Christian comedian unveils 'GodMen' conferences [Excerpts]
A Christian comedian is leading a ministry that encourages men to be open about their conflicts and trials.
For several years, Brad Stine has been a featured speaker at Promise Keepers conferences. The comedian's website, which describes him as "America's favorite conservative comedian," states he is on a "mission" to free his fellow Christians from "the chains of political correctness...."
Recently, Stine began holding conferences that seek to reach men who feel marginalized by the church. Those "GodMen" conferences are designed to help men form relationships and Christian spirituality that is "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," he explains. "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."
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 explains. "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."
Because of the nature of some of the topics that are discussed, no one under the age of 15 can attend a "GodMen" event.
[TBC: There has been an increasing coarseness in what is deemed acceptable in Christian language and conduct. It is not a matter of "sugar coating" Christianity. The same Bible that told of Jesus driving out the moneychangers also admonished us to "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians:4:29).]