Sunday, October 26, 2008
So I just returned from worship at a church, the location of which is irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is this alarming trend that I see in churches that is distinct from Christianity in the past.
Much of what is seen today in churches is more about Churchianity than Christianity. It becomes rather nauseating. Now, I am a devout believer in the local church. I have shown by my words and actions nothing other than a PROFOUND commitment to the church as a primary expression of faith and the epicenter of God's work in the world-- so this has nothing to do with an anti-church rant.
Rather, it is the fact that (not all-- but 'possibly' your church too, before you let yourself off the hook too quickly) MANY churches today are primarily for women and many men are increasingly uncomfortable attending churches. Recently I heard that up to 75% of all attendees in the United Methodist Church are women. Can you imagine? A major denomination where only 1/4 of attendees is male-- when 50% of the population are men? Something's not right about that. And this isn't a slam on Methodism, as much as it is an illustration of my point. Nay, much the same could be said about many denominations and non-denominational churches in many areas.
My point is this: When the average man's man attends a local church, what they often find is a group of "largely domesticated and sometimes effeminate men" with whom they cannot relate. That's what I felt today. I sat there thinking, "Who ARE these people?" Men appeared WAY TOO "nice, polite, smiley, accommodating and, frankly, soft." I'm all for politeness, but this was too much. I'd rather see men who are generally strong, robust, direct, surefooted, level, candid... AND nice, polite, and accommodating. Can't we produce both in our churches?
I'm a huge supporter of women and their development and their great contributions to ministry. I love children and believe deeply in strong children's ministries, youth ministries, and family ministries. I love it all. But can we just learn to allow men to be men and help cultivate strong men in the church, instead of presenting mealy-mouthed weaklings and passive pushovers as the prototype of biblical manhood?