I’m the dad of 3 girls and am afraid of the world of sexual harassment and abuse my daughters are going to have to navigate.

I’m also the author of Beyond the Battle: a man’s guide to his identity in Christ in an oversexualized world, a book that, among other things, helps men rewire their minds so we don’t become sexual harassers or abusers.

Needless to say, I think (and write) about this subject a lot.  I also live in Lansing, MI, where every day there are new headlines in the paper about Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics’ Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of hundreds of girls and women athletes over a span of decades.  Those could have been my daughters had things been off by a few years.

I put the phrase “an oversexualized world” into the subtitle of my book very intentionally.  No one can argue that our world isn’t oversexualized.  My question is, why aren’t more people doing something about it?  I’m convinced that as a society as a whole, we want the best of both worlds.  We want to have our cake and eat it too.  We want to do whatever we want sexually: have sex before marriage, have casual sex, have porn in our popular movies and Netflix shows, look at the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and have a general culture that “if you want to have sex, then have it.”  To argue against this puts you in what feels like a small, unpopular minority.  But when this mindset toward sex produces its inevitable result: broken hearts and broken spirits, let alone sexual harassment, rape, and sexual abuse, we are all dumbfounded as to where these things came from. Continue Reading…

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My latest post is up on the Covenant Eyes blog: #MeToo and the Deep Cultural Concerns it Highlights.

#metoo

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Posts like this are hard to write.  Hard because they are humbling.

I started reading through the #metoo posts on Twitter, at the request of some women in my church.  It’s hard to organize my thoughts so I’m just going to put them out there:

I was wrong.  I do a lot of work around racial reconciliation and talk and preach a lot about racial inequality and the oppression of people of color in America.  When women would talk to me about the oppression women face, and how it should be included in the conversation of oppression, I’ve always resisted.  With race I say, “How can a white person tell you what it’s like to be a person of color in America?”  They obviously can’t, but they try to over and over again (while not listening to people of color’s experiences).  Meanwhile the same applies here, “How can a man tell you what it’s like to be a woman?”  We can’t.  I can’t.  But that’s where I’ve been living.

The response of some men to #metoo is sickening and sad.  The men who are mocking the #metoo movement are sickening to me.  It’s also sad to me the men who feel defensive over this.  How can you feel defensive over this???  Yes, men and boys are sexually abused as well, that’s not the point of the #metoo posts from women.  It’s not a contest!  It’s about giving a voice to a demographic that has been shut up for ages.  Men have never been shut up.  While yes, the male victims of sexual abuse need to share their stories, and those stories are welcome, this is much bigger than that.  It’s about an entire gender that’s been silenced in almost every area of society; the sexual abuse is the tip of the iceberg to the feelings of inferiority women are carrying around with them.  Whether it’s in racial injustice or in these conversations about gender injustice, I will always struggle to understand the response of the white male who feels like they’re being attacked when these important oppressed voices speak up, and then use that feeling to miss the whole point.  This isn’t about you, it’s about the person that’s been oppressed by our society.  Yes, a society that benefited you (and me) at their expense.  But don’t make it about you by feeling attacked or defensive.  And if you’ve been a part of the problem, own it.  Stop acting like you’re innocent of everything; none of us are.  Own up to your part.  Continuing in obstinate pride isn’t going to help anything or change anything.  Why not be a part of the solution? Continue Reading…

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You can listen to Noah Filipiak’s “Behind the Curtain” Podcast interview with Dr. Mike Wittmer on the Podbean Player below or you can subscribe to all “Behind the Curtain” Ministry Podcast episodes on iTunes. (Podcast listening tip: use the podcasts app on your smartphone and listen while driving, doing chores, or working out)

Noah Filipiak interviews Dr. Mike Wittmer on the effects Christian celebrityism is having on the Church at large.  Prior to the internet explosion, good content would get a book published. Nowadays, the only thing that will get someone published is popularity (called “platform” in the publishing industry). Noah and Mike explore the effects this trend has on the souls of authors (namely, themselves!) and on the type of theology being put into the hands of Christians.

Dr. Michael Wittmer is the Professor of Systematic & Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

Connect with Mike on Twitter and Facebook

Mike’s blog: MikeWittmer.blog 

Mike’s books:

 

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Noah Filipiak interviews his faith hero Dr. John Perkins, focusing in on Dr. Perkins’ emphasis on the need for multi-ethnic churches in America as one of the top solutions to our race problems. Continue Reading…

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