The latest kerfuffle in the social landscape is the new Gillette ad which is aimed against ‘toxic masculinity’.
Leaving aside the questions of how much masculinity it takes to be toxic, whether there is such a thing as toxic femininity, or even what masculinity actually is, we need to understand what is happening in our culture.
Without an understanding of what sin or godliness is, our culture is struggling to find and define what we should personally struggle against. Having removed sin (rebellion against God and his plan for his creation) from our cultural and societal conscience, people are now struggling to find and define what they should be struggling against.
And so we see social campaigns against masculinity, against feminism, against vaccination, against racism, against climate change, against eating meat, against consuming sugar, against boarders, against uncontrolled migration, against political correctness, against genders, against almost anything you can point to.
While they all sound like completely different things to be against, its almost always the same script – “x” is ultimately the source of so much discord and division in society, that it needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. We need to recognise it for how evil it is, how pernicious it is, how it affects people across generations, how we are all contributing to it, and stamp it out.
Sound familiar? What our society is doing is seeking a replacement for sin, without reference to (or acknowledgement of) God. And then we get so caught up arguing about whether it is toxic to be a man (or identify as a man) that we don’t stop to think about what is truly wrong with us: our lack of faithfulness to our creator and our creators design.
It may be important to get behind or to resist some cultural forces and actions. But it is more important for us to recognise that the only true source of peace and harmony is the God who created us and the Son he sent to reconcile us to him. Unless we keep pointing people to Jesus to identify what truly ails us (sin) and to provide us with its remedy (the cross), we are going to jump from one band wagon to the next, always wondering why the world doesn’t get better by our purchase of the appropriate products or the adoption of the newest attitude.