To date the Promise Keepers organization continues to support Robert Hicks’s book The Masculine Journey. As we have reported previously, Hicks’s book is not based fully on the Bible, but rather on his own personal experience of what it means to be a man. Hicks forms arbitrary stages in which to place his own personal experience and subjective psychological notions. By giving biblical labels to these stages and mixing in some biblical truth, he makes it appear that the Bible validates everything he says about manhood.
Hicks contends that “this word [zakar] reflects the phallic male in his distinct sexual aspect.” He says:
We are sexual beings at our most primary (primal) level. The Bible never pretends or expects us to be otherwise. It meets us and describes us where we are, where we live and have our being. To be male is to be a phallic kind of guy, and as men we should never apologize for it, or allow it to be denigrated by women (or crass men either) (p. 24).
Hicks reduces the biblical definition of manhood to one body part. He says, “The Bible simply defines manhood by the phallus” (p. 49). Needless to say, Hicks is attempting to squeeze biblical manhood into his categories. He says:
Possessing a penis places unique requirements upon men before God in how they are to worship Him. We are called to worship God as phallic kinds of guys, not as some sort of androgynous, neutered nonmales, or the feminized males so popular in many feminist-enlightened churches. We are told by God to worship Him in accordance with what we are, phallic men (p. 51).
One book on which Hicks relies is Daniel Levinson’s The Seasons of a Man’s Life. Hicks says the book is true on the basis of his own experience and on the basis of what he considers “excellent research.” Levinson investigated the lives of forty men and came up with what Hicks calls “certain predictable eras in the male life cycle” (p. 19).
Levinson admits that the study was influenced by Freud, Jung, and Erickson, but also included others, such as Wilhelm Reich (p. 5, Levinson et al). In reviewing one of Reich’s books, Alan Morrison says:
In his book, ‘The Murder of Christ’, he [Reich] claimed that the Fall expounded in the third chapter of Genesis was an allegorical tale depicting the beginnings of sexual repression in human society, while Christ—who he claimed was the ultimate ‘Genital Man’—came to give humanity an example of perfect sexual and energetic health. The reason that the Lord Jesus Christ was killed by the people, according to Reich, was because the sexually-maladjusted world could not take His dynamically-healthy sexual energy. (Morrison, The Serpent and the Cross, p. 254).
There have been various phallic cults throughout history, such as the Celts and Druids. Barry Fell, in his book America B.C., has a chapter on “The Ritual Phallic Monuments.”
Hicks’s book The Masculine Journey and the Promise Keepers’ continued support of it are one fatal flaw in the movement. And, speaking of phallicism, is it mere coincidence that the Promise Keepers hope to assemble one million men around the Washington Monument in Washington, DC in 1997?
(From PAL V3N4)