The Gala were clergy members in Mesopotamian religion. They were said to be neither male nor female. The Gala were originally women, but over time, men joined their ranks. The problem is that the female Gala wailed and wept and cried all the time to get the attention of their false gods, so the male Gala imitated their practice and soon enough were seen as a “third gender” because they took on femininity.
The morphodite Galas became homosexual, lisping little daisies and the cuniform word for Gala is two symbols: a penis and an anus. It was descriptive of what society thought about these clergy members, to say the least. Speaking of them, a famous Sumerian proverb said, “When the gala wiped off his anus, ‘I must not arouse that which belongs to my mistress.”
Christian pastors are not the Gala. We are not eunuchs. Christian pastors are men, and for the love of all that is good and pure, we should act like it.
“You’re a pastor? You’re not acting like a pastor!”
Lady, that’s because your idea of a pastor is like if Reverend Lovejoy and Ned Flanders had a love child. Your idea of a pastor is like if a Revoice homosexual came crawling out of Nadia Bolz-Weber’s female genitalia statue and was birthed with all the manly traits of Jonathan Merritt. Your idea of a pastor has probably been shaped by one of the five bazillion female preachers in the United Methodist Church (except they’re usually manlier than the male clergy in the United Methodist Church). Your idea of a pastor is like Mr. Rogers overdosed on tranquilizer. Your idea of a pastor wears a rainbow tunic over capris pants.
Do you know what a real pastor does? He shepherds.
Some of us are far removed from animal husbandry, and this might give us a mistaken assumption about the word-picture of shepherd given us in Scripture. I heard one pastor recently refer to the main point of that Biblical term, Shepherd, as gentleness.
That man must never have been on a ranch.
I have a little property on a ranch. That ranch has sheep. Those sheep have ranch hands – literal shepherds – if you will. I know them. I see them. I’m friends with them. Not one of them would be characterized as “gentle” even though they may have their gentle moments. In fact, if you were asking someone for a reference to hire a new ranchhand and their former employer referred to them as “gentle” it would be received with a raised eyebrow.
Ranchers reach their arm into a cow’s lady-parts up to their shoulder and man-handle the calf to rip it out into the world. They carry a revolver or Old Henry rifle to shoot coyotes and wolves. They drive pickups with “bull bars” to plow through herds of cattle. They lasso animals by the neck to pull them out of sloughs. They hogtie calves and take out their belt knife (with a lanyard in the handle, for when it gets slippery with blood) and cut off its testicles. They stick the animal with a branding iron and inject it with medicine. They ride horses to exhaustion by kicking them with spurs in their boots.
These are gentlemen, but they are not gentle men. Gentle men could not do their job. Gentle men are only fit to cry and moan like eunuchs in a Mesopotamian temple.
The type of gentleness required of pastors (1 Timothy 3:2, 2 Timothy 2:24) is ἤπιος and means “affable.” It’s defined as “good-natured” or “easy to talk to.” It does not imply limp-wristed sissiness or a tongue full of lisping, stammering flattery. A pastor may be “gentle” when it calls for it (just as a shepherd might latch a lamb onto its mother’s teat when necessary), but it is not his defining characteristic.
Gentle men have gentle hands, but shepherds have callouses.
The song of the Good Shepherd, Psalm 23:4, says “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me” and the meaning flies over the head of people who think pork chops are manufactured in the grocery store. The rod was for killing predators and the staff was used to beat errant sheep.
The song does not say, “Thy petting and thy coddling, they comfort me.” Its accurate paraphrase would be, “The weapons by which you use to beat up my enemies and discipline me when I’m doing stupid things, they comfort me.”
A pastor is an undershepherd of Christ and we tend his sheep. There are wolves we are to watch out for (Matthew 7:15). We are to beware of dogs who are evil workers (Phillippians 3:2). We are to be alert against Satan, who is a ravenous lion, prowling around looking for his next taste of mutton (1 Peter 5:8). Daisies and debutants need not apply.
Paul was beaten, shipwrecked, stoned, whipped, and eventually beheaded. John the Baptist was a wildman whose last hair cut took a little bit too much off the top after he scolded the most powerful man in his government for being a whoremonger. Eleven of the twelve Apostles were murdered. The first pastor of the first church, James the brother of Jesus, was thrown out of a tower and then beaten with stones until he died (he survived the fall, that tough sucker).
In the course of ministry I have been literally ran off by a mob, physically tossed out of buildings, threatened with physical violence (more times than I can count), stalked by an honest-to-goodness cult member, received death threats, and at least once charged by a 6 foot, 5 inch topless ‘transgender’ person.
And that’s just from church members.
Just kidding. Those are from outside the church.
But within the church, I have been slandered, gossipped against, survived more than one coup d’etat, and generally mistreated on a basis so regular that it’s not out of the ordinary. And that’s only the stuff that hurts feelings.
I have hauled pedophiles to the jail, been thrown up on by drunks, flushed an addict’s meth down the toilet, knocked on the doors of drug-dealers to tell them face-to-face to stop pushing their wares on recovering lambs, cleaned up skull fragments after suicides, chased down run-away teens, threatened stalkers of female victims with the wrath of Almighty God, and on more than one occasion had a gun pointed at me. I have cast out demons and screamed at devils.
I am a friend of sinners; I count drug-dealers, prostitutes (both male and female), murderers, gang members, one-percenters, and numerous thieves and liars among those with whom I regularly speak and minister to. None of them would tolerate Ned Flanders, they would not respect Reverend Love Joy, and they would probably swindle Mr. Rogers out of his sweater.
There are times for gentleness, of course. I have held babies to dedicate them to the lord. I have had weeping wives drench my shirt in tears after the loss of their husbands. I’ve held the head of bereaving mothers. I have those tender moments, as any pastor does.
But hell must be preached as though it is actually on fire (it is). Wolves must be dispatched. Lions must be declawed. Souls must be rescued. Christian soldiers must be marching. That does not allow one to dress in a suit of gentleness seven days a week.
And then, finally, there are men. There are men who don’t want to follow men who might as well be women. Who wants to follow a latte-sipping, skinny-jeans-wearing feminist daisy who doesn’t know how to gut a deer? I refuse to wear anything but my blood-stained boots when I preach, no matter how odd they might look with a suit coat and tie, to remind myself that a preacher must not be worldly, but he still ought to be earthy.
The goal of preaching should be two-fold; the first is to glorify God, and the second one is to throat-punch the devil.
Pastors must never lose sight of the fact that preaching is nothing short of warfare. It is battle. It is not for sunshine patriots, but for winter soldiers. We live in a time when manliness is called “toxic masculinity.” It’s not toxic. In an age of preacher-boys with scarves sitting upon barstools telling 20-minute stories and handing out life-lessons from lives they’ve never been personally courageous enough to live, it’s refreshing to see a modicum of masculinity.
Effeminacy is listed among the sins called “wicked” in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. It is listed separately from homosexuality. In other words, don’t be gay and don’t act like a woman. God detests effeminacy among men just as much as he detests masculinity among women. For the love of all that is good and pure, don’t be a morphodite in the pulpit.
I do not care if this offends you. If it shocks you, it’s because estrogen has slowly dripped into the bloodstream of the church through the IV bags full of feminism. I’m old fashioned enough to believe that men want to follow real men and grown women want to follow real men.
Maybe that’s why our churches have more flower arrangements on any given Sunday than we have men in the pews.
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