I wrote a drinking hymn.
At my Church it's very common for the men to sit around a table and enjoy libations and a good cigar or pipe together. At those times it's very common for someone to raise a glass and say, "To the King!" I thought it would be nice if we had a drinking song along those lines we could sing together at our Men's Retreat or monthly "Pipe Club," or even on Sundays around the Church patio after worship. I wrote it mostly during the drive out to Concan and we learned it and sang it for the video posted above. I was really pleased with it and shared it with a few friends who I thought might get a kick out of it.
I was not prepared for it to have almost 10,000 views and to have been shared 70 times! It seems to have really resonated with a lot of people, and for that I'm really glad. I'd like to share some thoughts about why I think that is.
I think many of us in the Evangelical world are starved for Christian community. We sit in crowds of hundreds, sing a couple of songs, hear a sermon by a preacher on a video screen and then high tail it out of there before the traffic gets too bad. Maybe we'll meet the usual friends at a restaurant, maybe we'll see our Bible study group, but there's a lack of "common life" in which a group has committed themselves to one another for years.
The brothers you see in that video have years of worship, time invested, and sharing one another's ups and downs together. Being a small Parish, we get involved with one another quickly upon joining, and that's pretty much the expectation of membership. We want you with us for far more than an hour and a half on Sunday. Further, when corporate worship is hitting on all cylinders fellowship will naturally grow from it. Common Prayer builds common life. This is a HUGE part of why I go to a "liturgical" Church.
Another big problem today is that the Church has become so feminized. Revivalist emotionalism led to feminist prohibitionism led to men leaving the Church or abdicating their religious responsibilities. At Holy Trinity there is a very masculine Church culture. Men are free to be men and our worship reflects that. Interestingly, our women feel freed up by this to be more feminine.
The smoking and drinking and all that are what usually strike visitors but really, they are just manifestations of something deeper, and it is that that I think attracts people. We have men who neither drink nor smoke but are as strongly involved in forming our Church culture as those who do, after all, so it is something else behind that face of it.
I believe it's mostly liturgical. The form and content of our liturgy, the hymns and songs we sing, the preaching we hear are full of avenues for men to praise God like men. The emasculating sentimentality of revivalism is not found in a Church like ours, neither is self-centered therapeutic moralism in the preaching of the Word.
Godly leaders protecting us from those things, as well as keeping us clear from the opposite error of a fakey machismo, has created a bond of brotherhood which further sustains itself by continued example in our common life and growth together. The Lord has kindly blessed us with a very small, imperfect glimpse of what it's supposed to be like for Christian men to share life together. I think men and women alike pick up on this and realize they are longing for it.
What You Can Do
If you're one of those people longing for the fellowship and masculine freedom you see in the video, you can have it! Start hanging around after Church. Spend time with each other. Be men; don't feel you have to relate to each other in some contrived way. One of the problems with "men's groups" is that they often want the guys to get together and "share" the way women do. Just be yourselves.
Take a look at your worship--the things you say, the things you do, the prayers you pray.
God has provided clear instruction on how to approach Him as a man. Study. Commit. Throw yourself into the cause of Christ.