Christian music brings in big-time money; the release, and subsequent box office successes of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, has made Hollywood sit up and take notice. There are Christian dating services, Christian investment companies, Christian real estate brokers, a Christian MySpace, Christian comic strips, Christian bloggers and even Christian comedians.
And, there are many Christian men’s groups.
How about a Christian men’s group headed by a conservative Christian comedian?
He’s a raunchy, raw Republican devoted to stamping out “political correctness,” and he’s got the chutzpah to claim on his website that he’s “America’s favorite conservative comedian” (quiet as it might be kept, there are a number of other conservative comedians out there). In 2004, he performed for “R: the Party,” an event hosted by Jenna and Barbara Bush during the Republican National Convention in New York City.
Brad Stine is a Christian comedian who heads up “GodMen,” a ministry that encourages men to let their manhood hang out.
In 2004, Stine told the Fox News Channel that he was “a conservative comedian — one of two known to exist in the Western hemisphere. I’m very pro-America, very patriotic. I use my time on stage to say how great the country is as opposed to saying how bad it is.”
According to OneNewsNow, a news service sponsored by the American Family Association, Stine, who is an oft-featured speaker at Promise Keeper conferences, “states he is on a ‘mission’ to free his fellow Christians from ‘the chains of political correctness.'” “In a country with guaranteed rights to freedom of religion, its citizens are constantly trying to make faith in public spheres illegal. I am offended by that contradiction and want to talk about it as a comic,” Stine told OneNewsNow.
Stine, born and raised in Bremen, Indiana, founded “GodMen” in 2006 and has since held events called “GodMen” conferences in Nashville and Franklin Tenn. They are designed to be “absolutely honest and unconstrained in dealing with the real and difficult issues men face daily that are not being addressed in church,” states the website. Issues, according to Stine, that would be less likely to be addressed at a Promise Keepers event.
“We are a little bit more raw about how we approach some of these subjects,” Stine explained. “We also are really trying to find this unity of our faith that can be maintained in the community as we leave — that you’re the tribe of Daytona or of Des Moines or wherever it is that we happen to be.”
Getting men to ‘act like men’
Stine’s “GodMen” conferences aim to get men to “act like men”: According to OneNewsNow, “Stine argues that many men are tired of what he calls a ‘sugar-coated and watered-down’ Christianity. To counter that, he says, the one-day ‘GodMen’ events challenge men to embrace the full character of Christ. He cites the example of what he describes as the ‘table-tipping Jesus.'”
“[That’s] the strong Jesus that really deals with masculinity, [an aspect] that men are oftentimes not taught,” Stine explained. “We’re taught one side of Jesus. He was merciful and gracious and loving and sweet and kind — and he was all those things, and we don’t deny that; we need that desperately. But there was a table-tipping Jesus,” he continues. “There was a time when the season was more aggressive and that you were allowed to be angry and sin not.”
Paul Coughlin, the author of No More Christian Nice Guy and a keynote speaker at a GodMen event in Nashville, Tennessee last year said, “I believe that being a guy is a reason to be proud — not a problem to be fixed. Unfortunately, most Christian men have been ordered to emulate ‘Gentle Jesus Meek ands Mild,’ a false caricature of Christ that has robbed the church of its vital masculine energy.”
At TheNewsBeasts.com — “News-Commentary-Research/From a Christian Perspective” — David Dansker writes: “In response to the feminization of churches a new men’s movement has been gaining brawn … Founder Brad Stine explains that a goal of GodMen is to produce ‘a man who believes in honesty and integrity and strength and leadership and the knight in shinning armor.'”
GodMen is “a place where men can discuss real issues such as passivity, isolation, and pornography ‘in a safe environment.’ The events, which include worship, have powerful sound systems and huge video screens showing he-man videos like martial arts displays and car chases.”
‘Cartoonish distortion of masculinity,’ says Al Mohler
In a December 2006 piece commenting on the “GodMen” movement, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary — the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world — wrote that “The Christian church is experiencing a crisis with men… The church has been feminized in style and the manly virtues are depreciated. Christianity — a faith predicated on truths for which brave men were willing to die — has been transformed into a spirituality of mere feeling.”
In many liberal Protestant churches the pews are filled with females, many of them aging. Sermons are vapid and boring. Feminist ideologies have taken hold and the context is ideologically hostile to the XY chromosome. Men stay away and boys see the church as something men avoid.
While Mohler believes that “Christian men need … a robust and challenging theology of manhood,” he is critical of the “profanity-fest of adolescent immaturity.” “The movement is largely correct in its identification of contemporary Christianity as feminized and feminine. The problem is their apparent adoption of a cartoonish distortion of masculinity as the answer.”
Given Stine’s mission it is no coincidence that his new CD is called “Wussification.” Stine states, “The wussification of America is killing us by teaching us to censor ourselves from what we believe. That’s why I want to see political correctness die in my lifetime, but first…I want to watch it suffer.”
Recorded live at The Clarion at Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, TX., his website describes the CD as “a no-holds-barred laugh riot that attacks political correctness at every turn. From lambasting witches for being over-sensitive to Brad’s frustration with Christianity’s own form of political correctness, Stine once again infuses his one of a kind style of comedy with equal inspiration for his Christian tribe in an album that is guaranteed to become a classic.”
One of his DVDs, “Put a Helmet On” was taped during a live performance at the late Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church, in Lynchburg, Va, in January, 2003.
According to the bio on his website, the comedian “models his approach to comedy after legendary practitioners that he has known and loved over the years,” including George Carlin. “I always enjoyed Carlin for turning the tables on culture. He is an excellent writer that has endured for decades.” Other comedic “touchstones” include Brian Reagan, Paula Poundstone, Jim Gaffigan and Monty Python.
Stine has appeared on several stand-up comedy shows including A&E’s Evening at the Improv and MTV’s Half Hour Comedy Hour, and has been a guest on a number of news programs including FOX News’ Hannity & Colmes, CNN’s Paula Zahn NOW and Glenn Beck, and the NBC Nightly News. He has also been interviewed on National Public Radio and has been featured on FOXNews.com and in Newsweek, the New Yorker, USA Today, and several other newspapers nationwide.