Thoughts on manliness through developing an assertive, manly voice…
One marked difference I noticed as I attended John Piper’s pastor’s conference’s over the years is how high-pitched the voices of the worship and workshop leaders had become. Before there was a woke ideology present at these conferences (2017 or so, after which I quit attending), we (myself and others) noticed a marked and increasing effeminacy of both the worship sung and the men leading the singing. No longer was it men singing hymns loudly and boldly, but increasingly newer, passive, higher pitched (unsingable!) and emotive songs.
I have been noticing a distinction between confident men and insecure men, or men who act like men and men who retreat from conflict as their primary default position. It is that the former have lower pitched voices while the latter’s voices are soft and effeminized. This is true of me, I would guess—when I am confident, I say things with a low, yet assertive voice, while the things I say insincerely or in fear of people are said in a higher-pitched passive voice. Repentance and obedience carry a tone.
Posture matters for both men and women, and this includes working to cultivate a manly voice. Notice in the movies of yesteryear vs the sitcoms of today? There is almost an entirely different vocal tone of actors in the old days than in today’s generation. Look no further than what the law of winsomeness, popularized by Tim Keller, Desiring God, and the Gospel Coalition have produced, vs. those influenced by Douglas Wilson, John MacArthur, or Voddie Baucum. Listen to their voices, their posture.
Case in point: I was on a zoom call recording a friend’s podcast (on “worship in the church”) and besides myself, there was another reformed Baptist pastor and a younger Presbyterian worship leader. The vocal tone-ation of both men presented a huge contrast, but it was reflective of what they said. The PCA guy, quoting TCG articles and an avowed Keller-ite, made no assertive claims, but merely hypothetical statements and platitudes about appealing to the comforts of men and women in worship, while the Reformed Baptist Pastor asserted Truth according to the dictates and principles of God’s Word. Ironically, the assertive pastor had a lot of practical nuggets to give, while the passive Millenial with the effeminate voice said almost nothing applicable.
Does not the nature of Godly manhood necessitate developing a low voice, one which is confident and assertive? Yes, because the nature of fighting and taking Culture for Christ necessitates assertive statements of advancement.
I would posit the High-pitched and rather effeminate voice is kept this way because of the law of winsomeness and is driven by necessary Accomadtion to not being offensive to others means that they (others) are “in Control.” The tone and pitch of the voice will follow suit; for in this view, public interaction being retreating, necessitates being afraid of men; Whereas driven by Fear of God will cause one to make confident assertions in spite of men’s opinions.
Is this not merely a natural genetic makeup? Of Course Not. Listen to Steve Lawson preach. He might have the world’s most unnatural preaching voice, and yet it sounds manly and clear. The same could be said for James White, whose natural voice seems quite high, but is manly. Or, on the opposite, does Voddie Baucuum really have that low and intimidating voice, or has it become this by his posture, his theology lived out?
Listen to the voices of pastors who were influenced by “the culture accommodationists/retreat-ism vs those who were most influenced by those who, by conviction or by obedience, take stands against culture to bring Christ as King into all of life. I would say the contrast would be striking over time.
Good theology lived in obedience will lead to mature, secure men. And Mature and confident men’s vocals will reflect this. A Godly posture in men will involve the whole of the man.
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.