without ever, ever working from the earth. And at the same time, many women DO work the Earth to get food. At any given time, someone in society needs to cultivate the Earth to grow food for all people to eat, while we have other people doing different jobs in (indirect) conjunction with those who literally produce food.

We use money.

Money is the way we avoid the need for absolutely every single person to till soil, grow and cultivate crops. Accountants, for example, may have SEEMED to avoid God’s curse to Adam in the literal sense, but they work hard (putting aside debate as to whether they work exactly AS hard) at an equivalently occupying task related to sustaining a society in which everyone is fed to justify partaking in the crops. Housewives are not the slightest bit different: likewise they work very hard (as scripture commands them, and the Proverbs 31 woman demonstrates), SEEMING to avoid Adam’s curse, but similar to the accountant she contributes heavily toward her husband, who either works the field directly or indirectly helps another man (or woman, as often happens) cultivate those crops for food. Hence, neither the hardworking accountant receiving a paycheck nor the hardworking housewife who helps her husband earn a paycheck have avoided the burden of Adam’s curse. If the curse of having to work the earth only applied to Adam, the Proverbs 31 woman would not be busy, but just as unburdened as Eve in the Garden of Eden.

What is it about Genesis 3:17-19 that effectively says: men and women will both be busy day-to-day, but only Adam works to receive a paycheck? Nothing!

The conclusion is this: the curse was uttered to Adam as something that would apply to both Adam and Eve. Yes, for the most part men would be the ones literally working fields, although the reality that Eve shared in the punishment is the reason that, one way or another,women needed to be just as busy dealing with the cursed ground either just as directly as Adam or indirectly for some other farmers’ work (again, see the Proverbs 31 depiction of a noble wife–astoundingly busy). Now obviously men would get labor jobs of various kinds more often because men are naturally physically stronger, but even still, that did not prevent women from working from the earth altogether. Women without any male providers need to get their own paychecks.

I’m going to change my tone for a moment to make myself excruciatingly clear.

Some argue that the curse allegedly directed solely at Adam has an influence on his nature as a man.
Adam’s physiology did not change because of the curse; he was built as a man, testosterone, muscles and all, BEFORE the fall.

Have cultures across history had a tendency to put men to certain types of work because they considered that the curse to Adam made doing so appropriate? Of course not. A man twice as big and strong as I am is more likely to make a better lumberjack. The “curse to Adam” did not make him that way. If a single woman looks for a husband and fails, she will more than likely discover from firsthand experience that she too experiences the metaphorical “thorns and thistles” of the “curse to Adam” with the same great pain as a man for sure.

What is at stake here? Spiritual bondage upon men, as the world is plenty full of ways to make men feel like their value, especially as men, depends on their paychecks and what they produce, and this is another such attempt.

(For that matter, the money=productivity fallacies of our culture is also probably the reason why parenthood–both motherhood and fatherhood–are undervalued)

There is nothing wrong with suggesting that a man is built and arguably fulfilled by different kinds of work than women because of how God DESIGNED him as a man from the beginning, not because he was cursed to it.