Don’t Act Like Men

Here is a little thing I wrote to give some context in why we would run a conference like this in the first place.

Update: This conference happened and it was a great time! You can listen to all the talks here.

A response from someone who actually attended the conference.

All the talks from Act Like Men?

A Prayer that we read together.

OK. So we are going to need some participation on this one for us to make it happen, but here is the idea.

There is a conference coming up that is coming to Hamilton called Act Like Men featuring Driscoll, Macdonald and a bunch of other dudes. Without needing to get into all the reasons why we have an issue with this, this is what we are thinking.

Let’s run a conference, in the same city, on the same day, make it pay what you want to come to and have speakers present for free. The idea is to call it Don’t Act Like Men (which we have bought the domain for and will develop it if this becomes reality) and make it a conference that aims to discourage gender stereotyping and encourage acting more like Jesus. I picture a lot of women presenting at this conference and a lot of good stories being told.

To pull something like this off, I would say we would need a minimum of 100 people or so that would commit to either the 4th or 5th and to showing up or presenting. It would be great if some well known speakers (especially on this issue) volunteered to come and speak as well. If we could get someone to donate a place to meet that would help immensely. The other piece, which I think would make a big impact is if this was shared with as many people as possible so that more have an opportunity to help make this conference happen in a grassroots kind of way.

So there is a few ways I think you can be involved if you think we can do this.

1. Volunteer to give a fifteen minute presentation (e-mail me at [email protected])

2. Commit to showing up and if you can, making a donation to the expenses that will occur.

3. Run your own Don’t Act Like Men Conference where you are and we’ll put up all your details on the website.

4. Share this on your social media outlets and get the word out to as many people as possible.

So, if you can fill out the form below that will help us gauge the level of interest in making this happen and we’ll go from there.

63 thoughts on “Don’t Act Like Men”

  1. Why go through all the trouble to belittle another believer and his efforts to enrich communities when his message is Christ centered? I can think of a lot better avenues to focus your energy than to tear down a brother and his ministry solely based on the wording and medium he chose to share the gospel. Just my opinion, and an honest question….

  2. Good point Jay!

    Nathan, this is a silly idea. Your message seems to indicate that these men don’t point people towards Jesus as a means to find their identity… This is certainly not the case.

  3. Just to clarify, this isn’t an “ant-driscoll” conference, this would be a anti gender discrimination conference and done in a way that encourages stories and conversation. No one is going to be presenting hate or belittling others, rather we will be giving opportunity for all genders to share a different perspective.

    The title is just playing off their title, while they assume that the cultural stereotype of “men” is a good one and we should act like it, the assumption of this conference would be that we should not act like the cultural man should act and rather look to Jesus as our example.

  4. “Why go through all the trouble to belittle [a powerful and discriminatory Christian leader] and his efforts to [corrupt] communities when his message is [him-] centered? I can think of a lot better avenues to focus your energy than to tear down a brother and his ministry solely based on the wording and medium [and focus and bullying and destructive ways] he chose to share [his self-focused message].”


  5. Sounds like an awesome event! I’d go.

    Having said that, I foresee the event getting a lot of the same hesitancy as those who wrote the first two comments. Maybe the fix is to name it something different? A title with a positive spin?

  6. We could rename it. Though there is some help we will get simply by playing off their marketing and words and the hype around their conference, and also from basically using the word “men” as a negative rather than assume the positive, I think if enough people wanted to change it we could. We played around with different ideas like “Act like Jesus” and a number of others.

  7. I think this is a great idea. I don’t see it as an attack on Driscoll at all. It is an attack on the notion that following Christ is about being a misogynistic, macho asshole for God or being a submissive, powerless sex toy of a woman. It offers an alternative to those who feel marginalized by people like Mark Driscoll.

    That being said, I’m also not opposed to publicly criticizing Mark Driscoll’s character, because I think he’s utterly toxic.

  8. I don’t see it as condoning the way culture views men, or that “men” is being used in a non-Christian way. I also don’t take their marketing ploy as gender exclusive but rather recognizing that as men and women, God calls each to behave and serve one another in certain ways. I think the website for the event describes it well:
    “Men who are loud and ruthless about their own sin, but patient and full of grace in leading others. Men who long to follow God without limits and meet the needs of those around them without hesitation.”

    I don’t see that as a call to “be an asshole for God” but rather hold ourselves to a higher standard of leadership within our homes and communities. I think there is something powerful in men rebuking, teaching and lifting up other men, the same as women with other women. I agree with those who have commented that Driscoll himself can be brash and a lot of other adjectives, but this conference isn’t Driscollfest2013, rather a forum bright Christian male progressives are using to challenge men to fulfill their duties as husbands fathers and leaders. The point, as many of you are trying to make as well, IS Jesus. That these responsibilities we have in life are best fulfilled when we ourselves as men are being consumed by Christ.

    I feel like in order to be offended by the notion of this event you really have to make a concerted effort.

    Again, this is just my opinion. I would support a similar conference in which women were speaking, as well as one with both men and women. As long as the ultimate goal is to teach Jesus, what is there to complain about?

  9. Hey Jay, thanks for the comment. First. You’d be more than welcome to speak at this. Second, I think there is a subculture of stereotypes of roles of men and women that you might not be fully aware of and a lot of it is spearheaded by guys like Driscoll and this idea of man and what that entails. So the verbage on the actual website that you pointed to might say one thing, their brand that they promote deserves to be challenged and the other side heard. Which is all this is. I’m not offended. I just think that there needs to be a balanced perspective that gets just as much of an opportunity to share and grow.

    So it’s just worth noting no women on their roster and the history around this perspective with this view and how harmful it has been to women and men in the past.

  10. What’s wrong with gender stereotyping/discrimination? Seriously. Stereotypes can point towards truth and whether you like it or not “man” and “woman” are terms that describe actual historically embodied human creatures. Thus, “manliness” has a certain substance to it that “womanliness” does not, and so we can distinguish between the two just like we can distinguish between men and women. The push in some circles to “break down” gender stereotypes/barriers is unhelpful and dishonest (most of the time). God created humans male and female. This means something. Plus, you emphasis on simply “looking to Jesus” spiritualizes the issue. Yes, we can look to Jesus, but men and women are embodied and this ought to be taken more seriously than it is nowadays.

    Besides, my guess would be the conference has more to do with maturity/responsibility. I.e, Act like a man, not a boy. Thoughts?

  11. Stereotypes can point to truth, sure, but is that really how we use them? If anything it probably points to the way people are perceived rather than the people themselves. I’m not opposed to the terms man and women at all, what I would be opposed to is creating roles for people (ie teaching/parenting/disciplining/leading) and then limiting to one or the other term. My guess is that, based on my understanding of the complimentarian theology that some of these speakers support (sometimes in very oppressing ways) that the term “man” in this case entails a lot more than just “not a boy” or “be mature” when it comes from the branding of these speakers.

    I’m not trying to spiritualize the issue, I’m trying to understand what Paul could mean by saying there is no male and female under Christ Jesus and suggest, in opposition to this brand idea, that possible not acting like men might be a way better way to be one under Christ Jesus.

  12. “Act Like Jesus”. I like it. I also get the marketing thing, so no complaints here if you go with “Don’t Act Like Men”.

    And Jay, to echo Nathan’s point:
    The brand of male leadership that Mark Driscoll et. al. promote has its implications for women and men.

    For men, if you don’t fall into their definition of masculinity, then you are left out and mocked as effeminate (read: the worst thing anyone could ever be).

    For women, male leadership means we’re expected to fall in line, which has obvious challenges, both spiritually and practically.

  13. I’m with Nathan in wondering why we need an “Act Like Men” conference, when Christians are clearly called to, more generally, act like Jesus. Jay Williams: I’m not sure why the “responsibilities we have in life are best fulfilled when we ourselves as **men** are being consumed by Christ”. What, really, is lost when “people” is substituted for “men” in this statement? In my opinion, the introduction of gender as a variable in this statement opens the door to a type of role-assignment that, in the past, has led to the suppression of women who aspire to “fulfill” these “responsibilities in life”. (I suppose that this wouldn’t be considered a problem by some people of the so-called “complementarian” persuasion; unfortunately, I find it hard to empathize with this perspective, as I find it deeply problematic on theological and philosophical levels. But that’s beyond this comment.)

    Personally, I don’t find gender particularities – conceptually speaking – inherently problematic. In many cases, they’re the result of cultural developments and our evolution as a species. They can be harmful, helpful, or relatively inconsequential. My problem with this conference – as it’s depicted on the website, including the embedded video – is that it references only a select few character traits and virtues that could be considered as important in being a Christian leader. “Strength,” for example, is a recurrent theme; however, everything from the all-caps, aggressive font on the website header, to the brick wall-wrecking ball animation in the video, paint a picture of strength that is inconsistent with the strength-as-weakness theme that is so central to the Gospel. Phrases such as “no compromise” and “strong, firm in the faith” solidify this stance. It’s not that this understanding of strength is inherently wrong – it’s just that it doesn’t come close to approaching the powerful nuance with which Jesus described the virtue.

    I think this is the reason that many people suspect the conferences is more about entrenching a certain culture of church and Christian living, than thoughtfully exploring Biblical themes of leadership and masculinity. I also think there are ways in which this conference could be explicitly harmful (themes of objectification of women are inherent in statements found on the website, such as limiting them as things “to be loved” by men), but I suspect the most immediate problem with this conference is that when it comes to discussing what it means to be Christlike, it’s selling men short.

  14. Discussing this my husband at the moment… Can someone comment on 1 Cor 16:13-14 for me? I need an explanation on the act like men portion.

    “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” ESV

    Great conversation to be having! Thanks Nathan!

  15. “Without needing to get into all the reasons why we have an issue with this, this is what we are thinking…”

    Irresponsible. You’re better than this.

  16. Michelle Miller

    Wish I had more time to weigh in on this! I adore the idea of a “Don’t Act Like a Man” conference in response to the Driscoll one and think the name is actually quite important. The ways masculinity is currently socially/politically/ethically constructed encourage a gendered identity based on domination and control. Tony Porter has referred to this as the “man box” (explained in a Ted Talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men.html) where are men are socialized to be strong, in control, unemotional, etc. If they step out of the “man box” men are called the “P” word, fag, a girl and learn to hate the parts of themselves that could be identified as female. So much so that they target them for violence – women and gay men. Which is part of the reason this whole “be manly” idea matters to me – I’m tired of seeing my sisters raped, beaten and killed by men. Sound harsh? Male violence against women is the leading cause of death for women worldwide. I’d like a model of manhood not predicated upon my subordination and resulting harm. As a friend of mine says, “It’s inherently unsafe to be unequal.”

    More power to you out there in Hamilton! If you hold the conference I’m happy to promote it through social media and through anti-violence groups in Ontario. I have great hope for men!

  17. This is exactly the kind of in-fighting that Satan delights in. As Christian brothers and sisters can we not join our efforts together and celebrate our unity and shared purpose to reach the lost, than foster playground fights about issues that don’t mean a thing in the face of eternity?

  18. So I understand the intent with this idea, and although I recognize that guys like Driscoll have a skewed understanding of gender roles etc I think your approach here is unhelpful. The problem I have with a title like “The Don’t Act Like Men” Conference is that the word men doesn’t attach a macho stereotype as readily as you think and that’s what offends me. Your title implies there’s something wrong with masculinity. What is wrong with having a conference that talks about being a man and being a Christian? My problem is that instead of making it an issue of doctrine (again a misogynistic view is never helpful) you’ve made it an issue of gender inclusion which, in my mind, doesn’t make sense in the context. What’s wrong with having a conference that talks about being male and being a follower of Jesus? If it were a women’s conference talking about being Christian women would the same response be needed? Yes we all need to act like Jesus but why is the HOW of talking about that really important in this scenario? Now if you were to do something like have a conference about being a Christian male with ALL female speakers I think that would be more insightful, less offensive, more of a positive response and seem less like a word play publicity stunt.

  19. “This is exactly the kind of in-fighting that Satan delights in. As Christian brothers and sisters can we not join our efforts together and celebrate our unity and shared purpose to reach the lost, than foster playground fights about issues that don’t mean a thing in the face of eternity?”

    If only it were so simple. The language of “shared purpose to reach the lost” is not common to all Christians, or all Christian traditions. In fact, very rarely in history have we been able to agree on everything, including what salvation is, for whom, and from what.

    In light of eternity, I consider the way we treat one another within the Christian community of high significance. Our faith is an embodied faith, and if we cannot embody love and mutuality for women; if we create power structures that reduce women to subservient positions, rooted in our own need for dominion, then we have missed the point of the gospel entirely.

    To claim that the saving of lost souls outweighs the way in which we treat one another is to deny the very centre of our common faith – the suffering of Christ, of whose body we are all a part.

  20. If you guys need a kick ass website and branding, my husband and I would love to do it for free. We’re behind this 100%

  21. “This is exactly the kind of in-fighting that Satan delights in. As Christian brothers and sisters can we not join our efforts together and celebrate our unity and shared purpose to reach the lost, than foster playground fights about issues that don’t mean a thing in the face of eternity?”
    when I hear this, it generally sounds to me more like:
    “why can’t you just shut up and agree with my priorities?”

    Love this idea. Not super stoked about the name…. but I get the reason to reference the other conference. I think I like ‘Act Like Jesus’ also.

    Frankly, I think that suggesting that Driscoll and his cohorts are just ‘fellow believers’ who should be left to preach their own way and those of us who dare to speak out against them are in the wrong is to be complicit in their hurtful misogynistic views that degrade both women and men.

    When our ‘fellow believers’ are acting in such ways we are called to confront them privately first. Then if they do not respond, to call them out publicly.

  22. I think you should make it an unconference, you know, where you deliberately don’t create a star-system of leaders and authorities.

  23. I’m intrigued by the idea of the conference, although wonder about a different way of coming at it. What about ‘act like a child’. A solid counter to Driscoll’s desire for masculine men is Jesus statement that unless we become like children we will never enter the kingdom of God. A call to childlikeness removes the idolatry of masculinity that Driscoll teaches. Children understand things we often miss, like generosity, trust, forgiveness and gender equality.

  24. With all that is going on that is anti-Christ you would choose to mock a Christian outreach. I think that you need to reassess your priorities. Maybe you should attend this conference and see what it really is about, what you are mocking. It isn’t just about Mark Driscoll or James McArthur, or any of the other speakers. It is about Jesus, the model He set for us, the standard. Frankly, if your motive is not to have a mens meeting then just have a meeting call it what you will but since you are trying to leverage the title of this conference to “save money” per your earlier comment, I have to say that I have concerns about your motives.

  25. God made man in his image. God made woman from man. God has made very separate roles and built both genders very diffently. This is clearly taught in both the Old and New Testament. Men need to learn to be men and women need to be women. Society is constantly trying to blur the lines and it is causing a lot of confusion.

  26. This is seriously flawed. Anti-Gender? As one who counsels married couples the Anti-Gender rhetoric you are trying to expose is a deep rooted problem as men don’t lead.

    Not only that but you are belittling the well intended work of other believers. If you looked at the background you would see that one of the basic tenants of this conferences is to dispel the myths of male bravado. This is about dealing with men’s insecurities, their temptation and the call to become better fathers, dads and husbands.

  27. So Nathan you said it would be good for you to benefit from the ACT LIKE MEN conference promotion that has already been funded by the organizers. Sounds a little bit like you want your cake and you want to eat it too. GROW UP BRO!!!!

    Jesus was a man. God made MALE AND FEMALE with their own gender roles!!! You sound like some Liberal fanatical!!!

  28. “This ongoing conversation about gender and the church will welcome new voices as we fill in the gaps, offering an alternative to the dominant narrative within the evangelical church.”

    The “Don’t Act Like Men” conference will be based upon stories and conversations…as opposed to biblical truths and principles. Not once on the website for the conference (that i can see), is there any biblical references as to why this conference is being held.

    I am all for new ways of making disciples for Christ by emerging with culture, BUT changing biblical principles to get the point across is a very slippery slope.

    “But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene”
    2 Tim 2:16-17a

  29. I am hugely confused.

    So this is a conference that is against anything that is related to gender? Would we have to give up any verses in Scripture directed to husbands or directed to wives? Are you proposing a androgynous society? Why do you have speakers who’s whole ministry is about empowering women if we are to expel any gender bias?

    This is very confusing if not misguided.

    Just come out and be clear if it’s about Driscoll and avoid the confusion about gender issues.

    This seems like something conceived by a 1st year Bible College student.

    Help me out in understanding this … because I am totally supportive of calling out the ugliness of misguided manhood (either macho or the weak) and I too wonder if Driscoll is the right guy to even discuss this. But I hugely trust a guy like Matt Chandler and what he’s going to say to men.

    Maybe I’ll jump back and forth between the two conferences :)

  30. Hi Jon, this conference isn’t against everything related to gender, it is broadening the conversation that will be had at Act Like Men.
    For instance. Women aren’t invited to Act Like Men.
    This is absolutely partly about Driscoll, but also about some of the complimentarian movement that has become quite harmful to both men and women.

    Read through the bio’s and descriptions of the conference, http://www.epiphaneia.ca/act-like-men/
    I think you’ll absolutely enjoy both as we are not trying to say nothing good will come from some of the work done there either.

  31. Hello. Interesting idea to hold an anti-conference. I think there might be some misconceptions about the conference. Although some have been said, I think it’s important to again note that the trailer outlines some main points about manhood:
    serving the church
    loving your wife
    leading the family
    not living a life which serves self
    not compromising
    standing firm in the faith
    doing everything in love

    I believe the speakers at the ALM conference aren’t aiming to promote a cultural stereotype (particularly North American) about men, but rather a biblical idea of manhood. All of the concepts listed above are biblical. They aren’t claiming women are beneath and not equal to men.

    ALM is essentially saying “act like Jesus.” He is our model. Jesus was a man. He stood up for truth and what was right. He drove merchants out of the temple, respected women (ex. the Samaritan woman, the woman in adultery, Mary, Martha). Jesus didn’t compromise i.e. when satan tempted him. He didn’t shirk responsibility (didn’t call angels to save him but died for our sins. He ultimately did everything in love. Sometimes rebuking is in love when we aren’t following scripture. Jesus is the best example of servant leadership (which really describes how we should be acting towards others). Other great examples of biblical manhood might include: Paul, Timothy, David, Jonathan, Joseph, Samson. These examples are taken from the OT and NT and they all might have different images, but ultimately honour truth. None of these men, aside from Jesus, were perfect. In fact, some of them really screwed life up. However, they were able to make things right with God and serve him in varying capacities. Driscoll and co. want us to follow Jesus’ example and the examples of biblical men.

    The various pastors point out some problems with men in society:
    – men not growing up. i.e. living in mom’s basement until they are 40 and playing video games
    – men who abuse strength. Strength isn’t to be abused.

    Driscoll himself has said manliness isn’t all about being strong physically….not lifting weights or being the biggest, but rather standing up for scripture, truth, providing for your family (which is not advocating for stay at home moms), teaching respect for all, treating everyone with kindness, gentleness but using firmness when needed. i.e. compromising biblical truth, mistreating others. I have even heard him say in one of his sermons that men shouldn’t be weak OR thugs. It is a balance. (Driscoll has even taken from Proverbs and stresses against hot-headedness and violence.) All men might not be the “typical manly man” and that is ok. Biblical manhood is sticking up for the faith, biblical truth, providing and loving your family. It advocates working in conjunction with your wife and making decisions together for the betterment of the family. When tough times come, men cannot step back and have family taken advantage of.

    Genesis 1:26-28 talks how men and women created different but equal. Men and women compliment each other. They don’t wave power in each other’s faces, but rather work together. It’s rather ignorant to dismiss the fact that men and women are shown to be different biblically. They are still equal. Christ is often found quoting Genesis. Clearly it isn’t rubbish. This isn’t saying men can only do this and woman can only do that. If you look at Mars Hill Church, women are deacons and serve in a variety of roles. Driscoll isn’t misogynistic. If he was he wouldn’t have women serving and wouldn’t promote equality. Equality does not mean that we cannot be different.

    Nate, you mentioned about Paul saying there are no men or women under Christ. I believe this refers to the differences of women and men worshipping God in Judaism in the inner and outer circles. Christ broke that and has made it so that everyone, no matter our gender or race, can worship God freely.

    Just my own inferences here, but I suspect that the conference is for men only for practical reasons. I believe that it is generally easier for guys to talk to each other about porn addiction problems and things of a sexual nature rather than to the opposite gender. I don’t think they are doing this to be discriminatory and infer that women are below men. Rather they are probably trying to create a safe place where issues that are more prevalent in males can be discussed without embarrassment.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with acting like a man, provided that it is a biblical man, not a stereotypical Western man. We live in a fallen world, so it makes sense that concepts of manhood have been distorted. A lot of the critics here critique Driscoll for saying things that he hasn’t. I took many of these ideas from his sermons particularly one about biblical manhood.

    Michelle, you shared some interesting points. While unfortunately there is rape etc. in this world, have you ever considered that those men weren’t following the biblical example of manhood? (See above ideas.) To lump these pastors with men who beat, rape and kill women is a bit extreme. Biblical manhood is the exact opposite of that.

    Jasdye, “corrupting communities?” I didn’t realize that preaching about putting our faith in Christ was corrupt, or that being Christ-centered was actually self-centered. Please do some research before making such claims. Look at what these guys believe.

    All in all, thanks for opening up dialogue, Nate. The unexamined life is truly not worth living. We need to be willing to talk about our beliefs and wrestle with them. So thank you.

  32. I agree with many of the comments above. To schedule a conference on the same day as the Driscoll one, with a deliberately opposite title is just divisive. If you have a problem with the theology of the original conference speak to the conference directors and sure have another conference some other time to present a different perspective.

  33. Nathan, I love this idea. The name of the other conference ” act like men” literally makes my skin crawl. Growing up in a fundamental church which I have now gladly exited from, this very title brings bile to my mouth because of my own experience as a young woman growing up telling me I have a role different to man. Vomit. The thought of a group of men being told how to act like men ( I mean what does that actually mean !!?) what about men who don’t fit this mould they prescribe . My husband is a full time stay at home dad to our 2 kids , one with special needs. He cooks, cleans and runs the practical side of our house because I work full time in a very demanding job. And my hubby is damn good at what he does . He has often felt way out of the norm when invited to events ” for men ” . Over a Mother’s Day weekend in a church service ( that we attended as we were invited to because of a family members christening ) they handed out lush cosmetics bath bombs for all the mums. The pastor at the front asked of any men had heard of lush. My husband put his hand up. He was then publically made fun of because didn’t he know that bath bombs were a woman kind of thing. And them he was told , ” don’t worry we have a group for men like you”!!!???? All in fun maybe, but still crappy as this ” man” mentality seems to be treasured and having a conference to be a man rather than being Christlike worries me.

  34. Many are calling for a “Act like Christ” conference. I think if you listen to most of these speakers, when they say “Act like Men” they actually mean ‘Act like Jesus”. That’s not to say a woman can’t act like Jesus. But we need to understand men and women are different, and there are no problems with having a mens only conference, or a womens only conference.

    There is a problem if we are being taught that women should be in the kitchen, and have no say in the household. But to act like a man means to be a selfless, Christ following servant. I think you’re more than a bit off base with this counter conference.

  35. Hey there!
    A bunch of fellows from my church are going to this- and so with a lot of reservations about Mr Driscoll I’m going with them on the strength of the other speakers at the event.

    But I whole-heartedly understand where you’re coming from, I have those reservations too. I think though there’s something here for me.

  36. You guys need Christ.  I'm not afraid of your hatred, Jesus overcame you who are against us at the cross.  The battle is won, so peace and grace to you.

    Christ was nailed to the cross out of the evil and hate of mankind, I don't expect much different these days- but you will not be able to move my faith with your criticism of this event. 

    I am going to worship Christ, and be equipped to be a real Man of God-

  37. Attended the conference and myself and my friends were abundantly blessed.  The teachings were deeply focused on Jesus and biblical.  Stereotypes of effeminate men and hypermasculine men were torn down and destroyed.  If you're not reformed /biblical complementarian, this would have been a challenge for you.  And perhaps that is what we all may need: a challenging encounter with the living God of the Bible confronting our biases and cultural presuppositions and commanding us to follow Jesus. -a recovering egalitarian

  38. Having read through the majority of the comments above I am very interested to know what people like Nathan have to say now that the conference is over. Quite a few people in this comment thread have voiced positive opinions about the conference and offered up what I think to be very valid points. I find it interesting that when those points were brought up, few if anybody had anything to say in response. There was even a post conference positive response and the conversation is apparently dead. Personally I think Nathan is way off base and, from what I read in the comments, so are most of you who are against the conference. This is about mysogany, racial sterotypes, feminism, or anything other than building up Godly men in a biblical manner. God built men and women differently for a reason, both qual in dignity, value, and worth, but with respective roles. If you have a problem with that than you have a problem with God's design. I'm not saying women shouldnt speak and only belong in the kitchen, absolutly not. But the try and ignore God's desgn in creation is wrong. And the only purpose for this conference is to confront issues majorly specific to men (some that would be difficult to so with wives present) and build them up to act more like Jesus, be the Godly husband theyre supposed to be, and be Godly, biblical leaders. I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would take issue with that unless you're part of the internet "Against Driscoll and all who like or preach with Driscoll" blogger community. I actually believe this post was featured on one of those prominent, hate-watching, Anti-Bible communities. Anyway, back to the original point. No post conference followup and no reponse to valid points. Interesting.

  39. Great post Drew.

    I was at the conference…Even though I pre-judged it and didn’t really want to go. I viewed Driscoll as a “blunt object” that could use some sharpening with the grace of God. But it was wrong for me to just say “ahhh, that whole conference will suck!”. If anything, I was interested to see what “train-wreck” may happen….but I didn’t see one…gladly.

    After listening to each speaker attentively, I can say that there wasn’t anything that jumped out as counter-biblical or heretical. In fact there were plenty of “God Moments” where the work of the Spirit was evident….This is especially true for a few speakers (mainly Greg Lauie and Driscoll) where they shared their testimonies and clearly articulated the gospel with love and grace and there was salvation in Hamilton (Praise God).

    It’s unfortunate that the OP of this page can’t instead start a prayer group, or invite others to go to the conference to pray that God’s Spirit would do a great work in his city despite the messengers shortcomings. Opportunity Fail :( How many times does Hamilton fill Copps Coliseum for the preaching of God’s word? I feel that this page was ill-conceived, it’s like creating a page to oppose “Promise Keepers” and calling it “promise breakers”.

  40. I think the point of this post is to say “act like men” isn’t biblical. The Greek means “behave like an adult” or perhaps better “be a Mensch.” It doesn’t mean, “act like a male.” There are no different attributes for men and women in the Bible, so all this gender divisiveness is not biblical. But it obviously appeals to some people.

  41. Wow…how much cultural feminism does a man need to imbibe to arrive are your position Nathan. How sad. Are you now going to find fault with God for choosing male spiritual leaders like Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, etc? Are you going to find fault with Christ for choosing twelve male disciples? Are you going to find fault with Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, for allowing only males to be elders?

    Your concern for “anti gender discrimination” and “trying to understand what Paul could mean by saying there is no male and female under Christ Jesus,” is a disingenuous pretext for promoting androgyny and the contempt of natural gender distinctives ordained of God. Every Biblically literate complementarian believes that men and women share the same eternal forgiveness/salvation/justification/future/hope in Christ, but refuse to read into Gal. 3:28 that we should ignore gender distinctives in this life, in an eisegetic capitulation to demonic feministic ideology.

  42. A few thoughts:

    1) Creating a conference in response to another is not a great way to do things.

    2) The Act Like Men conference is a challenge for guys to step up and take responsibility, as well as follow Jesus wholeheartedly. That’s a good thing.

    3) Acting like men is a scriptural command. Do you really want to go against that?

  43. Matthew 7:1
    I was greatly encouraged by the Act Like Men Conference. I came home ready to love my wife & kids better as the bible, Gods Word, tells me- commands me to be the head of my household. Not overbearing, dominate, controlling. Pastor James summed it up nicely- let all you do be done in love. There needs to be unity in the body of Christ just as we see with Joshua and the Transjorian tribes.
    I would probably attend your conference as well. As long as your idea is not better than anyone elses or you think your message is more legit.
    We need men to stand up and quit acting like boys with beards. We need to be the men God calls us to be. Who God designed us to be.

  44. So, if there were an “Act Like Women” conference, would you hold an anti-conference for that?

    I’m complementarian, although admittedly less aggressive than Driscoll. I just don’t see the problem with holding conferences specifically designed for men or women helping them to become more like Christ.

    It just seems very trivial and threatening to hold an anti-conference over a disagreement in Scripture. Perhaps you don’t agree with the complementarian view, and that’s perfectly fine. However, to believe that this conference is harmful and anti-gospel based on the title and promotional media is, quite frankly, woefully trivial and ill-informed.

    1. Ya I probably would if Mark Driscoll and their one-sided propaganda was running the conference. I don’t have a problem with gender conferences as much as I have a problem with the roles that some of those conferences promote and see as gospel truth.

  45. The bible is clear about the roles of men and women among Christianity. I have spent hours listening to Driscoll preach and the man is against acting like the culture. He calls us to be men the way God expects us to be men not how the culture tells us how to be. Sometimes preachers need to be brash and blunt. Yes Driscoll can come across a lillte strong to some people but maybe that’s what the body of Christ needs. He doesn’t hold anything back and he does teach as all to be like the biblical Jesus who may have been meek and mild before His death but now He is seated in glory and will one day return as anything but meek or mild.

  46. Propaganda? Do you believe that the Word of God is propaganda? You believe that a conference that encourages men to be faithful to their wives and children and to submit to God is gender discrimination???

    “A man that doesn’t have a cause worth fighting for, will find the wrong thing to fight against.” -Craig Groeschel in “Fight”

    I think you’re fighting the wrong battles, Brother.

    “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

  47. Totally and utterly ridiculous idea. As a woman of God I have attended many conferences for women and been abundantly blessed and challenged in my walk with Christ as a result! There are many women like myself that long for our men to have more opportunities to fellowship with brothers and to be strengthened in their lives and faith as well. The men in our small group are going to ALM while the wives fellowship together!

  48. It seems as though many of you are not understanding the reason for Act Like Me. I think Act Like Men is calling men out of passivity and into action to be the men and leaders Christ called them to be. Leading their wives, children, family and churches. Men are called to lead and that is biblical. Now pushing men to act like Godly men isn’t not therefore demeaning women. Which seems again to be what you are assuming by this whole event and your comments.

    Your idea could be a good one. But coming as a response to Act Like Men is either for attention or it is just foolishness.

  49. Men, the title of the conference is based on a BIBLE VERSE! It’s the Holy Spirit through Paul who call us to “Act Like Men” in 1 Corinthians 16.13…And I went to the conference and ALL the speakers point us to act like men by looking to Jesus as THE man who define the way we must live…They all encourage us to love our wife and children the way Christ does and assume the responsibilities that God call us to.

    IT’S A CALL FROM GOD TO ACT LIKE MEN…so i’m walking with the victorious one.

  50. Or maybe Happy are those that don’t understand the context of a bible verse… cmon man do you see the verse from psalm 137 as a call from God to smashed our kids today? I hope you don’t read your bible like that…And are you telling me that in 1 corinthians 16.13 that’s not a call from God to Act Like Men? To being mature IN CHRIST. The call is finally to BE LIKE CHRIST and the Spirit of God chose to point us to Him by using the sentence “act like men” so just don’t go for a drama with this..Rejoice yourself that your brothers in Christ are advancing the kingdom by making effort to bring men to be conform to the image of Christ. And do your conference if you want i encourage you to if your heart really want to bring the glory to God but please don’t say things like “they assume the cultural stereotype of men is good” and don’t refuse the real meaning of a bible verse. I think its a good desire to fight against discrimination keep that good fight but use the right tools. I just pass by this site and my comments are really not to start a war my point in the first comment was just to say that the brothers did the conference beacause of what they learn from the Holy Scriptures so as brothers i think we must fight together not against each others.. Grace and peace

    1. Eric, my point was exactly your first sentence.

      Context is subjective – Act like Men needs to be understood in context as much as Smashing Kids Heads. The WHOLE point of this counter-conference was that the folks who put on Act Like Men, and many people who attended interpreted it through a complimentarian lens which is not the context.

  51. I have never understood the issues people have with these conferences and others like them. A large part of the message of this conference was on verse 14. If everything you do is done in love then your wife and others around you are not belittled. What is love… you know the verse… none of the words used in the Bible to define love fit making women out as sex toys or making them second class citizens. The whole idea is that you are supposed to be the leader spiritually in your home and defend you marriage and family in this regard. I attended the conference and all I heard was how I was supposed to love my wife like Christ loved the church. He laid down His life for it.

    The stereotype of a manly man our culture uses is a guy that thinks he is invisible, sleeps with woman and lots of them, has the biggest and loudest toys, doesn’t like girly things and basically is a selfish pig. Not one of which was ever put forth as a good quality at this conference. So I am wondering how being unselfish and putting your wife and children before yourself, being courageous enough to share your sin and short comings with a close friend and making sure that everything you do is done in love puts forth a gender stereotype? If that is the stereotype of a man this nation and this world wouldn’t be so lost. This stereotypical model of a man was held up as everything you shouldn’t be. Trying to paint the “Act Like Men” conference in this light is rather irresponsible. It is good you had your conference and that it went well but next time it might be a little better to not paint other Christians in a bad light. Especially when you seem to miss the mark on what they are even saying.

    1. Hi Brian, thanks for the comment. This is why I posted this at the top – http://prestonsteinke.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/my-response-to-act-like-men/
      That was written by someone that was there. I think it’s an ongoing issue with how closely tied into this conference a destructive and oppressive complimentarism was tied into it which is what we were pushing back against. I agree that if the conference was pushing back against worldy concepts of who men are supposed to be was the only point of it then that would be a good thing, but clearly that wasn’t, it was to push against it and then replace it with just another oppressive hierarchy that is non-Christ like.

  52. Men and women are different. Men should be men and women should be women. Women are told to obey their husbands and men are told to love their wives like Christ loves the Church. Men are to be the leaders of their family. I didn’t make all of this up, God did. He reveals this in his living Word. The act like men conference was an awesome experience and to God goes the glory!

  53. I haven’t read every response above, so I miss something that Nathan says or has said, my apologies. But Nathan, did you attend the conference. Is your only POV on what Preston’s blog comments on his experience? This event was not a poke at gender roles. It was biblical in asking men to take their God spoken role in their own lives. I agree with Nathan that some areas were less than respectful, but I know that human’s (men) were leading and they would not be perfect. They (the speakers) did not demean women, they uplifted Men. They did show examples of what a “real man” is in God’s eyes compared to the “man” that current culture would have us believe, and showed how arrogant abusive behavior is not acceptable in God’s word. They showed in God’s word that men and women are different, not one better than the other, but different. They did focus on scripture and helped relate His word to our lives. In much that I took away from the what was taught at the event, this stands out most;

    “You before me.”

    That is acting like a man.
    That is acting like Jesus.

    It is my hope that I remember this always and remember that in serving and following Christ, I do not let me get in the way.

  54. Yeah! I know, right!!!

    I mean, how dare they gather men to proclaim Christ and call them to serve their wives and love them like Christ loves the church?!! How DARE they.

    Oh, and I can’t believe that men might get saved through this. Ugh. Horrible. Lets not let that happen.

    And worship? Men!? Worshipping God?! I agree – this must be stopped. We must put all our energy into de-railing this movement that the Holy Spirit has clearly started.

    While we are on a roll here, we should point our fingers and shake them at the 9 million women’s conferences that will happen this year.

  55. Maybe you should actually attend Act Like Men and stop bothering with petty differences in wording. Gird your loins. Your suggestion of tearing down other believers in this way is shameful. It’s just a bunch of men exhorting other to be like Jesus and love their families sacrificially.

    You got a problem with that?

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