The Sounds of Fundamentalism: Stronger Men’s Conference at James River Church

real men love jesus

This is the one hundred and seventy-third installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section.  Let’s have some fun!

Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video ad for the Strong Men’s Conference that will be held April 13-14, 2018 at JQH Arena. The event is sponsored by James River Church in Springfield, Missouri. What is the Stronger Men’s Conference you ask? The conference website states:

The Stronger Men’s Conference exists to empower and motivate men to live out God’s view of manhood and be the best husbands, fathers, and leaders God has called them to be. You will not want to miss out on the 2018 conference, which will be taking place at JQH arena, located in downtown Springfield, MO. Featuring world-class communicators, high-energy worship and awesome entertainment, this action-packed conference will truly be an experience to remember!

The speakers for the event will include: Craig Groeschel, John Gray, Louie Giglio, and James River pastor John Lindell. Special guests include NFL players: Jordan Hicks, Trey Burton, Chris Maragos. The highlight of the conference? On-fire praise and worship — manly-style — along with feeding the hungry and helping the poor. Just kidding. The highlight is sure to be the Christian MMA fights. Woo! Hoo! Christian men getting in a cage and beating the shit out of each other. What’s not to like, right?

I suspect this conference will be yet another ball scratching ode to right-wing Christian masculinity, complete with, if the video is accurate, firearms. The last video says that the conference is all about the greatest man ever, Jesus, but everything I have seen so far has very little to do with Jesus and everything to do with providing little Christian boys a play date away from Momma.

Video Link  (This video has been deleted)

Video Link

I am not alone in my judgments about the Stronger Men’s Conference:

Christian Men’s Ministry: On Target or Firing Blanks?

Get Your Manhood On! Stronger Men’s Conference Coming Up

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11 Comments

  1. ObstacleChick

    So God’s view of Christian manhood includes monster trucks, pyrotechnics, and beating the crap out of each other MMA style? Christians must actually realize that their religion is on a downward trend if they are resorting to this. I am actually curious if they will sell beer at this event.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Somebody slipped me LSD…. I just can’t believe how America is going clown-crazy. By golly, Trump might get another term…

      Reply
  2. maura hart

    Just the holly jolly blooood of zombie jeebus

    Reply
  3. Charles

    Yeah. But we all know the truth from Pink Floyd. “When they go home at night their fat and psychopathic wives thrash them within inches of their lives!!!”

    Reply
  4. Troy

    Bruce, I think it is a lot less “a play date away from Momma” and more “a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down”

    Reply
  5. Rebecca

    I think he should follow all this entertainment up with a rousing message on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. “Real Men should go and do likewise. ”

    And, what about all the “real men” like my husband who just aren’t into guns, sports, or monster trucks…They are being left out of the loop here.

    See what I mean about those “crazy uncles in the basement, folks.” God love em.

    Reply
  6. John Walker

    If you would take time to actually speak with anyone involved in the conference you could write a more intelligent and accurate column. So easy to bash what you dont understand and I doubt you will care what I would tell you about the conference.

    Reply
    1. Tom

      “If you would take time to actually speak with anyone involved in the conference you could write a more intelligent and accurate column. So easy to bash what you dont understand and I doubt you will care what I would tell you about the conference. [sic]”

      Because, of course, those laughing all the way to the bank after producing this carnival freak show are going to be totally honest and candid about it. Right, Johnny?

      Here’s a tip for you: we don’t need the likes of YOU lecturing us on the virtues of manhood as you arbitrarily define it. Bruce is correct: see who the speakers and other acts are going to be, note the topics, and any predictions with those who are familiar with their limited repertoire will be able to predict the substance with all of the assurance of a prediction that in the month of April, 2019, it will rain at least one day in Portland Oregon.

      In the meantime: enjoy your little thinly veiled homophobic hate fest– whether you are one of the suckers coughing up the cash to attend, or one of the hucksters raking in the dough. And the next time that a gay bashing misogynist preacher is busted for playing tappy toe in an airport bathroom with an undercover cop, or his male lover outs him, we’ll think of you.

      Reply
      1. GeoffT

        Great comment Tom.

        I am constantly perplexed by the idea of big, homophobic, he-man types, who detest the very mention of the word ‘gay’, and cover their ears when mentioning LGBTQ, who get a hard on for a 2000 year old male corpse called Jesus. Call me odd, but this can sound really weird….!

        Reply
  7. Matt

    If they would have attended they would had heard phrases like ” Run Your race, keep focused on Jesus” or ” I wasn’t called to be Important, I was called to be Faithful and by being faithful I’m doing important work for God” or ” Only on your face in prayer is where possibilities and impossibilities take place” or “We are walking in the story that has already been written for us” This kind of sounds like something that men of all color or race or religion or whatever background can latch on to and run with. To be the Men that God called them to be. Men of Courage

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Nice try. You seem to think — wrongly — that none of us have seen this “show” before. We have. Change the themes, speakers, entertainment — it’s still same old shit, just a different day. These conferences promote a false uber-masculinity that is rooted in ball-scratching patriarchal, complementarian thinking. I need not attend to know this. All I need to do is read the promotional material, investigate the church that is sponsoring it, and see who the speakers are to determine what the appeal and focus will be. There’s nothing new about these kind of men’s meetings. It all started decades ago with Promise Keepers. The only things that have changed are the accoutrements.

      Reply

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