Engaging views and analysis from outside contributors on the issues affecting society and faith today.

CP VOICES do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

What does it means to be a man? Andrew Tate is the wrong role model

An Inside Edition report published on YouTube on Dec. 30, 2022, features a video Andrew Tate took of himself with a pizza box.
An Inside Edition report published on YouTube on Dec. 30, 2022, features a video Andrew Tate took of himself with a pizza box. | Youtube/Inside Edition

The New York Post is reporting that an increasing number of boys are rebelling against their parents’ woke ideology and turning to conservative beliefs. Boys are turning to conservatism because critical theory permeates the education system and entertainment industry, accusing white boys and men of being “oppressors” of everyone else (the “oppressed”).

Boys look to Andrew Tate as a ‘real man’ role model

These boys are searching for what it means to be a real man. Many Gen Zers are heavily inspired by social media influencers such as Andrew Tate whose paradigm is “fast cars, fast money, fast women.” Tate has 8.8 million followers on X. He calls himself a pimp and admits that he produces porn.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

Sadly, he is not just popular among boys in secular culture but those in Christian homes as well. Recently, Family Research Council’s Joseph Backholm talked with professor Nancy Pearcey about the war on masculinity in a two-part episode of The Washington Stand’s “Outstanding” podcast. Pearcey is the author of “The Toxic War on Masculinity: How Christianity Reconciles the Sexes.” Their conversation provided very interesting insights into boys’ current identity crisis.

Pearcey explained that one of her former students is a teacher at a classical Christian high school and said that all of the boys in her class are fans of Andrew Tate — and even quoted him in their yearbook. Pearcey posted about this on X and immediately heard from parents who said their 4th graders and 5th graders talk about Andrew Tate.

As Pearcey said, “The problem, of course, is that if you don’t have a positive, biblical view of masculinity that you’re teaching boys, they are going to reach out to these online influencers.”

Pearcey described a very interesting history behind the masculinity crisis, including Darwinian evolution. Charles Darwin redefined the male character and masculinity. Darwin’s theory of humans evolving from primates, natural selection, and “survival of the fittest” led society to say that the men who succeed must be ruthless, brutal, competitive, and predatory — that this is their “nature” — implying that men can’t help but act like animals; it’s their instinct.

Darwinism therefore left men off the hook for their immoral behavior, because they “couldn’t help it.” Instead of urging men to live up to the nature of God (imago Dei) in them, they should resort to the “animal nature” and “brute instincts.” Darwin also said that men are superior to women, often resulting in men mistreating women and creating friction and animosity between the two sexes.

Darwinism lowers expectations of men

The impact of Darwinism continues to permeate society through evolutionary psychology. For example, there is a best-selling book called The Moral Animal in which the author says, “The human male is a possessive, oppressive, flesh-obsessed pig. Giving men a booklet on how to have a better marriage is like giving Vikings a book on how not to pillage.” In another book called Men and Marriage, the author claims that men are “just naturally sexually predatory, irresponsible, drug-addicted, and their deepest yearning is to escape from civilization into a ‘primal mode of predatory and immediate gratification.’”

Pearcey responded, “We should not denigrate men that way. If men are taught that their nature does not fit with a biblical ethic, that their inherent nature is contrary to the biblical ethic, then they’re not going to accept the biblical ethic. And so I think this is really dangerous to give men the impression that in some way their basic inherent nature is contrary to the way God made them.”

Backholm agreed, pointing out that he’s heard evolutionary psychology used as an excuse to defend the sexual revolution and its conclusions of: “Your sexual drive is what allowed you to survive. It shouldn’t be tamed. That’s your nature. You shouldn’t be expected to control it. And because you desire it, that’s what makes it moral …” A lot of that belief system is feeding what we would generally describe as “toxic masculinity.”

‘Good Man’ vs. ‘Real Man’

Interestingly, sociologists have found that there is a worldwide, common understanding of what it means to be a “good man.” Pearcey cited a study by one sociologist at the beginning of her book, where the author asked young men: What does it mean to be a “good man?” For example, if you’re at a funeral and somebody says, “He was a good man,” what does that mean? All around the globe, young men had no trouble answering that: honor, duty, integrity, sacrifice, do the right thing, look out for the little guy, be a provider, be a protector, be responsible. The sociologist asked them, “How do you know?” They responded, “I don’t know. I just know. It’s in the air we breathe.” Men in Western culture said that this is part of their Judeo-Christian heritage.

The sociologist then asked these young men, “What if I say to you, ‘Man up! Be a real man!’” They responded, “That’s completely different from being a ‘good man.’ That means be tough, be strong, suck it up, play though pain, win at all costs, be competitive, get rich.”

The sociologist concluded that all around the world young men do have a sense of what it means to be the good man. As Pearcey explained, “It’s part of the image of God. They inherently, intrinsically, innately know what it means to be a good man.” They know that their unique masculine, physical strengths were not given to them just to get whatever they want, but to provide, protect, and take care of the people they love. Fight for them if necessary. But they also feel this cultural pressure to be a “real man.” If this pressure to be a “real man” is disconnected from a moral vision, it can slide into toxic traits like dominance, entitlement, and control.

As Pearcey said, this study can be very encouraging. We can be confident that men know that their natural, inherent character is not contrary to the biblical ethic. Therefore, it’s a good idea to focus on these traits. We should affirm, encourage, and support them in their innate, built-in knowledge of what it means to be a good man made in God’s image.

Pearcey then mentioned that there is an anthropologist in her book who did a cross-cultural study of men throughout the world. He found a common code of masculinity: the good man provides, protects, and procreates (i.e. raise a family and builds the next generation). It’s interesting to note that, even those men who are not Christians (and have the gift of special revelation) realize there are distinctive strengths to being masculine (provide, protect, and procreate) because they are made in God’s image (and have general revelation/self-evident truths written on their hearts).

Backholm made the very crucial point that Satan is trying to derail us from the purpose and plan that God has for our lives: loving Him, being salt and light to others, glorifying God in every sphere, and making disciples of all nations. In response, parents and the church need to teach boys the truth about who God is and why He created us.

Pearcey explained that part of the weakness of the church has been the sacred/secular split where Christianity is assigned to the “sacred realm” (church, Bible studies, and some personal morality), but we often don’t know how it applies to politics, economics, the arts and entertainment, and business (the “secular realm”). This is why the church has had so little impact on the culture. It needs to teach today’s disciples about the cultural mandate.

Point boys to the best role model: Jesus is the ‘ultimate man’

Parents and the church should teach and model to boys what it means not only to be a good man, but what it means to be a godly man. Because we live in a postmodern culture, where kids are told to “live their truth” and do what feels right to them, parents need to be proactive in teaching them the truth. Instead of looking to Andrew Tate for an answer to what it means to be a man, boys should look to Jesus.

Pearcey has a section in her book about Jesus being the “ultimate man.” Jesus was revolutionary to his culture. He knew that God created men and women in His image. He loves and values all human beings and wants us to follow him. In Roman culture, women and children were not valued as men were. For example, children were considered non-persons. They had no status or value. A man had the legal authority to kill his children for any reason.

But Jesus stood against this culture, and He modeled how men should love God and love his neighbors. He told His disciples, “Let the children come to me,” and He said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

Jesus stood against the culture in the way He treated women as well. In Jewish culture, women were typically not spoken to in public by someone who was not a relative. They were not supposed to be touched, and they were not permitted to learn the Torah. However, Jesus broke these cultural expectations. Mary “sat at his feet,” which meant she was his disciple, and He scolded Martha who was more concerned about the traditional woman’s duty of fixing dinner rather than learning from Him.

Jesus broke cultural expectations and exemplified masculinity in a revolutionary way. There is no better role model than Jesus.

Originally published at The Washington Stand. 

Kathy Athearn serves as a correspondence writer and the Family Research Council. 

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More In Opinion