by Abby Nye | Opinions Editor
As a small, private Christian university, Whitworth has developed its own sort of subculture. Of course, there are obvious aspects, like the popularity of Chacos, ring by spring, and “I’ll pray for you”s that reveal the fabricated and superficial subculture. Although these major aspects of Whitworth’s culture can be identified and laughed at, the underlying reasons for their existence trickles down into the “vibrant” community of students here. One of the most pervasive factors of this subculture is the idea of being a self-proclaimed “godly guy.”
The idea of a “godly guy” runs rampant among both male and female students at Whitworth. Men want to be one, and women want to end up with one. I’ve observed that there is a certain group of males in particular at Whitworth who self-describe themselves as a “godly.” Ironically, the insecurity and conceit shines brightly through this self-proclamation and Christian advertisement, revealing a desperation that would surely contradict the idea of “godly.”
To be clear, I understand that not all males who identify as Christian identify themselves as a Whitworth “godly guy.” In fact, this term isn’t specifically defined, but seems to be one of those quirky traits that developed throughout Whitworth’s history. Although most males at Whitworth do not self-identify as a “godly guy,” there is a certain danger in not holding those who do identify as such accountable.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, these are typically the males who involve themselves in high-profile activities that will somehow reinforce his “godly” identity. Such activities include becoming proficient only in the New Testament, quoting Old Testament law to support their political views, posting about their daily devotionals and forming male small groups. This public profile of a “godly guy” is often simply a costume used to cover up their shameful reality that lacks true Christian values.
It is necessary to be able to identify these males because it often reveals a particularly vicious strain of Christianity expressed in ways that are not true to the character of Christ. In my time at Whitworth, I’ve found that these “godly guys” are some of the most close-minded, disrespectful and ignorant people. These are the males afraid to stand up for justice, afraid of speaking out for the least of us and afraid to confess their sins lest it compromise their public image.
Stepping into the world of “godly guys” reveals a culture of misogyny, racism, and overall disrespect carefully disguised by their pathetic attempts to compensate for their insecurity and ignorance.
I resent the fact that there is this idolized standard of “godliness.” This fabricated concept covers up the larger population of truly Godly guys who are willing to confess their wrongdoings, their misunderstandings and their mistakes. These are the men who are willing to humble themselves so they can actually empathize with others, who struggle with their faith and ask the hard questions and who express unconditional love and support for those who need it. As it happens, being in a guys’ small group doesn’t necessarily make you “godly.”
Although I remain skeptical of self-proclaimed “godliness,” I strongly believe most Christian men strive to reach the standard that Christ has laid out for us. This doesn’t express itself in being a youth leader or being part of a small group, or even going to church weekly. This is expressed through basic Christian practices that are asked of us. Confessing your sins and being aware of the consequences of your actions, claiming responsibility for your wrongdoings, and advocating for those who do not share your privilege is the true representation of a “godly guy.”