The world is filled with boys who can shave

The New York Times Magazine ran a story this past week called “What is it about 20-Somethings?” looking at the … Continued

The New York Times Magazine ran a story this past week called “What is it about 20-Somethings?” looking at the new life stage of emerging adulthood. The article echoed what other recent studies are showing and something we’ve been saying at Mars Hill Church for awhile: The world today is filled with boys who can shave.

Historically, a guy would go through two life phases: boy, then man. The transition from boy to man was comprised of five sociological variables that happened almost simultaneously or in very close succession:

1. Leave your parents’ home (Gen. 2:24);
2. Finish your education or vocational training;
3. Start a career-track job, not a dead-end-Joe job;
4. Meet a woman, love her, honor her, court her, and marry her;
5. Have children with her.

But here’s what’s happened. Rather than moving from boy to man by this succession of sociological transitions, we’ve created something called adolescence. It’s a third life stage in the middle between boy and man. We don’t know what to call them so we just call them guys. These are boys who can shave.

Today, adolescence starts somewhere in the teen years and continues indefinitely. There is no foreseeable end. The problem with adolescence is guys don’t know when they’re ever going to grow up and be men, and no pressure is exerted on them to do so.

Is it when you’re sixteen and you can drive, or eighteen when you can vote and join the military, or twenty-one when you can drink?

Is it when you graduate from college after you’ve worked on your undergrad degree for seven or eight years?

Is it when you get married? Is it when you have kids? Is it when you buy a house?

No one knows. So, we are left with indefinite adolescence and a Peter Pan Syndrome epidemic where men want to remain boys forever.

Men in the World: Childish Consumers

The Apostle Paul says, “When I was a boy, I talked like a boy, I thought like a boy, I reasoned like a boy. When I became a man, I put childish and boyish ways behind me” (see 1 Cor. 13:11). A lot of guys don’t, as if responsibility is a bad thing and the longer you can prolong it, the more masculine you are. That’s the world. It’s absolutely childish and it’s consumerism.

The marketing sweet spot for many companies is young men ages eighteen to thirty-four. These guys don’t know what it means to be a man, and so marketers fill the void with products that define manhood by what you consume rather than what you produce.

The tough retrosexual guys consume women, porn, alcohol, drugs, television, music, video games, toys, cars, sports, and fantasy leagues, as if being a man is defined by how much meat you can shove through your colon, how many beers you can pound, how fast you can drive, how stinky you can fart, how hard you can hit, how far you can spit, how loud you can belch, and how big your truck is.

The artsy, techie metrosexual types consume clothes, decaf lattes, shoes, gadgets, cars (not trucks), furniture, hair products, and underwear with the names of very important people on the waistband. For them, manhood means being in touch with one’s feelings, wardrobe, and appearance.

A legion of moms and girlfriends enable these boys who can shave. They pay his bills, pick up his messes, loan him their car, and refill his sippy cup with beer or martinis, depending upon his preference. Girlfriends, gal friends with benefits, and miscellaneous other mannies (nannies for men) need to know this: you want a guy you can marry and have babies with. You don’t want to marry a guy who’s a baby.

Men are supposed to be producers, not just consumers. You’re defined by the legacy, the life, and the fruit that come out of you, not by what you take in. But most guys are just consumers.

Men in the Church: Cowards and Complainers

What happens if you walk into the church and try to find out what a man looks like? First of all, you’re not going to find a lot of guys in most evangelical churches. The least likely person to see in church is a single, twenty-something male. He is as rare at church as a vegan at a steak house.

In the world, boys who can shave are children who are consumers. In the church, boys who can shave are cowards who are complainers.

A buddy of mine calls them evangellyfish because they have no backbone. They don’t declare a major, church, theology, or fiancé. They don’t want to fail and they think if they don’t try, then they can’t fail. And by definition, that’s a failure.

They are, however, endowed with the spiritual gift of complaining. They say, “I hate the church. The church just wants my money.” As if the church wants his futon, Xbox, light beer, and computer filled with free Internet porn.

Here’s the cold hard truth: it’s a lot harder to do something than it is to complain about those who are doing something. The notorious sin of Christian guys is complaining about guys who are doing something rather than doing something.

Real Men: Creators and Cultivators

Paul says a man is “the image and glory of God” (1 Cor. 11:7). He is to reflect the truth, goodness, love, and mercy of Jesus, his God and Savior. He is the glory of God.

I have no hope in guys. But I still have hope for the guys because they are the glory of God. God wants his glory to shine through men. God wants his kingdom to be made visible through them. God wants them be his sons. God wants them to follow, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the example of Jesus.

I don’t care if you buy a truck or play some video games or rock out on your guitar. But the problem is when those are prevalent, predominant, and preeminent in your life. Some of you guys would argue and say, “It’s not a sin.” No, but sometimes it’s just dumb. You got fired because you were up trying to get to the next level and become a guild leader. That’s dumb. You work one part-time job so you can play more guitar or Frisbee golf. That’s dumb. You spend all your money on a new car or truck, or toys, or gear, or clothes, or gambling, or fantasy football. Dumb. Some of you say, “Well, it’s not a sin.” Neither is eating your lawnmower. It’s just dumb. There are a lot of things that Christian guys do that aren’t evil, they’re just dumb and childish.

Men, you are to be creators and cultivators. God is a creator and a cultivator and you were made to image him. Create a family and cultivate your wife and children. Create a ministry and cultivate other people. Create a business and cultivate it. Be a giver, not a taker, a producer and not just a consumer. Stop looking for the path of least resistance and start running down the path of greatest glory to God and good to others because that’s what Jesus, the real man, did.

Mark Driscoll
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  • WmarkW

    “Tell me, you who are so sure that there is no God… how do you know? Have you been everywhere in the universe? Or is it that you just have superior intellect?”No, I simply observe that everything around me acts exactly like it would if God didn’t exist. That’s an odd characteristic for the supposedly greatest force the universe to have.

  • Interesting2

    This is an opinion piece on faith, written by a Christian pastor. He has a right to express his opinion. Obviously by the reactions, he has touched a nerve. I think Driscoll is absolutely on target in his assessment of some young men. I have children in their twenties. His “tough” description describes my daughter’s deadbeat ex-boyfriend to a T. She finally broke it off after several years of enabling him. Thank goodness. His other description somewhat describes my son, although thankfully, outside of admiring his clothes and shoes, he loves his wife and children more and has made a third attempt to finish college.

  • Trout1

    You’re damn right he has touched a nerve. Religion influences politics, which influences policy. And usually for the worse. I don’t want any religiously influenced policies affecting my life. Unfortunately, this country is replete with them. Another reason why, in so many ways, we are still an ignorant backwater.

  • bob2davis

    Real Men don’t believe in a god. Real Men analyze situations to determine their veracity. Real Men quickly come to the conclusion that god, jesus, allah, mohammed, etc., are nothing but myths with absolutely no inherent truth, no substantiated corroboration. Real Men move on to discover the science of the world. Real Men can find answers without relying on a fictitious god. Real Men think for themselves.

  • Booyah5000

    That was incredibly offensive and I can’t believe editors allowed it to be published.

  • cdubthinkingblogspotcom

    Interesting how many people this offended. I do believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said that the only sting in rebuke is that which is the truth. The truth is there are a whole lot of 16-40 year old guys who are essentially useless consumers. They don’t produce anything for society, and they drag down those who surround them. What Pastor Mark is saying is that its time for these little boys to grow up and be men. Take responsibility. in your job, in your marriage, in your church, and in your community. Quit hiding behind excuses. “The job market is hard”, “education is expensive”, “I can’t afford my bills, my parents are just helping me out.” Pathetic. Get a job, downsize your standard of living, and save some money. That’s how it works. Maybe you have to sell your 360. Maybe you have to cancel your cell phone for a few months. Maybe you have to move to find a decent job. Life is tough, sometimes you have to do hard things. But instead of doing those things, we have a generation of pansies who go run home to mommy and suck their thumbs instead. That is what is disgusting. Not religion, not being a useful person. Laziness and foolishness, that’s what is disgusting.

  • alance

    Why is Mark Driscoll only attacking boys? Over half the people in college are girls. Boys have been emasculated by the feminization of America, with predominantly female teachers in primary, middle and high school and political correctness.Boys are not allowed to be boys anymore. Our schools have been turned into prisons – security cameras and metal detectors – and Nazi like school administrators.Thanks to the Obama Depression – boys can’t even find minimum wage jobs. The government is oppressive with Draconian drug laws – ruining the lives of our kids with drug busts that destroy society and putting our kids in jail for puffing a joint.Stop your petty moralizing and give our boys a break.

  • Trout1

    Myself and many others HAVE looked. He ain’t there, grow up. The smugness of “believers” knows no limit. Just can’t bear the thought of living your own life, fully, because this is it, pal.

  • alance

    My son, my son, why have they forsaken you?Often the pedophile is male and over 30 years of age.

  • practica1

    There are plenty of Christian-believing men out there who are just boys who can shave.They find in Christianity not the information for a mature, adult relationship with women and their own children, but a vindication and justification for their tyrannical, selfish, high-handed and self-referential “headship from God” Believing in God hardly makes people behave well – witness the various religious wars between Christian sects, in which rape, child murder, torture and pointless cruelty were committed in the name of God and with Biblical end notes.

  • ChrisN3

    haha Pal, that’s good. Well buddy…Smug? I thought I was being nice, really after reading those comments, I thought I was generally pleasant…one thing however, I’m not trying to be smug here, just real – I’m happy you’ve looked for God from what I glean from your remarks, you’ve not found Him – here is my issue with that, if there is an omnipotent force behind the universe and a creator to whom we are the created how bold need you be to think you could figure him out, that just a little seeking on your end and you’ll find Him…surly most of the responsibility is his, He decides who to reveal himself to or not to reveal himself to(i beleive everyone gets a shot at some point in their life) – it took 27 years in my case. I just started a blog if you care to visit it, I’d love to continue this back and forth with you but unfortunately I need to go produce something (

  • LeslieWillis1

    Thing is I used to think like a lot of your Boys who can shave who have commented here.And you know – when I actually stepped up and started being a real man – that is when I discovered that happiness comes from doing the right things, and knowing they are the right things. If you feel that Mark criticised you – then you need to look hard in the mirror and stop being a little whiney boy who is crying cos someone called him a name in the playground and step up and quit behaving like the world owed you something and behave like you are supposed to – create, produce, work, provide, serve, give, love (not just have sex), nurture : and then when you actually have the balls to actually make an effort you can call yourselves men!

  • RickRavish

    Everyone is different. We have one life to live and people choose to live that life differently. Just because they don’t follow your ideal life doesn’t mean they’re wrong.People get married who have no right getting married. People have kids who have no right having kids. Just because they follow “the path” doesn’t make it right.How often do we get a chance to be truly independent in our lives? We’re in school until our early 20s. After that, according to Mark, we’re suppose to cleave to a woman and have children. There’s no room to gain any sense of independence. And that’s fine if that’s the path you choose. More power to you.Marriage is a result of something; it should never be a goal. You get married because you found someone you cannot be without. You don’t get married so people won’t think you’re odd or think something is wrong with you.If it takes someone 30 years, 40 years or even longer to find that someone and make a successful marriage then so be it.

  • mjkosin

    The arrogance of this generation never ceases to amaze me! For anyone to read this article and NOT at least consider what Mark Driscoll has to say is foolish and short sited. It must be an incredible feeling to be so incredibly intelligent that you are instantaneously promoted over all men that have EVER existed in this world. To make statements like “Real men don’t believe in God” or “Real men don’t go to church because they are not morons” means that you think of yourself as more intelligent that 95% of the population, and even more if you consider history! Do you think yourself to be more intelligent than the genius men who drafted our constitution? Look at history! George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson (and the list goes on), all strongly religious men! Yes, I know George Washington did not write the constitution! I too am fairly intelligent, I am intelligent enough to know that the generations that came before me, that we so incredibly founded in their faith, we NOT morons, that they had figured it out! To the author that stated “I simply observe that everything around me acts exactly like it would if God didn’t exist”; how do you know what that will look like? Do yourself a favor, read Daniel (the bible, old testament), you will see what it looks like. A little secret for you, the punishment of hell is NOT the heat, it’s the separation from God. You all better hope you are right! As for me, since I am not smart enough, or strong enough to control the entire world, I think I will leave it up to God.For all of you cynics, we will find out the truth some day, all of us will…

  • catweasel3

    Wow. This was the funniest, most honest article I’ve read in a long time. I agree 100%. I would venture to say that our society as a whole has become one of consumers instead of producers. Good on him for pointing that out. And to you Bob2Davis…If you don’t believe in anything, why bother reading the pages On Faith? I never comment on the car section of the Post, because guess what? I’m not interested in cars.

  • zxcvbnm1

    …and get off my lawn!

  • RationalCitizen

    To MJKOSIN…was that rant a joke? While Thomas Jefferson had a profound interest in religion, he viewed it with a healthy dose of skepticism. Hence, “separation of church and state.” As for Ben Franklin, he was a self-proclaimed deist. Before you go spouting off you might want to do a little research. Your arrogance and flippant use of historical facts amazes me.As for your statement that not at least listening to this clown is foolish and short-sighted, how many times have you at least listened to and considered the preachings of every other religion on this planet? I was brought up in a Pentecostal church, where I was forced to go a minimum of 3 times a week until I was 16. I’m very familiar with the theology of his chosen religion. The problem is when religious adherents cloak themselves in self-righteous indignation because others happen to believe differently than they do. Just because Mr. Driscoll may have found what works for him doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone. As for you, suppose that YOU have it wrong. That the God YOU believe in turns out to be the wrong God. You better hope you’re right! Rabble rabble rabble rabbble rabble!!!!!!!

  • Trout1

    Absolutely correct. The Founding Fathers were far from the frighting zealots we see today, spewing their venom and idiocy anywhere they can get away with it. They are freaks of the first order, standing firmly against sanity and rational thought.

  • Elisa2

    Jesus ran a business, was married and had kids? Did I read that last paragraph right?

  • mjkosin

    To RATIONAL CITIZEN – I don’t believe that I stated “Christianity” was the only way, or the our founding fathers were “Christian”, the comments I “ranted about” (to quote you) were the comments that basically stated all people that go to church (regardless of religion) are morons or somehow less intelligent than the commenter. Likewise, our founding fathers WERE highly religious, why do you think that the constitution refers to our CREATOR as having granted us our unalienable rights? Your close minded comments have solidified my argument! Just because you were raised in a Pentecostal church and have now rebelled or turned away, does not mean I was speaking to Pentecostals.Your last comment is absolutely right! “What if I am wrong?” Well then, I will live (or die) with those consequences…

  • ravensfan20008

    Dude, settle the frak down. I read the Times article and I liked it. We’re going at our pace, and if this author really has a problem with it, then he can go do whatever he pleases and laugh at us.Are there a lot of things men could be doing better? Absolutely. We could be paying more attention to the bad things going on in the world – we should, and I personally try to (even though I’m not perfect by any means). But whatever happened to the sinless people throwing the stones first?

  • bibleburner

    Bob2Davis is spot on. Catweasel3 (weasel, how appropriate), we nonbelievers have to comment because you delusional fools are everywhere. God = Santa Claus = tooth fairy = Easter bunny = any other figure from Grimm’s fairy tales. Get real, already.

  • Kaelinda1

    Real men don’t need to denigrate other people’s beliefs.The point of the article is that 20-something men need to grow up. It’s interesting that the author doesn’t claim that 20-something women need to grow up, too, although I’m pretty sure they do.

  • Kaelinda1

    Real men don’t need to denigrate other people’s beliefs in order to make themselves feel like superior beings.It’s interesting that the author didn’t claim that 20-something women need to grow up, too, although I’m pretty sure they do.

  • quatsch

    This is a quite unfortunate wording:>> as if being a man is defined by how much meat you can shove through your colonGuffaw!I can’t believe you intended to invoke that in your long diatribe about how men want women and women want men. Snort. Thank you for brightening my evening by making an unintentional ignorant funny.

  • fleeciewool

    That’s great – now I bet in a couple weeks they’ll catch this dude soliciting sex in a public toilet.

  • WmarkW

    Just like 60 is the “new 40,” we might as well start thinking of 25 as the new 18. Most people from middle-class families don’t really start living on their own until that age, filling those years with education, travel and volunteering. We should come up with better strategies to fill those void years for the ones from impoverished backgrounds. They’re the ones who occupy the prisons.And you won’t find many 20-something guys in evangelical churches, or anyplace else they think is full of women who don’t want to have sex.

  • whm99

    Elisa2 — Good point, but he’s not saying jesus grew up and “ran” a business. I think he meant to say that a business was created with jesus as the brand identity. You know, sort of an Aunt Jemima thing. Mr. Driscoll is a “pastor”, indicating that he runs an evangelical jesus franchise.The author makes a good point that people in general need to grow up, but I don’t think that believing in Zeus, Vulcan, Allah, the Christian ™ god, or any other is a sign of maturity. Rather, it suggests an inability to think for oneself.

  • whm99

    Catweasal3 — a lot of people who “don’t believe in anything” actually do believe in something. It’s called reality. Real men — and women — don’t believe in fairy tales.

  • greenmansf

    Yeah, thanks but no thanks. I tend not to take advice from a grown up dressed like a 14 year old boy at the mall. What difference does it make to you how I choose to live my life? And what a waste of your energy. If you were truly happy with your life, you would have no need to tell others how to live their lives. Good luck to you, but don’t be surprised that some of us are laughing at you. Not with you, but at you. Oh and by the way, all of us are real men. Yes we are. You might not like the way some of us act, but we exist as real men in this world. You apparently think you are better than other men, otherwise you wouldn’t be crying about how other men act in this rant of yours. I do believe the sin you are committing hear is that of arrogance. Work that out before you throw any more stones at your fellow men.

  • whorton1

    Jeepers. While I agree with Mr. Driscoll in principle, I think he ran into the relatively common error of getting a little too excited and overextending himself. I humbly present the following items as critique and advice.1. Real men shave, too.2. Do yourself a favor and google “No true Scotsman”; I note with interest that you didn’t say anything like, “Real men don’t wear hoodies after 24, or write judgemental tirades.”3. Graduating from college in four years is great; it’s taken me much longer, because I went part-time and worked, and because I changed my major. I feel I retain my manhood, nonetheless.4. If you promise not to talk about “sociological variables” or historic life-stages, I promise I won’t quote the Old Testament.5. While we’re at it, historically, many women died in childbirth as a result of poor medical care, and the average height was about 6-8 inches less due to poor nutrition. If you’re citing Genesis as a historical document, many of the men leaving their parents’ home were going off to fight the Hittites.6. Sixty years ago, a man could leave high school with enough education to find an entry-level job at a trade or business which paid enough to buy a house and support a family. That’s not the case anymore. Twenty years ago the cost of obtaining an undergraduate degree was considerably less (as a percentage of annual income) than it is now, and was more than enough to obtain gainful employment. Now, tuition is prohibitively high, requiring students to go into massive amounts of debt to fund a four-year degree. Ironically, such degrees are generally enough to get you into an entry-level job that will pay for your half of an apartment, but not much else. Thus, people stay with their parents longer.7. John Wayne was a real man. John Wayne drank beer. He was not an evangelist. Sorry, y’all don’t get to claim “manhood” as the sole province of born-again Christianity.

  • eezmamata

    “… Stop looking for the path of least resistance and start running down the path of greatest glory to God…”Now this is what you call an oxymoron.

  • prieza

    I would just like to point out that there is not a single fact mentioned in the entire post. Everything described by the writer is basically rumor and traditional conservative, “Oh, the world is going to hell in a hand-basket,” speech of the type that has been around for decades. No different than the conservatives of the 50’s who railed against the evils of rock & roll. I’m all for exploring different view points and letting everyone have their voice but an ignorant diatribe of the sort on display here has no place in any sort of educated discussion and shouldn’t be supported by the Washington Post. I think we should all just ignore it and move on with our lives, I have some disc-golf to go play.

  • SeaTigr

    And what about women who are really still girls? By the author’s definition, I would say the majority of twenty-something single women count as girls – the tend to be materialistic, non-churchgoing, big on individualism, etc., etc.Personally, I think a dose of self-centeredness early in life is a healthy thing. My caveat is that you should be paying your own way as you go through that stage. If you’re single (or a non-married couple) with no kids and you want to jet off to Vegas for a week(end) of hedonistic pleasures, by all means do so. If you’re living in your parents’ basement, rent free, because you’ve got no ambition beyond working the drive-thru, you’ve got no business going through a “me, me, ME” phase until you’re paying your own bills.As long as you’re paying your own way, and have no family to support, I couldn’t care less if you’re the type of person to camp outside the Apple store the night before the new iPhone or iPad gets released. And if you DO have a family to support, I don’t care if you camp out for that iPhone or iPad as long as all the bills are getting paid and your being away from your kid(s) is the exception and not the norm.As for the dearth of twenty-something males in church, I agree with a previous poster: just how many red blooded, heterosexual, single, males are going to WANT to hang out in a place where the probability is substantially on the side of them NOT getting laid?

  • eezmamata

    This guy thinks he’s some kind of Jesus Vin Diesel.

  • Trout1

    Incredible. Why is this ignorant crank begin printed? Same old garbage – worship a primitive sky-god or perish. Disgusting!

  • fleeciewool

    The world is filled with boys who can shave. However, it looks like the author hasn’t quite mastered the art.

  • RationalCitizen

    Just like every other hack who thinks HE has the answers, this douche needs to realize that his religion is no less retarded than any other. Scientology, Christianity, Islam…there isn’t a shred of difference between them. All religions are man-made creations derived from individuals who were most likely mentally deranged who claimed to be divinely inspired. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Jesus Christ and L. Ron Hubbard are spiritual equals.If a 20-something wants to go out, get hammered and take home something that night to poke on, have at it. There’s a reason you don’t find real men at evangelical churces: they’re not morons.

  • vollerworld

    Do all you people who post with such anger in your disagreement REALLY think that belief in God means you’re ignorant or stupid?What is your alternative, as you “think for yourselves?” Surely not something as silly as Evolution or Materialism? What is it about having a faith or religion that makes a person stupid?Tell me, you who are so sure that there is no God… how do you know? Have you been everywhere in the universe? Or is it that you just have superior intellect?Look in the mirror, haters. You are held accountable for your beliefs, as well.

  • vollerworld

    Driscoll calls it like it is and all the offended “boys” respond just like you would expect them to. With video-game type of hyper-talk about how they feel about the article.The Truth is offensive, no doubt, friends. When presented in so straightforward a manner, it is a difficult and bitter pill to swallow. No less truth, though. Enjoy.

  • gershwin2009

    Corrections:1. Leave your parents’ home (Gen. 2:24); (or not)6. Divoce her.7. Pay alimony and child support.8. Remarry. Go to 5.9. Die

  • jl42844

    And to the other Christians posting comments below: PLEASE stop standing on this virtual street corner and shouting in the faces of people who aren’t believers. That’s what you’re doing by saying that you know more than them, that you’re right and they’re wrong, that everyone around us needs to be better and stop sinning and do good. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you have all the answers; it means you’re lost and struggling too but believe in Jesus to save you. If you think you have everything figured out – that you are an expert on the “human instruction manual” – you need to rethink your approach of relating to others. Jesus came to save us because we needed saving, not to make us better than anyone else.

  • PinkSarah

    JL- I don’t think, from what you have said, your life is really in contrast to the model Driscoll proposes, I don’t think he’d suggest you do a job you hate or marry someone you don’t love. From what you said, you re-evaluated your life, took responsibility not to marry someone you couldn’t be a good husband to, not to do a job where you wouldn’t be a contributor and are now working towards a career where, should you have a family you’ll be able to be a good provider. And I imagine, from your post, that one day you may well get married and be a good husband and father. You know what, you should check out Marks preaching on the subject of Men and Marriage, you might find you agree with him more than you think.AS for your second post, I’m not saying I know better than non-Christians, I’m saying God knows better than them! I’m saying THE BIBLE is right and they are wrong, not that I am right and they are wrong. You’re right, we don’t have all the answers, but our Dad does! And lets not forget, it’s the anti-Christians here who have waded in with comments on an article in the “On Faith” section written by a Christian and aimed at people of a similar mindset.

  • dparna

    Seriously? I happen to fall under the “artsy, techie metrosexual” category, as Driscoll calls it. I fail to see how taking pride in my appearance and owning an both an iPhone and an iPad is boyish and frankly, I find Driscolls categorizations insulting and hypocritical. Mark Driscoll spends the majority of his day updating his Twitter page, which is far more ridiculous and boyish than me spending extra time on my appearance each morning. At best, this article is nothing more than a well written rant and it is nothing new. The church has been hearing this message over and over again since the 70’s. Driscoll and others who preach this message fail to take into account two very important issues: times do change and must change. Of course, the ways of God do not change and things like responsible living and the reclamation of masculinity are important, but Driscoll isn’t really talking about those things. Driscoll is talking about the changes in societal customs that have occurred over the last 2,000 years. Our governments and our economies are much different today than they were 2,000 years ago. Men don’t aspire to own sheep anymore, they aspire to own companies and thus train for such feats differently than their forefathers, who once trained for standing around with a wooden staff in the middle of field of sheep for weeks on end. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: Driscolls message here has accomplished nothing because (A) it isn’t anymore relevant today than it was 40 years ago and (B) it provides no practical direction or solution, instead – ironically – it just whines, moans, condemns and complains.

  • malachi1

    Glad someone finally said this – hope something like this goes viral. This is the main struggle in our American culture – boy’s who are suppose to be men.

  • PBJung

    P Mark Driscoll is the man!!! The article is definitely prevalent in evangelical churches. I know I go to one. Thanks for the article. I love what you are doing here in the PNW! Only problem is that I love fantasy football/basketball…. ugh…check out more on my blog

  • 123221

    Reading 1/2 these comments made me thankful to be a Christian. Though calling identifying yourself as such in today’s times automatically makes you a target. I mean look at all the ignorant negative comments directed at people of faith. Sadly, If someone anywhere in your belief system has sinned then even though your not even Catholic that is somehow to reflect on you. Isn’t that what we used to refer to as stereotyping? Hm… Our history is rich with Christianity and was founded on it. “In God we Trust” SHOULD forever be on our money. “One nation, UNDER GOD” should forever be our declaration. Blessed is the nation who serves the Lord. I have too little faith to believe in the BIG BANG theory or evolution, where by the way are the still evolving monkeys? I do believe that as everything, I mean EVERYTHING has a maker, EVEN CARS… so do we. Creation itself testifies to God’s miraculous power. Thank God for Godly men that are willing to set a higher standard, even though it makes them a target. Yes I grew up occasionally going to church (CEO) mostly CHRISTmas and Easter only. But continuing to do so, and develop a faith and relationship with God was based on my relationship with Jesus. Going to church didn’t make me a Christian anymore than sitting in my carport made me a car. It had everything to do with personal relationship and Revelation. Could any of you who wrote comments justifying your hatred for church and the lack of prospects found there say that you could or would do what Jesus did laying his life down for another? Christians don’t just believe bible stories and follow rules. Their faith really is based on personal life experiences having tested God’s word. Personal experience is our strongest teacher. We know antibiotics work and that it is not taking a magic pill practicing voodoo. We understand the science behind medicine. Personal experience is a strong teacher and we know in the same way when our faith is real. Women have lost respect for men and I am sorry for that. Men are responsible for so much, their wives and children, and in today’s times, that is no easy task. I say that as a working mom myself. We have fueled their lack of respect for us and the church with our disrespectful mouths. I pray that God will help us to behave more loving in a way that is both attractive and a positive reflection on the church and what it really means to be a Christian.

  • j7kohl

    “That’s the world. It’s absolutely childish and it’s consumerism.””You work one part-time job so you can play more guitar or Frisbee golf. That’s dumb.”So consumerism is bad and a sign of immaturity. But if you’re not working your butt off you’re also immature. Problem is, in the modern American world, the only reasons we work our butts off are:1) Some of us are fortunate enough to love our jobs — only bad if it becomes an addiction.It seems inconsistent to rail against consumerism in one paragraph and then rail against a healthy alternative in a later one. What’s wrong with saying, “Yeah, if I work 50 hours a week I can afford a nicer house, but if I work 30 hours a week I can remain content in the very decent house I’m living in with more time left over to spend enjoying the outdoors (Frisbee golf), art (playing guitar) or other healthy activities.”The traditional, conservative obsession with working as hard as humanly possible is a consumerist one. Once you’re making a certain amount of money the rest is just an attempt to buy happiness through consumer goods.

  • JDizzle1

    Funny how some of you call Christianity a fairy tale, but lack any substantial evidence to back your statements up. There is more evidence supporting the existence of God then not, but you call believers “moron’s”. Science is great! It allows us to explore. But science can’t tell us how nothing creates something. Perhaps my macbook will one day evolve in to a linebacker for the Redskins, but I somehow have my doubts. However I do NOT doubt, that what is created has a creator! Amazing how people can call Christians wack-jobs and then say, “well nothing created something” – like that makes any logical sense.

  • cpc89

    Driscoll submits 5 requirements of “manhood”. Independence, education, career, relationships, and parenthood. You can argue which points should or should not be included, but it’s pretty basic stuff, don’t you think? If you can put a check beside each of these points, I’d say you can call yourself a man. If not…….. These requirements of manhood CAN be met without God……but it’s not easy. My faith provides the foundation upon which my “manhood” is built. Try it your own way…..maybe like Tiger Woods….God will wait. One post offered John Wayne as an example of a RealMan. I find it ironic that John Wayne was not his REAL name!

  • thinkingman5

    Quite humorous that the responses to this post “On Faith” have primarily been by those who appear to have none?Why would you be reading the “On Faith” section if you are so adamantly against it? Go back to your latest copy of “Maxim” already! That said, whether or not you believe in a higher power or not, if you can’t find truth in what the author says then there is probably a good chance you are what he says.I believe the idea is best put: “Man Up.” I have a hard time believing the men of “The Greatest Generation” who fought through the depression and World War 2 would have too much negative to say concerning the principles laid out in this article, even if there lives did not always fully mirror it. Sadly, it appears that we have de-evolved greatly since then.

  • PinkSarah

    Those of you who have disagreed have given the following reasons why Driscoll MUST be wrong:1.He hasn’t had a shave in his pictureMost of these are quite clearly excuses to say he’s wrong….what you mean is “but I like being an irresponsible little boy and if I agree with you I will have to ‘man up’ and that sounds too much like hard work, besides I’ve got to get to another level on Warcaft before I man up and at least get my mum to sew that button back on my Star Wars PJ’s” You ‘blokes’ say you’re not doing any harm by continuing to be little boys- the women who take care of you and the children you don’t take care of no doubt disagree.As for number 7 Christians can’t claim masculinity for themselves- yes they can. God created men, God knows how they function best and God gave us the handbook on it- Christians read the handbook and therefore have a better understanding on how the creation functions. That’s not to say you can’t do a decent enough job of being a man without Jesus, I have a new camera, I can’t be bothered to read the instructions- I can still take pretty decent pictures- am I using my camera to it’s full potential- no! And before you say that’s just another example of Christian arrogance- it’s not arrogance if you’re right- was Copernicus arrogant when he said the world wasn’t flat?

  • aemery81

    @JDIZZLE1- So who created the creator?

  • tenarrows

    Since the purpose of leaving is said to be to take a wife in Genesis 2:24, I disagree with your order of events, while agreeing with the main premise of your article. I think a young man can finish his education, start a good career and court a young lady while still living in his parents’ home. This also enables him to save a ton of money so that perhaps the young couple can get a debt free start in life (even the house). My son, at the age of not quite 21, has saved enough money to purchase ten acres debt free and still have cash left over in my part of the country and could purchase a small house in town for cash right now. He is saving with that purpose. If he was off renting an apartment, he would more likely also be off playing with the other young men instead saving for his future.

  • jl42844

    I’m a Christian, and I used to agree with a lot of these things. However, things changed when I actually lived it myself. I graduated from college when I was 22. I could have married my 20 year old girlfriend who I had a TERRIBLY UNHEALTHY relationship with and I could have picked a career that I had no passion for and pursued it because that’s what a “real man” is supposed to do. But something was wrong…I didn’t know myself, my heart, and, in evangelic terms, I didn’t know my identity in Christ. I also felt convicted that the relationship I was in was terrible for my girlfriend and myself more than I felt convicted to marry her. Now, two years later, I’m supporting myself with a job I enjoy and with student loans as I pursue a graduate degree in a field I absolutely LOVE. I did not know this field even existed when I was 22. I took time to reevaluate my faith, figure myself out (a little bit, not completely) and move forward in a more confident and assertive direction. I never would have done this if I had “become a man” and stuck to huge life decisions I had made when I was 18.If I had simply “chosen” my path and moved forward blindly without some questioning and exploring, I would not be where I am today and I would not be becoming the man I believe I was meant to be. Faith and life are the same in that they are journeys. Being a Christian does not mean living by a checklist of do’s and don’ts, and growing up doesn’t happen by following one set path for every man. If you haven’t read the NY Times article referenced here, you should read it. It’s very good.

  • LeslieWillis1

    WOW: these comments are populated by people who think they are clever but cannot read:Working hard is not about consuming its about producing and giving forth.I am a dad: I work hard at my job, I then go home and I work hard at being a Dad in fact I work hard at all my roles because I take my responsibilities seriously.That is what Mark is saying men: you have responsibilities – live up to them. Of course you dont like it. you just got reality check 101 and you sucked big time.Nothing wrong with having an iPod, or an iphone, or a kindle, or books, I have a 240SX drift car – its the purpose of having them, are they the end point or the start point. If had no iPhone, no iPod, and no car I could still be a good father, a good husband, a leader and pastor to my family, and i can sure work hard. I work hard because I want the best of my family, and the toys are a nice pay off, the point of the work. I have worked just as hard to keep a roof over our heads and some food on the table (like 85hours a week on minimum wage night shift). Its not about who has the most toys wins, its about who has the legacy – you boys who think its about the toys miss the point, and in doing so miss the real joy of doing it right.Being a consumer leech whose number 1 through 10 priority is self – sucks, its bad for you and bad for those around you.But you are so super above all that, super intelligent and super clever that you know better – sure. Have fun, miss the point – and when you are old, and its all passed you by – remember what pastor Mark told you and regret at your leisure!

  • bmcc1029

    I would remind you, Pastor Driscoll, that Jesus did not begin his ministry until age 30, that he might have lived with his parents until that time, he did not marry, and nor did he have children. It is convenient and tempting to craft a stereotypical, responsible man which each boy should aspire to be. What happens when those men we regard most highly do not fit the stereotype?I agree that many men behave like children in the United States. We have many distractions available to us, and, as you observed, advertising agencies have done their job well. But it’s wrong to take it a step further and apply your personal ambitions to the rest of the men in the U.S., or the world even. Some of us mature quickly; some take more time. It’s difficult to define which is correct.I only speak out because I have faced much opposition within Christian circles for being different than the norm. Although I married at a young age (and remain happy with my wife!), my wife and I have not had children yet and do not wish to settle down like so many of our friends did. That’s our choice, just as it was their choice to start careers and have larger families. I’ve felt similar sentiments to what you have expressed with this article, however: most Christians see something troubling about a young couple pursuing education. I do not know where the difficulty lies, but I wish it weren’t so. However, in spite of putting off starting a suitable career and staying in school, I am responsible. That’s to say, I pay bills on time and take out the trash and do my laundry and wash the dishes. I don’t watch sports too often; I’ve never played a fantasy anything; and video games stopped being all-consuming about six years ago. I’m not sure what else should be expected of a “man.”

  • tristessejoyeuse

    “Here’s the cold hard truth: it’s a lot harder to do something than it is to complain about those who are doing something. The notorious sin of Christian guys is complaining about guys who are doing something rather than doing something.”After reading all the comments, my visceral thought is one of confusion. Regardless of whether or not you believe Driscoll’s last paragraph about living for the glory of God being what we were created for, I think the quote above really makes all the comments look pretty silly. Whether you agree with P. Driscoll or not, he actually wrote an article and got it published. Now if you disagree with him, why not actually step up and do something other than write a comment that a few people might read? I may disagree with the President on some things but the fact is, he got elected and is walking out being a man in many respects. Some people may disagree with me there, but if something he says or does makes me angry, then I think I need to step up and try to bring change but posting some comments online isn’t going to do it.I guess all I’m saying is, Driscoll got his article published. And all these comments we are writing…they are in the end, just comments on Driscoll’s article that he got published. So maybe if you disagree, you should respond by stepping up doing something and get an article published on your own. Of course, then you might just be validating what P. Driscoll said, so maybe you should show him how wrong he is by just doing nothing.

  • avocadogreta

    @uberfantastic Thank you for expressing what a lot of us are also thinking. Shame is the name of the Mark Driscoll game.

  • DXC1

    All that you say sounds good, but given we now are in an economy where black men have 3x the unemployment as white men, your soliloquy mocks those of us who went to church, tried to do the right thing, gave until it hurt, and now are chasing down job leads with everybody else who is 20 years younger. Until you’ve looked like me, Mr. Driscoll, you can’t tell me how to be a man. We don’t even live in the same world.

  • ladyjaye1

    This is just disgusting. Really? Those are the only 5 steps in a man’s life? In my opinion, following Mark’s strict 5-step program leads to steps 6, 7 and 8:

  • nevermeant

    Mark Driscoll is a scruffy wart on the shaft of progress.

  • nevermeant

    ..And, all this from the man that preaches about how males should pluck their eyebrows before they go on a date. MARK WHICH HAIRS ARE GOOD? TELL US PLZ? What a dringus.


    Boys shave their faces. Men wax their balls. If you like slippery slopes, trust the teaching of Mark “slick balls” Driscoll.

  • uberfantastic

    Oh brother… As a Christian I’m completely disheartened to see this reductive, patronizing, not to mention, offensive editorial given nationwide status. It’s embarrassing, Mr. Driscoll, and I would rethink your rage-fueled, largely anecdotal opinions before blasting them to the public. You are, after all, supposed to be a witness to the larger, non-Christian population, and this kind of moralizing, though you may think it wise, is actually very damaging.Your 5-point, “How to Be a Man” system assumes that if a man’s in a dead end job, he CHOOSES to be in one. It has nothing to do with – oh I don’t know!- the economy tanking. And if a man doesn’t have a girlfriend or a wife or children it’s because he wants to play Xbox or eat cheetos, leech off his parents, and other Seth-Rogen-approved cliches. How about Paul’s exhortation not to marry in 1 Corinthians 7? Ever read that passage? Specifically verses 32 – 35? This kind of moralizing only leads to shame in the men who do go to church (and happen to shave!), work hard, enjoy playing their Xbox once in a while, and who maybe haven’t found a girl yet because God has yet to introduce one into his life! What about waiting on the Lord? And not caving in to the anxieties of the world but living your life in God’s time?Too often I’ve heard this kind of anecdotal, angry, “kids these days” rants that have no basis in theology. How about NOT painting with such a broad stroke and seeing individual people rather than construct some easy straw man to ridicule and topple?How is this editorial edifying? Will men who shave and play Xbox, who don’t have a girlfriend, who are in a “dead end job” (you never go on to explain what this is, by the way) suddenly see the light after this editorial? Will they “shape up”? or “man up”? I don’t think so because this editorial is a rant. It’s a one-way conversation that shouts at its audience, and there’s no dialogue in shouting. On a final note – Christians these days! They get a beard and they think it gives them license to talk about REAL manhood! *this is sarcasm* I do hope that you change your methods, Mr. Driscoll. No one is disputing that there are SOME men who are lazy and jobless-by-choice, but you do nothing to differentiate between those men and the ones who try to walk with the Lord only to be tested with unemployment or prolonged singlehood. Change your vitriolic, self-righteous tone, sir. I bid you farewell. A concerned Christian

  • LeslieWillis1

    You guys have missed the point.

  • JustinR1

    @Uberfantastic What would you suggest then? Do you live where Mark Driscoll lives @ in Seattle and counsel as many *individual* people as he does? He gleans off of many different types of men based of hours and hours of spending intimate time with these “guys”. If you’re unbiased, I would suggest you watch

  • avocadogreta

    @JustinR1 has been drinking the juice over there at Mars Hill for WAY TOO LONG. And yes, I am offended. During the times I was single I wasn’t insecure because I didn’t have a man. A women’s self-worth does not hinge on her being coupled.To answer the question about men who were never taught to be manly or masculine and where to seek that advice? ANYWHERE OTHER THAN MARS HILL! Since you’re still single here’s a tip: Don’t tell women you go to Mars Hill – it’s a HUGE turn-off.

  • Paul24682003

    Hey! I pay for my Internet porn!

  • JustinR1

    @Uberfantastic What would you suggest then? Do you live where Mark Driscoll lives @ in Seattle and counsel as many *individual* people as he does? He gleans off of many different types of men based of hours and hours of spending intimate time with these “guys”. If you’re unbiased, I would suggest you watch

  • Daniel82

    @ JustinR1 Mark? Is that you?

  • LeslieWillis1

    Not to all women it’s not! ;o) I like real manly men and am glad of the blessing Driscoll’s teachings have been to my marriage and to my husband ;o) I guess it depends what kind of woman he’s looking for

  • unchecked

    Many of the comments attack Mr. Drisoll’s 5 steps. They are not HIS steps. They are the steps to adulthood as listed in the original New York Times article, to which this article is a response. According to the Times, those five steps are the milestones to adulthood as defined by sociologists. Does that make them more acceptable to you now?

  • marknjudi

    “I would just like to point out that there is not a single fact mentioned in the entire post. Everything described by the writer is basically rumor and traditional conservative…”For 20-30 years of facts on this phenomenon, read the book _Boys_Adrift_ by Dr. Leonard Sax, or go to

  • OxfordDreamer

    1. Leave your parents’ home (Gen. 2:24);These above so called ‘sociological variables’ are not universals. All of them are context specific and have been interpreted in completely different and even conflicting ways. Take for example the first variable of ‘leaving home’. In the UK young people leave home soon after 16 years of age, whereas the age for leaving is very different in other parts of the world and in some societies, leaving one’s parents is a bad thing. Driscoll seems to show that this is universal by giving evidence that it is from Genesis (The Bible). I am sure he is aware that Genesis is an account of the Jewish people living in a tribal society where Joint-family was the basic structure. Isaac stayed with his father atleast till the age of 40 and Jacob’s sons never seemed to have left their father. So what are we talking about. Are we universalising a particular culture’s contemporary understanding of ‘manhood’ and making it as a normative for all men? More importantly, the values that are being projected as ‘manly’ appear ‘homely’ to me – is life just about having a job, wife and kids? Create and cultivate a career, wife and kids! What happened to breaking the mould – the very Jesus whom Driscoll takes as an example, neither married, had kids or held a regular job – he just redesigned and restructured society – he had the balls to stand up to Rome and Jerusalem – he was a real man, not the kind of man Driscoll is painting! I am sorry, in spite of his chic language, its a disappointing article! Cheers.